Insurgency How Republicans lost their party and got everything they ever wanted

Jeremy Peters

Book - 2022

"How, Peters asks, did conservative values that Republicans claimed to cherish, like small government, fiscal responsibility, and morality in public service, get completely eroded as an unshakable faith in Donald Trump grew to define the party? The answer is a tale traced across three decades--with new reporting and firsthand accounts from the people who were there--of populist uprisings that destabilized the party... After Barack Obama's election convinced many Republicans that they f...aced an existential demographics crossroads, many believed the only way to save the party was to create a more inclusive and diverse coalition. But party leaders underestimated the energy and popular appeal of those who would pull the party in the opposite direction... In this sweeping history, Peters details key junctures and episodes to unfurl the story of a revolution from within. Its architects had little interest in the America of the new century but a deep understanding of the iron will of a shrinking minority."--Amazon.com

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2nd Floor New Shelf 324.2734/Peters (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 28, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : Crown [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xxviii, 400 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [351]-379) and index.
ISBN
9780525576587
0525576584
Main Author
Jeremy Peters (author)
  • The tip of the spear
  • Winning is losing
  • The paranoid style
  • The autopsy
  • Holy war
  • The Trump party.
Review by PW Annex Reviews

New York Times correspondent Peters debuts with a fluid and well-sourced, if familiar, look at how Donald Trump seized control of the Republican Party. Noting that Trump was fascinated by Sarah Palin's vice-presidential campaign, Peters deconstructs how Trump drew on Palin's playbook to channel the frustrations of working-class whites who feared they were losing their "cultural supremacy." Recounting right-wing populist Pat Buchanan's surprisingly strong showing against George H.W. Bush in the 1992 Republican primary and the rise of the Tea Party during the Obama presidency, Peters credits the motley crew of strategists who surrounded Trump, including Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Kellyanne Conway, with understanding that moderate Republicans had lost the party's base. Drawing on extensive interviews with conservative politicians, strategists, and commentators, Peters documents how Trump won the crucial support of Fox News's Roger Ailes and persuaded Federalist Society members and evangelical Christians that he was their best bet to overturn Roe v. Wade. It's a persuasive and lucid analysis, but not especially revelatory, and the details about the Covid-19 pandemic and the January 6 Capitol insurrection feel tacked on. Still, this is a cogent and accessible history of how the GOP got to where it is today. (Feb.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"How did the party of Lincoln become the party of Trump? From a Washington reporter for The New York Times comes the definitive story of the mutiny that shattered American politics. Jeremy Peters's epic narrative of the fracture and collapse of the Republican Party chronicles the once-in-a-lifetime self-destruction of a major political party through the dark and powerful forces that it wrought. Peters turns his incisive gaze toward the people whose shifting core ideas over the last twenty years have fundamentally changed the meaning of what it is to be a Republican. How, he asks, did the Republican Party cease to be the party of small government and fiscal responsibility and morph into a home for nativists, far-right social conservatives, and others whose views were traditionally relegated to the fringes? The answer is a tale traced across two decades, born with the Tea Party revolution in 2009 and fueled by the shattering defeat of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Facing an existential crossroads, many in the party believed that the only way to save it was to expand, to embrace Hispanic voters and create a coalition that could build a new Republican majority. But those powers underestimated the energy and savvy of those who would pull the party in the opposite direction, tapping into and manipulating the discontent of millions of voters whom moderates had long taken for granted. And they did not understand the complicated moral framework by which many conservatives view Trump, leading to evangelicals and one-issue voters who were willing to shed Republican orthodoxy if it meant achieving their dream of a Supreme Court that would undo Roe v. Wade. Moving through recent history, from the Ground Zero mosque to Brett Kavanaugh, from Sarah Palin to Donald Trump, Peters unfolds the story of a revolution that was not inevitable but engineered. Its architects had little interest in the America that was emerging in the new century, but they had a deep understanding of a political and electoral system that could be manipulated to serve the iron will of a shrinking minority. And ultimately, with Trump as their polestar, their gamble paid greater dividends than they'd ever imagined, extending the life of far-right conservatism in United States domestic policy into the next half century"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A reporter from The New York Times explains how the Republican party evolved over the last two decades from a philosophy of small government and fiscal responsibility into a home for nativists and far-right social conservatives.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE • How did the party of Lincoln become the party of Trump? From an acclaimed political reporter for The New York Times comes the definitive story of the mutiny that shattered American politics.“A bracing account of how the party of Lincoln and Reagan was hijacked by gadflies and grifters who reshaped their movement into becoming an anti-democratic cancer that attacked the U.S. Capitol.”—Joe ScarboroughAn epic narrative chronicling the fracturing of the Republican Party, Jeremy Peters’s Insurgency is the story of a party establishment that believed it could control the dark energy it helped foment—right up until it suddenly couldn’t. How, Peters asks, did conservative values that Republicans claimed to cherish, like small government, fiscal responsibility, and morality in public service, get completely eroded as an unshakable faith in Donald Trump grew to define the party?The answer is a tale traced across three decades—with new reporting and firsthand accounts from the people who were there—of populist uprisings that destabilized the party. The signs of conflict were plainly evident for anyone who cared to look. After Barack Obama’s election convinced many Republicans that they faced an existential demographics crossroads, many believed the only way to save the party was to create a more inclusive and diverse coalition. But party leaders underestimated the energy and popular appeal of those who would pull the party in the opposite direction. They failed to see how the right-wing media they hailed as truth-telling was warping the reality in which their voters lived. And they did not understand the complicated moral framework by which many conservatives would view Trump, leading evangelicals and one-issue voters to shed Republican orthodoxy if it delivered a Supreme Court that would undo Roe v. Wade.In this sweeping history, Peters details key junctures and episodes to unfurl the story of a revolution from within. Its architects had little interest in the America of the new century but a deep understanding of the iron will of a shrinking minority. With Trump as their polestar, their gamble paid greater dividends than they’d ever imagined, extending the life of far-right conservatism in United States domestic policy into the next half century.