• Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Review: Can he do that?

ByEmily Hall

Mar 22, 2017

Can he do that? isn’t just the subject of this review, but the question on all of our lips. This weekly podcast is influenced by a number of experts, experienced journalists and analysts, and always does its research.

Each week I eagerly await the podcast’s release to see which of his many objectionable behaviours will be put on trial: the material here is endless. Can he stay at Mar-a-Lago Florida instead of the White House? Can he withhold his tax returns? Can he use his Twitter as an official forum for initiating political action?

This podcast is so crucial right now that you don’t even need to explain whom it is about because, when it comes to this person, it’s the question you’ve been asking this whole time.

Spoilers: the answer is more often than not yes. While it is a bit of a downer to hear, time after time, that there are no legal protections in place to stop the executive branch from doing as he pleases, the podcast does present an expansive and important history of presidential precedent and  important legal explanation for where exactly the line is drawn with regard to what the US executive can do.

Not only is the analysis and research in this podcast professional and comprehensive, but the audio design is compelling, with just the right amount of infuriating sound bites. Additionally, the hosts are likeable: an easy feat given the extent to which you sympathise with their pursuit of truth, their quest for limitations to control this beast.

While focusing even more on He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named may seem like the last thing you need, in some ways I found this podcast cathartic. As I’ve listened, I’ve learned that he isn’t the only highly eccentric, precedent-breaking, bigoted or even the worst president that the US has had. While his powers may not seem altogether as limited as we would like them to be and there are many things that he can, in fact, do, it is highly reassuring to know that my bruised and misrepresented country has survived worse and even more absurd situations.

The Washington Post is well positioned to deliver these answers in an informal and yet informed and articulate way. If you were tuning in before the election, this is the perfect follow-up to their podcast Presidential, telling the story of past US presidents – from their election to their legacy – to inform a better, less tweet-based understanding of the office that has captured global attention.

Never fear, however, for unlike former presidents, content for this podcast will not run out anytime soon. Courtesy of new executive orders, Russian scandals, media battles breaking daily and a hyperactive Twitter page, you will find yourself constantly asking: can he do that? This is the place to check.

By Emily Hall

As a writer, Emily contributes to news, features, comment, science & technology, lifestyle, tv & radio, culture and sport. This native Seattlite is a cake pop enthusiast who can regularly be found trying to make eye-contact with stranger’s dogs on the streets of Edinburgh.

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