The Gist: Thomas Schaller on the GOP, and Darrell West on billionaires in politics

Why Republicans Can Govern Without the White House

Why Republicans Can Govern Without the White House

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Jan. 28 2015 11:12 PM


Thomas Schaller explains why Congress is well-suited to the Republican agenda, for now.

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Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is one of the many candidates to kiss the ring of Steve King at the Iowa Freedom Summit.

Photo Illustration by Slate. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty.

Listen to Episode 183 of Slate’s The Gist:


The Koch brothers will be spending almost a billion dollars on the 2016 elections. Why don’t centrist billionaires try to influence elections in the same ways? Today on The Gist, Darrell West from the Brookings Institution describes what he’s learned from breaking bread with the upper-crust funders of GOP political campaigns. He’s the author of Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust.


Plus, Thomas Schaller explains why Republicans and congressional control are a compelling combination. He’s the author of The Stronghold.

For the Spiel, Mike responds to the response to the New York magazine feature “Not A Very P.C. Thing To Say.”

Today’s sponsors: Acura, the presenting sponsor of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Check out the all new Acura TLX at or test drive one for yourself at your local Acura dealer. And, Squarespace. Get a free trial and 10 percent off your first purchase when you visit and enter offer code GIST.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.