December 22, 2023

It Wouldn’t Be Make-Believe If You’d Believe In Me

A major political party in a major swing state bets on a new leader: a total political outsider. How does that work out for them?

A woman in red stands on top of a crumbling tower, the top of which is in the shape of Michigan

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.



In 2022, Michigan Republicans ran anti-establishment candidates who claimed the last presidential election was stolen. And they lost big. Now, the state party regroups and must decide whether to stay the course or moderate. (7 minutes)

Act One

The Lonely Island

The Michigan GOP’s newly elected leader, Kristina Karamo, faces her first big test: Can she organize and pull off the state party’s fabled, expensive Mackinac Island conference as a political outsider – with no fundraising experience or establishment connections? (9 minutes)

Act Two

Another Purity Test

Two young Michigan GOP vice chairs are totally on board with Kristina Karamo’s take on politics and hate the establishment like her. So why do they feel iced out by her? (15 minutes)

Act Three

The Insurrectionists Insurrect Again

At the start of the year, Warren Carpenter was a Kristina Karamo supporter; helped her get elected. Now he’s plotting her ouster. (13 minutes)