This episode aired on Aug. 31, 2012
While Romney, Ryan, Rubio, and Eastwood got the lion's share of attention during the Republican Convention this week, three one-time college Republicans who are now the party's real power-brokers -- Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist -- were busy doing what they do best: leveraging their political, religious, and financial resources to back pro-corporate, anti-government objectives at the core of the conservative agenda.
The true surprise at the Tampa convention was Ralph Reed's resurrection. When the former head of the Christian Coalition was discovered to have raked in millions of dollars from the super lobbyist -- and eventually convicted felon -- Jack Abramoff, Reed wound up in political purgatory. But outraged by the election of Barack Obama, and responding to what he describes as God's call (via Sean Hannity), Reed returned to start the Faith and Freedom Coalition with the aim of toppling Barack Obama from the White House. To succeed, Reed needs to win the allegiance of many of the trusting Christian followers he had duped and double-crossed while working with Abramoff.
This week, Moyers & Company tracks Reed's rise, fall, and return: does it signal a new revolution, or an old racket?
Later on the show, Bill talks with Mike Lofgren, a long-time Republican who describes modern corruption and dysfunction in both the Republican and Democratic parties. Lofgren's new book is The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted.
Bill Moyers (now retired) hosted a weekly hour of compelling conversation about the state of American democracy, featuring a range of scholars, activists, scientists, and newsmakers.