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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 5, 2016 9:05pm-11:06pm EST

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colorado. and also on cspan 3. >> cspan where history unfolds daily in 1979 cspan was created by americas television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider and not them and us coming to them. what inspired this? >> i spent a great deal of tile
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in the middle east trying to deal with the influence of social media. the 15 attacks from orlando to san bernardino to the latest one at ohio state. what has happened is social media has become the oxygen by which isis is able to radicalize young men in order to commit terrorist attacks in the united states. what has happened here is that
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the social media companies. they directly call for the killing of americans and yet despite all my pleas and despite everything that i'm writing google, youtube, refused to proactively take down the most content that calls for the kilg of americans. >> there is the mechanisms and the software that is able to police the website and take down not all the content of islamic sermons, particularly the sermons of the cleric that is most culpable of lone wolves but
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there's 62,000 hits on youtube alobe but there's at least 100 of his sermons that directly call for the killing of americans. it's those that i want google and youtube to take down but they claim that under the communications decency act of 1996 which was passed long before terror i feel occurred in the united states that they're shielded from content liability. >> which means anybody can put something there and they're not held responsible for it. >> there's lawsuits filed in federal court particularly by a law if i recafirm that goes by of 1-800-law firm. they are are able to claim that google in particular is not only aware of this content but is
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also making money on it because peel that go online they're placing ads on the content seen by lone wolves committing these attacks. >> if you stop the content via social media, they'll find content other ways. >> let's put it this way. we're trying to make it as hard as possible for people to be radicalized online. you can never solve the problem of what we get. and it calls for the killings of americans. after all laws have been passed to take down child porn off of social media. there's no first amendment rights to yell fire in a crowded movie theater. the supreme court has ruled on that but there's people that want to see the internet totally unregulated. now come on why should we put up
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with more killing of americans by lone wolves that are able to use the internet which has been weaponized by isis. >> 202 748 for independents. dealing with something along the lines of what you're advocating but this say story in the wall street journal saying the boston police department taking heat from civil liberty groups for planning to spend 1.4 million on new software that scours social media and the internet for threats also inspired by the attack of the ohio state university but also concerns about civil rights and especially when it comes to civil liberty groups and what goes on the internet and freedom to do that.
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>> surely there are civil liberties advocates that haven't lost family members. that haven't been injured that do not see the ramifications of social media con tebt that calls for the killing of americans and how people are radicalized online by the content that i have seen provide recruiting for them abroad and also in the united states. no one is suggesting here that will should be discretion to take down content. >> i pointed out five specific websites where content called for the killing of americans. five days later they took it
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down. is that censorship? they are taking down the content that we pointed out. the issue to me is not whether or not they are not taking the content down but there is software already available to do it themselves. >> is it so tailored that it takes down sites that would be offensive but not anything else. >> absolutely. this software has now been available. the counter extremism project run by the former alabama bass d -- ambassador in new york developed the software technology. you go, remember how you would watch the daily show and they would show only specific clips of specific words, that content software now exists to police any website if you want to take down anything that says kill americans or go kill americans
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you can identify by that software. >> as far as the communications decency act. is that something that has to be made by congress? >> i'm encouraging the trump administration to seek an amendment to the communications decency act that would require silicon valley content providers that are shielded from content liability to take down the content. >> have you had a chance to talk to the administration? >> not yet but i'm hoping to have a chance to do so. whether you're democrat or republican the idea that we somehow or other can do better to prevent online radicalization and to avoid having more loan wolf attacks in the united states is beyond my comprehension and this is something that any democrat or republican or independent should want to see happen. >> 202-748-8000.
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our guest was the former ambassador to morocco and also the former mideast advisor to president carter and currently the managing director for u.s. and international business. when it comes to this idea of fighting isis overall aside from the social media aspect, what do you think has been the record of the current administration on this effort? >> they arrived far too late to the story so to speak. i doubt we would have seen it but for all the months and years that i have spent in the middle east the one thing i have come to understand whether it's al qaeda or isis, the threat of
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suni radical islam is a dangerous threat to the united states and even as the administration began slowly ramping up militarily the soft power effort to fight isis online has been a disaster. the state department failed and set up something called a global engagement center but even under that leadership it has not been able to thwart lone wolf attacks in the united states or develop the right messaging abroad to try to stop the enlistment of young arabs to young isis. it's not problem problem to solve and this is a fight
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between suni and shite. the branches of islam and the rightful air to the profit mohammad. but we'll never solve that problem now that the u.s. military has to maintain a presence in the middle east specifically with concerns about isis. >> a agree and let's talk talk about the battle for mosul. who is going to govern them after we defeat this coalition defeats isis. i don't want to believe that we have to engage in nation building but there has to be a way of solving the vacuum that is going to be created as a resu result. >> there's enough challenges that are going to cause problems in and of themselves and secondly the vacuum of isis being defeated doesn't solve the fact that isis is still a
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presence in the region and in effect we have to have a much more multipronged approach to defeating isis. my op ed is not just about isis but also many of the steps that we can take better to protect the homeland. >> first call for you comes from christina. she is in valley city ohio. go ahead. >> there's a reason we don't have restrictions on speech. this is open to the public. we can listen to these heinous things, find out what they're doing to defend ourselves. we can't defend ourselves if these people, even if it's a small percentage, we become ignorant of what they're doing and what they're up to we need to know these things because we need to know how to defend
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ourselves. all the law enforcement agencies and all the people we call for help they get trained in this and listen to these things and see the horrible things that are happening to people. we need the free speech without restrictions so that we know how to defend ourselves. and we need to know how to do what they're doing. we need to be suspicious. could that be something that is no good? we're not going to know this if it's blotted out from our vocabulary. >> well, i appreciate the comment and i'm talking about us removing content that's radicalizing young muslims in the united states to commit terrorist attacks against americans. at the same time there's unencrypted websites that
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continue to operate that the fbi is able to continue to monitor without any restrictions on content. we're trying to come up with a reasonable approach that protects americans from the online radicalization ceremon s ceremonies. >> taking that content down is not going to make it harder to understand exactly what is going on online. >> from virginia, mike good morning. >> good morning. i'm wondering if your guests could comment from something that i heard that the google and youtubes of the world are resis tent from doing any of this work because if they're responsible from monitoring content from isis they would be responsible for monitoring content from
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folks violating copyrights and they would be financially liable in that regard. >> excellent point and yet in the conversations that i had with googles senior management the issue here is not that they're not policing. they already have in effect important statements of content control that they themselves already act upon so they themselves are acting as sensors whether or not someone like me is pointing out content that is in effect calling for the killing of americans and so in this instance where in effect i have pointed out content to them that is already falls within the violations of their own statement of policy and they're taking the content down. they themselves recognize and violates their own statement of policy and they themselves were acting as the sensor on the
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content that someone like me is bringing to their attention and yet they themselves know it exists. >> let's say i were to take this exact conversation and put it on youtube. let's put copyright issues aside but according to what your guest wants to do, this would be bad because it said kill americans and therefore it should be banned. you have some calls on the actual isis videos and you have wrong calls as far as someone like this that is your free speech. what do you do with the strange ones in the middle? someone saying some crazy
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conspiracy theory. >> there's no doubt and the supreme court has put restrictions on free speef and we don live in a society and i'm not suggesting that anyone act as a sensor but all the content providers already act as sensors and i'm not suggesting that there's going to be a citizens police squad that is policing this content. i'm already serving as a citizen that is merely bringing this content to their attention and if i bring content to their
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attention they will take it down but when i brought it to their attention they took it down -- i would just like to know how do you feel the media can be improved to give us the honest truth and not all of this going
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on. >> my issue is far more comprehensively than the issue that is the role of content providers the problem of radicalization by lone wolves that resulted in the attacks over the last 15 years in the united states is what i'm most concerned about educate on the proper role in islam in training young arabs in understanding that islam should not be used as an explanation or justification to engage in jihad and murder innocent arabs, innocent muslims or innocent americans or what have you. i spent all of my years growing
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up in the middle east. i understand the arab world extraordinarily well. millions of arabs have been victimized by isis and by online radical islam as much as americans so this is a challenge that we face. the message of radical islam attracted almost 20,000 recruits from around the arab world to travel to iraq and to syria to fight for isis on behalf of an islamic state that was the most barbaric example since the days of bin laden.
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>> contacted all of them. i wrote a letter and copied not only members of congress but the fbi and nsa and all the others and to act more responsibly as good corporate citizens of the united states. >> your on with your guest am basssor. >> mark number one your from the -- your from the carter administration. and i don't think you're telling the truth. it's probably why we don't believe you anymore, any of you and if you just look back and
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study and everyone that watches cspan does that. >> so caller in this case can you give an example? be specific. >> that was nation building. >> i'm not sure the point you're getting to. >> let's number one not bring anymore like our almost
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president or our president or future president has said he is going to do, trump. he said he is going to stop most of the immigrants from foreign countries. let's do it right this time, okay. >> what does that have to do with telling the truth? >> she's gone. >> republican line you're next. sheila from washington d.c.? >> yes. thank you. my question most the home grown. >> well, there's lots of websites that provide content
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fl platforms for radical islam and most not only rely on essentially unencrypted platforms but they also use mat form process vis provided by ap what's app and they cannot decipher the communications of isis. what we're trying to do here is to focus on not so much the problem of content providers. there's all sorts of interpretations of islam online. some of them more radical and
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some of them from britain and some of them from the arab world and it's impossible. it would be impossible to find and police and even suggest that any of that content could possibly be removed online. social media has gotten more or less out of control whether you use twitter or whether you go online and type the words radical islam we can do a better job to avoid further loan wolf attacks by having our internet content providers act more responsibly. >> 202-748-8001 for republicans. 8000 for democrats. and 802 for independents. you can post at twitter. >> i want to ask you about names to be secretary of state. the list includes the former
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governor of utah and the former un ambassador. there's others. what do you think about the current crop? who stands out? who do you like? who do you not like? i don't know mitt romney or how he would do. and look rudy guiliani himself brings an enormous amount of experience and talent internationally. i've worked for three secreta secretaries of state and worked also with president reagan's secretary of state and also to
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be a great leader of the foreign service. >> the one thing we haven't heard so far is homeland security. >> i know that theth elect from the papers is interviewing president bush's former advisor from homeland security she is fantastic and highly respected in the homeland security area and she is fair and reasonable. i just think the world of her. >> what do you think about the call the president received from taiwan. how much of an issue is this for
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you? >> it has rattled the chinese and when i was a young lawyer in washington i used to be china's lobbiest for trade in washington and i spent a great deal of time in china. i think he knew exactly what he was doing. when you look at president obama's pivot to asia where in fact the whole process and policy was guided. let's get out of the middle east and focus on asia. the problems this administration was leaving behind for the president elect, china is engaged in cyber warfare against the united states. >> it is engaged in currency manipulation and let's face it the trade is astronomical so what is important here is to
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understand that i suspect the president elect knew what he was doing and wanted to send a message to china i think if the president were able to convince him to be his ambassador to china that could help manage this relationship. this is going to go into a very challenging time, u. s. china relations. >> republican line for our guest. mark, hello. >> hello there, young fella. hey, mark. thank you for your service. >> thank you. >> do we have not have enough
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muslims in the united states to fight for their own country? and why aren't we -- why aren't we doing something to get them to be interested in their own country? they have lived in this country for so long and we have taken care of them and now let's go fight their own people. they know how to fight them. >> this is a very sensitive topic. there are incredibly patriotic muslims that have served in the military and continue to serve in the military and lost their lives serving this country in the military. second generation. third generation immigrants from around the arab world and muslim world. have the privilege of getting to know so many of them because of my diplomatic and public
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relations career in the united states. their abilities are essential to the fbi. many of them are providing the very type of monitoring support that we need and intelligence in order to identify potential attacks and terrorist conspiracies in the united states what we have here whether they are somali first generation or iraqi first generation, there are bad apples among many of these immigrants that have gone online and radicalized and then turn against the united states and they need to be called out and pointed out by the muslim leadership, arab leadership in the united states to the maximum extent possible. any detection that comes about as a result of knowing that
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there is an ar rant young member of their families or communities needs to be identified. >> yeah i'm really concerned about the censorship and just like when the chinese can't find anything because they have censorship and it's the same type. this is next to me and the flag burning initiative and it's button pushing and patriotic and it keeps people from protesting and might brand you as an unpatriotic person when you're protesting something simple. i honestly feel to get rid of these lone wolf people, would be less censorship. we have so much censorship of our muse this is why so many people call you and say thank you. that's my comment. >> all i can say is that it's
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very important to understand here that what i'm not talking about is censorship. if you're a 100% believer in the first amendment as i am. there's certain restrictions by law against the first amendment right in the united states and as a lawyer what we're talking about is not censoring. what we're talking about is removing content that the internet service providers themselves acknowledge and violate their own standards and that they are taking down. if there was no censorship in the united states then twitter, and youtube and google and facebook would not be taking down, taking down the sites of individuals who are violating all sorts of standards because of their own speech. whether it's radical islam or something else. so with all due respect, we have
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censorship. the united states already has companies such as twitter and youtube and facebook that are censoring the content of individuals and they are already taking content down that they themselves violate their own statements and principles. >> washington defendant c. republican line. good morning. >> good morning. one issen the -- and the other one is the outside and a good
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plan and good decision. and it's for the future and for business there. and it's the problem and he can do it. >> well, one thing -- thank you sr. much for the call. one thing that i have come to understand from my decades in working in the middle east is the importance of the united states to identify. what's our core strategic interest in the region. we tended to stumble into wars
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in iraq and particularly i don't think that most americans realize that they have been drawn into a proxy war in yemen and battling for supremecy over the world. is that a war we should be engaged in. some aspects it's important because of the threat to the homeland but if i were to sit down and advise the next administration i would certainly want to stave off from a concept of core principles and have the american people appreciate what the core principles are and what our core objectives are and not lying about what we're doing and not doing because the american people deserve the truth of knowing what we're trying to accomplish in the middle east without having our young men and women sacrifice thelss and their lives for interests that are not consistent with their core
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objectives. >> our guest is the current managing director for the u.s. and international business and he is the former middle east advisor to president carter. go ahead. >> you seem to be harping on what you call radical islamic messages. how do you feel with that issue? >> i call it the nazi right. i think cleansing them by giving them that label to me personally is objectionable and unacceptable. the fact that this group comes to washington and does the nazi
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salute and it's something that all americans should find abornet. the media has the responsibility of policing the content of these organizations and not cleansing them by giving them a label that most americans would not even understand what that meant. >> steven lives in pennsylvania. independent line. >> good morning. i have been following this since i was a young man and i was putting two and two together since i can reference everything and check the thicks out when it comes to terrorist attacks. even the lone wolf attacks. they coincide with historical dates and pattels throughout history and the latest big things that have happened in the past 10 or 15 year versus always coincided with major events from world war ii whether it be on the u. s. side as a victory or
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defeat and i don't see anybody putting two and two together. it's almost like a cross word puzzle through intelligence. there's certain words that are used on the television screen and certain things that are said and when i have done my research at home here on a piece of paper, she has seen a pattern. she said my god you're right and i said well of course it happens within certain times an it's even around the world. it's almost like a coded message that okay on this day i want three different attacks in the united states by three different individuals. but then overseas somewhere on someone else's con nt i want a massive attack the following day when the battle occurred and i find it a very funny coi coinsidence. >> in the lawsuit that was
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brought by the law firm in detroit on behalf of the only american that was killed in attacks in paris they have an expert that is able to discipher the online taken down by twitter and it pops up again and they're able to extrapolate the data bits of this individual and the followers and coincide patterns around dates of the islamic calendar to determine when there's a possibility of additional attacks in the middle east or the united states or in effect to identify a radical islam content that's being pushed through communications. so indeed you are right. there are are certain dates, particularly in the muslim calendar by which you are able to see increased chatter and increased coordination for attacks particularly around the beginnings of ramadan as well as
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the commemorations of battles fought by the prophet mohammed. >> one more call and this is patti from connecticut independent line. patti you're on. >> i'm calling because i noticed that all these lone wolves seem to be second generation of islamics. in other words i believe anchor babies and another thing, obama is going to take a group of refugees from australia and it's going to be a big group. australia does not want them so i'm wondering why we're getting them. thank you. >> quickly i think it's very important for any refugee that is coming from a battleground in the middle east or from a muslim state where there's a significant amount of terrorism to be properly vetted to the
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satisfaction of the american people. >> so if you, as far as hearing from google and youtube and all of that do you plan to continue to lobby them or will you have a discussion with them at one point continuing gattis cousins? >> i hope to have. i have engaged in this dialogue with google now. it's been a cordial dialogue and they continue to insist that it's not their duty or responsibility. i disagree with that. and need to view whether or not it needs to be amended to compel these websites to act more responsibly on behalf of the american people. >> thank you for your time. >> cspan's washington journal. live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, north carolina republican congressman walter jones is joined by california democratic congressman to discuss their
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efforts to reverse a u. s. court of appeals decision over contributions to political committees. the rule ago lous super pacts to accept unlimited donations. and then fake news during the 2016 election cycle with the foreign policy research institute. watch the washington journal live beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> tuesday house speaker paul ryan joins other congressional members to light this year's u.s. capital christmas tree. it comes from idaho and we expect comments from them. see the tee lighting at 5:00 p.m. eastern here on cspan 3. right after that the cato institute with a discussion on the future of free speech and the new trump administration. we'll hear about policies being put into practice that aim to safe guard first amendment
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rights. that event starts live at 6:00 p.m. eastern and also here on cspan 3 and president elect donald trump holds another victory rally tuesday evening. this time in fayetteville north carolina. he speak with supporters in the state he won by almost 200,000 votes. see mr. trump's remarks live at 7:00 p.m. eastern on cspan 2. >> joining us is the senior reporter for the hill and kovrs congress extensively. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> what does it mean to be a house democrat these days? >> you're in a position that you didn't think you were going to be in a month ago. there's been turmoil. they have been in disarray since the election. they came in at the top of the ticket. they thought they were going to pick a significant number of house seats. 20 plus in the days ahead of the election. thought they were going to take the senate and have the white
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house and none of those things happen so they're in this position of what went wrong? it's a big time of reckoning for them and they just announced that they're going to do an autopsy. remember the republicans did their ownautopsy. republicans did their own autopsy, set up a commission, what went wrong, how can we improve turnout, how can we energize our base. how can we speak to the voters, because we didn't do hit the time around. to be a democrat is to be questioning what the future of the party. >> there is a lot of talk of unity, especially coming from the leadership. is that the case do, you think? >> we saw an awful lot of disunity in the wake of this election. there was an enormous call for the leadership to be overthrown. nancy pelosi has been there for 14 years there is a younger crop of people who are frustrated that they haven't been able to move up the leadership ladder. on top of that, they're frustrated that this is the fourth election cycle they haven't been able to take the majority. they're saying wait a second, we have to go back to square one. we have to go back to winning.
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yes, nancy pelosi raise as lot of money. yes, she has experience. yes, she can motive the base. she is very well respected on capitol hill among the democrats. they don't mean to suggest that. they're just saying after four cycles they have to do something to win. tim ryan came in and challenged her. he lost decidedly. pelosi will still be there. her authority is very much unquestion. but going forward, there is this movement that is growing and growing and growing. as the years go by, these people are getting younger and younger. the older generation of democrats is aging out. you're seeing this happen in realtime. >> so you talked about tim ryan and his loss. but talk about how many votes he got. and is that a significant number? sand that significant he actually got the number he did? >> it depends on who you ask. if you ask nancy pelosi and her supporter, she still got 2/3 of the volley. she said going in i'll get 2/3.
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she got 2/3 by a nose. she got 134 vote, which was just over 2/3. she is saying, yes, i still command this enormous amount of the very liberal leading caucus. and she is this liberal icon. that part is not in question. tim ryan comes in and says wait a minute, the last time you were challenged, heath shuler, 2010, and that was after they got wiped out. pelosi was speaker. they lost 63 seat, and they haven't rebounded since then. heath shuler was blue dog democrat from north carolina, not very senior. he challenged her. it was more a symbolic challenge than anything else. nobody thought shuler was going win. it is a secret ballot, and he got 43 votes. it was a little bit more than people thought he was going to get. so there was that sense that with the secret ballot, i can cast this protest vote and say because we got wiped out, we shouldn't keep the same person in, even though we know we're going to keep the same person in. it was that type of message. so he got 43. and ryan comes in and gets 63.
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so, again, you're seeing this kind of growing. the wave is growing. the younger people coming in. the numbers are just growing. >> they're all the house democrats. especially in light of what you heard mike lillis talk about when it comes to their own leadership questions. if you want to ask him about that, what it means for policy making, 202-748-8001. 202-748-8002. and you post at c-span and on our facebook page. let's hear from nancy pelosi, the house minority leader just after her reelection. how she talks about going forward. and mike lillis will get you to comment on what she says. >> as we go forward, as we did in '05 and '06, working very closely together as the opposition, which is a different role than we've had in the last few years. our unity is very important.
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so we will be strategic. whether we be unified. and we will be unwavering in our support of america's working families. that is what joins us together. everything else is part of who we are. but what unifies us are our values, and those values are working families. >> mike lillis, she says america's working families twice. that seems to be a theme as far as the last election about the reach to them. what goes on from here? >> well, you know, she is calling for unity. they think they've been unified all along. part of this scratching their head this month and asking why they lost so badly is they -- the things that they've been pushing economically poll very well. minimum wage polls well. they support medicare, social security, gun reform. all of these things poll in the 80, 90 percentile. so they can't figure out why they're losing elections based on this economic message. trump comes in and says make america great again and
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everybody rushes to the polls for donald trump. when she is saying unity, she is stressing that they are on the same page. tim ryan believes in all of those issues that i just mentioned. the most conservative democrat is going to vote for all of those things that nancy pelosi believes in. so when she says unity, she is talking about issues. what they have to figure out is how to convince voters that they're on the same page. that those issues actually will resonate and help them on a day to day practical basis. so i think what you're going to see them do going into the future is hone that message. how can we convince people that we are for them. and how do we translate these polls, all of these things, minimum wage, social security, medicare. all of these economic-based things. how do we translate that into simple language that can go on a bumper sticker and get people to go to polls. >> to share his thoughts on the republican and his its future.
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mark lillis, our current guest to talk about these things reporting for hill. you can go to to see his writing about what is going on in the house and the senate. republican line, you are up first for our guest. go ahead. >> hi. i just have a question and a comment. the question is the implication was with shuler there was a secret ballot. but with pelosi there wasn't? i didn't quite understand that. was that a misinterpretation? >> no, no, i'm sorry. the secret ballot was for both of those elections. my suggestion was that because it's a secret ballot, somebody can go in and vote -- vote against pelosi without suffering any kind of political repercussions. pelosi has been very good at unifying the party. and largely that's because she has gone unchallenged. but also because she knows how to leverage that power. she can keep people off committees. she can demote them if they're already on a committee. she raises tons and tons of
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money. she cannot give that to certain campaigns. so she has ways of keeping democrats in line. the secret ballot both in 2010 in the shuler race and this year in the tim ryan race just allows somebody, maybe a freshman member to go in there and vote for the other candidate without nancy pelosi ever knowing that that was the case. because it's not a public ballot. that gives you anonymity. and there is no political repercussion. i'm sorry for the confusion. it was both the case in 2010 and 2016. >> wisconsin, independent line. >> yes, great show, pedro, again. i was just going say, and the reason i'm independent is because i said this before when i called in, republicans and democrats, neither one of them really follow the constitution or their mandate of what to do in the constitution. but the democrats have basically been the same for the last well, 44, 45 years since george
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mcgovern, the mcgovernites took over the party. and they've had the media cover for them now for some 40 years not really exposing the real radical agenda. and i think the public is pretty much catching on, pretty much so in the midwest where i live. i was just going say, i see the media keeps beating up on trump. and i wasn't a big trump fan at all or a clinton fan. and i was just wondering, do you think the democrats in the future here are going to bring more people in like the leadership like heath shuler or tim ryan? or is it pretty much going to the stay on the coastal party like the east and west coast like it is right now? >> well, great question. and that's the conversation that they're having. the short answer is at the very top it's going to remain a coastal party. they tried to topple pelosi. they couldn't do it. her number two is from maryland. her number three is from south carolina. and then down it goes.
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it's still very coastal. in new york, after that, california after that. what they've done this time around is to carve out new leadership positions that are going to go to more junior members and to more american members. this was tim ryan's argument all along. he said nancy pelosi, yes, she is this liberal icon. but she can't go into districts and win votes. he points out he is a youngstown, ohio blue collar manufacturing district. he got 68% of the vote, but trump won the district. he said i'm the guy that can go into the fish fries. i can go into the church services, and i can talk to these voters and we can get these voters back into the democratic fold. so pelosi not ceding leadership, won. but recognizing this and realizing that she has to do something, which she did not do in 2010. the challenge just wasn't strong enough. the groundswell of discontent wasn't strong enough. this year is very different. so what she has done is carved out a number of new leadership posts. if you ask the critics, they say
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they're just cosmetic things to cover her, for her to save face and say yes, we're doing this. we're bringing more voices in. if you ask those that are being placed in those positions, they're very appreciative that they're going to have a spot at the table. they're weekly leadership meetings and they'll be in the weekly leadership meetings as they steer message. as they steer policy. and so that's the type of thing you're going to see. we had some elections on friday. we're going to have some elections this afternoon when congress returns. and those names will start to be unrolled, and you'll be able to see who those people are. >> what happens this afternoon? >> they're going to vote on the campaign arm, the chairman of the campaign arm. this was another thing that they did. pelosi used to appoint the head of the democratic congressional campaign committee. right now that's been ray lujan, mexico, democrat. he was appointed two years ago. people said that's giving too much power to one person, too much power to nancy pelosi. so part of this conversation,
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part of this revolt post election was we need to spread that power around. so now that role is going to be elected. there was a thought that ray lujan would be challenged. sean patrick maloney is a new york democrat last week had suggested that he might challenge him. not going to happen. so lujan will run unchallenged. the more things change, the more they stay the same. lujan will be the chair for the next two years. but that's going happen this afternoon there is also a committee called the democratic policy and communications committee. this was created a couple of years ago essentially for steve israel, new york democrat who was ahead of the d-trip and didn't have a place to go afterwards. so pelosi carved this position out that was appointed. now it's going to be elected, and it's going to be cut into through different vice-chairman. again, spreading power, making it more democratized, allowing these people to vote where pelosi was appointing in the past. you're going to see a couple of
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those probably go to midwest states. so spreading the power around, regionally, generationally and allowing these people to vote. >> here is a democrat from springfield, virginia. erica, you're on. >> hi, good morning. i want to make a comment about what i see the democratic party is not unified. and i think it's because they have walked away from the grassroots. the issues are right. we all support those issues. but we don't need charity. we don't need charity minimum wage raise. we want the $15 minimum wage raise. we don't want to lower student loans. we want the student debt much more aggressive so the students can really go back and invest in the economy and not be worried about paying those loans. we don't need little things. we need to work our way for corporations influences. and that is very, very important. because as you say, some people
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competitions like nancy pelosi. and i have respect for her very much. but it's hard for her to mentor the new generation, to cause the new generation and have democratic leaders come along and the progressive grassroots generation that really, really wants to make change away to corporate. that's what we need to fight against citizens united. >> erica, we'll let our guest respond. you put a lot out there. go ahead. >> it's a great comment. and part of this discussion that they're having right now is just asking the question how are we going to defend president obama's legacy from donald trump and congressional majorities in both chambers. and there is a lot of disagreement what to do on that front. a lot of people agree with you, that the reason that the democrats lost, that their message did not resonate, that
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they did not get their liberal base out was because they went too soft on things like that. they didn't fight hard enough for the core liberal values. liberals stayed at home at the polls and the rest we know. but there is another side. and i should mention. they have strong champions in congress, bernie sanders and elizabeth warren in the senate in particular. pelosi in the house is in a different spot because she is a leader, and she is going to have to negotiate with the other republican leaders. but in terms of policy, she is i think 100% on the same page as bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. so policy wise, you have that sector. it's a very liberal heavy democratic caucus. and so a lot of people agree exactly with what you've said. shifting gears, there is also recognition that they are going to have to compromise if they're going to get anything done. you know, mitch mcconnell, when obama was elected, mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader who at the time was
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minority leader. but he said the -- his primary goal was not going to be to allow obama to do anything at all. he wanted him to be a one-term president. and so they blocked everything. he was criticized soundly for that. eight years later, if you look at the results politically, seemed to work out very well for the republicans. so there is some democrats who are saying we've got to make trump a one-time president. gallegos said that in no uncertain terms last week. we have to make him a one-term president there is kind of a mixed message now. do we work with trump? do we not work with trump? the democrats have always been the party that wants to govern, that believes in government. so they're kind of at this crossroads where they can't just burn the house down just to defeat trump to make trump look bad and to block everything that he wants to do there is a sense they have to work with him. but again, there is also this large group of liberals that feel exactly that you do. they have to fight for their
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values and should block anything that wants to do. >> from conestoga, pennsylvania, for our guest mike lillis of the hill. this is john. john, you're on. go ahead. >> morning, pedro. yeah, pelosi who is 76 years old, hoyer who is 77, and i think the third in charge is 77 or something like that, clyburn or elijah cummings. they're part of the neo liberal switch that is -- can be a catch to the clintons. clinton in '96 just went neo liberal which is a corporatist stance. and that hasn't worked because it split the democratic party between like the black caucus and the neo liberals. so they're republican light. and bernie was so popular because he wasn't republican light. he was a democrat. he was an fdr democrat.
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and, you know, wasn't taken in by all the money that the neo liberals were. and that's one of the large problems. they need to learn from the republicans. republicans have had alec in place for 30, 40 years. and they write the laws. and they are the really the organization that runs the republican party. >> i think this goes back to the previous question. as the democrats try to locate a strategy that's going to get them back on the winning track, do they stick with their liberal values? do they compromise, which inevitably is going to mean going back on some of those liberal priorities that they've been pushing. they have, you mentioned alex. but the democrats have plenty of support too. part of their problem i think is that they have been for years the party of labor unions.
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and just with the demise of labor unions over recent years, a lot of their base has eroded. and so the question is appealing to a lot of those workers who were left behind after the great recession, convincing them that democrats are for them, that their policies are going to help them improve, particularly economically. everything is economics these days, right. and that's what this election said. that's what almost all of these elections say. 2010 a little bit different. because obamacare played such a factor that was the anomaly. economics is the issue. democrats have to find a way to appeal to the voters that they say they will help. until they do that, they're going to be in the minority. >> we have for twitter a viewer who says he is giddy about nancy pelosi's reappointment that confirms that dems are triple down and ensures even greater losses in 2018. >> midterm election is always a tough one from the incumbent
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party. pelosi's argument right now is i've done this before. this was her argument for remaining in power. i've done this before. in 2006 we were in the wilderness. republicans controlled both chambers. george bush was in the white house. and we wiped out the republicans in that midterm election. i'm experienced. i've done it before. i can do it again. so that's her argument right now. 2018 is going to be a very difficult cycle for the republicans. a lot of the vulnerable guys who people thought were going to get wiped out this time are still there. but they're still going to be vulnerable in two years. trump is going to be in office, nobody knows what that's going to look like. but historically it's a tough cycle for the incumbent party. all the factors combined, we think we can make enormous gains, if not take back the house. give me one more chance and we'll see what happens. senate is different. senate is tilted very favorably toward the republicans next time around. so the midterm cycle advantage that the democrats might otherwise have might not be there to the extent that it will
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in this house. but pelosi thinks she can do it. and we won't know until two years from now. but that's her argument. >> sun city, california, democrats line. roy, go ahead. roy from sun city, good morning, you're on. >> good morning. can you hear me? >> yep. you're on. >> caller: okay. thank you for taking my call. two things. i wish that the democrats would be obstructionist just like the republicans were, because they always wanted -- we as democrats always want to govern and look out for the people. we need to be ruthless just like republicans. and i just want to make one quick statement about your last issue. i wonder how many of the people that want that pipeline but accept it running under arlington national cemetery or the pearl harbor memorial in
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hawaii. >> okay, thanks, roy. >> i think there are a lot of people who agree with you, a lot of democrats who agree they should be ruthless. again, mcconnell was ruthless. he didn't want obama to get anything done. he filibustered everything, even things the republicans were going to support just as a delay tactic to keep other things off of the floor. and there are a lot of democrats who think that pelosi and incoming senate minority leader chuck schum shore do the same thing. the flip side of that is the democrats for years said they are the party of good government. they believe in government. they believe in governing to help people in their everyday lives. and if they just block everything and we have shutdown threats and all of these different things that we've seen over the past years, and the democrats start being blamed for those things, then suddenly they're not the party of good government. it would be a very sharp political tactic on their part.
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but they would have to somehow walk that tightrope where they're saying, you know, we're knocking down government in order to save it type of message. and i don't know how successful they would be at sending to it the electorate. but that remains to be seen. and again, that's a discussion that they're having right now. and there are sharp disagreements within the party about how to succeed. >> chris cillizza in "the washington post" takes potential leaders that could have risen up to challenge or replace what is currently in place. they highlight xavier becerra who has been asked to become the california attorney general, steve israel who is retiring, debbie wasserman schultz who was removed as the chair of the dnc. if that's the case, where do you look to as far as potential leaders? who is making themselves known right now? who are the shining stars? >> and that has been the problem with the democratic caucus there is this bottleneck at the top. you're having this brain drain of younger guys who hit a certain level, and there is nowhere else to go. you mention the figures that
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have left and becerra is just the latest one of those. so it's a problem that they have. and they have to start looking deeper into the bench. they have to start rooting for these guys to come up. and we don't know who those figures are going to be. but you see joaquim castro in texas is often mentioned as a rising star. he spoke at the convention. you have joe kennedy in massachusetts. i think people think he is going to jump back to the state. but if he remains in the house, he is certainly a rising star. and if you look at the nominees that pelosi just made for some of these new leadership carve-outs, colleen hanabusa is a hawaii democrat who will be now in leadership. they're going have to elect a second -- somebody five terms or less they're going to elect today. so there will be somebody else at the table. we don't know who that's going to be just yet. certainly ruben gallego, seth
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moulton and kathleen rice, three of the insurgents who had made their name this month by opposing pelosi. they came out very publicly there at the end and endorsed tim ryan, which is a political risk for them in the near term. because you don't really want to buck your leader so publicly like that. they've only been here. they're all sophomore just elected to their second term. so they're playing the long game. and those are the types of rising stars you're going to see. sheri bustos was just nominated to the communication -- policy of communications committee as one of the co-chairs. she is a young -- relatively young illinois democrat. hakeem jeffrey, remember the black caucus in queens also nominated for that vice-chairmanship position. and matt cart write from pennsylvania. pennsylvania that won for the republicans for the first time in many cycles. so they're trying to get those voters back in the fold. these are the types of people who want to move up, who may be moving up, and we'll wait and see how successful they are.
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>> this is mike lillis, who covers congress for the hill. is the website and we're talking about the role house democrats will play in the incoming administration, especially after this election. from pennsylvania, democrats line, joe, go ahead. >> caller: yes, hello. i've got three points here. number one is the democrats no matter, they have to taught to get out the vote. you know, it's not a matter of seeing how many people you can register or how much money nancy pelosi can raise. the money is not the main point. the main point is come election day, they have to vote. they're not inspired. nobody talks about votes. the republicans are very organized. the democrats are a mess. it's tragic. another thing, you need to get rid of the old guard, nancy pelosi, these old-timers, they have to go. the change of the guard has to come about. and another thing is when the democrats do get in, they always promise.
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and the big promise is to the unions. what do they do? nothing. obama got in. same old stuff. we're going to give back to the unions. they had all three house. they had all three points of government, and they card check. that's the big thing. you worry these people are talking about minimum wage. card check, if that was enacted, you wouldn't have to worry about a minimum wage. >> okay, thanks, caller. >> you're absolutely right. this goes back to that original point. how do you get voters to the polls? you mentioned people aren't talking about voters, which i would disagree with. i think everybody is talking about how to energize that vote more specifically about why this cycle was such a dismal turnout for the democrats. people are looking back to the past two cycles when you had obama at the top of the ticket in 2012 alone, i think there was 69 million democratic voters who came out for obama. this time for hillary clinton who was more like 62. so everybody keeps mentioning it
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wasn't like this huge groundswell of support for donald trump, who didn't get any more voters out than mitt romney did. it was hillary clinton not energizing the base. so you're perfectly right that the democrats failed to do so, and they're going to have to improve upon that if they hope to win back the national elections and congressional seats. but to say that they're not talking about it i don't think is right either. i think that is probably their key focus, and this autopsy that they're going to do is going to examine why the money advantage that they did have here on capitol hill and pelosi raising $150 million and all of these different things didn't exactly work. i will say that if you ask pelosi and her supporters, they'll say that okay, i think she brought in $141 million this cycle, which is enormous. nobody even comes lows there on the hill. she would say well, maybe it didn't get us into the majority, but it would have been much worse if we didn't have it.
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we still need it. nobody can fill that void. so part of that argument that we're having is over the effectiveness of money, how important it is, and how to make it go further and be more effective. >> as far as policy making is concerned, what talk is there now of how -- what the democratic response will be to efforts to change the affordable care act and the incoming administration and by house republicans? and on another front, what about this idea of infrastructure you're spending, which donald trump likes to the tune of a trillion dollars. what do you think the democrats are going to be, or what role they play in those two big topics? >> two very different topics, obviously. one, repeal of obamacare is something obviously they don't want at all. that is obama's domestic achievement, the they think will be his legacy item if it remains in place. the question is how do we play defense from the minority. republicans are going to vote 100% for repeal. they've done that over and over and over again in the house. so the senate is the firewall.
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chuck schumer, you know, republicans don't have 60 votes. so schumer can filibuster anything he want, and he is going to. he knows very well he is the last line of defense. and so all eyes are going to be on chuck schumer in the obamacare appeal fight. repeal, i'm sorry. the infrastructure, that debate is going to be fascinating, because that's a very different dynamic. everybody is for infrastructure. everybody wants to build roads and bridges, bring some money back to the districts. the question is how to pay for it. trump has made an awful lot of promises. democrats are bound to work with him. republicans are bound to work with him. but hen they get to that issue of how to pay for it, that's when the sticky -- that's when the real questions are going to happen. and the real tough decisions are going to have to be made. he is promising a trillion dollars. a very vague number. and he doesn't say where or when or how long he wants to spend it. but when they have to come up with a trillion dollars, you
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can't find a trillion dollars on capitol hill. i mean these are the budget fights that we have every year. these interest shutdown threats are always over how to fund these different things. so certainly that's an area where they can come together. they can agree. rare place where they do agree on a bipartisan basis. but when you talk about how to fund it, it's going to be real messy. >> a bit on the modern day there. congress is about to go out for their break. what needs to be done, especially when it comes to budget issues? >> so just two things they've got to wrap up. and the thought is that they could get it done this week. the government does spending for the government does expire this friday on the 9th. so they do have to pass something by then. the question is will they push it to next week by a couple days to get something longer term or will they pass a continuing resolution, a longer short-term budget bill by the end of the week. and the thought is that maybe they can do it, if the house introduces its bill today, they could move by wednesday. send to it the senate and everything could be done by
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friday. we still haven't seen the bill. initially there was talk that they would fund the government through march. now because trump will just be coming in and has to appoint his cabinets. the senate has to vote on all these things, the logistical things that happen at the beginning of a new presidency, the thought is it might now go through may, a little longer term. what this does is it allows the republicans to have more of a say in the spending fight. they don't have to rely on barack obama, who will be gone, of course, in january. and they want to empower trump to make some of the spending decisions when they can have a republican in office. the other thing that they have to pass -- well, the house passed defense authorization bill last week. the senate has to pass that this week. that should probably sail through there are a couple of sticking points there, and obama hasn't said what he is going to do with it. defense bills are usually pretty bipartisan. and that's expected to move. the final piece is there is a water resource and development bill. and there is flint money on
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that. that's the water crisis in flint, michigan. democrats have been pushing for hundreds of millions of dollars to help that issue. they've been pushing for a year since that crisis started. they finally see their opportunity. speaker ryan said he would do it in december on this water bill. and so that's the other thing that is expected to pass. but a very short calendar. just a couple of things and then they're gone. so we don't really expect any kind of major fight. >> next up for mike lillis. mark, sanford, maine, independent line. >> caller: yes, hi. good morning, pedro. thanks to c-span. just listening to the show this morning with the man, i forget his name, the writer on the hill. it made me think of what president johnson quoted back in the '60s. he made a quote that said "democrats legislate. republicans investigate.
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because if you can't win on the issues, your only hope is character assassination." i think we have a lot of that going on, more so today than we we did back then. i just think a lot of the callers that had called in and spoke about the democrats, i think they have been too soft at their game plan. and they need to get tougher. that's my only quote i wanted to call and say. >> and it's a great quote. and i'll shoot one back at you. there is another quote. and it says "democracy is that thing that ensures that we get no better than we deserve." and i think a lot of democrats are wondering what's going to happen with this trump administration and quotes quotes like that, that's george bernard shaw. one thing i will point out. we've had a stalemate on capitol hill for at least the past six years since the republicans came in. there was that tea party wave. it was a response to obamacare and some of the things that president obama did when he
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first arrived. and it was also a response to the democrats having both chambers of congress and the white house. when one party historically when one political party has all the power, there tends to be a pendulum that swings back the other way. that happened in 2010 with the tea party wave. house democrats lost 63 seats. got wiped out. and they have not rebounded yet. but a lot of those tea party guys who came in, i mean, they go back to their districts. and they're cheered. they're hailed for what they're doing. they were, in fact elected to come block obama's legacy, his legislative agenda. and that's exactly what they did. so for all the criticism that we're hearing on capitol hill of shutdowns and stalemates and can't get anything done, and even the spending bills are tough these days, it's all criticism from inside the beltway. but when they go back home to their districts, they just hear nothing but praise.
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so this is democracy at work. it's messy. and there is a lot of different reasons for it. you can blame the gerrymandering that made all of these liberal districts extremely liberal and all of these conservative districts extremely conservative. the number of purple districts is minimal at this point. and that's why it's so difficult for the democrats to get back in power in the house. but for all of these reasons, democracy is messy. that's what we see here every day on the hill. >> bodey is in lakewood, new jersey. democrats line. bo bodey, go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i've been listening since the reporter from the hill has been on. he just mentioned gerrymandering. first of all, we're talking politics and mixing it, conflating it with policy. the cheering that these representatives are getting when they go back to their districts
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are because they got to select who voted for them through gerrymandering, not the voters selecting who is the best candidate for a given area. you know, talk about nancy pelosi. you talk about the democratic leadership in the house. when you have gerrymandering, and 90% of your district is white, older, whatever, why would you possibly want to compromise. why would you possibly want to govern? it's safe. and there is no false -- all this false equivalency. well, the democrats did it too. really? if the democrats who were in total control of california, their whole government from the govern on down, if they gerrymandered, what do they have, 55 electoral vote, 53 house seats? if they did that, it would swing back the other way. they did not.
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okay? >> thanks, caller. >> i think both parties are guilty of gerrymandering. there is no question of that. what happened in 2010 was that the republicans control more state houses. and they were very deft in taking advantage of that and carving out a lot more conservative districts than there are liberal districts. but to say both parties haven't done it is unfair and inaccurate. we're just living the latest example of it. and because the conservatives were so good at it, that's why it's such an issue right now. but you say the voters don't go out and vote their own members. i think that's inaccurate too. within those states, they choose the legislators who carved out the map. so it is those voters who are empowered. but first on the state level every ten years after the census, they're going to redraw the maps. if they don't like the map, voters can go to the state elections and get new people to
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draw a different map. of course the districts are redrawn and we get the results of that through the house elections. but i don't think that it's fair to say the republicans are the only ones who gerrymander. there are tons of liberal district, particularly in the urban centers in the inner cities in some of those areas that are perfectly safe and the same member has been in there for decades as a result. >> there is a story on the senate side, senate majority leader harry reid who will get a sendoff before he leaves congress. talk about what he leaves in congress and what is expected this week from those who will remember his service in the congress. >> harry reid is one of those power brokers. he is a very enigmatic guy. he is very soft-spoken. he was so good at what he did. and there is numerous stories of him twisting arms to get what he
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wants. i mean, he is so good behind the scenes. you see him in front of a microphone, and you wonder how is this guy able to do it. but both in his home state of nevada and on capitol hill, you know, i think obamacare will be one of this major legacy items. at least in most recent years. but just his ability to unite the party. because there is a lot of moderate, a lot of conservative leaning senator there's. and he's got to -- he's the one whose got to come into the room and convince them to take a really, really tough vote on something like obamacare that could end their political career. and he was able to do that both through, you know, very good legislative maneuvering, tweaking language so that little carveout for you, a little carveout for you. but also just convincing them politically that it was the right thing to do for the party and the country. and a lot of people will miss
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him. not republicans, but lot of democrats will miss his ability to do those sorts of things. >> do we know what happens now as far as work he'll do, a career he'll pursue? >> i don't know the answer to that. you know, he is in his late 70, i think. he would be happy just to go back to nevada. i don't know the answer to that. >> one more call for our guest. and this will be tom, conway, south carolina. our line for republicans. tom, you are free to go ahead. >> caller: okay, thank you. i'm a nonpartisan so i don't vote in the primaries. but i'm one of the people that ran away from the democratic party. and it's interesting that you mentioned obama's legacy. he left a legacy because he knows how to tweak. well, that's the reason why you want to know how to get back to the democratic party. you've got to care about the middle class. working people who work and built this country, pay their taxes, pay into this country, and they're getting clobbered by obamacare. you had a lieutenant governor, i
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forget her name on c-span talk a week or so ago from the northern state. she presented both sides of it. while 220 million get benefit, 200 million get clobbered. you have working class people who can't afford. outrageous. people tell me they're paying 1800 a month or 2100 a month. middle class people cannot afford that. plus they get clobbered on a tax penalty. that's coercion. obama was told that was unconstitutional. but i think it was the republican justice that said oh, we'll get around that. we'll make it a tax penalty. that's a money grab. working class people work hard. they should be rewarded for saving a few dollars. but you do is depleting their bank accounts. $1800. that's -- that's a mortgage for some of these people that they couldn't afford to pay. plus you're forcing it. the government is putting a gun to their heads, either you pay it or we're going to give you bigger -- we'll keep increasing the tax penalties. >> caller, we've got to leave it there.
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>> you know, obamacare it is his legacy. but it's also one of the most controversial things i've ever seen passed here on capitol hill. it certainly is a partisan issue. it's certainly divided the country. it's divided congress. it's divided an awful lot of people. and it's divided those who either benefit from it or have seen their premiums rise. if you're one of the 20 million people who has insurance now who didn't have it three years ago because this law wasn't in place, you might be pretty happy with it. if you're somebody who already had coverage and now you're seeing premiums rise much higher than you expected, then you're not happy with it. that's just part of the split. it's congress's job to recognize these deficiencies where they are and fix them. and we'll see what they're going to do with that. the republicans of course want to repeal the whole thing. the question is what are they going to do with the 20 million people who now have insurance. do you drop those people and hope they don't vote or come up with a replacement that will get them covered in some way that is
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affordable and doesn't bust the budget. this is the debate that we're going to have. the plan the republicans are going to push i think is increasingly clear that they want to repeal it very quickly for political reasons. trump made this a central issue of his campaign. and the republicans have been trying to do it for years. they can do it quickly, get a very quick win once trump is in office. but then they can leave the tough decisions for later. they can say we repealed it, but the repeal isn't going to go into place for two years. so that gives us time to find a replacement. we'll see what they do when they have two years to do it. that two years is going to move very quickly. and slow it be interesting to see what they come up with before the 2018 mid terms. >> with all the changes that the house minority leader is making as far as the leadership and how it's chosen, when do the democrats get a sense if it's work organize not? if this new structure is actually an effective way of going forward? >> that's a good question. immediately you'll know if it's
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working if the insurgent, those who were so unhappy right after the election, if they are satisfied with it. if they feel like they have more voice. if they feel like they have more power to steer the ship. that's the near term effect. and even that is unclear. it sounds like they're -- once pelosi won, it sounded like they are okay with it. they at least got their shot to make protest vote. longer term, it's going to be 2018. did it work? well, how many people came out to the polls? how many seats did the democrats pick up? and that will be the ultimate test. >> mark lillis who reports for hill. his stories can be found he covers congress extensively. mike lillis, thanks for your time. >> thank you. c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, north carolina republican congressman walter jones is joined by
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california democratic congressman ted liu to discuss a court of appeals decision over contributions to political committees. both argue the ruling allows superpacs to accept unlimited donations. and then a look to spread fake news during the 2016 election psych occasional clint watts from the foreign policy research institute. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal," live beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion. tuesday morning testimony from the deputy director of the u.s. geological survey on his agency's scientific misconduct and alleged data manipulation at a geochemistry lab in colorado. he speaks from front of a house natural resources subcommittee. that starts live at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span3. in the afternoon a senate hearing on the current terror threat from iran.
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witnesses look at ways the u.s. can counter threat by the country, a and what can be done to ensure stability in the middle east region. watch the hearing live tuesday at 2:30 p.m. eastern. also on c-span3. now we'll look back at the foreign policies of three modern-day presidents -- jimmy carter, george w. bush and barack obama. panelists talked about the lessons learned from some of their major initiatives and what we can expect from the trump administration. held by the foreign policy initiative, this is an hour. >> our next discussion is called history and the first 100 days. it will be monitored by harry j. schmitt and our speakers will be marc jacobson, peter mansoor and max boot. max is with the salve regina
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university. peter is with ohio state university. max is with the council on foreign relations. gary will introduce them in some more detail. i want to take a moment to acknowledge he is co-director at the american enterprise institute. his service in the united states government includes staff director as the select committee on intelligence. and his most recent publication is an edited volume titled -- say that again. "a hard look at hard power: assessing the defensive capabilities of key u.s. allies and security partners." so congratulations on its publication. thank you, gary on moderating and please welcome me in welcoming our panel. >> well, thank you for joining us. and it's a great pleasure to moderate a panel for fbi in this particular forum. it's also a great pleasure to be
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joined by three eminent scholar, historians and practitioners. so i'm the moderator. i'm going try to act moderate, which by the way is a root word that often doesn't get tossed my direction. nevertheless, i promise we only have an hour. so i don't want to take up lot of time. i do want to give each of our panelists their due introduction. fellow at the pell center in rhode island. he is a lecturer at george washington university school of international affairs. he served in a number of positions in senior advisory roles in the both pentagon and afghanistan and on the senate armed services committee. he is a combat veteran, and he has earned his ph.d in history from the ohio state university. >> the, the. >> the, the, yes. not an, but this. so mark will be talking about the possible lessons learned from the carter administration days.
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next up will be pete monsour. professor monsoor holds a chair in hilltary history at the ohio state university. i learned, where he also earned his ph.d in history. he graduated number one in his class at west point. he served with the distinction in the u.s. army for more than a quarter of a century. he was the founding director of the army's counter insurgency center at ft. leavenworth, kansas. and then putting that intellectual into practice, he was the executive officer to general david petraeus in the iraqi surge period. pete will talk about the bush administration. last but not least, max boot will provide his thoughts on the obama administration. mark is a former editor of the wall street journal. he is currently the jean
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kirkpatrick fellow on the council on foreign relations. max has three wonderful volumes on guerrilla warfare technology and evolution of warfare on america's small wars. each of which has won much praise and distinction. max is also a practitioner in that he was an adviser to various commanders in both iraq and in afghanistan. not resting on his laurels in the books he is ready to publish and embarrassing those of us who struggle to get an op-ed out occasionally, max is in the process of writing a book both on ronald reagan and on edward landsdale and the vietnam war. so we will proceed in the following order with mark and pete and max. the format is really quite simple. each speaker will go 10 to 15 minutes, and then hopefully we'll have enough time for questions from you all. i will try to keep track of people when they raise their hands and hopefully we'll also
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have some back and forth discussion from the panel. just one short comment on my part. again, i realize we only have an hour. i'm not going to do a lengthy introduction to the topic. but again, it was mentioned i worked in the white house. i worked in the senate. i'm a trained political scientist. when i say trained political scientist, i think of a dog, but nevertheless. sorry for that. maybe my professors thought that too. nevertheless, it was interesting. i recently -- my wife and i built a new house. so i had a library at home. we were moving things. of course, like anybody living in a place for 30 years, you try to figure out how little more than -- how less you can move. my wife said, why don't you go through your books. then also recently, the american enterprise institute where i work has also moved. again, i had a fairly substantial library at the office that needed to be trimmed down to fit into my new space. for the last two years i've been
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going through books. one of the most interesting things that struck me when i was doing this process was how many political scientist books that i was tossing out. even though they seemed relevant at the time, they seemed dated when i looked at them anew. interestingly enough, the preponderance of the library is history, which chronologically, of course, is less relevant. but some serious fundamental ways, more relevant to figuring out what statesmen should do and what state craft should be composed of. with that as an introduction and a praise for fbi starting this history program, we'll begin with mark. >> thank you very much, gary. thank you very much, chris, for the kind introduction. i'm glad to see not only is gary not moderate but he shifted from political science to history. it's a positive step and a great evolution. >> historians should be wary.
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>> i think it's a great segue into this -- into saying how thrilled i am in terms of what fbi has done, what mark has been doing. i happen to believe there is a crisis in historical literacy in this country. i think it explicitly has damaged our ability to create effective state craft. i'm glad to see this is at least a start in terms of getting people more engaged in understanding that history can help inform. it's useful. it's not just something that you picked up in your undergraduate courses. maybe allows you to throw around an anecdote once in a while. with that in mind, the other nice piece is actually history does change or how we interpret history and what happened in the past. i think president carter is a great example of that. when i was considering which president to approach here, there were a couple that mark and i discussed. i through out jimmy carter. i thought, you know, kind of saw mark's reaction to this. i said, hold on a second here.
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carter's actually one of our least studied presidents. i hope when you listen to this, you will understand why. i think -- i will tell you a story. most presidential libraries have very generous or for graduate students and academics, generous travel fees. to go do research and take a look around the library and do research and things. the carter library has none of that. donors over the years who supported this establishment of carter's library don't support it anymore. he never -- even though he is seen as our best ex-president, people didn't like him at the time. even his own staff years later find that he was or at least talked privately about him being a horrible manager, not a nice person at times as well. so the legacy that carter has left is one that discourages i think the active study of what he has done.
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those of us who came of age a bit during the carter administration. for me it was 1979 and the iran hostage crisis always look negatively on carter. for me he was the president who gave away the panama cancel, canceled the b-1 bomber, was weak on russians, lost iran, didn't pay our military. but when you start looking at carter -- i know this is a little bit of hyperbole, but people forget. the b-1 bomber, at least in his view, in the view of his defense secretary harold brown was canceled because there was this thing called the b-2 bomber under development, at least in part. carter didn't want exotic weapon systems. he wasn't engaged in what we call the revolution of military affairs. there were a lot of things going on there. i would say that without carter, there's no inbadabad.
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we think to the response to the iran crisis. there's the failure and the establishment of the counterterrorism secretary. carter asked them to establish the capability outside the 100 day window. but in july 1977, before any of this stuff is going on. there's a mixed record there. i think it's hard for many of us to get through the emotions and the perceptions of the carter administration. with that said, i think it's fair to say that there's a mixed record at best but what is true to this day is that one of the worst things you can call a democratic politician is worse than jimmy carter. thinking back to -- in fact, democrats when you ask them or mention, what did you think of the carter administration, i receive some language that i won't be able to print when i finish my book. republicans are a bit more measured on this. i think it's worth going back to 2012, 2014, there's just some choice quotes that represent this.
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ted cruz, the obama foreign policy is as feckless as carters. lindsey graham. obama makes jimmy carter look better by the bay. one of my favorites, bobby jindal. to president carter i want to offer an apology. it's no longer fair to say he was the worst president of this great country. president obama has proven me wrong. again, so there's this nastiness about the carter administration. i think it's important to understand that if you go back to those first 100 days, you can start to see the seeds of what i believe caused the eventual demise of the carter administration. i'm no saying that as a warning, that within the first 100 days every president could fail. but there's something a little bit different about the carter presidency than when we talk about the first 100 days in more recent times. for example, i'm sure both peter and max will talk about when we think of the first 100 days, we think, well, presidents have domestic agendas. all of a sudden, they're hit with foreign policy crises.
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well, that's really not what happens during the carter administration. i want to make a couple of broad points. the first is i think you have to look at the overall foreign policy lessons of the first 100 days within the context of carter's overall record. maybe that's the same for all presidencies. but with carter, it's very difficult to decouple the foreign policy from the domestic agenda, because the first 100 days are defined by the larger context within which he assumed office. i will go into more detail there in a minute. second, as i suggested up front, the perceptions of the carter record, more so than the record itself, has driven our interpretation of not just the first 100 days, but of his overall successes and failures. and third, and this will probably be my most important point, style and tactics can cancel out substance, especially over the long-term.
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for the carter administration, if there's one thing i would like to you walk away with, that's the style and tactics put the white house very quickly at odds with not just the political opponents but with their allies. in fact, with about every other power center in washington, the media, congress, and in the end i think this dooms the carter administration well before the economic, energy and foreign policy crises and initiatives that tend to get a lot of play. first let me say i think it's critical to understand the broader context in which carter comes to office. this is in the wake of vietnam and watergate. the crisis of confidence in government. i think it's difficult to overstate that. we all see a bitterness in washington now. we see sort of -- at least in the foreign policy community, a depression. think of this as maybe being similar to the post watergate and post vietnam era.
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the late stanley hoffman argued the aggressive reassertion of american idealism by the carter administration in that first 100 days was really their great success. that it was -- again, you can't that it was -- that, again, you can't underestimate the importance of tapping into the national reservoir of moral enthusiasm. in fact, during the campaign, in 197 of, carter sought to unite as part of his campaign, not after the campaign, his top priority, in fact, if you look at his campaign pamphlets, his top priority is -- i'm going to quote here -- our whole system depends on trust. the only way i know to be trusted is to be open, direct and honest. this was carter's been line. calling for a government that was honest, decent, fair, competent and truthful administration, as ideaistic as the american people as he stated. this is, again, part of a successful campaign against ford.
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carter sought to tie forward to really the disgraced nixon administration. ford, of course, did himself no favors by, in his first hundred days, in fact his first 30 days, first pardoned nixon, and of course, for those "saturday night live" fans, you know, that's my first memory is the chef i chase impression of gerald ford which president ford went to an unbelievable undergraduate university. but "snl's" lampooning of ford really had an impact and made people think he had a low intellect, and clumsy. that stuck. i don't think it had the same impact that social media can have today. but again, this is the part of the theme carter saying we're going to change, we're going to be truthworthy, different, versus the old regime. we're going to change washington. i'll get to that a little bit later because that's an important part of carter's first
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hundred days. he's not met with the plethora of foreign policy crises we're used to today. i suspect having to deal with the existential threat of the soviet union at the time makes up for that. if you look at some of the key initiatives on the foreign policy side, it's fairly quiet by today's standards. secretary of state cyrus vance confirmed and sworn in on the 23rd of january. let's see how quickly things go this january. he's sent to the middle east within a couple of weeks of carter assuming the office to try and restart the geneva conference. this is the multi-lateral soviet-u.s.-led attempt at peace in the middle east. carter sends his famous letter to the soviet dissident sokarov, saying, look, we support your movement. this had great bipartisan support on both sides. the human rights agenda. it's never an issue over whether
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or not carter -- the united states and the carter administration should change it around the world. more an argument over how much emphasis should be placed on human rights when it came to bilateral relationships with specific countries. again, things are going well there. it really upsets the soviets, which politically, it's a good thing. there are setbacks. i think in my own view, the carter administration fumbles the salt ii, the arms talks with the soviets. but again, they've got four years to this point. in april of '77, carter had his first meeting with anwar sadat. which, of course, leads to what is probably the administration's greatest accomplishment, the accords of camp david. it's more important to look back
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home. in the first 24 hours of the carter administration, you understand the challenges. and really the problems they created for themselves. i'm not sure if this is the first act, but it's pretty close. on the 21st of january, carter pardons the vietnam war draft evaders. in and of itself, again, objectively, ford had already granted a certain amount of clemency to certain draft evaders. and carter's pardon wasn't blanketed. if you had committed a crime that involved protest violence, you weren't eligible. still, it came across as a blanket pardon. it alienated in particular the veterans groups and created a political liability and fed into something that -- fed into this view that he was anti-military. even if you can argue he was a little more hawkish later on in his presidency, it didn't matter. it's very difficult for carter to overcome what he had done within the first 24 hours of assuming office.
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let me give you some broader themes in wrapping up. let me talk to you about what i mentioned before in terms of style and tactics. carter came in believing that it was his duty, his administration's duty to repair the crisis of confidence in government. cart are's style in doing so reflected in many ways a personal flaw. frankly, a holier than thou attitude that he and the team from atlanta knew better than anybody else. they vowed to change washington, in today's terms. and change washington forever. washington would be a good moral place. there would be complete transparency. there would be no old style politics at all. well, as one historian put it, really, it's about carter, but think about this in terms of some other presidencies. it was an innocence and arrogance that you could run the county with the atlanta state
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house team. you just couldn't. every president brings his people, but most presidents bring people who are seasoned, understand washington and know how to move around the city. that wasn't true of jimmy carter and proved to be amateurish. i made this statement, read this quote without reference to atlanta with a senior official a couple years ago and they asked me what newspaper that was in. was that in today's paper? yeah. so, again, people are -- again, there are some things that can be learned. but this was the attitude from day one. in fact, the relationship of the press, as carter's press secretary, the late jody powell put it, was absolutely atrocious. they never learned to work with the press, much less manage the press. it was a hostile environment. in particular, it was the carter administration's relationship with congress that begins on the wrong foot in the first hundred days and i think hammers him throughout. the white house staff just didn't upset republicans, but
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upset tip o'neil with, quote, unreturned phone calls, real and imagined insults. unwillingness to trade political favors and engage in politics. this impacted carter's agenda. there was no way to reach compromise even from the beginning and it hammered him on the domestic side. and the foreign policy side to some degree as well. in fact, there's argument over when you talk to former staffers over which committee foreign relations or armed services committee forced carter to go back on his pledge to remove u.s. troops from korea, but what the staffers do agree upon was that it was congress that forced the administration's hand. carter really never understood how to work the system. and this was very uncharacteristic. they were talking about an intellectually curious individual. nuclear engineer to a fault. those of you who remember the
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pictures of crawling around three mile island, i've got this, bad move from the pr standpoint. but he never wants to understand how washington works. doesn't care. and in fact, by may 1977, just at that hundred-day mark, carter had as one "newsweek" article put it, upset pretty much everyone in washington that had been an ally. the liberals, the democratic party, just to name a few. his chief of staff hamilton jordan screamed to his team, can you name a single group that's supporting us right now? this is only after a hundred days. at the same time it was about the arrow gaps and hamilton jordan as effective a chief of staff as i think he was felt, well, we can run everything from the white house. and in fact, here's another great irony. carter's economic program is a little bit more conservative
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than the democrats would have liked at the time. completely alienating labor, especially the afl-cio. carter alien eights his own base, and in the end, you get what i believe causes the loss for carter even before the general election. and that the primary challenge from the left from ted kennedy which although it doesn't succeed obviously, i think damages carter considerably. i think just to make some final points. from the beginning, i don't think carter is as liberal as he's painted. i think even before the soviet invasion of afghanistan, you see a hardening in his stance. as people talked about, vance and brzezinski battle it out for carter's -- for the hearts and minds of the white house in terms of being tougher on the
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soviets, or should we be a little more conciliatory. but again, i think the problem is that it's really the style and the tactics. he alienates his base. he upsets his potential allies. of course, his adversaries, while perhaps content with the white house, were certainly never going to support him in the way he wanted. and then, of course, icing on the cake, the foreign policy crisis in iran p really damages things. about you whether you're talking about the first hundred days, say things happen in all administrations, there are confirmation battles, a battle over the panama canal treaty. that's all normal stuff. i think it's the style and approach to governance within the white house, within the executive branch, and approach that i might add almost resulted in vice president mondale resigning by late '78, and carter's overplaying his hand on trying to change washington.
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and i'm going to kind of just note one last thing. to really twist a phrase by robert palmer, if you don't know robert palmer, you need to read his seminal piece, called "bureaucracy does its thing." bureaucracy did its thing in washington to the carter administration. the failure to recognize that -- i'm sorry, the failure to recognize that governance cannot just be done by the executive branch alone. foreign policy cannot be done by executive branch alone. it requires congress, engaking the media, requires working with constituency groups, advocacy groups, lobbyists, what have you. cart are's failure there really sets him up for failure, and that begins in his first hundred days. thank you very much. >> thanks, mark. >> other than that, how was the play? >> exactly.
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>> i'm going to try to be brief. upon pain of waterboarding as my moderator threatened us if we didn't leave time for q&a. i'm going to talk about the administration of george w. bush. like all presidential administrations, it also had a checkered record of success. and there were some successes. the strategic outreach to india, the aids initiative in africa. i'm going to go well beyond the first hundred days. you all remember back to 2001. president bush came into office, he wanted to be the education president. you probably all forgot that. foreign policy was not his forte. we're going to move into the war on terror. and the foreign policy after 9/11. and although circumstances surrounding each presidential administration are unique, i think there are four broad
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policy lessons that the incoming administration can learn from the administration of president george w. bush. the first one is not to let eatology guide policy without examining the historical context, and the current circumstances of whatever issue is in question. at the time. hall brant has written a really terrific book on grand strategy from the truman administration to the george w. bush administration. and in it, he says basically of the george w. bush administration, that it tried to push a grand strategy that was simply too grand. and this was the case. if you think about the two broad policy initiatives, the war on terror, and the freedom agenda,
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and these are really broad sweeping attempts to reshape the world by expanding democracy and free market capitalism, and to do a lot of it by force of arms. ffrts but the freedom agenda had a fatal flaw, and that was that it assumed that democracy and liberal market capitalism are universally shared values. that if you lifted the grip of dictators on their lands and gave the people freedom, that this is what they would automatically choose as their form of government and their form of economic organization. a good book on this by mike mcdonald called "overreach." lays it out fairly nicely. for much of the world, that's simply not the case. they lack a -- a lot of the world lacks robust civil society
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that makes democracy function. however imperfectly. in retrospect, cia director george tenet concluded we followed a policy built on hope rather than fact. and i think the invasion of iraq, which is the signal failure of the bush administration and its greatest strategic blunder underlines the failure of that administration to pay attention to the historical context of the situation, the cultural underpinnings, the religious overtones of the middle east. simply went in not entirely ignorant, but not paying attention of the aftermath of the invasion. the invasion was undertaken to disrupt thing link between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.


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