Background Briefing: November 13, 2022

Contrary to the Punditry, Trump is in Firm Control of the GOP and Bent on Destroying His Rival

We begin with Democrats retaining the Senate and the speculation among pundits that Trump is to blame for the failure of the “Red Wave” and Republican leaders are trying to move past Trump even though he is in firm control of the GOP and is bent on destroying his main rival. We look into how the MAGA cult dominates the GOP and will continue to do so as its leader announces he is running for president on Tuesday and his far-right followers in the House are likely to be the loudest voices in the next two years of congressional show trials and witch hunts.  Joining us is Lincoln Mitchell, a professor of Political Science at Columbia University, where he also serves as an associate scholar in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. He is the author of numerous books on the former Soviet states, baseball, and democracy the latest of which is The Giants and Their City: Major League Baseball in San Francisco, 1976-1992. 


Time For the Democrats to Move Past Trump

Then we examine the need for Democrats to move forward with building a New Deal-style majority amid speculation that following the failure of the “Red Wave”, Republican leaders are trying to move past Trump even though he is in firm control of the GOP and is bent on destroying his main rival. Joining us is Samuel Moyn, the Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and Professor of History at Yale University. He has written several books in his fields of European intellectual history, human rights history and law, including The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History and Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World. His latest book is Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War and we discuss his latest article at The Guardian, “It’s time for the Democrats to move past Donald Trump.”


Russia’s Future as Putin Clings to Power But His Legend is Dead

Then finally we assess Putin and Russia’s future with Mark Galeotti, a scholar of Russian security affairs with a career spanning academia, government service and business. He heads the Mayak Intelligence consultancy and is an Honorary Professor at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies as well as holding fellowships with RUSI, the Council on Geostrategy and the Institute of International Relations Prague. He is the author of over 25 books including The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia, A Short History of Russia and The Weaponization of Everything: A Field Guide to the New Way of War. We discuss his latest book, just out, Putin’s Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine and his latest article at CNN “Putin can cling on to power but his legend is dead”.