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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  August 8, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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terrible experience. host: if you look for finding a new job in a new sector, how much money should be spent on that search? guest: as long as you are using sound, a local labor market information, your investment will be worthwhile. all of us would like to be rocket scientists. and it would not be a good thing to do, thinking about going to work for nasa. sometimes you cannot look at the national data. remember, our local work force investment force is 50% business. those people know who have the jobs and who does not. host: jane oates, thank you so much for being here. let's go over those web sites
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again with the department of labour. mynextmove.org. myfuture.org. the phone number, if you would like to get in touch, 1-877- us2jobs. coming up this week, we will continue our series looking at the work force in america. wednesday we will look at private-public partnerships in job creation. thursday, a key federal jobs programs. rounding out the week with women in the workforce. i just got this updates fromcnn cnn money. host: we will be watching that throughout the day. we will be back tomorrow morning
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at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> stayed the center for american progress holds a discussion on the african-american vote in 2012 and beyond. speakers include democratic congresswoman donna edwards of maryland and "washington post" columnist jonathan kaypart. live coverage begins at 12:00 noon eastern. later a debate on mandatory voting. some nations including australia and mexico have laws requiringcies zens to vote. it's hosted by the ralph nader
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center of responsive law. 6:00 p.m. eastern. 22 navy seals were killed over the weekend when their helicopter was shot down in afghanistan. you can find out the life and training of the navy seals and the seal team that killed osama bin laden tonight on c-span, special operations commander eric olson is interviewed by abc news foreign correspondent martha raddatz. that's tonight at 8:00 eastern. security on new york stock exchange plunged this morning in reaction to the u.s. credit downgrade. shares lost over 200 points within the first minute of the market's opening. follow the trend begun by arab shan markets over the weekend after the u.s. credit rating was lowered on friday. we get details on what the credit rating change means from this morning's "washington journal." /congress.
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>> "washgton journal" continues. host: robinarding is u.s. economics editor at "the financial times."
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good morning. guest: good morng. host: you have a story in today's paper looking at the decision of the s&p to downgrade the u.s. credit rating, but there'a complication because the white house has accused it of making a $2 trillion mistake. how did this happen? guest: this is a remarkable story. on friday, s&p came to the treasury and said they were going to do this downgrade. the treasury economist looked at this and said we think there was an error in your numbers. s&p agreed that the numbers were not the most appropriate ones to use. the administration uses harsher terms than that. they decided to go through with e downgrade anyway. what's really hard is to actually say how substantial it is. was it really important.
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looking at the s&p rating criteria, it seems like it would potentially affect a rating decision. on the other hand, the way the markets are responding, and the with the people in the markets are responding, is they say they've known the fiscal problem has been going on for years. essentially, s&p's decision was dysfunctional politics in washington, as opposed to the deficit numbers. they are kind of trucking this off. host: how significant is this? we heard a lot on the talk shows yesterday. how significant is it in terms of the u.s. reliability and what it means for investors? guest: it is a washington story and it's a short-term story. an s&p downgrade does not change anything about the creditworthiness of the u.s. it does not change the size of the deficit or the debt. it is embarrassing for s&p, i
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think, but i also think it will be forgotten within a few days. host: this from "the financial times" front page. this is also really affecting the markets. walk us through what is going on in the spanish and the italian markets. guest: i know it sounds obscure, but this is the story that has out censored everything that's going on at the moment, the steady deterioration of the european powerful -- european peripheral countries. we're going on to so big countries, spain and italy. the difference is -- with ireland and greece, you can bail them out. if spain gets in trouble in markets refuse to lend to them, that's hard to fix. that's hundreds of billions of euros per year in financing needs. that's why there's so much
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turmoil as a result of th problem. what has happened over the weekend is that the very short market moves have forced the ecb to change its policy. essentially, the ecb has said it would buy italian and spanish debt and that's what it has done in the markets this morning. we have seen the yields in the italian and spanish that come down. the question, it will that be enough to restore market confidence and persuade private investors that they want to lend money to spain and italy? host: the ecb is the european central bank. guest: yes. host: how do other countries measure up as far as s&p ratings? i wanted to look at this in "the wall street journal." they compare the ratings. in our category now, belgium, new zealand.
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is it so much the rating or is it more the change of a rating that is significant? guest: that's a very good question and it's another thing that the treasury and the administration were pretty upset about over the weekend. france, which has almost the same size as us -- was going on? i think the answer is -- they have a set of very fixed criteria. if you happen to fall on one side of the dividing line, then you get that rating. kind of understand that. they do not really looks so closely. the difference between aaa and aaa plus is very small in their minds. the questions, the potential of a downgrade for france, as well. host: how much of a severe
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impact would that have? guest: the central thing to understand about economic stories at the moment is is the keenness of impact, hit after hit. by themselves, neither of those things would be a big deal. all these things together in a short amount of time have the potential to shake people's confidence and have a knock-on effect of, do you want to go out and buy a car when you are hearing these things? host: let's listen to austin goalan goolsbee. >> rating agencies thatid not make a $2 trillion error and what warren buffett said, i think with the s&p downgrade
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based on questionable mathematics is the root of why the treasury said that. if you get away from -- was a mistake in what they did, the broader point being, we've just gone through a period where members of the u.s. government were standing up and saying maybe it would be ok if the u.s. default on some of its obligations. that's a deeply unsettling moment. host: how typical is it for people to protest when they get the downgrade? is it normal to see the leaders of the nation and people like david axelrod going after their and waging a campaign against s&p's decision? guest: is extremely common. what we've seen in europe, and in many ways, is a preview to what has happened here.
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there have been some furious riles with the ratings agencies. this is almost routine story downgrade to go like this. -- routine for a downgrade to go like this. sometimes there's an element of truth and sometimes it's the natural response to push back against these people. host: let's go to the phones. ron on the line for democrats. caller: we have approximately eight tons of gold reserves in the u.s. prices, whynflated are we not able to sell it at the high price and pay off our debt?
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when is congress going to pay us back for the multiple times they have borrowed from social securi? they have borrowed hundreds of billions, if not trillions from social security. guest: on gold, i suppose you have to think about what is the reason the u.s. is holding the gold? it is holding it as a reserve asset, as opposed to financial speculation that iwill buy when it's cheap and sell when it's expensive. clearly, you could sell gold and you could realize a certain amount of dollars and reduce the national debt a little bit. it would not come close to paying it off. it's the question of what you're holding it for. the question about social security, in a sense, it's an accoting question. the government borrows fm one account to lend to another point i know that the trustees of
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medicare and social security do not really like that. they find that accountina great deal of concern. with a gets sorted out, is anybody's guess -- when it gets sorted out is anybody's guess. caller: this is planned. it is double taxation when they are stealing from social security. we need to raise tariffs. that's all there is to it. thank you very much. guest: the points about america's fiscal situation is there are only two ways to deal with it. you either raise taxes or you cut social security, medicare benefits, or both. one of those two things are both of them will have to happen. host: in "the wall street journal" they have a piece talking about how this is an example of how much power the rating industry has.
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it mentions that more trouble came from ratings of complicated debt instruments tied to the housing market. s&p, moody's, and fitch underestimated how far housing prices would fall. someone writes on twitter, "it makes you wonder if you can trust anything the ratings agencies say." guest: they took a huge credibility hit because of what happened with the ratings for subprime mortgage bonds. what was particularly bad about that is there appeared to be a profound conflict of interest where they would be paid to rate these things. it was entirely in their interest to keep raising them. there has been a big regulatory backlash as a result of that. you have to have some way of assessing if the debt is good.
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individual investors cannot go out and check every bond in every bar where. -- every bond in every bor rower. host: dave, republican in new york. good morning. caller: good morning. the last article you just read stated what i was going to state. just wondering how much reliability we can put in s&p after they went across the global aaa rating the collateralized debt obligations. i would like to know what parameters they use when they do rate us. the otheratings agencies have not touched us yet. i would like to know what instruments they use when they come up with these ratings. that's basically my question. thank you.
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guest: stop me if i get boring. there are five criteria s&p uses. they include a political score, monetary score, an international score, an economics corp., which is the growth prospects, and another one escapes my mind at the moment. the point on the u.s. downgrade -- they pointed to the fiscal score. they essentially said what we all know, that the u.s. fcal position has deteriorating. the one they really cited as the justification for the downgrade was the political score. they sd, "cannot trust the reliability and certainty of washington policy-making to tackle deficits in a w that's consistent with a aaa rating." host: jack follows up on this on
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twitter and wants you to talk about the relationship of s&p with banks. he wants to know if there's a conflict of interestnd if this is a political move by s&p. guest: there is potentially a conflict of interest when they are rating bonds, because the person selling the bond generally pays the rater. when they do sovran ratings, they are not paying for that. i would not say it's a public service, but more as part of their business. it's what they do. it's hard to say there's a direct conflict of interest. it's extremely unlikely that s&p had political motivations for the move. i do not know what they politically achieved any way. clearly, s&p is feeling the pain of some political backlash from washington. whether that amounts to anything, i'm not sure. host: politics factored into their decision as far as the stability of the political
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situation, but ideally, one would hope, not influencing politics -- political things are not influencing them from behind the scenes. host: let's look at "the financial times" today. guest: i think that's right. s&p did not tell us anything we did not kno they just looked at the number and said, "we've changed our opinion abouthat the numbers tell us." what's the alternative to the u.s. and u.s. treasury bonds? btere's no other issuer of de of cparable quality and liquidity. u.s. treasuries and u.s. dead will remain the instrument of the global financial system -- u.s. debt will remain the
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instrument of global financial system for the long-term. host: what's the barometer by which you will look at in a month or two mons or six months? when is it time to know how this downgrade has affected things in the long term? when do we start to notice more of a trend, rather than an initial reaion, or nervousness by investors? guest: put this in a long-term way of thinking. it's a really important question, which is, does the u.s. dollar and u.s. treasury bonds remain the assets at the core of the global financial system? that is something which is of huge benefit to the u.s. essentially, the world pays the u.s. a fee every year for the purpose of using the u.s dollar as the reserve asset. longer-term -- not next month -- decades. how are u.s. treasury rates
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compared to those of a large nation, such as china? is there another asset that lookpreferable to investg your money in u.s. treasuries? that's the really fundamental question here. host: let's go to missouri. jim on the line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. the problem we have is not over the debate over the debt ceiling, it's the fact that we owe $14 trillion. that's the problem. we got there by learning that by our vote we controthe purse strings of the treasury. the american public i basically to blame for the mess we are in. they never get criticized.
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the media most certainly do not criticize them. the politicians, most certainly, are not going to criticize them. the real problem that we are in is directly on the shoulders of the american people. guest: well, you cannot say that is untrue. the u.s. people voted for more spending and less taxes. the deficits have resulted from those political choices. maybe you should not be so hard on the american people. as a foreigner, i sense a lot of willingness to tackle the problem, but it's not have been -- it is not happening through the political system. the big question in this town, how do you make that happen? how do you allow the political system to express what i think
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is the view of the majority of the people? host: robin harding is u.s. economics editor at "the financial times" and the website is ft.com. host: jack writes on twitter -- jim writes -- i wanted to ask you about the g-7 -- from bloomberg. what is going on there? guest: the group of seven leading industrial countries had a conference call on sunday evening where they discussed all the things that are going on. principally, i'm told they
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discussed europe, as opposed to the s&p downgrade. they agreed it was very nasty of s&p and ratings agencies are horrible people. the g-7 statement was classic. it was sort of -- we reaffirm that we will deal with instability and losses and long sentences. they are trying to prepare people and they are also preparing so that there were to be another real financial crisis like we saw in 2008, that central bank governors and finance ministriesre geared up to make a policy response to that. another interesting point about this is that it is the g-7 that meant. these days, the g-20, includes china and the other premiere countrie is meant to be the group. it turns out that they never want anything done in a crisis.
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the g-7 seems to have the cohesion to do it. host: let's go to the phones. tom, republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i want to start off reminding everybody there what the french political philosopher said about this nation. he said that amica is great because america is good. host: what does that mean to you? caller: when it ceases to be good, it will cease to be great. what is happening right now is we are watching our political syst -- the world is watching this. our political system has degenerated io representatives for the predator class and representatives for the parasite class, and the 70% in the middle has no representation.
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i think what is going on right now with this standard and poor's -- let me remind everybody that standard and poor's was one of the ratings agencies that stood by and allowed the derivatives fraud to develop, ok. i think what they are doing now is prepping us so -- for another big jump in increases. i think wt you will see happen in the next two years is massive increases in credit card debt and things like car loans, because they have got written into all these contracts that they can raise their rates whenever they please. this is why so many of them are based in delaware, where they have no use three law -- no us uary law. guest: there's a question of what this will mean for market interest rates, credit card rates, car loans. chances are, in the short term,
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it probably will not have that much impact. fore's not much alternative people looking for investments. they will probably have to invest in the u.s., which will keep rates down. about the political system, this is really thundamental question for the u.s how it makes sure its institutions can answer the questions that the people are asking them? host: this is frothe ap. what is your reaction to that? guest: that's a nice intro. nosedives, crashing stocks -- we like writing those. i don't think it's that dramatic. asian stocks are down a bit, but
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you would expect that. the important thing to remember is the s&p news started to leak out to the u.s. markets on friday. the u.s. markets reacted quite a lot to this news. we may not see such dramatic moves today. asia is still catching up. that surprises me not at all and i'm not sure. host: what will you be watching for the american markets to do today? is there a certain number where you feel like it will be very significant, or not as much of a dip as expected? guest: two things. first is the yield on treasury securities. if they rise substantially -- for example, the 10-year bond yield rising to 10 or 20 basis points, then that would be bad. that shows markets are reacting
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negatively to the news. and then the stock markets -- as it continues its downward trajecry, i would say that less of a reaction to the s&p and more of a reaction to the broader economic malaise that you have to be concerned about. economic malaise feeds on itself and that's how you get recession. we will be looking for the stock market reaction. tomorrow, the federal reserve meets. that's going to be a profoundly important point for markets, at least in the short term. invests are already building up anticipation for what might or might not help them. host: a democrat in cleveland. good morning. caller: good morning. host: hi. caller: i would like to make two points. the credit system has been in need of a correction for quite some time tionally as well as
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internationally. i would point t that as a part of wall street reform, but it has not happened yet. do we still have for knox gold? the price ofold has still quadrupled. what is our goal worsen now? would the underscore are credit deficit? it should be worth at least $17 trillion by now. guest:old -- i'm not going to have a number, because i have not checked recently. the u.s. does have a lot of gold. i am told its at fort knox. there's not enough of it to make a really meaningful difference, i am afraid. the u.s. and the world and effectively abandoned the gold standard. the amount of gold in the system
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no longer has much connection into-- i'm going to get economics jargon. i'm afraid gold is not the answer to many bodies problem. your first point on the credit system, there were some significant changes. a lot of them have not come into effect yet, like the consumer financial protection bureau, which will make the most difference to people buying loans or credit cards. it's only just getting up to speed. i think chaes have been made. being a cynical financial journalist, i think people have been trying to make finance changes for hundreds of years and it never seems to weork. host: moody's warned it could joined standard and poor's. how significants that? guest: i have not seen the report. i would have to see the languag they use to see how serious that
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is. it makes sense. the other ratings agencies have tan a different view of the political process. they have precisely the same concerns about the long-term fiscal situation of the u.s. host: 4 lauderdale, florida. can morning. -- fort lauderdale, florida. but morning. -- good morning. caller: they downgraded their debt. and some point, we will have trouble paying off our debt? guest: i say both sides of the
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fiscal divide are seriously worried about the debt. it did not quite come for what s&p was looking for. washington is gng to get it back together and try to tackle this. the outcome of that, they looking at the- triple a criteria that should met. hos host: what other key markers are
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you looking for in the next couple of weeks? guest: in many ways, this is the biggest story in the u.s.. what is driving the global markets is spain and italy. we have to watch for, the ec being action -- european central bank, stabilize the yields on italian and spanish debt. will current investors continunu lending to tho >> since this morning's "washington journal," the u.s. stocks are tumbling amid a route in global markets after standard & poor's downgraded the u.s. credit rating for the first
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time. two minutes ago, the market was down over 330 points. this in reaction to the s&p's cutting of the long-term debt rating for the u.s. the downgrade was not unexpected but it comes when investors are already nervous about a weak u.s. economy. also gold topped $1,700 per ounce for the very first time. fade the center for american progress will host a discussion on the african-american vote in 2012 and beyond. speakers include democratic congresswoman donna edwards of maryland and "washington post" columnist jonathan capehart. live at noon eastern right here on c-span. >> i'm not for changing the system just so we can feel good by having voter turnout which may ultimately approximate what they have in australia which is about 97%. the fact is voter turnout per se doesn't mean very much in terms of the health of a democracy. some of the most vicious dictatorships in the world get
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voter turnout of 95 to 99% when they hold elections. >> voting is a responsible act and for whatever reason i haven't had the time, uninformed, i should not be coerced to make a decision which is life and death for many people. it would be immoral to do that. >> today and tomorrow on c-span, raffle nader and the center for suddeny of responsive law looks at controversial topics. monday, the pros and consequence of mandatory voting with a.e.i.'s norm ornstein and fred smith. and tuesday, professors from georgetown and the university of massachusetts on taxing stock trades, derivatives, and curncy. debating the controversial today and tuesday at 6:00 p.m. eesh on -- eastern on c-span. >> national review editor rich lowery was a featured speaker friday at the national conservative studentp conference of the young american foundation. he talked about abraham lincoln
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and how he was influenced by the declaration of independence. he talked about its effects on the republican party of today. this event held at george washington university in the nation's capital includes a question and answer session with students. it's about an hour and 10 minutes. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. for those of you, obviously you know this, for others joining us the young americans foundation is the leading outreach group for young people for the conservative movement. we hold conferences for college students. we supply college activists with the tools and resources and the knowledge they need to promote conservative ideas on their campuses. and we saved president reagan's beloved raven in california and preserved a schoolhouse to teach people about his ideas. tonight i'm here to introduce you to this evening's speaker. we have enjoyed the banquet so far and i think it will only get
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better because he is a leading figure in the conservative movement. speaking of leading figures in the conservative movement, we have admired the giant portrait of bill buckley on the wall all week. of course buckley was one of the intellectual god fathers of the ebb tire movement. but he also most specifically founded and served as editor of the national review. and that position of editor is a position he held until 1990. and for over 10 years now that same position has been held by this evening's speaker. he's not only the editor of "national review" he's a "new york times" best-selling author and prominent figure in the media. i first saw our speaker when he showed up on fox news. he was filling in for hanity on hanity and coal ms. -- colmes. if you remember when he was on the same show as the other guy. i remember thinking he did a fantastic job because he wasn't just one of those academic types who looked like he belonged teaching our classes. he wasn't just one of the is that correcty sarcastic types
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who can rile people up and not much to tell. he had a little of everything. he could balance the intellect with the wit, communication with the ideas,' very effective at what he did. he tibbed -- continued to serve as a guest on the fox news and graduate of the university of virginia. while he was there he was not unlike us. he was a conservative activist who edited a publication called the virginia advocate. join me in welcoming and enjoy tonight's speaker, mr. rich lowery. [applause] . >> thank you. notwithstanding you, everyone. thank you -- thank you, everyone. thank you for that kind introduction. i think you might have a career in radio with that voice. it's like being introduced by casey kasem or something. it's a pleasure for me to be
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here with you-all tonight. let me assure you that i'm insear in that sentiment because as a very conservative guy who lives and works in very liberal new york city, it's a pleasure for me to be invited anywhere. it doesn't happen very often. just to give you an idea of the odd existence we have as conservatives at "national review" in new york city. for the longest time our offices were located directly above the headquarters of a rap recording studio. called loud records. very aptly named. the most interesting part of this juxtaposition was in the spring and summer we open up our windows, this unmistakable odor would waft up and i regret to report on a lot of days "national review" was produced in the haze of marijuana smoke. i'm glad to see we have some fans marijuana in the audience apparently. i know all of you are probably a little frustrated that
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republicans are taking over washington and we haven't seen enough change yet. but i assure you this is already a different place than it was in 2009 and 2010. every time i came down to washington during that period, i was reminded of the famous winston churchill story when he was in the opposition to the labor government and britain and the story goes he went to the men's room and he was standing at one of these big trough-style urinals, and anthony eden, the liberal leader, came and stood right next to him. and churchill got as far away from him as he could. and eden was needling him and saying, wow, winston, you are feeling awfully modest today, around you? he said, no, anthony, i know whenever you see something large and well functioning you want to nationalize it. that's the way it went here.
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for about two years. but now it's stopped. now it's stopped. at least that's -- it may not be all that we want, but at least it's something. i want to actually talk to you tonight a little bit about abraham lincoln. and why i believe that the republican party today should in the deepest sense be the party of lincoln. why do i want to talk to you about abraham lincoln? a couple things. one it's been a long week. i assume you heard enough about barack, michelle, nancy, and harry, and there's nothing i can add to what you have heard about contemporary politics in washington. two, i'm working on a book on lincoln, so i'm very absorbed with him at the moment. three i think it's a fascinating, amazing period. we were becoming a major industrial power yet this is a country still at the very personal feel to it. on new year's day when abraham
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lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation, someone doing last-minute lobbying, shows up early morning new year's day, every door to get to the white house is locked. what's this guy do? he lifts the window and crawls in and goes and finds abraham lincoln in his study. you would be shot about 10 different times if you tried this today. so let me go on here for about 20 minutes about lincoln. then we'll try to tease out some first and second principles. then we can do "q&a" and relit great the -- relitigate the civil war if you want or anything else. let me get a quick barometer in the room about lincoln. how many of you consider yourselves real lincoln fans? that's good. 2/3? 3/4. how many are lincoln skeptics? or don't know quite where they are on lincoln? we got a few. we got a few. that's ok. how southerners do we have in the room? a lot of southerners?
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how many folks from south carolina? one south carolinian. two south carolinians. any of you live in the have a sinity of fort sumter at all? you might want to consider leaving the room. just kidding. let's go here. first, let me talk a little bit about lincoln personally. just as a prelude. a couple things about him. he had an incredibly arduous upbringing. we have all heard about the log cabin myth. it wasn't a myth. and if it was a myth it's only because it exaggerated the wealth in which he was brought up. when his family moved, when he was a very young boy, from kentucky to indiana, they didn't have a log cabin, they had a three sided tent. they didn't even have a fourth side. it was opened to the elements. they didn't build a cabin until lincoln and his family cleared enough of the woods nearby to get the material for a log
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cabin. there was a neighbor who lived miles away who remembered as a child until her log cabin through the chinks in the logs at nighttime they would he see the glowing eyes of wolves. so this was the real fronteer, it was -- frontier, it was characterized by drunkenness, violence, and ignorance. some people speculate lincoln may not have met a preacher who thought that the earth was round until he was a young adult. he had about one year of formal schooling. he was almost completely self-educated and really had to go out of his way to be self-educated. there's one story about him walking six miles to get a book of english grammar and to teach himself grammar. he lived at a time when everyone had an intimate connection with death. when he was a boy his mother died and his aunt and uncle died roughly the same time of something called milk sick,
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which sounds cute and charming now, but what it was the cows would wander too far out into the woots, they would eat a poison we'd, their milk would become poisoned, you would drink it, your skin would turn black, you are extremely nauseous, paralyzed, and die within days. are we serving milk at this dinner? don't be so squeamish. his sister died very young in childbirth. his first love died while he was courting her. sending -- spiraling him into depression. in the white house his son willie died. he was the son that was most like abraham lincoln. a very bright kid. just beloved by both his parents. it drove mary, his wife, halfway mad. she would have seances in the white house to re-establish contact with willie. lincoln sort of played around like this with these seances. he said once that the
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spiritualists reminded him of his cabinet because they all had such divergent views on everything. he had an extremely odd appearance. 6'4", i -- every time you see lincoln described, someone meeting him as a young man, he they say his trousers didn't nearly reach his shoes. he was walking around with this kind of extreme high waters all the time. when he gave the speech in new york, when he introduced himself to the eastern elite, he was sitting down on the stage and the story goes, when he stood up, people actually gasped because they had never seen someone who was that tall. and he was a very plain looking, some might say ugly, man. he made a joke once that he thought god must love common looking people because he made more of them than anyone else. and he was also -- we like to flatter ourselves and think, well, lincoln's greatness was
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attached to what a man of the people he was. he was a brilliant man. touched by genius right from the beginning. when he was a kid and he would hear something, he he wouldn't understand, he said he would go into his room and stay up all night trying to puzzle it out. then try to figure out the best way to explain it. which gives you some sense of the key to his rhetorical gifts. when he came here to congress he was delighted to go to the library of congress so he could borrow a copy of euclid's geometry which he taught himself as an adult. he had an anecdote for absolutely every possible situation. an incredible memory. an incredible sense of humor. he used jokes constantly to deflect attention from things that he wanted to sort of pass by. and also to entertain himself. there was someone who met with him often in the white house during the civil war and just got so frustrated with the
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constant anecdotes and jokes, and lincoln told him, look, i have to do this. for i'm literally going to go insane given the pressures he was under in the civil war. that's a little bit about lincoln personally. i just want to hit four points about the content of the statesmanship and what he achieved. so a little bit about why, how, and what of lincoln. i think there are four key things. one, he was utterly devoted to this nation's founding. and the founders. he loved to talk about our ancient faith and the old fathers. he said, i have never had a sentiment that didn't spring from the declaration of independence. the declaration of independence truth be told, it's a little hard, a little tough on george the third, i say george the third when he went mad, the first delusion he had was that he was george washington. can you imagine the indignity --
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it's like barack obama and his senility breaking up and thinking he was dick cheney. the declaration was key to lincoln. i would like to have a little participatory portion of the presentation here. there are three key sentences to the declaration that i think are key to understanding lincoln and this country right at the beginning. i'm wondering if i could have some volunteer on this friday night to come up and read these three sentences. please. will your voice be as deep and resonant as will's? that's the question. you got to read it like you mean it. here we go. right at the beginning. >> we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. that they are endowed by the creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of
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happiness. that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. that would never any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alt or abolish it and to institute new government laying such foundation on such principles in organizing its powers in such form. as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness. [applause] >> all right. so that's it right there. in three sentences that represented the summit of human wisdom about the purposes of government. what do those three sentences say? very simple things. one, we get our rights from our creator. we don't get them from government. our rights exist prior to government and we own them as a matter of natural law.
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two, the purpose of government is to protect those rights. and three, if government fails in protecting those rights, it loses its legitimacy and there's the right to stage a revolution. now, this passage that directs steal from john locke the most american of major political philosophers, whose philosophy set out the basis for limited government and commercial capitalism as we know it in this country, but if you want to go even further back than that, this passage relies on genesis. if we are truly made in the image of god, this is what government should do and should be. what does the declaration mean for lincoln? for him it meant that the theory of our government is universal freedom. and you cannot have slavery or any coercive dependence of one man on another.
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as he said no man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent. i say this is the leading principle, the sheet anchor of american republicanism. what lincoln did, he took this idea and he used it as a weapon in the political battles of the 1850's. because he believed rightly in my view that the democrats had turned their back on the declaration. they had turned their back on the immortal words of the founder of their own party because they wanted to defend and accommodate slavery. and you cannot defend the declaration of independence and defend slavery. if you are pro-slavery you either have to deny that all men are created equal or you have to deny that blacks are men. and southerners often did both of those things. and this was really the crux of the debate between steven
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douglas and abraham lincoln. are there rights that we have that cannot be violated even by a democratic majority? and lincoln said, yes, there are. douglas said, no, there aren't. lincoln said the declaration of independence is the golden apple and the constitution is the civil ver frame. that's an image drawn from the bible. what it means is that the declaration is the ultimate purpose, sets out the ultimate purpose of our government, and the constitution exists to achieve that purpose. and lincoln asked again and again, why is this philosophical statement there in the declaration? the american revolutionaries, they easily just could have said, look, you are not representing us. we have this list of 20 grievances, we are splitting, we'll see you later. but instead they put this philosophical statement in that document.
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and lincoln's answer for why it's there is encapsulated in this statement. all honor to thomas jefferson, to the man who in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely a revolutionary document an abstract truth applicable to all men and all times and so to embalm it there that today and all coming days it shall be a rebuke and stumbling block to the very har bingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression. in other words, they put that statement in there not for themselves so much but for us and for all subsequent generations so we will constantly be called back to their truths. that's exactly the way that lincoln used it. that's point one. second point, lincoln thought that the promise of the declaration had as concrete expression not just opposition
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to slavery, but in economic advancement. that as he said, all should have an equal chance. if there is something that lincoln hated besides slavery, it was economic stay suss. he -- stay suss. he hated the economic vision, we would all be farmers living happily and undisturbed on our farms forevermore. that's the way ling:'s father lived. his father was a subsistence farmer who never lifted up his vision to anything higher. and lincoln i don't think it's too strong to say hated him for it. he was estrange interested his father. his father would send lincoln out as a young man to go work and then take the money that lincoln earned. lincoln said, i myself once was a slave. it was that, to that that he was referring. what did lincoln make of himself? lincoln became a lawyer. and today's context we tend to think of lawyers as pair sitic
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bottom feeders -- parasitic bottom feeders. then lawyers were great champions of the new capitalistic order that was emerging in this country. they set out -- helped set out the rules of the road in the new capitalist economy. things like bankruptcy law and land titles litigation. offense times who did lincoln represent? he -- oftentimes who did lincoln represent? the railroads, who were the foremost engine of economic progress at the time. lincoln said i hold the value of life, the value of life, it's a very strong statement, is to improve one's condition. at that time in the 1850's, you had the south advocates of the south key fending themselves and the motion that they were pro-slavery by saying in the north, there is wage slavery. sure, people may have to work as chattles in the south, people have to work for wages and not for themselves in the north. and isn't that the same thing?
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and one southern advocate wrote of the concept of the mud sill, the lowest of the low, foundation of everything else, he said, any society has to have these mud sills. they just exist to support everything else. everyone else. and lincoln's reply was to that was, they think that men are always to remain laborers here. but there is no such class. the man who labored for another last year, this year labors for himself and next year he will labor higher -- higher others to labor for him. that is the very dynamic of american middle class society. and lincoln utterly identified himself -- identifies himself with aspiration. one of the lincoln-douglas zwates there were supporters who came to the debate with a sign saying, mud sills for lincoln. and what lickon realized if you are going -- lincoln realized if you are going to make it possible for people to rise economically in our society, you had to have a sophisticated
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financial system so people would have ready access to capital. you had to have an industrializing economy with innovative networks, communication, and transportation. and you had to slowly snuff out an aristocratic system fundamentally based on hierarchy. lincoln's secretary of state, william seward, famously used the place we had an irrepressible conflict in the united states. he didn't mean the conflict between slavery and free labor. he said, the irreplaceable conflict fundamentally was the eternal battle between the privileged few and the unprivileged many. so lincoln said what he was there to protect is the just and generous and prosperous system which opens the way for all, gives hope to all, and energy and progress and improvement of condition to all. hard to imagine a more succinct statement of the economic promise of american life than
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that. point two. point three, prudens. as conservatives we make much rightly of principal. but we also need to focus on the value of prudence. and the lincoln biographer focuses on this a lot. what he says, he says that politics of prudence really has four elements. you're concerned with outcomes not just with intentions, not enough just to have good intentions or liberalism would work. you are willing to make tradeoffs, because you are never going to have an ideal world. you see problems in society as problems ultimately of human nature, not just individuals who are wrong-headed.not just of ine wrong-headed. you have a sense of irony. there is no straight line to glory. we owe it to those in this country, there is a battle
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between romantic politics and provincial politics. lincoln had this challenge. people on his own side were romantic radicals. william garrison burned the constitution as a pact with the devil because it accepted slavery. john brown. people with no sense of compromise and were heedless of the consequences of their actions. lincoln was different. he was always concerned with what the outcome would be an always realized that there could be unintended consequences. you need both of these things. going from a society, like the one that lincoln grew up in, all of those states at one point or another had banned free blacks from coming with -- within their borders. you do not do that, then go to
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the abolishment of slavery, without abolitionists and radical republicans. they hated lincoln. they were calling him a sellout and an ignoramus all the time. lincoln ultimately agreed with where they wanted to go, but he is method was to see whether or not he could stand on that foot or not. he called the abolitionists' the devils that he had ever encountered. i think that that is the very stuff of statesmanship. if you take this method, that vision, you get what he called the new birth of freedom.
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there are a couple of myths about the civil war. it was not about slavery, fundamentally. read the speech by the vice- president seat of upper -- vice- president of the confederacy. he said that the government's foundations were laid upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man and that slavery is is natural and normal condition. based upon this great moral truth. if you do not believe it is about slavery, as the slaves. many of them learned about the emancipation proclamation before their owners. as soon as you had a beach head, as a union, in the south, you had slaves fleeing to be free.
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they were then called contraband. the fact that they came forced the issue in the north, ultimately leading to the chain of events that led to their emancipation. the other myth is that lincoln, in some sense, did not opposed slavery. he did his entire life. there was a resolution at the time that passed by a 17-6 vote. lincoln put down on paper his reasons for opposing that. he was appalled at the capitol. there was an auction block for slaves that he was disgusted by. you can see it in his relationship with frederick douglass. douglas said that he was the only white man he had ever encountered that made him feel comfortable. frederick douglass went to the
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white house for a reception and people did not want to let him in because he was black. when he is received in the receiving line, he says there is no person whose opinion that he valued more. he called it a sacred effort. not for the first time in the united states, our military became a great force for liberation. the front lines of the union army, at times, became moving camps of freedman. at the end of the war, when lincoln entered richmond, which had been bombed out, word began to spread that he was there. all of the black laborers came out. they fell on their knees in front of lincoln and he had to say -- do not kneel to me, you
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must meal to god for the liberty that she will hereafter and joy. -- that you will hereafter and joy. we should not sugarcoat him, he had the racial attitudes of his time, but the reason there was such a change was because blacks were allowed to serve with honor in the military. they made up about 9% of the northern military. lincoln wrote a famous public letter responding to people complaining about blacks serving in the military. some white people said they did not want to fight for black people. he said that that was funny, because they were willing to fight for you. his last speech at the white house, with black military service in mind, he was open to
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the idea of giving limited suffrage to blacks in the louisiana. john wilkes booth heard that in the audience and says that that means negro voting. this will be the last speech he will give. i will run him through. as we know, lincoln goes to the playhouse. wilkes booth has not just the easy access to his box, shooting and killing him. frederick douglass called it appropriately a hell black act of revenge. the secretary of war says, as he dies, and now he belongs to the ages. so, he does. that is lincoln. i would like to cast this forward a bit. who else do we know in american
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history that comes basically from these humble roots pella who has a great sense of humor and is a kind hearted man principles going through all the way to the bottom? anyone? ronald reagan. his father was an alcoholic. he described once having to drag his drunken father off of the front porch. he became president. lincoln was famous for pardoning deserters. he did not want to kill these four kids. you can see the same aspect in reagan. his advisers feared that if there was ever an attack on the united states, that he would not be able to bring himself to cause that kind of mayhem and mass murder. we know that reagan broke his own radio scripts and had thoroughly fought through his
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conservatism. of course, he had a wonderful sense of humor. one of my favorite stories of his was when he was at a meeting with a board of trustees in california. protests broke out everywhere. advisers had wanted him to avoid this. he walked through the room and got into his car. dirty, hippie-types, they started pounding on his car, he's -- chanting "we are the future." reportedly, reagan cracked his window and said "in that case, i will sell my bonds." these were deeply modest men, lincoln and the reagan. deeply grounded men.
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they understood human nature. they were realists. peggy noonan writes a joke about reagan that she thinks captures his aspect. a man's wife runs away with a gardener. a neighbor comes by to try to talk to her and says -- that is table, your wife ran off with a of a gardener. he said that it was ok, he was about to fire in many ways. getting the phrase, we, the people, from the constitution. no one was more eloquent about the power of the market to lift all boats. he was a prudent statement -- statesman. he was willing to be flexible in getting to his ultimate ends. finally, he also created a great new birth of freedom in this country. globally, initially in europe,
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and the decade after, the great flowering of freedom all over the world. the most important similarity for us was that they were moved to the head by drawing on the principles of the past. it was in the founders that they found the faces of the american future. those principles are still under threat today. obviously, a much different threat, but you have had progressives in this country running down our founders for about 100 years. debunking the myth of george washington. you want a perfect state to capture this attitude? woodrow wilson said that old
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problems cannot capture what we have currently. that we need to get beyond the declaration of independence. that it was of no consequence to us. a great proponent of this was calvin coolidge, who said that if anyone wishes to deny their truth or soundness, the only direction they can proceed is back words toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no will love the people. the principles of the founders are still under arrest. the value of individual advancements is under real threat in this country. we cannot have a lively, a commercial society of profit makers. you cannot have people getting ahead on their own if the important virtues, like
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marriage, self discipline, and work are washing away. you cannot have labor in the sense of actual work if people on the right and left are saying that there are jobs that americans will not do. we are in a monumental conflict in this country. i think that we need a lincoln- ask, reagan-asked revival in this country. i agree with what this market says. i have seen all that we have done to fight back over the last two years. if you will allow me another quote from winton, "-- from lincoln, "the struggle encompasses a vast future." long before anyone had heard him, he gave a speech united
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states was impregnable to -- he gave a speech declaring the united states impregnable to assault. that army could not come here and leave a track on the blue ridge mountains or take a drink from the ohio river by force. but he went on to say that if destruction be our lot, we must themselves be our author and finisher. as a nation of freemen, we must live through all times or die by suicide. and my friends, i think that what we should do, as conservatives and americans, is resolve to live. thank you very much. [applause] thank you. [applause]
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so, questions. i should have said this at the beginning. i recently got married, so i am now just -- [applause] i am just now hitting used to being wrong about everything. i think that the married men in the audience will particularly appreciate that joke. they might be smiling, but they are crying inside. >> i am a member of the national journalism center. >> fantastic. >> i read through your analysis of president abraham lincoln. how do you look at clinton's suspension of habeas corpus in
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maryland? -- lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus in maryland? >> a great question. it is in the constitution that it can be suspended during a time of insurrection. what is particularly controversial is that he suspended it on his own in the beginning. and he took a bunch of measures on his own authority that, in the best interpretation, were extra-legal. he went to congress and said to leave them all. i think that as an act of statesmanship, it was the right call. if you do not get soldiers, an army into washington, the capital can collapse.
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you had a near insurrection environment. maryland officials were coming in and saying -- stop sending the troops. do not send them through baltimore. do not send them at all. lincoln said -- look, they will get here somewhere -- somehow. i think of it as a necessary wartime measure. he goes on to suspend habeas corpus and it was abused. much of it had to do with genuine carrillo warfare and real resistance to the draft. it was abused, no doubt about it. which was a mark against him. people that call him a tyrant are going to far. they had an election in 1864
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where they thought he would lose and they still had that election. his ultimate goal was to save the country, preserve the union, and put us on a basis of freedom. looking at the confederacy, these people were not libertarian. do not have illusions about that. are you laughing in agreement or derision? thank you. >> my question, related to the anecdote about reagan and the parking, the u.s.'s credit got downgraded. what does it mean for our future? >> sell your bonds? it is extremely disturbing.
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they forecast this. it goes back to something that they have discussed all week, going back and forth, the debt deal. it is manifestly inadequate. it is ridiculously inadequate. the reason that i supported it, there was no coalition of force support here in washington. you need a republican senate and republican presidents to take care of this problem. the thing that is scary, what if we do not have another two years? if europe goes off the cliff with their debt, we could go into recession again.
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the banking system could be shaken to its core again. it is a perilous time for the country. the wisest thing to do would have been to not even get close to this situation where you are running these kinds of risks, but we did. >> thank you. i guess. >> in a huge fan. -- i am a huge fan. the first gentleman took my questions. >> they always go right to habeas. >> you knew they would do that when they took lincoln. [laughter] suffered during reconstruction, the south was delivered to the democratic party for so many years. are we say -- seeing a resurgence?
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hold out in the rural areas? will we continue to see this trend of purging democrats? these blue dog democrats are nonexistent anymore. will that be what happens in the south? >> this is my basic take on it. there was a corrupt social system in the south of that needed to be broken. it was not broken during reconstruction. basically, they were free to suppress blacks and denied their rights. when that system broke, you sell this up -- use of the self overtime joining the american mainstream -- use of the south joining the commercial mainstream -- you see the south
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joining the commercial mainstream. broad swaths of people actually having to pay taxes. fundamentally, it was the issue of the size of government and taxes. the new deal coalition that depended on pandering to racists in the south. you had ignorance, poor education, not gendering the education needed. many people were not making the money needed to pay for the new deal. breaking that system, i think it was a great victory for justice that handed us, through various twists and turns of history, to the republican party. >> the people in the south are
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declared more religious. clearly there is more of a bonding to the social issues in the republican party. but you also have the people of the south, the southern economy doing far better than the rust belt's. in the long term, with people moving down into the south, bringing in cultures and different ideals, more liberal voting policies, will they be -- will there be a more viable option for democrats in the future? right now the democratic party, it is completely decimated. >> we could talk about this for a long time. it is very interesting. right now the south is freer than the rest of the country, economically, in a lot of terms.
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characterizing the old self, and not the midwest, because of things like the government and the muni, in the south of they are able to build a genuinely free market economy. but that is becoming the locus of industry in the united states. >> thank you very much. >> hello. my name is banned from the university of south carolina. >> any northerners with questions [laughter] -- with questions? [laughter] kidding. >> this idea that slavery was a non issue for a lot of people? >> this is obviously highly contested. do not take my word for it, draw your own conclusion, but what i think happened is a version of what you are talking about, the self dominated the federal government since the nation's
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founding. with the ascension of the republican party, and entirely northern-based party, they saw that slowly slipping away. they saw it as a threat to the expansion and altman existence of slavery. that is why i go and say that ultimately it is an issue about slavery. lincoln said -- his take on it, was that the south will agree to let the polish use their way, as long as we stop saying slavery is wrong. whenever someone is in fundamental error, they do not want to be challenged. the south bay and abolitionist press. they did not want to hear about it. they did not want to know. it is very easy for me to
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condemn, standing here, but if i lived in that time, my view would probably be different. lincoln had a humane and merciful view of this. the same was true of him. huge economic interests. slaves constituted the greatest source of wealth in this country. eliminating it was a huge and difficult deal. anyways, that is a way of saying that slavery was ultimately the issue, but i do not want to give too much on my high horse about it. there are people that disagree with me on that, i imagine. >> thank you. >> hello, i am from the university of cambridge. your question about the lawyer, the chief justice came to cambridge a couple of years ago
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and gave a lecture about lincoln as a lawyer. i have seen it on line. one thing that he talks about he was asked his reaction. he went back to bilal library and researched it overnight. coming up with an argument as to why it was wrong. now, you see a lot of debates about whether he was represented in the original constitution or whether it was an activist decision by the chief justice. i guess my question for you, he did represent the original constitution? or do you think that it was judicial activism? >> i think it was judicial
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activism. i am not an expert in this area, but lincoln gets the best of this argument. basically, he was saying that the founders did not mean to include blacks in the declaration. lincoln goes back and looks at the founding and says -- hey, blacks could vote in certain colonies. obviously they are people. this issue came back again and again. if they were not people, why was it not formally legal to kill them? the view was that we have progressed since the founding. the view from the 1850's was more vance.
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lincoln's view was that we had regressed. i think that his view was correct. but a patriotic robe was that -- dragged through the dirt and soiled. very stirring words, correct words. also, very much a warning by in contemporary society. we always think that things are going to get better. everyone will get more rights, but it is not always true. >> thank you. >> good evening. i am adam kowalski of twitter. [laughter] >> this guy is a marketing genius. i have not formally introduced myself yet.
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>> i am following you. [laughter] [applause] for decades, liberals have bashed the great conservative leader in ronald reagan. in recent years they have backed off, given the massive popularity of the great communicator. what can be done to try to prevent this false reagan-obama comparison from taking form in 2012? >> a great question. this is such shameless body snatching. they hated him at the time, thinking he was a dangerous lunatic and ignoramus. otherwise he was mr. flexibility and reasonable throughout his entire career. what they focus on, and they are not strictly wrong in this, they
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talked about prudence. statesman need an element of practicality. how he will get to his ultimate end. that is what reagan did. he had to take a need. after his big tax cut, there was a revolt in congress. the republican senate went south and there was no alternative. liberals point at that and say that reagan was in favor of increased taxes, which is just absurd. it was entirely a tactical maneuver. they say that reagan negotiated with gorbachev, showing that he was in favor of negotiating with your enemies. yes, sometimes, but he spent his
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entire for -- his entire first term not negotiating with the soviets. he wanted to wait until there was someone worth talking to, which he finally had in the form of gorbachev. this is this constant effort to beat this stuff back. the other way that they do is right over there. bill buckley. he will be a great liberal figure by the time they rewrite his history. they always want to engage in body snatching but our people. one reason that they can do it is because they have been so successful. we all now realize that he could drive the soviet union into the ground without a major war that caused nuclear armageddon. even liberals can accept it and
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look at his the zigs and zags to make the case that he was not fundamentally one of us is just absurd. >> i have been reading "the national review" since i school. i will throw you a curve ball first. >> can you throw a soft curveball? [laughter] >> to route conservative media we see this developing. bright arc, going back, focusing on student fascinated -- fascination. is there going to be something exciting for us to look forward to? >> yes. >> all right. i hope that we learn about it very soon.
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>> we do have a higher education blog. what do you mean? >> something by students, for students. >> that is what i would love to see. >> thank-you. on behalf of the tea party movement, what would you say abraham lincoln would think of the modern tea party movement today? >> it is very much in the spirit of the kind of civic activism that we saw at the time. outside questions of ideology, i do not want to focus too much on wolly headed goo goo guy, but it is nice to see people involved. one thing that i like about the
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middle of the 19th century, people. voting rights were at the high as they had ever been. people wanted more. at the cooper union, lincoln gave a speech that was one and a half hours. he gave this speech, people did not leave, everyone on the host committee was up there on stage with him. give us more speeches, we want more speeches. there were these nighttime marches. when i was covering the ron johnson senate campaign in wisconsin, everyone at every one of these rallies described being finally awake. such a wonderful thing. he would love the reverence for our founding. what lincoln believed, ultimately, and i think this is
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correct, the ultimate protection in the u.s. constitution does not come from losing the people. public sentiment is everything. that is why you need people involved and engaged with every fiber of their being. you need to be pushing on all fronts to push the center of public opinion. your mentioning andrew and glenn beck, we need everyone pushing on all fronts. we do things at the national review, things that we would never do given our nature as a publication, we can save this country and save our founders principles, we just need everyone firing on all cylinders. let's thank you. >> i was hoping you could comment on the creation of west virginia with reference to article 4, section 3. >> you got me.
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west virginia's creation is more problematic than habeas corpus. the creation of your state is constitutionally dubious. but we love you anyway as. he was desperate. desperate to get support in the border areas that he thought were so important. virginia in the state of revolt. you worked with government. constitutionally, it is difficult to defend. >> my question is this. you made the recall to return to lincoln. a quest -- a question i do not
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hear many people dealing with. do you think that lincoln was right in saying that as long as blacks and whites remain amongst each other, one would be superior, the other would be inferior, and that as long as we remain integrated that both would suffer? >> i do not. one of the worst moments of his presidency, and you guys are bringing up all the bad stuff. the first time that blacks had been invited into the white house, a lifelong advocate of colonization, if you believe in colonization, you believe that blacks are alien in this country. an alien body that should be rejected. i think that his views began to change. for reasons like what i talked
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about in the speech. blacks began to serve this country. , african- work americans have been in this country longer than most european americans. lincoln's view on that matter was fundamentally wrong. all that i can say in his defense is that it was slowly changing over time. looking at the lincoln-douglas debates, it does change town depending on where he is. the center was kind of a battleground. depending on where the debate was, he would change his town,
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but if you read very closely, he never gave away the fundamental principles that blacks were equal to whites. he was very cautious in how he said it. are you familiar with the book, "forced to laurie"? >> yes. >> i knew it. >> i read a lot of books. >> id is not an accusation. it is a book that makes the case that lincoln fundamentally share of the racism of american society and was really pulled, kicking and screaming, very uncomfortably, into doing what he did. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> as of late, northeastern states have fallen into
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democratic hands in presidential elections. given this struggle, i believe that we will eventually transition them into republican states. do you feel like the nomination of someone like chris christie would help to hasten that process employed >> i wish that i could share your optimism about the northeast. that to me is in the middle of pennsylvania, which is -- pat toomy is in the middle of pennsylvania, which is amazing. you could see, you are seeing that traditional labor union government breaking down. that is what he is about to fix in new jersey.
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maybe i should not be as pessimistic, ideally? someone like chris christie, someone from the middle -- midwest, the moment that tim pawlenty is not doing so great, it is a very -- do you have any favorites? >> not in the northeast, but jon huntsman. >> are you republican? [laughter] [applause] >> i am running for my home town board of education, so sometimes i wonder. >> i am teasing, but on my honeymoon we went on a bicycle trip in tuscany.
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the first time that i met a huntsman supporter was on this bicycle trip in tuscany. i would not ever meet one in iowa, but in tuscany i could find one. she was a moderate democrat from connecticut. i think that that is his base. >> i just thought that his knowledge of china was very helpful to him, given the recent demographic. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> i am with the national journalism center in turn should program. i see a growing influence of libertarians in the republican party. i know that many libertarians have a problem with lincoln. how do you think that we should address libertarians with regards to lincoln and in general? lex there is an important element of contemporary
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conservatism. he referred to himself as a libertarian journalist in the title. in terms of practical politics, you really need all three legs of the conservative school. economic, libertarian, free- market, national security talks. another thing that i found extremely heartening about the two-party, colchis on foreign policy being an exception, they are fused and merged. i met a helmsman supporter, but never in a tea party. certainly the major tea party candidates have been pro-life. if you go too far in the libertarian direction, ignoring
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those issues, kicking them overboard, you will split the coalition. practically, you need both. libertarians, they do not have anywhere to go. in terms of spending, this idea that they could form an alliance with liberals, you see what they get what they have unified control of the government. you get historic expansions of government. i would not be worried about libertarian's spring -- splitting up. i would acknowledge their importance. frankly, if they had gotten their way, we would not be in the problem that we talked about earlier. thank you very much. [applause]
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thank you, everyone. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up at 1:00 p.m. eastern, we will go live to the white house. president obama is expected to announce a drop in the stock market today. stocks remained about 300 points in the red this morning. the president may also talk about the death of 22 navy seals in afghanistan over the weekend. today the center for american progress will post a discussion on the african-american vote in 2012. you can see that live at noon eastern in about 15 minutes, here on c-span.
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a bit later, a debate on mandatory voting. nations, including mexico, requiring citizens to vote by law. the operation that killed osama bin laden, admiral eric olsen will be interviewed at the aspen security forum, tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. live coverage of that, followed by your phone calls. right now -- what e.j.
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dionne writes today. what do you think? can america still lead? let's continue on. let's get right to the phones. dennis on the line for
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democrats in maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for the opportunity. the short answer, yes, americans still lead. america is still the richest nation in the history of the world. we still have trillions and trillions of dollars that these bankers are sitting on that they will not release into the economy. even though the president has to deal with this small minority of republicans, the so-called tea party people, who has his hands tied, i think it is really a shame that the credit score had to be reduced.
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i blame it -- i put it squarely on the backs of the republicans. one last thing. america will get a chance to speak next year in the elections and i can guarantee you they are going to clean house with these republicans. host: dennis, who do you look to to leave? you mentioned you think bankers are sitting on money. the look to congress? caller: i think it will take a combination of grown-ups on both sides of the political i will -- the political aisle. it will take the president, naturally, to lead. it will take grown up senators and grown up people in the house. host: juan, republican in maryland. good morning what -- good
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morning. what do you think? can america still lead? caller: yes. just because they have not been able to combine efforts to work with both sides of the aisle does not mean the country, as a nation, cannot lead. countries around the world still recognize america is the no. 1 business power. i believe we have had a lot of hiccups, especially when we continue to dear to create -- continue to deteriorate our businesses. we need jobs. if the jobs were here, we would not have an issue. there would be plenty of revenue to pay for our debt. people would not mind going out and making purchases if they had a job. i think we will have a chance at a new leadership. the president has already demonstrated he does not have the skills or experience to lead
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a group of combined republicans or democrats. he was not able to get everybody together on one thing. host: we will be talking about jobs later in the program. we will kick off a week-long series about jobs. let's look back at the e.j. dionne commentary. it says --
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let's hear from alfred in connecticut. caller: [inaudible] we need to vote. there's only roughly 30% or 40% of individuals who actually go out there and vote for something that is as important as president of the united states. congress needs to get rid of the career politicians. you have politicians in power whose concern is themselves and of their constituents. america can continue to lead, but we as a people need to continue to vote. i am a veteran.
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here we are with the freedom, the privilege to vote, and people just sit back and have others decide where this country's going. host: let's go to henry on the line for democrats. are you a voter? caller: yes, and i have voted in every election. one of the callers indicated the president has inability. if you look back at what he was facing, is started on day one when he was elected. now for s&p and the $2 trillion mistake in calculation, i guess the republicans in the tea party would say this is a nail in his coffin. the president has been doing everything he can to reach across both aisles and he has
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tried to nurture a corporations, but they will not cooperate with him. he has delivered on everything he has promised, but there are too many obstacles in the way that are deliberately set there. is there that great and that good with the constituency, why don't they start in florida, like taking away the old people's social security and medicare and then move to texas where all these high-powered republicans are? thank you. host: let's take a look at a different perspective coming to us on twitter. woodbridge, virginia. charles is a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i have two quick points. yes, i believe america can lead. the first thing congress needs to do is address the trade agreements and kill them,
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especially the one with china. that's our problem. if you want to get jobs in this country, get the industry going. i am not a tea partier, but i do not understand everybody blasting the tea party. if this was not for them, this would not be an issue. everybody keeps calling them terrorists. after the standard and poor's recent comment that if the government does not show that it can get its house in order, then it may even degrade our debt rating even more. i believe that puts them in the seats now where they seem to be controlling the government. i think we need to look out for standard and poor's. they're in a powerful position. host: we will be talking about that more in the program. let's look at this "usa today" cover story. "how bad will it get?" it says, "investors, brace
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yourself for more potential chaos." let's take a look at comments treasury secretary geithner made on cnbc sunday. >> if you look at this country and this economy, our country is much stronger and then washington. we are a very strong country. i have enormous confidence in the american economy and the american people. we are growing. we are still healing. we are not growing as fast as you like. we have absolutely had the capacity to reach our obligations. there's no risk the united states would ever be in a position not to meet its obligations. we have a lot of work to do. when these leaders returned from vacation, they will have to get back to work to put together the long-term fiscal reforms, and take additional actions to help strengthen this economy. host: treasury secretary
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geithner, who will be sticking around the white house. we will be looking at a news on that in a moment. let's go to mark on the line for independents. we lost mark. let's go to north carolina. robert, the democrat, good morning. caller: good morning. i have been trying for years to get through. host: we're glad you got here. caller: barack obama, one of the best presidents we've ever had. host: what makes you think so? caller: have you ever had a president go in there and pat a snak oe on the head? adam and eve. same thing with christopher columbus.
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you walk through the bush and you carried a stick and pop him on the head. barack obama, the only way -- we're going to have to go [inaudible] period. thank you. host: karen, on the line for republicans. caller: i think america can lead. it's about authority. you only have authority when people respect you. first of all, our congress people need to start respecting the president so that he can lead. we have to change our tone of how we speak to each other, especially on taxes and spending. when you think about taxes, we always talk about the top 2% and

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