Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke became the Democratic Party’s golden boy in 2018 thanks to his near-miss campaign against Senator Ted Cruz. Yet since declaring his campaign for the presidency back in March, his poll numbers have steadily declined. In recent weeks Beto has earned glowing reviews for his fiery rhetoric on gun control and Trump’s racism—and for his support for the Democrats’ nascent impeachment effort—but will it be enough to reinvigorate his bid for the White House? Mehdi Hasan talks to the candidate ahead of next week’s crucial debate. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to break down Beto’s campaign.
The Silencing of Kashmir: Arundhati Roy on India, Modi, and Fascism
India’s clampdown on the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir is entering its third month, and while the right-wing government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exerted tight control over the flow of information out of the region, a bleak picture has nonetheless emerged. Thousands have been imprisoned, including political leaders. Movement is tightly restricted. Phone lines have been cut off. Modi appears set on ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special semi-autonomous status and bringing it fully under the control of New Delhi, a move which residents of the Muslim-majority region strongly reject. Arundhati Roy, India’s most famous novelist and a passionate voice for Kashmiri self-determination, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the Kashmir crisis and India’s troubling rightward tilt.
Finally, Impeachment: Julián Castro on Trump and Ukraine
It finally happened: on Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The final straw was a July phone call in which Trump pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden, and appeared to suggest that US aid to Ukraine might be contingent upon his compliance. Nearly all of the 2020 Democratic candidates have come out in support of impeachment proceedings. On this week’s Deconstructed, one of those candidates, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the week’s developments. Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to break down the political prospects for impeachment.
Israel: Democracy or Apartheid?
Israeli voters returned to the polls this week for the second time in five months to elect the 120 members of the Knesset, the country’s legislative body. The outcome remains too close to call, but it looks like Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest serving Prime Minister, may be denied a majority. His likely successor is former army chief of staff Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party. Yet missing from so much of the international conversation is the fact that five million Palestinian residents of the occupied territories remain unable to vote in elections that could determine their future. Given that Gantz, like Netanyahu, has adopted bellicose rhetoric toward Palestine in the past, can they really expect things to change? Noura Erakat, Palestinian American legal scholar and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether it’s fair to describe Israel as an apartheid state.
Democratic Debate: Is Joe Biden OK?
The Democratic candidates met in Houston on Thursday night for a third round of televised debates. This time the format was limited to a single night with 10 participants, which meant that for the first time, all the top-tier candidates were onstage together. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren defended their respective healthcare plans, but the center of attention was frontrunner Joe Biden, who spent the night fending off attacks from his rivals. As the evening wore on, Biden's answers became increasingly difficult to decipher. Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to breakdown the latest debate, as do Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas and Pod Save the World host Tommy Vietor.