Podcast / The Time of Monsters / Oct 1, 2023

The Auto Strike Upturns Politics

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, Luke Savage on a historic labor battle.

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The Auto Strike Upturns Politics | Time of Monsters
byThe Nation Magazine

The United Auto Workers union has launched an innovative strike against all three major automakers, a major disruption that is upturning American politics, as both major parties are divided on it. 

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is disingenuously posing as a populist by going to the picket line. But rivals like Nikki Haley and Tim Scott show that the GOP commitment to union-bashing is still strong. On the Democratic side, Joe Biden has a strong record as a president supporting labor but he has been cautious about showing overt support. Only after much prodding did he decide to join picketers.

Luke Savage wrote about the strike for Jacobin magazine where he is a staff writer. We talk about the strike and the larger labor upsurge. 

Savage is the author of the forthcoming book Seeking Social Democracy. In the conversation, he references a Tim Scott video, which can be viewed here as well as a Politico article which can be read here.

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Demonstrators during a United Auto Workers practice picket outside the Stellantis Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit, Mich., on August 23, 2023.

(Photo: Jeff Kowalsky / Bloomberg)

The United Auto Workers union has launched an innovative strike against all three major automakers, a major disruption that is upturning American politics, as both major parties are divided on it. 

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is disingenuously posing as a populist by going to the picket line. But rivals like Nikki Haley and Tim Scott show that the GOP commitment to union-bashing is still strong. On the Democratic side, Joe Biden has a strong record as a president supporting labor, but he has been cautious about showing overt support. Only after much prodding did he decide to join picketers.

Luke Savage wrote about the strike for Jacobin magazine, where he is a staff writer. We talk about the strike and the larger labor upsurge.

Savage is the author of the forthcoming book Seeking Social Democracy. In the conversation, he references a Tim Scott video that can be viewed here and a Politico article that can be read here.

The Nation Podcasts
The Nation Podcasts

Here's where to find podcasts from The Nation. Political talk without the boring parts, featuring the writers, activists and artists who shape the news, from a progressive perspective.

This transcript was computer-generated and may contain errors.

Jeet Heer: The old world is dying. The new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters. With those words from Gramsci, I welcome you once again to the Time of Monsters podcast. So there’s a, we were going through you know, not a huge strike surge, but a, a kind of a hot summer and fall of strikes.

There’s been an upsurge of labor activism. Most notably, yeah, notably out in Hollywood but now, you know, like perhaps something of huge historical importance is the United Auto Workers are on strike against the Big Three and they’re deploying innovative strategy of and it’s and this strike opens up Both dilemmas and opportunities in the political realm the, on the one hand, you have the Republicans who have increasingly tried to recast themselves as a working class party.

And it’s interesting to see how they’re reacting to the strike. And on the other hand, Joe Biden, who his supporters say is the, you know, the most pro labor President since if not Lyndon Johnson, maybe since FDR. And but for various contradictory reasons is perhaps not reacting to the strike with total enthusiasm.

So to talk about the politics of the strike, I’m very happy to have Luke Savage, who’s a staff writer for Jacobin and who’s written about the strike there. And so Luke, I mean, just as a start you wrote about the Republicans in Jacobin. And so do you want to like outline what you see as their sort of contradictory positions on this?

Luke Savage: Absolutely. And great to be back with you, Jeet. I mean, yeah, generally speaking, I think the conservative rhetorical strategy around the strike including, you know, and especially from figures like Josh Hawley who, you know, has been at the forefront of this, you know, this supposed new populist workerism on the right.

The rhetorical strategy, I think, has had two basic components. The first has been to issue vague or abstract statements in support of workers, autoworkers, etc. Holly spoke of raises in his statement. That kind of thing. You know, workers deserve raises, etc. But that but that kind of stuff has been tempered with the sort of implicit or tempered by the implicit or explicit exclusion of of the union or in some cases direct attacks on the elected leadership of U.

A. W. So Marco Rubio, I don’t think I mentioned this in the piece, but Marco Rubio had an incredible statement where he said we need to stand with workers, not CEOs or union bosses. So that’s been that’s been the first plank of the strategy is this kind of Yeah, this, this sort of attempt to you know, abstract, you know, auto workers from, you know, the concrete demands that they’re making or their, you know, elected leadership or, you know, the, the, the UAW The second part of the strategy and in the way they’ve kind of triangulated on the strike and sort of attempted to, you know, support it without not without actually supporting it that’s involved representing or attempting to reframe the strike as being about, I mean, literally anything else.

the workers through their union are demanding. So we’ve heard again and again that the strike is actually about electric vehicles. This is, you know, the Ron DeSantis response. Donald Trump alluded to this in his response as well. Electric vehicles are about. You know, they’re a form of wokeness, which is a liberal strategy to destroy jobs, et cetera, et cetera.

You know the, the strike is about how kind of the moderate emission standards the administration has introduced are making it impossible to compete with China, et cetera, et cetera. So that’s been kind of the other move, which has been to try to reframe the strike. In a way that sort of aligns with existing G, GOP priorities that have nothing to do with supporting or showing solidarity with the American working class.

And then I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the occasion for my piece and kind of the star of it, which was Senator Tim Scott who’s, You know, running his own doomed and chaotic quest for the Republican presidential nomination. I mean, he just came, came right out and, and said, well, yeah, I would, if I was president, I would.

I would, you know, smash workers if they went on strike, you’re fired if you’re a federal worker and you go on strike and you know you know, wait, I mean, he essentially said, you know wages should just be set by the market and, you know, the, the, the UAW, one of its demands, of course, is for, you know, shorter working hours, and he’s saying, well, we can’t have people You know, making more and working less people need to work, you know, and that’s the function of wages after all is to keep, you know, people precarious so that they have to have to work.

So there have been a number of GOP deflections on this. And then you have, you know, the Tim Scott intervention where, in a way, I kind of appreciate the ideological clarity and candor of something like that, grotesque as it is, because he’s saying what they’re all thinking.

Jeet Heer: Yeah, no, no, it’s almost like a classic statement of Ricardo style 19th century capitalism, you know, like the lowest wages are the best wages.

And, I mean, I Just stay on Tim Scott just for a second. I mean, there’s a sort of geographical dimension of this that, you know, the South in general, is the sort of bastion of anti unionism in the United States, traditionally, because of the racial divide, the hardest to unionize and with the most anti union laws, but among the South, Like, South Carolina is the, like, you know birthplace, or the heartland of, like, anti union sentiment in the United States.

It is probably the hardest place in the United States, like, to, like organize. And I believe,

Luke Savage: I believe, at least it was just in the last few years, and this may still be the case, it actually had the lowest… Union density of any state in the year.

Jeet Heer: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. And so I mean which I mean, like, I think it’s all sorts of implications.

I think it sort of shows, you know, the degree to which regional peculiarity and the sort of, you know peculiar racial history of South Carolina and of the South, you know, is tied to anti unionism. But he is very much reflecting it. Yeah. the traditional, you know, reactionary South Carolina sentiment on this, right?

Like, and that’s why of all the Republicans, he’s not the one who’s like you know, trying to do a song and dance about how we’re supporting the workers. He, he is the one who is the most blunt because he speaks for the, the class that has like the the greatest victory over labor. Yeah. And

Luke Savage: actually, yeah, I, I think that’s exactly right.

And something else I’ll throw into the mix is you know, in one of the in one of the you know, Tim Scott clips that’s been making the rounds, he was at a a sort of business round table. I’m, I couldn’t figure out exactly who else was there, but I know that the president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce wa was in attendance and was, you know, greeting greeting you know, people alongside Tim Scott and In this clip, I mean, I’ll I’ll send you the link and I’d encourage people to to watch it because it’s very interesting, you know, he’s speaking to this business community and it’s very clear that, you know, the constituency he’s addressing is, you know, just, you know, the people in the room, like, It is, it’s explicit in the, in the way, like you can see who Tim Scott is addressing and who he, who he thinks the constituency that he needs to respond to actually is.

And then right at the end of the clip he kind of breaks from that because he’s talking about how, you know, everybody needs to work. And he says you know, if, if you’re able bodied, you know, there’s this disconnect from work. And if you’re able bodied you are going to work. And so then at the end, he’s addressing the other constituency, which is, you know.

The people outside the room, and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s very interesting, you know, the, the tone, I mean, and you can see it in the video even more clearly, he’s he, the audience he’s addressing here changes, and he, this isn’t a descriptive statement anymore, this is a command, he’s saying, you are going to work, so I think you’re absolutely right Tim Scott Absolutely knows on behalf of which class he speaks, and that’s, you know, that and that definitely has something to do with you know, South Carolina and sort of the deeper history of anti trade union sentiment there.

Jeet Heer: Yeah, no, I and and, you know, not to observe the labor this point too much, but I mean, there’s a particular reason. Tim Scott himself. I mean, you mentioned his like, you know, like doomed presidential aspirations, but I mean, he is running for president and, you know, he belongs to the, the class of candidates which is basically everyone other than Donald Trump, you know, who are basically the candidates of the donor class and, you know, who are like being picked and designed by the donor class to represent their interests. I mean, Trump is a little bit independent of that because he has this sort of independent, not so much wealth, but independent celebrity which allows him to short circuit the dependence on the donor class.

But if we see Tim Scott as this sort of pure product like creating a laboratory by the donor class to like be their political representative, then, you know, like the things that he’s saying make perfect sense. You know, and. A very clear, as you suggest, clarifying because this is like at the heart of who the Republican party is.

And even with Trump, I mean, his political success is that he can bypass the donor class on a rhetorical level, but as we’ve seen from his presidency you know, like once he’s in power, he is, you know, as much a servant of them as anyone else.

Luke Savage: Yeah, absolutely. I don’t think I have anything to add there.

It’s it’s well put.

Jeet Heer: Okay, good. So it turns out, um, that even Trump’s populism might, uh, have a little bit or more than a little bit of fraudulence. And, uh, as anyone who’s paid attention to Trump, uh, that’s not really that great a surprise. But, um, it’s worth underlying in this case, uh, because, um, uh, Luke’s colleague, Alex. Uh, press was reporting that Trump is going to speak at Drake Enterprises, a non union truck parts supplier.

And this is at the invitation of management. Uh, so, um, to be clear, as the labor historian, Gabriel, Lynette is saying, uh, what’s happening is that Trump, uh, claiming to speak for the workers is actually going to Detroit to speak for an audience of scabs at a non union shop and an event organized by the National Right to Work Foundation.

Uh, so, so, Luke, what do you make of all this?

Luke Savage: Well, uh, I hadn’t seen this and you actually mentioned it to me off mic and I thought you were joking. I thought at least one detail there, like he can’t be speaking at an event organized by the National Right to Work Foundation. But um, I, I think that’s very interesting.

I mean, as you said, it’s not really a surprise, uh, you know, if you, if you really know anything about Donald Trump. Um, that, you know, the, the populism is fake, the workerism is fake, but, you know, it’s not a surprise that the billionaire, you know, real estate, uh, magnet is not a friend of, you know, uh, is not a friend of the worker or a friend of unions.

Um, but I think given the broader dynamics, uh, here, uh, You know, we’re going to talk about the, um, you know, democratic response, the response of the Biden administration, I know, uh, in a little bit. Um, but something that strikes me here is that Donald Trump’s populism, just for want of a better word, I’m just going to use that as a placeholder, uh, at least on the level of rhetoric and in terms of perhaps even the, um, you know, constituency, the electoral constituencies that, Uh, it can capture that it did capture in, in 2016, for example, I think that it’s really only, uh, effective or, or I think it’s largely effective or was largely effective.

Or is largely effective when what’s sitting across from it, uh, is something like the Hillary Clinton campaign or something like, um, the, the kind of figure that Joe Biden has spent much of his career, uh, being, you know, uh, the, the, uh, the kind of, the kinds of things Donald Trump was saying in 2016 that made him sound Um, You know, more like an independent figure that made him, uh, you know, seem to be breaking with kind of traditional, you know, I don’t know, Mitt Romney or George Bush conservatism.

Um, those I think really lose a lot of their potency when, uh, you know, the Democratic Party is at least trying, uh, when the Democratic Party, uh, you know, is at least, uh, Partly even embracing, uh, you know, workers again, even if it’s only on the level of rhetoric. And I mean, as we’ll talk about in a second, um, you know, uh, other Democrats, obviously we, I don’t know if we’ve already said this already, because I can’t remember what we said, but hang on.

Plenty of Democrats, of course, have been, have been openly supporting, um, the UAW, as we’ve said, but then, you know, uh, Biden, uh, himself is go, is visiting the, the pickets, and I think, you know, there’s a, there’s a remarkable kind of, uh, juxtaposition there, you know, the Democratic president is going, uh, to stand, uh, with UAW on the picket lines, and, uh, Donald Trump is going to Michigan, which of course, Uh, you know, he won in 2016, uh, at the behest of the National Right to Work Foundation.

That’s just remarkable. Yeah.

Jeet Heer: No, I think, um, uh, we’ll get to the Democrats in just a second, but I mean, I think, uh, you know, uh, this whole turn of events really, uh, offers an opportunity. Um, for the Democrats to do something that they have avoided doing, uh, which is to turn Donald Trump into Mitt Romney. Uh, that’s to say to run the kind of campaign against Trump that Obama very successfully ran against Mitt Romney, um, in 2012.

And to say, like, you know, this guy is a plutocrat, um, And, uh, you know, he likes to be on his golf course with his rich buddies. He doesn’t really care about you. And, you know, like, it is worth noting that Democrats have avoided doing this in part because they’ve been trying to pursue a policy of trying to splinter the Republicans and say, Well, they’re good Republicans like Mitt Romney, and John, uh, John McCain.

And, you know, Trump is a bad Republican and, and I think that strategy, um, has had, uh, uh, not quite the success that one would like it to have even. Uh, uh, so you Yes.

Luke Savage: Well, I, I would take that even further. I mean, if you go back to the 2016, uh, the Clinton campaign, Uh, it was also, it wasn’t just Trump was a bad Republican, it was kind of that he wasn’t a real Republican, like somehow the, somehow the Republicans that Trump, you know, uh, had defeated in the, uh, in the primaries, uh, you know, in his, in, in his insurgent, uh, campaign for the nomination, somehow they were more real, like somehow the people that got, like, You know, that came third in their home state or whatever were more real Republicans, um, or more representative of republicanism than Donald Trump.

And the thing is that only reinforced Donald Trump’s message because the whole message and what was kind of so heterodox about it was that he was saying, look, I’m not, I’m not these other guys, right? I’m an independent. And don’t forget another aspect of the Hillary Clinton campaign was saying Donald Trump’s not a real billionaire, right?

So not only, uh, were they not doing, uh, you know, class politics, were they not doing kind of class politics of the kind that, you know, the Democratic Party is at least seems more amenable to? Uh, now they were, you know, actually, I mean, they were doing class politics, but as it were the other way around, they were saying, no, no, we represent the elite, which, who are the good guys.

And Donald Trump, you know, is, uh, he’s not even a real billionaire. He’s not like the good ones, like, uh, you know, Michael Bloomberg and other people who are our friends.

Jeet Heer: Yeah, no, no, it was a, uh, really remarkable, uh, campaign in 2016. And I mean, To the degree that, um, uh, you know, there’s news now. I think it is that, uh, Democrats have, um, at least learned some lessons.

Um, I mean, I actually think 2016 was a wake up call, especially like, you know, losing Michigan. Uh, and, and I think the Biden, um, uh, on a rhetorical level, but I would also actually say on a policy level in terms of, you know, his to the National Labor Review Board. Um, And the actual policies that, uh, his, uh, his administration has implemented on labor, which are like very labor friendly, is actually actively trying to win back labor.

And I think this does bring us to, like, you know, the news of the week, which is that Joe Biden, after a period of hesitation, um, uh, is going down, uh, to Detroit. Um, we’re recording on Tuesday, which is, I think, uh, the day that he’s going down. So we’re going to see what he does. Well, what do you make of this?

Because I think you were initially skeptical that he would do such a thing.

Luke Savage: Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot. There’s a lot to say here. Um, I mean, I it does. It did surprise me when it was announced that Biden was going. I mean, I think we can account for it in a number of ways. I mean, I think Uh, one is just that the polls are not looking very good for Biden right now.

And so they kind of do need a Hail Mary or, you know, they need something. Um, and this is an opportunity for the administration to really put its money where its mouth is and, uh, perhaps offer some contrast, which it seems like this is what’s going to happen. Um, with Donald Trump, who is, you know, barring some, you know, he gets hit by lightning or something is, is going to be the Republican nominee, uh, for president and is currently, uh, running ahead of Biden or, or even with Biden and, and, you know, some national polls for whatever those are worth.

I mean, I hate to keep bringing in the Hillary Clinton campaign. Um, but, uh, it’s just a, it’s just a useful, it’s usefully illustrative of, of, um, you know, a lot of the, uh, the changes we’ve seen, many of them for the better. But, you know, people will remember that back in 2015, 2016, uh, you know, there was a view, not just among, uh, you know, certain, uh, union leaders, but also just among other, uh, but also others who are kind of broadly within the democratic coalition that.

You kind of have to endorse Hillary Clinton, you know, before the primaries even really started, right? You have to, uh, I mean, the logic was we need to sort of get in on the ground floor. Um, an endorsement, a sort of just, you know, we don’t even get anything, uh, endorsement is. You know, we’re not asking for anything.

Uh, that’s sort of just the entry fee you have to pay in order to get, you know, hopefully whatever, you know, scraps they’re going to throw at you later. So there’s such a posture of, of deference, you know, implicit in that. There’s, there, you can’t, you know, there is no sense that, you know, you withhold the endorsement and extract some kind of concession, even if it’s just at a rhetorical level.

Um, You know, uh, you know, there were certain, uh, unions that, uh, endorsed Bernie Sanders, but only, you know, it was typically the ones that held membership votes and, you know, in the ones where the leadership decided it was more likely that they would endorse Hillary Clinton. Um, now, uh, UAW has, uh, needless to say, not taken.

Um, you know, its strategy has not, um, It has not been anything like this. Robert Kuttner has written in the prospect of the UAW’s militant creativity. Uh, that was his phrase. And, you know, he was talking about the strategy, the actual strategy being, being employed during the strike. So the staggered pickets and, um, and, and that kind of thing, which is keeping management or helping keep management on the back foot.

But I think that phrase, militant creativity, is also pretty apt to describe. The union’s political strategy. Um, and as I said, it’s orientation towards political power. Um, just anecdotally before the strikes began, I think maybe about a week before Joe Biden was quoted as saying, um, you know, I don’t think there’s going to be a strike.

And, uh, Sean Fain responded, um, you know, I don’t have in front of me, but something to the effect of, well, he must know something that I don’t. And I think that that. Reply really captures the approach that’s been taken by the union here. And similarly, um, um, you know, and this is even more illustrative, I think when it comes to any sort of endorsement.

You know, Fane has been open about, and again I’m paraphrasing, but you know, our endorsement is earned. It’s not given. Um, and it, it seems like, uh, under the right circumstances, that kind of, um, militant creativity, uh, I’ll say it again, um, Is able to get democratic politicians, even ones with a sort of, um, generally, I think, uh, sort of small C conservative outlook like Joe Biden, or at least that’s the outlook.

I would say he’s historically had, um, it could get them to, uh, you know, sort of bend towards the, uh, the demands of workers. And as we’re seeing today. Um, you know, actually do something unprecedented in this case, come out to a picket line. Um, I will say just, you know, by the time people are listening to this, it will be clear what’s actually happened.

Reading, I did read a report from CNN, um, that was published this morning. And I am a little, um, I’m not sure if that’s the right word about, um, you know, what, what this trip is actually going to be because apparently, um, you know, the, the itinerary is still unclear, very atypical, uh, of a presidential trip.

Um, you know, just quoting from CNN here. Um, one person on the ground described the process as chaotic and a mess. On Monday, members of UAW at the site of one picket were told Biden would be coming to the location only to hear later. the tentative plan was scrapped. Um, and it sounds like, um, you know, there’s speculation anyway, that what he might do is just go to the picket, uh, that is closest to the airport.

So I’m not actually sure what’s going to happen. Um, but there’s no getting around the fact that, um, you know, uh, a president, a democratic president, um, going to a picket line, uh, to support workers during a strike is a really, really big deal. And I think can only help. Uh, the u a w and winning the, uh, winning the gains that it’s fighting for here.

Yeah, no, that’s right.

Jeet Heer: I, um, I, I, I mean the u a, um, u a w has had a sort of standoffish attitude towards Biden. Like they have sort of not given him the automatic endorsement, have said, you know, well, we’re gonna wait and see what he does. Uh, and, uh, I think that’s a very striking. sort of posture and in keeping with the more, you know, um, larger, um, surge in militancy that we’re seeing with the sort of younger leadership.

Um, and I, I think more broadly, um, you know, there’s sort of signs that, uh, the Democratic Party beyond Biden is listening. Um, um, we, they’ve reached an agreement, uh, hasn’t been voted on yet in the, uh, writer’s strike, uh, out in Hollywood. And, uh, one of the things that pushed that forward was the, uh, You know, California legislature, uh, extending, uh, unemployment insurance, uh, to strikers.

Um, and that basically, you know, took the wind out of the sail of, you know, the strategy of the, um, uh, studios, which was that they’re going to just wait for the workers to starve, right? Like there’s literally, you know, one of the studio heads, um, was anonymously quoted as saying, well, we’re going to see, you know, Um, how long they strike, you know, once people start losing their mortgages and, uh, started being kicked out of their apartments, uh, so that’s, you know, um, I think with both the California, uh, and with Biden’s visit to the bigot, I mean, like you do see, um, a democratic party that is much more attentive to unions and is like, you know, like, um, sees unions, uh, you know, not just as, You know, this automatic voting block, but actually people, you have to win over and you have to, you have to give things to, you have to like make concrete, um, uh, um, aid, uh, and show real alliance.

So I, yeah, I mean, to me, that feels like a big shift, you know, and, you know. Considering that Labor’s position with the Democrats, I think, has been iffy since, um, the Carter presidency, right?

Luke Savage: Certainly, and just to add to what you said, I mean, conversely, perhaps this is too optimistic, but, uh, you know, hopefully, the other implication…

You know, vis a vis the Republicans is that, um, when you have a union that takes an unprecedented strike action like this and does not kind of, uh, you know, assume an automatic posture of deference towards the Democrat, uh, towards the Democratic Party, um, hopefully, you know, what that, what that means is that it’s very more, it’s, it’s much more difficult.

I mean, I do think we’re already seeing this to some extent. It’s much more difficult for, uh, the Republican Party. To adopt kind of the unconvincing workerist posture that some, uh, you know, politicians, uh, you know, Holly is an obvious case. We talked about him before, um, have been trying to strike, you know, you can’t, uh, You know, it makes it much more difficult, um, for, uh, Republicans to pretend that they’re, you know, friends of, uh, friends of workers when there’s sort of a, a concreteness being given to the idea of being, uh, you know, a friend of workers, a friend of labor by, you know, uh, Gretchen Whitmer, you know, being on the picket lines by, uh, Democratic politicians, um, other Democratic politicians being on the picket lines and certainly, uh, the Democratic president as well.

So, you know, I hope that this is a precedent setting, uh, event and, uh, I hope that, you know, other, uh, other parts of the labor movement are taking note here because there’s a lot to learn from the strategy UAW’s pursued.

Jeet Heer: Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, I, uh, um, so I mean, I mean, I think that this is, uh, a story not just about the strike but how labor relates to the political system and the, um, uh, greater gains that labor can make by not giving automatic deference and then by making, you know, real demands, um, out of politicians.

Uh, and then that might have, you know, broader implications. For like beyond labor for like other Democratic Party constituents like that. You know, like there’s something to be said for like, you know, um, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Uh, so, um, I want to thank, uh, uh, Luke for being here. You can follow his writings at Jacobin.

Um, he’s also The author of a forthcoming book that I’m really looking forward to, um, it’s with Ed Broadbent, who’s, uh, been a leader of, uh, Canadian social democracy for many decades, uh, it’s called Seeking Social Democracy, uh, and it’s a book that, um, Luke has, uh, worked on with, uh, Ed Broadbent as well as, uh, Frances Abel and Jonathan Sass, uh, and I think that’s probably a book that we’ll, um, uh, return to and on a future podcast.

Luke Savage: All right, uh, well, I look forward to it. Always a pleasure, Jeet.

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Jeet Heer

Jeet Heer is a national affairs correspondent for The Nation and host of the weekly Nation podcast, The Time of Monsters. He also pens the monthly column “Morbid Symptoms.” The author of In Love with Art: Francoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman (2013) and Sweet Lechery: Reviews, Essays and Profiles (2014), Heer has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The American Prospect, The GuardianThe New Republic, and The Boston Globe.

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