Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.
Want to understand what's happened to the Republican Party? Then listen to this discussion.Michael Needham is the CEO of Heritage Action for America, where he's been one of the activists at the center of the fight between the Republican establishment and the conservative movement that's trying to overturn it. The Wall Street Journal called Needham "the strategist at the center of the shutdown" and the Washington Post wrote that "Before Donald Trump began terrorizing the Republican establishment, there was Michael Needham."But Needham is no fan of Trump, either. In this discussion, Needham talks with Ezra about the roots of Trumpism, whether the conservative insurgents have released forces they can't control, and what kinds of statesmen he thinks American politics has lost. Also, Ezra finds someone who is even more confident in the healing, unifying powers of public policy than he is.