Podcasts

Rational Security: The 'Sincerest Form of Flattery' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 12:01 PM

This week, a Quinta-less Alan and Scott were joined by their Lawfare colleagues senior editor Molly Reynolds and managing editor Tyler McBrien to talk over some copycat-ing that's been taking place in the national security space, including:

  • “Hoppin’ the Fence at Lulapalooza.” In a clear echo of the Jan. 6 insurrection, followers of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro sacked the country’s parliament this past week, just days after his successor Lula da Silva was sworn in—and while Bolsonaro himself was visiting former U.S. President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate. What’s the relationship between Jan. 6 and Brazil’s recent experience? Is this the beginning of a dangerous global trend?
  • “The Divider House Rules.” After fifteen votes, Rep. Kevin McCarthy is now the Speaker of the House. But to get there, he had to make a lot of concessions—many of which are now showing their face in the House rules and in committee appointments, while others remain secret. What constraints has McCarthy accepted in order to win office? And will they mean for the coming Congress?
  • “C’mon, Man!” Several months after FBI agents raised former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to recover classified documents, lawyers for current President Biden have acknowledged that they located a few classified documents from his time as vice president in Biden’s private office as well. Critics in Congress and elsewhere are crying out that this reflects a double-standard, but does it? How big a deal is this, and what will it mean for the ongoing Mar-a-Lago investigation?

For object lessons, Alan passed along Rick Martinez's winter-friendly recipe for pozole verde. Scott recommended revisiting an old classic, Louis Menand's “The Metaphysical Club,” as a reflection on the emergence of pragmatism as an American intellectual tradition. Molly endorsed Melissa Clark's latest cookbook, “Dinner in One,” even if you have to go to the bottom of the ocean to get a copy. And Tyler invoked Kyle Chayka's concept of "ambient tv" to justify his viewing of season 3 of “Emily in Paris.”