The Backchannel
The Backchannel
Feb 18, 2019
Extremely Offline: Elizabeth Bruenig and Jonathan Chait on the Pinko Left and the Mushy Middle
Play • 1 hr 27 min

This episode features two guests from opposite sides of the debate over the state of the Democratic Party and the left. First, we have Jonathan Chait, a long time left-of-center writer who argues that the Obama years were a stunning success and form the trajectory the party should pursue in the future. Opposite Chait we have the Washington Post’s Elizabeth Bruenig, who argues that the Obama presidency’s shortcomings are part of why democratic socialism is the path forward. On Twitter and Facebook, these two camps, which overlap with the 2016 Hillary vs. Bernie divide, snipe at each other endlessly, engaged in a forever war for control of social media narratives. In this episode, Bruenig and Chait leave those Twitter tribes behind for a respectful, substantive discussion about Twitter, abortion, Obama, healthcare reform, liberal democracy, and the culture of left-wing campus activism.

Co-produced by Leighton Woodhouse and Zaid Jilani
Moderated by Zaid Jilani
Music by Breakmaster Cylinder

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