Sep. 13 Member Bonus: Will The Republican Party Ever Be the Same Again?

This members-only episode was originally published on September 13, 2020 and moved to this feed for full member access.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse thinks the biggest problem with climate change deniers is the people that line their pockets. The Rhode Island Democrat joined The New Abnormal co-host Molly Jong-Fast and producer Jesse Cannon to talk about the environment, the GOP dropping the ball, and how putting an end to secretive political cash could be the key to solving it all. “The key thing to do on the environment is to focus on the dark money problem,” says Whitehouse. “I don't care whether you're talking to Tea Partiers or Bernie Bros, the notion that big, powerful, special interests can spend unlimited money anonymously through front groups and deploy huge political power out of sight is equally offensive across the board.” He explained how certain groups are in the pockets of political donors (cough cough, Republicans) and how the party's disdain for science has similarities to their COVID-19 response. “The power of the science denial industry is manifest in both examples, Coronavirus and climate, and the willingness of Republicans to bear pain and scorn and deny truth.” But does the GOP stand a chance of ever going back to being that Grand Ole Party? For the sake of the climate, at least? In Whitehouse’s opinion, there are two options for that to happen, one of them involves a complete overhaul. (“You wait until the Republican party is so discredited and its climate denial that a surge of new Republicans come in and sweep out.”) Then, the three discuss Trump’s eerie Supreme Court scouting and the funding of the Federalist Society: “The whole thing is being basically run like our intelligence community would run a covert operation against a hostile nation.” Plus! Molly really wants to know how Whitehouse can work with Rand Paul and if Rhode Island calamari is really as amazing as the DNC made it seem.


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