Show 21-08: The Happy Warriors of “The Meidas Touch”

Brett, Ben and Jordan Meiselas: “The Meidas Touch”

The three brothers who created the Meidas Touch PAC are the new happy warriors of politics. They gleefully donate their time and talents to skewering MAGA-preaching politicians. Their fast-response videos have generated millions of hits, and led to a burgeoning grassroots movement that supports a growing multimedia structure and an ever-increasing number of local Meidas Touch chapters.
Jeff Timmer and Mark Brewer talk about one of the most improbable stories of the 2020 campaign cycle with Meidas Touch creators Brett, Jordan and Ben Meilesas.

Ben Meiselas is a Partner at Geragos & Geragos, where he focuses on civil litigation and civil rights law. Most notably, Ben represented Colin Kaepernick in his highly-publicized lawsuit against the NFL and led a class action lawsuit against Billy MacFarland and FYRE festival. He put together the Kaepernick NIKE endorsement deal, widely regarded as one of the top marketing campaigns in history. Ben is also the co-founder of Kaepernick publishing, where he recently inked a deal with Amazon for distribution. Ben was Variety’s 2019 Power of Law award recipient.

Bret Meiselas is a two-time Emmy award winning video editor and digital media strategist. He was a video editor for the Ellen DeGeneres show for over five years and ran digital media for a major sports organization, in addition to working as a creative executive for a mainstream film & TV production company.

Jordan Meiselas is a Marketing Account Supervisor based in New York City. He has been responsible for running campaigns and activations for some of the world’s top brands including HBO, the NFL and AT&T.



Show 21-07: 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis

Mark and Jeff are joined by 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

Dukakis the longest-serving Governor in Massachusetts history, winning his first term in 1974. After losing his reelection bid in 1978, he regained the governorship in 1982, serving for two more terms. (He’s only the 2nd Greek-American Governor in American history.) 

Since leaving office, Dukakis has served on the board of directors for Amtrak and has taught political science at Northeastern University and UCLA. Governor Dukakis and his wife Kitty have been married for 58 years. The two of them have published a combined 9 books.

A little presidential campaign history:
In 1984, Ronald Reagan demolished Walter Mondale … winning 49 states. Mondale barely avoided a clean sweep by winning his home state of Minnesota by just 4,000 votes. Reagan’s popular vote margin was a massive 19 percent. 

Four years later, Michael Dukakas’ campaign launched what turned out to be a national Democratic revival. He won 10 states and came close in seven more … cutting the popular vote gap more than half and setting the stage for Bill Clinton’s defeat of George H.W. Bush in 1992. 

Beginning in 1992,  Democratic presidential candidates have won the popular vote in 7 out of 8 elections.

Transcript and Links

Show 21-06: Whither Goest the GOP (Guest: Gov. John Kasich)

Mark and Jeff are joined by former Ohio Governor and 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich to discuss the future of the Republican Party, the nadir of traditional GOP fiscal conservativism and Joe Biden’s progressive populism. Kasich was one of the nation’s most popular Governors (reelected in 2014 by a two-to-one margin) but now is branded a “RINO” by the ruling Trumpian establishment of his party.

Kasich’s reelection in 2014 came after he supported Medicaid expansion after enactment of Obamacare, much to the distress of national Republicans.

Governor Kasich previously served for 18 years in Congress where he chaired the House Budget Committee. His political career began as a member of the Ohio State Senate. In 2016 he voted for John McCain for President as a write-in; in 2020 he broke from fellow Republicans to endorse the election of Joe Biden.

Links and Transcript

Show 21-05: Stealing Elections, State by State (Guest: Rick Wilson)

Joining the conversation is outspoken author/commentator/political strategist Rick Wilson.

His many credits include the New York Times best-sellers “Everything Trump Touches Dies” and “Running Against the Devil.” He writes for The Daily Beast, Politico,The New York Daily News, The Federalist, The Independent Journal Review, and Ricochet,and is a frequent guest on various cable and network news outlets.
Rick is a veteran Republican strategist and ad guru dating back to George H. W. Bush‘s 1988 campaign. He left the Republican Party following the 2016 United States presidential election, and was a founder of  The Lincoln Project, a Super PAC organized by current and former Republicans opposed to Donald Trump and Trumpism in the Republican Party.

Links and Transcript

Show 21-04: Protecting the Right to Vote (Guest: Michael Li)

Courtesy of Brennan Center for Justice

We’re joined by one of the nation’s leading experts on voting rights, Michael Li from the Brennan Center for JusticeLi is senior counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program where his work focuses on redistricting, voting rights, and elections. He was the author of a widely cited blog on redistricting and election law issues that the New York Times called “indispensable.” He is a regular writer and commentator on election law issues on cable news and in the nation’s leading newspapers and periodicals.

In addition to his election law work, Li previously served as executive director of Be One Texas, a donor alliance that oversaw strategic and targeted investments in nonprofit organizations working to increase voter participation and engagement in historically disadvantaged African American and Hispanic communities in Texas. Li also was an unofficial adviser to Michigan’s Voters Not Politicians as that grassroots group was developing the constitutional amendment to end gerrymandering in our state.

Show 2021-03: What the Polls Tell Us (Guest: Stan Greenberg)

We’re joined this week by veteran pollster Stan Greenberg.

Greenberg is a  best-selling author and polling adviser to presidents, prime ministers, and CEOs globally and right now, is conducting deep research in multiple countries. He was the senior pollster for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and President Nelson Mandela. Greenberg’s corporate clients have included Microsoft and other global companies.

Greenberg’s research and writing on disruptive changes in the US, Britain, Europe, South Africa, and Venezuela and on the parties of both left and right is driving the public debate. His book about how America addresses its deepest problems was applauded by Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, for its “great sense of history as well as deep understanding of the hopes and fears of today’s Americans.” And his new book, RIP GOPwas published by St. Martin’s Press in the fall of 2019.



Show 2021-02: Voter Suppression (Guest: Molly Ball)

Jeff and Mark talk widespread voter suppression efforts in state legislatures across the country, including Michigan, with Time magazine’s National Political Correspondent Molly Ball. Also on the pod: good policy is good politics as President Biden prepares to sign into law the highly popular $1.9-trillion American Relief Act. And Mark reflects on the special magic of “Eternal General” Frank Kelley who passed away last Friday.

Transcript and Links

Show 2021-01: C-PAC or C-PAP? (Guest: Bill Kristol)

The Conservative Political Action Conference played out in Orlando over the weekend and turned into a three-day tribute for keynote speaker Donald Trump. What are the implications for future politics in America? Mark and Jeff share thoughts with longtime neoconservative journalist and advocate Bill Kristol, editor-at-large of The Bulwark and a regular panelist on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Kristol also hosts the Conversation With Bill Kristol podcast.

Social Media Links for Bill Kristol


Sneak Preview of “A Republic, If You Can Keep It”

Welcome to a sneak preview of “A Republic, If You Can Keep It.” 

Mark Brewer and Jeff Timmer take a look at the turmoil within the national and state Republican parties, and what that could mean for 2022 and beyond.

They ponder a basic question: is it the Republican Party … or the Trump Party? A lot of future elections may depend on the answer to that question.