11/7 How Republicans Turned From Monsters Into Bigger Monsters w/ Nicole Hemmer

November 7, 2022

Sam and Emma host Nicole Hemmer, professor of History at Vanderbilt University, to discuss her recent book Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990’s. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Twitter’s Terms of Service strict Elon Musk-enforced parody laws, Biden’s talks with Russia, the drying Colorado River, and early voting backlash heading into the midterms. Professor Hemmer then joins as she dives right into a quick overview of the arc of her book, beginning with the Reagan Era’s birth of neoliberalism and working through the extreme neoconservative polarization in the ’90s and 2000s, before she jumps back to the divide between Reagan’s regime and the George H.W. Bush administration, both in terms of geopolitics – with the end of the Cold War – and on the domestic side – with the emergence of conservative political activists. Diving deeper into this reactionary revolution, Sam, Emma, and Nicole look to the shift from Reagan’s oddly optimistic spin on conservatism to the party of Gingrich in the 1990s that behaved with the frenetic urgency of minoritarian rule, obstructing government in any way they could while their radicalism was bolstered by the rise of talk radio paranoia and a Democratic party that was chasing them to the right. After briefly tackling the rise of conservative talk radio and its ability to zero in on a particular brand of anger and agreement, Hemmer parses through this ‘90s reactionarianism as a response to a growing mainstream progressive movement that supported people of color and women in leadership roles and (occasionally) took sexual assault and bigotry seriously. The professor then looks to the George W. Bush regime as the end of the true Reagan republicanism, seeing it as a clear bipartisan failure by his departure from office, and leaving the party open for the new right groups (be they Tea Party or Alt-Right) to take hold. Wrapping up, they explore the future of the far-right attempts to normalize their own extremism, looking to right-wing legislatures already attempting to codify their right to the electoral votes.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma discuss how Donald Trump is winning big big big for the Republican nomination for President in 2024, also touching on his DeSantis nickname soft launch before talking with Will from VA about the historical prevalence of Russian imperialism. They also parse through the absolute hilarity of Elon’s first week behind the desk at Twit HQ, and Dave Rubin hosting proof-of-COVID Tina Forte ahead of her election against AOC. Tulsi Gabbard continues to be a hollow nationalist, and Chuck from Kentucky asks some questions about US support in Ukraine, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Nicole’s book here: https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/nicole-hemmer/partisans/9781541646872/

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