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On topic, off beat? Our favorite Political Theater episodes of 2023

The obligatory but hopefully irreverent-enough encapsulation of the year’s must-listen pods

Whatever now-former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., the first member of the House expelled since 2002, is doing in this photo, it seems to speak for all of us at the end of this tumultuous year.
Whatever now-former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., the first member of the House expelled since 2002, is doing in this photo, it seems to speak for all of us at the end of this tumultuous year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This year was a doozy. Speakers delayed, speakers disposed. Former presidents indicted. Current members of Congress indicted. Members expelled. War. Pestilence. Cats, living with dogs. Mass hysteria. Through it all, Political Theater kept talking to articulate, smart people. Here are a few of our favorite podcasts, both on topic and off.

The times, they are confusing: Why is Congress like this?

If one headline summed up the year, it might have been this one. Molly Reynolds of the Brookings Institution helped us try to make sense of things.

Bob Menendez: Born to run under indictment?

Roll Call Politics Editor Herb Jackson, he of New Jersey, got to do the thing he was born to do: talk about New Jersey politics.

The contemporary reach of ‘Golda’ during the ‘Yom Kippur of democracy’

Uncanny timing. Director Guy Nattiv discussed his movie about the 1973 Yom Kippur war and its contemporary relevance just a few weeks before the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

Chronicling one year of the post-Dobbs world

Former Roll Caller Amanda Becker, who is now at The 19th*, went deep to report real-life repercussions of the Supreme Court’s overturning of the national right to an abortion for a book coming out next year.

When ‘Yellowstone’ came to Capitol Hill

Mo Brings Plenty and Michael Spears, two actors in the “Yellowstone” universe television phenomenon, talked about their advocacy on Capitol Hill for Native American representation and some of the political and cultural issues the various shows pursue.

The view from 2073: What political stories this year will be relevant in 50 years?

It is easy to get caught up in the daily churn of news. But what stories will matter in the years, and decades, to come? Roll Call Campaign Analyst Nathan Gonzales shared his picks.

If you just can’t get enough, here is our full archive of Political Theater podcasts, all 309 episodes.

And if you like to watch podcasts, check out our (relatively) new YouTube channel.

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