Rank #1: Bruce Talks About Everything, Dem Debates Trump 2020 and Clinton 1996, Supreme Court
Trump Reelection, Democratic Debates and Recent Court decisions discussed on the episode. It's a bit more lose than the norm, bear with Bruce as he tackles a lot in a short time and provides some sketches of things to come.
Rank #2: John Jay's Horse , George Washington's Mill and the Emoluments Clause
A trip to Mount Vernon through the eyes of visitors, and an examination of some old documents, provides rich insight into today's debate over the The Foreign Emoluments Clause. This obscure item has received as much attention as ever with the Presidency of Donald Trump. A look at the history of the Clause, which predates the Constitution. We also look at George Washington's business empire and how it might compare and contrast to a current business.
Bruce also notes how Washington's purchasing of public land in the Federal City (now D.C.) in an auction during his Presidency has not been contextualized enough by those using the actions in the current debate, and a letter from 1796 reveals a pretty big miss by those citing the purchases - Washington's never-completed desire to create a national university.
Rank #3: Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the 25th Amendment, But Were Afraid to Ask.
Chester Arthur's dilemma. Woodrow Wilson's secret. Robert Kennedy's concern. The Framers of the Constitution and the unnerving though of a disabled President. A look at the history of Presidential Succession, from the Constitutional Convention to the passage of the 25th Amendment nearly two hundred years later.
How does it work? Who does it affect? Why does it exist?
Rank #4: Saturday Night Nixon: The Firing That Sealed Watergate
The Saturday Night Massacre was the name given to the triple firing of a special prosecutor investigating President Nixon, the AG and the deputy AG on the same night in 1973. After the firing of the FBI Director by President Trump, all eyes are looking back on this historical event. Are they right to do […]
Rank #5: You Don't Know About Franklin Pierce
The 14th President is among the most unknown, as he was when he won in a surprising election. Yet he started with great promise. Youthful, regal in manner and style, with celebrity friends, many thought his Presidency was a renewal for the country. Instead he provoked a resistance movement. His fall in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska act reveals a lot about the Presidency in a time of scattered politics.
Bruce goes through his four-year Presidency and the reasons why he's one of the few to never obtain a re-nomination from his own party. His Presidency is one of several factors setting up war. Though his administration was disastrous, there might even be an issue or two where you like him on.
Rank #6: Impeachment: The Mystery of Impeachment - How it Works, What Happened in 1868 and More
Savior or scoundrel? We look at the case of one of the most celebrated heroes of Presidential impeachment. And in the course of that - we look at the Chase, Clinton and Johnson precedents for attempted impeachment, we attempt to answer questions about this oft-discussed, rarely used, and perhaps, poorly understood Constitutional function. That the President would be subject to impeachment was almost never questioned. And the language in the Constitution is clear. But that doesn't mean all questions are answered. Why is impeachment so rarely used? Why does the Senate try the President? Does the Senate become a Court when it does, or stay the Senate? What is a High "Misdemeanor?" And what does Aaron Burr have to do with all of this?
Our sponsor for this episode is Bombfell. www.bombfell.com/myhistory a styling service for men. Try out their service for $25 off your first purchase.
Rank #7: Russia: Everything You Know About The Russian Revolution is Wrong - Russian Journalist Mikhail Zygar on 1917, History, Putin, Democracy and More
Crushing myths about the 1917 Russian Revolution that both Russians and Americans still get from Soviet textbooks. Understanding that is the key to understanding today's Russia as well. A very interesting conversation with Mikhail Zygar, Editor in Chief of the TV Dozhd and the Author of All the Kremlin's Men. He joins us to speak about his book The Empire Must Die - Russia's Revolutionary Collapse. We talk Russia 1917 and the revolution before the Bolsheviks. We also talk Russia 2017 and Putin, America, democracy, struggle and more.
Rank #8: Rules of Political Debate: Godwin's Law is Not a Law
Godwin's Law is Not a Law. And yet, it probably should be followed in most cases. (re-do of past episode that contained an error). The surprising history of the rule that one should not discuss Nazis in debates, and the person who is not a scientist nor a lawmaker who came up with it. Also, when you can violate the rule and what the rule says about meme-driven discussions in 2017.
Rank #9: I Am James Buchanan
He's the President that is on the bottom of most lists. But why? And is it fair? What did he think about his place in history? We talk about POTUS 15 and look at the events of the run-up to the American Civil War, and we hear from Buchanan, and get his take on his Presidency, through his memoirs.
Rank #10: Thomas Paine, Common Sense and The American Mind
A look at one of America's earliest blockbusters, the little book that changed American minds: Common Sense, its author Thomas Paine, the impact it had at the time and what it might mean today. We also examine the creative differences Paine had with his printers, and how much it might have cost to advertise for a book in that time.
Rank #11: Statue Removal: National Valhalla: Statues, Confederates, Slaveowners, Washington, Trump, Memory and Time
From the early attempts to depict Washington, to the first Congressional attempts to block Confederate statues, to today's debate. In this episode Bruce examines the history behind statues in America, and Bruce looks at every debating point and angle he can think of regarding Confederate statues, the dates of their construction and their removal. Bruce relates a bust removal debate involving the Declaration Signer Richard Stockton.
Please remember our sponsor Mack Weldon and their great clothes - www.mackweldon.com Use promo code "history" for 20% off.
Rank #12: Why is There an Electoral College?
A look at the Senator who tried to end the Electoral College and the original reasons for it. It has as much to do with 1969 as it does with 1787
Rank #13: Republic vs. Democracy: Radical Revolution - The Pennsylvania Radicals and the State Constitution of 1776
The Pennsylvania State Constitution of 1776, born in the fever of the signing of the Declaration and the radicalization of the city of Philadelphia expanded the rights of many but turned off a great many of those who had fought for independence.
In this episode we look at the history of the singing of the Declaration and Pennsylvania's state Constitution, we examine its contents, and we look at the men - radicals of their time that helped organize the streets of Philadelphia to the independence cause, and how some of their dreams came crashing down.
We also look at the debate of republic vs. democracy in the United States.
Rank #14: Skokie, Neo-Nazis and Free Speech
In the wake of the events of Charlottesville, a look at the Neo Nazi rally in Skokie, IL in 1977 and the resulting Supreme Court Case and the ACLU's role. In recent days Skokie has been brought up; and a look at the history of events is useful. Starting with of course, there actually was no rally in Skokie after all. And while there was a Supreme Court decision, it was not a full decision. We look at other cases, and what this means for speech and politics. We look at Louis Brandeis's great speech on the First Amendment, Chief Justice Robert's view of it recently, Alito's other take. Finally Bruce wonders about the consequences of these rights in a social media world.
Rank #15: Rigged Elections: That Time the DNC Rigged a Nomination
A look at 1944 and how intrigue, manipulation, misrepresentation, a few martinis, a song, an axe, and a finger in the page of a book changed the history of the Presidency.
Rank #16: America and Rome: w/ Mike Duncan
Populism, Corruption, Citizenship and Immigration. Rome struggled with these issues in its Republic phase. Bruce is joined by Mike Duncan, host of The History of Rome Podcast, to talk about the pre-fall of the Roman Republic, period of 146 to 78 BC and the cast of characters that struggled for power at the time. Mike has come out with a recent book called "The Storm Before the Storm," which delves into this topic.
Rank #17: Trump and History: Take Trump. Add Historical Context. Rinse and Repeat.
What can history add to understanding the unconventional Presidency of Donald Trump? What about his tweeting, that portrait of Andrew Jackson in the White House and the comparisons? What are his reelection chances as of now, and how does the midterm look? Bruce is joined by Ian Skotte, who will be helping with producing the My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast to discuss POTUS 45 so far. Music by Lee Rosevere on this episode.
Rank #18: Rawhide is OK - First of Our Series on a 'Dozen Ronald Reagans' -REPLAY
Replay from 2016 as we prepare the last three eps in January.
First in our series on Ronald Reagan that will have twelve episodes. The Presidency we discuss almost didn't happen. A look at the attempt on Reagan's life, his first year and why the shooting was not an unimportant incident of his Presidency but directly connected to his performance in the first year. We also go over the Dozen Ronald Reagans Concept - that there are twelve different aspects to him to examine both in reality and in the perception of Reagan in political debates.
Rank #19: Political Alignments: Archie and Meathead America - w/ Chris Novembrino
We are joined by Chris Novembrino of The All in the Family Podcast and also Don't Worry About the Government Podcast. We discuss All in the Family and Roseanne Barr, the political situation in 2018, the Mueller investigation, Congress, Tariffs, Debt, and Just about everything.
Rank #20: Interview with Sidney Blumenthal - Putting Lincoln in a Political Context, Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, The Whigs and More
We are joined by the author of Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol II, Sidney Blumenthal. In this cast, he talks about Lincoln in the 1850's, as he emerges as a small-time lawyer to being 'woke' by the passage of the Kansas Nebraska Bill to make a stirring speech and come to a definite conclusion about the future of the nation.
In the process Sidney provides details on the passage of both the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska act, and the role that Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas plays in it, Zachary Taylor's Presidency, the Whigs and Franklin Pierce.