Podcast / The Time of Monsters / Feb 11, 2024

The Democrats Embrace the Right on Immigration

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, a discussion with Adam Johnson on the Democrats’ failed border policy.

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The Democrats Embrace The Right on Immigration | The Time of Monsters
byThe Nation Magazine

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, a discussion with Adam Johnson on the Democrats' failed border policy.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at a news conference after a weekly policy luncheon with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 06, 2024.

(Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

With the collapse of the so-called border deal in the Senate, the Democrats have a new line: We gave the Republicans what they wanted, and the GOP still rejected it. Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. [Senate Republicans] literally demanded specific policy, got it, and then killed it.” The lesson to be drawn is that the GOP is irresponsible and doesn’t really want a border solution.

That accusation is true, but it leaves a question about the Democrats. What does it say that the Democrats, who for years have rightly accused the GOP of pushing draconian and inhumane immigration policies, have now decided to support those very same policies?

Adam Johnson, cohost of the podcast Citations Needed, wrote an eloquent critique of the Democrats handling of immigration for The Nation.

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.

From McCarthyism to Citizens United | The Time of Monsters
byThe Nation Magazine

The mathematician Chandler Davis, who died in 2002 at age 96, was one of the notable victims of the second Red Scare. In 1960, Davis was sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to answer questions about his membership in the Communist Party. Davis’s lawyers defended him with the innovative legal argument that the First Amendment barred such questioning. While Davis lost in the courts, his legal battles were still an important effort in a larger battle to extend the parameters on political speech. Davis’s story is told in a new book, The Prosecution of Professor Chandler Davis by Steve Batterson. Siobhan Robert’s obituary for Davis ran in The Nation.

On this episode of The Time of Monsters, I talked to journalist Doug Bell, who knew Chandler Davis, about this book and Davis’s larger place in history. We take up the history of anti-communism and how it has limited free speech, the legal philosophy of Alexander Meiklejohn, and the reactionary Supreme Court's use of the First Amendment to expand corporate power.  

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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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