Radio Wolinsky

Nancy MacLean: How the Right-Wing Took Over the Courts

Nancy MacLean, author of “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America” in conversation with Richard Wolinsky.

Nancy MacLean’s 2017 book, “Democracy in Chains,” deals with the long game of the Koch brothers and their ilk, which may now have finally come to fruition with the Supreme Court legalizing bribery as “gratuities,” the overthrow of administrative protections in the areas of safety and the environment, and legalizing crimes by the President. The idea was to create a constitutional convention, which would codify laws in such a way that progressive regimes would be unable to move their programs forward, thanks to the courts, and based on how the Pinochet regime was able to control Chile after giving up power. That convention idea didn’t work in this country, but thanks to Mitch McConnell and his refusal to bring Obama nominees to a vote, followed by the Trump Administration’s packing of all the courts, the Koch plan wound up working anyway. In this interview, Nancy MacLean goes back to the origins of the plan, and brings us forward.

Duke University Professor Nancy MacLean, in researching the life of libertarian professor James Buchanan, discovered the philosophical underpinnings of what Hillary Clinton (almost unknowingly) called the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Funded by Charles Koch and other donors, they’ve taken over the GOP and have an agenda, she says, that ultimately will allow minority rule in the United States for the forseeable future.

In this interview, she discusses the role of Buchanan and the Mont Pelerin Society in the underpinnings of this gradual take-over of the state and federal government, and what the goals are, according to her research. Recorded in the KPFA studios October 20, 2017, and previously posted.