The Weeds

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday, Dylan Matthews, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing.

Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

News Commentary
Social Sciences
Research the police
Matt is joined by economist and researcher Morgan Williams, Jr. to talk about the consequences of crime, firearm, and incarceration policy
54 min
Masks off! Party time?
The Atlantic's Derek Thompson joins Matt and Vox's Libby Nelson to talk about the confusing public health and policy messages of the pandemic
67 min
The plan for more free school
Matt is joined by New York Times education reporter Dana Goldstein to discuss Biden's plan to vastly expand public education in America
53 min
Homelessness and the rising tide
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to talk about why even progressives have failed to appropriately confront the problem of homelessness
60 min
The app store war
The Verge's Makena Kelly talks with Matt about Apple's legal battles, Facebook's oversight board, and the prospect of overhauling antitrust legislation
41 min
The "hundred days" myth
Vox's Andrew Prokop joins Matt and Dara to talk about whether or not we should care about a president's "first hundred days"
66 min
There's lead in your turmeric
Matt is joined by researcher Rachel Silverman, who tells how the world's lead contamination problem goes way beyond just pipes
46 min
A Manchin for all seasons
Vox's Andrew Prokop joins Matt and Dara to talk about the emerging politics of Manchinism, and what Joe from WV wants to do with his power in a 50-50 Senate
61 min
Why transit projects fail
Matt is joined by researcher Eric Goldwyn to talk about why transit projects in the U.S. fail — and how they might succeed in the future
58 min
The pandemic playbook
Vox's Dylan Scott joins Matt and Dara to talk about South Korea's response to Covid-19
62 min
Think like a scout
Matt is joined by Julia Galef, who wants us to stop acting — and thinking — like soldiers
62 min
White paper-palooza
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Umair Irfan take on a trio of white papers on the cutting edge of climate change research
53 min
It's time for class warfare
Matt is joined by Faiz Shakir, former campaign manager and current adviser to Bernie Sanders, to talk about how the movement continues
63 min
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to examine the portion of Biden's infrastructure plan designated for the "caretaking economy"
62 min
The politics of cultural criticism
Matt is joined by cultural critic Alyssa Rosenberg to talk about the political dimensions of contemporary TV and film criticism
62 min
All circuits matter
Matt and Dara talk with Vox judicial reporter Ian Millhiser about Biden's court appointments, and look ahead to the future of the judiciary
57 min
The optimistic leftist
Matt is joined by political scientist and author Ruy Teixeira to talk about how Democratic messaging has gone wrong, and how to get it right
58 min
Is gun violence fixable?
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Jerusalem Demsas to talk about why we can't, won't, or don't fix gun violence with policy
77 min
All about inflation
Skanda Amarnath joins Matt to talk through what inflation is, how it's tracked, and why the conventional wisdom on it might just be wrong
55 min
Asylum policy for the here and now
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Ian Millhiser discuss the current situation at the southern border, and delve into what Biden has and hasn't done on immigration policy
67 min
Introducing Unexplainable
A new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know.
28 min
An A.I. wrote this title
Vox's Kelsey Piper joins Matt to discuss the future of artificial intelligence research
51 min
The right to vote, constrained
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Ian Millhiser to talk about the threats to voting rights in America, and the potential of H.R. 1
66 min
Facebook's shadow court
Kate Klonick joins Matt to talk about her investigation into Facebook's new content moderation board
45 min
How to destroy the suburbs
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to talk about the fight against exclusionary zoning
54 min
All organizing is local
Professor Lara Putnam talks about the local dynamics of grassroots progressive organizing
54 min
Vox's Emily Stewart sits down with Matt and Dara to unpack some of the lesser-analyzed aspects of the Covid relief bill
53 min
The problem of child care
Matt is joined by expert Melissa Boteach to break down the multi-dimensional economics of child care in America
43 min
The Antipope in Mar-a-Lago
Vox's Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to wonder about whether and how Trump will rear his head again
53 min
Rethinking immigration
Matt is joined by Ali Noorani, who says Americans need to change the way they think — and talk — about immigration
49 min
What's happening with the stimulus?
Vox's Ella Nilsen joins Matt and Dara to talk about the state of the Covid relief bill
54 min
The future of remote work
Economist Adam Ozimek joins Matt to discuss the post-pandemic future of remote work
53 min
Where are the vaccines?
Vox's German Lopez joins Matt and Dara to discuss what went — and is still going — wrong with vaccine distribution.
62 min
Matt is joined by Brookings' Molly Reynolds to get into the weeds on Senate filibuster and budget reconciliation procedure
64 min
Biden's immigration shuffle
Matt and Dara are joined by German Lopez to discuss the Biden administration's early immigration moves and policy signals
56 min
Freedom from markets
Author Mike Konczal joins Matt to talk about the history and future of public benefit programs in America
56 min
Biden's rescue plan
What's in Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief stimulus plan? Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to explain.
51 min
The Next Four Years: Fighting tech monopolies
Charlotte Slaiman joins Matt to discuss the ongoing antitrust cases against Google and Facebook, and the prospects for tech regulation in the Biden administration.
49 min
Will the GOP be Q-pilled or Coup-pilled?
Zack Beauchamp joins Matt and Dara to discuss the attempted overthrow of American democracy.
68 min
Unemployment Insurance in the pandemic, and beyond
Matt is joined by Employ America policy advisor Elizabeth Pancotti to discuss U.I.'s history, its recent expansion during the pandemic, and a vision for its future.
54 min
America's vaccine distribution needs a shot in ...
Umair Irfan joins Dara and Matt to discuss some challenges and obstacles to the Covid vaccine rollout
57 min
Best of: Homelessness and how to fix it
A look back at one of our favorite episodes from the archives
50 min
The Next Four Years: Beyond the student debt de...
New America’s Kevin Carey explains loan forgiveness and the deeper problems with American higher education
51 min
Build Back Exactly The Same
Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Dara to discuss Covid’s impact on poverty and the road to recovery
56 min
The Next Four Years: An optimistic climate agenda
Third Way’s Josh Freed and Jackie Kempfer explain a path forward for low-carbon policy in a time of divided government
66 min
The blob is back
Alex Ward joins Dara and Matt to analyze the Biden national security team.
56 min
The Next Four Years: The Covid transition
Kaiser’s Jennifer Kates joins Matt to explain the next steps in countering the pandemic
47 min
The job nobody wants
Dara and Matt on Biden’s choice to run Homeland Security and the many challenges he’ll face
60 min
The post-election economy
Emily Stewart joins Dara and Matt to discuss the prospects for Covid relief and Janet Yellen
55 min
The Next Four Years: Joe Biden’s world
The Atlantic Council’s Emma Ashford joins Matt to explain the president-elect’s approach to national security.
67 min
Georgia on my mind
Ella Nilsen joins Dara and Matt to break down the runoff elections that will determine the future of the US Senate
46 min
The Next Four Years: How to make a Biden Boom
Bloomberg’s Karl Smith explains a bipartisan approach to healing the labor market
63 min
The never ending election story
Jane, Dara, and Matt on Trump’s refusal to quit and his “surprising” Hispanic support.
50 min
Democracy lost
Ezra and Matt on the election results and the prospects for majority rule.
49 min
Election Day Special
Ella Nilsen joins Matt and Jane to discuss the election.
62 min
Lessons learned from Trump’s first term
Ezra and Matt look back on what’s surprised them.
47 min
Biden’s border options
Dara, Jane, and Matt on the big immigration questions that will face a new administration.
46 min
Trump’s last stand
Ezra and Matt on the final presidential debate
51 min
Trump's second term agenda
Dara, Jane, and Matt break down the policy stakes in 2020
55 min
Go For Broke: Inside the Dot-Com Bubble
38 min
Email scandals are back!
Ezra and Matt discuss Hunter Biden’s laptop, social media regulation, and the ongoing stimulus standoff
52 min
What is critical race theory, anyway?
Ian Haney Lopez joins Jane to discuss critical race theory: what it is and what it isn't.
49 min
By the People: The Supreme Court's war on democ...
What the Supreme Court will do to our voting rights
58 min
The stimulus standoff
Ezra and Matt on the deadlock in congress and the VP debate.
53 min
On biracial identity (with Thomas Chatterton Wi...
Jane and Thomas Chatterton Williams talk about mixed-race identity, race and racism, and what being biracial means now.
57 min
By the People: Blame the Constitution
How America’s constitution is rigged against democracy
62 min
Fighting back against factory farming
The human costs of the meat we eat
56 min
A dark, dangerous debate
Ezra and Matt on the disturbing presidential showdown.
67 min
By the People: How to make sure your vote is co...
The pandemic election
56 min
Dianne Feinstein, please listen to this episode!
Ezra and Matt discuss the past and future of the US Senate.
60 min
After RBG
Vox’s judiciary expert Ian Milhiser joins the panel to explain Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and the future of American jurisprudence
54 min
By the People: How to rig an election
America’s voter suppression problem
63 min
One Billion Americans
Ezra and Matt discuss the early days of blogging, Twitter, climate change, and Matt's case for having 1 billion Americans.
88 min
How Trump closed the border
Rep. Veronica Escobar joins Jane, Dara, and Matt to talk about Texas politics and the use of the pandemic as a pretext to clamp down on asylum.
56 min
The definitive case against the filibuster
Ezra joins Matt to workshop his latest article — and save American democracy.
49 min
Steal this podcast
Meredith Haggerty joins Jane and Matt to debate looting and corporate cooptation of social justice.
52 min
Matt and Ezra discuss why crime is rising in certain American cities, and the country's growing housing crisis.
59 min
Trump sells out
Dara, Jane, and Matt discuss Jane’s argument that the GOP establishment changed Trump more than he changed the party
61 min
The Trump Show
Ezra and Matt on the GOP convention and the politics of "law and order".
53 min
The Cut: Optimism
Avery explores what optimism means in 2020, and why some people are better at conjuring it, and how those who aren’t can change their own mindset.
29 min
Trump's peddling a fake Covid-19 cure
Jane, Dara, and Matt on convalescent plasma, FDA reform, and the politics of science
47 min
Democratic convention special
Ezra and Matt stay up late to review Joe Biden's big speech and the Democrats' big week
62 min
WTF is happening with USPS
Jane, Dara, and Matt on the health and history of the postal service, the political games being played, and what it means for November's election.
49 min
What the hell is the Republican party doing?
Ezra and Matt on Republican policy nihilism and the Kamala Harris pick.
55 min
What is the economy, stupid?
Vox's Emily Stewart joins Dara and Jane to discuss the relationship between "the market" and the "real economy."
39 min
Ezra and Matt on Susan Rice, Kamala Harris, and Trump’s increasingly chaotic authoritarianism.
47 min
The stimulus standoff
Jane, Dara, and Matt on the congressional deadlock over economic aid.
53 min
The Great Awokening
John McWhorter joins Matt to discuss the changing way we talk about racism in America.
67 min
Trafficking, and trafficking panics
Dara, Jane, and Matt on Wayfair, massage parlors, and reality.
47 min
The evidence on crime and policing
Texas A&M's Jennifer Doleac joins Matt to explain what we know (and don't know) about criminal justice.
53 min
Bad for the Jews?
Dara, Jane, and Matt on Nick Cannon, Louis Farrakhan, and antisemitic conspiracy theories.
56 min
Biden reloaded
Ezra and Matt on Joe Biden’s unification strategy with the left.
62 min
School’s out for Covid
Jane, Dara, and Matt on the school reopening debate and the political consequences of HIV/AIDS.
55 min
The Covid resurgence
Ezra and Matt on how America failed while the world made progress on the pandemic
48 min
Contagious enthusiasm
Dara, Jane, and Matt on Biden’s excitement gap.
58 min
Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect
Land of the Giants is a podcast from our friends at Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network that examines the most powerful tech companies of our time.
21 min
The war on bad statues
Jane, Dara, and Matt on Confederate Memorials, Woodrow Wilson, and the battle for historical memory.
60 min
The Veepstakes
Ezra and Matt on Warren, Abrams, Harris, and the Tammies, and the links between racial and economic justice.
50 min
Talking about talking
Jane, Dara, and Matt explain “intersectional,” “structural” and the new language of identity discourse.
42 min
The legal doctrine that protects brutal policing
Cato's Clark Neily joins Jane to discuss Qualified Immunity - where is came from, why it exists, and what's being done to eliminate it.
42 min