To understand the partisanship and bitterness of American politics today, you have to consider what happened in 1994. Steve Kornacki, National Political Correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC, steps back from the Big Board to tell the origin story of the 1994 Republican “revolution,” the midterm election when the GOP took the House majority for the first time in four decades. It was set in motion by Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich, who — over the course of 15 years — pushed Republicans in a direction of confrontation and conservatism. Steve talks with Newt’s allies and adversaries about backroom strategy sessions and dramatic battles on the House floor. As yet another midterm threatens to upend the political landscape, Kornacki hears echoes of 1994 everywhere. Follow now and join Steve Kornacki through all six episodes, out October 31st.
Episode 1: The Gentleman From Georgia
It takes Newt Gingrich three tries to win a seat in Congress. When he arrives in 1979, he declares war. His aim: to end the Permanent Democratic Majority.
Episode 2: The Newt Show
Newt Gingrich recruits allies and challenges the House’s staid conventions. With a confrontational style and an assist from C-Span, Republicans begin to rally.
Episode 3: Spoiler And Victor
Newt Gingrich expands his power. He takes down a Democratic Speaker of the House and refuses to stand with the Republican president, George H.W. Bush.
Episode 4: False Spring
Bill Clinton becomes president in 1992 and scandal follows. The Republicans now stand unified against tax hikes, and Gingrich emerges as the heir apparent.
Episode 5: The Revolution Arrives
After 15 years in the House, Newt Gingrich’s grand plan succeeds. The GOP sweeps the midterm elections, Democrats are in shock, and Newt becomes Speaker.
Episode 6: Aftershock
The lessons of the 1994 Republican victory are not what they seemed in the moment. Steve Kornacki wraps up the series with a panel of experts.
Speaker Gingrich gave his own assessment of the podcast, stating was direct and not partisan. This podcast is, I feel, an accurate accounting of the shift in GOP policy with Gingrich’s take no prisoners approach. Unfortunately for him, his leadership and dedication was rebuffed by Donald Trump and his ascendency to power. Like Alexander Kerensky, Gingrich was the driving force of the revolution, only to be cast aside by his Lenin. There’s no honor among revolutionaries.
Great work- including the interview with the man himself!
Totally worth the time to listen
Because of the association with MSNBC I was expecting this podcast to be slanted in it’s recounting of this period in time. I was wrong. This podcast is extremely well done and told in a factual, fair and balanced manner. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Informative and Interesting
Kornacki did an excellent job of telling the history of how the Democrats lost their 40 year majority in the House of Representatives and the repercussions that that loss had on politics today. The first five episodes were super interesting and while I did see value in the final two episodes they were not as interesting to me as the historical outline of the first five. I think that it speaks volumes about Kornacki’s journalistic abilities that Gingrich set up a time to speak with Kornacki after the podcast aired.