Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Robert Draper On GOP Radicals

Robert is a writer-at-large for the New York Times Magazine and a contributing writer for National Geographic. He is the author of several books, including Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, and his new one is Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind. He’s a friend and a prodigiously productive reporter who truly seems intent in finding out the truth — rather than spinning some ideological tale. And he was there on January 6.

You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player above (or on the right side of the player, click “Listen On” to add the Dishcast feed to your favorite podcast app). For two clips of our convo — on the MAGA supporters falling away from Trump, and on the rise of Majorie Taylor Greene — pop over to our YouTube page.

Other topics: the midterms, Trump vs. DeSantis, the epistemological collapse within our media bubbles, Tea Party hatred of moderate Obama, the growing diversity of GOP voters, our disagreement over the impact of CRT in schools, George W. Bush and the One Percent Doctrine, and the sheer careerism of GOP politicians.

Browse the entire Dishcast archive here. A listener “enjoyed your episode with Damon Linker”:

I always appreciate that you are willing to reassess your priors. I think you and Damon are right: it’s up to right-of-center primary voters to decide whether they want to continue aboard the Crazy Train Express. If they do, they are destined for more bracing losses for the next few election cycles among the general electorate. If they decide to sober up, however, and prioritize competence over grievance, humility over zeal, while harnessing some constructive populist energies on immigration, crime, education, and political economy, they could feasibly build a durable governing majority. I suspect the former is more likely, but who knows at this point.

Doubt is always essential in covering politics:

Another listener:

Damon is right about Trump’s support not being rational and more of an FU to the left. However, Trump has been losing support since the 2020 election. DeSantis has been gaining support this whole time and is now shown to be a winner with a broad spectrum of voters. Trump will lose to him as long as there aren’t a bunch of other people running. Lately Trump has just been completely unhinged attacking all the successful Republicans like Youngkin, DeSantis, and Kemp.

Damon is pessimistic about the ability of DeSantis to beat Trump:

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