Podcast | Power, politics and the partisan divide

Former Obama strategist Robert Gibbs and Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson discuss upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race.

Sen. Chuck Schumer addresses the press

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters ahead of a failed vote on Wednesday that would have essentially codified Roe v. Wade, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The revelation that the U.S. Supreme Court may very well overturn Roe v. Wade this summer turned up the heat on what was already a period of intense partisan division in the United States. With continued fallout from the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and the upcoming midterm elections, there is little indication that Democrats and Republicans will come together any time soon.

Still, while partisan rancor may pose a threat to American democracy, politicians in both parties are leveraging it in their own attempts to build support, raise money and get things done. 

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Former Republican strategist Rick Wilson and former presidential adviser Robert Gibbs are both familiar with the calculus involved in turning partisanship into political gain. But they are also aware of the threats that severe partisanship can bring. 

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, the two political strategists discuss the fight for Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024, detail missteps in their own parties that helped create the current landscape and consider why some Americans may prefer authoritarianism to democracy.


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