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Commentary Magazine Podcast

621 episodes - English - Latest episode: about 7 hours ago - ★★★★★ - 2.2K ratings

Commentary is America's premier monthly magazine of opinion: General, yet Jewish. Highly variegated, with a unifying perspective.

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The Seductions of Top-Down Control

February 24, 2021 16:04 - 1 hour - 52.5 MB

With the good news about the vaccine, the question that faces us (and the podcast crew today) is how will the politicians who have exercised such extraordinary powers over the past year behave now that they should no longer be used or necessary? Once they've tasted the sweet ambrosia of control, can they give it up? And hey, notice that Biden now has "kids in cages" too? Give a listen.

Woke Self-Destruction: Should We Enjoy It Or Worry?

February 23, 2021 14:44 - 54 minutes - 48.3 MB

Today's podcast examines the latest blowup in the Cultural Revolution overtaking journalism, as Slate defenestrates a staffer who actually did something woke—but thought it over first. Should we care, or does this mean no one is safe from this marauding band of cancellers? How about the Biden people trying to use ethnicity and gender to protect and advance the cause of a controversial appointee's confirmation? And how did Biden do in commemorating the horror of half a million American lives l...

Why Do They Want Us to Be Depressed?

February 22, 2021 15:53 - 1 hour - 55.1 MB

The vaccine news, especially out of Israel, is startlingly good—especially as regards the transmissibility of the coronavirus. So why, the podcast crew asks, are the elites focusing on the bad, bad, very bad? Is this just a matter of habit, or is there something political going on? And why did Biden even nominate Neera Tanden, who is almost certainly not going to get confirmed as OMB director? And why do liberals think there's no dignity in work? Give a listen.

Cuomo and Cruz: Politicians In a Pickle

February 19, 2021 16:27 - 58 minutes - 51.7 MB

The podcast crew enjoys watching Andrew Cuomo's halo turn into a shackle, and wonders at the larger meaning of Ted Cruz's self-inflicted disaster of a trip to a beach while his constituents freeze in their homes. Give a listen.

Here Comes the Overreach

February 18, 2021 16:30 - 1 hour - 57.3 MB

Congressional Democrats haven’t even passed their proposed $2 trillion COVID relief package and they’re already talking about teeing up a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. Are Democrats repeating the mistakes of Barack Obama’s first term? Also, the delusions of Ben Rhodes and Rush Limbaugh’s legacy.

Why Is Joe Biden Afraid of ‘Normal?’

February 18, 2021 14:44 - 1 hour - 54.4 MB

The podcast dissects Joe Biden’s CNN town hall and tries to parse his administration’s conspicuous fear of affirming that society will ever return to something resembling “normal.” Also, the battle for the soul of the GOP continues with Trump in the wilderness.

Biden's Freezing Out Bibi

February 16, 2021 16:40 - 1 hour - 61.3 MB

Why are Andrew Cuomo's poll numbers still strong? Why is Joe Biden making anti-Israel personnel moves at the State Department and refusing to talk to Benjamin Netanyahu?  Why is Nancy Pelosi forming a commission to investigate the January 6 storming of the Capitol? And why is a 16-year-old's mental health fodder for a reality show? Give a listen.

Trump Isn't Going Anywhere

February 15, 2021 15:15 - 51 minutes - 44 MB

The podcast achieves new heights, or lows, of crushing morosity today as we contemplate the botched impeachment trial—botched by Democrats!—and the new "how to open schools" guidance from the CDC that seems not to follow the science but rather the desires of liberal and leftist "stakeholders." Oh, and some interesting Democratic appointments round it all out. Give a listen.

Impeach... Cuomo?

February 12, 2021 15:42 - 56 minutes - 49.7 MB

Today's podcast looks at the third day of the impeachment trial and raises questions about the effectiveness of the Democratic case. Then we talk about the admission of guilt by Andrew Cuomo's top aide relating to the undercounting of nursing-home deaths. And Christine Rosen's brilliant new article. Give a listen.

The Rioters Were Role-Playing

February 11, 2021 15:30 - 59 minutes - 51.9 MB

Today's podcast looks at the narrative presented at the impeachment trial and how it reveals the disturbing nature of a riot whose participants seemed to have themselves taken on the roles of avenging angels and villains in a dark superhero movie. What does this say about us? And what does it say about us that a doctor trying to find willing arms into which he could inject a rapidly expiring vile of COVID vaccine was fired and charged with a crime for not pursuing "equity"? Give a listen.

Unfrozen Caveman Impeachment

February 10, 2021 15:42 - 1 hour - 53.7 MB

How bad were Trump's lawyers? Does it matter? How good were the House managers? Does it matter? Does anything matter? How about opening schools—and why are John's kids' schools open while yours are closed? And what does Philip Larkin have to tell us about the world under COVID? Give a listen.

The Democrats Are Bailing on Their Own Impeachment

February 09, 2021 14:38 - 1 hour - 57.5 MB

The podcast today takes note of the Democratic hunger to get the Senate impeachment trial over with as quickly as possible so they can hand out $2 trillion worth of goodies to the public and what this says about the seriousness of the liberal conviction about Trump being a threat to the republic. And what on earth is going on at the New York Times? Give a listen.

The Super Bowl's War on Fun

February 08, 2021 15:50 - 57 minutes - 50.8 MB

Can we ever enjoy ourselves again? That's the question the podcast crew says was raised by the lame commercials at last night's Super Bowl—and by the continuing efforts of the public-health bureaucracy to tell us we will never emerge from the COVID regime. Give a listen.

Doing Too Much and Not Enough

February 05, 2021 15:12 - 1 hour - 55.6 MB

The Commentary podcast on the risks in the new stimulus, Ben Sasse’s admonition of his state’s Republicans, and warmth of the spotlight on public health officials.

What Is the Proper Level of Crippling Despair?

February 04, 2021 15:30 - 1 hour - 55.5 MB

Here’s the good news: The House Republican conference voted overwhelmingly against punishing Rep. Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach Donald Trump in defiance of the GOP’s populist wing. Here’s the bad news: That same conference also gave Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a standing ovation and is disinclined to anathematize her conspiratorial paranoia. So, is everything completely terrible or just really bad? The COMMENTARY podcast debates the proper level of despair.

The Great Escape from COVID

February 03, 2021 18:11 - 1 hour - 57.5 MB

Have liberals finally had enough? Are they going to break discipline once they get the vaccine and stop insisting everyone wear three masks? And why does the Biden administration not want to participate in legal action against racial discrimination? Give a listen.

The Political Future Is Being Decided Right Now

February 02, 2021 15:55 - 53 minutes - 46.4 MB

The podcast says Joe Biden's choice of negotiating with Republicans or ramming his own COVID deal through represents a hinge moment for his presidency only 13 days in! And the impeachment trial and what Donald Trump will require of Senate Republicans may be the historical hinge moment for the GOP. Give a listen.

Will Biden Play 'Let's Make a Deal'?

February 01, 2021 15:44 - 1 hour - 54.9 MB

Today's podcast raises the specter of a negotiation between the new president and ten Republicans who offer the possibility of a bipartisan deal on COVID relief. Will he take it as an opportunity to prove he can work across the aisle or view it as a political trap? Also, more on Andrew Cuomo's perfidy and Donald Trump's GOP blackmail. Give a listen.

Governor of Doom

January 29, 2021 16:47 - 1 hour - 58.6 MB

The podcast goes at Andrew Cuomo hammer and tong as the whistle is blown by a fellow Democrat in New York state on his handling of the coronavirus. But that's not all! What about Trump and Kevin McCarthy? What about Nancy Pelosi's enemies list? What about hedge fund guys yelling on TV about people who have no right to invest the way they invest? Give a listen.

It’s All in the GameStop

January 28, 2021 16:02 - 57 minutes - 50 MB

The COMMENTARY Podcast is not the place you want to turn for stock market tips but we do have something to say about the political and cultural meaning of the extraordinary events surrounding the Gamestop stock and the runup in its value. And we wonder at the Biden administration's foot-in-mouth disease when it comes to job-destroying executive orders. Give a listen.

Biden Unleashed

January 27, 2021 16:25 - 1 hour - 55.3 MB

Today's podcast takes up the executive order frenzy of the new administration and Biden's embrace of critical race theory and the teachers' unions' view of how no school should reopen (watch this jaw-dropping video from the teachers union in Chicago) until they decide it's safe. And, of course, the looming Senate trial in the Trump impeachment. Give a listen.

Who's Going to Look More Extreme?

January 26, 2021 16:26 - 1 hour - 53.9 MB

Today's podcast asks whether the Democrats are both overplaying their hand politically and setting themselves up to seem like extremists in 2022 or whether Republicans in places like Oregon are setting up the GOP for disaster because of their embrace of conspiracy theory and lies. And what does this mean for the politicians who like to straddle fences? Give a listen.

Tell Us Something About COVID We Can Trust

January 25, 2021 15:46 - 1 hour - 54.3 MB

Today's podcast gets into the COVID confusion of the moment and the continuing refusal of elected officials and public-health people to speak the simple truth about what they know and what they don't—and the fact that tradeoffs are difficult and painful and horrible. Also, the Biden administration gets tested abroad and the GOP continues to eat its own. Give a listen.

Acute Psychological Crisis Alert!

January 22, 2021 15:27 - 58 minutes - 50.4 MB

Today's podcast features the gang playing psychiatrist as we try to analyze the claim of a New York Times columnist that she has been in an emotional prison since the election of 2016. How will they get over their addiction to Trump hatred? And how will we be able to deal with the fact that our leaders in Washington now insist everyone wear masks but take theirs off at the least opportunity? Give a listen.

Is This What Biden's Voters Actually Want?

January 21, 2021 15:41 - 1 hour - 53.4 MB

Today's podcast takes up Joe Biden's early executive actions and the complaints by his COVID czar that they've been left no plan to implement, which is a falsehood but politically very much in keeping with the way incoming administrations try to lower expectations. The question is: Will Biden go woke when his entire candidacy was a feint toward the non-woke? Give a listen.

Inaugurating the Biden Era with Meghan McCain

January 20, 2021 20:50 - 57 minutes - 50.9 MB

Host of ABC’s “The View,” Meghan McCain, joins the podcast today to talk about Joe Biden’s inauguration as president, the fallout from the January 6 Capitol Building riots, and what it will be like to host a daytime talk show without President Trump.

The Media Won't Quit Trump

January 19, 2021 18:01 - 1 hour - 55.3 MB

Today's podcast takes up the surreal fact that Joe Biden will be president, and Donald Trump will not be president—and yet it still feels like Trump is the only news game in town and nobody cares what Biden will say or do. Also some football talk! Give a listen.

Trump's Gift to Biden

January 18, 2021 15:17 - 54 minutes - 46.2 MB

Bret Stephens, newly minted COMMENTARY contributing editor, joins the podcast today to discuss his blockbuster article, "Memo to President Biden: Please Don't Mess Up the Abraham Accords."  Give a listen.

Biden's COVID Agenda—and Cuomo's Shame

January 15, 2021 17:21 - 55 minutes - 50.1 MB

Today's podcast examines the Biden promise to see 100 million vaccinations in 100 days and asks whether that's actually ambitious enough. And we take on the disgraceful assault by a Biden spokeshack on a grieving constituent. Give a listen.

Shall I Eat an Impeach?

January 14, 2021 15:26 - 57 minutes - 49.8 MB

Today's podcast takes up the second impeachment and the quandary facing the Senate as regards the trial of Donald Trump. Will it involve an assault on free speech? Why are liberals so intent on cracking down on speech anyway? And what about the GOP and Trump's continued popularity? Give a listen.

The Uncharted Waters of Impeachment 2

January 13, 2021 15:34 - 59 minutes - 49.6 MB

Today's podcast anticipates the House's vote to impeach Donald Trump a second time and where things go from here—is this the worst possible way to do something our crew does think is vitally necessary? And how badly will the Republican Party fracture over this? Give a listen.

The Impeachment Calculation

January 12, 2021 14:09 - 50 minutes - 43.2 MB

Congress once again compelled to take up an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, and the old political calculations are making a comeback. Republicans have a gun to their heads—if reports are to be believed, in a very literal sense, and are increasingly less inclined to support such a motion. But Democrats don’t seem inclined to make betraying Trump an enticing prospect. Is everyone going to blow it?

Deplatform Shoes

January 11, 2021 16:19 - 1 hour - 93.8 MB

Our podcast today is supersized as we take on the aftermath of the riots, the removal of Trump from Twitter and the removal of Parler from the Internet, the Republican Party's challenge, the prospects for impeachment and removal, and the very nature of reality itself. Get a cup of coffee and give a listen.

The Long Fight Ahead

January 08, 2021 15:49 - 56 minutes - 48.3 MB

With the fallout settling from the siege of the Capitol Building, it has become clear that there should be serious consequences to render that event unthinkable. But what should they be? From impeaching the president, to shaming the lawmakers who allowed this to happen, to the fight for the soul of the GOP; the podcast discusses and debates next steps.

What Is To Be Done?

January 07, 2021 16:12 - 57 minutes - 49.6 MB

The insurrection staged by Donald Trump yesterday is the focus of our podcast today, and what remedies should or could be adopted to deal with one of the most disgusting events in American political history. Give a listen.

The Dems Take It All

January 06, 2021 15:26 - 53 minutes - 47.3 MB

The podcast considers the meaning of the Democratic victories in Georgia and the fact that four years ago Republicans had secured control of the House, the Senate, and the White House—and have now, four years later, lost them all. Give a listen.

The Year That Changed Everything… 1971? Really?

January 05, 2021 18:20 - 1 hour - 45.8 MB

Today's podcast steps back from day-to-day politics to feature our friend Daniel Casse discussing his fascinating Wall Street Journal op-ed, "The Future Turns 50 This Year."  How did 1971 change everything? Give a listen.

New Year, Same Old

January 04, 2021 16:32 - 57 minutes - 49.4 MB

First podcast of 2021: Trump's astounding phone call, Cuomo's COVID response, conspiracy theorizing... What year is this again? Give a listen.

One Last Parting Insult

December 23, 2020 15:33 - 57 minutes - 46.7 MB

Outgoing President Donald Trump issues two final insults to the American people on his way out the door by throwing a wrench into negotiations over a new COVID relief bill when the deal is already done and by pardoning three convicted former Republican officeholders. Also, Christine’s adventures in music, John and Abe’s take on film, and Noah’s abject dullness. Give a listen, and we’ll see you all in the new year.

We Ain’t No Delinquents, We’re Misunderstood

December 22, 2020 15:31 - 1 hour - 54 MB

Increasingly, the progressive left has abandoned the cause of decriminalization in favor of decarceration, expanding the terms of the debate around criminal justice reform to include the virtual abolition of criminal justice as we know it. What was the genesis of this idea, and what could its political consequences be?

Build Back Smaller

December 21, 2020 16:35 - 50 minutes - 44.8 MB

The new round of stimulus, a more infectious strain of COVID-19 emerging in the U.K., Donald Trump’s latest episodes of impotent flailing in the general direction of November’s election results, and Joe Biden’s diminished presence on the public stage. It’s all here in the latest episode of the COMMENTARY podcast.

Politicizing the Vaccine

December 18, 2020 15:38 - 55 minutes - 47 MB

The podcast takes up the horrendous "medical ethics" talk surrounding the distribution of the vaccine, as well as the roles of luck and gratitude in American life, a surprising reversal of fortune for AOC, and the incoming Senator whose name makes him sound like a character on "Captain Kangaroo." Give a listen.

The Liberal Puritans

December 17, 2020 15:36 - 57 minutes - 48.2 MB

Today's podcast concerns Biden-team attacks on "terrible" Republicans, whether Biden himself was too negative in his "I won" speech earlier this week—and why it is that Democrats have become the enemies of fun. Give a listen.

COVID Fundamentalists; Guilty and Framed

December 16, 2020 15:52 - 49 minutes - 32.2 MB

Eli Lake joins the podcast to talk about his blockbuster COMMENTARY essay "Guilty and Framed." Also, we ask: Why are talking-head doctors and public health officials telling everybody we'll all have to keep living this way even after we get the vaccine? Are they crazy? Give a listen.

What If Biden Is the Unprecedented One?

December 15, 2020 15:21 - 55 minutes - 48.2 MB

The podcast raises the prospect that it's really Joe Biden's presidency that will be unprecedented—because he'll be the first president in many decades who won't become the sun around which all the political planets revolve. Give a listen.

Time for a Little Media Bashing

December 14, 2020 15:27 - 1 hour - 55.2 MB

The podcast takes up the question of whether the Right's refusal to accept Joe Biden's victory is genuinely revolutionary or more of an enraged howl against systemic media bias—which also has shown its true colors in the attack on one of COMMENTARY's most valued contributors, Joseph Epstein. Give a listen.

Will Biden Screw Up the Middle East?

December 11, 2020 17:12 - 58 minutes - 41.3 MB

Dan Senor, co-author of Start-Up Nation and host of the new "Post Corona" podcast, joins us today to talk about the electoral college and who intimidated whom (answer: Democrats sought to intimidate Trump electors in 2016) and how the transformative Abraham Accords might be derailed by a Biden administration just as Bibi Netanyahu finds himself in existential trouble as his trial is getting ready to begin. Give a listen.

Musk's Rockets' Red Glare

December 10, 2020 15:52 - 29 minutes - 20.3 MB

Tech COMMENTARY columnist James B. Meigs joins us today to discuss his piece, "We're Living in a New Space Age"—and the launch of the massive rocket yesterday by Elon Musk's SpaceX that was both a triumph and a disaster. Give a listen.

The Permanent Constitutional Crisis

December 09, 2020 15:18 - 46 minutes - 40.2 MB

The hosts look back on all the many crises Donald Trump’s behavior was expected to yield. And while his behavior is doubtlessly dangerous, it has not produced the kind of perilous legal circumstances Trump’s critics feared. Also, Abe Greenwald posits a unified theory of protest movements.

P.J. O'Rourke Is Our Guest!

December 08, 2020 16:31 - 55 minutes - 36.8 MB

The COMMENTARY gang welcomes P.J. O'Rourke, first-time magazine contributor with his wonderful and acid piece "Shamalot" in our December issue, to the podcast to talk about JFK, Chinese spies, and Biden cabinet picks. Give a listen.


Philip Roth
1 Episode
P.J. O'Rourke
1 Episode
Tom Wolfe
1 Episode