Rational Security: The 'Tik Tik Tik' Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, March 30, 2023, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta, and Scott were joined once again by co-host emeritus and Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes to talk through national security news stories from the Holy Land to the Lone Star State, including:

  • “Rebel Aviv.” Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s efforts to dramatically reform Israel’s legal system hit a roadblock this past week in the form of widespread popular protests. After sacking his defense minister for suggesting that the reforms should be delayed, Netanyahu did just that—even as he also took steps to allow his most far-right allies to set up their own militia. What does this all mean for the future of Israeli democracy?  
  • “Wake Up in the Mornin’ Feelin’ Like J Biddy.” President Joe Biden may be poised to try and ban TikTok from the United States in light of the Chinese government’s opposition to efforts to force a sale. And if he doesn’t take such steps, Congress might. But is either step legally viable? What policy approach is best for this particular moment? 
  • “Whacko We Do.” Former President Trump held his first major campaign rally this past week in Waco, Texas. Among the headliners were controversial shock-rocker Ted Nugent and a literal chorus of individuals being prosecuted for participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Trump followed with extended remarks that dug deep into conspiracy theories and put rival Ron Desantis clearly in his crosshairs. What should we make of the event? And what does it tell us about the 2024 race? 

For object lessons, Alan urged listeners to check out the world historical 2010 NPR interview with none other than Ke$ha. Quinta welcomed the return of her Succession overlords. Scott offered a double-header: an endorsement of the Maximum Fun podcast network, which is currently holding its annual MaxFunDrive; and the perfect recipe for spring time, Melissa Clark's pasta primavera. And Ben issued his own double-header of recommended listening/viewing: Margaret Thatcher's 1992 reading of Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait; and Spy Magazine's 1993 article "Are You Next?" on whether you are likely to be the next target of government repression.

Here are a few more articles we referenced: