My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

Since 2006, this podcast has been using history to elevate today's political debates.  "The perfect antidote to bloviating talking heads, My History is thoughtful, nuanced, and highly engaging." -Columbia Journalism Review

History
News
Politics
101
Why Do Nebraska and Maine Vote for President Th...
It started with one guy's idea.  And nothing happened with it until after he died.  We look at the Maine and Nebraska congressional district system of Presidential elector assignment and its history as both the NE2 and ME2 went for different...
36 min
102
Did Nixon Win the Popular Vote in 1960? And Ot...
In this episode we look at an enduring mystery, one that didn't matter too much in the 1960 election but has since taken on significance. Could it be that Kennedy lost, and Nixon won, the popular vote nationally in 1960. We looked at it a decade ago,...
73 min
103
The Creation of Children: Child Labor in the U....
A look at the history of child labor and attempts, mostly unsuccessful for decades, at child labor restrictions.  From 2014.  
61 min
104
Flotsam and Jetsam of the 2020 Election
Trump's loss and the ensuing court fight is getting the news. There were a few other historical things to note about the election.
24 min
105
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...
79 min
106
Post Election Talk w/ Chris Novembrino of Dont ...
a bit about Trump's ex-Presidency and Other Things
88 min
107
Kent State: After the Bullets
We know that on May 4th, 1970, fifty years ago, four students were killed by the National Guard at Kent State in Ohio.  What is not always known is everything that happened after that.  Opinion wasn't universally with the slain students, the...
63 min
108
You Must Run if Drafted: Blaine and General She...
Both Blaine and McKinley dodge possible challenges to their Presidential hopes from military generals.  But in different ways.
16 min
109
Notes of 1884: Thoughts on That Election, and t...
We discuss the tight election that elected the first Democratic President in 25 years and some comparisons and contrasts to the current election.  A President's umbrella, salutes for his "big foot," chain-armor clad parades, and the importance of...
45 min
110
The 1796 Presidential Election: Placing us in a...
'The public and the public papers have been much occupied lately in placing us in a point of opposition to each other. ' So wrote Jefferson to Adams about the 1796 Presidential Election, America's first with two candidates with true campaigns. ...
34 min
111
Don't Run for President: Candidates Who Ran, Di...
A candidate who didn't run for President.  A candidate who ran, but didn't know he was running.  A candidate who didn't want to run, but had no choice.  A candidate who ran without seeming to run, and a candidate who ran but died before...
109 min
112
What You Haven't Been Told About The 1860 Elect...
Abraham Lincoln running against...Sam Houston? It is not a far-fetched idea that Abraham Lincoln might have faced Texas hero Sam Houston in the election of 1860, as he  was under serious consideration to be one of the candidates in what became a...
42 min
113
The "Gaffe-a-thon" of the 1976 Election
Jimmy Carter's speechwriter said "We were 30 points up, but unfortunately we had to campaign."  A tight race turns to a veritable battle of gaffes between two newbie Presidential candidates.  A surprise challenger and an unelected...
33 min
114
Dewey Gets Mad: Another Look at the 1948 Election
Truman's high-tech train, Dewey's We Go High optimism and the defeat that made him cling to it, Truman's risky calling of a Session of Congress and how it went badly for him in a few ways, and Dewey's decision to get angry, unfortunately first at an...
48 min
115
The Fifth Debate That Never Happened - 1960
After the four TV debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in 1960, there was talk of a fifth.  That talk didn't result in another TV debate, but did provide one more campaign issue for a very tight election, and developed a new thing -...
33 min
116
Blaine's Faint, Washington's Flu, Defoe's Londo...
From James Blaine's fainting spell days before Republicans chose a candidate, to Washington's extreme flu scare, to the SARS epidemic and a look at the Ever-So-Prescient Defoe's Journal of a Plague Year, Health and Sickness and Politics.
66 min
117
John W. Davis Also Ran
When an obscure lawyer won a party's nomination for President in a surprise convention choice, he used his platform to take on a hate group. 
29 min
118
Earl Warren Replacement, Election Year SCOTUS B...
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought forth a week of mourning but also politics over the Supreme Court.  We discuss the history behind election-year appointments, most notably 1968 and we look at the thorny issue of Court-Packing. ...
47 min
119
The 1880 Election and The Morey Letter: a Tale ...
The 1880 election was close, with Democrats and Republicans seeking an advantage in its waning days when a letter hits a major city newspaper purporting to be in the hand of a candidate.  It is a letter that could turn the election.  With...
59 min
120
All That Stuff Before the Debate Happens
From belt buckles to town-hall meetings, to letting the veeps debate, a history of debate negotiations.
45 min
121
"It Looked Like Hell" - The Story of The 1980 D...
The Democratic Convention in New York City in 1980 was not the example to follow for how to run a convention. With the help of "Reaganland" author and historian Rick Perlstein, we look at one of the most frustrating modern conventions. The fight...
77 min
122
A Mystery of The 1992 Election: Did Clinton Win...
Did Clinton Win Because of Ross Perot?  Or Not.
32 min
123
Granting of Certiorari: The Hidden Process Behi...
A bit about an obscure procedure that can mean everything, from a 2011 episode.
28 min
124
Top 10 Worst VP Picks in History
Usually a choice at the top of the ticket helps. But sometimes it doesn't. Bruce goes into his Top 10 Worst VP Picks.
39 min
125
What the Old Country America Was Like, per Will...
The early settlement of Southern Missouri, through the tale of William Monks told in 1908.
18 min
126
Most Effective Political Convention Ever? New ...
The convention that nominated then-unknown Jimmy Carter in 1976 convention was worth 30 percentage points in the polls, and is seen as one of the best organized events by many who study politics. We look at what happened - from a strict chairman's...
96 min
127
Bruce Interviewed on Intellectual Property...Fr...
Why do people spend so much time watching the news? Bruce Carlson is interviewed by David, Brad at the IP...Frequently Podcast (hah)   We discuss current events in the context of historical ones. Also, reverse virtue signaling.   If...
27 min
128
King Corn, Story of Ethanol (from 2013)
A bit of an American political story about politics, corn, common sense.  
20 min
129
Valley Forge Myth and Reality - Interview with ...
Separating truth from lore about what is perhaps the most important moment of American Independence, along with authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.  A very different Valley Forge emerges than the one in the textbooks.  An integrated army of...
56 min
130
Operation Eagle Claw and the 1979 Iran Embassy ...
Eagle Claw, popularly known as Desert One, was the unsuccessful attempt to rescue hostages in Iran in 1980, hostages that had been held since the storming of the embassy in 1979.  Replaying two previous podcasts on the topic, we look at the...
46 min
131
Partisanship, 1850's Style w/ Josh Mensch, co-a...
High political stakes, secret plots, Plug Uglies armed with sharp awls to help 'convince' voters... Baltimore in the 1850's was a fearsome place where politics and gangs were hard to separate.  Yet it was the connecting stop for new Presidents...
62 min
132
A Powder Keg About to Explode: Newark, NJ 1967
Newark N.J. suffered a brutal and consuming riot, or rebellion, depending on how you see things, in the hot summer of 1967. Through the voices of history, we hear about those events, what caused it, and the musician who got caught up and became an...
65 min
133
The Cabinet, George Washington's Creation, with...
George Washington did not get a Cabinet as President. He created it. His precedents forged the institution and the President's relationship to the Executive Departments. Washington didn't fire a cabinet member, but he set the precedents in this area...
42 min
134
What The Great Depression Felt Like, And Other ...
What caused The Great Depression, did FDR do anything to fix it, and how does it compare to our recent recessions? A 2008 cast that holds up well...As events started to take shape in '08, , I remember sitting down in a park and scribbling the base of...
67 min
135
Protests: The Whole World is Watching - Chicago...
In the wake of Occupy Movements, we took a look at what happened at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968.  
25 min
136
History's Nine Most Insane Rulers w Scott Rank ...
We talk about Idi Amin, Kim Jong-il and other despots with Scott Rank of History Unplugged Podcast.  He joins us to talk about his book History's Nine Most Insane Rulers.  We get into Amin's awful suppression of opposition, deportation of...
68 min
137
Eyewitness to Kent State Shootings: Paula Stone...
The May 4, 1970 shootings at Kent State killed 4 students and wounded 9. Paula Stone Tucker was a student going through her work and studies on campus when she witnessed a historic event. We talk about Kent State, how the 4 days unfolded, and get...
54 min
138
Rules of Political Debate: Godwin's Law is Not ...
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...
25 min
139
Measure Everything: Ark of Commerce Part 5
An unknown man in a forgotten office develops a number that makes and breaks Presidents. A poet turns his song towards a metal object. Two 19th century men tire themselves out making machines They can't know their work will one day put us on the...
83 min
140
Make It Stop: When Commerce Stopped (Ark of Com...
When we aired this last year, the topic of commerce shutting down did not seem timely.  Thus a re-run of our fourth of a series on American commerce, a look at three instances of when U.S. commerce was stopped seems appropriate.  From an...
72 min
141
Truman, the Marshall Plan and the 1948 Election...
A look at Truman,, the Marshall Plan and the 1948 Election.  Why Truman thought he won, and why his opponent Dewey thought he ended up losing.   How he pulled it off.  With A.J. Baime, author of Dewey Beats Truman.  This is...
75 min
142
Stop Carter: A Story of 1976 Politics
The last-minute bid of California Governor Jerry Brown to unseat Jimmy Carter's nomination raised a lot of questions about politics that are still present today.  Should electability be a factor among primary voters?  Can you out-new the new...
35 min
143
Rum, Romanism and Rebellion - The 3 Words That ...
In this episode we look at a historic campaign episode and try to solve a mystery of history of the 1884 election.  Did GOP candidate Blaine hear the bigoted comments of a supporter, or didn't he?   We also get an insider's view from a...
27 min
144
The Spanish Flu of 1918 and Its Aftermath - Con...
We speak with Laura Spinney, science journalist and author of "Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World" and discuss the dreadful disease that claimed 50-100 million lives, more than the Great War that preceded it....
35 min
145
Disco Demolition and The First South Carolina P...
A look at the first South Carolina primary in 1980 and its intended role at the time as a firewall for conservative politics. We also look at how disco sucked, Dylan went Christian and some events that happened at the same time, all unrelated but in...
41 min
146
Washington and The Bill of Rights: A Mystery
George Washington was highly influential in constructing a Constitution, but less so when it comes to the Bill of Rights. A few of them he even found unnecessary. We just don't know which ones. We talk about Washington's role in the convention, his...
29 min
147
Iowa, Impeachment and the Universe
A stubborn impeached governor, odd caucus locations, real estate and politics. Bruce talks about the Iowa Caucus, how it works, changes in 2020, its history and influence and what things look like this year. Impeachment and the current universe of...
42 min
148
Too Minnesota Nice - Examining 1968 Even Closer
The scandal at the end of the 1968 election - the Chennault affair was obscure in history but recently has been examined in great detail.  We look at one component - simply why Hubert Humphrey, Democratic candidate that had information about...
9 min
149
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....
33 min
150
The Surprising, Perhaps, History of Martin Luth...
The history of the federal holiday starts with a strike and ends with a battle between President and Senate
8 min
151
More Obscure Facts About Presidents - Congress ...
20 min
152
Truman's Mild Support of JFK
HST and JFK did not have a close relationship.
9 min
153
Mister 22 and Mister 24: Grover Cleveland
A look at Grover Cleveland, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.
36 min
154
Impeachment - Conversation with David Priess an...
It's all of those things.  Conversation with David Priess, MHCBUYP listener, COO of Lawfare, Author of several books - about impeachment and the decision to impeach, and the many sides to this question from Tyler to Clinton to Trump.  
71 min
155
A World Disrupted - Interview w/ Charles Emmers...
The years from 1917 to 1924 are fractured yet formative for the world. After a terrible war, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are forever changed. New movements and scientific developments occur. We speak with Charles Emmerson, author of "Crucibe The Long...
39 min
156
Lincoln and Zachary Taylor
Lincoln's career was partially built on his support for another President. We get into that, and why you wouldn't want Lincoln as an opponent.
18 min
157
A Deep Dive into The Emancipation Proclamation
What was the true function of the Proclamation and the context surrounding it?  How did people react at this time?    Music from Chris Zabriskie, Chris Novembrino and Lee Rosevere on this episode. 
30 min
158
Switching VIces
We look at vice presidential and vice presidential candidate switches throughout history.  And we speculate if a tactic last used in 1976 might find its way into the 2020 Election.  We also get into the McGovern-Eagleton 1972 events and talk...
69 min
159
Butterfield: Nixon’s Watergate Frenemy
Alexander Butterfield, Nixon’s deputy COS who revealed the existence of the taping system in the White House, gets only a small mention in Watergate history but he has a lot to contribute to the understanding of it.   He recently spoke to Bob Wood
22 min
160
Stop Talking About Momentum: The Race for Presi...
It wasn't supposed to be a race.  Gary Hart, Walter Mondale, Jesse Jackson, John Glenn battle to take on Ronald Reagan in 1984.  As do some other candidates.  We look at the race that year and mine it for any insights into 2020 and...
75 min
161
The Mystery of Impeachment - How it Works, What...
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...
78 min
162
Beam Me Up: The James Traficant Story w/ Alex H...
We discuss the life and career of Youngstown, Ohio congressman James Traficant with Alex Hastie of Ohio v. The World Podcast. We rerun part of the episode from his podcast.   We hear from Eric Murphy, director of the documentary "The...
62 min
163
Small Money and Big Hope / Dasher's Run
Descripti
33 min
164
Bruce Talks About Everything, Dem Debates Trump...
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.  
66 min
165
Brown vs. The Board of Education
The history and context of the famous court case, and its aftermath.
30 min
166
Brexit, Boris and UK and Irish Politics w/ Stev...
We talk about the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brexit, and Irish politics with Steven Byrne of What Am Politics Podcast.
61 min
167
Holden Caufield and Xerox: The Corporate Person...
we discuss a recent Supreme Court decision and corporations as people.
21 min
168
How to Rank The Presidents, with Susan Swain an...
With C-SPAN's Susan Swain and Brian Lamb we talk Theodore Roosevelt and LBJ.  And we discuss their book The Presidents, and the unique ranking system they use to assess and order America's POTUSes.  e also talk abut some of the historians...
34 min
169
Colonel Franklin - Benjamin Franklin's Decision...
In the Pennsylvania colony, Benjamin Franklin was a force in convincing Quakers to protect the colony with militia (from THEY SIGNED PODCAST)
35 min
170
The Ark of Commerce Part IV: Make It Stop
In our fourth of a series on American commerce, a look at three instances of when U.S. commerce was stopped, for a variety of reasons - from an offensive war effort, to a bid for peace, to a management of peacetime.  And we look at the effects of...
72 min
171
Sedition, Presidents and the Press
From John Adams and the Alien Sedition Act, Lincoln's rage and FDR's giggling sidekicks, from JFK's light warnings to Trump and the press as the people's enemy, we look at the relationship between President and the Press.  Plus we are joined by...
96 min
172
Surprising Facts About Accidental Presidents - ...
Surprising facts about the presidencies of John Tyler, JFK, LBJ, Chester Arthur and Millard Fillmore from Jared Cohen, author of Accidental Presidents, Eight Men Who Changed America. From Tyler's Grandkids, Arthur's Secret Correspondent and Adviser,...
51 min
173
Young Jefferson, Signer of The Declaration and ...
From a podcast on the signers completed in 2012 the story of Thomas Jefferson's early years, and other stories.
32 min
174
Third Parties: The Moped and the Maserati - Why...
About 3rd parties, with a focus on John Anderson's campaign and many others.
24 min
175
Woodrow Wilson Has No Friends: Wilson, His Poli...
Or so it seems these days.  Liberals, conservatives, anti-globalists, Fed haters, socialists, libertarians all have a bone to pick with him.  how much criticism does he deserve?   We speak with Patricia O'Toole, the author of 'The...
49 min
176
The Slaughter Could Not Be Ignored -
A Look at the 14th Amendment and the Slaughterhouse Court Cases
72 min
177
The Making of the Franklin Pierce Cast
10 min
178
LBJ 's Cell Phone and His Decision to Jump on t...
In answering a question about JFK's health and its role in Lyndon Johnson's decision to accept the Vice Presidency, Bruce takes a look at the people and factors surrounding Johnson's decision, Kennedy's motivations, Eisenhower's indirect role, and the...
27 min
179
Nixon in Full
A look at the life and career of Richard Nixon, from childhood to Presidency, originally aired in 2014 as 'Get Your Nixon On' This title feels more descriptive.  I don't know whether time has changed this cast, or if this cast has more meaning...
56 min
180
Interview with Sidney Blumenthal - Putting Linc...
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...
50 min
181
28 Minutes: A Classic Debate Moment of Silence
Carter Ford '76, and the Presidential debate snafu that lead to an unplanned moment of silence.  
11 min
182
Mexico's Contribution to World War II and Other...
a forgotten ally gets some credit in this episode.
9 min
183
The Shays Rebellion and Its Implications
The history behind a rebellion against a state of the new United States, why it happened, its impact on our Constitution, and what it means today.   From a 2014 cast, but it's been a while.  Our sponsor is Warby Parker - excellent...
76 min
184
Investigating the Executive Branch: The Trial o...
"Public offices are, what they should be, burdens to those appointed to them which it would be wrong to decline, though foreseen to bring with them intense labor and great private loss." So wrote a newly elected governor Jefferson to a friend. ...
32 min
185
Economy and Jobs: Debunking "The Good Old Days...
Was the past better?  Were the "Good Old Days" really all they are chalked up to be?   Gregg Easterbrook, author of It's Better Than it Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear, has a bold argument.  Things are better now then...
31 min
186
Searching for Eisenhower: Ike on War, Civil Rig...
We discuss all things Ike with William Hitchcock - author of "The Age of Eisenhower."  We talk about how President Eisenhower was a surprisingly good politician, how he navigated Civil Rights, Social Security and other domestic programs, how he...
48 min
187
The Ark of Commerce, Part III: Loco
A mysterious crash.  A strange contraption.  A fateful race, an outbreak of violent activity and a crafty watch-seller.  A look at the railroad history of America and the changes the railroad brought.  
101 min
188
Curtis LeMay, Warrior, Candidate - with Alex Ha...
Bruce is interviewed on Ohio v. The World Podcast, which is the creation of MHCBUYP fan Alex Hastie.  The subject is Curtis LeMay.  Politically we know him as George Wallace's reluctant running mate in 1968.  But there was much more to...
69 min
189
The Ark of Commerce, Part II: Two If By Sea
A unique boat is built to overcome a powerful challenge in interstate water commerce.  a revolution is fed by fish.  A writer turns commerce into words.   A well known Revolutionary figure finds an agreeable industry, while young...
95 min
190
LBJ and The Creation of Medicare - 50 Years Ago
50 years ago, Medicare was created and some of it was recorded. We'll look at the original conversations that demonstrate LBJ's work on the bill, and compare the enactment of Medicare to the Affordable Care Act. And we'll contrast the two bill's...
35 min
191
The Ark of Commerce - Part I: Crash Party
In this look at American commercial history we discuss the Black Thursday Stock market crash, the early career of Thomas Edison, how a popular game evolved from a anticorporate activist, and how Wall Street was once in Philadelphia, so to speak. ...
92 min
192
The Craziest Speaker of The House Election, Ind...
A few questions, some from an older cast that now bears repeating in the wake of a new speaker election, and others from the premium channel now elevated.  Was Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal allowed to happen by a quiet public, or was thee...
33 min
193
Saturday Night Nixon: The Firing That Sealed W...
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 ba
28 min
194
George H.W. Bush, 03 30 81
We take a look at one day in the life and career of President George H.W. Bush - not in his presidency but in his vice-presidency.  That day revealed his leadership style and set future precedents, perhaps.  March 30, 1981 the day of the...
28 min
195
Presidents After Midterms with Matt K. Lewis
Bruce and Daily Beast/CNN correspondent Matt K. Lewis talk about midterms, and Presidents post midterms.  Bruce tells a story about Lincoln that he told 11 years ago. (more information on that story in the premium podcast). 
34 min
196
David Priess on the Realities of Impeachment an...
We are joined today by David Priess, former CIA intelligence officer and author about his new book on the history and the realities of impeachment, and the 25th, what people think it is, and what has really happened in history.  He is the author...
53 min
197
The Black Bands on the Goal Post -'Leftovers' f...
More insights from our Episode 'Soccer and Repression' about the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.  
26 min
198
Posse Comitatus and Billy The Kid
A law that may have given Billy The Kid a few more months of life, long enough to build a legend is still a part of today's politics.  The rich history of the Posse Comitatus law that separated military from law enforcement and forbids, in some...
36 min
199
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...
36 min
200
About That Court-Packing Idea. SCOTUS Discussi...
With some fringe talk about adding members to the court, a look FDR's court-packing scheme of 1937, why it failed and why it is a cautionary tale of a defeat of a powerful political figure.  However, the story also has unique qualities and may...
44 min