April 28, 2017

The Beginning of Now

Before Donald Trump started his presidential campaign in 2015, there was a congressional race that redefined what was possible in American politics. Steve Bannon and Breitbart News got involved in that race early, just like they later got deeply involved in Donald Trump's race. On this week’s show: What happened in that campaign, what it made it work, and how we got to now.

Bob Keeler


Vice News producer Reid Cherlin tells Ira about a party he attended in Washington in 2014. At the time he thought everyone there was on the fringe of the right wing, largely irrelevant. Now many of the people who were at that party are the most influential figures in Donald Trump’s administration. (8 1/2 minutes)

Act One

The Brat Pack

In 2014, in the wake of losing the previous presidential election, the Republican Party had committed itself to immigration reform as its only path to winning elections in the future. Within two years, Donald Trump would be elected on the exact opposite platform, railing against immigration. Producer Zoe Chace tells the story of the Congressional race that inspired that dramatic 180. (33 minutes)
Act Two

Who Tells Your Story?

For years Pat Buchanan ran on many of the same ideas that Donald Trump would later run on. Buchanan lost — three times. Trump won. Why? Is Buchanan jealous? And does he think Trump’s election is the beginning of a new normal, or a small blip in the course of history? Ira and Zoe visit his home to ask him. (14 minutes)