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tv   Up W Steve Kornacki  MSNBC  November 3, 2013 5:00am-7:01am PST

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nchronizes your business expenses. just shoot your business card receipts and they're automatically matched up with the charges on your online statement. i'm john kaplan, and i'm a member of a synchronized world. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. unprecedented obstruction. start of this sunday morning, there is some news that happened overnight that we can report to you. new york senator chuck schumer was the keynote speaker at last night's annual fund-raising dinner for the iowa democratic party. the first in the nation caucus state of iowa. schumer used the venue to make news not about his own presidential ambitions, but about those of someone else. >> this candidate is perfectly suited to succeed in the iowa
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caucuses. so let's all stick together and make sure that ted cruz is the republican candidate in 2016! now, with ted cruz at the top of the ticket, fooled you, didn't i? we'll be certain that the keys to the white house will stay in democratic hands. i am urging hillary clinton to run for president! and when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support. run, hillary, run. if you run, you'll win and we'll all win. >> chuck schumer is always full of surprises. schumer's endorsement of his former new york city colleague is front page news in new york city this morning. the calendar might say november 3rd, 2013, but this is another
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reminder the invisible primary phase of the 2016 race, a phase when key party leaders, donors and opinion shapers start making up their minds is well under way. we'll have much more on that in the months ahead. but, first, do you think the three years since president obama signed the affordable care act into law have been turbulent, period marked by relentless and unanimous resistance from the opposition to establish law, consider this. president franklin roosevelt rolled out a series of programs he designed to combat the great depression, programs to build things, grow things, establish union rights and retirement programs for some federal workers. when fdr established the new deal, he, too, was met with fierce opposition. not just from members of the other party, but from the courts. during roosevelt's first term as president, the supreme court declared parts of his program unconstitutional. naturally that did not sit well with fdr so he sent congress a bill that would give the president the authority to appoint one new supreme court
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justice for every sitting justice over the age of 70. since there were six justices over 70 years old back then, that would mean six new justices. presumably all of them democrats. fdr lost the new deal rulings 6-3, but on a 15-member court with six new democrats, six new fdr appointees, he probably would have won those rulings, 9-6, just like he probably would have then every ruling going forward. of course, fdr didn't come out and say this was all a plot to gain permanent control over the court. he claimed the justices were overworked. he said they were too tired to get all their work done. never mind the courts' docket was empty. it was a flimsy argument that fdr was making and one that made it easy to accuse him of packing the court. that's what people called it back then, court packing. fdr didn't get away with his court packing scheme. the provision was stripped from the final bill, but it did leave us with that term, court packing. a term whose meaning has stood
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pretty much undisturbed across the decades. until now. the dc court of appeals is probably the most important federal court below the supreme court. there are 11 other regional circuit courts, but this is the one that hears the challenges to all of the dc stuff to all the controversial parts of laws that come out of congress, that come out of d.c. d.c. court of appeals has 11 judgeships, right now three of them are empty. of the eight seats that are filled, they are split evenly, among judges appointed by republicans and judges appointed by democrats. it is 4-4. president obama has tried, and is trying to get those three empty seats in the d.c. appeals court filled. this week, the senate judiciary committee voted on a straight party line vote to move the nomination of robert wilkins out of committee and to the full senate. that's where the two other nominees already are. they are waiting for up or down votes on their nominations. on tuesday, majority leader harry reid tried to get first of those three nominees that up or
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down vote. he called a vote to end debate on the nomination of patricia millett and democrats needed 60 votes to break the filibuster, but fell short. the final vote was 55-38. that means only two republicans voted to end the filibuster and to advance her nomination. the chairman of the senate judiciary committee is pat leahy of vermont, he warned that the rejection of millett could force democrats to use the so-called nuclear option. to change the rules of the senate so that a nominee like millett would only need 51 votes. simple majority to be confirmed. republicans like chuck grassley and orrin hatch, meanwhile, are hauling out that old new deal era charge, they are accusing president obama of court packing. they want to keep the current eight seats evenly divided at 4-4 forever, at least until a republican is present again. this is not what court-packing looks like. fdr was trying to expand the supreme court by adding six brand-new seats.
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the president obama is merely trying to fill the vacancies that already exist, on a court that is having a huge impact on his agenda. on friday, the d.c. circuit court struck down the birth control mandate and the affordable care act and obama care. it ruled even though birth control is considered basic preventive care, even if employers are not purchasing the contraception directly, asking them to provide such care is a violation of the employer's religious freedom. this is a real time demonstration of why democrats really want to see new judges on this bench. why they're so eager to fill the existing seats. and it is also a demonstration of why republicans don't. anyone who watched schoolhouse rock as a kid knows there are three branches of the u.s. government, the executive, the legislative, the judicial. it turns out right now the executive and legislative branches are waged in a battle to do all they can to tip the scales of justice. well, the talk about this, want to bring in lynn sweet, the washington bureau chief for "the chicago sun-times," msnbc
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contributor perry bacon jr., the politics editor at the thegrio.com. edward mcmorris-santoro with buzzfeed.com and elahe izadi for "national journal." so i guess wasn't to start with this, the idea of court packing. because we're hearing it over and over again from republicans, you have chuck grassley actually introduced legislation that would permanently shrink the size of the d.c. circuit, do away with these three open seats. it is just amazing to me hearing that rhetoric and knowing the story of fdr, knowing the origins of the term court packing. i'm baffled at face value when i hear that, how anybody could look at trying to fill three vacancies and say this is court packing. is there an argument here that i'm missing? >> you're not. to put it bluntly, you are not. to be fair this rhetoric has been used in the past. i looked it up the other day. harry reid accused in 2003 said ronald reagan and george bush
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packed the same court full of conservatives. this rhetoric has been used in the past. people know it is incendiary and get it and that's why they're using it. that said, this is totally different because we're talking about three appointments. obama is not trying to increase the size of the court. he's trying to fill appointments that are already -- vacancies that already exist. this is a purely political argument on both sides where the president knows the more democrats on this court, the more likely not only about the health care law, but also he wants to change environmental law and that will come down to -- he wants to use the regulatory powers to change environmental law in the country, that will be decided whether things are appropriate through this court. this court very powerful, where john roberts sat this is an important debate and i understand why both parties are pressing their party's arguments to the nth degree. >> this is the feeder system to the supreme court. so i think a lot of senators look at this -- parties look at this and say if anybody is getting nominated to this now, five, ten years from now, that could be supreme court justice.
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>> one of the justices now has been on the short list, but if there is a democratic president, they're going to find a democratic nominee to the court, steve, as a republican president will. it is a big country. they happen to go to the appellate court is almost besides the point. i so agree with perry. the point is we have inconsistencies, all the appellate courts throughout the country are set by the senate, not messing around with the other circuits, they are focusing on this one. with what seems to be a pretext of case load, which we know fluctuates all the time. >> let's play -- this is john cornyn who is on the senate floor, this was last thursday, he was making the court packing charge, laying out the republican cases, giving you a taste of it. this is john cornyn this week. >> if our friends across the aisle continue to move ahead with the court packing gam but, it will make this chamber even more polarized than it already is. i only hope they choose a different court. if this is why we're committed on this side of the aisle to
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stopping these nominations to these unneeded judges, and these courts, in this court, and making sure that judges are placed where they are needed, so they can engage in the fair and efficient administration of justice. >> the other thing that is striking here, though, is we can think back eight years to 2005 when george w. bush was president and there are a number of nominees to the court that democrats were objecting to, very conservative nominees and there was a big stand still there. there is ultimately a compromise in those judges were confirmed, do we expect that it is going to end up where there will be a compromise here? >> well, that's the issue, i think that for the republican party, right? coming off the shutdown that we just had, the whole government shutdown issue, the republican party took a lot of hits for being obstructionists and unreasonable, and i think the white house and democrats can portray this as another round of that. it will be tough for the republicans. the republicans on their hand, they think this is a -- this is
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where you draw the ideological lines. these fights for these judges are where a lot of the social battles happen, as you're talking about with the birth control things, things like that. you get the judges in there, that's where you do the actual social conservatism you want to do on the judge level. they try to put those guys in there. that's where they feel like the fights are happening. the battle really is between whether or not they can portray this -- democrats can portray this as an obstructionist fight by the republicans or if republicans can portray it as standing their ground and shoring their base back up. >> republicans have, just by maintaining the status quo, we got some examples of it this week with rulings coming out of the court. this week, this is -- we talk about who has the white house, who has the congress. by having the balance of power now that exists on the federal court system, that gets republicans a lot of what they want. they can't get it legislatively, but can get it through the courts. >> that's the charge that this is why this battle is being waged on this dwrouground becau
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they only hold the now now. if they're able to maintain the balance now in the court, they're able to ensure what they can achieve legislatively they can at least protect or achieve through the courts. and the court packing argument, the reverse argument is by preventing obama to appoint three additional judges on that court is almost like reverse court packing, you're preventing putting additional judges on there and that's the reverse political argument. >> what is happening, though, the white house, you look at the roll call, it is 55 yes party line, 38 no. there is an internal campaign very quiet going on looking for the five more votes to do it. some republicans are getting pressure from influential republicans within their states to see if they could get it. so in this quest -- >> who are some of the republicans there? >> i think one of the likely targets is from illinois, the home -- where i cover. a former u.s. attorney appointed
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by republican patrick fitzgerald has written a letter and the letter looks just all proper, very qualified, and the letter was written to senator durbin and to senator kirk. the target here is the republican. so those are examples of what the white house is also trying to do behind the scenes to, you know, you leave no stone unturned in this. it is essentially a political argument, packing, not packing. whatever you want to call it. they also are trying to see if they can find these five votes. >> senate democrats could end up looking at the nuclear option, we heard about this before, we're hearing about it again. we're going to talk with a senator, democratic senator about that right after this. road closed? there's a guy... excuse me? glacier point? follow me! ♪ follow me! keep up, keep up, keep up. ♪ look he's right there! follow me! ♪
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finds it despite her commitment to her country that somehow filibuster is warranted, i believe this body is going to have to consider a new rules change should be in order. >> senator pat leahy on thursday. democrats could threaten to change the rules of the chamber. joining us now from richmond, we have democratic senator tim kaine, democrat from virginia, who in the last few days called the republican blocking of patricia millett an abuse of the filibuster. thank you for joining us this morning. we have how you have characterized what is happening in the last few days and have this threat that pat leahy just sort of, you know, laid on the floor there about changing the rules. is that something you as a senator would support right now? would you support in the face of what is happening changing the rules of the filibuster in the senate? >> steve, i would. let me tell you why. you got my historian wheels turning by talking about court packing and fdr. this is bigger than that.
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there is a discredited legal theory called nullification that goes back into the 1800s. if there is a law on the books, and you can't change it legislatively, and you can't change it by winning at the ballot box, and you can't even get the courts to rule your way, then congress or states have taken steps to try to nullify laws and that happened with respect to slavery laws, with integration in the 1950s and '60s. what we're seeing in congress is a set of nullification behaviors. if we don't like obama care but can't beat it legislatively, let's defund it. let's actually shut down the entire federal government because we don't like it. and another nullification strategy is what i call the decapitation strategy. we don't like an agency or program or don't like the fact that law says there should be 11 d.c. circuit judges, so what we do is we just don't approve an agency head. noaa wyatt got turned down for
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the federal housing authority is same day as patty millett got rejected. they tried to block a quorum because they didn't like the agency. for years they wouldn't confirm an agency head. this is all nullification behavior. the nullification of existing laws is a very serious threat to our democracy, and so i think we can't let an abusive senate procedural rules basically nullify the law that says they're supposed to be 11 d.c. circuit judges or a federal housing authority with a head. pattie millett, well qualified, served in the solicitor generals offices of democratic and republican administrations, bipartisan support, military spouse, she's done everything while raising her kids and her great professional career while her husband was in the military, deployed to iraq at least on one occasion, and yet they're blocking her to try to nullify the law that says the d.c.
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circuit has 11 judges. very troubling. >> so i take that point and hear that from a lot of democrats. but we have been down this road before, very recently, just a few months ago. and every time we go down this road, i hear a number of senators like you, right now, it is democrats who are upset about this, saying what you're saying now, and we also end up hearing that there is almost, like, a generational split in the senate, where the more veteran long serving senators, they have been around, when republicans have controlled the chamber, they value the filibuster, they don't want to change the rules, if you change the rules, you need unanimous democratic support or close to unanimous democratic support. do you think that exists now or do you think the old bulls stand in the way? >> well, steve, you know, what we have seen from the beginning, i'm ten months in the senate now, is there is a lot of resistance to making the changes, especially from folks who have been in the senate for a long time. democrats and republicans. but with each new sort of outrageous use of the filibuster to block good candidates, what you see on the democratic side
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is more and more people saying, you know, we really have to consider this. because, again, if the rules are being abused, in a way that is basically an attempt to nullify existing law, then those rules, which are not in the constitution, they're purely a matter that the senate can decide what the senate rules are, you got to make changes to not allow laws to be nullified. and another factor about millett that i think is important to just put on the table, again, i've only been there ten months, but here's what i notice about the d.c. circuit, the second highest court in the land. i came in and caitlin haligan was on the floor for consideration and she was filibustered and blocked and one of the reasons asserted was the court didn't have enough of a work load. within a few months, shre shree shinovasan, he got approved by the senate 93-0, no mention of the work load issues. now patty millett is on the floor. wonderful appellate advocate.
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suddenly the work load issues get brought back again, we can't approve her because the court doesn't have sufficient work load. is there a double standard for putting women on this court? remember, republican senators more than 75% of them voted against both sonia sotomayor and elena kagan to go to the supreme court and now they're using a preconnectal argument to block caitlin and pattie millett that was nowhere to be found when we approved shree a few months ago. i have a little bit of a concern there is also a double standard with respect to women candidates on this second highest court in the land. >> hi, senator. this is evan mcmorris-santoro from buzzfeed. i saw that in your statement about women nominees. are you really saying that republicans do not want women on the bench? >> you know, again, i've only been here ten months, but i'm just really struck in ten months we had three d.c. circuit appointments, in other courts
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that are thought to be lower courts, we have in a bipartisan way approved women candidates. but at the supreme court, sotomayor and kagan, more than 75% of republicans voted against both of them, and on this court, just in ten months we had a woman candidate up, caitlin haligan, the work load is not sufficient, we're going to have to block her. shree, male candidate, comes up, nobody raises the question about work load, we pass him 93-0. pattie millett comes up, we block her and the republicans insist it is because of work load issues. these are three individuals who are all very able appellate advocates. it is hard to distinguish between them. none of them were sitting judges. they all had records as great appellate advocates but the work load pretext was only raised with respect to the two women candidates, not with respect to shree. i practiced civil rights law for 17 years, did a lot of cases in the employment area. when you see an argument being used to treat somebody badly and
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that same argument isn't applied evenly to others, you got to ask a question. >> and, lynn. >> lynn sweet from "the sun times ." two quick questions. no one really thinks that the nuclear option would be used, that's the rule to change the rules to a simple majority can confirm. do you think so, and then hold that thought for a moment, you know, president obama is stumping in virginia, big governor vote coming up, who is going to win and what is the impact of obama being out there? >> well, let me take them in reverse. i think we have an excellent chance in tuesday in winning not only the governor's race, and also the attorney general and lieutenant governor's races in virginia. virginia now with ohio and florida thought to be one of the three critical battleground states, kind of right dead center, but in recent years we have been going for democrats and presidential elections. and i think we're going to have success on tuesday if we do what we know how to do, turn out voters. the president coming to arlington for the ticket today will really help with voter turnout. we feel good with what we see.
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i think the election, if it works out the way i suspect it will, it is going to be a repudiation of the sort of no compromise tea party strand of the republican party. there is republicans who aren't in that mode, but in virginia, and in many places now, it is the no compromise tea party wing that is taking control. and i think that brand of government, which virginians saw and experienced with the shutdown is going to get rejected on tuesday. and then with that, back to the rule reforms, look, i'm not an expert on the senate rules and they're complicated. with would we do a complete elimination of the filibuster? probably not. the filibuster has had a venerable part of the tradition of the senate. but the problem is the filibuster was reserved originally for only the most extreme issues when people would take the floor and stand on their feet to try to convince the nation and their colleagues that the senate was about to go the wrong direction. it is being overused in dramatic ways, and it has become part of
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this nullification strategy. if we can't get rid of a law we don't like, we're going to use the filibuster it defund, decapitate, or we'll use procedures to shut down the entire government of the united states. we can't let senate rules be used as a mechanism for what i call nullification behavior. >> all right, i want to thank senator tim kaine of virginia, for taking a few minutes to join us this morning. appreciate it. we'll pick this right up after this. ar so delicious. oh yeah. the cinna-sweet taste you just can't resist. cinnamon toast crunch. crave those crazy squares®. of their type 2 diabetes with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar, but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® is different than pills. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once-a-day, any time, and comes in a pen.
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haven't won and the republicans are still sort of pushing that argument and saying we dare you to change the rules and democrats so far, reluctant to do so. i'll be surprised if mel watt ever get appointed to this job. >> the core is breaking down in the u.s. congress. >> what? >> yeah. and that position, you are the regulator for fannie and freddie mac. so -- or fannie mae and freddie mac. there is a question of whether republicans will allow any democratic appointee to fill that role because they like the acting director. now there is a number of bills proposed to reform how those -- how fannie mae and freddie mac are regulated and to abolish them altogether. i'm curious as to whether anyone will really be appointed. >> they have been blocking filling this, so i don't think in this case the usual congressional courtesy rule is -- prevails. >> exactly. >> because republicans, especially with so much action going on, this is highly -- this role is so important because they write regulations dealing
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with home mortgages. i think you could even appoint anyone but a member of republican senator and it is not going to happen. >> the other -- we didn't get into this too much, let's say they did the nuclear option right now and obama could start getting his nominees through with simple majority votes, the issue is still that the republicans have basically decided in all of these to be unanimously opposed. and if you get the nuclear option and you the democrats still have 51 votes, it is okay, you can get them through. what happens if you have a democratic president and a republican senate and the same -- then you can't get anybody confirmed no matter what. that's the big catastrophe we're headed towards. america's biggest state gave us nixon, gave us reagan, the first genuine conservative uprising that the california gop is now gasping for life. is this what the future of american politics looks like? that's next.
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the clock" with five time "jeopardy" champion, rush holt. falling short against former congressman tom davis. here is a question that stomach stumped all of them. >> 200 point question. we're going to be on permanent defense for the foreseeable future. is the bleak assessment of a republican strategist writing in a memo revealed this week about his party's prospects in what major state? time. i bet watson wouldn't have known that either, but the answer was california, the golden state. that memo made big news this week as republican party and america's biggest state just dying off. that's next. except when it's too cold. like the last three weekends. asthma doesn't affect my job... you missed the meeting again last week! it doesn't affect my family. your coughing woke me up again. i wish you'd take me to the park.
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you may not have heard the name pete wilson in a while, but he was a big deal in american politics for a while. the biggest republican name in the biggest state in america. the u.s. senator from
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california, then the governor of california, even a candidate for president in 1996. but in 1994, wilson's career was in grave peril. he was running for re-election as governor and was the underdog. and then he embraced this message. >> governor pete wilson sent the national guard to help the border patrol. but that's not all. >> for californians who work hard, pay taxes and obey the laws, i'm suing to force the federal government to control the border. and i'm working to deny state services to illegal immigrants. enough is enough. >> governor pete wilson. >> hard line immigration rhetoric. it is standard fare in republican primaries today. in 1994, this was something kind of new. in a way wilson and his fellow california republicans pioneered its modern use. 1994 was the year they put proposition 187 on the ballot, which sought to ban illegal immigrants and children from receiving state services including health care and public
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education. and it was political gold, proposition 187 passed, and pete wilson came from behind to win by double digits. it was also, for wilson and california republicans, the beginning of the end. california was a changing state, in the midst of a demographic overhaul. california of 1994 was barely one quarter latino, today that number is around 40%, back then fewer than 10% of the state was asian-american. today it is nearly 15%. 27% of the state's residents are foreign born. california is now one of the only states in america where whites do not make up a majority of the population. and for that rising population, that new california majority, that was their introduction to the republican party. because the template that california republicans created in 1994 was so successful, it was adopted by republicans every where the message that that new california majority received in 1994 has been continually reinforced by republicans across
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the country for the two decades since. and that wasn't the only consequence of 1994 for california republicans. 1994 was also the year of the national gop revolution. newt gingrich and new house majority, the contract with america, you remember it, it was a defining event for suburban swing voters across the country. especially in california. swing voters who had been fine with voting republican, who liked the party's economic platform, but who were also more moderate and liberal on cultural issues w those voters saw in the rise of gingrich and the gop congress was a new different republican party, a far more conservative southern and religious infused republican party. a party they weren't comfortable with anymore. put all of that together and a generation later, america's biggest state, which is once a republican friendly swing state, the state that gave rise to richard nixon and ronald reagan, the home of orange county, the orange conservative suburban uprising began, that state has been transformed into a top to
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bottom democratic bastion. voting for president obama by 24 points in 2008, 23 points last year, every state wide office is controlled by democrats. and last year democrats even gained a veto proof two-thirds majority in the state legislature. this is why one california republican strategist in a memo that leaked out this week offered this assessment to his clients. he said, over the last two decades, california's working class has slowly migrated out of the state, and latinos and women voters are completely disenfranchised with the republican party. there are only a few pockets of conservative voters left in the state and they are only able to help carry the day for republicans in ultra low turnout elections. we're forever hearing that california is the future of america, so is this a glimpse of the future of american politics? here to help answer that, we have buzzfeed's evan mcmorris-santoro, lynn sweet with "9 the chicago sun-times,"
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and ben whalen, head speechwriter for governor pete willisen in the 1990s and research fellow at the hoover institution at stanford university. bill, thank you for joining us. i'll start with you, our resident california expert, california republican on the panel, when you look at where your party in california is now, and where it was, where we started this 20 years ago, when pete wilson was governor what has happened? >> hispanic problem is part of the problem, no doubt about it. it is a three fold problem for republicans and it is a cautionary tale as republicans go nationally. you're having an election on tuesday in virginia and which the democrats are expected not just to win the governorship, but sweep pretty much up and down the ticket with one office, i believe, the exception. why are they doing this in virginia? because they have tapped into three blocks that republicans had problems with. hispanic voters, women voters and millennial voters. if you look at republicans in california now, it is the same exact formula. this is how barack obama was
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elected in 2012, how terry mcauliffe will probably be elected on tuesday and what put the republicans in a hole in california as well. hispanic problem is a problem for california, republicans. the women vote is just as crucial. 53%. pete wilson was a pro choice republican, conservatives didn't care about it, but they accepted his other viewpoints, took him along as a candidate. 1998, ran a very pro-life candidate who made abortion the centerpiece of his campaign and guess what, he lost by 20 points, a million women walked away from the republican party. we got some of them back with arnold schwarzenegger. he got a majority of the women's vote when he ran for re-election in 2006. but they walked away. hispaniced walks away. the millennials. what you're seeing here with hispanics and millennials being the fastest growing in the population, the question is what happens to the future of the republican party and it is pretty simple. darwinism, adapt or die. >> we have seen that in the house. in one of the broader house immigration bills, two republican house members from california are among the three
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republicans in the house who signed on to this broader bill. >> they come from districts anywhere from 45% to 50% hispanic. they see the writing on the wall they cannot stay in office long-term if they alienate this growing part of their base. it is a problem they have to deal with, but also a problem that national republicans have to deal with. purple states turning light blue. i'm a native virginian, grew up in virginia, moved to california 20 years ago. the virginia i left 20 years ago was a fairly republican leaning state. last time voted for a democrat was lbj in 1964. obama carried virginia twice. >> despite all of that, there are still these strong powerful incentives. you see it in the house. for republicans to continue to placate the part of the republican party that is really angry about those changes and then really see the cultural shift in the country and the demographic shift in the country, sort of a war on them. so the republican party at the same time intellectually they
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understand what you're saying, they have to appeal to millennials and women and minorities there is this powerful incentive for republicans in the house and elsewhere to appeal to that work class white voter who feels disenfranchised. >> in california, so we think -- historically to go way back in california, the story of orange county and orange county was the bastion of -- this wasn't just anti-task conservatism, like john birch style conservatism in the early '60s, took hold in the fast growing county. voted for goldwater, i believe, or came close to voting for goldwater, even as he's getting trounced nationally. i still see strains of that. i think there was -- i can't remember where it was, an inland california, few weeks ago, a story about a mayor in a town who had approved a gay rights -- gay pride month in this town. and there was an uprising in the town and the mayor was taken out of office. so that sort of strained far right conservatism, still
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existed in these pockets of california. >> ronald reagan rises to power in 1966 in california, riding on a host of social issues, frustration with student protests at berkeley, there is reaction to the riots the year before and jerry brown's father was seeking a third term. reagan rode that tide of discontent. this is not the california 1966 now, that same pattern doesn't work. the problem for republicans in the state is this. republicans now are 29% of voter registration in california. and declining. independent voters what we call, decline to state, they're now 20% and climbing. the two will pass each other in the night pretty soon. the knee jerk reaction of the dug in conservative republicans in california is at all times go for social issues. two things driving them crazy now are guns, there is a faction of the republican party that wants to have local recall contests against democrats who voted for gun rights legislation in sacramento. and then the other issue that has the motor running right now is transgender bathrooms and there will be an issue on the
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ballot talking about transgender bathrooms in 2014. if you're trying to reach -- >> wait, explain the transgender bathroom issue. >> it is the idea that in a public school, you can allow boys to go into girls rooms if they are transgender. this drives social conservatives crazy. but you're trying to win an election in california, you don't run with those issues at the top of the ticket. you have to talk economy, you have to talk education, you have to talk environment. the social conservatives don't seem to get that. >> why isn't it that the republican party in that sense is able to be looked to like new jersey for example as opposed to virginia. i noticed in the article about this memo, the guy who wrote the memo, talking about how bad everything is with republicans and how they need to change, he moved to texas. trying to get people to bring their businesses from california to texas. so he didn't actually do much to reform the party, just got out of there.
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why are -- >> he did and this is part of the problem. >> why are they doing more? there are examples of republicans doing okay in blue states, why aren't they -- >> it is a good question. i want to hear bill's answer, right after this. ig goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger. ♪ nothing, that's what? that's why i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. 'cause it gives me a big fat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc. the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. [ larry ] you can't beat zero heartburn. and best of all, it means i can enjoy all the foods i love.
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so, bill, evan was asking about why republicans in california wouldn't take their cues more from a state like new jersey, where you see with chris christie on the verge of doing. i wanted to circle back to you had been talking earlier about the hispanic problem for republicans. just to clarify what that meant, you're saying in terms of this is a problem for the republican party, that it is struggling to relate to and communicate with hispanic voters? >> a problem for the republican party writ large. mark my words, just as the obama campaign very effectively drove a wedge, women and millennials in 2012, hillary clinton will do
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it in 2016. republicans have three years to get their act together or not. >> the other thing, i look at the flip side of this, the republicans sort of collapse in the state of california it amazing too what the state emerged in terms of being a democratic bastion. the opportunity to exist now for democrats have this two-thirds majority in the state legislature in california. you have a democratic governor. jerry brown who knows a thing or two about being governor of california. in california, emerging, for years, it was incubator of reagan, incubator of nixon and now maybe evolving into a new role on the democratic side where it is a laboratory for -- potentially a laboratory for democratic ideas. >> the attorney general there who is considered a major star in the party, and dianne feinstein, potentially a future governor of california. and it is interesting now it is a default state for democrats can now not worry about owning the state and just worry about growing great political minds and also it is an object lesson too, a shift in the business
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community. silicon valley is seen as part of the democratic wing as well. so, i mean, i think for republicans, california is the future. but texas isn't far behind. as has gone california now, i think in 20 years, texas could be the same issue for them because of -- >> i'll say 2024, but what is interesting about california is this, the state that spends more money per capita than any other state in america on the worship of youth has the oldest governor in america, next year dianne feinstein, barbara boxer, the oldest senate tandem in the united states senate and, yes, have a two-thirds legislature democratic controlled, but jerry brown has paddle left and paddle right. on some days the legislature loves him when he signs the transgender bathroom bill. then he's signing a fracking bill in california and the legislature is upset with him. brown is a good example of how, yes, one party control can be effective if the executive is well balanced. >> and brown is such a fascinating character because he
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just reinvents himself every ten years. i remember he was doing the 800 number in 92 and the people's crusade against business and power. >> let me ask you what is keeping him from running in -- >> this is my question. 78 then. i say -- i say it is not too old. but what we're looking at, you know, we say -- we talk about california as the future, and so one of the big stories as we have been talking about here is the demographic changes in california that have alienated a rising population from the republican party. this is a story that is playing out elsewhere. we are taught in virginia, this is potentially the remaking of american politics in a way. >> one other thing i know bill had -- probably has something to educate us on, california changed how it does districting. and that also is an impact, so you don't have the bastions of safe districts where you can have in a sense farm teams for both parties. >> two things actually. first of all, we took redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and turned it over to our citizens commission.
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no more gerrymandering. we created a top two primary system so that if we are all five of us are running, the top two people advance. doesn't matter what party you belong to. some parts of california, two republicans on the ballot in november, some parts of california two democrats on the ballot. in theory, this makes kepts less centrist. we'll see how that works out. in terms of california, the big picture, jerry brown is a political position. he could run in 2016. nothing is stopping him except he's done it before and i think -- >> quickly, so he's up for re-election. this is the first -- do republicans have anybody they're going to run against here? >> three people running against him probably never heard of before, one is a former lieutenant governor, very controversial within his own party, for previous stances. second is a first time candidate neel kashkari, worked on t.a.r.p. for george w. bush and the third is someone named tim donley who is -- whose claim to
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fame is he got arrested carrying a gun in the airport. >> worked on t.a.r.p. that will go over real well with the tea party base. i'm glad we got the jerry brown 2016 trial balloons out there. this is my goal for the last few years. run, jerry, run. i want to thank lynn sweet, "chicago sun-times." do you know who the white house is -- who the white house -- excuse me -- is really up against, as it scrambles to fix the website and make obama care work. the name is ronald reagan and we'll explain why after this. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] experience new febreze sleep serenity and let the soothing scent of moonlit lavender lull you to sleep. ♪ new febreze sleep serenity in moonlit lavender, warm milk & honey, and quiet jasmine. an official product of the national sleep foundation. breathe happy. sleep happy.
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have been treated for heart failure, or if you have symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ woman ] finally, clearer skin for more than a few days, weeks, or months. enbrel works for me. ask your dermatologist if you can have clearer skin with enbrel. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com. we all know the immediate challenge of the us who, is its allies and anyone who supports the affordable care act are facing. get that website up and run, get a lot of uninsured people, a lot of healthy and uninsured people signed up for the exchanges. make the risk pool big enough so prices are affordable, so more people buy in and more insurers decide they want to get in and that the law works. that's the challenge right now
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and that's the story that will be playing out over the next few months. with the launch of the health care law, will law itself be a success? the stakes are much bigger than that. if you really want to understand them, you need to go back more than 30 years to this. >> in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. government is the problem. >> those were among the first words that ronald reagan uttered as president. they're words that defined the new more activist, more aggressive brand of conservatism that he represented. brand of conservatism that grabbed control of the republican party along with him and that has not let go since. they are also words that resonated and that continue to resonate powerfully with millions of americans. it brought george w. bush to power that animated the tea party movement today. skepticism of an outright
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hostility to the federal government. the idea that it is just one big bloated bureaucratic mess that can't perform the simplest task without wasting huge sums of time and taxpayer money, that sentiment runs deep. and it is not just the republican base that has these feelings. a poll earlier this year found 28% of americans, 28%, have a favorable view of the federal government. message that ronald reagan articulated in 1981, had democrats on the defensive for decades. recognition that a lot of americans are in the big picture suspicious of government is what gave rise to the centrist democratic leadership council in the 1980s, which produced the clinton presidency, which produced the defining line of bill clinton's presidency. >> the era of big government is over. >> the public's attitudes toward government are complex. yes, ask them if the federal government is too big and they'll say absolutely. then start asking them about the major programs the federal government oversees, like
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medicare, like social security, like the department of defense. and attitudes shift dramatically. suddenly, the public is quite happy with what the federal government is doing. which gets us to the much bigger challenge that the affordable care act represents. this isn't just about whether the white house and its allies can make a law work. it is a test, it is perhaps the defining test for the democratic party, a party that enacted the affordable care act without any republican support, and a party that is now trying to implement it with almost no republican support. there is a basic philosophical difference between the two parties today, it is that democrats believe the federal government can do big things. should do big things. there is no bigger more singular test of that belief than the affordable care act. if they fail that test, it will validate powerfully what has been the central conservative message since ronald reagan came to the national stage. every new program, every new initiative that any democrat proposes in the future would then face the same knee jerk cynicism. well, it couldn't make health care work, so why is it going to
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be any different with this? this is also a huge opportunity for democrats. because conservatives who spent years now attaching every single anti-government talking point they know to obama care. in their own way, they have also made this a test. they spent decades insisting the federal government can't do anything right, and should never be entrusted with overseeing something so sensitive, something so important as the health care system. but what happens if democrats do make the affordable care act work? just like social security and medicare and the department of defense, becomes another major federal undertaking that voters decide works well, that voters decide they like. if democrats can show that big government really can and really does work, will americans start to change their minds? the words that reagan spoke 32 years ago finally start to lose their punch? here to discuss this, let's welcome back evan mcmorris-santoro of buzzfeed, joy reid of the grio.com, perry bacon jr. also of thegrio.com
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and bill whalen. how do you look at the -- in terms of the bigger picture of what is unfolding over the next few months with health care, how do you look at it? there is obviously concern if you're a democrat that, wow if this fails, there are huge consequences, but i see there is also a flip side here that if this works, this could maybe change our politics in a meaningful way. >> it could sort of reconnect people to the idea of what government does. i want to add one quick thing to your setup, a great sort of walk through of the history of it. we have to remember that when ronald reagan got elected, in 1981, what the federal government had been doing for the previous 20 years had a lot to do with desegregation, school busing, things that sort of ticked off a certain core part of the new emerging conservative, reagan democrats and the conservative base, which is largely concentrated in the south. so when ronald reagan goes down and launches the campaign, when he talked about the government, the federal government, that was understood in a cultural context. that the federal government had come to not mean the new deal, that saved their parents, but it had come to mean the big federal
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entity that was giving minorities things at the expense -- >> redistributing yours to give to the other -- >> the redefinition of government as sort of prodding the welfare state, for minorities, for poor people who were mainly black and brown, i think that was part of the context that reagan sort of subtly introduced into the conversation. that said, and perry has written great pieces about this, i was last week at the urban league's urban ideas forum, that they do every year, talking about health care. and what is happening on the ground with health care, is that it is grassroots organizations like the urban league and others that are implementing health care reform and not the federal government. people are going to these local community neighborhood centers to get this health care. and what the obama administration doesn't want to discuss is that health care reform is largely helping poorer people. and i think that that is sort of the tension here, a lot of people are afraid what health care reform really is the next welfare program. >> so the -- the attitude that joy is describing behind reagan's message in 1980, as we
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saw through the clinton presidency, the dlc, the democratic party tried to respond and did respond in a lot of ways to co-opt a lot of reagan's message, how much of that, how much of what joy is describing is still prevalent in our -- how prevalent is it today? >> i think it is very prevalent. we have one party that says the government is bad. we have other candidates that say the government is bad and doesn't work very well, isn't efficient, joe manchin, folks like that. i'm not sure if obama care works at the end of the day that people's view of the government will change. i think you already had this notion where the sensitive report about this, 149 million people in the u.s. get some kind of government benefit, veterans, medicare, medicaid, go through the list. but people still think the government is not good, doesn't work for them, because no party is -- the democrats rarely say the government is good. they say medicare is good. they say medicaid is good.
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when you look at studies, and ask people, they elicit 19 different government programs and which would you be willing to decrease funding for, they couldn't find the majority of people to support any, zero of 19. talking in no program -- >> i always find the surveys, people seem to think that half the government's money is spent on foreign aid and that's where the big blow is. >> 48% -- 48% said decreased foreign aid. not even a majority there, just to be clear. >> perry raises a great point. look, republicans have to acknowledge there say role for government. can't just bash government. chris christie will be re-elected on tuesday. chris christie turned to fema first thing when superstorm hit last year. a role for fema. there is a role for government, yes. the disconnect is this, do you trust the government to run something? it is not with obama care. two issues here. what obama care pretends to do,
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the second is how it goes about doing this. you have the former cio of the government saying, look, they employed 1960s technology instead of using a cloud, they used 800 different servers, 55 different vendors involved in this. nobody would dare create a system that way, but yet the government decided to do it that way. ronald reagan famously said, i'm from the government, i'm here to help. people read the owe becabama ca nightmare stories and it perpetuates a belief that the government, given its control of something, will inevitably screw it up. >> there is something about, like, a bureaucracy in general, does screw things up. whether it is government bureaucracy or big private companies, because i worked in enough big private companies where it takes three weeks to get somebody to say, yeah, we're working on that, the memo will be out next week. but i wonder how -- if the issues were -- you're describing there with the website get resolved and i believe they can be resolved, i don't know if they will, i think they can be resolved and can get the kind of enrollment numbers they need to
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make this thing work, what does that do to that old reagan line, though, about government is not the solution. it is the problem. this will have proven that government actually did solve a problem. >> you may have proved it bitterly. i'm not sure if it will necessarily change people's instinctive reflection that i don't trust the government. we talked on the other side about republicans and being stuck in various groups. here is another trap for republicans. it is tempting to get involved in the politics of the pejorative, but has there been a republican alternative to obama care put forward in one document you can read? have the republicans talked about marketplace reforms, changing health care lawsuit abuse, things like that? no, it is the party of no right now. as we talk about moving the republican party forward, it is not just enough to trash obama care, you need an alternative. >> republicans have been arguing for big government quite a bit over the past few months. let's start out with the sequester in which the sequester happened and republicans and
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democrats were arguing strongly we have got to get the inspectors back, got to get that expensive air traffic control system going so we don't have lines at airports. we saw even during the shutdown, ted cruz, small government pers personified, right? outside the white house yelling to get reopened large, free, federal parks that people can go and visit. some of the biggest most successful laws on the conservative side of things now are really big and expensive and serious regulations of abortion clinics that are being used to bring down the access to abortion, critics say. there is a lot of things that they want government to do. >> government that their constituents want and lack. government that their constituents -- it reminds me, inflammatory example, but i always thought, george wallace is the very conservative politician, very conservative segregationist democrat from georgia, ran as an independent and his message was conservative, but if you looked at george wallace in economic
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issues, he was actually very liberal. what he -- he was a pro segregation liberal, which meant he wanted big money spent on his people and not anybody else. >> and using the power of government, right, to keep children from going to the university or student to the university of alabama. republicans, they aren't against government, but sometimes they aren't honest with their base about what the government is or does. in the case of the national parks, you had conservative commentators arguing that the closure of the government should not have closed the national parks, that somehow barack obama, the president obama had just decided on pheaa to close the parks and the government doesn't run the national parks. and it doesn't make sense that on the abortion issue thaey're arguing for big government, government intervening in the decisions of women, whether or not to have a child. no bigger government than that. i don't think republicans are against government. they're against government. they perceive as helping people that aren't them. >> and bill wants to get in and will as soon as we come back from this commercial message. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics...
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talking about how voters look at the federal government, what they think it can do or should do and what role they think it should have. you can compare polling from the start of the obama presidency in 2008. 51% said the federal government should do more. 43% said it was doing too much. the numbers have flipped over the last four years. 2012 exit poll, 51% saying too much and 43% saying it should do more. bill, i rudely interrupted you before the last one so please, what were you going to say? >> somehow mitt romney lost that election. joy raised a great point, i thought, about the abortion debate for the pushback from
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pro-choice against pro-life is the issue of intrusion, you're intruding upon people's choices. for conservatives, the pushback against obama care is you're having the government intrude into your life when it comes to your health care choices. and getting a notice in the mail saying your health care policy is no longer applicable, void, doubled, tripled, what have you, this is the next thing to look forward to as we move beyond obama care in the next controversy what can government do next to come into your life, and one thing we kicked around in california, what you see sooner or later is universal preschool for kids, 4-year-old kid, 5-year-old kid and putting them into a state run system before they go into kindergarten. >> one push back on the insurance. it is not as if before the affordable care act passed your health insurance premiums never went up. like they go up all the time. this is something routine in the insurance markets forever. number two, the idea of only government could say to the insurance industry, you cannot charge women more because they're women and have babies, for insurance, you cannot say that if somebody had a pre-existing condition, they
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have to pay 400% more for their insurance. the government is the only entity that can do that. the intrusion on your personal liberty is the government regulating the type of junk insurance that you can no longer sell people. only the government can do that. so how is it intrusion for essentially the federal government to regulate a minimum standard for the kind of insurance that companies can sell you, that's being sold as an intrusion of personal liberty, but it is sort of a false sale. >> that's more succinct summation of that than we heard from the white house almost the entire time. >> i get a letter in the mail saying my insurance policy has been canceled. >> we're talking about, you know, and you taukd earlier about the lack of republican alternative to this. i think part of it is what obama care essentially is is what the republican alternative used to be. back in the clinton days, when clinton was pushing for national health care, you had this sort of heritage foundation conservative think tank plan floating around that said, hey, we like the way president
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clinton is trying to get the universe coverage here is. here is another way. it maintains the private system. the only way to maintain the private system is have this mandate this thing that compels the individual, whether they want it or not, to buy health insurance. i think the -- seems to me the jam that republicans are in is if you're going to be against obama care because there is a mandate and don't want the mandate and against single payer, which i haven't seen the republican come out for that, there really is no feasible alternative you can propose that will get you to affordable universal health insurance. >> right. >> it is the defense of the right of insurance companies to sell you junk insurance. i defy anyone to show me the letter that says your insurance policy is gone. the letters people are getting is this policy no longer complies with federal law. if you do nothing, you'll be converted to this policy. this policy, which is compliant, which costs you x or if you don't want it, you can then go on the marketplace and buy something else. that is what is happening because if you have a noncompliant car insurance policy, then the company that sells you your car insurance will send you a letter saying this policy no longer complies
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with federal law, here is this one. that is what people are getting. and i think these ideas -- there are myth cal cancellations of all health insurance, people should read their policy because if they're getting canceled, it is because it doesn't cover mental health screenings, doesn't cover mammograms, doesn't cover prostate exams, if you were to ever use it, it would be canceled because you reach a cap. all of these things that if you ever actually tried to use that junk insurance policy, it will be a nightmare. the federal government said it is illegal to sell people junk policies and if you have one, it has to be converted to a -- >> what you're arguing is that people who said, you know, the president said in the camera, if you like your insurance, you can keep it. you're saying, hey, you didn't like your insurance. you don't know. >> you didn't use it. >> that's a tough sell. he should have said, i guess, something more along the lines of the insurance you have is awful, and we're going to get rid of it and change it. >> this gets the -- i want to get to this side of it as well. we're talking about, you know, what -- this absolutely could still work and what happens if
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it work and how does that change the political debate going forward. the flip side is, hey, look, we don't know right now if the website is going to get up and running, if they get the enrollments they need, if the risk pool works. if it doesn't, then that whole message we're talking about, reagan message of government is not the solution, government is the problem, that's going to be reinforced times ten. >> we don't think the government should lead the innovation of the muslim country. we don't think the government should estimate how much a stimulus would work and predict unemployment will be very low. that's not a good idea. i probably don't want kathleen sebelius to invest in a company in which she ran a website for. we have learned a few things in the process already. i think there will be some doubt about the government running a website in particular. and we get to see this process lay out. the results will make a big tifrns. i do think it will be hard for the republicans to get rid of the ban on pre-existing conditions. certain things will be hard to repeal. overall effort, we just don't --
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we're very early in a six-month process. don't know what -- until we know the results, we don't know how it will affect government policy going forward. >> it will make it hard for the easy sell. we live in an instant gratification society. we also are at an age where we, as voters, fall prey to the idea that things can be done rather simply. this is part of the obama message of 2008. we can do things simply. george bush promised a simple solution to iraq. these things don't pan out. if you want to push a government message, think from here on you have to be more realistic with people as to the difficulty and the sacrifice. >> i wonder about the longer term. how we think of medicare right now, how we think of social security. even seeing a similar revolution with medicare part d, it was so contentious and very partisan when medicare part d was passed, medicare part d not being used as a talking point by democrats now the way it was six or seven years ago. that seems to be the -- you add all that together, i wonder if
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that changes attitudes toward the government, if you can add health care to that. >> people like medicare part d, but don't like the government. those numbers haven't changed. i'm not sure where we get to the point in america until the democratic party -- if hillary clinton says government is good, and runs a campaign and wins, that's one thing. i suspect she'll say i'm going to defend these programs from ted cruz, chris christie, rand paul, and we'll talk about the programs and i'm still -- people all the time, the famous keep your hands off my medicare, that message gets through. people don't understand what the government does. i think the public may be broadly sort of wrong about you can't say i want to have the government -- but can't pick any program i would -- >> if the public is happy with that contradiction, if the public is happy with we'll re-elect clinton because he defended medicare, maybe they're happy with that. i don't know. thanks to perry bacon of the thegrio.com, bill whalen with the hoover institution, buzzfeed.com's evan mcmorris-santoro.
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a political satirist was pulled off the air. we'll have the jokes that led up to that next. she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. [ groans ] all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap.
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or you are ready for retirement, we'll help you get there. he's been called the jon stewart of egypt. bassem youssef. stewart asked him about doing political satire in an unavailable environment. >> it is actually -- it has been quite a riot and what we do is -- has actually -- we broke ground in the television programming because now people say, wow, he actually says what we want to say. >> well, youssef was taken off the air this week. we'll tell you why and what it means for where post mubarak egypt is heading. that's next. many cereals say they're good for your heart, but did you know there's a cereal that's recommended by doctors? it's post shredded wheat. recommended by nine out of ten doctors to help reduce the risk of heart disease. post shredded wheat is made with only one ingredient: one hundred percent whole grain wheat, with no added sugar or salt. try adding fruit for more health benefits and more taste in your bowl.
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hall we do is go out to dinner.? that's it? i mean, he picks up the tab every time, which is great...what? he's using you. he probably has a citi thankyou card and gets 2x the points at restaurants. so he's just racking up points with me. some people... ugh! no, i've got it. the citi thankyou preferred card. now earn 2x the points on dining out and entertainment, with no annual fee.to apply, go to citi.com/thankyoucards there are plenty of people who believe the grilling that health and human services kathleen sebelius received this week on capitol hill about the botched rollout of the healthcare.gov website, plenty of people believe that was nothing compared to the drubbing she received in a less normal
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setting. >> we'll do a challenge. i'm going to try and download every movie ever made and you are going to try to sign up for obama care and we'll see which happens first. >> okay. >> the nightly whipping the new health care law is receiving on comedy central is more than a set of embarrassing punchlines for the administration. good chunk of the young audience is exactly the demographic the obama administration needs to ebb roll if the law is going to succeed. good political satire isn't just funny or entertaining, it is also subversive. that subversive quality has another government questioning whether a man many call the jon stewart of egypt should be allowed to stay on the air. bassem youssef came to international prominence last year with his own weekly skewering of his country's new leader, mohamed morsi. after hosni mubarak's three decades of secular authoritarian rule, morsi was elected president with the backing of the muslim brotherhood. and bassem youssef wasn't a fan.
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♪ >> youssef has been hugely successful, 30 million viewer for his weekly program. but what youssef doesn't have is the full range of free speech protections of a vibrant democratic society. he opened his show in january hoping things would go better for both himself and egypt's struggling democracy in the new year. >> in march of this year,
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youssef received a warrant for his arrest, but with his network backing him, he was not put on trial. now egypt has a new leader, morsi is out, and the comedian is back in hot water. bassem youssef was on hiatus when morsi was ousted by the military. the military is in control again and killed nearly a thousand islamist protesters in cairo in august. there is a new general in charge. many in the middle class have embraced the new leader, ultra nationalist fervor has swept the nation there are symbols of the general and the army on everything from jewelry to cupcakes to bridal gowns. amid all the support for assisi, all the swelling of national pride, viewers tuned in last friday for bassem youssef's season premiere under the new regime, wondering if the famous comedian would critique the new guys. he walked a fine line, criticizing the patriotic fever, but not taking direct aim at egypt's military leader.
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♪ >> even this was still too much and the government launched an investigation this week against the host for harming national interests in sewing sedition. network executives pulled the pretaped show. statement released by the network cited violations of contractual terms. it is not totally clear what caused them to preempt the show at the last minute. you can tell a lot about a nation and its laws by the way it treats its comedians, its funny men, its satirissatirists. who happens to youssef may be a bellwether for egypt's foray into democracy. back at the table is elahe izadi
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with "the national journal" and also a stand up comedian. i guess we can start with where things stand to understand we talk about the new general in charge right now, and this sort of nationalist wave of support he's receiving. how popular is it, where is that support coming from, and where does this comedian fit into that? >> well if there were free elections tomorrow, and there might be in coming months, and assisi stood in the elections, he would win in a landslide. the muslim brotherhood is more isolated than it ever has been. but, of course, it is hard to know how long this set of circumstances can last. the overall situation of the country is not going to get better and that includes the economic situation. and so this is probably something of a bubble, but the real sentiments of ultra
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nationalism you touched upon, they're real and they're deep seeded, i think they speak to a broader yearning ining in egyp society for a vision. and so you see this broader yearning now for people that want an easy solution. they want things to be better. things have been bad. and they have gotten much worse. the past three years have been really tumultuous and the sort of promise of democracy that people talked about during the initial uprising in tahrir has really evaporated for everyday citizens and for many, you know, some of the high minded principles that activists talked about haven't borne fruit in terms of improving their daily lives. so you have seen particularly since the military intervention and the coup that ousted morsi a groundswell of hypernationalism
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and also state propaganda that has fed this along. so you are faced now with a situation where the bounds of discourse as we were -- as you were talking about have really shrunk and someone like bassem youssef, even with his sort of implicit criticisms of the military, is somehow seen as being transgressive and going too far. >> and rebecca, 30 million viewers a week. we always talk in this country about, oh, jon stewart's influence on politics and he moo igt hav -- can you talk about the role he played, the importance he's played in what ended up happening to morsi and what the military is sort of so afraid of right now? >> sure, so one of -- 30 million viewers in a country that has 80 million people, that's almost 40% of the entire population is watching this program. >> like super bowl numbers here. >> absolutely. and really what bassem youssef was able to do is he was able to
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create an identity in this post mubarak era where the biggest and most important thing i think in egypt was the lack of fear, that for once citizens felt like they could say what they want and talk about politics publicly and that's what he embodied. the space he's filling now, he's trying to challenge this binary you have to either be -- you're either an infidel or you're a traitor. this kind of hypernationalistic or hyperpro brotherhood binary. he's trying to challenge both of those and i can see why for -- from the military's perspective that is, you know, seen as subversive. he has credibility that probably nobody else in egypt has to do that. but really what he's also challenging is that democracy is not just elections, democracy is also a free press. and it has to -- there are many institutions all put together that form a democracy. and so it is interesting it is not necessarily even the military that has pulled him, it is his own station.
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but that's because many people are saying that the show that was pulled, he was criticizing his own station rather than actually going against the military. but we see that part of a free press is that ability to challenge all parts of your society. >> when that arrest warrant we mentioned was reported, back in april this was jon stewart who -- here it is, they both appeared on each other's shows. this is jon stewart's reaction to the jon stewart of egypt having an arrest warrant. >> is there anything else bassem may have done here, perhaps concerning the president himself? >> the show mocked him when he was awarded an honorary degree in pakistan and took aim at the president's less than fluent english. >> making fun of the president's hats and less than fluent english? that was my entire career for eight years. do you have any idea? that's all i did. >> and, you know, obviously here
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in the united states, if you had a jon stewart or stand-up comedian, an arrest warrant issued like that, there would be huge outrage and shock. i'm trying to think back to a generation or two generations ago when there were, you know, the smothers brothers, for instance, tradition -- instances in this country where comedians went too far over the line in terms of what the standards of a network were, what the federal censors were comfortable with, i'm wondering -- trying to place what is happening in egypt in terms of the evolution of our country toward the freedom we enjoy now and see if we can maybe -- maybe this is a natural starting step in that direction. >> well, maybe i'm biased, but i think comics are kind of at the cusp of pushing the boundary of what is permissible discourse, always in any society. also, an effective comedian is going to be able to satirize and poke fun at any institution or person in power. if you had a comedian who was a true believer and didn't poke holes, jon stewart still makes
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fun of president obama. he went on the program and didn't make fun of him, people wouldn't find him funny anymore. they find hypocrisy and poke holes in what people -- the lines people are pushing. and i think there is a really great power in that, that you're able to kind of look in the face of something that you consider horrific or unjust and laugh at it. and it is a mark of leadership to be able to take those jokes. in this country, we have a dinner that is televised every year, where the president is standing right there, sitting right there, as a comedian is making fun of him. and if the president didn't laugh at those jokes, it would be seen as a sign of weakness in this country. >> he gets to give it back too. i remember donald trump a couple of years ago -- >> it is interesting because i think part of the reason that can happen here is stability. and i think that you really pointed to that early on, is that in a country where there is sort of a stable change of government every four years, where it is not accompanied by revolution, where you know there is going to be a stable turnover
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of government, there isn't as much reason to fear any one particular government because they're transtory. i think in egypt what is fascinating is we're from the outside looking in watching a country struggle from having been a dictatorship basically, essentially, to really trying to struggle their way toward both freedom and stability at the same time. so democracy is a great idea, but if you are the person that is living, the average middle class person living in egypt, you want stability too and permanent revolution is not a great idea. so i think that there is sort of a discomfort with any one challenging the military, which was, remember, both considered to be in a lot of ways the hand maiden of the revolution. you had these -- the people putting flowers into the tanks and into the guns of members of the military, they were seen as the one stabilizing force that sort of brought about the essential beginnings of freedom and then are the guardians of it when people decided the person who inherited it, morsi, was not actually a democrat small d, but was seizing power on behalf of the islamists. the military has such great credibility that i think in a
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country that is yearning for stability and democracy, it is sort of a difficult line for him to have to cross. >> i can remember being 8 or 9 years old, watching the inauguration of george bush sr., they were marveling at the peaceful transition of power and thinking, that's -- they're just killing time here what a weird thing to say. as you start to look around the world and get -- you realize, it is very unique what we have here and special. >> the year 2000 when the supreme court decided the election, the reaction to that, the protests if you look at the wide shot in washington, george w. bush was inaugurated, tremendous amount of protests, a lot of anger that persisted for years after his election, but there wasn't that second piece, no violence. you still had a peaceful transition. >> the guy who ruled against the supreme court, al gore stood there in the house as the electoral votes were counted and george w. bush became president and said i don't like it, but i got a rule for this and bush became president. we'll pick this up on the other side there are supposedly elections coming up in egypt,
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we cannot give in for the pressure. we can't just say, we will be -- we will tone it down, because if you choose to tone it down, you will be shut off completely tomorrow. we are covering our own freedom. we can't get rid of mubarak to compromise on freedom. >> bassem youssef on "morning joe" in april. the next sort of step in egypt's post mubarak political development supposedly is elections. i guess sometime next year the military is promising to hold some kind of elections. the whole question is always, you know, will enough parties, will enough participants be allowed to participate so the country accepts this is a legitimate election, this is a legitimate outcome? how confident are you, how confident should egyptians be that this will be a real
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democratic election they're about to have? >> i'm not confident at all. the first step is going to be a referendum on a constitution that is currently being drafted. and that might happen in january, february. a little bit behind schedule. and then a succession of elections, parliamentary and presidential. and i think the contours of those elections, who gets to participate, these are up for grabs at the moment. and something that is being discussed that is at the highest levels of the egyptian government and it is an open question. i think when we think about change in egypt, the timelines now are slightly more expanded, i think the generals and the military have an idea of a managed system that incorporates some aspects of democracy, but with limits. and, of course, the role of the islamists, particularly the muslim brotherhood and their supporters, is still a question mark. and many of those leaders are in prison, are getting ready to go on trial. the former president, first trial date is tomorrow. and so how can one craft an open
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and inclusive electoral process when a good number of political leaders are in prison, you know. that's obviously a tough sell. >> we're talking about the popularity at least for the moment that general assisi has sort of tapped into, is he somebody who plausibly could run and win in this election next year? >> there is a lot of question about if he's going to run for president. he said he hasn't. there is people who say until they know for sure he isn't, they're not going to throw their hats in the ring. so people really kind of are stuck on that. i think it is important we don't only focus on elections. because if we don't have an agreement in a country about what happens after elections, what it means to win an election, it means compromise. it means not getting everything you want. it means not just majority rule but respect for the losers and minority rights. that conversation hasn't been concluded in egypt. having another election is not going to solve the problems that we saw after the first election. the problem wasn't that the
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brotherhood won it was that in their view elections ended democracy, wasn't the start of democracy. they didn't know how to actually govern democratically and i think that right now you have an environment that is very us or them, that's not very good for democratic rule where you have democratic rule, where you have to compromise and you can't be alienating the other as not egyptian or not part of kind of your society. so that's what i really worry about. that we're going straight to elections again when elections really wasn't what caused all of this upheaval over the last two years. >> and there's the small matter of an election not being durable and resulting in removing the president. there's that small matter too, and the disincentive that that might provide for people to participate in a democratic sen society. >> and do we have a sense, what does the united states want. we have interests over there, there's clearly a lot of communication taking place. do we have a sense of what outcome the united states thinks would be in its best interests? the best interests of the relationship? >> we exude a certain sense of
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ambivalence with respect to egypt. and the sort of past dependency of the relationship, the status quo overtakes reality, often. and so the sort of threshold issue is stability. i mean, before we can talk about any kind of regional security interests, stability has to be the foremost concern, and obviously, there is a great deal of concern about the security situation in egypt. and so there's a lot of worry about where things are headed. and i think an understanding of the limited role that the united states has in shaping these events. and this hasn't been helped, frankly, by the sort of mixed messages that have been sent and the lack of clarity regarding u.s. policy that i think not only has egyptians confused, but frankly, has people here that follow these issues quite closely confused. so that lack of clarity, i think, has been a problem. i think at the moment, the u.s. wants flexibility. the administration wants to be able to perhaps have a national
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security waiver in terms of how it deals with a future egyptian government. and it doesn't want to be penned in. but i think this isn't a sustainable process. at some point, we're either going to have to recalibrate this relationship, and think about the mix of aid and how it's delivered. and where we are now, i think, is a problematic one, and something that i think really needs to have some sort of conclusion in the near future. >> all right. and we will be looking, too, to see if bassem youssef is back up on the air anytime soon talking to those 30 million people watching, 40% of the country. that's amazing to think about. anyway, what should we know today? we'll ask our panel and give you answers right after this. help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned,
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all right. it's time to find out what our guests think we should know for the week ahead. we'll start right over here. >> watching secretary kerry's visit to the region. he'll be traveling to -- he's starting off in egypt, but also going to saudi, the emirates and israel, and a chance, i think, to ease the nerves of some allies who are concerned about
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the direction of negotiations with iran and other regional issues, like syria. >> all right. rebecca? >> there's an excellent film called "the square." she's been filming since the beginning of the revolution in egypt. it won the prize at sundance and you can find out screenings in your city at thesquarefilm.com. >> senate tease going to vote on the discriminate employment action. it bars workplace discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. and apparently this is not already a law. >> a perfect one for steve. charlie chris, lifelong republican, turned independent in 2010, will announce his run for governor of florida as a democrat tomorrow. big question is, does he represent the leading edge of a reversal of the reagan democrat trend? lifelong conservative republicans, exiting the republican party, first to become independents, potentially as democrats. >> i'm turning the table,
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because you're a florida expert, put you on the spot. do you think charlie chris is going to be the next governor of florida? >> charlie chris will be the next governor of florida. >> thanks for getting up and thank you for joining us. coming up next is melissa harris-perry, who will be a contestant on "up against the clock" next saturday. be sure to tune in for that at 8:44ish. but first today on mhp, an election day preview. what this tuesday will tell us about next year. stick around. melissa is up next. we'll see you next week here on "up." copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems,
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this morning, my question. why will 47 million people go hungry? plus, olivia pope on "snl" and in the history books. and training day, nerdland style. but first, yes, virginia, there is an election.

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