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Packed Courts, Undecided Voters and ‘WAP’: You Asked, We Answered

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For the podcast’s two-year anniversary, Michelle and Ross start with a rousing debate over why Joe Biden isn’t saying he’d pack the courts, should he beat President Trump in November. Ross asks Michelle if she’d concede that court packing would be a significant escalation in the “judicial wars,” and Michelle asks Ross what happens to the anti-choice movement if and when Roe is overturned.

Then, the hosts listen to the show’s voice mails and dig into the inbox to answer some listener questions. They respond to your questions about the open Supreme Court seat, who the heck is still undecided, Republicanism’s evolution to Trumpism, and whether “WAP” is a feminist anthem. Finally, both hosts suggest you dive into the Nxivm cult’s backstory through HBO’s new documentary series, “The Vow.

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Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

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Press play or read the transcript (found by midday Friday above the center teal eye) at the top of this page, or tune in on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher or your preferred podcast listening app. Tell us what you think at argument@nytimes.com.


I’ve been an Op-Ed columnist since 2009, and I write about politics, religion, pop culture, sociology and the places where they intersect. I’m a Catholic and a conservative, in that order, which means that I’m against abortion and critical of the sexual revolution, but I tend to agree with liberals that the Republican Party is too friendly to the rich. I was against Donald Trump in 2016 for reasons specific to Donald Trump, but in general I think the populist movements in Europe and America have legitimate grievances and I often prefer the populists to the “reasonable” elites. I’ve written books about Harvard, the G.O.P., American Christianity and Pope Francis, and decadence. Benedict XVI was my favorite pope. I review movies for National Review and have strong opinions about many prestige television shows. I have four small children, three girls and a boy, and live in New Haven with my wife. @DouthatNYT

I’ve been an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times since 2017, writing mainly about politics, ideology and gender. These days people on the right and the left both use “liberal” as an epithet, but that’s basically what I am, though the nightmare of Donald Trump’s presidency has radicalized me and pushed me leftward. I’ve written three books, including one, in 2006, about the danger of right-wing populism in its religious fundamentalist guise. (My other two were about the global battle over reproductive rights and, in a brief detour from politics, about an adventurous Russian émigré who helped bring yoga to the West.) I love to travel; a long time ago, after my husband and I eloped, we spent a year backpacking through Asia. Now we live in Brooklyn with our son and daughter. @michelleinbklyn


“The Argument” is a production of The New York Times Opinion section. The team includes Alison Bruzek, Phoebe Lett, Vishakha Darbha, Kathy Tu, Kate Sinclair, Paula Szuchman and Isaac Jones. Special thanks to Corey Schreppel. Theme by Allison Leyton-Brown.

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