Are Progressives the New Tea Party?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Jan. 6 2014 2:03 PM

The Three Jews, Two-and-a-Half Opinions Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about the minimum wage fight, the threat of violence in Sochi, and the campus politics of criticizing Israel.

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. Or follow us @SlateGabfest!

To listen to the discussion, use the player below:


The Slate Audio Book Club will be live at Town Hall in Seattle on Feb. 27! Tickets here.

On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, David Plotz, and Will Saletan consider whether ballot measures to raise the minimum wage could help Democrats win in 2014, how the threat of terrorism at the Sochi Olympics could give Putin more power, and whether the Jewish campus group Hillel should host speakers who criticize Israel.

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

  • Democrats anxious about 2014 are pushing a minimum wage increase.
  • Two-thirds of Americans support raising the minimum wage, a recent ABC–Washington Post poll found.
  • Barry Schwartz writes that raising the minimum wage will also lead to better pay for non-minimum-wage jobs.
  • A study by the economists David Card and Alan Krueger found that a minimum wage increase in New Jersey did not increase unemployment.
  • The town of SeaTac raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour, but a county judge has ruled that the increase doesn't apply to airport workers (about three-quarters of those who would have been affected).
  • David called the tone of Bill de Blasio's inauguration "stunningly left-wing."
  • Security at the Sochi Olympics will be intense.
  • Some conspiracy theorists claim Vladimir Putin helped stage the 1999 Russian apartment bombings and then blamed them on terrorists to consolidate his power.
  • The national Hillel speaker policy bars speakers who "support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel," among other things. The Swarthmore College Hillel chapter has said it will no longer follow these guidelines.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands that Palestine recognize Israel as a Jewish state as an essential condition of a peace agreement.

Emily chatters about The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.

Will chatters about the Dallas Cowboys losing to the Philadelphia Eagles.

David chatters about a twist on the license plate game in which you win if the states you see have enough electoral votes to win a presidential election.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest. The email address for the Political Gabfest is (Email may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Rebecca Cohen.

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

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

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
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.