Texts From the Swamp

Hosted by Michelle Cottle, Ross Douthat, Carlos Lozada and Lydia Polgreen

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It can often feel as if politicians use a lot of words without saying much of anything. So how do journalists and citizens make sense of what’s said (and unsaid) in the many congressional reports, court decisions and campaign memoirs that pour out of Washington?

This week on “Matter of Opinion,” Carlos Lozada makes the case for reading the Capitol, and uses insights from his new book, “The Washington Book,” to help his co-hosts decode everyone from Donald Trump to Mike Pence to Barack Obama.

(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 48 hours of publication in the audio player above.)

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; source photograph by Philip Yabut/Getty Images

Recommended in this episode:

  • “The Washington Book” by Carlos Lozada

  • “What Were We Thinking” by Carlos Lozada

  • “The Woman at the Washington Zoo” by Marjorie Williams

  • “Postwar” by Tony Judt

  • “The Emerging Republican Majority” by Kevin Phillips

  • “The Emerging Democratic Majority” by John Judis and Ruy Teixeira

  • “Chain Reaction” by Thomas B. Edsall and Mary D. Edsall

  • “Dead Right” by David Frum

  • “The Grand New Party” by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam

  • “The Speechwriter” by Barton Swaim

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected].

Follow our hosts on X: Michelle Cottle (@mcottle), Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) and Carlos Lozada (@CarlosNYT).

“Matter of Opinion” is produced by Phoebe Lett, Derek Arthur and Sophia Alvarez Boyd. It is edited by Jordana Hochman. Mixing by Pat McCusker. Original music by Isaac Jones, Efim Shapiro, Carole Sabouraud, Sonia Herrero and Pat McCusker. Our fact-checking team is Kate Sinclair, Mary Marge Locker and Michelle Harris. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta and Kristina Samulewski. Our executive producer is Annie-Rose Strasser.

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