political-theater

How Life Imitates the Congressional Baseball Game
The annual classic brings out a softer side of the legislative branch

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., escorted by U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent David Bailey, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Wednesday. Scalise was shot and injured last year at a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game. Bailey was also injured in the attack. Unable to play last year because of his injuries, Scalise will be on the field at Thursday’s game. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

“This game is a situation of which, you’re a product of your political success, so if you have a good political year, you have a good recruiting year for this game.” So said former Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., many years ago about the Congressional Baseball Game and the teams each party gets to field. 

The August of Our Discontent
What if they canceled recess and no one cared?

POLITICALTHEATER-crop

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

For the second year in a row, the Senate has curtailed its August recess

‘Bobby Kennedy for President’ Highlights a Capitol Legacy
Netflix documentary explores history of late senator’s career

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The Netflix series “Bobby Kennedy for President,” is a pretty in-depth look not just of the late New York Democratic senator’s presidential run, but his time in the Senate, as attorney general, campaign aide, congressional staffer and the evolution of his political beliefs. 

Podcast: 50 Years Later, Bobby Kennedy for President Lives On
Political Theater, Episode 21

A photograph showing then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy speaking to a crowd of African-Americans and whites through a megaphone outside the Justice Department. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Netflix documentary series “Bobby Kennedy for President” marks the upcoming 50th anniversary of the late senator and presidential candidate’s assassination in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. The four-part series by documentarian Dawn Porter follows Kennedy from campaign manager to attorney general, senator and presidential candidate, and outlines the evolution of his political beliefs from rough-and-tumble family fixer and anti-communist to civil rights icon. 

Porter discussed the series recently with the Political Theater podcast, including her own motivations for treading into a story many Americans may feel they know, and the result is a cinematic journey that feels fresh while also very much reflecting its own heady times.

When Donald Glover Met Roseanne …
Two TV shows, two moguls, and the shared anxieties of blue and red America

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

What do Donald Glover’s Atlanta and Roseanne Barr’s Lanford have in common? At first glance, not a whole lot. 

The Political Turnpike Runs Through Pennsylvania
Resignations, retirements and redistricting scramble the midterm calculus

POLITICALTHEATER-crop

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

If you’re confused about what comes next in Pennsylvania, even after this week’s primary elections set the midterm slate, don’t worry. That just means you’re paying attention. 

Way Out in West Virginia, the Political Vortex
The Mountain State keeps taking the stage for U.S. politics

.

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

West Virginia occupies a unique place in the political universe. A small state, it hosts one of the most tightly contested Senate races of the midterms. But it also finds itself in the political conversation again and again. 

Podcast: Joe Manchin and the Mountain State Midterm Melee
Political Theater, Episode 18

(Manchin, Morrisey, Energy CEO Don Blankenship and Rep. Evan Jenkins (CQ Roll Call)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Ready for Her Close-up
‘People ask me, don’t you feel uncomfortable, being with a name like Notorious B.I.G.’

.

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

“RBG,” the documentary about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, opens in theaters Friday. 

Podcast: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Unlikely Pop Icon
Political Theater, Episode 17

Ginsburg at President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a bona fide pop icon, perhaps strange territory for an 85-year-old, diminutive, reserved constitutional scholar. In the latest Political Theater podcast, filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen speak about their documentary, “RBG,” including what it was like to be in the same theater when Ginsburg saw their movie at the Sundance Film Festival. The documentary opens in theaters on May 4.