The Gabfest on Scott Walker, Bill Clinton on Tax Cuts, and Jack Hitt’s book, A Bunch of Amateurs

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
June 8 2012 12:22 PM

The Amateur Hour Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about Scott Walker, Bill Clinton’s frenemy behavior, and Jack Hitt’s new book, A Bunch of Amateurs.

Become a fan of the Political Gabfest on Facebook. We post to the Facebook page throughout the week, so keep the conversation going by joining us there.

To listen to the discussion, use the player below:

Come to our next live show at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Conn. on June 27 at 5:30 p.m.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, David Plotz, Emily Bazelon, and John Dickerson discuss Scott Walker’s victory in the Wisconsin recall election and Bill Clinton’s off-message campaign remarks, and they interview Jack Hitt about his new book, A Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

  • John’s Slate piece on Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin.
  • A Wall Street Journal report on the drop in Wisconsin’s unions’ membership.
  • Ron Brownstein’s National Journal column on how Obama is losing white working class voters.
  • John’s Slate piece on Bill Clinton’s off-message remarks on Bain, Romney, and tax cuts.
  • A statement by Bill Clinton’s spokesman after Clinton’s CNBC interview.
  • Jack Hitt’s book, A Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character.
  • Doree Shafrir’s Slate review of Hitt’s book.

John chatters about a new book put out by the Library of Congress, Presidential Campaign Posters: Two Hundred Years of Election Art.

Emily chatters about the unpopularity of the Senate and lifetime judicial appointments as expressed by contributors to Slate’s Hive series, “How Can We Fix the Constitution?

David chatters about a pair of New York Times articles: The first about a Buddhist couple that lived no more than 15 feet apart from one another and the second about the bizarre twist in the story that ended in a death. You can find his Slate experiment trying to live no more than 15 feet apart from his wife, Hanna Rosin, here.

The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Andrew Bouvé and Dale Willman. Links compiled by Aviva Shen.

Emily Bazelon was a Slate senior editor from 2005 to 2014. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.



Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Scotland Votes to Remain in U.K.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Can Democrats Keep Counting on Republicans to Offend Women as a Campaign Strategy?


Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.