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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Tea Party is at a crossroads. Two years after it burst onto the national stage, there is no clear second act. Guest host Judy Muller looks at whether the Tea Party can survive as a potent force in American politics. Will it live within the Republican coalition or choose to hold fast to its small-government philosophy? After taking a hit in the elections and a drop in its approval ratings in the polls, can the Tea Party learn to compromise? Also, Michigan's Right-to-Work bill heads to the governor's desk, and the real-life heroine of the CIA hunt for Bin Laden is the inspiration for a new film. But her career isn't following a Hollywood script.

Banner image: Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 17, 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Producers:
Anna Scott
Frances Anderton
Christian Bordal

Main Topic Will the Tea Party Find a Second Act? 36 MIN, 32 SEC

In the 2010 midterm elections, members of the Tea Party swept into Congress with the fervor of true believers, vowing to cut spending and government regulation. But this year, voters sent some of them packing. Representatives Allen West and Joe Walsh -- two leading Tea Party figures -- lost re-election bids. Jim DeMint, a Tea Party leader, is resigning his Senate seat to take a job as the head of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. Several who remain in Congress have been kicked off coveted committees after not going along with Republican leaders on key votes. The movement is still a force within the GOP, but the 2012 election has weakened their position. According to polls, the Tea Party is experiencing record lows in public opinion. We look at what’s next for the Tea Party. Can it remain an influential force in American politics?

Guests:
Kate Zernike, New York Times (@kzernike)
E.J. Dionne, Brookings Institution (@EJDionne)
Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator (@AmSpec)
Chris Littleton, Littleton and Associates (@clittleton)

Boiling Mad

Kate Zernike

Reporter's Notebook The Real Life CIA Heroine of 'Zero Dark Thirty' 7 MIN, 12 SEC

The movie Zero Dark Thirty, which premieres next week, features a headstrong young woman as a CIA operative who doggedly tracks down Osama bin Laden. That character is based on a real person, known in the film as Maya. While that’s not her real name, much about the character is reportedly accurate. She spent years pursuing her conviction that al Qaeda’s courier network would lead to bin Laden, a conviction that proved correct. But her real-life career has followed a more problematic script, according to an article in today's Washington Post by intelligence reporter Greg Miller.

 

Guests:
Greg Miller, Washington Post (@gregpmiller)

The Interrogators

Chris and Greg Miller Mackey

Making News Michigan Right-to-Work Bill Heads to Governor's Desk 7 MIN, 36 SEC

In Michigan, long considered a stronghold of organized labor, the state legislature today approved a right-to-work bill limiting union strength in the public sector. Another bill focusing on the private sector was approved last week. Republican Governor Rick Snyder is expected to sign both as early as tomorrow. Hundreds of protestors gathered at the state capitol today, shouting, "Shame on you," even though the outcome of the vote was considered a foregone conclusion. Micheline Maynard is senior editor of Changing Gears, a public media project exploring the re-invention of the industrial Midwest, and a contributor to Forbes.

Guests:
Micheline Maynard, Forbes (@MickiMaynard)

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