tv Book TV After Words CSPAN May 13, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
pretty modest and he was able to achieve them, and i looked around and saw people who may be like my dad were disadvantaged or maybe had been in the middle class may be until a couple years ago really struggling now, and i felt like we needed to do something. i went to write about what happened. we had a big movement for hope and change, 2008 elected the first african president, progress as president, champion of the people, and yet there's still this sense of going from hope to heartbreak in the country. and of course, having been a grass-roots outsider for most of my life and then a white house insider and an outsider again i thought i had a 360-degree perspective on some of the ways that we were not achieving some of the change people had hoped for. >> host: why now? why this book out now instead of the end of the term or beginning of the term -- the end of the
first term? >> guest: in some ways the first term is over because it doesn't seem like they are going to do a whole lot. i think that right now is when people are trying to make sense of the obama era so far. i passionately believe he's going to be reelected and deserves to be reelected, but i think we also have to learn that just voting on one day and then kind of hoping, you know, the vote and hold strategy is not going to be enough to get the changes done. so while people are thinking about politics or thinking about how do i assess what i just went through the past three years, past four years and think about the next four years would be a good time for me to share my perspective. >> host: how did being in the white house for those months -- how has that changed your perspective from being an outsider, being in and be now? we will discuss what happened to meet you leave little bit later, but what exactly -- how did that change the perspective? >> guest: well, i believe that
i have a little bit more empathy and sympathy for people who are in those positions. i know a lot of the grassroots progressive left, which feels just almost disgusted with the white house. when i go out on the road, i do a lot of talking and teaching and that kind of stuff, you hear a lot of a very negative assessments. some of the things they want a president to do would be illegal if he did them. there are rules and regulations. and so, which to think about that really when you're working inside the white house. everything is in the four corners of the law. the legal counsel all the time, everything has to be done and exactly the right way. if you start deviating from with all requires, just based on your own perspective for references or ideologies you can get in a lot of trouble. it's not with the white house is supposed to do some people
expected the president to do things the would literally not even be allowed by law and were not willing often to do the hard work of continuing to build the public welfare and a congress to work with. >> host: do you feel like -- and you were critical of democrats for falling down on the job over the years -- why isn't obama part of that, and second, why isn't he part of the political elite that has failed to help the middle class and held everyone but the 1%? >> guest: i criticize obama. people ask about the book, is it pro obama, is it antiobama? it is a pro analysis book. i really felt like a lot of the books are being written about the obama here and are being written about this moment in history were falling into what i called the d.c. trap. so everything can be explained by the politician and the
political operatives and the pundits and the polls. but we the people are not in that story. the people just sort of our polling data or precincts or opinion but people have real movements and people work to make changes in democracy. so i thought it was important to write a book that took people's movements seriously said the movements that elected obama, how did they built over time? obama didn't come out of nowhere, to some three, 2004. also the tea party movement which seemed to come out of nowhere. how did the work? occupy wall street. i thought those were important things to take seriously, to get from a social movement, the we the people perspective on how change happened in washington and how it doesn't. in writing that, i have a lot of criticism of the president and of the white house in the book. and i talk about ways i think the president could have -- he's been tougher on wall street from the very beginning. better to do that, open the door for the tea party in dhaka bible
street. the two big movements that challenged him in his presidency are in some ways the response to what was the perception of the tepid response from wall street's crimes and misdemeanors so to speak. >> host: let's go into what he could have done. what were some of the solutions proposed on wall street? >> guest: sure. well, i just think -- i'm not alone in this -- i think just getting them free money and hoping they would act better is kind of the way -- >> host: did he pnac some of that money? >> guest: a lot of the was paid back. but there were not enough conditions on it in terms of making sure that the repaired some of the damage to the american people. princetons, you have a lot of the homes that were under water because during the bubble period, the homes are being way over evaluated. well, now people are being we overcharged for their homes. something that have been done to make sure they get more relief than they got. a lot of the bank's right now are sitting on a lot of money to be a small businesses are still not able to access capital the way they should be read the
could have been produced in place to help jumpstart small businesses. a lot of things could have been done in that moment so wall street could help mean streak. main street bailout will straight but then will street didn't really turn around and help me straight in the way i think people felt would have been fair. so that would have been i think a very smart thing for the president to do. i also think the president did good things for the policy point of view but didn't get credit for. so for instance the stimulus, talk of the stimulus. he got a $787 billion stimulus. one third of it is tax cuts for america. republicans and democrats like tax cuts. that is some creasy idea. nobody knows that. most people think obama raised his taxes. he cut taxes for 95% of americans. the other referred is for the state's keeping copps on the beat. when we went down we went down
hard, and if every state had to follow its budget when we went down, they didn't have to lay off teachers, firefighters, nurses, first responders. one-third of the stimulus was keeping copps on the beach and kindergarten teachers hoping your kids. nobody knows that. so the stimulus that was successful in terms of quote on quote saving jobs that were created or saved, you have to teachers' jobs. nobody knows. so that was the kind of mistake even when you do the right thing and you don't know how to get the credit for it, that demoralizes people, and so i think that both sides could have performed better, not surprisingly. outsiders and insiders. the book is an attempt to help us learn from those mistakes so we can go forward. >> host: what about the bush tax cut, something that he's kept this far? it was in his address, it wasn't directly the fact and has continued. >> guest: i think it's time for those to go away for the wealthiest people in america.
the good thing about being in america is if you have a business idea, if you are an entrepreneur and an innovator, you can go out there and do a thing of the job. first of all come you don't have to pay any bribes to have a permit, you can just go get your business permit. if you have a product you can take it to market on the road. you don't have to build the road, the taxpayer built that road. the taxpayers do that in public schools. the water is clean, there's a good tax payers. as the taxpayer does a lot. america -- the american people are the linker investor in every american enterprise. some of the american enterprise doesn't do well, you have low taxes. when you do well in america, you should do well by america. you should be proud to pay your taxes, pay america back. keep the system going said the next person can come and you have internet and use all that stuff you didn't have to buy for yourself, and that return on investment for the american
people is violated when you give massive tax cuts to the people at the top than the people at the top can benefit from america but then they don't have to pay america back. then you wind up with deficits and middle class free-fall. so i think it the and with bush cuts expired it's time to let the wealthy pay america back. they've got the benefit, they allow the bonuses and tax breaks for a long time. that should be over. he wasn't tough enough on my point of view for the first part of the presidency. >> host: so it helps with that. >> guest: the bostick rule is pushing in the right direction and i think what is amazing is if you take warren buffett who was known as a fantastically wealthy person, smart and wealthy, he wasn't in the political idea what obama was able to draw the connection between a wealthy person everybody knows and in respect
and the secretary you can imagine and use that very simple relationship to tell a whole story. that is obama at his best and so he has done some things well and some things poorly. but the grassroots and we did not perform at the level that we should have and some of it is because we were mad at him that some of it is because we have the wrong idea about what his job was. i would say lbj didn't lead the civil rights movement that was the head of state. he signed the loss. frannie lou hamer, dr. king, alice baker, vose grassroots leaders were the ones in sali and mississippi and pushing forward to give the president something to respond to and i think after the inauguration not everybody but to many of us sat
down and thought we finished the finish line when really was november 2008. host to the environment is another place he waged the criticisms for what is your take on what happened in the keystone pipeline? >> guest: that got better now looking back. the keystone pipeline is a really bad idea. that's my assessment. it would as initially proposed take the dirtiest most awful secreting the bottom of the bucket nasty paul carvin and then run it down through america's heartland over the farm land or aqua first to the gulf coast so that it could be refined to china. we wouldn't get any of that oil. but more importantly because of the kind of toxic stuff is it is very corrosive.
we have had a lot of oil spills in canada and you would be risking to help the safety of the american people to do it. to benefit the foreign corporation selling dirty oil to china you have to have thousands and thousands of jobs but then it turned out the numbers it's a temporary job which are important for those workers but the jobs are very few so for the point of view it wasn't worth it. >> host: the southern part of that pipeline. >> guest: sure. the southern part of the building there are apparently some choke points that the existing production could be facilitated without having to go through canada, so that part which was never in dispute. the actual claim of the aquifer and the farmland were going to be put at risk because of the
root of the pipeline and because the kind of product, for the placement of the pipeline and toxicity of the product was going to shut release farmland. that was never true about the southern part. you don't have a problem with the product in that part of the there is no walkover. so you can help other parts of the oil production. however, the good thing about this particular development and it shows once again power movements can make a difference. the people power movements that elected obama the democratic party is the notion that first, the people howard movements through the tea party, challenged the president and then with the keystone of the young instrumentalists, 350.org and bill mckibben challenge the president and said look at the pipeline, don't just go along and they used civil disobedience and protests and leading fed did
play a role. >> host: you say the network around obama didn't help. instead of him what else could they have done? what else could have been done in the last couple of years? >> guest: first of all in most countries where the right wing of marches and the populace movement that would be how you would describe that from an academic point of view the populist movement most countries in the right-wing populist movement takes to the streets protesting the their bustling marches to for two years you just saw a massive team party protests so there were some demonstrations but they were not coordinated in the same way, they were not as successful and of the tea party movement of small purchases and large protests the they were
coordinated and used that grassroots to change the conversation. you didn't see progressives really try to announce the serious response even the midterm elections you still haven't seen any serious. i think democrats and progressive thought that because we had the white house and 60 votes in the senate that's all we needed. i think we thought we had 100% of what we needed to get there and i think actually we had a third. that's only a third. you also have to have the media operation, so like fox news plays a strong role for the rights coming and you have to have a grass-roots movement, the tea party for the grassroots movement so we thought we had 100%, we had a 33% and the people we thought had 30% at 60%
and we wound up being able to stymie the agenda and when the midterm elections and i think we have to learn from that. you can't just vote you also have to peacefully protest, demonstrate, he falls in the community and you also have to have a better message for the media. >> host: you criticize the environmental lobby for not getting behind the cap-and-trade enough. they spend millions of dollars. they were not just on the sidelines. is that if your criticism? on both sides of the body as a lobbyist now. >> guest: with regards to cap-and-trade somebody the was a big champion for cap-and-trade, and i was in the white house when we were able to pass the first part of the house of representatives in the book where i'm critical is after it sold in the senate, and we can't get cap-and-trade done, to be
cap-and-trade was the consensus position of both political parties. when john mccain ran, he ran the same climate change is real, saying cap-and-trade is the right market sensitive mechanism to deal with it, and he ran sing she would create jobs. the only thing both obama and mccain agreed on was climate change caused by humans, cap-and-trade gets the job. >> host: a la of people in the party didn't agree. >> guest: they were there for their party and did agree for that and never ran any ads attacking obama for the position on climate and clean energy and he spoke very favorably on those important points from a can. it stalled in the senate. the republicans have now gone 180 degrees out of the direction in lockstep saying cap-and-trade which is their proposal from the heritage foundation liberals were more interested in the
direct carbon tax obama goes without position it still falls in the senate. i am critical myself, but and the environmentalists mind of oil spill that happened in the spring of 2010 there was another moment they settled on the second let's look at energy policy in america. should we be subsidizing companies that are risking in the long-term? fifa never seen the entire middle movement more quiet during the oil spill. i guarantee john mccain as the president with that spill or george bush, present with the oil spill i would have been out there with a sign protesting. i didn't because who the president was. well, that is a bad -- that's not good for the car were for the president. it's certainly not the way the we should conduct ourselves and so i'm very tough on progressive movements and leaders including myself who did not see enough
principal based on the cost. >> host: there was a poll that was released on april 9th so ten days ago and one of the things i thought was interesting and that it is the 2007 a lot of republicans were overwhelmingly -- a lot of the issues we are talking about, but by four years later they are not. democrats have pretty much stayed the same, republicans have dropped. the partisanship, is it -- what happened there? because there was support where some of these efforts in 2007. >> guest: it's heartbreaking to me because people say there's too much partisanship, but i don't see too much partisanship if you see both sides were equally partisan and equally dug-in. >> host: the magnets are
moving apart. >> guest: it's funny because in some ways moving towards the right, the republicans are moving faster i am a progressive democrat. the president is a moderate democrat. i would have said on health care single-payer. i would have said on health care what you need private insurance companies for health care? insurance is what you buy if you are not sure about the outcome. media have a flood, maybe not, you buy flood insurance because you don't know. everybody knows at some point you have to see a doctor or even if you get run over by a mack truck everybody is going to see if doctor. white you need insurance? the progressive democrat point of view single-payer would be the right answer. well, almost all are moving towards a bipartisan stance so we arrive at the public auction. some people would be medicare for everybody who wants it and private insurance company trying
to be bipartisan. the public auction was too far to the left so we moved again. then to the republican point of view to take responsibility. in the abandoned that and they stated that is not acceptable. so here we are. they become the freeloader caucus in the emergency room the government will take care of it. so, what i see is progressives moving further and further to the right it's just the conservatives are moving much faster so that creates a very strange alana. do we keep just chasing the money around the barn or at some point to receive these are our principles come here is what we believe. stand for them and maybe the american people would agree if we keep changing but it is very
heartbreaking on issues like health care like clean energy and energy independence and others that have been some common ground. we saw some common ground possible it seems i don't think it is good for the country and try to put some in the book. >> host: you said that by the summer of 2010 the health care fight was over. did you ever imagine that we would still be talking about the health care bill and the supreme court is deciding on this it didn't fall far from 2010. >> guest: i will make sure it is as quick but there is another example maybe if the progressive
had stood the ground longer maybe the public option would look more like a compromise. it might have been more friendly to a health care bill this is okay if you want to buy health insurance, go ahead. if you don't you have to pay for the public system like you pay for the public roads with a you like it or not to pay for public schools so whether or not you are going to pay for the public health system. it may not have been the ground to object because we gave away the public auction, the competitive option you could go the public choice, then now can the government just need someone -- >> guest: the thing about it is part of what happened is the deflationary among the progressives when this message t party movement started showing up everywhere have we argued in
the book started marching, too had we had our own concert and rallies and that sort of thing and got more people involved maybe we could have gotten a better deal but instead we got more and more into the sausage making, not the moving in the heartland of the sausage making on washington, d.c. which made people even more depressed. the and the cornhuskers and all these bad little sweetener's, just nasty stuff and so then of course it's hard to get a good deal. then you end up with a deal with maybe doesn't inspire. >> host: do you think it will hurt the president if this goes down if the supreme court
decides that a piece of it or the whole thing -- >> guest: it's hard for me to say. i don't think they are going to strike the whole thing down and i think that they will find a way to keep most of it intact. i think health care is a bigger deal for the political class, for the health care bill it's a bigger deal for the political class than for the working middle class people. i think people concerned about health care, people on both sides are confused about the health care bill evin is or does. so, what things the supreme court actually does it will be interpreted for filters. people think of the health care bills people who don't like it it's already causing all these problems but most of it hasn't even kicked in yet so how will they respond to this? no idea. the progressives are very defensive of the president and how will they respond, but i think the economy, not in a surrogate for the economy the economy is coming to be the real
decision maker. >> host: the tea party was very against the health care bill and i think it is safe to say that you are not a fan. >> guest: i respect their achievement but we don't agree. >> host: how much of your view came from an experience of why you left the white house? was your view of them covered by that experience? >> guest: i try in the book to be fair to their achievement, this phenomenal achievement. if you have essentially a filibuster majority against you in the senate, which they have come if you have pelosi running a house and obama in the white house you haven't drawn a lunch
of good cards to make changes in washington, d.c., and they found a way to do this if you have to respect that no matter what side of the oil into war on the command there was a quick dismissal of that and not appreciating what they were going to be able to achieve. however, i don't agree with their version of american history. i don't agree with their assessment of what america's values are coming and i wouldn't have agreed if i hadn't become a poster boy for their anger and frustration that of course having been the target and have a special insight into the special awareness and the special commitment in myself to stand up against those ideas i don't agree. >> host: you say they plan to the world. where does that come from? >> guest: i mean ashton culture to become kutcher.
>> guest: they appeared much more fierce than in fact they were. >> host: but they were pretty good. >> guest: they were without batting an eye. we are especially brilliant. the big protest that you are talking about in late august and september, 2009, it was august and they were still little they made themselves look big. was three or four people to the town hall meeting, august of 2009. there would be 100 people there and three or four of them who were not but if they would grab the microphone and they would be so loud and passionate that the tv camera couldn't help but focus on that and that is what i talk about. they were able to early on create the impression that
everyone was given to those town hall meetings on their site because the salles on the news a whole bunch of people and it looked like a mob of people turned out when in fact most of the people were there to support the president or find out more information and it was a brilliant feeder on their part and in that sense it is vital. people coming to washington, d.c. to march for the tea party. at that time, the president's organization had 13 million members. so literally if a quarter of those people had marched it would have slumped petipa to protest, but we are not going to march, we are to keep the legislation down and there was a mistake because it psychologically made huge achievements but it looked even bigger because there was a response. >> host: it wasn't just people
showing up in washington, it was people all around the country. >> guest: live in if you need something when it's small, then there's an outcome. if you wait and let it get bigger and let it get bigger and you don't respond to the charges the worst charges they made were not responded to a feast muslim come all these crazy takes -- it's crazy charges that they were not the thing properly dealt with. more importantly, humans see the large number of people coming out whether it is a rock band or nascar you think that's very popular and nobody's coming out of the riverside tuna they are not popular so i do think that in d.c. we talk about the subcommittees and the legislation and we sometimes forget ordinary people are not
tracking of this closely. all they see is a lot of people around the president he must have done something wrong. >> host: you challenge glenn eck for a debate. >> guest: of course. he talks about me but he won't talk to me and i think the people of watch glenn beck, they should ask him why won't you talk to van? if he confesses he's a traitor. well and not those things, so i cannot confess to that. i would be happy to talk to him any time. part of the problem that we have is you have people will live in their own information bubble. just the fact that i read most of the books about the tea party and listen to rush limbaugh and the sort of thing i'm much more
open to the conservative movement than my liberal and progressive friends. i won't even read that stuff. isn't that they are being closed minded, not being open to other views? aren't we doing the same thing? so i think that i am passionate in my beliefs. i don't pretend that i am something i am not, but i also am an american and we have a lot of different points of view in this country and we have to listen to each other. we don't have to agree. i want to beat my opponent. i'm not a conservative. with conservatives running i want to beat them a fair and square. like kids playing soccer i would like my kid to win but if your kid plays with my kids i want my kid to beat your kid but i want them to win fair and square so we could either be passionate in
partisanship but still have principles and not miss treat each other and part of the challenge we have right now is that things have gotten to the point where that is very hard to maintain. things get very heated. we obviously have spoken at times we've tried to maintain the basic view that we are one country and we can disagree. i want to beat you fair and square. but the problem there seems to be a lack of forthrightness and fairness in how the characterize people to challenge my patriotism feed my father was a military. he's passed away what i would have hated for him to have heard this kind of thing being said.
it's not the right way to have a discussion. i write in the book actually about what i call the difference between deep and cheap patriotism and i think it's important that the deep patriotism, liberty and justice for all meaning everybody that's deep patriotism. america the beautiful come and defend america's duty, that is deep patriotism. respecting the liberty would also respecting the principles. there's a poem written on the base that says if you're tired and give me toward poor. that's about the immigrants that came in this country. to can't be an anti-immigrant degette and p triet at the same time. the patriotism is the statute you also love the substance of what the statute stands for. >> host: do you have the opposite view of what you are
saying no and have a deep patriotism? kanaby -- >> guest: i want to challenge the view that you can have a reduction sestak simplistic view of the american values, attack other people as not being paid triet the problem as liberals and progressives usually don't want to raise this question of what patriotism is, because we want to be tolerant of everyone. but then what happens is some people on the far end of the right will then use our silence of his questions and say we don't love our own country and we get challenged and say these people are not patriots. you want to have a debate we have our own view of patriotism, we have our own way of enacting the values and responding and we told them very dearly. if you keep challenging us and saying that we don't believe, then fine, let's have the d date
and at the end of the day we can shake hands and figure out on him not afraid anymore to say now lives and i didn't start this fight but if you want to say everybody that is a liberal and is a progressive is against america, then we are going to talk about what needs to be for america. >> host: talked about the games people have made in the 2010 election and the chance to republican party and a lot of ways this ceiling is raised, we all go on and it is no longer treat you talk a lot about occupy wall street and what have they done to the democratic party that is intangible but is a real measure of change that
they've made? >> guest: a couple things. if you remember in august of 2011 but he party politicized that voters around the debt ceiling and said they were going to crash america's credit rating it was shock and dismay and part of the compromise that can out of the standoff was this idea of a super committee that was going to have a loss of 40 to do a lot of cuts, and i felt was a really big threat to the american middle class working people because i didn't know where they were going to cut and was quick to go superfast. but my organization rebuild the dreamed of, tried to europe to spread the alarm. of those occupy wall street folks are lobbyists, they have
no candidate, just went down to wall street not even in response to that just out of frustration was happening and the change the conversation over might no one was talking about economic inequality. no one was talking about wall street's role in anything anymore. there was kind of off the table. they changed the conversation. even republicans to the economic inequality. but more importantly, the super committee just disappears. the conversation changed so much between august and october that by the time we got to november, nobody wanted to do anything that had been fashionable in august because it would have been going in the opinion which has gotten very much more concerned about debt, deficit cuts but what's going to happen to americans when it comes to jobs and why is wall street getting away with having done all this stuff to the country and they've got more bonuses and
other people have less -- >> host: the deadlock the entire time. >> guest: and the democrats that had been chasing the money for two years stopped chasing it because occupy wall street and the entire discussion happening globally gave a lot of strength to the democrats. the president began to talk tomorrow posthumously in the race for the campaign that he has more space. washington, d.c. changed -- it was on an autopilot prosperity and those young people with no lobbyists, no candidates, changed the discussion in the capitol in the strongest country in the world that is an incredible achievement for a bunch of unknown people so i think you have to give them the credit for that but here's the downside of it. the tea party, they went from
protest to politics very quickly. they were out there protesting and registered voters and they participated in the primary and the support of scott brown and they got ted kennedy's old seat in massachusetts and the senate and hurt the filibuster proof majority. they voted democrat at the time. >> guest: but at the time that he party did an extraordinary job. they went from the energy of protest which is important and the converted that into political power. they were able to begin to implement their agenda. not always in d.c. but in the statehouses across the country. that is an incredible achievement from my point of view. occupy wall street the gravity is different. there in the direct democracy they don't want to register voters and participate but that
meant to hit this is an impact long-term the and they might have otherwise whether that is their choice. the rest of us are not occupiers but are concerned of the 99% need to find ways to begin to fill in the gaps in the that is what rebuild the dream of, and in part of the organization that helps lead to real >> host: are you saying the occupied wall street is kind of on its core squawks >> guest: there's always good to be a role for direct action and democracy. >> host: but in particular -- >> guest: they are so creative and all of the country who knows what they're going to come up with the they've already made it pretty clear that they don't want to register votes, for instance a there's an analogy you can make with occupy wall street that sort of like the student on violating coordinating committee that in the 60's. the occupied a large counters, the occupied the investors. the difference though between
occupied is that they also help mississippi occupied. they ran voter registration and voter education programs. they did the direct action which occupy wall street but they also did the direct voter engagement. that would be the model for the 1960's. the occupiers don't want to do the voter registration card so that does leave a gap. it's not a criticism of them the to the right to do what they want but i speak for the i don't speak for them. there is this gap now how do you turn all that energy into some political power? how do you go from a new era to answer is? how do you not just change the conversation that change the conditions under which people in the red sea to the blue states that is what is left to be done in the next term and what the book is about. >> host: of the occupied years there was a poll you cited in the book so of course i'm going to look it up and that particular was when the occupied
was at the height and americans didn't have an opinion on them so i -- how poignant without movement has been at the height of the movement that not a lot of people even for kind of like -- >> guest: that is another point to suggest things. if you would get the opinion data on the themes fifth popularized its night and day kind of impact the idea of economic inequality. the 99% versus the 1% nobody was talking that way and now we can see that pretty much anywhere in the political conversations people know you're talking about those are hard to pull off if it's just a bunch of young people occupy wall street isn't
the same as the tea party in that the tea party very quickly was able to get the support of fox news and frequently was able to get the support of americans for prosperity and other groups funded which is their right to do but they were to come up with a better alignment on the tea parties and between the protest weighing the and the establishment wing and the occupied movement was based on the dna when you consider no candidates, no money to have that kind of impact on the public will discussion so we are sitting here talking about it now gives you some sense. >> host: i know what i was going to ask you. you talk about the 99% occupy wall street. what is the difference? because i think for a lot of
people who haven't read this book they think the same thing, we are the 99% rallying cry for occupy wall street movement everywhere. >> guest: i need to make a distinction occupied wall street, those are the people who were the occupiers. they basically went down there and got pepper spray, they went to the general assembly's and did the microphone check and the hand signs you have the quarter million people across the country but if you look at the polling data one-third of the country agrees with and that is 100 million people. 100 million people didn't go down and get pepper spray. that is clearly another group of people not 99% literally but in terms of those that agree
100 million people that's kind of like the civil-rights movement in terms of those large numbers everybody present going on protesting that they wanted to see some changes happen in america. the student from violating coordinating committee, the protesters arrived, the occupiers. the 99% of this much bigger, much like the civil rights movement. you could he have a civil rights movement but not be in the coordinating committee. could be in the civil rights mou committee did not be in the naacp is a much bigger movement in any one organization and so i make the case in the book that might be smart to think about the 99% of men as being much bigger than the small number of jury and predicted occupiers. >> host: he want to try to turn this into the 99% political
operation even though it's on the local level. how're you going to do that? >> guest: it's all pretty well under way which is exciting. rebuild the dreamed of, is one organization in a broad coalition of organizations. its incarnation spring if it includes the afl-cio, s. clu, the new bottomline organization which is a question of low-income groups that have been challenging the banks, the domestic workers alike and a lot of progress of organizations the idea is to begin organizing people to people to take nonviolent direct action to peacefully protest but also was wrong with our economy and what could be made better, and it is
a process that we are part of. now there are some organizations that we've been working with like the progressive majority, like the campaign for america's future and others, like the working families party that are recruiting candidates to run for office and have been able to successfully recruit thousands of candidates at the local level and to be able to support them all away to the congressional level. >> host: what are we looking oh-la-la local level? >> guest: the school board, dogcatcher to congress, and the great thing about that is less people get involved and we have rebuild the dreamed of, that something called the contract for the american dream with 131,000 people, 131,002 wondered 19 people to be exact all across
the country to come up with some good ideas to get america working again to get the country back to work and back together and so the contract of the american dream has the ten key ideas including the fair taxes, green jobs, medicare, and that becomes one of the basis by which people agree we could go in a different direction people signed on to it. so there's a lot going on, and the book tries to capture the social movement people power politics that's going on and they love it is about d.c. because harry is going to be the nominee come a great nominee and obama comes out of nowhere and then obama is a president who can do whatever he wants to and the tea party comes out of
nowhere the people, we the people are impacting the system and it's not a left-wing period we don't know what the outcomes are going to be but we do know that people power movements are going to continue to have an impact, and the book is about that and rebuild the dreamed of, is about that. >> host: are you trying to lay the foundation for the party? >> guest: the tea party has it right. they really mean that he party of will. , they can function independently when they want to but they also can be inside when they want to so we do need a strong organized left-wing in
the democratic party in the same way the republicans have a strong word in his right ring. i've seen too little partisanship they keep chasing devotee down the road. to many things we need to step up for our principles and happy to have the debate now between one position that is unyielding and another available to to be moved without any great benefit occupy wall street but we have the groups that make the numbers of the group's the public
employees all of these programs have a lot of different interest. how do you career of them into one coming and i know you are not trying to put them into one box but in 21 mission? >> guest: part of it has to do with what we're talking a lot earlier how do we build the middle class, though middle class corporation was a the result of every individual doing whatever they wanted to just like the economic liberty above everything else. is it the best of the individual doing their very best but also where they can pull the resources not. the middle class was created the
best invention of the world with the american middle class because the whole world saw it and try to duplicate it. it's this horrible thing. american governments can't do anything i don't feel that way. america has great things. the american government is to be educated in the generations of americans. the american government and all those governments that she shelters that are local and tribal is a good government. does the government has no role and should be starved, grover norquist to cut taxes so much we should shrink american command and drown it that isn't a putrid a statement. i don't feel that we about america's government.
so i think we could have to crawl people. you told the true story of the american people. the american century everybody celebrates. you have had a role. the government had a role, the individual had a role. all of these different types of americans had a roll and you can't just take a wrecking ball and painted red white and blue and say i believe in individual liberty and smashed on every other american reputation in american education union. i disagree with that and it's a true story side-by-side one is for what our grandparents did for us but they also were a nation of neighbors in that pool their money through government to build the best country in the world and respected america's government. if you put that story against the american from come american government is always the problem we want to pay taxes i think we can get a lot of people together and that is what we need to do.
>> host: what is the message you want if you want to read this book to take away from it? >> guest: the most important thing i could say is politics is not just what happened in washington, d.c. that we the people make the movement that make d.c. work and so it's not about those and hope anymore. we've got to be postponed. it's quinby received by moderate progressives, independence who are more center. we have to be post hope, not a vote and hope but in large vote and get involved. we have got a big democracy deficit that's opening up. we've got to deal with it and get big money out and more people into the politics and the budget deficit which got to deal with with 100% of americans not just the 99%.