Capitol Weekly Podcast

Mike Madrid: The Rise of Extremism

Episode Summary

Mike Madrid is a longtime Republican strategist, veteran of the Bush administration and acknowledged expert on Latino politics. After a lifetime as a GOP stalwart, he denounced the party's embrace of Trumpism in 2016, and later cofounded The Lincoln Project, an effort by disaffected Republicans working to derail Trump's re-election bid. We invited him on the Podcast to talk about the recent flurry of recalls and whether this will be the "new normal" in California politics. He painted a much darker picture. "The Republican Party is gone," he told us. In its stead, he describes a coordinated effort seeking to delegitimize the government though disinformation, fraud and the threat of violence. Where extremist groups like The Proud Boys were formerly relegated to the fringes of political activity, they have now emerged as a significant force in Republican politics, seeking elected office and receiving support from party officials. Once described by Ronald Reagan as "a Party of Ideas," the GOP has, according to Madrid, become a Party without principles, with White Nationalism at its core.

Episode Notes

:32 Recalls, recalls everywhere: a harbinger of things to come?

3:12 What about the outside money in the Shasta Recall?

5:07 This is no longer a battle of political ideas: it is about delegitimizing the government.

6:23 "The Republican Party is gone."

10:06 The bigger picture: this is a global movement

12:36 How will this play out in different areas of California?

14:54 "The average Republican voter in California is no different than the Republican voters in West Virginia, Arkansas or Mississippi."

18:07 What about the remaining GOP stalwarts?

18:42 In the sixties and seventies, the Democratic Party saw a fracturing; is that what's happening in today's GOP?

24:05 What - if anything - can be done to turn this extremism back?

27:04 "We need to get out of the mindset that the GOP is in any way a party of ideas - it is not."

30:43 What happens in the midterms?

35:23 The #WorstWeekCA

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