Lessons from the midterms and the Republican Party’s transformation

Listen 49:15

Although we are still waiting for the final election results from some key races, it’s fair to say that the midterms weren’t the red wave Republicans and history predicted. Even if they manage to win a small majority in U.S. House and Senate, Democrats fared better than expected with voters motivated by abortion rights and the issue of safeguarding democracy. And many far-right election deniers lost in key races, a rebuke of Trumpism.

In his new book, The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party, Washington Post political columnist DANA MILBANK traces the GOP’s transformation into a more extreme party determined to undermine democratic institutions, exploit racial and ethnic divisions, spread misinformation and lies and stoke political violence.  Milbank starts with Newt Gingrich’s 1994 rise to House speakership, showing how the party set the stage for Trump’s rise. Milbank joins us to talk about his book and what the election tells us about our politics and the Democratic and Republican parties.

And in Pennsylvania, democrats may be on the verge of taking control of the state House. We’ll start with WITF Capitol bureau chief, SAM DUNKLAU, about the possibility and what democratic control could mean for Governor-elect Josh Shapiro’s policy agenda.

We recommend

The Washington Post, Biggest loser of the midterm elections? The media. – “Political journalists were suckered by a wave of Republican junk polls in the closing weeks of the campaign.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Democrats believe they have flipped the state House – “Republicans will retain control of the Senate. But flipping control of the House would represent a stunning victory for Democrats.”

 

Subscribe for more Radio Times

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal