tv Ryan Grim Weve Got People CSPAN August 24, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm EDT
>> tom cole: everywhere, probably mostly in airplanes. you get a couple of hours there are more usually more. so i do a lot of that. then i try to read something every day or read at least a little bit if i've got a book that i'm reading i usually cannot have ten or 20 pages. i don't travel ever without a book. >> find out what other members of congress are reading. what are you reading on otb .org. >> i am so thrilled to welcome) to politics and prose to discuss we've got people from jesse jackson to alexandria the end of big money and the rise of movement. the product of a 30 year
movement that was inaugurated with jesse jackson's 1988 run for the democratic presidential nomination. that year we saw the rise of the rainbow coalition. a multiracial working-class movement and rebellion against the social and economical conservatism the defined the reagan era. that would continue into the '90s. as a 2020 primary speeds up. rim shows us how our political past has influenced the battles of the president. naomi klein called we've got people quote an essential read and shawn, calls graham a total communist. [laughter] >> thank you. he is in fact the intercept washington bureau chief and the former head of the washington
bureau for the washington post where he led a surprise waiting team. please give a warm welcome to ryan graham. >> thank you all for coming out. if anybody here hamza question. you can have a q&a at the end. if you have questions along the way, that you think are really on.feel free to go ahead and raise your hand and it is on., i'll answer it and if not i will kind of file it away and answer it at the end. if it really sparks your curiosity i don't want that moment to slide by so this weekend, the region is not
enough to bring me for starting a civil war inside the democratic party with the piece i had written right around the same time that she wrote a piece that quoted nancy pelosi dismissing the slightest. everybody by now remembers her quote was something like the four people that have twitter but they have a following. two weeks later, here we are with president trump about to get condemned on the house floor in the debate going on. over whether or not the resolution in people can't say racist on the house floor you can describe that you can't say the behavior of the president is racist. all of this started about a couple of weeks ago. she's not known to be very humble she had a reason to fight a flag that column of mind. she didn't want to be seen as starting the civil war because
the idea is that the left is the one that is causing all of these problems. if she wanted to talk about where it started. i figured that's a great opportunity by starting to talk about this book. you can always go back further and further and further before this one i want to start in 1983. so this is a moment where how washington congressmen's from chicago decides he is going to run for mayor. the city at the time is that a machine that is run things as long as anybody can remember. he puts together this extraordinary coalition. he links up with the young, a kind of local reformed gang. they start this massive registration project. they register more than a hundred thousand people. they put together this kind of grassroots project that is aimed at this machine within inches of
victory when jesse jackson hears i'm coming into chicago. and endorsing richard daley. jesse jackson called ted kennedy. the 70 he has for a very long time. aces look you'd be so impressed with what we are accomplishing here you have no idea what we are about to pull off i don't need you to come endorse us. all i am asking is for you to stay out of this race. like you just let the thing play out in ted kennedy says to him look, there's an old family friend. i hear what you're saying but there's just nothing i can do and jesse jackson, first of all there is rather a significant debt payoff that was probably stolen in illinois for his brother and made him president.
that's a significant part but jesse jackson doesn't see himself that way what about him are we are we chopped liver. the primary comes around and congressman wins it anyway. the next day the chicago machine, switches sides they had been democrats they'd been democrats for as long as anybody can remember. they endorse a republican. >> ryan grim: they pretend that they are democrat but they are actually trying to help the other person on the inside. they actually endorse publicly the republican and the candidates. in the campaign. they would rather see the whole thing burned. they would rather see a republican elected than lose power to washington pride anything about that, it makes a lot of sense. because if you are an establishment democrat and there are three outcomes to an election. two of them are okay for you and one of them is not. the established democrat wins
the election, is great for you, if the establishment moves the primary loses the primary and oozes to a republican, then the democrat still controls the machinery and they can work with us. they can be okay. the outcome that doesn't work forum as if an insurgent within their own party wins the nomination and then wins the general election because now it's going to this people powered grassroots movement. so they push forward into the general election how washington is a winning anyway. the only 152 a city that's 90 percent democratic. in the wake of this, jesse jackson who had been washington's right-hand man throughout this campaign, decides that okay, we're going to have to fight this element of the party. if we want to see that the table here going to have to win it. we are not going to be able to
play nice as part of the coalition. we have to fight our way in. so what is it that jesse jackson was fighting. it's an element of the turn of the democratic party that goes back to 1976, this is a year much like this one where everybody thought that whoever wins the democratic nomination is going to win the white house. that is a magnet for egos. everybody swarms and just like we are seeing now. everybody swarms into the election. a lot of the progressive at the time splitting the vote in iowa and new hampshire and splitting it in other early states and jimmy carter, start speaking up 30 percent in iowa and 30 percent in new hampshire any kind of clean stew that 30 percent until he gets into super tuesday which was a big southern wave. he was 50 plus percent down there. many stumbles into the
nomination and he goes into the commission with 40 percent of the vote nest enough for him to win. he then goes on to govern a fairly conservative democrat he launches deep regulation. in a way that would kind of inspire in a way ronald ragan. we think of reagan is the initial d regulator. a lot of it began under jimmy carter. his administration was extraordinarily hostile. organized labor and publicly so. one of his top officials said look at what the ua to feel pain. uaw makes too much money. it needs to be paid los. that was not kinda gassed that was not out of the ordinary the carter administration. so then comes ragan bringing in what we now call ragan democratic. connor had for stuff organized labor to such an extent that ragan comes in and not only does ragan not an see the sitting president but democrats lose 12 seats in the senate.
that's an extraordinary number considering that only a third of the senate 33 seats are every. we lost some of the biggest names. of the 20th century. frank church, these are the kind of people they represented the liberals the epitome of the achievements of the 20th century. they felt like they had saved the world from fascism. they had ever seen three years of economic expansion probably the longest economic expansion in world history. they believed that this was the kind of post deal that they had ushered in and that the country is going through a war in perpetuity. instead they get completely wiped out. not only did dom and donald trump in the white house, but chuck schumer lost the senate seat, elizabeth warren foster senate seat, bernie sanders lost his, others lost theirs.
this crisis of confidence over the democratic party, waiting in the wings was an element of the party this is look, major problems with how we are structured. it's not they were wrong with her coalition, the problem is mechanical. the problem is the supreme or in the late 1970s open the floodgates to big-money and corporate money. republicans exploited that and we did it. republicans hired consultants that roger stone, who did 30 tricks, they figured out how to make negative 32nd as the kind of rows as a decade of positive feeling in the senate career. but we need to do is to go to these big dockers and we need to go to corporate america we need to match them down or for dollar and we need to make these 32nd a heads by these consultants. they were going to be fine. so tony was congressman from california at the time, who
proposes this to the house. the democrats still control the house of representatives. he says you know what, good idea. you can run the democratic congressional campaign committee. at the time it was a complete political backwater. nobody pretty much cared about it. it wasn't much of a concession to give it to them. he instantly creates what we call impact strategy. now it's called fundraising. these are carbon tax that he would go to and say look you're not gonna get anything from us, but we control the house of representatives and there are new rules around here. we need a lot more money to quinn our campaign. you have to pay up if you want anything or you want any access at all. don't think you can get a lot from us but if you want access, you have to pay. of course you can imagine how the dynamic lines up and unfolding over the next few years. in 1982, the ragan recession is on the way. there is a huge blue wave. so democrat start thinking for themselves, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with her coalition.
all we need to do is match them on television. he's a genius. this mccullough kid who works forum, he is so good at what he does. let's just empower these guys to continue down this big-money road. then every couple of, we just battled public and will be fine. they don't quite see the parties slipping away from them. even as we look back and say oh yeah, lbj signed, the civil rights act, the parties realigned. but in fact it was a fifth-year realignment that was moving very slowly negatively see in reverse. so it winds up being this pushback how washington jesse jackson and certainty the source say no, in fact there is an alternative solution. we can build a multigenerational populist coalition and in order to do that, you have to win a
certain portion of the white working class. the argument was you can win a big enough portion of the white working class, two different ways. one, you can appeal to their interests, you can advocate for single parenting or better wages or better economy, childcare. two you can appeal to their culture like anxiety and racism. those are the two choices. when democrats like plano, are thinking about what or which strategy they're going to take, one of them is completely cut off. you can't run a multiracial populist coalition up against our capital, because the power of capital is what you need to fund your campaign. you don't need the white working class and in its entirety, only a portion of it. you're only going for the portion that is kinda comfortable with small racism.
the hard racism, you're going to lose that to this new republican party that is pushing the southern's strategy to help. in common with simple ways with mass incarceration, talk about blessing, ways that you don't outright say that you are trying to win over the white working class by appealing to the racial grievances. but everybody understands that that is precisely what happens. jesse jackson thinks, we beat them in chicago, they're clearly not going to adopt the strategy that we think can win and is worth getting behind. so i'm going to run. so 1984, after trying to recruit a bunch of different people in the left, he decides to run. he doesn't get into it until january. back then people would get into the presidential campaigns much later than they do now.
he is get into like until the caucuses of already started. as soon as he gets in, he skyrockets eats rockets to the top. he's far too late to win but people are stunned at the energy around them. they described it as being a magical moment. nobody could quite understand what was happening. he loses. but then for the next time he decides he's going to do it for real so he's got four years to prepare and he puts together a complete campaign, and a 1988, he runs for president again. one of the things that kind of lost to our political history is just how close he came to winning in 1988. about more than three dozen primaries and caucuses and in 1988 presidential election, going into the michigan caucuses. michigan hamza list of prizes, is a prize in the democratic primary. in 1980 there are three
candidates left. , michael dukakis, massachusetts governor, he wants massachusetts or michigan to approve that he's not just a sectional massachusetts candidate. and jesse jackson is the third candidate still in the race. everybody else, joe biden is finished, bizarre plagiarism scandal. everything in politics is plagiarized. in order to get caught plagiarizing, you had to have just done it to such a pathetic degree. [laughter] on coffee stain results are coming in. jackson has just blown everybody away airport immediately drops out. it's now the kosice verse jesse jackson. washington goes to complete meltdown.
leading the news reports the wake of that, and that michigan race, was one of the most fun things i've done in researching. the record coats coats was for people who are still around her head this is 1988 in all of these people are still around of the reporters and the politicians. they started say, and they start to recognize that jesse jackson is now in a delicate tie with michael to congress, and he is pulling wisconsin ahead. a week and half later. he was in wisconsin, he could cruise through this nomination. he goes to wisconsin and holds this massive rally where he and christ's economic violence. that is being done by the power of capital through ronald reagan against the white black and brown working classes. in backing washington washington they start to come up with the most over-the-top arguments that they can make to stop him. it all boils down to if you
nominate jesse jackson in the democratic party, as it exists, it is over. not only will you lose the general election for the party will be so discredited that nothing will ever be able to rise from its ashes. even though he was pulling ahead in wisconsin, he loses fairly badly to michael to carcass. so from there, to carcass goes on and wins the nomination. speaking of all the people who are still around. there is an interesting article written in the tampa paper one person saying there is a lot of enthusiasm for jesse jackson the people seem to think that michael is more credible. that is one of many times that democratic primary voters have gone against their god. they went with the electable or credible argument. so they put michael and the electable guy and he gets absolutely hammered in a democratic year, the year that
people thought that they would go their way. george hw bush, nobody liked him. he was unpopular as a vice president and unpopular as he ran and he was unpopular where he was president except for a brief moment when he was going to war. so 1992, jerry brown runs. try to pick up on jesse jackson's momentum. when he realized is that jesse jackson didn't have a way of converting that moment of energy into cash that could be funneled into a presidential campaign. all of a sudden he is a front runner, while people can do is get excited about that. they can go talk to their neighbors, but after that, what are you going to do. there's no way to press a button and donate money. no baking program so he developed one 800 number. as 100 number.
you call this number and there is this hilarious moment in the debate where he is told ahead of time that he can't mention his 800 number in the debate. he said he thinks it's really unfair that i can't talk about this and then he did. 1800 jerry brown. what he does is eat holes bill clinton to the left during the primary and to go back and read clinton's rhetoric, he ran a pretty populous and sometimes progressive campaign and he also could appear progressive to people. is a draft dodger but at least he was against the war. at least he didn't inhale but at least he came near someone who was smoking weed. there is a cultural thing people clung to. when they had some help to possibly be a progressive president. he should have just accused
everybody of that in the summer of 92. ray goes to a rainbow coalition. the offshoot of the jesse jackson campaign and pulls off what is now become known as the sister soldier moment. if you go back and look at what actually happened. it is much more interesting than we think of it now. we think of it now as nancy pelosi had a sister soldier moment with marine dowel. someone from the center attacking the left or someone from the center attacking the right. that's become the definition. this had a lot more going on. it was completely obscure rapper at the time. had never been above and 82 on billboards. she had given an interview with the la times after the riots that had been twisted by people to suggest that she was justifying violence as she absolutely wasn't. we have seen this a million times. since then things get twisted
out of context. he goes up on stage and literally compares her to david duke at the coalition. everybody here ought to be condemning sister soldier and he does that with jesse jackson on stage. that part is been lost to history and i think that was a very important.for clinton. not just that he was hauling all of the sister soldier moment that he was telling jesse jackson at the party that jackson represented that's over, this is the clinton wing of the party now. we have one. everybody getting your place. ross perot, rest in peace, he died this week. he was in the president shall race that year. that allowed bill clinton to squeak it with 43 percent of the vote. as you look back and say well, may not get us everything that
we want but at least it wins elections. 43 percent is not a terribly lean endorsement of electoral strategy. ross perot again and 96, allowed him to squeak through with los than 50 percent. the establishment progressive fight doesn't really get picked up again until 2004 presidential election and for the first time that 1800 number, the jerry brown try to use, and then nothing that jesse jackson had is the internet. howard running for president, not terribly progressive himself, there were a couple things people were able to latch onto. one, he was from vermont. people assume he must be liberal. two, the dr. he talks about wanting universal healthcare. that was his number one priority. he's first progressive and three
was against the war. he was one of the only democrats running other than dennis, who was willing to come out and be against the war. so this massive kind of grassroots online movement, forms around him and converts what was a complete longshot bid into something that was credible in getting in paid attention to buy the mainstream press and by local press. he was able to start bringing out big crowds. again, the democratic electorate d is of deciding that it would be nice if he could be preside president, he probably can't win let's go with the electable guy john kerry. he's a veteran. there's no way that he can tarnish the credentials of somebody like john kerry. of course we know how that is. but a lot of people on the howard dean campaign have gone to work on the obama campaign go on to create other elements of the kind of online progressive movement that starts to think
seriously about translating his political moments into small ballads that can be used to compete with the big dollar operations. obama's campaign was one of the first was to take that into the general election at scale. these doing both. he's raising massive eye-popping amounts of money in small dollars but he is also raising eye-popping amounts of money from wall street and from big donors. so he is a decision to make in depth in the book after his election at which set of donors is he going to bring with him to the white house. he very consciously decides to shut down his campaign. it was called organizing for obama. he's had like five different names of it. a change in a moment, he shelves it. he succeeded into the dmz and orders the dnc to shut it down. the executive director was tasked with euthanizing that movement and is now running
another campaign. appropriately. [laughter] he decides that he is going to just work with republicans. he's going to bring the blue dogs in. he's going to appeal to their better natures. the problem that he has, among many others is that the democrats the bluebell democrat that he is working with have been specifically elective and instructed kind enough to work with him. with his white house chief of staff, who had done that in 2006, as a triple c human. he went around the country electing and recruiting as many right-wing democrats as he could under the argument that you had to and it was the only way you were going to win this swing districts. that was a public argument. i get into this in the book two. at the time, there wasn't much of an alternative media.
so manual was able to tell his own story. today it would be a different circumstance. so the time, there is a book written about his success, articles washington post new york times hailed the success of this strategy. of nominating and recruiting the most conservative democrat you can and pushing them into the general election. but if you go back and look at ways is quite startling how poorly he did. in race after race, he publicly would say well progressive has won this primary. that means we are finished. we have no chance of winning this general election. he would pull all of the money of the district the progressive would go on to win the general election. he would spend millions and millions upon millions that went on to lose. but there was such kind of antiwar fervor that democrats swept in any way. a number of these a huge number of these barack obama has worked
with are these kind of right-wing folks folks. and so they do everything from shrinking to the size of the stimulus in order to satisfy these folks after the white house economic advisors had already shrunk it in half. every couple hundred billion dollars you take out the stimulus in 2009, is adding in a couple of points to unemployment. which is producing anger, not only the united states but around the world it allows the housing crisis to just fester. summers came over to do one of these kind of puddles with a bunch of reporters and impressed on this that why are you doing a thing about housing prices in the foreclosure crisis. he said it was a mistake to do it. that you had to let the thing crashing work itself out that the most you could do is foam
the runway. this was untrue it was a policy decision and it was one that led to not only an enormous pain around the country but in norma's amount of political anger. so you see that manifest then in 2010. with the tea party wave. i'll get to the q&a pretty soon. i will skip over the absolute doldrums of the debt ceiling fights. the grand bargain attempts. in the uselessness of washington from 2011 until around 2015 or so. when bernie sanders decides to run for president after making all sorts of people to run particular elizabeth. . . .
people are think what just happened? a million dollars? from that? this is before he went and did his launch on the lake in vermont. and it picks up steam from there. and the thing about a campaign like jesse jackson's or bernie sanders that runs against a machine, it brings very unusual people into politics, partly by necessity because you just simply can't hire professionals because they want careers, and they will tell sanders i'd love to work for you but the clintons -- you now know how
this is. vendors not working for the clintons, apolitical vendors, would not work for the sanders campaign work not provide them basic services because they were so scared. so partly out of necessity you go looking for different kinds of people, but when you broaden your imagination but what is possible, different kinds of people want to get into the campaign. so you have this really unusual set of folks who spy to bernie sanders campaign and say that's what i want to be doing. one of them who i write about is alexander rojas. she was a sophomore in community college in orange county. and she finds out that the california legislature in order to save money, had tweaked its policy around in-state tuition and the next year should we have to pay an extraordinary april. she transferred to a state
university. so the goes, screw it, just going to volunteer for the bernie sanders campaign. another one is barty who was a engineer at stripe. the fifth employee, the second engineer at stripe. stripe is one of the biggest companies most people haven't heard of. it built basically software that takes a little piece out of your credit card every time you swipe it in the world. so it's a pretty good business to be. in but he is completely sick of silicon valley so he reaches out to the sanders campaign and finds his way in. another is corbin trent who had been a chef at one over the most expensive restaurants in new england, and he told me that the final moment for him when he left that industry or that business, he would serve a $10,000 bottle of wine to a bunch of people for lunch and when he came to the table, half the bottle was still there,
uncorked, undrank, and half the glasses war half drank and he said to himself, never doing another thing the rest of my life to make these people's lives any better. so he poured the wine glasses into the bottle, corked it, walk out and quit. went back to tennessee, and started a food truck. he was still running his food trucks when the sanders campaign starts, and so he just organized tennessee, tennessee for bernie as a volunteer. and he harasses the campaign enough they finally say, come on board, you can join us. nobody else will come work for us. and that team along with the folks that were already there build this extraordinary innovative model of allowing volunteers on their own to create their own can cancan
vaseses, 0 launch their own season favreing operations so decentralize and distribute the campaign around the country so that you cannot just start raising money from these millions of people who are fired up about your campaign, but you can actually put them to work contacting voters and getting them out to the polls. this was built too late. they didn't fully get up and running until probably the end of january, and they weren't doing it in iowa because the campaign's paid field staff was handling iowa. but they made something like 185 million voter contacts between the end of january and the end of the campaign. but as claire sandberg who is on the team said by the time we had taken off, we had run out runway, and partway -- end of spring as it becomes apparent that sanders is not going to be able to win the nomination, a
big group of the people on his team go out and form their own organization, rojas, trent, ex-cansly good out and create was what was called a brand new congress and they're going recruit 435 bernie sanders style candidates and run them all over the country. it was a ridiculous idea. it was a total failure. they recite several dozen. but at -- recite self dozen but they went to yank wieger, who runs young turks and they pitched this idea to him, and he also said to them, that's insane. my viewers are going to have in interest in funding republicans, even if they call themselves bernie style person who is antichoice, antigay. doesn't make any sense. so the democratic stuff we can do that.
so they carved awe the democrat side and called it justice democrats and said that we can do something with. and young turks viewer -- i'm a contributor to young turks -- i wasn't at the time -- raised more than $2 million to kind of seed justice democrats. that gets its off the ground. so they start getting nominations coming in. and they're looking for people who will represent diverse districts with a strong kind of bernie sanders style platform. they got about 90% of them were what we would call bernie bros, they're signature through those, looking for people they think can actually win in these districts, and they alexandria ocasio-cortez. as the campaign is unfolding, they start to realize that none of their candidates are looking like they're going to win. they've got i think fewer than ten at this point that are in the field, and so they meet and
the hash it out and decide, look, we need to pick one, we need to pick one candidate and turn the entire organization on her. and they decide that the person with the best shot is ocasio-cortez, and so rojas, trent, they all a move to new york, turn the entire e-mail list in her direction, trying to raise money for her, around the same time the viral campaign ad gets built by means of production, a socialist campaign consulting firm, and all of a sudden in the final few weeks, it feels like she is starting to pick up, and then in june of 2018, she shocks the political establishment and beats joe crowley, and that was actually be a better answer to maureen dowed where this all started.
[applause] >> great talk you've start with chicago talk about rahm and harold washington. i'm a chicagoan, too. one of the interesting other sides i'd by bed in hear your taking the left wing candidates make policy concessions that are also trying to pull middle class voters. you can think of like the antitrust policy stuff from warren and or -- the harold washington notoriously went ton oversee more chalk teacher union strikes than any mayor in chicago history. so if you can thought those
concessions and dynamics in the democratic party. >> there's a difference between policy and politics. the gap just seems to keep getting wider and wider and wider. and so what might -- my count is left-wing politics doesn't necessarily actually work as left-wing policy. what might be centrist politics might be left-wing policy. medicare for all is probably one of the best examples of that. we're now the centrist position among democrats is to be for kind of a public option, and actually i think expanded beyond a public option. and in 2009 that was kind of the left edge. but if you poll people around the country, medicare for all, which some people assume means medicare with an option for everybody, will poll 55% to 65%.
that's a centrist policy. but it's left-wing politics. and i wouldn't necessarily agree that the antitrust stuff, for instance, is centrist. antitrust is interesting and matt steeler is here and i'm sure he has stuff on that but antitrust didn't fit veil we are on the political spectrum because from the right, if you're a supporter of markets and you believe in rules for the markets, then you are strongly an advocate for antitrust. some on the left love trusts. they just want them to be government-run trusts. others on the left say, no, we're okay with the market but it needs to be one that is heavily regulated and directed in a socially beneficial way.
so, where on the spectrum would you but elizabeth warren's accountable capitalism snack that is capitalism in the title, seemed like neoliberal shillery but if you're a corporation that has revenue of more than a billion dollars which is any significant corporation, you now need a charter to operate in the out and in order to get the charter, you can no longer make quarterly profits or profits, period, that drive thing rationale of your business. you have to have workers on your board and you have to make social good and environmental welfare central to your corporate mission. so, that dish would call that a pretty left-wing policy but it gets confused, and the trick is to message what you're advocating for in a way that is
appealing to enough people they allow you to implement it. >> hi. so, you spoke about the kind of political stifling of the left in this country and why it's been kind of difficult for them to get into the halls of power but i'd also point out here maybe your thoughts on the structural demographic, geographic issues that keep the left from power in this country. >> so, those have been fought over, their structural and geographic obstacles have been fought over for the entire course of american history. the course of the 19th century political debate was around admitting new states and whether or not those states would be pro slavery or antislavery. and then after the civil war, it breaks down along party lines, and you wind up with these states, like south dakota and north dakota, and wyoming, andhood idaho with the
congresses and they have woo have the power to bring in as many states as they could and try to stack them with senators who are favorable to their party, and you don't always know down the road how they're going to work out. alaska and hawaii have flipped from how people thought they would be when they were first introduced. so that obstacle right there is huge because over -- while the party's switched back and forth, throughout civilized human history, towns have fought with the countryside. and so the more power that you put into the countryside, the more power for the conservative elements are. that's true in russia, true in france, true in rome 2,000 years ago, and so you now structurally have a senate that is -- that leans in a conservative direction. so the one way to fix that is to
make the place where we're standing right now, a state, that would be quick. another would be to actually allow pork pork to -- puerto rico to have a binding referendum that led to a real mechanism for statehood. all the initiatives they've had in puerto rico, they have barely any turnout because everybody node they're just charades, and so -- and the question of statehood is not even taken seriously by lot of puerto ricans because they don't actually thing the colonizer will go through a genuine process of decolonization so why take seriously this fraud of a system but democrats if they took power could allow a genuine decolonization process to take place with a binding referendum so people understand that if they elected statehood or elect independence or elect some other formation, that it would be actually respected and the transition would be funded.
so you can do that. you also need to pay much more attention not just to what presidential candidates say about the filibuster, but what you're on senator says. a president can want the filibuster to be abolished but if you only have 50 senators you need all 50 of them to vote to get rid of it and in a way you're asking them to give up some of their own power. now, you can make the arrangement they're not going to have any power because with the 60-photo threshold won't be table get anything done at all. but there are particular senators, gary peters, michigan, chris kunes in delware, both up for re-election who just -- they don't get pressured even though they are firmly on record as strong supporters of the filibuster, for the purpose of encouraging bipartisan cooperation as if this were 1973 again.
and so that needs to be addressed. the house of representatives is a giant mess itself. and that place needs to be shaken up with a lot of primaries but the structure is designed as we all learn in civics to stall progress and it does that very well. when the structure wants to get something done, like a $700 billion bailout for wall street, it finds a way to get it done. >> thank you for the talk two quick questions. i know you talk but the need to not only take on conservative democrat but ones who hold power in the democratic caucus. there's a couple of races right now against steny hoyer and then millenial mel in san francisco, are those just quicksot nick and
there's discussion blonder blonder the direct partyes reformable and if the effort right now to primary democrats and work with the democratic party should be a stepping stone to building a new party or just kind of going to remain this way and chang the democrats. >> whether or not -- you don't want to count anybody out. ocasio-cortez showed that people can shock you on election day. those particular challengers have extra long shots. butar in san francisco has to overcome all of the obstacles in primary but pelosi presumably will finish in the top two and goes to the general election and that makes it -- means he would
have to beat her twice out there. also a third candidate running in san francisco which will dilute that. i don't want to discourage anybody from running but i don't have a whole lot of hope for that one. the one in southern maryland with hoyer is interesting because he has been there an extraordinary amount of time. the district has changed a lot. that's a huge uphill fight, too, though. on the other question that -- to me, the -- if you even manage to create a new party, it would just become the old party fairly quickly because the system that we have is, first pass the post, the first candidate, if they get 35% like bill clinton, 43% in 1992. he didn't get anywhere near a majority but because there's a third party he wins with 43%.
because that is the system rather than everybody being rewarded proportionately, you're always going to then shake into two parties. the republican party when it was born, came up extremely fast. 1852 is when they first ran their first candidate, fremont. who hilariously was birtherred. some people said he was born in canada. and they said he was catholic which wasn't true. so, like nothing changes except identities and races. so he wins the republican nomination and only loses to buchanan by a little bit. then four years later they win the white house and we're back to two-party system. so went from a two-party system to one election cycle you have several parties, that the anti-immigrant party the no-nothingsings, the free soil party, bunch of different
parties jockey for position but that's one cycle. whoever wins everybody con -- consolidates behind them. so the dsa party beats the democrat one year, then the next year it's just the dsa party and republican party and everybody who was part of the democratic party before rallies behind the dsa party and jockeyed for paraffle you changed the name of the party but that's it. still fighting the same battle sod you have to win the battle, there's no way of avoiding them. >> earlier you were talk us not distinction between policy and politics. i think there's -- it's fair to say that it's common for more centrist democrats to co-opt molestist resident trick without necessarily going behind the
policy, even when it might be good politics, take, for example, filing impeachment on trump. could you comment on why that might be? i don't want to simplify it to just saying money. >> so, i talk about this in the piece that maureen doud said started the war but this belief or this argument that if they appear too progressive, that these white working class voters that rejected them in 1980 and rejacket mcgovern in 1972 are going to turn tail and all-return away me and republican wiz dominate. part of it is that fear and part of is is habit and part of it is that once they became comfortable with this campaign, with this campaign style, they found it was very lucrative.
this is both personally and politically in terms of campaign dollars. and i talk in the book about the way that our -- the consultants live around kind of like socioeconomic people, winds up shaping a lot of the campaigns and policy. so, i talk to somebody, for instance, who talked about being on a campaign where they ran a poll, and the polling numbers would come back that everybody is supportive of taxing people who make more than $100,000 at a higher rate, for instance. and the numbers are quite clear. so there would be somebody that said, let's be for this. this is clear lay political winner. and then the consultants would say, you know what? politics is an art and a science. and they wouldn't say, i don't like that, because they made $300,000 that year, but they would say -- i was talking to my
neighbor yesterday and he said this about taxes, or at school dropoff the other day i was talking to some moms and they said this. and if all of the people you talk to are making three and four and five hundred thousand dollars, that just kind of creates a mindset that tells you that those politics are just not worth going for. so you combine that with everything else they've got and it just becomes the easier thing to do. the final thing is that in washington, you're never going to get punished for being wrong if everybody else is wrong. but if you try something different, it and doesn't work, that time, you're finished. it's much easier to just go along with what has always been done. might not work. in fact hasn't worked. for a decade.
but at least you're going to be okay because this is what everybody else is doing. these are best practices. >> and this is going to be our last question. >> so, i was wondering if you could -- or willing to give some predictions in your personal opinion about 2020, whether it be things you think we should look out for or how you think the tide will turn. >> i would rather do things you should look out for. i think look very specifically at joe biden's performance in debates and on the campaign trail. i talk about this in the epilogue of the book which is one of the few place is get into what my opinion is about all of this rather than just this is what the story is. but it goes back to what i was talking earlier but
electability. when somebody like donald trump is in office there's nobody like donald trump, but democrats get even more fixate on the idea of electability, the stakes are so high we have to have somebody that is going to beat trump. i don't care if aagree with what they stand for but if they're not frump they can win, i'm for that person. i don't think there's time to change the mindset of democratic primary voters between now and the time they start casting votes in january and february. but there is time for them to make the calculation that actually that guy, joe biden is not electable. that he rankin' 1988 and completely flopped. the plagiarism thing didn't end his campaign. i his campaign was over because of lack of voter interest. put the exclamation point on it. ran again 2008. this was perfect year for him to
do well and he finished with something like one% or two percent. he came in with -- in polling pn the 40s and the way you can tell he hasn't been out on 0 the campaign trail much lately is he hasn't been in the news saying offensive things or apologizing in the offensive things that he just said, and so the more -- he can't always avoid the campaign trail. this campaign has said their strategy is to keep him out of the vision of cameras and the people. but this is a long campaign. he lost 10 points just in one debate and there are more debates coming and there will be more appearances. iowa is a very hand-to-hand, glad-handing, living room type of place. joe biden looks more than his age. he has had a hard life. the m track is comfy but riding
it every day that alone is going to take it out of you. so he does not wear well with people right in front of him and he doesn't do well when he is actually on stage. and so if voters decide that he is actually not somebody that can beat donald trump, then they're going to start looking elsewhere. and at that point i do think the left has to start thinking about hough it's going to -- i think they're already thinking about this -- how they make sure they don't tear each other down. don't want bernie sanners and elizabeth warren going at each other so that somebody else sneaks through because the left has done that over and over throughout history, and then letting another candidate go through, and so the final thing to watch out for is the way that the delegate selection process unfolds. it's true that super delegates are no longer free to elect
whoever they want on the first ballot. but the only way they don't come into play is if somebody gets more than 50%, and if all of these candidates stay in have the money to stay in, going to be very difficult for a single candidate to get 50% was minute and that means that super delegates are free to pick whoever they want on the second ballot. to progressives have to win on the first ballot and might have to propose some type of rule-breaking to do so where if sanders is up, then warn says i'm instructing all of my delegates to vote for sanders, even though it's against the rules of ifway is up, sanders does the same thing jo you have that fight so that the question in the public's mind becomes, wait a minute. so you're going to take it from the person who had more than 50% because of some rule that they're not allowed to move their delegate? and then you'll move to a second ballot and give it to a complete
live different candidate? if they don't do something like that and they just move to a second ballot, then they're probably screwed. >> all right. can we get one moyer round of applause. great conversation. [applause] >> if you had a question and you did not get a chance to ask it, i'm very sorry we ran out of time. feel free to hop in the signing line, and him the question there. books are available up at the registrar in the store. he'll be right here and happy to sign and always you could help us by folding up your chairs chd lean them against the court top or the wall, helps in resetting the space. so thank you for coming out. conversation. >> and now on c-span2's booktv, more television for