The Gabfest on the search for progressive candidates who can win, Obama’s response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and Adrian Peterson’s arrest.

Are Progressives Too Pragmatic to Vote for Progressive Candidates?

Are Progressives Too Pragmatic to Vote for Progressive Candidates?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Sept. 19 2014 11:54 AM

The “Spanking” Edition

Listen to Slate’s show about progressives’ push for more liberal candidates, the U.S. response to Ebola’s rapid spread, and the corporal punishment debate.

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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the lack of a progressive equivalent to the Tea Party, U.S. efforts to combat Ebola, and the corporal punishment debate.

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

  • According to a Pew survey conducted in January, 73 percent of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
  • The Clintons’ ties to banking and finance may make Hillary Clinton vulnerable to a populist, anti–Wall Street progressive candidate.
  • Political scientists Matthew Grossman and David Hopkins published a series of studies attempting to understand why conservatives tend to elect ideologically pure Republican candidates, and why liberals tend to elect more pragmatic Democratic candidates.
  • Some on the left believe that the Democratic Party lacks the institutional support and funding for programs to recruit and raise promising young talent.
  • Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes may lose her race for U.S. Senate by not embracing Obamacare because of its perceived toxicity in her state.
  • President Obama will deploy up to 3,000 U.S. troops in West Africa to help set up treatment centers and conduct operations to further stop the disease’s spread.
  • Ebola is wreaking havoc on West African economies, disrupting trade and travel.
  • The World Heath Organization has watched its budget shrink over the past several years, hindering the response needed to contain and beat back Ebola.
  • John is well-known for a lifetime of dental hygiene advocacy.
  • Will Saletan wrote about his own experience with corporal punishment growing up in East Texas.
  • Most Americans believe that spanking is occasionally necessary to discipline children.
  • Time’s cover story this week weighs football’s physically damaging effects against its cultural value.
  • The NFL recently acknowledged that almost one-third of professional football players will suffer brain trauma.

John chatters about his experience at Sen. Tom Harkin’s last steak fry.


Emily chatters about Jenny Rosenstrach’s new cookbook Dinner: The Playbook.

David chatters about the collection of animal bones and carcasses that President Theodore Roosevelt brought back from an African expedition for the Smithsonian.

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 Maxwell Tani.