My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history

History
News
Politics
1
D.C. Representation: A Love Story
This episode is all about voting in the federal capital we now call the District of Columbia. We talk about a movement to get voting rights that succeeded for a group of (then) D.C. residents 180 years ago, And about the petitions, committees, tea parties, bus trips and statements by Presidents over the years, and the reactions of Congress to them. Why Lincoln and Jefferson Davis found common ground on one issue about D.C. and neither got their wish. And about the rioting soldiers that may have spurred the whole idea of a federal city on a hill in the first place. Plus, about that guy who lived in a tree.
69 min
2
Terrible Tuesday 1987 (The Ark of Commerce, Par...
For Wall Street Insiders, Black Monday was not the worst day. The next day, Terrible Tuesday was an agonizing test of the financial system. As part of our series on the commercial history of the United States, we examine the events of Tuesday the 20th. And we look at the history of insurance in America, the reasons there is a stock market, what was learned and not learned from 1987 and a few other things.
52 min
3
Black Monday 1987 and The Shock of Risk (Final ...
Worried hands gripping phones. Black screens with green digits, going downward. Faces pressed against fancy brokerage office glass. Busy signals. The history of Black Monday 1987 crash and the history of what came before it, from stock commodities and even butter and eggs. This is the first of what will be a two-parter on commerce, risk and the attempts to control that risk, insurance. All of it came together on one day in 1987 which made history, but has been somewhat forgotten about. Don't forget to try out our sponsor Betterhelp - http://www.betterhelp.com/beatup
59 min
4
The Young Dick Cheney
We know the globe-running, meeting master Vice President Cheney, but did you know his parents were hardcore Democrats?  or that he thought his father turned into a bird (albeit at a pretty young age).   As we discuss with Tim Pearson,...
35 min
5
1995: A Story of Politics On The Information Su...
Stealth ads. Secret advice. Kids in uniforms.  Soft money and hard choices in the information age.  As we discuss in this cast, a Presidential election was almost completely settled a year before it happened.  Some knew an election was...
73 min
6
The Man Behind the UN Who Never Got Credit - Ed...
Edward Stettinius, Jr. served a short but important time as Secretary of State serving F.D.R. and Truman.  Without him, there may not have been a UN.  And because he got very little credit, he was able to be successful.   With...
53 min
7
Vaccines Then and Now
Vaccine history, acceptance and denial.  The man who saved Boston and never got credit.   Law and the citizen and medicine.   FDR's polio - if it was polio - and what it meant for America.  From 2014, with an update for...
70 min
8
Golden Beauty Boss: Madame Sara Spencer Washing...
In this episode, we speak with Cheryl Woodruff Brooks, author of  Washington was a cosmetic entrepreneur whose company turned her into one of of America's first black millionaires. She was founder and president of Apex Enterprises consisting of...
30 min
9
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
10
1921 - One Hundred Years Ago
Events 100 years ago have nothing at all to do with today's events, unless you consider new technologies changing the pace of life, the immigration issue, a new administration changing messaging and policies, racism and racial violence, crime, labor...
38 min
11
This is William Rufus King w/ Thomas Balcerski ...
The 13th Vice President of the United States remains obscure. Where King's name does come up, it's often with the wrong picture. Or he's confused with Rufus King.  According to our guest, Thomas Balcerski, Associate Professor of History at...
43 min
12
Mario Cuomo is Not Running: A Tale of Politics
A look at Governor Andrew Cuomo's father Mario, a classic tale of American politics and the potential campaign for President that he ran. 
32 min
13
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
14
Granting of Certiorari: The Hidden Process Behi...
A bit about an obscure procedure that can mean everything, from a 2011 episode.
28 min
15
1866 Mechanics Institute Attack
One violent event, captured in the best media technologies of its time and brought to American living parlors, completely changed American politics during the Reconstruction period.  A convention at the stately Mechanics' Institute in New...
37 min
16
George Romney
A look at the Senator's father, his 1968 run, and time as HUD secretary.
15 min
17
16 Obscure Facts About Presidents w/ Jeremy And...
Who was Chester Arthur's secret pen pal?  How did Herbert Hoover spend his last day in office?  What was McKinley's obscure accomplishment?  What was Rutherford B. Hayes passionate hobby? What event hurt Taft's Presidency from the...
68 min
18
We've Got Problems. We've Always Had Problems.
In this episode, no big deal, we just tackle about every significant problem we have in our politics today.  norm-breaking, free-speech and free-speech limits, threats and violence, double impeachments, pushing envelopes and reverse virtue...
102 min
19
On The Lincoln Train: The 13-Day Journey of a P...
Lincoln's turbulent period as President-elect also featured a novel twist: a thirteen-day train ride through the states that had cast their votes for him, and two that had not.  He countered large cheering crowds and some security risks, while he...
78 min
20
The Power to Pardon
From Eugene Debs to Richard Nixon, from a previously run episode, the President's power to pardon is examined.  
26 min
21
The Story of Samantha Smith
Story of a very young cold warrior for peace.
16 min
22
I Don't Want to Trick You: The Lyndon Johnson -...
Nothing starts a good presidential transition like charges of treason, and thus it was in 1968 that a tense election ending started a transition between Presidents of two parties.  Yet all things considering, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson's...
64 min
23
Pirates and America, w/ Rebecca Simon, Author o...
America's fascination then and now with sea rebels, sea dogs, privateers, smugglers, and pirates by other names is pretty clear.  Books, movies and video games with pirates sell.  We talk with pirate expert and historian Rebecca Simon, Ph.D....
49 min
24
Afghanistan - The Soviet War
60 min
25
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
26
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
27
The War Powers Act (from 2011)
If the Congress hadn't tried to give Nixon trouble, they might have not handed the Presidency so much power, and other thoughts.
29 min
28
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
29
Masks Then and Now, 1960 Election Presidents Le...
Host Bruce Carlson reflects on 14 years of the podcast, provides a show update.  Plus some listener questions on masks then and now, Presidents leaving (or not leaving) the Oval, and Kennedy's 1960 election and allegations of fraud.
59 min
30
King Corn, Story of Ethanol (from 2013)
A bit of an American political story about politics, corn, common sense.  
20 min
31
Blaine and General Sherman, McKinley and Admira...
Both Blaine and McKinley dodge possible challenges to their Presidential hopes from military generals.  But in different ways.
16 min
32
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
33
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
34
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
35
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
36
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
37
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
38
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
39
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
40
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
41
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
42
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
43
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
44
Cholera and Benjamin Harrison
In 1892, a dreaded disease caused a President to navigate local health situation and created a new law.  We look at the precedent-setting quarantine order of the 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison.  While we are at it, we look at Harrison's...
41 min
45
"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
46
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
47
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
48
The Man in the Cave and Other Stories of the Si...
We know Jefferson and Franklin, but what about the other signers - John Hart, John Penn, William Williams, Richard Stockton, William Whipple, John Morgan, William Floyd, George Read and others. I released this series as its own podcast in 2012, some...
323 min
49
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
50
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
51
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
52
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
53
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
54
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
55
Representation: A History
A history of government representing, or not representing, people.
48 min
56
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
57
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
58
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
59
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
60
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
61
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
62
American Epidemic: Philadelphia's Yellow Fever ...
Five thousand people died in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States in just a few months.  Between August and November of 1793.  Thousands of others, including the President, fled the city.   Preachers told of sins...
37 min
63
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
64
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
65
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
66
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
67
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
68
The 25th Amendment, Section Four Explained, w/ ...
The Constitution contains two possible forms of presidential removal outside of election, one is the much-discussed impeachment process. The other is the 25th Amendment's fourth section. We discuss 25 Section 4 with Professor Brian C. Kalt, Professor...
46 min
69
Enemies: Nixon Goes to China
Nixon Goes to China, and what it might mean for the Iran Deal
62 min
70
Truman's Mild Support of JFK
HST and JFK did not have a close relationship.
9 min
71
Your TV Lied To You...All About Presidential Sc...
Presidential Scandals from Nixon to Grant
60 min
72
Geeks, Orcs and Herbert Hoover
The invention of radio and government intervention in recreation.
28 min
73
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
74
Unfriending From Jefferson and Adams, to today
A look at the famous series of letters between Jefferson and Adams.  Friends as young diplomats, they 'unfriended' and 'refriended' from the time of their Presidencies and politics to their old age.
51 min
75
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
76
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
77
You Break Everybody's Back Part II: The 1988 El...
Attack videos, apology tours, inoculation ads, presidential circles and glib phrases make up the scuttle for the Presidential race in 1988.  Part II of our series.  Biden's all, Dole's rise, Hart's second coming and  the 3x5 card that...
74 min
78
You Break Everybody's Back: The 1988 Election -...
The quote from Atwater sums up the race 31 years ago nicely. Gephardt eyes a rusty belt. Dole proto-snarks, Jackson thunders, Biden runs a post route, Bush looks for his soul. Dukakis tries error free ball. Simon finds his inner bow tie and Bruce...
97 min
79
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
80
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
81
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
82
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
83
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
84
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
85
Small Money and Big Hope / Dasher's Run
Descripti
33 min
86
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
87
Why is There an Electoral College?
The Battle in 1787, 1969 and Today
40 min
88
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
89
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
90
A Mystery of The 1992 Election: Did Clinton Win...
Did Clinton Win Because of Ross Perot?  Or Not.
32 min
91
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
92
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
93
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
94
Third Parties: The Moped and the Maserati - Why...
About 3rd parties, with a focus on John Anderson's campaign and many others.
24 min
95
The Myth of "The Founding Fathers Said..This or...
In this episode we look at the concept of "Founding Fathers."  It's not a term common to use on this podcast, but it's not without any meaning either.  We look at the early Americans that helped to 'found' the nation.  One thing is...
31 min
96
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
97
The Slaughter Could Not Be Ignored -
A Look at the 14th Amendment and the Slaughterhouse Court Cases
72 min
98
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...
56 min
99
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
100
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