tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 16, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EST
former house members about gridlock in washington dc. republican tom davis and democrat crossed, authors of the book, "the partisan divide," will be here. conjoint conversation on facebook and twitter. ♪ >> 43% of americans now identify as politically independent. that is the highest in the gallup poll ever. what is an independent and what do they believe, what is their impact on the political system? that will be our opening segment of "the washington journal." we want to hear why you are an independent. if you are an independent and live in the eastern time zone call 202 748 8001.
you can also make a comment via social media http://twitter.com/cspanwj at. you can also send an e-mail. record of a 3% of political independence -- 43% of political independence. democrats continue to hold a modest edge over republicans 30 226%. since 2008, the percentage of political independence has steadily climbed from 35% to the current 43%. the recent rise has come at the expense of both parties, but more along democrats than republicans over the last six years. democratic identification has
fallen from 36% to 30%. republican identification isn't down from 28% in 2008 2 26% last year. you can see this chart at 43% of americans identified as independent. 26% identify as republicans and 30% of democrats. 202748 84,000 is the number four eastern and 202748 8001 four mountain and pacific time zones. rich: will be out here. the partisan divide congress in crisis. there is a chapter on the role of independence in the book. here is a little bit of what they write.
a few fundamentals are important in understanding who independent voters tend to be. they are less partisan by nature due to electoral behavior. this is statistically a large difference between partisan and independence. that is not to say many independent do not behave as partisans, but on balance they are less inclined to do so. they are more moderate than party voters. survey after survey on topics from guns to abortion to taxes with independent voters in between the self-described republicans and self-described democrats. that is not to ignore the fact that there are many independents who are so registered and identified because they believe the republicans and democrats are not ideological enough. senator bernie sanders of vermont, an independent certainly fits that mold on the left. but on balance, they tend to be less ideological and more moderate. first call comes from clarence.
parents, why are you an independent and what does that mean? caller: i do not believe in either party. basically i used to be a police officer. in the past 25 or 30 years, both parties have adopted a technique of good cop and backup. it seems like it is the game they played. when they are in the office there are good. and vice versa. i think the american public is finally realizing. there is no immigrant and republican -- there is no two parties, there is only one. look at all of the fundamental facts of the parties. we are right now talking about terrorism in france where 12 people were killed, and it is absurd when there have been 25 people killed in chicago every day. terrorism is the only thing terrifying the public and it is
what both parties do and how they succeed. i will close on that point. host: what does an issue that is important to you? caller: pretty much the media. we have a conglomerate of the media owned by businesses. they are owned by the people who profit from all of this year. i mean profit immensely. when they complain about regulation and it made $29 billion in profit last year. it is absurd and we cannot have a head start. poor people are starving to death and we complain -- education is offered to the poor and middle class, which there is no middle class. if you cannot survive in this country with three paychecks, then you are poor. a lot of people believe they are middle-class when they are poor.
it is a fantasy. host: that was clarence in virginia. this is karen in illinois. what does it mean to be an independent in your view? caller: i am looking for a party in the middle and there isn't any. the republicans are far too bright and the democrats are far to left. host: can you give an issue that you think is -- caller: i think the republicans are an advocate for the rich. the democrat side, you have the parts of the left -- i do not like immigration policy that is coming out. i am not crazy about the education policy that pays for
two years of college. i do not think everybody needs to be in college. students do not take advantage of their primary education and then we will pay for extra education? i just think that taxpayers need a break. host: ok, karen. taking what you said, how do you vote in the 2012 election for president? caller: in the presidential election, i voted for obama because i could not vote for romney because i just could not vote for someone who sent jobs overseas. host: how did you vote in the last congressional election? you have a republican governor in illinois for the first time in a long time, how did you vote there? caller: for the governor? the same thing the republican candidate has a history of sending jobs overseas and i
cannot vote for any candidate that sends one job overseas. we need jobs in america. republicans do not seem to understand that. i promised myself i would vote for the republican candidate for governor because i really did not like the democratic governor. once he started running and i saw how he made his millions of dollars, i cannot vote for him. host: thank you. make in tennessee. what does being an independent me to you? caller: let me preface it this way, i was a liberal democrat, and so-called moderate republican. now i consider myself a constitutional conservative. i am one of those people who progresses and can be republicans or democrats. i cannot stand bibles, guns, while it, and constitutions.
my whole philosophy is since 1913 when the federal income tax came in place, the federal government has gone. it is a monster. we suffer from two diseases. little correctness and economic dope addiction. it is the bastardization of the language, i can elaborate. host: what do you mean by that very quickly? caller: the bastardization of the language? they take words like, pretty obvious, islamist terrorists in texas. it is considered workplace violence. they turn the language around to suit them. any progressive noun. the top tier in the republican party is progressives. we have a revolution coming up
in the republican party is evolving which i have all four. the democratic party, i am sorry. they are so stymied that it is impossible. finally, finally, people realized that the government is the problem. as ronald reagan put it. i am on that last, but i am for smaller government. that is a tall order. host: nick in fairview, tennessee. this is robert in california. good morning, robert. caller: good morning. how are you? host: why are you an independent? caller: i am still a registered democrat, that i am so disgusted with our president. it is incredibly disappointing.
you know, i am, that is all i can say. host: doesn't that make you an independent? would you consider voting for a republican? what is an issue that is important to you that the president has disappointed you want? caller: competency, honesty this obamacare is -- the lies deception, you know, either party i would vote for anyone that i deemed or believed to be honest and sincere. i think we have an integrity problem here with this administration. it is the worst i have ever seen. host: back to the partisan divide, former congressman frost and tom davis have written this along with rich color and. here is more from an independent
chapter. those who hold liberal and conservative views and hold strongly negative views of the other political party are far more likely to participate in the political process than the rest of the nation according to a research center. many states forbid independent from participating in primaries. restricting the electorate to more ideological resistance. other states allow independents to vote in party primaries and some states have no research and you can participate in party nominations because they have no party registration. in texas, good morning. what is an independent in your view? caller: it goes along with what you are saying there. independents have got a situation where in the primaries we do not have a choice. you go with the republicans or we go with the democrats. right now, i see a disconnect. there is a disconnect between
washington and both parties republican and democrat are not in any way addressing the issues of the middle class or of the regular electorate or people. we have serious problems that are not being addressed. for example, i saw someone criticize the media -- in the dallas, fort worth area where the muslims are coming out in a rally because they feel they have been slandered or insulted mohammed. i do not think we have any kind of issue other than provocation and what is the american people doing. all the political parties and people in washington do not say anything about it. the media does not say anything. issues like that make me an independent. depending on the issue is
whether i will vote for a democrat or republican. a lot of times as an independent, we have no choice especially in the primaries. host: spartanburg, south carolina. hi, george. caller: good morning. i independent and have been one for a long time. i actually taught american government, international studies, law for about 25 and 30 years. i am retired now. i have always felt that the independents were probably the fastest growing sector in the country. i think most people in this country are moderate centrist. i think that is why you have changes in congress and people want something done. i do not think you have mandates the way some of the extremists on either the left or right think when they go into an election. i think that is where the action is. for example, i believe and
support certain things that the democratic party supports like the health care, although i think obamacare has turned out to be a mess. i don't think they anticipated some of the problems there. i support gun control, but on the other hand, i support some economic proposals coming from the proposals. such as reforming the tax system especially corporate tax to get is on par with the other countries around the world so we can compete. i think that is where all the action is and that has white i have been independent. -- that is why i have been an independent. i have been teaching my class is more liberal, but i think a majority of the country is in the center and that is where elections are won or lost. the other thing is i believe, in terms of what we ought to do, we have to pay more attention to maybe what goes on around the world and use those folks
experiences and do some things in our form of government that we do not do. health care for example is a great example of that. we are one of the only industrialized countries in the world that has this discombobulated system with health insurance companies. host: as a political independent, have you felt sidelined in the political process when it comes to primaries sometimes? caller: yes. you know, here in south carolina when i was younger and growing up in college, it was all the democratic party. they were in control. you know, it was almost heresy to the republicans could win seats. as time went by, especially after reagan was elected, the
south shifted more toward the republicans. it is almost difficult sometimes to really find a home. i have always been the type of person who tends to vote on issues and the candidates rather than just going in and yanking a lever from one party or the other. host: thank you, we appreciate your time. here is a chart of partisan divide book. the authors will be out here later. you can see independent registration in some states. massachusetts even though it is a solid democratic state hitting 2% are independent. connecticut, 43%. new york, 26%. >> new jersey, 47%. >> colorado, 34%. california, 27%. maine, 40%.
58% in alaska. they consider themselves to be independents. who are the real independent voters? and how late different from party voters -- and how do they differ party voters question mark --? it is their tendency toward electoral aloofness. a 10 to be less interested, less involved, and less connected to the political process; and they are much less likely to vote. in close races, they tend to break for the winners. thus," races with party primaries and one party constituencies, independent voters are irrelevant. this is from the partisan divide . finally, as the old saying goes, liberals and conservatives have moderates and independent lives. howard is in california. hello. caller: good morning.
i have been an independent or most of my life, and the thing that bothers me the most nowadays are the corporate takeovers of both parties. i would point out that just recently at 35, a plane from what i understand, a jet fighter, will hardly fly. we still have $1.5 trillion on that plane and congress just recently voted in another 500 billion. how would that have helped affordable care act? and i support that. why would they not have a single-payer for that? gerrymandering seems to be the number one problem in america. i think that is why the conservatives and republicans just want all across the united states. it is not because everybody is conservative or liberal, gerrymandering has made it very hard for any independent or freethinker that is not with the party to actually get elected. host: you state doubt three
liberal or democratic positions how does that make you an independent? [laughter] caller: that is a good one. i just do not belong to the party, that is what makes me an independent. i do not identify with either party on paper. they do get to vote in the primaries, and we got rid of gerrymandering in california a few years back. we have a much more open process in california. you can vote for the first or second people with the highest votes, whether it is to democrat or one democrats. host: you have a winner takes all. caller: yes, and that is a great program i think. host: we have maria in woodberry, new jersey. why are you independent and what does it mean? caller: hello. the reason is because i have
been through all the changes of democrat and republican. as many have said, there is actually one party that is owned. they made it possible for people -- relatives of people in congress to be -- i think we need to have people on the ballot not with money. the constitution party and american citizens party need to get involved before 2016. the main thing i am an independent for is because we should not be involved in globalization. trade agreements should be abrogated and we should bring our troops and jobs back home. i think we can do it if we banned together. thank you to c-span. host: that was in maria. this is a call from alabama. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span, i love the show.
i am a long time independent. that means i look more at the candidate and particular issues, and that is what determines my vote. host: what is an issue that is important to you? caller: there are a variety of issues. for example, the opening up of relations with cuba. i think that is long overdue. i think there is a way to go about it and so forth, but i am surprised at how long it took. i am also a fan of securing the border, but we have to come up with a reasonable solution to deal with the 11 or 12 million illegals that are in the country already. just one day or two ago, for example, they have to secure the border to deal with the folks and take them into society and
let them become taxpayers and support forth. i think that made a lot of sense. i take issue -- you had a commentary on the editorial that talks about the tendencies toward aloofness, and i could not disagree with that more. i am very involved. i tried to understand issues and become involved in the understanding of them. i have heard this before, that independent do not have a lot of political resolve and i disagree with that. i'm sure there are some that are like that, but that part of the book is just wrong. host: back to "the partisan divide," which we have been reading from this morning. the co-authors will be out here a little bit later. we will take your calls and talk about issues. most independent r&d spectators and are not involved in the nomination process. not all self-professed independence came independently.
there is a substantial body of evidence to show that many self-declared independence are in fact partisans. political scientists, william they are in his classic book "the swing voter in american politics," notes that these hidden partisans "embrace the independent label and the residences of civic virtue associated with it but their actual attitudes and voting behavior are every bit as partisan as those who embrace party labels more openly," dale in massachusetts. caller: good morning. i was a republican and went to independent. there is no difference between either one of them. you know, i have an idea. we have a couple of years, less than a couple of years, until the next election. if c-span could have a series that deals with terminals. maybe have someone on from every state.
maybe one or two states a week or so and see if we can get a binding ballot question. to see what the people want. if you leave it up to the politicians, you know which way they are going to go. if c-span, if it is in your preemie, to let the people of america tell the politicians what we think and why we think it, and then -- and that has been much too long. host: jerry in north carolina. caller: peter, great sweater. host: a lot of pink there, isn't it? caller: yes, but it goes well. it goes well. i am from north carolina and down here, we are not called independents, we are called unaffiliated. from time to time, i have been a
registered democrat and a registered republican, it just depends on who i want to vote against in the primaries. i keep two e-mail addresses for political stuff. one is republican, obviously, and one is democratic, obviously. all they ever really say is that they want money. i have to admit that the republican side says some really hateful, hateful stuff. i tell you, it bums me out when i read that. but then, they both come back and say money, money, money. two dollars here, three dollars here. if they get you to give a little bit, he will keep on making you give. it will start a chain. as far as somebody for president , bernie sanders. host: you would not consider yourself to be a political moderate? is that fair? caller: you would really have to
say what a moderate is because some things i'm conservative on and something i am liberal on. i just, i think we have gotten away -- everybody has gotten away from the fact that we should all be americans and do what is best for the country. it just does not happen that way anymore. the first guy who called this morning with the comment about a bird has two wings and takes both to fly, but i think both of the parties are pretty much the same. republicans are packed -- republican playback and democrats way back and they do not talk about the good things they do. it is how republicans have gained the upper hand in congress, so all of a sudden we are talking about -- we have all
these jobs, and you know, that has been going on for five years now. when the republicans came out after the election the first thing they said was they have to prove they can govern. it sort of pulled -- told me everything about them. host: we are going to leave it there, jerry. there is a chapter on independence in "the partisan divide." independents are not moderates and voters, many are more ideologically intense ideologically than the partisan counterparts. still, in presidential races they become relevant and can hold the balance of power. independents can become more of a force in american politics when an participation levels improved in both primary and general elections. until that happens, they will continue to resemble spectators, rather than actual players.
carroll, san antonio. good morning to you. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. i'm an air force veteran and health care provider. i would like to say that the democrats and republicans are on the same team. they speak out of the side -- at both sides of their mouth and take as much money as they can from big business. they really do not give a flip about the people in this country. i say, as long as they stymie third parties, in primaries local, and usable elections, we will never have a decent government. thank you and god bless america and keep up the good work. host: doug in wilmington, north carolina. we are talking to independence only this one. why are you one? caller: ok, a friend of mine -- i was in a meeting about six or seven years ago, and a friend of mine left me a copy of a documentary by a gentleman named
aaron russo. he is a man in chicago who managed that midler and produced money -- a movie called trading places. he did a documentary about the constitutionality of the federal reserve's. whether the irs is in a agency or a private bank. what we have the constitutional right for the american people to control our monetary policy and look beyond. a look beyond because i went to a state business school and it taught us about monetary policy but they did not tell us the truth about the fed. this blew me out of the water. i wondered why our elected officials were not talking about our monetary policy and our national debt.
the reason we have a national debt is because of the federal reserve. therapist me towards becoming an end -- that pushed me towards becoming an independent. in this movie, they described it two party system. he goes, think of it this way. think of the democrats as the emptiness and republicans as generations and they are protecting a rocket. they are lying to the american people. basically, they are all out to line their own pockets and they do not give a rip about the electorate. host: we're going to leave it there. from the front page of the new york times hopeful leaders of the gop. " instead of joining party leaders at an annual or treat, senators rand paul and marco rubio could their tires on the presumptive 2016 campaigns.
mr. paul is making a cross-country swing to meet with supporters from new hampshire to arizona. mr. rubio spent the first part of the week rolling at his new book and will use the latter part to court donors. a third possible candidate senator ted cruz of texas decided not to skip the are the ring but still managed to poke party leaders in the eye on monday when he headlined a rival retreat hosted by the heritage foundation. in his speech there, he accused his party of putting forward a milquetoast agenda. this kind of clinical free agency, surfacing before the new republican-controlled senate has passed a single legislative priority of its own, is becoming an early test or the republican party as it looks to expand its power." danny from indiana, why are you an independent? caller: i was a democrat.
i went republican for reagan the one time. basically, i think of both parties are -- both are selling us out. the democrats, they have typically the party of the people for the people. they are playing good cop, bad cop with us. they have the same agenda, which is not for most americans. the media slices and dices and spins us in different directions. there is no one out there to vote for this last election. i voted everyone who is in office out from the school board to the senate. there were some independence that you could vote for. a couple noncommittal. i feel like our politics are correct from the school board up to the supreme court.
the problem is that we have no one to coalesce around. if someone would come forward as a strong presidential or senatorial candidate to come forward. both parties are just being -- going back and forth and doing what they want to do. they have some hidden agenda. host: how did you vote in these -- in the louisiana senate race? caller: i did not vote for mary landrieu. host: did you vote for her in the past? caller: i have. but i began to see her -- she is a corporate hack. she needed to go. even though she is a democratic, and i basically believe in democrat principles, she needed to go. she was not serving the democrat party agenda. host: thank you for calling in.
theron -- caller: i was raised in a democrat household. my first vote was republican -- i voted for reagan in the 1980's. i voted for the caucus in 1988. but i evolved into a libertarian. i am really more of a libertarian than everything, but you guys call me an independent so i figured i would let you know that there are a lot of people who are affiliated with libertarian or socialists or green party. and we all considered libertarian by c-span -- i see what you do that. but the republican and democratic parties are two sides of the same coin. if americans really evaluate their values, a lot of them with you there more libertarian, small l if not large l. host: thank you.
this treat says independence do not choose to be. they are indie by default when neither party represents them. center -- he pledged that republican leaders would not allow funding for the department at the homeland of security to expire under any circumstances. in florida. what is an independent to you and why are you an independent? caller: -- thomas jefferson james madison. quincy adams. the first person was federalist.
the second president was a federalist. andrew johnson was the first to run as a -- there was a hope that -- that is why we have the history. host: this is kevin in tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning. i hope everyone has a good day. i have been independent for years. i have been on both parties and suede back and forth -- swayed back and forth. they really do not have a choice in the primaries. we have to be in this or that party and then they label us as a third. all i wanted was the ability to
vote no. i hope everybody is listening. the true freedom is when they go into the election that we can say no, we do not want this person to represent us. we have always had to choose the tune what they used to -- why can we not say no? that would give us the power to put pressure on the political system to say no, enough is enough. host: what is an issue important to you? caller: freedom. host: what do you mean? caller: for us to the free to choose. that's what this show is about, right? host: choose what? caller: what we want. host: that was kevin in tennessee. this is don from quantico
maryland -- dawn from quantico, maryland. caller: i want to reply to the caller from tennessee. i concur. we do not have any freedom anymore. each day, i see them going away. host: can you give an example? caller: we fought for these freedoms since the korean war. you cannot say this, do this. that, to me, is not freedom. host: can you give an example of a freedom that has been taken away? caller: every -- everything. you cannot do anything. you cannot say -- freedom of speech is being able to say what you feel. when you say, oh that is a hate crime. and it is bullying. these kids have been believed for years and years.
it is the parents' job to teach their children. host: can you tie that into being an independent? caller: when we are born, we want to make the best choices we can make -- host: we moved to joe from pennsylvania. why are you an independent? caller: i started out in the 1980's as is deal worker. they regulated -- the regulations from the epa in the union activity killed my job. so ronald reagan said we are going to clean up america. and he started super funds. he said there will be many jobs. i invested my heart and soul, i did not have any money. but i went after it. i got myself to a point where my job built millions of dollars, no college degree. and then they reauthorized a superfund. by found out that a man owners
-- spent $50 million around in congress and our congressman gave independent repaid -- papers to write superfunds. that killed me. i am stuck with all this financing. fascism ruined the rest of my life. i recovered from it, thankfully, through help from friends and we educating myself to my parents mentors. fascism is killing this country. our alignment with israel is killing this country. 50% of our money goes to defense. what are we defending? host: tie that into being an independent. caller: i do not want to associate myself with people who sell us down the road. public health care, this affordable care act, may help us. who is helping me, nobody? host: that is joe from
pennsylvania. thank you for calling in and sharing your experience. from politico, condoleezza rice testifies in the cia leak's trial. the former secretary of state took a rare public appearance against a former cia -- she found herself describing another type of diplomacy through a federal court jury. the bush administration's effort in 2003 to kill a new york times story that threatened to reveal a cia effort to undermine iran's nuclear program by security providing tehran with flawed plans for an atomic weapon. christ told jurors that she was acting on the direct orders of president george w bush when she
asked of the times not to go forward with the article written by veteran national security correspondent james risen. the president and i talked about it and decided i should ask the new york times leadership to come to the white house for a meeting to discuss why that store should not be published," rice said during her nearly 45-minute stint thursday afternoon at the trial of an and-cia officer jeffrey sterling in alexandria, virginia. i suddenly understood the implications of the white house asking the new york times not to publish a story. that's why talkers to the president about whether we should even do so," rice added. she was greatly concerned when she heard the times had gone wind of the closely guarded cia program -- caller: had you know sugar and is outside of --
anyway. i will tell you what makes me an independent. i have basically been a republican my whole life. my family has a small business since 1960. my grandparents are survivors of the armenian genocide which cames to four -- which came before the holocaust. they had to go into hiding very similar to and frank -- anne frank. they love this country more than anything else. they came here not knowing how to speak english, had to teach themselves. i think everyone knows this story. but as i have grown up, and i'm about 51 years old now, i have seen how our whole political system has become more republican-democrat left-right, instead of what is right and what is wrong.
i feel like i am going around the country, or going around and my friends and family, saying can you not see this? can you not see what is happening to our country and that freedom is precious? it has lit a fire under me. that is what i would say i am independent. i want america to be strong. i want people to be -- to come together, not be torn apart. host: that is chrissy from chagrin falls. from the washington times a bid by mitt romney fails to inspire the gop. the potential for his third presidential bid is not playing well from party leaders and activists who are no longer sold on him, and say he is far from a shoo-in to win the nomination again. the republican convention july 18 through the 21st, 2016 in
cleveland. john in miami. why are you an independent? caller: i'm independent unfortunately because corporate money has taken over both political parties. i see how in the case of the embargo debate, you see on the one side, president obama appealing to agricultural business so u.s. taxpayers can pick up subsidies for the castro regime to enrich american corporations. on the other sides we have the incoming senate foreign relations committee, senator corker also echoing the obama administration that the embargo -- other cuban exiles left the republican party after many years because they found that both parties have a vested interest -- corporate interest most times -- that goes against the freedom of the american and
cuban people. host: anthony in temple hill maryland. go ahead. caller: how are you doing? host: i am good, how are you. caller: i want to echo that i like your sweater. i'm an independent because i put more in the belief of who is running. as i look forward to 2016, i really like chris christie, because he seems like he is -- he things on his own and is not led by other folks about what is right, by what i have seen. even though i have heard issues about his clashes with labor. ima disability police officer, so that was a concern. by am also excited about hillary clinton. and not looking at democrat or republican. i'm looking at who is the best for the country and who will go on the conviction to take the country forward.
host: how did you vote in 2012? caller: i voted for president obama home because i believe immigration and health care were major issues. i believe that health care medicine, need to be regulated. i believe everyone should have a right to health care and some type of care. and not have disease -- not pass disease or sickness around. host: how did you vote in europe governor's race -- in your governor's race. you voted republican? caller: i felt maryland was suffering from -- as a regular citizen, i have to take my car, my vehicle, and have an emissions test every year.
but city on government vehicles do not have to go through it. the issue of -- the solution as to what -- i was upset with that and the medicine, baltimore prompt pretty -- property. host: this is jimmy from greensboro, north carolina. caller: good morning, i hope everyone is ok. i have been an independent since my first election in 1980. i am a first-generation american. my dad was probably a stronger democrat. but, he taught me to vote for the person and not the party. i have never been a straight party man and never will be. i think independence equals balance.
i just cannot lean one way or -- i agree with so much of the right and so much of the left, but not the far ins -- ends of each. i am more in the middle and consider myself independent because i vote for the person, like one of your previous callers said. host: that is jimmy in greensboro, north carolina. this morning's discussion was based on this new poll out. in the u.s., 43% of americans consider themselves to be independence. that is a go pull in case you're in stairs that -- a gallup poll in case you're interested in reading that yourself. the director of the visa waiver program, we will speak with him. after that, we speak with former congressman, co-authors of "the
partisan divide." we have been looking at that book as well. you're watching the washington journal. ♪ >> the deadline for the c-span student cam video competition is tuesday. get your entries completed now. the theme is the three branches and you. complete a five to seven minute video. for a list of the rules, go to studentcam.org. >> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span two bret stephens
argues that our enemies and competitors are taking a broad -- taking advantage of the situation of broad. steve israel on his recent novel about a salesman and a top-secret government surveillance program. on american history tv on c-span, saturday at 8:00 eastern, professor john turner on the mormons in their attempt to create a zion in western america. the academy award-winning film about the forced the segregation of little rock's all-white high school. find a complete schedule at www.c-span.org. call us at 202-626-3400, e-mail us, or tweet us.
join the c-span conversation. >> washington journal continues. >> now joining us, marc frey former director of the visa waiver program. mr. fred, what is the visa waiver program? guest: good morning. i think it is important explaining what the program is an more portly, when it is not. it allows citizens of 38 countries to come to united states for short stays. this is an tourism purposes up to 90 days. provided that those countries meet strict security desk the visa waiver program waives the consular interview program -- portion. rather than going to the consulate and applying for a
tourism or a business meeting visa, not to come here for a job but for a business meeting, the department of homeland security waives that portion of the interview but puts in place another part of security requirements to compensate for that lack. host: what are some of the security requirements? guest: there are several. they operate on the individual traveler and the level of the participating government. one requirement is an individualized screening through what is known as the electronic system for travel authorization. this means that a prospective visa waiver program traveler must go online, still out a form including name, date of earth passport number, destination in the u.s., contact information -- a whole host of things which the dhs uses to vet that individual
through a variety of law enforcement and security databases. the same databases that visa applicants are vetted against. does for the individual traveler. that allows us to know whether he or she may cause a risk to the united states and we can deny travel. of course there is activity between the airlines and homeland security to say that when this person presents himself at plays like he's there, they did not pass the -- a visa is not guaranteed admission into the united states. yet the satisfied that you are eligible. does that the individual level. at the government level, countries are at -- required to adhere to standards, including sharing info with united states
about suspected terrorists and known criminals. we use that information to populate the screening databases i just talked about. our databases are made better because they are informed by our partner governments. number three and countries are required to submit to periodic audits. passport security standards, aviation security standards. this assures the u.s. government can see that their standards are up to our standards. if not, we can recommend changes and improvement. an understanding that even to make it into the program high-definition, usa every close and strong u.s. ally and partner. all this works together to create a strong platform to reduce risk to an individual traveler. host: if you or i wanted to go
to london or sydni, you would just go online, buy a ticket, and go. is it that simple for it to people in b's 38 countries if you lived in spain, france, or australia? guest: not quite. before i get to that, i would like to point out one more thing. one of the other requirements of the visa waiver program is that it is reciprocal. the reason we can get on a plane and go to paris or london or sydney without getting a visa is because these countries have the reciprocal arrangement with us. without the visa waiver program, you would be required to get a visa to go to london. to answer your question, it is not quite that simple. before any of this happens, you have two go online, alert the united states of who you are
the purpose of your travel. that information gets vetted. if it hits against one of these law enforcement databases, your authorization to board will be denied. there are other, multiple layers that dhs and the united states government employees for all travelers. we want to ensure that bad guys are not getting on planes. behind the scenes, there is a whole host of information sharing and auditing capabilities the dhs employees to make sure the countries are meeting standards we set. while the individual traveler, it may seem as simple as going on, applying for their -- esta, there is a lot that goes under the water to make traveling safe and secure. host: that are feinstein -- senator feinstein had this to say -- [video clip] >> it is my belief that the visa
waiver program is the achilles' heel of america. they can come back from training. they go through a visa waiver country, and they, into this country. there are no-fly lists, there are terrorist lists, but they are in the tens of thousands and even millions. it is difficult to ferret someone out. there are still in travel documents. there are large numbers that they can pick up a false passport etc. we have a big problem in their. -- there. i think we need to take a look at the visa waiver program and look at what we can do to prevent this kind of thing from happening because i believe it will happen if it has not already. host: mr. frey? guest: i am well aware of her criticisms. the are not new.
i guess i am disappointed to hear that because i think it reflects not quite as a detailed understanding of how the program operates as it could. but to take a couple of those points to illustrate what i mean. mentioned stolen travel documents and the ability to have false passports. one of the key requirements is all passengers must travel with electronic passports, and that holds information, including biographical information, and digital photographs custom and border officials can unlock. that does not exist for non-visa waiver programs. electronic passports are very hard to forge very it is not like you can cut out a picture laminate it, and show it to the
agent. they are complicated sophisticated documents. visa waiver is aware of that concern, and we have instituted these requirements. i would also say that when she says it is time to take a look at the visa waiver program, in theory, that is not a bad idea either. historically, the visa waiver has undergone a number of iterations of reform and in hansen -- enhancement. it has continuously been evolving in the face of current threats. the biggest such reform was in 2007, when it implemented some of the things are talked about like the electronic system for travel authorization. there are some things we can look for going forward to address current day traffic. in theory, and in general, i would agree with the center --
senator that it is worth looking at the visa waiver program like it is worth working at any program, -- worth looking at any program, but i would disagree when she says it is the achilles' heel, and previously she has used the term "soft underbelly." if she thinks it is a soft underbelly, i am not sure what the hardshell would be. it has quite a bit of security. >> the numbers are up on the screen if you would like to talk with marc frey, former director of the visa waiver program. 202 is the area code.
mr. mr. frey --mr. frey france is on the waiver list. we have seen what happened there recently. the people that committed the crimes over there, the terrorist act, could they have bought tickets to the u.s. since they were not being monitored by the french? guest: great question. in this case, no. these individuals were on the no-fly list. that information, provided by the french to us, most likely, would have prevented these individuals from getting on a plane. they could have bought tickets but once they started a process of boarding, they would have been denied. the underpinnings of the visa waiver program is the information-sharing relationship.
the thinking is and the theory is that the french, or the british, or the germans, have a better sense of who in their country are the potential bad guys, and they share that information with us, and we use that to enhance screening capabilities. in this case, no those two individuals could not have gotten on the plane. secondly, the dhs inspections audit process that i mentioned, one of the things it looks at his country's internal and external law enforcement capabilities. how good are they at identifying bad guys and tracking them? if we find flaws, we can work with them to improve. host: two countries want to be on the visa waiver program list? guest: yes, very much so. host: why? guest: it does facilitate
travel. it can be a difficult process to make travel arrangements to go to the capital, to get a visa in advance of your travel. with the visa waiver program you can do most of this online. the other thing is it is somewhat of a status symbol. you are in the club of recognized u.s. allies, and we get visa-free travel to those countries. it is such an incentive, in fact, that countries that have wanted to be in the program has taken steps to improve their security well in advance of programs as because they know it will meet u.s. and it eventually. i will give you an example. greece is a later entrant into the program. for quite a while, through the 1990's and the early-to thousands, the greek passport was notoriously poor.
the u.s. government told the greeks the only way you will qualify is if you revamp your passport system, which they did, to the extent that they simply invalidated all issued passports and started from the beginning which was quite a painful step, but a necessary one, and they did this several years before visa waiver program status was available to the. other countries -- to them. other countries begin signing these agreements with the united states that i mentioned, and begin to share this intelligence affirmation again, well in advance of visa waiver program membership. host: i notice canada is not on the list. guest: yes, canada is not on the list for a variety of historical reasons. both canada and mexico, for that
matter, have different visa status. they have much more frequent crossing. they have, in effect, a visa status, but it is not part of this program. host: do they have easier requirements? guest: i would say -- host: if we are living in toronto and we want to visit the u.s. for a week, can we buy a ticket and go? guest: you can buy a ticket. host: can you do that in mexico city? guest: you have to have a visa. i want to be careful here. i am a little out of my range but the issue is in some cases you do not. obviously there are many communities across both borders were there is frequent crossing and they have border crossing cards and there are ways to easily cross the border. i want to be careful. there is a visa requirement through mexico, probably more so
than there is for canada, and it is also important to be clear that with the visa waiver program in particular, we're talking about one category of travel -- short-term or business-related travel. student visas are not affected. host: let's take with -- calls. john in new york. democrats line. you are on with marc frey. caller: good morning. i have a question with respect to the countries on the list. with the philippines be one of them? guest: no, john. the philippines are not on the list. the ones in the asia pacific region are japan australia singapore, and perhaps a few others. host: why do you ask about the
philippines? guest: i have some friends interested in traveling to the united states. host: is that your only question? caller: that is my only question. host: even though the philippines has a unique status with the u.s.? guest: in general, you have to meet standards to be eligible. if a country is willing to do the work and meet u.s. requirements, they can begin the process, whether it is the philippines or the other. some countries are much closer either because of security-related issues or potential migration issues, but there is nothing to stop the philippines from engaging with the u.s. government and engaging this process. host: wasn't there a diplomatic snafu a couple of years back with brazil regarding this program? guest: i do not know if there
was a diplomatic snafu, but i know the u.s. and the brazilians have been engaged talking about whether this would be possible going forward. as most things with international negotiations, two steps forward, two steps back. i think it is making some progress. just last year, chile joined the program. it became the first latin american program -- country to join the program since uruguay was removed in the early-2000's and it should be expanded to countries that are able to meet the security requirements, and brazil is potentially one of the countries it could be expanded to. host: richard. pennsylvania. republican line. caller: good morning marc. i would like to ask you a couple of questions and make a statement, if i could.
currently, today in this country, we have interstate checkpoints along the southern, northern, east coast, and west coast, of government agents standing checkpoints and tearing apart american citizens' civil rights. they smash their windows, yank them out of their cars. they do not know the constitution, and when you explain it to them, they say no, sir, that is not right. it is not in the constitution. my question to you is why not trade the -- train these federal agents and put them on the border where they are needed to stop these people coming across the border and there is no one there to stop them, and spending all of this time delaying american citizens from going from one american state to another. host: richard, is that the only
point you would like to make? caller: no, i would like to know what this man is going to do about this. host: i do not know if this is in your daily work or not mr. frey. guest: i would say the majority of visa waiver travelers come to the u.s. by airports. they are not crossing land borders, so the visa waiver program is different. it is not an immigration program. it is the precise opposite. it is short-term stay, almost extensively air travel from europe asia, and now a bit from south america. i think these are two different issues. host: as someone who directed this program under 3, 4 years, under two administrations, would you like to see this program expanded? guest: absolutely.
when i was with the program we did the first major round of expansion in years and europe -- in europe, and south korea. i was there for expansion into greece, and it has been expanded into taiwan and chile. it raises security standards for everyone. to the extent that countries are able and willing to meet and then maintain the program, it definitely should be expanded. host: portsmouth, rhode island. democrat. caller: i think your idea of the computer chips on the passport is a great idea. i have a question that relates to getting out of the country -- if anyone has any idea how the female terrorist was able to travel from paris and get to syria. that is my comment basically. guest: thanks. i do not know that i can speak
specifically about this particular instance, but i would say one of the things the visa waiver program looks at, and that these audits that i mentioned check and review is the participating country's ability to know who the potential that actors are and know their movement -- to know when they had departed paris, and to know when they come back. some countries do a good job of this. some countries probably could do a little bit better of a job but the point of the visa waiver program is we have visibility at whether countries do a good job or bad jobs, and if it is the latter, we can give and technical assistance to help them bring their standards up to where we would like them to be. host: marc frey if someone from the u.s., a u.s. citizen, flew
over to a european country, but then went into syria, or one of the countries that is in turmoil right now, is that tracked by the homeland security department? are we aware? is the u.s. government aware of where we go? guest: yes and no. certainly, we get information from airlines based on a person's itinerary and booking information. that is particularly required for both -- well, it is particularly important for flight coming into the country. any last point of departure airport, for example, that has a direct flight back to the united states, the entire manifest of the plane is checked against multiple databases, whether you are under the visa waiver program or traveling with a visa the manifest is that it. -- vetted.
at the same time when making an outlined -- outbound fight, it is screened internally. we have less visibility if you have flown to europe, transferred to a third country and from there gone overland across a border. then, it is not about systematic tracking. it is about using intelligence capabilities and partnerships with friends and allies to track bad guys. if someone is on one of the lists, they will be flagged before they are able to get back into the united states. host: no african countries on the visa waiver program. guest: that is right. host:? --host: why? guest: primarily at historically
that has to do with the other half of the program 97 out of 100 applicants has to be historically approved by the state department, and that metric is largely about economic migration issues, not necessarily security ones, but it is part of the original law and it maintains as one of the requirements of the program, and historically, because of social economic issues, african countries have had a hard time getting under the 3% threshold and that is before one or more of these countries could potentially be to security requirements of the visa waiver program. host: mike. worcester, massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to ask how the underwear bomber and richard reid were able to enter this country. i understand the underwear
bomber did not even have a passport. guest: let me take the richard reid question. i am glad you brought that up. it comes up quite often. richard reid was a british citizen traveling under the visa waiver program. this was back in december, 2001. that is quite a long time ago and in the interim there has been a number of enhancements made to prevent another richard reid from happening. for example, the individualized screening that i mentioned that is part of the electronic system for travel authorization was not in place in 2001. it would be now. i think it is a bit telling that when people look for examples of bad actors exploiting the visa waiver program they have to go all the way back to 2001 and richard reid because, frankly, there are not any more recent
examples. one of the more recent examples, the underwear bomber -- i do not know that it is right he did not have a passport. i do know he did have a visa. he was not a visa waiver program traveler and that is not to criticize the visa program because after that there were enhancements made to mention the visa process improved as well. host: marc frey, how quickly can updates be done on people's profiles? guest: as soon as derogatory information comes in, and one of the benefits of the screening that i mentioned, even though it is valid for, two years, let's say, there is continuous vet done of the list. tin if you got it today,g but next week -- if you got it
today, if information is received next week, it could be revoked. once it is received, we feed the information to the systems, the systems are updated, so if you had an authorization, you could find the next time you show up at the airport it would be revoked. host: clyde. new jersey. go ahead with your question or comment for marc frey. caller: good morning, gentlemen. my question is, with the incident in paris, the whole world seems like they are uptight about the whole situation. i know we have the possibility of sleeping cells in the united states. i just wonder what is homeland security about the situation. thank you. guest: clyde, thanks for the
question. this issue of whether you call them sleeper cells or potentially radicalized individuals is important, and that is important for both european countries, or other alleys -- allies of hours in the visa waiver program, but it is equally important for the united states. his recent case of the young man in columbus, ohio, who allegedly had a thought to have put bombs -- pipe bombs at the capital and otherwise create terror -- it is homegrown radicalism. that is a very difficult problem. i do not know that that is exactly my area of expertise but i know various government agencies, homeland security, the fbi, and others, are aware of this problem and are doing their best to address them. host: no muslim countries on the list either, of the 38
countries. guest: actually, vern i is on the list. it is not because their muslim countries, of course. as i said before, every country theoretically, can qualify and meet the program standards. host: what about china? are they close to, would they like to be -- guest: i think china would like to have easier visa access to the united states. i do not think china is close, and i have not seen indications that they have been pressing hard to have visa waiver program status. remember, not only do you have to have a good sense that the people who come here will not overstay their 90-day period and we are comfortable with that for most of our european allies and asia pacific allies.
i do not know how comfortable we would be on whether the chinese would meet the threshold. the other threshold, and this is important, i mentioned the audits that dhs undertakes. they are very apprehensive. some might even say invasive. you have to have a level of cooperation with the host government that allows for very frank discussions of security capabilities and other things. so, i do not know that at this point in time we have a relationship with chinese leadership that would either one , put them in the bucket of close, u.s. allies, like other countries are, but on a practical level that they would be willing to open themselves up to the level of inspection that is actually required for a country to maintain membership in the visa waiver program. host: let's go back to that
imaginary buy a ticket and can we fly into beijing? guest: no, we would have to get a visa. host: so, anyone that visits china has to get a visa, and a -- do they have to show up here in washington or a chinese consulate? guest: yes, and i do not know how many consulates there are, but yes, that is required. host: marc frey, how did you get into this line of work? guest: instant -- interestingly, i got a phd in u.s. foreign policy, so it was natural i would come to washington, added that at the same time the department of lament security was standing up, and i saw it as -- homeland security was standing up, and i saw it as an
opportunity to engage in vital work, so i joined up. host: and what are you doing now? guest: i am working for international law firm based in washington on a number of international issues. host: sandra. shelbyville, indiana, or is that shelley bill, tennessee -- shelbyville tennessee? caller: indiana. i know the rules have changed in this administration. in 2013, a special visa was issued for the vice president of the international union of the muslim brotherhood. the president is not allowed into their face because he has vowed death to all jews. no one knew he was here until
there were pictures of him in the white house. when the white house was questioned about it, they said he was here to learn democracy. his remarks on facebook -- he was here to buy weapons. host: who was the person, one more time, the name? a --caller: abdu. host: is this a name you are familiar with, mr. frey? guest: no, i am not. i believe he had a visa. you mentioned he was from uzbekistan, and that is a bit outside of what we are talking about. host: what is the over-state
rate of the visa waiver program? guest: there has not been an over-stay rate published in a long time, but the last numbers show is a very small number, under 1%, perhaps under .5%, and it stands to reason that the people coming are coming to go shopping, go to disney, coming to travel and see the united states or close a business deal. they are not coming here to become immigrants. they have lives and relationships in their own countries. well this -- while the decision to overstay is an individual one, evidence shows visa waiver travelers to not over stay at very high rates and it is probably under 1%. host: last call. cecil.
north carolina. caller: hi. i would like to ask mr. frey about people with these visas. if i have a passport -- to my knowledge, a passport costs $150. i do not have any problem with that. i wonder why these people from 38 countries can travel better than i can within normal visa? is that right that i cannot use my passport? do i not have the type of freedom that the people from 38 countries have? host: once again, if you can explain the reciprocal roles. guest: that is right, seasonal
because of the 38 countries participating, most of europe, and most of the countries in the asia pacific region and latin america, you can go there with just your u.s. passport. what we are talking about in this case are non-us citizens coming to the united states. that is not u.s. citizens traveling elsewhere, and whatever citizen requirements those countries might impose. host: mr. frey, if you are in one of these 38 countries, do you have to prove economic security? is that part of the process? guest: it is, and these countries have met the economic refusal threshold. historically, 90% of the people that come -- 98% of the people that come have received it. and verifies that the country's's social's economic status -- country's social
economic status is up to par. the region argentina and paraguay were removed -- uruguay were removed were for economic issues. economies were collapsing down there, and there was a concern that would lead to economic migration, so the countries were removed from the program. that can happen for security reasons as well. countries can always be terminated if they fail to meet the standards. host: does an individual have to prove economic security in his or her country? guest: no. host: marc frey, former director of the visa waiver at the department of homeland security, thanks for being with us. guest: fix for having me -- thanks for having me. host: coming up up, the authors of this book, "the partisan divide -- congress in crisis." this is "the washington
journal." ♪ >> the c-span city tour travels to u.s. cities to learn about their historical -- literary lives. we travel to wheeling, west virginia. >> i wrote these books -- there are two volumes. the reason i thought it was important to collect these histories was wheeling transformed into an industrial city in the late part of the
19th century and early part of the 20th century, and it is uncommon in west virginia in that it drew immigrants from parts of europe here and search for economic opportunity. that generation, that immigrant generation, is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to report their stories and get information about the ethnic neighborhoods of a form. most people focus on the frontier history and the civil war history, and those periods are important, but of equal importance in my mind is the industrial period and the immigration that wheeling had. >> wheeling starts as an outpost on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states in the 1770's. the first project funded by the
federal government for road production was the national road that extended from cumberland maryland to wheeling, virginia, and when it comes here to wheeling, that will give this community, which at that time is about 50 years old, the real spurt that it needs for growth and over the next 20 to 25 years, the population of wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all of our events from wheeling saturday at noon eastern on c-span2 booktv, and sunday afternoon on c-span3. >> "washington journal of school continues. host: this morning, two long-time members of congress -- tom davis, martin frost
co-authors along with longtime political reporter rich cohen of this book, "the partisan divide -- congress in crisis." in your book gentlemen -- "either of us might have become speaker of the house, but our parties move away from us." how so? guest: well, we were both political moderates. tom was a leader in the republican party, so much so that when he wanted to run forces conspired to prevent him from getting the nomination. that speaks for himself. i was in congress for 28 years. i was a moderate democrat from a southern state, and then as now what my party is. the parties have changed. democratic party has become a more liberal party. the republican party has become a much more conservative party and their is not much room for moderates. host: esther davis.
guest: it is the -- mr. davis. guest: it is demonstrated that there is no middle. conservatives are republican. democrats are liberal. we make the point of how this came about. it is unprecedented really, in america. i left politics undefeated, not indicted, something i am proud of. in virginia, i was seen as a thread in the primary, so they concocted a convention, and it is fine. i would along and did something else with my life. host: tom davis, you are part of the congressional committee. you guys were the artisan pardon me, political hacks. guest: we were the pitbulls. host: i do not mean to be cynical, but all of a sudden now
congress is in crisis? guest: at me walk you through some of the things we talk about in this book. the parties in washington have lost control of this and it has been three macro factors that have taken place that have caused this. this did not come out of the blue. we have good members out there. dedicated people. they really cannot act the way they would probably like to. first is the advent of the single-party district. in the house we have 80% of these districts -- we know which parties will hold those seats in november. it is just a constitution formality. what really counts is the primary. members are putting their votes toward the base, and they're are the ones to participate in the nomination process, either in primaries, or in states like virginia, the convention system, which is more narrowly based. single-party district are caused by redistricting
gerrymandering residential voting patterns were people who think alike tend to live a lie and the voting rights on -- live alike, and the voting rights enclave. all you have in the house in the deep south is white republicans and black democrats and no need to talk to each other. guest: two other factors have come in with media models that cater to a certain thought group. they are successful business models. they work. it is on cable news, talk radio internet websites. basically, the information people are getting, particularly the activists, tend to be pretty one-sided. finally, you have the campaign-finance reform that is worse than ever. the money did not disappear. it is out on the wings.
basically, that is a story. guest: i want to go to your original question because it is an interesting one. tom and i are both partisans. he was a partisan republican. i was a partisan democrat. in the final analysis, we believe you could cover my zen meet in the middle. he could be a strong republican, i could be a strong democrat, but that did not mean we could not ultimately talk to each other. what has happened in the current system because the threat is now in a primary, if harry public in talks to a democrat, suggests they might that if he, the republican talks to a democrat suggests that they might meet, it suggests he would consider voting on their side and the same thing could happen on the democratic side. the democrats as i would like to work with republicans on the chichi, they are subject -- on
this issue, they are subject to a challenge by their own party. the real election is in the primary. that does not mean many incumbents lose the primaries, but it means they change their behavior from -- to prevent a primary challenge from occurring and that is bad for the system. guest: we have a good subchapter on eric cantor's defeat in virginia. this is in the chapter called "all politics is no longer local." host: congressman frost, let's go to the gerrymandering issue. there is a chart where you show the presidential election percentages, but then you sell -- show the congressional seats underneath and in pennsylvania michigan ohio, the republicans hold the majority of the congressional seats -- and all three states won by the democratic nominee. guest: that is correct.
what has happened is you have to do we want types of gerrymandering. one is wrong, political gerrymandering that has happened in western states, northern states, what you are describing in michigan, pennsylvania, and ohio, where republicans control the legislature and they use their political power to draw republican districts and minimize republican districts. the other gerrymandering happened in the south, and did not happen this way. republicans, shrewdly, in some states, were able to make deals with black leadership. blacks had been excluded from congress. the voting rights act sought to change that. blacks deserved representations and what the republicans did in some states was say to the black community is let's get a fake district, give you a 75% -- let's get a faith district, give
you 75% african-americans, and what it did was remove african-americans from surrounding districts so that democrats would have no chance -- that would be no coalitions possible. you have to do we will different types of gerrymandering, one was racial gerrymandering, primarily in the south, which republicans play to their advantage, and the second was in the north and the midwest, which was raw political power to draw as many districts as we can. the problem is that can change. every 10 years there is a new senses, new redistricting, and who is to say the democrats cannot control posted the next time around and use gerrymandering against the republicans? what we suggested is let's have bipartisan commissions in every state where you get together. right now, there are five states where you do that and those states, those districts are more competitive.
arizona, california, iowa, new jersey washington, you have more competitive seats this both parties can draw a reasonable districts for a number of swing district and that makes the process move better. guest: the most creative districts are pennsylvania and maryland. this is modern art when you take a look at this issue. very creative. when leaders look at this, it does not pass the sniff test in terms of what these districts look like. we have a long chapter on race in this book that people do not like to talk about. both of us are from southern districts. we discussed the history of this and what it means, and we do not agree, but we comment on each other's -- for readers that want to know the history and how it has occurred -- the one policy question, 50 years after the voting rights act that is supposed to bring the country together, it has had the
unintended consequence of keeping things divided because black democrats not to talk to whites to get elected, and whites do not have to talk to blacks to get elected, so they tend to ignore them. instead of bringing us together, we continue these divisions. guest: the just the thing we point out in this chapter is in the last 20 years the makeup of the voting population nationwide has changed rather dramatically. 20 years ago, 22 years ago now in 1992, the electorate was 87% white. in the last election, two years ago, the electorate was 72% white. publicans have been trying to run up the score against white voters fishing in a diminishing pool. it will be very hard for them to win presidential elections if they do not successfully reach out to minority voters, and the problem is hispanics are the largest growing minority in the country, and republicans keep giving them the stiff arm saying
we do not want to have immigration reform. if the republicans could figure this out they would still be competitive in a presidential race. if they do not figure it out, he will have divided government for a long time in most normal situations. guest: the system favors democrats for president, the governments for congress, so you have divided government. guest: we spend a chapter on that called the new normal divided government. host: and this is your chance to talk to italy will former longtime --two former longtime congressman. martin frost, tom davis, who have written a book, "the partisan divide." here are the blurbs at the end of the book to give you a sense of the bipartisanship.
those are some of the people that endorsed the book. we have barely scratched the surface in what is in here. charlotte. tallahassee. democrats line. you are on. caller: good morning gentlemen c-span, and happy new year to brian lamb and c-span. i wanted to speak about the state of the voting rights act. mr. davis there was sharing that the voting rights act, in his commentary, was the reason for the partisan divide and the gerrymandering that we now have. guest: i disagree with that. guest: it is an unintended
consequence, not the reason. caller: without the voting rights act black citizens would not have -- that is not the reason for the gerrymandering. gerrymandering is because a legislatures have created the value of partisan divide because of their preference of party politics. i wanted to say if i could, 15 states in 2014 were the first directive states to create new restrictions on voting rights, and those states were primarily states that created them were republicans. host: all right, charlotte. guest: she is raising a question and tom and i have strong views. guest: it is a good question. guest: what she is talking about
is the voter id laws where you have to show a photo id and a discriminate against minorities, old people, because in some states say you have to show a driver's license to a lot of people in this country -- drivers license. a lot of people in this country do not have a drivers license. in texas, you can use a hunting license, but not a school id here in -- id. they were designed to limit the rights to vote and limit people sympathetic to the democratic party. they are being challenged in court. it is going to the supreme court, and hopefully we will get clarity. guest: i will give a different perspective. guest: this is one we disagree on. guest: you want to be reasonable. you do not want to stop anyone from voting, but you ought to be able to show an id. it stops fraud. a survey shows there are over 10
million voters illegally registered in this country. it protects my vote for someone to show some kind of identification. you do not need to make a burdensome. political regimes will always pass rules that help them, not help the other side. when democrats get in, the first thing they do is say let's let felons vote. guest: people that have served their time. guest: you can have good policy arguments on both, but i'm just saying there is wrong politics on both sides. guest: efforts to restrict the electorate are not good for the country. the country does best when the largest number of people vote. guest: vote legally. host: in the chapter "the way forward," "two suggestions -- bring back your marks and accommodate more bipartisan
fraternization." guest: for the first 150 years of the republic, earmarks were the way projects were funded. this was a huge transfer of legislative power to the executive branch when congress walked away from earmarks. it is ironic that republicans are suing the president for getting to their areas and is serving power when they have given him the power to have earmarks for solyndras of the world. earmarks give everyone skin in the game. members can designate project it gives them a reason to vote thanks. since they took as a, you're not had freestanding appropriation bills. everything is an omnibus, or a c
romnibus. members have a reason to vote for something, and that brings people together. if that is them with appropriate transparency appropriate metrics, i think it is a healthy thing, and it will help bring congress together. on the fraternization thing, we meet every week, martin the chairman of the democratic caucus, the chairman of the republican caucus, we would be up there and it is important to get people together to talk about why we are really here. we used to do that. lisa have bipartisan enclaves, but our own rules -- we used to have bipartisan enclaves, but our own ethic rules make it difficult. guest: it is not an either/or proposition. it is not either you have earmarks earmark -- or all kind
of earmarks. you had to have your name attached so we knew where it came from. secondly limit earmarks to your own congressional district if you are a congressman, to your own state. you had abuses. my former college classmate, who i did not know in college, duke cunningham, both went to the university of missouri the same year, did not know him, was a congressman from san diego. he used earmarks and took bribes from defense contractors to earmark projects. of course that is wrong. there is a constructive way to do earmarks. the business community in texas came to me in texas -- they were not all democrats, but i had a way of getting things done. the republican represented north dallas and his constituents to not believe in the use of federal funds for mass transit. a democratic, snap-on other part
of the county did not want mass transit -- congressman from another part of the county did not want mass transit. not in my backyard. i was the only one that favored mass transit for the city of dallas, and i was able to get an earmark and we now have one of the finest light rail systems in the country and it was with the support of the business community because dallas was the largest city in the country that did not have mass transit. it was a constructive use of earmarks. host: has the lack of order on capitol hill hurt the congressional committees? guest: it killed the committees in general because you have separate offices. guest: you ought to be able to have a full committee process were people vote in committee, and you ought to be able to offer amendments on the floor. that is what we are talking about in regular order, rather
than something been cooked up in the office of the speaker. that has occurred with both democratic and republican speakers. that is not the province of one party. hopefully we will move away from that. host: dave. annandale, virginia, republican line, a district that tom davis used to represent. caller: yes i am at the corner of tom davis drive at the post office. guest: my wife wanted me to ask about that and she sighed and wanted to know if that was named for -- saw it and wanted to know if it was named for tom? caller: what mr. mcdonald did was wrong i want his grades -- host: we will have to condense
that. virginia politics. guest: on the mcdonald deal, everyone knows taking gifts was illegal. if the recipient thought he was getting something in return, and this went to a jury, and they made that assumption -- it will be on appeal at this point. it was not the gift, but the conspiracy behind i am going to take this and deliver something. it is not clear to a lot of us that mr. williams got anything in return. it went to a jury, and the jury made his decision. guest: i will not get into what happened in that case. i now live in northern virginia. i live in alexandria virginia, and virginia, in recent years has had good state government. what happened with the most recent governor was an aberration. host: do you think virginia should continue to restrict the governor to one term? guest: that is a good question.
my wife in the state senate chaired a committee to look at that, and some of them recommended a six-year term. i do not believe in term limits. iran my first time, and we are the only state in the country. it used to be the south in general, many states had one limit. once in a while, a populous government would come in and four years, and they were out. guest: my state of texas might have some problems, but we never went along with this before missed stuff we do not have term limits, and we seem to have gotten along fine. guest: i am glad you said that. the theory of a term -- four years, full-time attention to doing the right thing, but if you go back to georgetown, doug
wilder, they were all running for president. i think maccoll was the one that was not running for president. guest: you never know. do not say never. host: do either of ucl at oral offices in your future? -- do either of you see elected office in your future guest: i do not see it. guest: i am purposely content where i am. i've started teaching a course at night. i know tom to use a course at george mason. i am chairman of the board for the national endowment for democracy, very important organization. i found there are plenty of things to do. guest: i am the chairman of the board of trustees at george
mason university, the largest university in the state. we have had two nobel prize winners and one final four basketball team. guest: i do hope that good people continue to run for office because our system needs bright capable, younger people running for all of us on the local level, and ultimately the federal level, if the system will survive. host: tyler, binghamton, new york. thanks for holding. caller: thanks for taking my call. i have been listening for a little while now, and my question is -- i think it is pretty apparent in the media and among the american citizens that this hyper polarization of the government and of congress is causing a lot of problems, so my question for you gentlemen, is what you think is still feeling the? i think people in congress representatives, they understand this. they know the american people can see this divide and that it
is doing harm. what is the incentive? host: i want to make sure we are kind of equal here. mr. frost, if you could start this time. guest: have talked about some of these things. one of the problems -- you have to understand how significant this is, and what a problem this is for the way congress operates. with these one-party districts -- safe, one-party districts people do not have to work across party lines anymore. there is no incentive to cooperate, because if a republican member talks about cooperating with a democrat or working on a bipartisan basis, the republican member is subject to a very serious challenge in his or her own primary sometimes fueled by outside money that is not even reported. the dark money the c4's will attack a member because that ember suggest they should be bipartisan -- that member even
suggest they should be bipartisan. that should change because the democracy does not function well when a member of congress is afraid to cast a tough vote, afraid to talk to the other side, because in the next election they will have a couple million dollar spent against them in a low-turnout primary, and they could lose. guest: even in the senate, you had four states where the presidential election was within five percentage points. that is a huge seachange from 25 years ago. single-party constituencies -- as we said before, it is not just gerrymandering. it is residential patterns and we spent a lot of time talking about this in the book -- all members, they have to pay attention to their primary voters, and primary voters are a narrow, ideological slice of the total electorate. they tend to punish compromise. i would just say our subchapter on eric cantor's election
illustrates this. guest: we have made specific suggestions, not just having bipartisan commissions draw districts, but also requiring full disclosure, money spent in campaigns. right now, we are suggesting that congress has a law that says that anyone or only organization, any entity that mentions a candidate by name has to disclose all its contributors. congress can do that tomorrow. congress has not done that. we have also suggested having a national primary day. one of the problems as you have low turnouts in primaries now. so eight well organized local organization can control the primary. there would be more media attention focused on what is going on. you have to do something to break the string hold of a very
small, well organized groups that can threaten an incumbent in a primary with money that is not disclosed. our system is a good system. unfortunately, we have had some things happen in recent years that have made it more difficult for our system to function. guest: we have straight ticket voting. we have a chapter called all politics is no longer local where we point out that now in congressional races, it is no longer people voting for the person people -- people basically vote for the party. it is not in the book, what it happened after he wrote the book but the maryland republican chairman wins a packed primary and goes on to win the general election. with virtually no roots in the district against every who had been there a long time. host: from fall 2008 th one vignettes from the back room was a discussion from a conservative district who said i hope you
guys pass this bill. great, we are glad to have your vote. this is close. he replied, oh, i can vote for this -- can't vote for this. i just hope it passes. i could never explain us back home. guest: tom's vignette. host: yes, it is. is this frequent for both of you? guest: yes, it is more frequent today than it used to be. in the old days, the people who casted the tough votes were from a safe district, and if you're from a marginal seat, you are given a pass. they don't consider them safe. but they are not safe and they're worried about the primaries. we call it the hope but no cost. and it is a pre-consistent group up there on capitol hill right now. guest: and i have talked about - in terms of talking- and going back.
guest: i statement on texas is 2 to 1. some of the republican congressman that i know personally are very fine individuals that would like to work on a bipartisan basis. they would like to meet somewhere in the middle, but they won't do it, can't do it because they are afraid of being defeated in the primary. we somehow have to find a way where we can go back to a time when members would like to work across the aisle feel comfortable in doing it and they don't feel threatened every day of their lives that they even suggest that they might do that. host: the book is called "the partisan divide: congress in crisis". go ahead the democrats line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. when i think of this, i think you guys are right on. there is a definite partisan divide.
my parents were both moderate republicans, but they later turned both democrat and remained that way until they died. and i had always been a kind of moderate democrat. ok, they changed after nixon but after george w. bush, i -- i flew really far to the left. you know, to the left side. and, i mean, i think after george w. bush 's -- he would have one, and it showed that the congress and the white house were all democrat. i think that it is just a cautionary tale that -- that if we remain, you know, if the white house, whoever is president, remains moderate, this partisan divide will subside.
host: ok, joy. i think we got a lot there. let's talk to tom davis about that. guest: joy, i appreciate your comments. a couple things. we have a chapter in the book called to the new normal. 80% of the time since 1980 we have had a divided government. three times, we have had midterm elections where one party controlled the presidency, the house, and the senate. each ensuing midterm election, the voters threw them out. voters really don't trust either party. the irony is that about for a percent of americans are self-described independents. the problem is they don't participate in the primaries. and they are drawn out of the safe districts. so, you know, when you put it together. you have a narrow slice of the electric controlling the majority of these districts. i think i will stop right there but that is the difficulty for somebody who wants to be a
moderate, they are not allowed to act that way because the primary voters will not reward that behavior. guest: and assisting experiment going on in california right now. california change their electoral system so that now everybody can run in a primary regardless of party. you can have 10 candidates in the primary, and it is the top two who make the runoff and are then in the general election. so that permits moderate candidates to have a chance. maybe one of those moderates makes it through the system and gets to the final two. whereas under the current system, and many states, the moderates are screened out in the primary process. in california, sometimes you run up with two democrats having to run against each other, or to republicans running against each other. it remains to be seen how the system will work, but at least they are experimenting. at least they tried in california to make it more possible to have a broader range of people competing for office.
let's see how that goes. guest: louisiana has that suit tradition -- situation, as well. to republicans ended in a runoff. one republican when over to the african-american vote in the district. so the democrats, if you will, the lack voters in the district went behind him and ended up winning the special. with democratic votes in a republican runoff. so democrats mattered in that district. independents mattered. he ended up kissing his girlfriend on camera. [laughter] but what happened was the special indicative of the dynamic. guest: we the oldest continuous democracy in the world. our system has somehow managed to survive, and we have survived by making changes. by renewing ourselves. by being willing to consider new
things. we had some very bad practices in the past we had a bowl tax in the south, even some states had an all-white primary. we have eliminated those. we are now at a point where we need to consider making some more changes so that we will continue to be a vibrant democracy. host: farmingdale, new jersey. independent line. good morning. caller: hello. host: where listening, sir. caller: hours wondering whether either of you two gentlemen have discussed increasing the number of members of the house of representatives? there hasn't been an increase since 1910. up to that time, it had been increased every -- host: do think that is what happened? caller: yes, i do. guest: when i was first elected, i think i had hundred and 34,000
people in my district. the district kept getting larger. the problem with this -- people may have trouble understanding this, it is a crazy problem -- you have to build a new office building. if you wanted to make the house larger, you could clearly do that. you could have smaller constituencies. guest: well, i ask again a bill passed in the house that increased the house. it allowed district of columbia to have a vote. it would've have been a democratic and republican seat coming in. in 1958, they increase the house to allow alaska and hawaii to come in. so, there is presence for that. it is within the power of the house. i don't think either party right now thinks it is to their advantage. host: so, tom davis, people are going to see your maneuver and
say, ok, again protecting your own. you're going to protect your republican seats. you are going to guarantee a democratic seat in washington dc. is that just politics? guest: well, it is politics, but it is also the nation's capital -- i thought the capital of the free world to have the ruling congress. we are spending billions of dollars to bring democracy to baghdad and afghanistan, and we don't allow the nations capital to have a vote in the house? the only way i can get votes is to add a votes that would balance that. that is why alaska and hawaii were brought in. they used to do one slave state and 19. it is politics 101, but it is how you get things done. guest: the issue of puerto rico. if puerto rico were to become a state, puerto rico would be entitled to five or six
congressman because of its population. so you would have to expand the house. you're not going to take congressional districts away from other states. the problem with that -- if they elect all democrats republicans are not going to --death guest:, i don't think that is right. you know they have a series of republican members down there. host: can democrats be competitive in texas again? and can republicans be competitive in california again? guest: in texas, it is going to take a while. but time is on our side. the question is how long is that? the population at texas keeps growing here it republicans keep giving hispanics the stiff arm saying we don't want you. turnout among hispanics in texas is not been as high as among other groups. it is not good happen overnight.
eventually, texas will be a purple state. but question is when. without we had a pretty good candidate for governor last time . she didn't end up getting a wide percentage of the vote. texas is still a very tough state for democrats, but time is on our side. guest: i mean, can they stay competitive? that has been difficult for them to win the state wide races in the california. what killed the republicans in california is not just the rising minority vote, which they are getting no share at all to speak of, except of in the valley, but we have some candidate to have made those adjustments, but the cultural issues. cultural issues along the coast. there is only one republican in california who has a pacific ocean seat. every other district -- everything else, even the orange county seat, they are inlets now. but these to be solidly republican. but because of some of the cultural views-- whether it is
drugs, gay rights, some of these other issues -- people who -- abortion -- these issues have hurt the republican constituencies in california. guest: my guess about texas is that when we have a really attractive, really articulate experienced hispanic run statewide is a democrat, it could get very interesting. we have some younger hispanics. we have the castro twins, one of whom is in congress. we have others that i know could be very, very good statewide candidates. that may be the thing that finally pushes the democrats -- the state into being democratic. guest: the audi group--
host: this tweet -- is it to that of the vote for speaker were secret, boehner would not have one? guest: i think he probably would have done better. the reality is, you had a lot of interest groups out there that were scoring this. voters that were scoring this on the right. and i think for that reason, you know -- guest: i don't think that people say would have gotten any more votes if it had gotten close. host: is there a divide between the leadership and the rank-and-file, as it were, in each caucus? guest: there is a bigger divide on the republican side. guest: there is a bigger divide on our side. when you have a president come you can of bring people together. what happens today is when the president party in congress follows the party. it is no longer a separation of powers. it becomes almost parliamentary in its behavior. on the other hand, the more nonie -- minority party
considers themselves the opposition party. instead of mitigating adverse effects and offers members of your districts know on everything -- jill kelley sigrid vote for speaker -- he got thousands of calls in his office saying, dump boehner. so you had this huge push - we talked about the polarized media and the like and the growth of the internet and electronic communications -- that have basically been polarizing the members. they were afraid to cast that vote. spam democrats basically are in
agreement at this point on most major issues. the issues in the past were there has been some disagreement in the democratic party have been on trade and national defense. if you go to a system where you have a fair redistricting system, i think you would probably have more democrats which would be off the reservation on those kind of issues. host: all right. john, maryland. the independent line. caller: good morning guys. my question is about gerrymandering and redistricting. is it feasible or even reasonable that you guys would maybe create a law or a mandate where you would mathematically kind of decide what the districts are? so if you had maybe the narrowest part of the district couldn't be more than like, one half. guest: it is interesting. congress, a number of years ago, did adopt some standards on what should districts-- what
district should look like. congress has the authority, the power, under the constitution to pass legislation requiring nonpartisan, or bipartisan, commissions to create districts. they also have the power to require compact districts --i don't know mathematically how this works -- but to not permit the strangely shaped districts. whether congress ever dues that -- does that is another matter. under the current congress, they are not going to pass a law that does any of these things. and that is unfortunate. guest: the reasonable answer is yes. host: you are on with tom davis and martin frost spirit caller: good morning. i wanted to talk about term limits. i know that tom mentioned he is
against term limits; however, our system was never meant to have full-time, college degree politicians. that is not what we are supposed to have. it is supposed be a government of the people, by the people. our population is growing. and yet the number of politicians seems to be getting smaller and smaller and smaller. guest: could i start on that? it is a very interesting question. and the united states supreme court, whether you like them or not, has spoken on the subject. the supreme court said in a ruling some years ago that you could not have term limits for federal office. their reasoning was that the constitution has the qualifications for being a member of congress. you have to be 25 years old, a house number 30 years old, a resident of the state you're running from, and those are the only requirements.
and you cannot add to the requirement. the supreme court said you could not impose term limits on top of the existing requirements in the constitution. the only way to do it would be to amend the constitution. that requires a vote of two thirds of both houses -- it is conceivable there could be some grassroots movement for term limits, but the only way you cut a compass that on a federal level it by amending the u.s. constitution. guest: the seminal case -- i voted for term limits in a constitutional -- and a constitutional amendment in my first term in congress. you go to the state council than the state senate, then the board of supervisors. yes, it is a professional class. and you take the voters out of it. you lose a lot of institutional knowledge when you limit that, and i think that is really important.
i think one of the issues in congress now is that have so many new people. you don't have a lot of people who understand the way things ought to work. my thinking has evolved on that. i voted for the constitutional amendment change when i first came to congress, but i think now, probably the voters are the ones who should put term limits on, not some institutional bias. guest: and i am opposed to term limits because, one, it gives power to the bureaucracy. you have or get congressman coming in every few years, and the career bureaucrats would have even more power. and it cedes power to the lobbyists and the interest groups. the current system, where people can run for as many terms as they want -- the only check being that the public and decide whether to keep them or not keep them -- i think that works
better than having artificial term limits. california has been a cast because of term limits because the legislator keeps having an expense people around. host: derailment, politically could you have written this book while you're in congress? guest: no. it is much easier to make observations once you are out. guest: no. that too many groups being candid about these things. guest: also, it helps to be out for a while, step back, and look at all of this. i mean, i have been out for 10 years now. tom has not been out quite that long. but it has given me a perspective. and i continue to be interested in politics, i continue to work and help democrats get elected but i have a different view now now that i no longer have to walk in a cast votes every day. no longer have two brought in raise millions of dollars to be reelected. so i think this would have been a very difficult book to read
while i was still in congress. guest: a number of members have read this book, and i think we have been pretty good reviews from members say, right on. host: in effect, you guys right the president party in congress has simply become an appendage of the executive branch. don in myrtle beach. the republican line. thank you for holding. caller: well, thank you. good morning, gentlemen. the reason i am calling --i really getting a kick out of
watching the show this money. you're talking about how we can all get along together. well, you all getting along over the years has brought us $18 trillion in debt. medicare and medicaid will be stopped in the future years. all you really care about is the governing class in washington. you're not fooling anybody with this charade and this book. what you both want is not to be rocked by people like the tea party. and i forget the senator's name on the democratic side -- to run for president. guest: i understand what you -- caller: i'm sorry, what, sir? caller: those are the two that walked-- -- that rocked the boat the most. caller: so all this conversation this morning -- all you care about is to keep government growing. and keeping your club intact,
that is all you guys care about. host: tom in myrtle beach. guest: well, thanks for the kind words. i just want to add that i supported a balanced budget. sooner or later, we know where this game and. you cannot continue to borrow and spend away. but you know, getting up there and saying no doesn't solve anything at all. just doing sequestration and attacking pieces of the budget doesn't solve it. really, the growth of money that you are spending is an entitlement. i have supported raising the age for social security retirement. if he is more familiar with my record -- at the end of the day, you have to come to some agreement. guest: i have family in south carolina --not in myrtle beach,
but in other parts of south carolina --and i have heard that some of them are sour. look, our interests in times of crisis --and we do have some potential economic crisis facing this country -- that you'd be able to work across party lines. that doesn't mean you have to agree on everything, but right before world war ii, when -- the draft was extended by one vote. a single vote. that was done on a bipartisan basis. when the civil rights acts were passed -- the 64 act and the 65 act, lyndon johnson was president, and he had a number of people from the south who were opposed and who were going to filibuster it in the senate. he went to the republican leader and said -- you are from the state of illinois, from the state of lincoln.
we need your help on this important legislation. in fact, democrats and republicans joined together and passed landmark legislation that was clearly in the best interest of our country. so you do need the ability to work together. not on everything, there are going to be some strong differences. we are not suggesting that a party shouldn't stand for principles. but there should be the opportunity for them when there are serious options facing the question that they can come together and solve it. ronald reagan, a republican, came up with a solution to solve social security for a long. of time -- period of time. that was done on a bipartisan basis. there is a need for the two parties to work together. not on everything and not to give up printable, but when there are major problems facing
the country, there needs to be bipartisanship. host: you were a congressman when medicare part d past. was it open for several hours? guest: three hours. i picked up three democrats on that. i can walk you through the whole thing. again, democratic party upbringing is an opposition party. we don't want guys to get credit for this, a. and become expanding, getting the government to do something on health care -- they were very nervous about that. what medicaid costs have done tuesday budgets for higher education --it is just sucking up every spare dollar into health care costs. but the realistic alternative is if we did nothing, we had a discharge position on the other side that would do a lot more.
to me came up with something that were kind of split it to the practical side. and we got very little help from the democrats. and we had people regulating against it. there is a practical side that said it was not just a campaign issue, but if it goes out on the floor on a discharge petition, it will be worse. we see a get some better results from that, but the drumbeat was getting more prescription drug aid for seniors was very, very strong in the polls. host: mike is in akron, ohio. mike, go ahead. caller: yes, thank you for c-span. i happen to live in the 13th district. he is from youngstown. i like youngstown, but i live in no akron. i think it is ironic that the gop will have the jury bantering
in cleveland, when the gerrymandering in cleveland is the worst in the nation. what i would like to say is my congressman from the 1970's and the 1980's was john -- he was able to speak truth to power. he told him, who in the hell do you think you are to try and move it from akron to someplace out of ohio? now we have people who tell the workers of tennessee, if you vote for a unique, you are putting yourself out of a job. that is completely backwards from the good old days. we used to have congressman speak to -- truth to power. guest: we have some interesting maps on gerrymandering in the book. i don't know if you can show it. clearly, the way districts are drawn right now often --those
ways make no sense at all. guest: the political center -- culture in tennessee --they were defending that tradition very strongly, but it talks about the differences in this country. in ohio, you know, a union town and akron. ayres was the congressman before cyber link -- siberling won the seat. guest: and you are forced -- showing those on the screen now. host: we are, but these are some of the wrong ones. we have some that are a little bit more solid in their -- guest: a district in chicago. host: yes, we have this district here. why is it shaped like that? guest: because it is connected to hispanic areas to keep it in hispanic district -- an
hispanic district. host: you have it running along i-95? guest: you would kill half the people driving down the highway. host: we have this here, gentlemen, it is a little bit more solid here. i cannot see the name on it. and here is one in ohio. guest: yes, that is a district along the lake. that put two democrats together. it runs along the lake, and puts his many democrats as they could in the area. that is republican gerrymander. illinois is a republican gerrymander. host: you can look at it right here. they are both chicago. guest: yes, they're both chicago districts. the maryland district and the
pennsylvania district on the next page i even better, if you can get those. i think picasso would be proud of these districts. host: they have a pretty solid district, but then some outliers. this is a maryland district. and here's maryland's third. he is one of these a larger coming? guest: the second is -- i like the one below that to the left. the pennsylvania -- in pennsylvania, it looks like two dogs ticking -- kicking each other. host: and this is district seven. guest: i think it is a new district. a new district designed by a republican legislature. i think these are pretty creative. if they give an academy award, i think that one would be right up there. guest: this district was drawn to try and eliminate a liberal
democrat from congress. if they ran his district down from austin to san antonio, than the could get rid of him. well, he won anyway. he was able to survive but they go to great lengths to try and target individual members of congress. host: what role did you two have while in congress with creating districts? guest: we were in the middle of it. i getting? we were in the middle of it. it was part of the deal in california to preserve 20 republican seats. the legislators draw them, but the chairman of the campaign committee -- we had huge savings in software. guest: we did the best we could do next match our party's advantage. what we are saying now is that we are no longer in congress, we don't have that responsibility. we were able to step back and say that hasn't really served the country very well.
guest: look, we are talking about the rules they gave us a that point. our job was to win seats. the result of that -- the end -- guest: members do not feel free to vote their own conscious. i have been away from this for 10 years and i have now decided that the system that i operated under -- where we used to maximum political power within our states to maximize her own parties districts -- was not in the best interest of the country. i am now for bipartisan commissions. guest: the proof is the appropriation bills. the fiscal year for the federal government starts on october 1. the last time we start the appropriation bills on time, a got the government the funding and time to start was in 1996. so there's always somebody who
doesn't know what their funding is for the year, which means there is no new starts, no innervation. in fact, it really makes it more inspect of -- expensive in the and. they just up the money at the end of the year because they don't want to lose it. guest: one of the things i worked on when i was doing redistrict the and i hosted of texas was to create as many marginal districts, marginally democratic, but not overwhelmingly democratic, where democrats had a chance to win. under those circumstances, they had to speak to all the workers. they had to speak to minority voters, they had speak to conservative white voters. now you have a system where the members of congress do not have speak to anybody other than a narrow group once they win the primary. the results we had when i was
working in redistricting in texas actually produced people who would listen to the other side. now the system doesn't produce those kind of people. host: we get this last caller and that we can make the less comments. heaven in staten island. a democrat. caller: good morning, c-span. thank you for this conversation. mr. frost come you have observed that our democracy has divided i renewing ourselves. what are the most promising - -one of the most promising changes i have seen in this country took place in 1998 when or gone voters approved requiring elected officials to mail ballots to all registered voters. the turnout rates in or gone are among the highest in the nation. it seems like this has a greater effect on the primaries, which is a point of your discussion. what is your to opinion -- your opinion of the or gone voting echog?
guest: i think mail ballot makes a lot of sense. i would like to see it used more in a number of states. guest: look, you have your democracy. some states -- washington, new mexico -- over half the ballots are mailed in. but let's understand how this really works. at the end of the day, parties and candidates are paying people bounties to go out and get people to bring their ballots in. guest: we're not talking about bringing ballots in, we're talking about getting them mailed in. guest: you don't ask a get the ballot, but if you -- these are straight up on account. some permissive absentee efforts, for people who are otherwise, you kno --
guest: that is the strength of our country. some things make sense, some things were, some things don't. but we have to try keep making the system work better. we can't just say don't touch a hair on its head. host: congressman frost, one thing we haven't talk about -- talked about is the partisan divide. guest: there is a lot of things you can learn. host: we have time for one. guest: if you look at the chapter on the role of race in american politics, we just scratched the surface on that. i would ask people to read that very carefully. they're going to see how the racial composition of the electorate is changing, and the impact that that has on the two parties. and if the republican party is to remain viable, they are going to have to adapt to this change. if they cannot adapt to it
they're going to go the way of the whigs. guest: out say that our system is not a self direct did system, but a collectible system. we have a parliamentary system both in behavior and behavior of party elected officials. it doesn't fit very well. we need to make some corrections. host: tom davis, martin frost. here is the cover of the book. "the partisan divide: congress in crisis". gentlemen, thank you very much for your time. about 20 minutes left in "washington journal." call in with any views. as the "washington journal" continues. >> dr. anthony faucher, our
guest the sunday iq andon q&a. >> we have drugs right now that we given to people who are hiv-infected -- and i can show you the dichotomy. in the early 1980's, if someone came into my clinic with eight the median survival would be six to eight months. which means half of them would be dead in a months. now, if tomorrow, when i go back to round on friday and someone comes into our clinic who is 20 plus years old, who is relatively recently infected, and i put them on the accommodation of three drugs -- the cocktail of retroactive therapy -- i can accurately predict and say we can to mathematical modeling to say that if you take your medicine regularly, you could live in an additional 55 years. so to go from knowing that 50%
of the people are going to die in a months to knowing that if you take your medicines, you could essentially live a normal life span. just a few years less than the normal lifespan. that is a huge advance. >> director of the national institute of infectious diseases. sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific. >> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks. on "booktv's" bret argues on the foreign concerns. and steve israel, on his knees and -- on his recent novel. and on "american history tv," on american history -- john turner
on the early mormons and their attempt to create a new zion in the american west during the 1830's. and sunday afternoon at 4:00. the 1964 academy award-winning film about the forced desegregation of little rock, arkansas. find a complete television schedule at c-span.org. and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us. e-mail us. or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> "washington journal" continues. host: ok, open phone segment of the "washington journal" this morning. (202) 748-8000 four democrats. (202) 748-8001 four republicans.
(202) 745-8002 for independents. let's get right to the calls. on the democrats line. hi. caller: yes, good morning. i just want to say i was enjoying the previous segment. the guests that came out had illustrated the excellence of bipartisan spirit. you can disagree, but as long as you'd disagree agreeably, it will still help the country. it is just a shame they were unable to come to any way of expressing this until after they were in office. i was kind of hopeful to hear the comments as to how best the current sitting congress and any future ones can get past the this. thank you. host: thank you. from politico this morning -- the president said he is prepared to veto hostile legislation, including in iran sanctions package.
president obama made clear on thursday in a closed-door session with senate democrats that he is prepared to veto hostile legislation. according to several sources obama vowed to defend his agenda against republicans in congress. he promises to stand firm against gop efforts to dismantle his agenda, and called on his democratic colleagues to help sustain his suspected vetoes. that is from politico. as is this article. democrats need to win over blue-collar voters and unmarried women. this is for 2016. lynn is in bishop, california on our independent line. lynn, good morning to you. caller: good morning. i really enjoyed the dialogue you just had with the two congressmen. and it just goes to show that
unless you have a ton of money behind you, i would really like to get involved in politics, but it is just like you don't stand a chance because you're going to you to be run out -- and i am a long way from sacramento. i don't agree with anything they're doing there. the greatest drought of the whole, you know, history of california. and they continue to let people in. they talk about, you know, we should be all accepting and get rid of race, but there is a focus on getting segregated groups to vote for them. i just feel like they are the ones that are causing the big divide. that is all i have to say. host: and where is bishop california, lynn? caller: it is in the valley. los angeles city gets all of our water.
we are basically a desert now. it is called the great basin. in the nevada mountain range. host: so are you close to use them in the? close to reno? caller: im. i'm about two hours from your somebody. we are about 40 minutes south of the mammoth mountain ski resort. it is a little tiny town of about 4000 people. sacramento just keeps making it harder and harder and harder. you can see businesses leaving the state all the time. you know, letting more people in. so the divide, as far as i can see, i'm not sure what the solution is. i would like to be part of it, but i'm not a millionaire. host: what you do in bishop, california? caller: welcome we have a convenient store at a gas station. host: a lot of tourist trade? caller: we are. that is our number one industry. so now i have the battle of, you
know wilderness and closing roads and there is kind of an attack against vehicles and, you know, it is a mess. and it makes me really sad that you seep to people who have been in there for 20 some odd years tell you why. so that was a really great show this morning. and i try to watch her every day. it is really good to hear the different points of view from around the united states. and what is important to people. you know, when they say all politics is local, but not so much anymore. host: that is lynn in bishop, california. and this is david. a democrat in michigan. hi, david. caller: yes, good morning. i liked your last show. i would also act as say that i am a democrat. and i do believe in the old spirit of when the republicans and democrats would come you know, have differences, but get together.
i think the tea party has asked a been taken over from its original cause by the koch brothers. i would just mention a good example in michigan -- this probably would never fly today -- our governor created the mackinac bridge. and that paid off in so many times over since its inception and cratered so much commerce for our state. and also connecting the two different peninsulas. the structure things in our country need to be revisited. you know, the constitution does make the government -- our founders did design it that way, but what i really believe is that when we worked the best is when both sides get together. and not have this outlier thing. you can't work at all with anybody. that is all have to say this money. take you. host: peter in the main.
the republican line. caller: yes, this is peter calling. host: hi peter. caller: yes, i wanted to make a statement on a partisan issue. constitutionally, the people are in the checks and balances s. we are the top level of the government. according to the constitution of the united states, the people come first. we are part of the checks and balances to we are part of the system. you have to listen to our voices. our voices have to be heard, and our representatives have to respond to our voices. host: ok, thank you, sir. in london, connecticut this is robert. the independent line.
robert, you're on "the washington journal." caller: i wish i could have spoken to the congressman. i just want to know why they enacted the logan act. did you understand what the logan act means? by the way, the guy from south carolina and the gentleman from maine, i support them all the way. we have to get back to the constitution and what it means. host: robert, what is the logan act? caller: you don't know what it is? i'm not going to explain it right now, i don't have time. patrick leahy -- they violated the laws. they are treasonous and they should be held accountable. host: ok. i really is in chicago. beverly, what is on your mind this morning? caller: good morning. how are you? three quick things before you cut me off. i want to know why when the republicans, these shows and
other shows and they come on that the presence is being lawless and he is overstepping his bounds when it comes the constitution -- why is it that nobody questioned him? what is it means -- does it mean when they say he oversteps his bounds? is it because this man is black and he has no right to be president? is that with a media echo another thing -- is that what they mean? how can they speak for americans if they don't talk to all americans. why do you never put on this program the good things that the president is doing for this country he e? republicans say it's bad, you all have questions on that. but if you could put up a list of how this president, by himself --and not even sometimes
with his own party -- has try to get good stuff going on in this country. you never bring that up. you bring people on your shows saying that the president never did this, but you can go read on your computer and bring up some of the things -- the good things the president has done. host: what would you put on that list, beverly? caller: you know what? he got people health care. he brought back -- he helped bring back the cause. he has done a lot. from george washington to george bush, he has caught and killed or imprisoned more terrorists than all those presidents put together. this man has done quite a bit for this country, with no help from the republicans. but none of this is brought up. people will sit on your show and say the president hasn't done this. you all show bad unemployment.
when the numbers don't come in good and you all show that. but when numbers common good you brush over that. i don't understand. you're supposed to be fair and balanced. this man has not been a bad president. but his own party don't look out for him. host: that is beverly in chicago. and this is john on our republican line in jacksonville north carolina. caller: hi. i was listening to the two congressmen this morning and it always -- i guess it is a pet peeve -- both of them talked about our democracy . well, this is not a democracy. this is a republic. and for people who have served in congress for, well, over 20 years did they say? host: go ahead and finish your comment, sir. caller: i am just cut of amazed for them to refer to our country
as democracy. not in the declaration of independence -- host: why is that a big deal? caller: because of democracy is -- is a big deal. the last two democracy was not to germany, when the party won 33% of the vote and took over the country. that is a democracy. host: that is john in jacksonville, north carolina. this is boring file clerk via twitter. all i know is that i am mad as hell and can't remember why anymore. leah is in rosenberg, texas. caller: yes. yes. my question is this. about the election -- the last election in november. nobody can come and tell me the places where it was more -- look at all the election and you will see it -- more black people or more spanish .
don't tell me that these people vote republican. no way. i can tell you i have proof on this because one time when i went to vote, i vote democrat and then you push the button. and then it was a republicans named. i said, what is going on here you echo many people -- what is going on here? many people don't even see this. they have stolen the election. thank you. i'm so glad this time i have a chance to say that. host: thank you, leah. mark is in indianapolis. the republican line. cmark, you're on the "washington journal." mark, go ahead. caller: good morning.
the last three democratic caller's certainly -- callers certainly example five the dumbing down of america. nonetheless, the congresspeople that you had on -the congressman that wrote the book- -- the comments that the democratic gentleman said about we've possibly have a fiscal issue coming up exemplifies our problem with what is going on in washington. everybody knows it is a huge huge problem. kicking the can down the road -- has been going on for so many decades. i think that it is a wonderful discussion to have. people from both sides of the aisle writing a book together.
thank you for doing what you do. host: that his mark in indianapolis. the martin luther king holiday is coming up, and that means a three-day weekend. it is a three-day weekend on "booktv" and "american history tv." it is usually 40 eight hours, and now it is going to be 48 plus 24. three full days of "booktv" on c-span2. we did an interview a year or two back with chris kyle, the american sniper. that movie is, of course opening this weekend. we are going to air that interview this weekend. so it, if you're interested in that. but we have 72 hours of programming coming up this weekend. in a couple of weeks, walter isaacson will be our guest.
"american history tv," same thing, three days of american history coming up. so we appreciate you being with us this weekend. here, once again, is the book we're talking about. callers referenced this. the book is called, "the partisan divide: congress in crisis". enjoy your weekend. the president is live at new today with his press conference on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> on this friday, house and senate wrapping up the two_day policy retreat in hershey, pennsylvania. u.s. senate gaveled in this morning to consider amendments to a bill that would authorize construction of the keystone xl pipeline. the house voted to approve the measure last week with 28 democrats voting in favor. the house is in this afternoon with what is expected to be a brief session. you can watch the house and senate right now on c_span 2. report from the blaze writing that, several democrats are going to cuba this weekend to discuss ways to enhance u. s._cuba relations just hours after the president eased travel rules.
the delegation traveling this weekend including patrick leahy and from the house, chris van hollen, read more at theblaze.com. british prime minister david cameron is in the white house today meeting with the president. the two leaders will have a joint press conference scheduled for 12:20 pm. with the senate, live coverage over on c_span 3. at noon, a group of foreign policy and military