President Trump takes on the Iran deal, health care, and the Republican Party


ROBERT COSTA: Disruption at home and abroad. President Trump undermines the Obama agenda on health care and the Iran nuclear deal. I’m Robert Costa. We’ll discuss the politics and consequences of unraveling commitments, tonight on Washington Week. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: (From video.) I just keep hearing repeal, replace, repeal, replace. Should have been done a long time ago. ROBERT COSTA: After failed attempts in Congress, President Trump dismantles Obamacare on his own. His administration will stop paying monthly subsidies that cover low-income Americans. Democrats sound the alarm. HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): (From video.) This is sabotage of the Affordable Care Act and, quite frankly, a real disservice to the American people, many of whom voted for him. ROBERT COSTA: What do the new rules mean for Americans and the future of the law? Plus, the president says the Iran nuclear agreement is a bad deal and requests Congress to act. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: (From video.) The Iranian regime continues to fuel conflict, terror, and turmoil throughout the Middle East and beyond. ROBERT COSTA: But some of his own advisors and leading Republicans are wary of walking away. REPRESENTATIVE ED ROYCE (R-CA): (From video.) As flawed as the deal is, I believe we must now enforce the hell out of it. ROBERT COSTA: Where does America stand on the world stage? And what is driving President Trump? We’ll explore his go-it-alone strategy with Shawna Thomas of VICE News, Julie Hirschfeld Davis of The New York Times, Nancy Cordes of CBS News, and Michael Crowley of POLITICO. ANNOUNCER: Celebrating 50 years, this is Washington Week. Once again, live from Washington, moderator Robert Costa. ROBERT COSTA: Good evening. This was the week a frustrated President Trump took a hammer to some of the biggest pieces of his predecessor’s agenda. In back-to-back decisions, he made significant changes to the Affordable Care Act and the Iran nuclear agreement. We’ll explain the effect of both moves, but let’s begin with health care. After several failed attempts by Republicans in Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, the president has decided to stop making federal monthly payments to insurance companies. The cost-sharing reduction subsidies totaled about 7 billion (dollars) this year, and they helped lower the out-of-pocket cost for about 7 million low-income Americans who bought insurance on the health care exchanges. The decision has rattled the health care marketplace, and it’s just with open enrollment set to begin in about two weeks. Nancy, when you look at the president’s decision, the first question, everyone’s big question, is: How does this affect people, low-income Americans? NANCY CORDES: It doesn’t affect them in the short term because rates have already been set for 2018. And if rates do go up in 2019 as predicted, their tax credits will go up as well. The big problem comes in if these insurers say, hey, we were promised these subsides; if you’re not going to give them to us, we’re leaving the marketplace, then that means everybody – not just low-income Americans, but everyone on the exchanges, 20 million people – end up with fewer choices, and in some cases no choices. If Republicans thought things were moving in the wrong direction before, that people didn’t have enough choice, you’re going to be stuck with people who have even fewer choices. ROBERT COSTA: Shawna, are we looking at higher premiums? SHAWNA THOMAS: What you have to understand is that some of the insurers, depending on what state they are – they are in, have already baked in the idea that they weren’t going to get these specific subsidies, and so they raised some of their rates already for 2018 based on that. There are other insurers in some states who also have an option to go to a higher rate if they don’t get this. But it’s all – a lot of people have already been given their letter saying this is what your rate will be for next year, go into the marketplace if you want to make a change. So some of this is baked in, but it’s partly why we’ve seen such higher rates in some states. And there are some states, as she said, who only have one insurer, some counties, like about 1,500 counties have one insurer. And there is a possibility that health insurance companies will say in states like Nevada and Arizona, where there are a lot of those counties, you know, we’re not going to do this. ROBERT COSTA: Inside the white House, Julie, they’re making the case that the current law, the way these subsidies were paid out to insurance companies, was unconstitutional, and because there was a federal court ruling that said so. But is there a political risk here for the White House? JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: Well, there’s a huge political risk because I think, and what both Nancy and Shawna are pointing out, is that there are already problems where already – people are already experiencing some problems in the current system, the way the Affordable Care Act is. The marketplace is not perfect, and in the years to come there were already going to be possibilities of insurance companies dropping out, premiums going up. But instead of addressing that problem, what the president announced was that he’s actually going to be exacerbating that. And this is all predicated on a strategy of if he does this, somehow he believes that Democrats will have to come to the table and cut a deal with him to replace the Affordable Care Act. But it’s – it is the president who is taking this action. It is he who has decided not to pay these payments. And so if nothing does happen – if Congress continues to be able unable to cut a deal on this – I do think that he and Republicans, congressional Republicans, are going to bear a lot of that blame. And Republican leaders know that, and I think that’s the only possible path toward a solution here. ROBERT COSTA: Nancy, is that true? Are Democrats actually going to maybe think about playing ball on health care to try to get these payments back? NANCY CORDES: Well, they’re already negotiating with Republicans. You’ve got these high-level negotiations that have been going on between Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander in the Senate on a package of fixes that would potentially include Congress paying out these subsidies for the next two years, and Democrats will admit that’s how the law should have been written in the first place so they didn’t get into this situation. It was not a huge problem when you had President Obama in the White House, very willing to make these payments. President Trump in the White House, not quite as willing. But these negotiations are really, you know, anybody’s guess how they’re going to end up. When you’re trying to talk about not replacing Obamacare but fixing it, that’s a very fraught discussion between Democrats and Republicans, with a lot of possibilities that this will end in a stalemate. ROBERT COSTA: Michael, what’s the big picture here? The president’s trying to act unilaterally. It’s, in part, because the Republicans in Congress couldn’t get the job done. MICHAEL CROWLEY: It’s unbelievable. If you had said before Trump came in the picture, rewind two years ago and say Republicans are going to win the Congress and the White House but they’re not going to be able to repeal Obamacare, they’re not going to be able to come up with a substitute plan, you would find it hard to believe. And it kind of took Donald Trump to get us to this point. Two quick things I would add. One is on the question of what Democrats are going to do. I think part of it is – there could be kind of an intermediate fix, but if Trump thinks the Democrats are going to embrace one of these Republican plans, Democrats have to believe that plan is going to less hurtful to most Americans than the status quo, even after he’s made these changes. And I think at this point, a lot of Democrats still think that the Republican alternative plans are even worse than what Trump is doing. And one other thing, if we look at polling there has been polling specifically on the question of whether voters want to Trump to maintain the exchanges, maintain the current system, and whether they would hold him responsible for it falling apart or getting worse. Those numbers are not in Trump’s favor. So politically this is very dangerous. And if he’s counting on Democrats to come and bail him out, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. ROBERT COSTA: And, Shawna, there’s an important point to remember. President Trump has already made these CSR payments, cost-sharing reduction payments, throughout his presidency. Now, in October, he’s deciding not to. SHAWNA THOMAS: Well, I think some of this is because he has told his base that I am going to get rid of Obamacare, right? And this is one of many ways that you can kind of destroy Obamacare from the inside. You have this. You have the decision to not totally fund the advertising of Obamacare when open enrollment starts on November 1st. And you have a couple of other others that they’ve done that he’s hoping, I think, that it brings Democrats to the table because they are under so much pressure. But one of the things that I find interesting about this is if you are a fiscal conservative what the CBO has said about this specific thing that the president has decided to do is that it will actually increase the deficit, because the government will have to make up more money because of the way Obamacare is written. ROBERT COSTA: Nancy, I was talking to Charlie Dent, a congressman from Pennsylvania. He’s retiring, so he’s a little more candid. He said the Republicans are trying to pass tax reform. They have a budget coming up in December. They have to extend the debt limit. Now the president’s thrown health care into the mix. How are they going to get it all done? NANCY CORDES: This is yet another hot potato that they did not want to be juggling right now. It’s just like the DREAMers, which the president also put in their lap. They want to focus on tax reform. And now they have this very unpalatable decision. Do we fix the exchanges and get shellacked by our base for essentially propping up Obamacare, or do we potentially take the fall if premiums jack up and people lose coverage and we’re left holding the bag? So it’s yet another iron in the fire for Republicans. And it’s an iron in the fire they didn’t want to put there. For months they had been telling the president as he was threatening to do this: Don’t do it. It’s going to destabilize the markets. Give us some time. We’re trying to work on our own plan. But once it became clear last month that their plan is not going to see the light of day, they can’t get the votes, that’s when the president said, well, you know, looks like I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands. ROBERT COSTA: What’s the White House’s response to the idea that the markets could collapse or they could really struggle because of this decision? JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: Well, I mean, I think that they would say in the short term that that’s not going to happen, that it’s going to take a while for the effects of this to be felt. And before that, we’re going to get a deal. I mean, I do think that they’re putting a lot of eggs in this basket of this is ratcheting up the pressure on Democrats and Republicans, frankly, to actually get something done that we’ve been asking them to get done. The problem for them is that, you know, there are deadlines and there are – there’s open enrollment. There are things that are going to start to happen that people who have now seen this decision are going to attribute to the fact that the president clearly wants to take actions that make the Affordable Care Act less effective. And Democrats are going to be very loath to step forward and make any kind of a deal that could result in them owning any of the responsibility for that. ROBERT COSTA: What does that deal look like, though, Julie, quickly? I mean, does it mean that the president’s going to push for border wall funding or border security money in exchange for these new health care subsidies to be reinstated? JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: I haven’t actually heard the idea of any sort of other subject rider coming onto this floated. I do think that, you know, restrictions and potential waivers for states to be able to do what they want with regard to the insurance markets and insurance plans is something that they would really like to do. And I mean, that’s what a lot of the repeal and replace efforts were about before. I think it wouldn’t be surprising if they tried to pair that with the CSR payments. I just don’t know if that’s going to fly. NANCY CORDES: And part of the problem is that nobody really knows exactly what kind of plan the president wants. He seems to change his mind all the time – repeal it alone, repeal and replace it, just let it fail. And so Democrats would be very reluctant to get into a conversation with him without having any real understanding of where he wants to get to at the end of the day, other than better, cheaper, covers everybody. ROBERT COSTA: And we saw, Shawna, today, there are going to be legal challenges as well as political challenges. SHAWNA THOMAS: Yeah. There already are legal challenges. ROBERT COSTA: There already are. The attorney generals of California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts. They all said Friday: We’re going to sue to make sure these payments keep up. SHAWNA THOMAS: Yes, but the thing is, there are no appropriations for these payments. And so you also might see insurance companies sue just basically to say there’s a law that says we have to make your ability to go to the doctor at a certain group of people cheaper. But you have to pay us. So this is going to go to court immediately, and whether there will be a stay put on it or not. But it is unclear – the president has the power to pay on this. And it is unclear if they can force him to or not. ROBERT COSTA: Nancy, when you look at the Affordable Care Act, this is pulling out one piece of thread with the subsidies. But the expansion of Medicaid remains. Other aspects remain. So this doesn’t take a hammer to the whole law. NANCY CORDES: Right, but the president is pulling at several different threads at the same time. You know, he issued executive orders this week saying that he wants to make it easier for small businesses to band together to get cheaper coverage, which sounds great, but which Democrats warn will mean that, you know, people will be getting coverage that might not necessarily offer everything that is required under Obamacare. It bifurcates the system. You’ve got some people getting one level of care, other people getting another level of care. He’s also working on allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines. And there is this fear, which is, you know, valid, among Democrats that, you know, yes, he can’t just eliminate the law, but he can do a lot to destabilize it. And at a certain point, you know, these markets are not invincible. They’re already in – you know, on shaky ground. Democrats and Republicans acknowledge that. ROBERT COSTA: It’s a fascinating debate about executive authority. And President Obama, who Julie covered so closely, and Nancy too, and Shawna and Michael, he used executive authority. Now President Trump’s using executive authority to counter that exact agenda. Let’s continue with this theme of the week, which is the president trying to undo what President Obama put in place. When President Trump entered the White House, remember, he promised to renegotiate what he called bad deals. And on Friday, he set his sights on what he says is the worst deal ever, the Iran nuclear agreement. The 2015 pact provides Iran relief from economic sanctions in exchange for limits on their nuclear weapons program. President Trump has recertified the deal twice before, albeit reluctantly. But not anymore. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: (From video.) We cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout. ROBERT COSTA: The Trump administration says Iran is technically complying with the agreement, but is violating the spirit of the deal. Michael, when they talk about the spirit of the deal they’re saying Iran’s complying, but if Iran’s complying then why make these kind of moves? Why disavow it today? MICHAEL CROWLEY: Well, partly because Trump has reached his breaking point. And part of the problem here for Trump is that under a law passed by Congress in 2015 – July of 2015 was when this deal was sealed by the Obama administration and, remember, several other countries – I think five other countries and then also Iran. The law required the president every 90 days to issue a declaration: Iran is complying with this deal. And Trump doesn’t want to have to keep doing that. Every time the 90-day mark comes around there are these stories saying Trump is going back on his campaign pledge to tear up the nuclear deal. And I think Trump feels like this is driving him crazy. He’s getting these bad headlines. So they’re trying to find a way to break out of this. And what the compromise solution here is, is for him to say – and let me add, international inspectors are saying that Iran is complying with the deal. So are senior administration officials, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There have been a couple of little things along the margins you could really nitpick. Basically, they’re complying. So Trump actually on the kind of pure technical facts can’t say that Iran is violating the deal. So he broadens the lens and says it’s the spirit of the deal. Now, the spirit of the deal can mean a lot of things. And there is language in the law that says essentially if the president says it’s not in our national security interests he can say, OK, I’m going to – what people are saying is decertify the deal. That’s basically what he’s done here, on broad grounds saying that Iran’s bad behavior around the region and in general – he doesn’t like Iran – is his basis for doing this. ROBERT COSTA: On that behavior point, is there anything Iran has done since the pact was signed that would give the president some argument to make against it? MICHAEL CROWLEY: So, again, it’s a question of sort of how you – how wide the lens is going to be. OK, so Obama administration officials would say this was a deal about Iran’s nuclear program. And remember, it’s not a perfect deal. But Iran might have been 18 months away from building a bomb. Israel was talking about airstrikes. We were looking at a possible war in Iran – another war in the Middle East. And we did the best we could. And we didn’t have the luxury of pulling in everything Iran was doing around the region that we didn’t like, even though there was a whole bunch of that stuff. Trump’s approach is I’m not just going to focus on the nuclear deal. I think Iran is a big problem for what they’re doing everywhere in the Middle East, from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, supporting Hezbollah the menaces Israel. And that’s the conversation we need to be having. And so it’s almost just different categories that people are looking at. And the argument from Obama people is that Trump is just not – it’s just an apple and an orange. And Trump is just not dealing with the deal – with the nuclear deal on its own terms. But we are where we are. And so now it’s going to go to Congress. People have to understand. What Trump did today was not tear up the deal. But refusing to certify, it opens a window for Congress, which has 60 days to potentially impose sanctions that would constitute a unilateral American withdrawal. And at this point, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Indeed, Trump is not even really asking Congress to do that. So he got the rhetoric that he wanted, he got the politics he wanted, but on the policy we will probably have something like a shaky status quo. ROBERT COSTA: Julie, when you look at the president’s decision to criticize the deal, but not totally walk away, was that because of the influence of the generals around him – General Mattis at the Pentagon, General Kelly in the White House? JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: Well, I do think that, you know, when – he clearly knew what he wanted to do, which is rip up the deal. We heard him say it on the campaign trail. We’ve heard him say it since he’s taken office. But the fact is, as with so many other issues, what he’s found is that when it gets down to actually executing on that, even his own administration does not like that that’s a good course to take. Allies don’t think it’s a good course to take. They worry about the implications in the region. They worry about the implications in other regions, our ability to potentially negotiate a resolution to the dispute with North Korea and their nuclear program. I mean, there are a lot of concerns here. And so he – when he’s – to the degree that there’s been a process around this, and I think more than most issues that this administration has dealt with they have tried to really deal with this in a painstaking way and really review it. All of the information that he’s getting back from his own national security and foreign policy apparatus is telling him: You can’t just turn your back on this and unilaterally withdraw. So what he’s left with instead is kind of this half measure. And he’s actually taken a smaller fraction of a measure even than a half, because what he’s done is just kick it to Congress and said: You all figure out what you want to do here. And it’s kind of ironic because the Obama administration bent over backwards to kind of cut Congress out of this. They purposefully didn’t make it a treaty, so it wouldn’t have to go through the Senate. You know, it was really a deal that was done by – with a lot of executive power and prerogative. And in the end, Congress did have a say. But this president is really punting it back to Congress. ROBERT COSTA: So if it’s going to Congress, Nancy, it’s going to Capitol Hill we already see Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, he’s been a critic of the president. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a Trump ally. They’re working on some kind of agreement to adjust the Iran nuclear deal. NANCY CORDES: Right. They’ve got some legislation that would do things like snap back sanctions if Iran is found not to be in compliance with the nuclear deal. Things like that, that they say don’t trash the deal, that actually strengthen the deal. The challenge is going to be that they need to get 60 votes in the Senate. So they’re going to need to pick up Democratic support. That means Democrats who supported the president cutting this deal in the first place would then have to, you know, be in favor of a deal that essentially says that what President Obama cut wasn’t good enough. So the devil’s really going to be in the details there. And I think also Republican leaders are going to be watching the president for clues about whether he’ll accept sort of a fig leaf, something that he could tout and say: See, I made the deal stronger. Is that going to be good enough for him, or is he going to want, you know, a really specific serious set of deliverables? That is going to be a much heavier lift. SHAWNA THOMAS: Well, and isn’t this already in some ways kind of a fig leaf? Like, we keep seeing the president do this. He wants to do something that he said on the campaign trail he wanted to do – rip up the Iran deal, get rid of the Affordable Care Act – can’t do that, so he does something that basically makes it Congress’ problem. He keeps punting things to Congress. He’ll get to go out on the campaign trail now and say, look, I am hard on Iran, I want to get rid of this deal, now Congress has to do their job. One, Congress doesn’t even have to be involved. If he wanted to put the sanctions back on himself, the way it’s written he could. He could just waive what Obama did like magic. And, two, it’s – it puts in some ways Republicans in Congress in the worst possible situation, once again adding to all the things that you talked about that they have to deal with. Now you want us to deal with the enormity of a deal that was done by the executive branch that involves many other countries, a nuclear Iran. It puts them in a terrible box right now. JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: Well, and he’s also boxed himself in because he set up this predicate whereby, in a certain amount of time, he said if you don’t take these actions, Congress, I am going to walk away from the deal. So we’re going to be all asking and writing stories and wondering 90 days from now, well, what’s he going to do? Is he going to do what Shawna said and unilaterally say this is over, or is he going to take what Congress gives him if they are able to even produce anything? MICHAEL CROWLEY: And it’s important to understand – it’s hard for members of Congress to explain this – but even people who really opposed sealing the – it wasn’t formally signed, it’s not a treaty, so I hesitate to use the word “signed.” ROBERT COSTA: Sure. MICHAEL CROWLEY: Sealing the deal in July 2015, even people who said don’t do it, this is a bad deal, it stinks, keep negotiating, they say now the horse is out of the barn, it’s too late for a bunch of reasons, including the fact that as soon as the deal was consummated we unfroze tens of billions of dollars of assets that Iran was able to access which we cannot claw back – it’s too late, and the consequences of undoing it now are not worth the trouble. And you can believe that even if you thought it was a terrible deal and you opposed it being signed in July 2015. But try to explain that as a member of Congress to your local TV station or a town hall. ROBERT COSTA: And Iran said today in their response, are you prepared to return us our enriched uranium, all of the cash, all of the parts of the deal? MICHAEL CROWLEY: Exactly. So Iran is essentially calling our bluff. And one thing you hear from a lot of Iran hawks is we can negotiate a better deal, and that to some degree Trump is using Congress as leverage for more negotiating power with the Iranians. Maybe, but really you don’t get something for nothing. And if – you know, the Obama administration tried really hard to get a good deal. I just don’t see how they go back and say to Iran give us more without something in return. ROBERT COSTA: We’re going to have to leave it there. Thank you, everybody. We could go on all night. (Laughter.) Our conversation will continue online on the Washington Week Extra, where we’ll take a closer look at three people behind the headlines this week. You can find that Friday night after 10 p.m. at PBS.org/WashingtonWeek. I’m Robert Costa. Thanks for watching, and have a wonderful weekend.

Election ’94: What’s at stake? — with Norman Ornstein (1994) | THINK TANK


Ben Wattenberg: Hello, I’m Ben Wattenberg. The November elections are just around the
corner, and it seems the Republicans have the Democrats on the ropes and that challengers
have incumbents in a corner. How come? Joining us to sort through the conflict and
the consensus are Norman Ornstein, my colleague at the American Enterprise Institute and coeditor
of the just released “Congress, the Press, and the Public”; Catherine Rudder, executive
director of the American Political Science Association; Larry Sabato, professor of political
science at the University of Virginia and author of the forthcoming book “Corrupt
Campaigning”; and Eddie Williams, president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic
Studies. The topic before this house: election 1994. What’s at stake? This week on “Think Tank.” Just two years ago, Bill Clinton and the Democratic
Congress were riding high; today, they are very worried. Congress is extremely unpopular and so is
the president. Why? Republicans point to broken presidential campaign
promises and vacillation, as well as to a series of mini-scandals in the Clinton administration. Democrats blame intense partisanship by obstructionist
Republicans for the sour public mood. Whatever the explanation, incumbent politicians
of all stripes are running scared, especially congressional Democrats. Today, there are 178 Republicans and 256 Democrats
in the House of Representatives. If the Democrats should lose 40 seats, something
analysts is say is unlikely but possible, then Republicans would be in the majority
for the first time since 1952 — more than 40 years ago. In the Senate Republicans need to win seven
seats in order to gain a majority, and even if the Democrats lose fewer than 40 seats,
the ideological center of the House will almost surely shift somewhat to the right. An incumbent president’s party usually does
badly in midterm elections, especially when the president is unpopular, and President
Clinton is unpopular. Since the beginning of this year, Clinton’s
approval rating has dropped from 54 percent to 39 percent as of mid-September 1994. It is unclear how much of a boost in popularity,
if any, he’ll get for averting an invasion of Haiti or for how long it may last. But what the Republicans are really counting
on is the widespread dissatisfaction with incumbents. Look at this: In a recent poll, only 25 percent
of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job, while 63 percent disapprove. At the same time, when voters were asked,
“Have most members of Congress done a good enough job to deserve reelection, or is it
time to give new people a chance?” 78 percent of Americans said that it’s time
to replace Congress with new people. Our first question today, Norm Ornstein. Is the mood of this country now to throw the
rascals out? Norman Ornstein: The mood is to throw the
rascals out generally. The public anger is real. The trick is to figure out whether on November
8 that anger will be boiling over, which will mean bodies of incumbents littered all over
the political battlefield, or just simmering, which will mean elections like 1990 and ’92,
where you get a lot of change but not the dramatic change. One thing is certain, though, Ben, and that
is that we’re going to have a lot of the political equivalent of drive-by shootings
this time, as happened to Mike Synar of Oklahoma, a very respected and tough fellow who lost
in a primary runoff earlier this week. We’re going to see more of those. We’re going to see surprises. People are going to lash out. Ben Wattenberg: Eddie Williams, Norman Ornstein
says drive-by shootings. Is that what you see? Is there going to be a big swing here? Are people angry? Eddie Williams: The people are angry, and
they’re very upset. And I suggest that many of the candidates,
however, are likely to adjust to the public mood. Therefore, I think the Democrats will lose
some seats, but they will not lose control of the House or the Senate. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Larry Sabato? Larry Sabato: Well, Ben, on average in a first
midterm election of a new presidency you have 13 or 14 seats lost by the president’s party
in the House; you have one or two Senate seats lost. I think this year the Republicans will do
substantially better than that, perhaps doubling the norm, and that’s partly because this
year, like some previous midterm years, it’s becoming a referendum on the incumbent president
and incumbent president is unpopular. Ben Wattenberg: Catherine Rudder? Catherine Rudder: Well, I think the public
is certainly angry. But I don’t think it necessarily plays out
in the election. If you take a look at the number of incumbents
who’ve lost in primaries, while there’s been a big surprise as Norm mentioned specifically
in the case of Mike Synar, there are only four — four of the incumbents have lost
in primaries. So for an angry electorate it seems to me
it doesn’t necessarily — it has not so far played out in the way one might have expected. Ben Wattenberg: Larry Sabato, you seemed to
indicate that there was a possibility that this election could be nationalized — I
mean, that the Republicans could make one central issue or several central issues. Is that — I mean, you know, Tip O’Neill’s
famous statement is “all politics are local.” How do you square that? Larry Sabato: I think they’re both local
and national, and we’ve seen other cases of this. The Democrats did it in 1982 — Reagan’s
first midterm election — when we were in a very serious recession. They were able to make the performance of
the national administration on the economy the central issue and pick up 26 seats. So this is hardly unprecedented. But clearly Clinton is the issue in a lot
of districts, in a lot of states. That doesn’t mean that the incumbents won’t
be able to get around it. Many of them will. They’re very agile politicians. They wouldn’t be in Congress if they weren’t. Norman Ornstein: You know, Ben, the biggest
— the single biggest national effect that you get in a midterm election is people who
are angry tend to turn out; people who are not happy, but basically conflicted Democrats
may well sit this one out and stay home. But there are a couple of things to remember
that mitigate against a kind of dramatic partisan switch in the House. In 1982, as Larry mentioned, the pendulum
swung back after a big swing in the previous election. In 1980, Republicans picked up 33 seats in
the House with the Reagan landslide. They lost back 26 of those the next time. The pendulum didn’t swing in 1992. Democrats actually lost 10 seats when Bill
Clinton got elected, so that’ll probably limit some of the losses. And then money matters. There are so many seats that are really contested
now, ironically, that the ability for any challenger to raise enough money to run an
effective contest in the House is limited. Eddie Williams: And I don’t think you should
— we should underestimate the capacity of incumbents to change their political spots,
and I think we’ll see a lot of shifting and to-ing and fro-ing, further confusing
the electorate in terms of what people stand for. I think that is part of the reason for some
of the cynicism that many of the voters see in politicians, that they constantly shift
all over the place to play to special circumstances. Two of the four incumbents who lost were members
of the Congressional Black Caucus, and I think in each of those cases there were some special
considerations involved in their jurisdictions. Incidentally, since I went on the limb with
a prediction before, I’ll predict that there’ll be a very modest increase in the size of the
Congressional Black Caucus this fall. Larry Sabato: Ben, both Norm and Cathy mentioned
a very important case, though, and that’s Mike Synar — a very able, very senior congressman
who clearly was more liberal than his district but still had strong support in a district
that’s pretty heavily Democratic. To have a congressman, an incumbent like Synar,
defeated by a 71-year-old retired person with no history of public office suggests to me
that we may have more upsets on November 8 than we’re currently calculating. Eddie Williams: On the point of a national
issue, it seems to me that the outcome of what is happening in Haiti may very well play
— loom very large in terms of the November elections. Ben Wattenberg: What — Eddie Williams: And we don’t see fully the
outcome at this point. Ben Wattenberg: Maybe you can tell you me
what is happening in Haiti. [Laughter.] I have — we are broadcasting — Norman Ornstein: What time is it? [Laughter.] Ben Wattenberg: I mean, is Haiti going to
be a plus for the president? Eddie Williams: If things go well for him. Right now they are going well. It seems to me he’s gotten a slight bump
up on that particular issue. And if matters continue and there’s a limited
amount of bloodshed or no bloodshed at all, I think that is a plus. If he gets Cedras out of there, either out
of the office by October 15, perhaps even out of the country, I think that is a plus. With Aristide going back and taking over,
I think that is a plus. It will indicate — be an indication of his
ability to use diplomatic means. Larry Sabato: I would have take another view. I would have to disagree with my distinguished
colleague, because I think at best he can get a wash out of this. And that is if everything goes beautifully
and American troops aren’t killed and the plan unfolds as the agreement suggested that
it would and so on. The problem here is really twofold. First, the American public by and large thinks
that this Haiti intervention is somewhere between stupid and insane, and over time,
as things happen as they inevitably do — whether it’s troops being killed or whether it’s
the plan not working as projected — I think it’s going to hurt. I really think it’s going to hurt Clinton. So we’ll have to see what happens, but Democrats
dodged a bullet in not having an invasion with lots of casualties. But this could still turn very, very sour
for the incumbent party. Norman Ornstein: You know, this shows why
it’s so tricky to try and make projections of how many seats will be gained and lost. Events between now and November the 8 — what
Congress does in the next few weeks in terms of dealing with an agenda that includes GATT
and health care reform and telecommunications reform and a whole series of things is going
to matter. If they flop and look terrible, it’ll fuel
public anger. It’ll be like throwing gasoline on the flames. If Haiti has some disaster, it’ll make a
real difference, and the timing of it makes a difference, too. Ben Wattenberg: Would you advise Democratic
congressional candidates to put some distance between themselves and their own president,
which is what the president’s own pollster, Stan Greenberg, said is perfectly all right? Is that a wise strategy, Catherine? Catherine Rudder: Certainly in the South it
is. It’s clear that Clinton is not popular in
the South, and if you take a look at where the Republicans have the best chance of picking
up seats in the House in particular, it’s the South. In fact, half the strategy has to be there,
at least I believe. And there’s nothing wrong with — for these
members to distance themselves from President Clinton. Many of them have not supported President
Clinton down the line, especially in the South, so it’s a wise strategy. It’s just what they should do, and it’s
not dishonest. Larry Sabato: I don’t want to be a total
contrarian, because I basically — Catherine Rudder: Go right ahead. Larry Sabato: — agree with Cathy said. But, you know, there’s another argument
to be made that goes back to a point Norm made about turnout. If you embrace your president and you embrace
your party’s principles and you go full speed ahead in terms of what your party stands
for, you might energize your base, and that really is what the Democrats’ basic problem
is this year, other than Clinton’s unpopularity — energizing that base. Catherine Rudder: But, Larry, I don’t believe
in nonminority districts in the South you can energize — Larry Sabato: In the South. Catherine Rudder: — a base for President
Clinton. Larry Sabato: I agree with that in the South. But outside — Catherine Rudder: It’s simply a fact. The South has undergone a transformation anyway,
a partisan transformation, and I believe it’s just continuing — to the degree parties
matter at all anyway. Eddie Williams: One of the things that works
against in some Southern states, of course, is the very large bloc of black voters that
you have that tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Catherine Rudder: I did say nonminority. Ben Wattenberg: Eddie, are we looking at a
further polarization of American politics and American life, that whites are going to
vote one way and blacks are going to vote another way? Is that what we’re going to continue to
see in America, more splitting apart? Eddie Williams: I don’t consider it polarization
any more than it has been in the past. People vote their interests, and in good conscience,
blacks tend not to see Republican candidates who represent their interests until — I
put the onus on the candidate and on the Republican Party — until they put up candidates that
blacks in good conscience can support. Yes. Norman Ornstein: Clearly, you’ve got a lot
of differences in the South, and the redistricting exacerbates those racial differences. And there are going to be very substantial
changes in the South. One of the things that that’s going to do,
though, is it’s going to change the character of the Democratic Party in the next — the
104th Congress, because basically the Democrats at risk and the Democratic seats at risk are
in the South, as Cathy said, and in the West. They also tend to be the more conservative
Democrats who are the ones at risk. And what that means is that the old conservative
coalition which relied in the Reagan years on 40 or 45 so-called mainstream Democrats
isn’t going to have that many around; there may be 15 or 20. And so the net shift in conservative terms
is not going be as great as people expect if Republicans pick up 20, 25 seats. Ben Wattenberg: Norman — Catherine Rudder: Absolutely right. Ben Wattenberg: — you were talking about
turnout before, and we are reading lots of stories about the power of the Christian right,
the Christian Coalition, in bringing their members out, certainly in primaries. Is there — is that going to change the dynamic
if the Democrats, disheartened, are not going to turn out — Norman Ornstein: That’s — Ben Wattenberg: — and the Christian right
is going to turn out? Norman Ornstein: There’s no question it
makes a big difference. When we look at the almost inexorable patterns
in American politics, that the president’s party loses seats in the House in the midterm
elections, I think one of the key dynamics is that almost invariably supporters of a
president coming in have expectations that are very high and they’re never met. They’re always somewhat disheartened. And people on the other side get very upset
by what’s going on and have a much greater zeal and ability to mobilize and get their
voters out. And the question of whether you can get your
voters out in an election — remember, where turnout drops about 15 points from a presidential
election — becomes critical. And you could look at Larry’s state of Virginia
in the Senate race, where, you know, we — take the conventional wisdom that Oliver North
has a ceiling of about 35 percent of the voting population in terms of support. But if the — he gets his voters out, and
that means Christian Coalition people who are organizing and pushing in voter registration
drives, and the rest of the voters are disheartened and don’t turn out as much, that may be
enough to win. Ben Wattenberg: Larry, there was a poll this
morning that I saw after Doug Wilder dropped out, that instead of that, we assume, mostly
black vote going to Chuck Robb, that it apparently split. And some of it went to Oliver North, and he
is now ahead. I mean, you have a wild race there. What do you make of that, and — Larry Sabato: Well, there’s two factors
at work. One, Norm has just mentioned. The fact is that the Christian Coalition and
voters on the right and the Republican Party generally are energized, and they are apparently
going to turn out in disproportionate numbers. The Democratic coalition is somewhat disorganized
because of the split in the party, and that’s hurting. But it’s also true that it’s too early
to say for sure. Wilder just dropped out. Robb hasn’t had an opportunity yet to consolidate
those Wilder voters. Ben Wattenberg: Who do you think is going
to win? Who do you think is going to win? Larry Sabato: If the election were held today,
it would be North, but it’s not by an enormous margin right now. It’s relatively close. And I think Robb still has an opportunity
to close that gap. Catherine Rudder: I’d like to bring out
two things, one that reiterates something Norm said, and that is you pointed out that,
in fact, in the 1992 election that was not a great pull for the Democrats or for Clinton. And we might reiterate that Clinton only got
42 percent of the popular vote. That’s going to affect what happens in 1994. There’ll be less of the surge-and-decline
effect that you were talking about. Ben Wattenberg: So you think some of these
predictions of Democratic apocalypse are overstated? Catherine Rudder: I’d say they’re overstated. That’s all. Just — that’s not to say the Democrats
won’t lose a substantial number of seats. I believe they will, and I think they’re
going to lose a lot in the House — I mean in the South. Ben Wattenberg: How substantial? Give me a range. Catherine Rudder: I’d say 25 is not unreasonable
in the House. Ben Wattenberg: And how many in the Senate? Catherine Rudder: I’d say five are not unreasonable
in the Senate. But, wait, I want to point one other thing
out before we go on with regard to these elections and the Christian Coalition specifically. They do best in primaries. Any group that’s somewhat fringe does best
in primaries. They energize their folks. They get them out. And they can change elections. Ben Wattenberg: But isn’t — Catherine Rudder: In a general election, these
candidates must go toward the center, or they’re simply not going to win in most cases, even
with great organization by the Christian Coalition. Ben Wattenberg: But suppose — Catherine Rudder: It’s suicide to stay to
the right or to the left. Ben Wattenberg: But suppose the public is
being galvanized not by the Christian Coalition, but what you might call a values coalition. The Christian Coalition may be the cutting
edge of it, but isn’t there a feeling that there’s something wrong with our value system
in government, out of government? You see that in poll — I know that Times-Mirror
poll shows that just again and again and again. Catherine Rudder: Sure, but — Ben Wattenberg: You see it in the black community. Catherine Rudder: Yeah, but, Ben, it doesn’t
mean then that people are going to turn around and vote for strong right candidates. It simply doesn’t. I mean, there’s the Achilles’ heel of
abortion, if nothing else, for most women and a lot of other moderates. That alone. So you can be — one can be quite worried
about values, and I think — we discussed this before the show began. Liberals and conservatives both are concerned
about values and where the country’s going. But that does not then translate into a vote
for a right-wing candidate. Norman Ornstein: You know, one point about
the black community, at least you see in the Times-Mirror surveys, and I think Eddie sees
it in his surveys, too: the whole notion of an evangelical movement. There’s a very substantial evangelical component
in the black community. Catherine Rudder: Yes. Norman Ornstein: On many of the social issues,
including abortion even, the black community is mixed, and there’s concern about the
moral fabric of the society in both places. But what we see in the Times-Mirror survey
is that it’s not of particular benefit really to either party. Catherine Rudder: Right. Norman Ornstein: In fact, the Republican Party
has a huge and growing split between those we call enterprisers — whose main concern
is the kind of traditional economic one and business-oriented one — and those we call
moralists, who’ve almost doubled in number and who are anti-business and whose major
concern is moral deterioration. There’s a real give and take there. What’s happened is both parties have lost
support, and the concern about morals and values has extended to a concern about institutions,
which is hurting the Congress as a whole. This time Republicans will reap the benefits. Catherine Rudder: Right. Norman Ornstein: But, believe me, they may
reap the whirlwind if they’re not careful. Catherine Rudder: Well stated. Ben Wattenberg: All right. Listen, Catherine was brave enough to give
a fairly specific prediction. I would like to just go around the room to
the rest of you and ask for your predictions, and then I want to go on to one other major
topic. She said about 25-seat loss in the House and
five in the — Catherine Rudder: With most in the South. Ben Wattenberg: With most of them in the South. Catherine Rudder: Eighteen or so in the South. Ben Wattenberg: Let’s just — real quick,
just numbers. Norman Ornstein: We knew you’d do this. [Laughter.] It’s a moving target. I’d say — Ben Wattenberg: Norman? Norman Ornstein: — maybe around 20 in the
House and four or five in the Senate. Eddie Williams: I’ll buy that. Larry Sabato: Somewhere in the twenties in
the House, three to five in the Senate. But he who lives by the crystal ball ends
up eating ground glass [Laughter.] Ben Wattenberg: All right. Now — Norman Ornstein: Ben’s eaten a lot of ground
glass. [Laughter.] Larry Sabato: Oh, yeah? Ben Wattenberg: Not as much as some people. Not as much as some people. Let us assume that this range of predictions
is correct, and this means a substantial loss for the Democrats. What would the effect on the Clinton agenda
be if such a change happens? Larry Sabato: Well — Catherine Rudder: Go ahead. Larry Sabato: I was going to see one thing’s
for sure. If the Republicans gained enough seats to
actually take control of one house, it would be a godsend for Bill Clinton. In politics today, unfortunately, you need
a devil figure to run against, and just as Harry Truman ran against a do-nothing Republican
Congress, Bill Clinton would get the opportunity to run against a gridlocking Republican Senate
or whatever the case may be. So you can win by losing and lose by winning. And Republicans, I think, had better hope
they don’t gain control of either house of Congress. Eddie Williams: I think there’s that prospect,
but also there’s the prospect of the reemergence of the “New Democrat” Bill Clinton, who
would indeed try to reach out to establish some greater rapport with moderate Republicans,
which is what he’s been accused of not doing in the crime bill fight. Catherine Rudder: I don’t think that the
Republican leadership has gotten proper credit for what they’ve done in the last couple
of years. The movement from sort of the Bob Michel approach
of cooperation — still partisanship, but cooperation and gentlemanliness — to the
Newt Gingrich approach of fierce opposition has had quite an impact, I think, on the Democratic
Party and on Clinton’s success and his lack of success specifically. And I think, if the Republicans continue — the
Republican leadership, Dole and Gingrich specifically — continue this very fierce partisanship,
which is matched I would say in equal part on the Democratic side — but if they continue
that, it seems to me that we will see a very difficult next two years and more public disaffection
with Congress in general. Ben Wattenberg: Eddie, is it possible that
people like myself who say he has been running the government too far to the left may be
pleased because he will, instead of building this coalition Democrats only, that he will
be forced to go to a centrist coalition? Eddie Williams: Well, you may be pleased if
you’re a victim of the Clinton charm and of his ability to articulate his points of
view. [Laughter.] Otherwise, I doubt if you’re going to be
pleased at all. [Laughter.] But I do think that he has ability to shape
issues of welfare reform. Blacks are not totally happy with how he has
articulated his support for welfare reform. They’re not totally happy with where he’s
come out in terms of some of the health issues. He has got to learn to play to his strength,
which is bridging issues and reaching constituencies. Larry Sabato: Isn’t there a fly in the ointment
here, though? And Norm alluded to it earlier. If you have many of these conservative or
moderate-conservative Democrats in the South and border states going down this year, that
means the Democratic Caucus will be more liberal in the next Congress. And won’t they be pushing Clinton in another
direction? Norman Ornstein: What Clinton has to hope
for, first of all, is that the Democratic Caucus, which will be more liberal, instead
of pushing him in that direction, is chastened enough by a loss of seats to recognize that
they’ve got to move to the middle. And the powerbrokers, I will predict, in the
next Congress are not going to be the old boll weevils, who, of course, Reagan quoted
all the time. It’s going to be the so-called gypsy moths. It’s going to be the 30 or 35 Republicans
in the House who are willing to talk, a model being the crime bill in the end. If he can get the Mike Castles of Delaware
and the David Dreiers of California and the Nancy Johnsons of Connecticut and the Ralph
Regulas of Ohio and the Fred Uptons of Michigan — 30 to 35 of them — and get them in the
room with him, then Newt Gingrich’s incredibility to keep his own coalition together may not
be there. But that requires Clinton to start in the
center, as you said, and to withstand the pressure at both extremes. If he can do that, I think he could have a
very productive two years, and the public would look more favorably upon him. If he’s pulled in one direction or he tries
to have it every which way, then he’s going to be in deep, deep trouble. Catherine Rudder: It seems to me what Norm
suggests, which is I think the politically correct strategy, is almost like threading
the eye of a needle. To get those 30 people in the room and get
them to vote. Ben Wattenberg: All right. We are out of time. I just would like to do one thing very quickly. Give me a pick in the upcoming Senate races
that will be a surprise to voters on election night. Norman Ornstein: Tennessee. Two seats up. One incumbent, Jim Sasser, running against
a newcomer, Bill Frist. A real race to watch. Eddie Williams: Missouri. Alan Wheat winning a Senate seat to become
the second black Democrat in the United States Senate. Larry Sabato: In Montana, Democrat Jack Mudd
has a real chance to upset incumbent Republican Conrad Burns, and that could make it difficult
for Republicans to take over the Senate. Catherine Rudder: In Virginia, Chuck Robb
holds on to his Senate seat. Democrat. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Thank you, Norman Ornstein, Catherine Rudder,
Eddie Williams, and Larry Sabato. And thank you. As you know, we have enjoyed hearing from
you very much. Please write with any questions or comments
to the address on the screen. For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc. in association with New River Media, which are solely responsible for its content.

The Republican Party Is Hilariously Incompetent – The Ring of Fire


The republican party in the United States
is absolutely one of the most pathetic political parties probably anywhere on this planet. Now, before you go ahead and point out that
democrats have lost election after election after election after election. I understand that. The democrats suck at winning, but the republicans
suck at leading. Here’s what I mean. Monday night, obviously, the republican healthcare
bill in the senate failed because two republicans decided to defect, effectively killing that
piece of legislation. You know, this is not the first time that
the senate had to go back to the drawing board because they couldn’t get enough people on
board. And back when the house of representatives
was working on this legislation, they had to do the exact same thing a couple of times
as well, because they could get all of their little republican ducks in a row to support
their disastrous piece of legislation. So my question is this, the republican congress,
the republican senate has accomplished absolutely nothing since they all took office in January,
or since the new session started in January. They’ve accomplished nothing. They’ve been working on this particular healthcare
replacement bill all year long, and they have nothing to show for it. They’re the majority party, not just in the
legislative branch, folks, but in this country right now. They have the house, the senate, the white
house, the supreme court, the federal court system, state legislatures and state governments. A majority of both of those. How in the hell can you control the majority
of everything and still be such a failure? Furthermore, how do you manage to win enough
to claim all of these majorities, and still have no idea how to rule? You know, there was a republican member of
congress a few weeks ago, his name escapes me, but he said, “Republicans simply, we don’t
know how to rule.” And he was a sitting US senator. Said we don’t know how to rule. We don’t know how to lead. And that’s absolutely right. Republicans have no idea what they are doing. It’s the story of the post turtle. You see a turtle on a fence post, you don’t
know how he got there, you know he had to have had some help, and he has no idea what
to do now that he’s up on the post. That is what the republicans are. They’re post turtles. They don’t know what they’re doing, they don’t
know how to get down. But you know that they had a hell of a lot
of help, usually from corporations to get to the position that they’re in. And now, I guess they’re sitting there waiting
for their marching orders from corporate America, and all corporate America can come up with
in their collective voice is, “Cut our taxes.” And the republicans are sitting there in Washington
saying, “But we don’t know how, people are kind of pissed at us, and we can’t do the
thing that you’re telling us to do.” It really is pathetic, folks, when you think
about it. And what’s more pathetic is all the American
citizens out there defending the republican party and accusing the democrats of being
the obstructionists. Absolutely pathetic. Your party, your republican party controls
everything, and there so incompetent and unable to lead that they can’t accomplish anything. And again, that’s the best thing in the world
for the citizens of the United States, because there’s nothing that republicans have proposed
that would help anyone other than corporate CEOs and shareholders. So it’s good that they’re incompetent, but
at the same time it’s also laughably pathetic.

The mounting divide within the Democratic Party in California


THE NEIL: ARE RIGHT, AND THIS IS WHAT SHE DO THE EVERYDAY. THE CORRESPONDENT WRITING THAT NANCY PELOSI IS THE MOST CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE IN HER CONGRESSIONAL RACE. AND THIS AFTER DIANNE FEINSTEIN GIDDINGS KNOB AT THE POWWOW IN CALIFORNIA. ALLIE STUCKEY, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, ROBIN BIRO AND REAL CLEAR POLITICS ASSOCIATE EDITOR AMY STODDARD. JUST WHEN I THINK MAYBE SOME REPUBLICANS ARE GETTING NERVOUS ABOUT THIS RELATED TIP BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL AND RAGE ABOUT ALL THIS OTHER STUFF, IT COULD BE A CASE OF THE DEMOCRATS GRABBING DEFEAT FROM THE JURY. WOULD YOU MAKE OF ALL OF THIS?>>NEIL, AS IS ALWAYS THE CASE WHAT REPUBLICANS WENT THROUGH FOR YEARS AFTER JOHN McCAIN’S LOSS IN ROMNEY’S LOSS IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, IT IS A STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE TWO FACTIONS. WE SAW THIS KIND OF UNRESOLVED TENSION AND RESENTMENT AFTER THE LOSS BERNIE SANDERS ENDURED THAT MANY BELIEVED IN HIS CAMP, YOU KNOW, WAS PARTIALLY BY THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE IN FAVOR OF HILLARY CLINTON AND THERE IS A REAL BREAK DOWN IN THE PARTY ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO GO FORWARD ON A SUPER PROGRESSIVE FREELANCE SOCIALIST AND PROGRESSIVE OF BERNIE SANDERS AND ELIZABETH FOR FREE COLLEGE IN BEATING UP ON BANKS AND EVERYTHING ELSE WERE TO TRY TO TALK BACK TO THE MIDDLE IN WIN OVER THE VOTERS WHO SAW DEMOCRATS DIDN’T HAVE AN ECONOMIC MESSAGE, WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA AND THEN VOTED FOR TRUMP. THERE’S A LOT OF THIS. NANCY PELOSI IS FACING WHAT ERIC CANTOR DID WHEN HE LOST HIS SEAT. VETERAN LEADERSHIP IN A NATIONAL FIGURE OUT THEIR FUNDRAISING IN HOLLYWOOD IN SPEAKING AT HARVARD, PEOPLE AT HOME FIGURED TOO BIG FOR YOUR BRITCHES AND COME AFTER YOU. NEIL: AFTER THE ERIC CANTOR RACE, CALLING NANCY PELOSI THE MOST CONSERVATIVE IS SORT OF LIKE SAYING I’M SMELLED. ANY QUICK READ OF THE SITUATION WOULD DISAVOW ANYONE OF EITHER NOTION. BUT IS THAT REGISTERING — RESONATING. SUCH ANGER ON THE LAST THAT THEY THINK THERE IS A STRATEGY THERE?>>SHE WAS CORRECT TO POINT OUT THE ANGER FROM THE LAST. I’M POLITICAL DIRECTOR HERE FOR LOCAL PARTY IN ATLANTA AND WE ARE STILL TRYING TO HEAL SOME WOUNDS FROM THE DIVISION BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT FACTIONS IN THE YOUNGER PEOPLE, BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTERS. NEIL: WILL YOU BE CREATING MORE ROOMS BY GOING FURTHER?>>A LOT OF THIS IS COMING FROM CALIFORNIA AND CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS ARE JUST ON THE NEXT LEVEL, AS AMY SAID, WITH THE FAR, FAR LEFT TO ALLEGE NANCY PELOSI IS TOO CONSERVATIVE IS ABSURD. IF ANYTHING, SHE IS A LITTLE MORE MODERATE BY GETTING STUFF DONE. I WAS IMPRESSED THE FIRST BUDGET AROUND WITH DONALD TRUMP AS SHE WAS ABLE TO GET A TEMPORARY BUDGET DEAL TO CONTINUE TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT FOR THOSE FEW WEEKS. OF ISSUES GETTING SOME WORK DONE ACROSS PARTY LINES. NEIL: BOTTOM LINE, DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE ON A ALLIE I PROMISE I WILL GET TO YOU. YOU THINK IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE TO GO HARD LEFT?>>YES, ABSOLUTELY. I’M A MODERATE MYSELF, BLUE DOG DEMS. IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE.>>REPUBLICANS ARE GOING THROUGH THIS WHOLE IDENTITY CRISIS AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT MAY BE GIVEN THAT DEBACLE THEY THOUGHT BETTER OF IT. WHAT DO YOU THINK?>>IT’S TRUE, HOWEVER I DON’T THINK MODERATES HAVE A GOOD CHANCE A GOOD CHANCES WITHIN THE PARTY ON THE LEFT AS THEY DO PERHAPS ON THE RIGHT. AN INTERESTING STUDY BY PEW RESEARCH SHOULD NOT OVER 2017 THE SHOW PROGRESSION OF DEMOCRATS FROM 1994 UN 2014 BROTHER FURTHER TO THE LEFT ON EVERY SINGLE ISSUE. LESS MODERATE DEMOCRATS TODAY THAN EVER A MORE SAY THEY IDENTIFY AS VERY LIBERAL OR LIBERAL. THEY JUST DON’T HAVE PATIENCE FOR PEOPLE LIKE NANCY PELOSI. THEY WANT PEOPLE THAT ARE FOR SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE, WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY RUNNING AGAINST NANCY PELOSI. THEY WANT THE SAN FRANCISCO VALUE OR THEY THINK THEY WANT THE SAME AS CISCO, BERNIE SANDERS TO BECOME NATIONAL. THE CONSERVATIVES HAVE STAYED THE SAME FOR 20 YEARS.>>REAL QUICKLY. DIANNE FEINSTEIN GETTING ELECTED TO THE SENATE. NANCY PELOSI, A READER IN TROUBLE?>>I THINK DIANNE FEINSTEIN WILL FACE A BIG CHALLENGE IN INDIA AND PREVAIL.>>WHAT YOU THINK OF THAT?>>I THINK SHE ULTIMATELY WILL PREVAIL. DIANE FINDS CHINA’S 84 YEARS OLD AND SHE’S HELD OFFICE SINCE 1996. IN THE END SHE WILL PREVAIL, BUT THERE IS CONTENTION RIGHT NOW.>>I THINK NANCY PELOSI STAYS IN PLACE. IT’S GREAT PR FOR THE REPUBLICAN

Republican Civil War


Now this GOP infighting, is this the worst you’ve ever seen it? Oh, no… That’s… Well, maybe it is. There’s infighting within the Republican
Party. It’s just all about the infighting. This was caused by Ted Cruz and his
acolytes in the House of Representatives. They let us down this dead-end street. I think it’s a suicide, that caucus. Whether it’s Custer, whether it’s kamikaze, or whether it’s Gallipoli, or whatever, we are going to lose this. This government shutdown, I think
it’s safe to say most people blame the Republicans for that, would you?
-Yep. They shut down the government with a
fool’s errand that would not succeed, and that’s a fact. Senator Cruz pushed House Republicans into traffic and then wandered away. Uh, it’s all fight over tactics. It’s not over what our goals are.

Democratic Party Actually Considered Getting Rid Of Superdelegates


The Democratic party is officially considering
whether or not they should consider the use of super delegates in their presidential nomination
process for the actual Democratic party. Now recently the Democratic Unity Reform Committee
had proposed reducing the number of super delegates there are from about 700 down to
maybe 300, 350, they want to reduce the number by about 60% to try to make it seem a little
bit more fair in the nominating process. Well now, one proposal has come forward that
we just simply do away with ll of the super delegates within the Democratic party, and
we actually hand this lection back over to the people of the United States. And while this a phenomenal idea for the Democratic
party, as we would expect, some corporate Democrats, some establishment Democrats are
pissed off about the thought that they might not get to vote twice for the presidential
nominee for the Democratic party. DNC member Bob Mulholland from the state of
California said that “This is absurd, this would mean that people like Bill Clinton,
and Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama don’t even get to vote for who’s going to be our parties
nominee.” Well, that’s actually a lie Mr. Mulholland
because they do get to vote, they get to vote in the primary, just like the rest of the
people in this country. So how is it fair for them to be able to go
vote in a primary, and then go be a super delegate and cast a second vote for our nominee? That seems a little unfair to me, right? I mean one person, one vote. Not one super delegate, two votes. But that’s the system that you want, because
it’s the system that makes you comfortable. It’s the system that prevents an outsider,
a true progressive, from ever taking over the Democratic party. That’s what the super delegates system is
all about. They want to make sure that those party insiders,
the former presidents, the elected members of congress, that they get the final say. That they have just enough power within the
Democratic party to sway who gets the nomination. That’s what this is about, and that’s what
terrifies people like Mulholland. They don’t want to think about the fact that
god forbid the people who are members of the Democratic party actually get to pick their
own nominee. No, we need to leave that decision to the
old white guys who are running the Democratic party. That’s what they want. Well guess what? Time’s up for you. Time’s up for the old guard of the Democratic
party. Time’s up for the super delegates. It’s time that the Democratic party gets handed
back over to the people who call themselves, and are registered as Democrats in this country. It’s time for them to make the decisions about
who gets to be the nominee. Super delegates should have no face. The super delegates shouldn’t be a thing. Super delegates never should have been a thing. If you can’t trust the people who are registered
members of your party, then you don’t deserve to be running a party at all.

The TEA Party Vs. The Republican Party


scotty knoll students this witness i had a right you can hit the nail maga thank you again to suck ready he’s just
accurate in making said well that’s a lot more than a lot of the people on the
edge and it’s not a study that is the uh… director g journalists at the tea
party news network and the website for that is finance at town hall dot com brent
drives out all column but i want to teach and and dot com is for testing p
and antonio harding even wacko and twitter ets dodi used committing a violation of the cold
i’m back outside of our product i make things
more complicated than what they said because it’s articles of the white you
use a typical republican i’d tea party in republican don’t seem to be mixing
really well in some areas i got john but john mccain on the floor of the senate
really look deeper in what’s going on and that’s why we lost in november and until the republicans learn to play
nice missy inbox and get along a k play like conservatives want them to we’re
gonna continue to lose solo message worsening today i think that this
conference of the messages are where the highway to the road to bernie whenever the wind dad for some reason someone in the
republican party kept telling us that we need moderates he gave his neck pain they gave us
romney go back to bob dole for some prison cell that that the way we need to elect
people of this error skipper senior was moderate busting which junior didn’t
really run as a conservative running here and i’m beyond uh… immigration
reform he started off he here and i’m strong
social safety net i mean he you wanna presidential scary to a second term well course a lot of things happened the
second term and i think that that the democrats are learning right now it’s is
the second time is always a whole different picture than the first citizen
isn’t a big message that the republicans are saying to you folks thirty party
barry goldwater i think that what they’re probably the
same too bright actually i’m finding that doctors and
more of a minority in the republican party that they have agreed that than
the latter squeaky wheel that push these moderates honest any reality you look at
the success back in the fall six ole you look at the passionate came out after
the filibuster threat paul the only bipartisan effort i’ve seen true in
washington d_c_ mayor’s since people want to be excited
republicans want to get excited about something already it was on the right
side of that issue i think you guys out there supporting
him uh… even even even though we are
knowledge it was a stock but good on him i mean you know artists have thier it was brilliant progress is get the democratic party to
do what you arguably hard right conservatives for
lack of better tea party conservatives have gone republican party you have to
do this to the republican party what have we did it republican party the
promise of public imparted to raise money lost is because they sat in the gives
moderate and nobody wanted to go out the root root public in this country are
conservative extra constitutions and one is that what the government to stay out
of their homes and other cities no more social security number medicare get rid
of all it’s as i get read it at the problem is we
need to make sure that we were for it republicans occurred over a private
corporations baca hannah uncapitalized citing it this isn’ta let
me say this on to the democrats do wonderful that think the republicans
seem to learn a lesson up very rarely hear democrats problem and it’s almost i mean you know nowhere to this to the scale that we’re hearing that the
republicans today from my side bad for you pick me it’s
not an election year whether one ever see we are going to get this worked out
and number three hopefully we don’t eat too much carnage of good conservatives
like begin our primary and i wake up call yes welded to the progress of
caucus of him we had uh… rollover haldeman on the reissuing a stand and
details in our tv show they released their they call it the back to work budget i
think it’s an actual budget it pretty much balances the budget within ten
years just like polarized instead of having alba and
then congress has to figure out what to cut and then congress has to figure out
what to raise i was almost falls in palance budget this actually disclosed everything but the democratic party’s largely
ignoring so managed lesson so there is a bit of
incident of that that you guys are much better job of heidi maybe helped it dot knows me on your sights they’re not to
promote that ira anytime people hide i just don’t think it’s happening yea let me just endlessly about
committing i want to sit here and find another republican female out here and we publicly got a fight immediately be allen all media act
akdphi did those c pack republican women gone wild whatever comma savimbi said night at the democratic party images
going that’s because the democratic party by marcia smith cover well i think i think that democrats are
holding press conference constantly talking about that you know the issues
that are important them we have jobs crisis dot it budget prices for example nobody shows up animated as embarrassing boring press comes is that the like if i put
this on their you gotta start losing that sam and max odysseus and the
democratic party has lead to better theater they have done a much better job
of just like they’ve done it might be ready for me to get you angry each of
the strike it at a much better job of taking out
how to buy out that’s about it in time it’s the republicans will never win advise were not able to sit there by a
vote for our welfare system jude wanniski i think mailed it back in
nineteen seventy six when he said that the democratic democratic parties for
the party santa claus council security medicare so you know
medicaid unemployment benefits forty-hour work week vacation time page
and a half uh… workplace safety rules all this that the democratic parties for
the party santa claus and republican party has always been
prescriptive or simply said no dad to everything he said they’re hoping party has to
become a party said because we have to find our own santa claus the santa
clause and he suggested his tax cuts which was in seventy six a radical idea
barry goldwater was on favor tax cuts he was in favor of raising taxes as part of
a package to balance the budget indian gaming election nineteen sixties
whatever it was sixty four and as you may give got that one of my
you guys as young as well dot gov she’s really human guilty anything of that is
laid out what is true i mean i was actually i was thirteen years old i
walked toward adored by dad and the naked on behalf of the recall what so i
know what his positions before so but the point is that that the
republican party’s there’s their santa claus is now tax cuts democratic parties santa claus is also
the stuff and brock obama’s come along and say now
shoebuy sanity shoot you sam i think’s gonna happen the now of course
i think it doesn’t help us first of all the fact that if republicans do you have
any cert santa claus that’s not what we need to be doing and
that’s not going to bridging the gap at weatherby via tax cuts yes for the promise of the tax that’s what i say
the tax cuts for the wealthy in tax cuts for the wealthy his taxes honestly on
the middle class not really a real santa claus you get it exits everybody exactly
i mean citizen pick and choose to get started estimate that for the success
the democratic party however once again republicans are gonna have to learn this
message we’re going to have to find a way for karl rove grover norquist
innovators the tea party sit-down dinner table and say okay guys what are we going tha t yeah and could lock on that’s starting on
wednesday indeed antipsychotic tree that we got along on
this latest areas are you going to your website what is going to keep the n n
dot com or townhall dot com there you go scottie hawkins thank you so much
concrete i believe

Trump Defends His Racist Tweets | The Daily Show


The House Democrats
might be happy to label the, uh, president’s
words officially as racist, but the commander-in-tweet
has come out, and he’s here to explain why
these people are totally wrong. WOMAN: President Trump says
he has no regrets about his racist attacks
on Democratic lawmakers, who are all women of color. Trump claims
he’s not being racist. -Do you think the tweets
were racist? -Not at all. The new tweet
from President Trump out just within the last couple
of seconds here. And the president vociferously
denying, as he says, “I do not have a racist bone
in my body.” -(laughter)
-Not a racist bone in his body. Well, to be fair,
I’ve seen his body, and I don’t think
he has any bones. (laughter, applause) Duh. He’s sort of like that… sort of like
that Stranger Things creature. He can just, like,
melt down and slide under doors. I bet Trump would be the first
person to fail an X-ray exam. -That’s what he looks like.
-(laughter) And by the way, by the way,
everyone always says, “I don’t have a racist bone
in my body.” But how do we know
racism is in the bones, huh? Maybe it’s in your spleen. We don’t know.
It could be anywhere. Yeah, the only body part
I know for a fact doesn’t contain racism
is the appendix. Yeah, because
I had my appendix removed, and I still think all
Italian people are in the mafia. -It didn’t change anything.
-(laughter) But Trump has insisted
his bones are 100% racism-free. And then, he went on to say that not only was
this whole thing not racism. It was patriotism. WOMAN: And just this morning
he wrote… As far as I’m concerned,
if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here,
you can leave. And that’s what I say
all the time. That’s what I said in a tweet, which I guess some people think
is controversial. Wow. If you’re
not happy in America, “you can leave.” You know
what’s interesting, right, is that Trump says that now, but when he was running
for president, his entire message was, (like Trump):
America’s failing. This country’s
not what it used to be. China’s beating us. Instead of complaining,
why didn’t he just leave? -Like, it doesn’t make sense.
-(cheering, whooping, applause) No, but, like, logically… That’s what he did. “Make America Great Again”
is basically saying America’s shit,
we need to fix it. But no one told him to leave. Like, just because you complain
about your country doesn’t mean you don’t love it. It’s like sports– fans want
their team to be better; that’s why they complain, right? If the Knicks
kicked out every fan who yelled at them
to play better, Madison Square Garden
would be emptier than Mike Pence’s spice cabinet. -That’s what it would be.
-(laughter) And just by the way,
just by the way, if Trump’s comments– here’s
the thing that gets me, right?– if Trump’s really had
nothing to do with race, nothing to do with race,
how come he’s never said anything like this
to Bernie Sanders? Think about it. Bernie
always talks about America, and he always lists countries that are doing much better
than America. But Trump has never,
not even once, told Bernie to go back
to where he comes from. Never. And, I mean, I guess that’s
partly because ancient Greece doesn’t exist anymore,
but that’s not the point. (laughter) Now… a surprising number
of Republican officials have actually come out and said that they think
Trump’s tweet was racist. But what’s been
really fun to watch is Republicans like Mitt Romney trying to condemn Trump
for being racist without actually saying
the word “racist.” Um, you know, a lot of people
have been using the word, and my own view is that,
uh, what was said and what was tweeted
was destructive, uh, was demeaning, uh, was dis-unifying, and, in fact, it was very wrong. Uh, uh, d…
another word with a “D,” uh, uh, uh… It’s almost like he
was playing the game Taboo. Yeah. And the forbidden word
was “racist.” “Um, it’s demeaning.
Uh, no, no. “It’s… No, specific people,
specific people. “Um, no, disparaging. Um, um…”
“Time’s up.” “Aw! It was very wrong, guys.
‘Racism.'” So, look, Romney clearly doesn’t
have the balls to say “racism.” But at least he acknowledges
that Trump made a boo-boo. Most other Republicans, they’ve
come up with a talking point to try and justify
what Trump said. The top Republican in the House,
Kevin McCarthy, is defending the president.
He says “Mr. Trump isn’t racist. “He’s just frustrated about
these four congresswomen and their political views. I think what you heard
was a frustration that was not based on…
on any religious preference, on any skin color
or anything else. It’s a frustration that we have,
a Congress that needs to act, and they haven’t acted. Come on, of course
the president’s not racist. But he’s frustrated,
like so many Americans are. Ah, yes, my friends. The president
wasn’t being racist. He was just frustrated. It happens all the time. Huh? You get frustrated,
and then just become racist. (laughter) Like, I’m not gonna lie.
I suffer from this. Like, every time
I try and solve a Rubik’s Cube, it happens to me. Like, I’ll-I’ll show you guys. Like, I can’t even control it. Like, I try and figure it out,
’cause I know you’re supposed to move, like, one side,
and then, you see, like, the thing,
and it just doesn’t… -Niggers!
-(laughter) Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. No, no, sorry. No, no. I’m not… I’m not racist.
I swear. I swear. I’m not racist.
Yeah, I’m not racist. I don’t even see color. Which is probably why
I struggle with these things. I, like, I can’t… that’s
why I can’t figure it out. (cheering, whooping, applause) Look, man… frustration
doesn’t make you racist. All right? If anything, it
just lets your racism slip out. Same thing with being angry,
drunk, hungry. None of that makes you
say racist things. Because if it did,
those candy bar commercials would be a lot different. -♪ ♪
-(phone ringing) I’ll let him know. Jose wants to see you
in his office. I don’t trust this Mexican boss. You know, the only reason
they hit piñatas is so they can practice
beating up white people? Look, no offense, but black people have to learn
how to parallel park. Asians. They don’t even know
how to tag people on Instagram. Dude. Eat a Snaks bar. -Why? -‘Cause you’re a little
racist when you’re hungry. Better? Better. (German accent):
Oof. Ven’s lunch? Am I right?

Mike Pompeo Reveals The Truth About Yemen | Yemen 13 | MIC 17


Hey there. Today I am going to be dealing with a single
news story, which I don’t normally do. But it is so important, and it says so much
about the stuff that this channel covers that I think it’s worth unpacking this in depth. Last week the Wall Street Journal revealed
that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo overruled almost everybody at the state department to
keep the war in Yemen going. He chose to continue this slaughter to preserve
a measly 2 billion dollars of arms sales. This story reveals the sad truth about US
policy in Yemen, and US foreign policy more generally. Let’s start this sad story with a bit of good
news. In August the outrageously expensive John
S. McCain 2019 National Defense Authorization Act became law. As I have talked about before, opposition
to the US Saudi war on Yemen is increasing in Congress. All the serious attempts to stop the war were
kept out of the 2019 NDAA, but the war hawks couldn’t keep Yemen out completely. As of last month US refueling of Saudi and
UAE planes is contingent on the State department certifying that those countries are making
an effort to murder fewer civilians. This is not enough. But it is something. The defense department has also been required
to do a review, but hopes were much higher for the diplomats at the state department. The decision on certification was eagerly
awaited. We were all disappointed. On September 10th Mike Pompeo, the head of
the State department, certified that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were making good faith
efforts to stop the war, provide humanitarian aid, and correct the policies that have led
to the slaughter of of over 16,000 civilians. The certification was accompanied by a standard
memo citing the evils of Iran that could have been produced by the Saudi government. This was terribly disappointing. Last week we learned that we weren’t the only
ones who were disappointed. The Wall Street Journal attained a memo that
made it clear that all of the State Department’s experts thought Pompeo should not certify. They knew that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were
doing none of the things that US Law required them to investigate. The slaughter continues, and the US government
is very, very complicit. But Pompeo was more interested in selling
another 2 billion dollars of missiles, so he certified anyway, quite probably breaking
the law. Why? At this point I think it’s worth looking into
who exactly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is. He came to national prominence when he was
elected as a tea party Republican from Kansas in 2010. Though he endorsed Marco Rubio in 2016, he
quickly reconciled himself to Trump World and he was rewarded, first as head of the
CIA, then as head of the State Department. So he looks like a good anti-establishment
type of guy right? Tea party guy from Kansas and a born-again
Trumpkin? Unfortunately it’s all bullshit. Mike Pompeo is the elite personified. He was born in hyper wealthy Orange County
California. He attended West Point and Harvard Law School,
two of the world’s most elite institutions. After law school he worked at one of the most
prestigious law firms in the country. In 1998 he moved to Kansas with some West
Point buddies to set up a Defense Contractor. His financial disclosure forms make him one
of the poorest members of the Trump Administration, but I find that hard to believe, considering
the fact that he sold his company to the massive private equity firm Highland Capital Management
in 2007. My guess is that his wife or his son is probably
a lot richer. His entire resume is filled with links to
the Koch brothers and defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Mike Pompeo is the Military Industrial Complex. This guy isn’t anti establishment. He is the establishment. And when he had the chance to do the right
thing the decent thing, and even the legal thing on Yemen, of course he didn’t do it. His whole career made this inevitable.The
fact that this guy is one of the most trusted, powerful and well rewarded members of the
Trump administration makes it very clear that Trump doesn’t represent anything new. US foreign policy is just as owned by the
Military Industrial Complex as it always has been. This is profoundly sad. But we should be grateful to the Wall Street
Journal for running this story and making the Truth about Yemen and the man who runs
US Foreign Policy so painfully clear. Thanks for watching, please subscribe and
hit that bell next to the subscribe button if you want to be notified when I do a new
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this one, you can click on the paypal link in the description to make a direct donation,
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