How the Republican Party created Donald Trump

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Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have studied American politics for more than three decades. They are the town’s go-to experts on the workings of Congress. In 2012, they rocked Washington when they published It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, a book that marshaled their considerable authority to argue that the dysfunction poisoning American government was the result of “asymmetric polarization,” notably a Republican Party that “has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

This was a controversial diagnosis then. After Trump, it’s closer to the conventional wisdom.

E.J. Dionne is a columnist at the Washington Post, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and the author of the classic book Why Americans Hate Politics. He’s one of the sharpest political observers alive.

And now, like a Canadian indie-rock supergroup, the three of them have come together to write One Nation After Trump, a dive into how the Republican Party created Trump, how Trump won, and what comes next.

As Dionne says in this interview, the American system was "not supposed to produce a president like this,” and so a lot of our conversation is about how the guardrails failed and whether they can be rebuilt. Mann, Ornstein, and Dionne may be political sages, but they're also a lot of fun, and they have a lot of fun together. You'll hear that in this conversation.

Books:

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal by William Leuchtenburg

Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The First Congress by Fergus Bordewich

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Democracy for Realists by Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels

102 episodes available. A new episode about every 6 days averaging 76 mins duration .