Saturday, April 07, 2018

Pod Saves America Comes To Miami ... by gimleteye

A cardboard cutout of Marco Rubio spent much of last night on stage at the Olympia Theater in Miami

Its website describes the progressive podcast, "A political podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane." Last night's audience was of a like mind and welcomed the "...  no-bullshit conversation about politics hosted by Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor that breaks down the week’s news and helps people figure out what matters and how to help."

Stage managing and producing a live political conversation that holds an audience is no small feat. To a large extent, the producers can thank the Trump presidency and a terminally corroded GOP. Republicans have done wonders for Democrats by bringing the nation to the brink of chaos all by themselves.

US Senator Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott took it hard on the chin last night. If they didn't have operatives taking notes, they can read the news here.

Based on the amiable fury of the Miami crowd, one had the sense if Scott or Rubio had tried to rent Olympia, even if they had paid an audience to show up, no one would take their tickets.

The Pod team didn't once refer to "FAKE NEWS" or to Fox News by name (it did, however, run a loathsome segment by Fox talking head Tucker Carlson in a game segment called, "Stop, Wait".) Clear enough that the Pod stars let the record of the Trump WH and Republican Congress,  dismally speak for itself.

The thirty-somethings -- comfortably arranged on living room furniture in a half-circle facing the audience -- started with the economy, the losers in the Trump trade war with China, and losers in Trump country.

For the most part, PSA didn't get lost in details. They stayed on the high line, particularly gun violence and inane, idiotic measures Republicans passed -- like arming school teachers -- rather than ban weapons of war on US streets.

The conversation returned to touch on the importance of upcoming elections. If last night's crowd represented the broad electorate, the GOP would lose both houses of Congress in November by a landslide. But the data doesn't lie: southeast Florida is solidly blue, but the state itself is marginally purple.

None in the audience mistook enthusiasm from the hard work ahead; registering voters, making sure they are not stopped by the GOP from voting, and running competent, capable Democrats for public office in all the states, not just where they are comfortably blue

Still, the comparison with 1968 hangs like a shadow. The energies and enthusiasm unleashed by serial marches across the nation; for women and against violence to women, for gun control, and against Trump remind of Vietnam War and Civil Rights protests. Students of American political history know that the seeds for a right wing revolt took root then. The billionaires who harvested rewards, investing in the AltR and putting John Birchers on center stage -- from the Kochs, to the Adelman, Fanjul and Mercer oligarchies -- will use every tool, including a sociopathic president who hangs by a thread, to keep the status quo intact.

Last night in Miami with Pod Save America, one felt a swell of optimism on the horizon: a #bluewaveiscoming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As soon as I stop typing this comment, I’m going to search for POD on YouTube and see what I missed. Surrounded by critical thinkers with senses of humor, is uplifting.