tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 5, 2016 3:30pm-5:31pm EDT
and the judge says, we have a case for you. it might be a burglary case or it might be a death penalty case. you would be surprised that many people told me that the very first trial they had was a death penalty case. somebody told me that just the other day. charlie tyler who represented was for his first case, he was representing tyler in a death penalty case. the federal courts threw it out. when the case came back the judge appointed the same lawyer , but he said maybe 15 years later he learned something in the meantime. but that is the kind of cavalier attitude you often have about the lawyers appointed to represent these penalty cases. neal: steve, you wrote an article about the death penalty not for the worst crime that the , -- crime, but for the worst lawyer. you know the deals of litigation better than anybody. let's assume that of these death penalty cases in the last five
years, that they had excellent lawyers. again it's a hard thing but give us a sense of what you think, what percentage of death sentences would not have been imposed if you had excellent representation. stephen: look at georgia. zero. you have lawyers that know what they are doing. most of those cases were absolved by plea bargain because the prosecutor's new that if they -- the prosecutors knew that if they went to trial -- one other factor in the decline is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. so draconian sense but when i started practicing in georgia, the judge would say if we don't , give the guy the debt talty -- death penalty, when will we get out and the judge would say can't tell you. then impose the death penalty noww, death they tell you have three choices with the death penalty. you have life without parole
, life imprisonment, and life with parole. of course they have a tendency to go for that middle compromise. both in the plea-bargaining and jury so today a prosecutor , calculating the political advantage of going for the death penalty takes into account that if you are up against a good lawyer you may not get the death penalty. they spent a huge amount of time, money and resources in the the jury may and not impose the death penalty, but i think the capital offender has learned to do is create the moment ahead of time and resolve these cases with plea bargains and not risk the client being sentenced to death. neal: ok so we talked about , effective representation. we mentioned exoneration. 106 people have been exonerated. i know your centers then one of their leaders calling for better dna testing. as i understand it the dna testing is a small number of these exonerations, something like 20 of 156 have been through dna testing. is that right? and if so, how do we -- what are the mechanisms we want as a
society to try to make sure that we are getting the right people, not just for representation, but for the cases that are in the system. what should we be doing? isc: one of the things witness lineup identification. a lot of people's memories are not perfect by any means and police don't follow us -- don't follow those practices. they do this line up in a suggestive way to get the answer would want. we have had a problem of crime labs. they are independent comeau but we have had -- they are independent, but we have had those run by the police department. and i think the other issue is, you can speak to this, but the certain procedural barriers to getting these in front of appeals courts even with new evidence. for example, we had the michael morton case.
he was convicted for murdering his wife and for 26 years he was in a texas prison and he had to jump through all these hopes, -- all of these hoops. the district attorney obstructed the dna testing and finally they had actions taken against them by the state bar which is great. one of them had to leave the country to find work. the second guy the curse me out -- who cursed me on the legislature, but anyway, the bottom line is they put michael morton before the senate committee chairman. bitterasked, about being in prison. and he said i've had a long time to get over it. he's become an activist and we passed the michael moore to which prosecutors have to turn over all the exculpatory evidence as soon as they happen to the defense and so it's even a broader issue beyond the death penalty of in fact, in many instances prosecutors withhold the evidence. there was a scandal orange county reporter and is withholding evidence from the defense and the grand jury
process not giving the grand , jury the full information including the exculpatory , information. neal: mark you had talked about , cost as well and i hear all sorts of different things about how the death penalty is more expensive compared to incarcerated somebody for life, because of the appeals process. so what is the truth about these competing studies and claims? stephen: i think it is more expensive. marc: it cost maryland $3 million to do a death penalty and because they are part and -- in solitary confinement, you are getting an additional cost of a year if they weren't in $90,000 solitary confinement. i do not think that cost is the main reason that people come down where they do on the death penalty. for many people it's a moral , issue. certainly you can look at specific examples. you can look at the theory. for example the strongest , argument would be you have someone serving a life sentence in prison and killed another inmate what other sanction could , you deliver? you can talk about serial killers and things like that.
once you look at the numbers, if you look at them now, and you further circumscribed it to narrow the cases, you could get to even more expected of a death penalty. it is this kind of, i think the debate is almost being forced into practical terms in november of 2016 that the ballot measure in california to get rid of it. and reed hastings of netflix is one of the people pushing that. it narrowly failed last time in california but certainly could go the other direction. thinkyou do not really that it is the moral claims that are driving the debate, because i do not think the morality in society is changed a lot from the 1990's to today. we are looking at a strikingly different set of numbers, so something beyond morality, maybe you should start.
i do not think it could be morality. it must be something about concerns for the way that it has been carried out. marc: that is a great question. stephen: i think a loss of confidence in the government, as a whole. including for prosecutors. we have seen many cases of prosecutorial abuse. i'm sure there were probably some african-american people a decade or two ago who supported the death penalty but it struck -- but perhaps do not because of the racial implications they have seen. the interesting thing is, you do not even have to get to 50/50 to have a huge effect on juries. they ask you could you impose the death penalty but in reality, not everybody will be perfectly candid. so you will get people on more juries that say, ultimately they are not willing to impose it. neal: you have been very patient. marc: that is fine. i think new jersey was the first day to repeal.
they had a commission that had everybody with a law enforcement, the victims, the rights groups, everybody and they cannot unanimously that it re-victimizes, it the victims because they go through an appellate process oftentimes a retrial like a case , ahead of the supreme court, this case that is 28-years-old. now we are going to go back and retry a 28-year-old case which is not good for the victim's family, but cost was a factor that went into it. and the risk of executing innocent people. the latest cost figures i have hot off the press, the reading eagle, a very highly regarded newspaper in pennsylvania, they actually do excellent work. they looked at pennsylvania and since 1978 they found they have only executed three people in pennsylvania and all this time. all this time it cost $272
million for each execution, so the three of them together cost $816 million. that's three people over time period of 1978 to today. now, a lot of people, no matter how they feel about the death penalty will look at that and to say that is not a great expenditure of government money, when we have schools that need funding and when we have so many other things that we could be spending that money on and quite frankly just the criminal , justice system i see people in all kinds of cases getting the same kind of representation i described in a capital case. we could move a lot of that money. we have spent a huge amount of money at least in the state of pennsylvania, in those states that take it seriously, a lot of money that could be spent to make sure that we are not convicting innocent people in other kinds of cases as opposed to really devoting a huge amount of money -- and that there is that said studies
between 1978-2011, california spent $4 billion on the death penalty and it doesn't execute hardly anyone. neal: the last one in 2006. stephen: that is why i thought it would pass last time. marc: even when you are for the death penalty, it is hard to comprehend. stephen: and you look at it and say, what are the other things we could be spending money on rather than these cases? neal: do these figures offer a false comparison, because as you said, every state that now has the death penalty, also has a life without parole statute so it's not as if we are talking about the death penalty are -- penalty where the people are out on the street, we are talking about the death penalty versus a very extreme sentence of being imprisoned for the rest of someone's life. so i suspect that some of those
costs that we are currently incurring with the death penalty would be transferred over for a life without parole costs. is that not right? stephen: nowhere near the enormity of the capital cases. when you talk about life and death, you are doing it right. you have a number of lawyers on the case and you are doing a complete life history the -- of the client. you are going to do some of those things. in georgia today the prosecutor , does not have to seek the death penalty. they just seek life without parole and those cases are pretty much like other criminal cases. they may go to trial, but there is no penalty phase which is a big part of capital cases. neal: this might be counterintuitive, but there -- but is it there an argument then that we because we spend a lot , of resources of a death penalty cases and trying to get everywhere like harris county, except that if we got rid of the death penalty we'd have less justice rather than more because society will allocate those
resources currently to the tough cases and not really fight the likes of those cases as much? stephen: that's a tough question because one of the ironies that i see with those states that , money that goes to the capital cases right if , someone does a terrible crime and faces the death penalty and they get all these lawyers and social workers and investigators and then you have somebody , charged with, an 18-year-old kid may not be guilty of armed robbery that they may have a lawyer were one single public defender is carrying 150 cases and there's no question people facing the death penalty in some places are getting much better representation. i believe we could take those resources and put them into the armed robbery case so that lawyer has cocounsel and an investigator and we can do a better job of the most fundamental responsibilities that the system has with separating the guilty from the innocent. we are failing at that. neal: it is an interesting
question. prosecutors, more more state prosecutors are freed up. marc: you could argue that there would be more people sent to prison, but on the other hand, when you have the prosecutors -- with mediation and property cases, they say they do not have enough manpower. likewise, they would not have enough manpower to identify the cases where someone has substance abuse or mental illness should be devoted. so they even plea out before the screen the person before they see they should be in the federal justice system or diverted entirely. the district attorney in milwaukee has established neighborhood prosecutor's offices that handle these cases in the neighborhood. and so he argues that have a more prosecutors, he could divert more people on the criminal justice system. neal: what about the pharmaceutical industry as we read a front-page nerc times -- front page new york times
article, pfizer has announced it's going to block access for its drugs for the injection protocol following what other , big pharma companies have done. as i understand, five states right now have the death penalty on hold for their lethal injection protocol. do we expect that to be a significant strain on the death penalty in the future? marc: utah devised a solution, they brought back the firing squad. which i do not think they had since 1977. maybe john lennon would be a good place to start but you know a person can choose which method they want. but i think the other issue that's related to this is state attorney generals are issuing opinions and legislation saying that they are exempting all of this from open records, for public transparency, so you cannot get a freedom of information request and find out the details of the drugs and how they are administered. and everybody saw in oklahoma,
what happened where this man was withering on the vine from this i do not blame the european drug companies. they could be sued in europe for providing something that would kill someone in united states it would be used that way. it is creating a strain and now the reaction is to shield that from public view. stephen: that's a tactic which we see a lot of. the government -- there are all these problems, problems with the people that carry it out that do not know what they are doing. all of this and so the answer, instead of fixing it, make it all secrets and nobody knows what is going on. and so we cannot bring a lawsuit to say, wait a minute, the drugs they are using are not reliable for bringing about a person's death. and the people that are doing this really shouldn't be doing it. we do not know that anymore.
it is all secret. and the federal court and state courts have allowed it to remain secret so they are all in the dark now. the other thing, on the firing squad, i agree with one of the judges, we are kidding ourselves by trying to pretend that killing human beings is like a medical procedure. he said that medical procedures are about healing people, they use these drugs to heal people, not kill people. a notion, we are sanitizing the execution by having lethal injection. it is doomed to failure. he said, bring back the firing squad. we have people that are trained as sharpshooters, you put him in a chair and you have people shoot at him at the same time -- quick,like, it is painless, and you have no problems like the problems we
are having. we have had a lot of problems with lethal injection. we have able flopping around forever before they die. things like that. go back to the drug companies, because i think if we went to the firing squad it would be the end of the death penalty. gilmour, 1977 from the firing squad. but no other state doesn't and even when utah does it people get upset. let's pony up to what we are doing, let's face what we are doing. we are killing people. we are trying to put them to sleep for whatever. but back to the drugs, no drug company right now will give the department of corrections the drugs to carry out lethal injections. so what everybody has gone to, not everybody is there yet, but eventually they will go to these
other compounds, which the judge on the eighth circuit said, maybe nothing more than a high school chemistry class with how well they are run, these compound pharmacies that makes it for you and you get the amt's, the ones carrying out the executions, they inject it into people and they are able to kill them without too many problems. that is pretty much what we are going to do. and you have problems there. in georgia, we were getting ready to execute a person when suddenly somebody noticed that the drugs were cloudy. there was something in the drug. andy bisek, maybe we should not execute her, because the drugs appear contaminated. and in oklahoma, they had the
right drug and they literally discovered before the execution that they had the wrong drug. instead of having the drug they thought they had, they were supplied with a different drug, which would have been a disaster if they inducted the guy, because it would not have killed him. remember, on the ground where this is happening, we are not dealing with, you know, the best medical people doing these. many doctors will not have anything to do with it. so, we end up using emts, people like that. and it is all done in secret. and eventually it is bad in my opinion. we will have more of these executions, probably not enough to do anything about. in georgia, that will be the 12th person killed in the last years. all of those have been able to be pulled off. but one of them will go terribly
.rong, just like in oklahoma he did not die, he just kept flopping around. it will happen every now and then. neal: what is going on with the secrecy with the punishment? a book i never thought i would praise, but "discipline and punish." it is not crazy, the construction of stuff, but it is about how the executions were in the town square and they were spectacles for everybody to come see. prisons where in the center of the city. and it was kind of a warning to people. by now we have these executions, generally, and access to what is happening is not classified, but somehow made secret or like
classified information. what is accounting for that trend, the fear of government, or is this the government embarrassed? whether it is fear, is on the part of the state or the attorney general, the corrections officials, who ever is with a drug company that is selling the formula, they could be the target of vigilantes. the bottom line, it is a corporate double, whether you are conservative or liberal, whether we should have transparency in government. and i think it becomes worrisome when you see the law passing exempting this area alone from freedom of information. so, it is a broader issue with the presence being out of sight and out of mind. ---easons being that prisons mean out of sight and out of mind. and in texas, we have a number of heat related deaths, because
it is so hot. and things go to the wayside. we need to focus on the solitary confinement, 30 square feet and no daylight. some of the horrendous conditions that these individuals are confined to and obviously would like them -- life in prison without parole, we will be struggling with the public saying, you got rid of the death penalty, but we want this person to be miserable. stephen: i would say a couple of things. when we adopted the death penalty, the supreme court said in 1976, they declared it unconstitutional in 1972, saying it was discriminatory credit they were all these problems -- saying it was discriminatory, and there were all these problems with it. they wanted to make it fair, consistent, all that. it is remarkable arrogance to think that, because the problem was racism, poverty, all these things. the death penalty is the same
today as it was back in the old days come except there are some crimes that they have the death penalty for. but they said, we want the death penalty molecular clinton says for those like timothy mcveigh. and that is what everybody was saying. isthe time, ted bundy, that what they had a four. but if you look at it, who it is for, you see a tremendous racial disparity and you have african-americans who are well over 50% of the murderers in georgia, the 80% of people on death wrote who were killing white people. so many of those our kids that went into -- our kids that went to 7-eleven and tried to hold it up and somebody was killed. that is terrible. locking people up. these are not death penalty cases, these are not the most heinous crimes that are committed. most of the people, and i
learned the other day, we both have clients that are mentally ill. profoundly mentally ill come out of touch with reality and cannot carry on a conversation. these people are not going to take a clean. -- a plea. they cannot make decisions and judgments, because they are so limited. it is a combination of intellectually disabled and schizophrenic. so everybody is conspiring against them. these are the people getting the death penalty, not because of the crimes they committed, but because they do not understand to take the plea. s of thee eric rudolph buildings, he up can say, i know where a lot of dynamite is in north carolina and you give me a life sends --
life sentence. and the green river killer in washington who basically traded the locations for 78 bodies for a life sentence. he killed around 100 people. but the families want to know where their loved ones were. and he plea bargains. he is smart enough to do that, so he avoids the death penalty and so many that commit these -- we had a guy come in and issued and courtot in does, reporter, and he did not get the death penalty. marc: there are people in georgia under the federal rules. a getaway driver at a convenience store and they rob the store, and they are not necessarily charge with murder,
but they could be executed under the federal felony rule. in the course of the felony, somebody dies, even if you have nothing to do with it. neal: and it is now murder and he can be tagged with it as the getaway driver. marc: one thing we are working on is that there should be a criminal intent element. so there is a push back for those folks as they relate to the environmental crimes. some of them do not get discussed and this comes up in the sentencing phase, for whether it is murder or other crimes. but still, it ought to be that you cannot get the death penalty for felony murder, even if we have the death penalty, because you did not have the intent to kill somebody. stephen: and take it one step further, very often the person that was at the center of the action wins the race to the courthouse and gets a plea
bargain for a life sentence to testify against the others that are not nearly as centrally involved in the but there is not strong evidence on them. as i mentioned, there was a lovers trying to. you would think, it is not eligible by death -- untouchable by death. she and her boyfriend decided to kill her husband. hadboyfriend stabbed him, blood all over him, they had a case against him. but to make the case against her, they needed to give him the plea deal. he is out on parole. .he did not take the deal she was involved, no question. she certainly should go to prison for the involvement that she had to bring about the death of her husband but she is the one -- has been. but she is the one that is put
down by the state of georgia. not long ago. so that is another example of plea bargaining, 95% of all cases that go around the plea bargain. and the two most important decisions, one of them by the prosecutor, do we seek the death penalty? most prosecutors do not. they never once thought the death penalty. but then johnny holmes, seeking every opportunity he gets. because the overwhelming majority of these cases will be resolved with the plea bargain. so who we sentence to death ends up being very much a random matter of geography, race, .overty all of those things. to say, this is the person that has offended us most previously
and this is the person that gets it. less let's make this abstract. these are systematic concerns, but i'm sure that you had cases in your life, and it may not be a john wayne gacy, but for the victims of the crime, it is. for those people. they feel thatay. and obviously, there are cap -- concerns with those who have mental disabilities, and some who do not. so what about the families of the victims asking them a what are you doing -- asking you, what are you doing? stephen: a lot of prosecutors tell me that they tell the families, look, this is your son, get this case over with so you can go on with your life. there is no closure. there is no such thing as closure. if you have lost a nephew, there
is no closure. you think about it every christmas, every thanksgiving. and watching an execution will not help. the other thing is -- .01% of cases end up with the death penalty. to tell like a fraud, the family that they will get this guy executed in the next few years, but the probability of that happening is slim to none. even in texas. but there are families of victims that are in cases that are not going to be seeking the death penalty, which understandably, they feel like if they could strangle that guy they would do it, because he killed your loved one. society top to the decide if we need to eliminate them from the human community. decision andormous
probably not a good one to be made by people. people who are directly affected by it, the families, they are not terribly objective when it comes to making that decision. you would be surprised how many people i have gotten to know and liked and had dinner at their ofses who were victims somebody that my client killed. out int does draw things terms of appeal, going on for many years. ask questions for a long time. but we only have 10 minutes for questions. and we have a microphone. i see you have a question. >> what an extraordinary panel. my question is, is it possible that the death penalty goes the
way of marriage equality where there is huge opposition, but the conventional wisdom now is that it is something even john mccain who is supporting marriage equality, especially where we have places like illinois were the governor put a , in newall executions jersey, california could go this way, is it possible? if it is, will be the route -- what would be the route of the supreme court to actually strike down the death penalty? [laughter] ahead and in go will do any cleanup necessary. stephen: i do not want to throw cold water on that. a lot of people talk about marriage equality and how this could be like that, but there is a difference. everybody learned over time that their nephew or own children,
people that they knew, that they were gay and they were like everybody else. very few people have somebody on death-row in their family. i tell my students, the cases we are going to study our cases that we will all be crying, because this is going to be some of the most god-awful stuff you have ever seen. i cannot believe human beings can do things like this. so it makes it very hard politically to bear. and i think support is still around 70%. so it is an abstract. when you actually sit down with 12 jurors and decide whether or not to put somebody to death, that is what is incredible, the number declining, because it --ws that those 12 people you know, radio would say that they pulled the arms and legs
off the teddy bear and it is ridiculous, but you go into a parent's house and you start pulling the arms and legs off it, you will not be there for very long. so with jurors, they understand with a person went through, so it did not really explain it other than what we are measuring is that this person is so beyond redemption that we will eliminate them from the human community. you can say that this person is responsible, we are not going to forgive them. when it comes to punishment, we have an array of death penalty of punishments, death penalty, life without parole, and as the number goes down, we will have the death penalty only in the old confederacy. where we have it pretty much now. and those estates will eventually -- state will
eventually just be the five states that have it. and of course the supreme court, nobody knows, because nobody knows who will be on it in a few years. once we find out, they could ise back and say, that if it used this rare, it is cruel and unusual. another way to look at it is the groundswell to bring it back. so with magic quality, they said it was the genie out of the bottle, they do not find that the marriage was less valuable. agree with what you said, it does not touch people in the same way, because of a host of reasons. on the other hand, maybe there is a similarity, with once it is abolished, people will not be
saying we miss the death penalty so much. i think that the supreme court's, obviously it will be the issue of what is cruel and unusual punishment and you have the usual that take the side that what is cruel and unusual is cruel and unusual when it was written. so this is a narrow set of practices that could be cruel and unusual based on that. and the others involved in evolving standards of decency where the majority is they look is these days. and they look to the state and that the executions. a lot of originalists complain, because -- the list of valuation. neal: it does look at the marriage equality with death
penalties to get rid of the prohibitions and the political route there, there has been recent successes and no backsliding from the success when they abolished the death penalty, but it is harder to imagine. so i think that the courts are in a place where we will see action. and i believe that the current view of the supreme court, you kennedy to go,ge but they will get rid of the death penalty. justice kennedy has a heartfelt view on decency and on marriage, in which they do not have special expertise. they know how the system is being implemented in this area. they do have expertise. how sentencing does wind up
in the supreme court. and even a few hours before the execution, last minute. they see this day in and day out . thisis why many consider important in their lives, to come out against the death penalty or have misgivings. there are 4 justices for those democratic presidents and i think justice kennedy and one of the prosecutors in the oklahoma city bombing case, one of the few federale of the executions carried out in the last years, timothy mcveigh was one of them. but these should be brought to the court under the eighth amendment strategy. stephen: i would say this, the death penalty is a very damaged brand.
and a lot of people realize that. and i also think there is a general acceptance, even in the south, everybody thinks it should be gone in a few years. everybody thinks the abandonment of it is inevitable. nobody says, we are going to expand the death penalty. it is, how do we get there? as the committees look at it with the cost and the time, they will abolish it like the other states that have. it is not that there is a lot of opposition, like the 1990's. you would have been gone. --ay, i think that seeing scene is cleaning up the government. neal: other questions? all the way in the back. >> what are the thoughts about putting money into rehabilitation?
like, in europe. in removing death sentences? i took a tour of prisons in germany, and those who commit the most serious crimes, the most you would get is about 15 years. but they do have a special detention that is similar to what we do. it is for violent offenders. in reality, they use it sparingly. the concern among all of us is, if we had a here, would it be used sparingly? but they do have psychologists who are screening them after 15 years. and the prisons themselves were like dormitories. and the detention center on the same premises, it was like an apartment. you had tremendous freedoms. and it was every way like it was
an apartment, except you stay on the premises. that is the restriction. just, that is how they chose to approach it. on the juvenile side in this country, we have seen great progress with the life without parole and provides an example of what we can do by addressing the unnecessary extreme practices. neal: one last question. future,u see in the direction,ing abolishing life in prison without parole and everybody having the possibility of parole? marc: -- stephen: i was saying, many with
-- many -- many with prosecutors fight life without parole, because without it, you would get the death penalty. with that gone, we will not see life without parole. terrible, because now are giving people no hope whatsoever. my friends that are wardens, do not send me a kid with life without parole. he has no incentive to behave himself or do any better or do anything. this is not good correctional policy. there needs to be hope, because they are so young. 18 years old, 19 years of, to say to them, you have no chance. you will die in this institution. it is incredibly cruel. anything.ot see do the way in which we will get rid of the death penalty is from --
sadly, but true. neal: thank you. [applause] >> this weekend, c-span's city ofr will explore the history port her on, michigan -- port huron, michigan. and learn the role of the railroads. >> shipping containers, moving them from places like china, indonesia and elsewhere. railroads are very much a part of the route. so when you go to long beach, california where there is large shipping facilities, the rails are near the container ships and they are the ones that get it on to the next route. >> than the former executive editor for the port here on -- huron times, talks about the
history of the city, the importance to the state economy, and the effect on the city. >> not just statewide, but locally, we have done well. years did go down the 2000. if you go by household income, michigan is one of the wealthiest states. by 2008, we were one of the poorest. >> on american history tv, we visit the train depot were thomas edison worked and make a stop at the museum. we will also speak with the museum manager. hise have a recreation of chemical laboratory and equipment where he was the first person, that we know of, to print a newspaper on a moving train. he had access to the latest news through the telegraph agents. and he would get the news hot
off the presses. >> then we will go to the lighthouse, the first white house in the state -- lighthouse in the state. saturday afternoon. on c-span3. the c-span cities tour, visiting cities across the country. weekend, wrote the white house coverage takes us to the green party convention in houston. see the acceptance speeches for the nominees for president and vice president. you can listen on your desktop or mobile device using the c-span radio app, or watch anytime a c-span.org. >> joining us is the contributing editor at the atlantic, as well as a senior fellow at the brookings institution. he is here to talk about the
cover piece in the atlantic, entitled "how american politics went insane." good morning. >> thank you for having me. host: what do you mean by insane? guest: we have spent so many years attacking the establishment and is stripping away the tolls it needs -- tools it needs to organize, that was the politics in a state of a meltdown. one party cannot even choose a nominee that was a member of that party. we are looking at congress that is incapable of doing basic things, like keeping the government open. and it goes back to stripping away the tolls -- tools that leaders need to get the job done. like rewarding people who are loyal, getting bills passed my stuff like that. host: where did the insanity start? in washington, did it start on
the campaign trail, where is the origin? guest: 40-50 years ago when a lot of well-intentioned informers thought, politics is too sleazy. it is like horse trading and backroom deals and people should be able to choose nominees directly. we have decade after decade of reforms that basically did versions of the same thing, reducing the power of parties and professional tax -- pacs, political machines, to make decisions, deals, you give me your vote on the bill so we can keep that from failing and i give you a runway for the airport in your district. then we turn around and eventually you strip away enough of the stuff that they need to do their jobs and they cannot do them. here we are. host: you argue that the
political class is a good thing. let's talk about the political class and why it is a good thing. intermediaries, people in the business of politics. they are different from most of us, because unlike an activist or protector or. reformer,- purist they need to be there year after year. they do not just worry about protesting, but winning the election, the one after, making sure the brand of the party remains strong. they need to recruit people, they need to run for office, they need to vet them, keep the government open, counting the votes, all of that. we need these people and we need them to be a healthy group. host: we are talking to jonathan rauch of the atlantic, about his piece on how american politics
went insane. you can call us. democrats, republicans, independents. so, taking a look at one part in the piece where you are talking about the insanity of politics, you write, "the very term, party anders, has become in anachronism. although capitol hill and of the campaign trail are miles apart, the breakdown in order in both places reflects the underlying reality that there no longer is any such thing as a party leader, there are only individual actors pursuing their own interests, willy-nilly, like excited gas molecules in an
overheated balloon." what do you mean by that? thinking aboutd this problem in 2013. do you remember john boehner, remember he went on the lam. and the u.s. government shutdown. even though the republicans and democrats did not want to shut down, but they cannot keep it open because the republican party could not keep itself organized enough to overcome the small faction within itself. so there is john boehner on john lennon -- on jay leno and he asked about it and he says, a leader without followers is just a man taking a walk. so that is the position that he and paul ryan are in, they have very little ability to influence their own members. they are individual entrepreneurs and we've taken away so many of the tools they have used, like secret
negotiations, for example. they are left with little ability to organize. host: it seems in the presidential election, there is an appetite for outsiders. political for the establishment. is that part of it? guest: it is a vicious cycle. as the establishment gets less able to do their job, even simple compromises on farm bills through congress, the public gets angrier and they vote for the outsiders and those are even more independent, less willing to compromise and more willing to challenge the leadership. the leadership becomes weaker and the cycle continues. host: ok, we are talking to jonathan rauch about his piece in the atlantic on how american politics went insane. we have laura calling from pennsylvania. you are on.
caller: good morning. i want to agree with you about the insanity part. but a lot of it is issue by issue and a lot of people would say that the debt is insane, you cannot comprehend what we of in interest -- owe in interest every day and how will we get it paid off. the biggest thing for me as i just heard that hillary and her running mate is going to overturn the hyde amendment. they said that they will do it and it was the amendment that provided taxpayer dollars to kill unborn babies in abortions. i cannot believe we are not talking about it. we hear about all these other issues. , john rush limbaugh kennedy, they should be having these topics front and center. this is what they are going to be doing on this issue and this
issue. especially abortion, because i have a charity where i pay women not to abort. we have saved 80 babies by offering them help. why would i want my tax dollars used to have mothers kill their unborn babies? abortion is important, but the question now is not whether congress can do what you itted to do, which -- want to do, but it is more, can they do anything? can they pass a debt limit bill? these things were once routine. they were taken for granted. authorizing programs, they can barely organized to do that. i do not actually think you need to worry about the democratic , if itnts and congress
is a republican commerce, appealing the hyde amendment. i agree with you, it is important and we should be talking about it. it is in the platform. i do not actually think that president clinton would do it, if she is elected. with that said, let's step back and focus on the capacity of the system just to do the basic jobs, whatever you think the job should be. host: we have lydia from illinois. good morning. caller: good morning. sadly, we have a lot of history to tell us exactly why these things happen. studies, reference to one of them is a study of history. the abridgment -- president obama -- excuse me. one of the reasons why we have
this breakdown is because newt --grich, the current leader leader, was also part of the process that set in place the current times of trouble, the credit troubles we are experiencing, when he helped orchestrate the obstruction that took place, orchestrated when president obama was a non-reader. the other example -- a non-graded. the other example is lord of the flies, it is an important study of how these things happen. they have been internally -- happen internally. you have a group of boys that come to the island, totally civilize, and by the end may become barbarians. pass the studies on these situations and we address crises and we move into the
field of challenge and cooperation, we will also demonstrate that like these other civilizations that shows e to fail, we- chos will have that situation happened to us. guest: a couple of interesting thoughts, i agree with you that newt gingrich played a role, a pivotal role, in the kind of breakdown i am talking about. when he became speaker of the house in the 1990's, he decided to centralize power in the house of representatives. in the process, he began a process of dismantling a lot of the sonoran a systems -- seniority systems. that was very good at discovering if people were loyal, if they were team players in the house, and getting a lot of middle-management involved in
the decision-making. you have a lot more people involved, they had their fingerprints on legislation, they were participating, but a lot of that machinery has now been in -- been abandoned. all the way down to the very bottom, every individual doing whatever he or she wants. and that is something that we need to reverse. is a novel,flies not a study, it is about the darkness of human beings. it has a message for conservatives, never take government for granted. when politics does not work on the war and chaos -- not work, war and chaos happen. host: let's talk about how this is playing out on the campaign trail right now. it is a presidential year. the washington times talking about the unfavorably ratings that both secretary clinton and
donald trump have, forcing candidates to turn on each other. it says, "historically high unfavorable ratings for both mrs. clinton and donald trump have left the campaigns with little choice but to tear the other down, hoping that when the war is finally over, the voters will ultimately decide that their candidate is the lesser of two evils. for the canon -- for the clinton campaign, painting donald trump as a heartless business tycoon that cannot be trusted on the mystic and foreign policy. on the flipside, donald trump referring to the former secretary of state as crooked hillary methane -- hillary, saying she cannot be trusted." is this what you are talking about?
guest: in my view, it is a shame that secretary clinton has not done a better job of articulating what she is for. she has had a very long career in public service and by this point she should have given people a better reason to vote for her. so yes, that is a problem. but it is not the problem. when you are running against a guy like donald trump, republican callers might disagree, but i do not think that he should be within 100 miles of the nuclear codes. he is incapable of running any kind of campaign that will not go after people. he has proven that. i think people are disgusted by that. from we have been calling -- ben calling from indiana. caller: good morning. thank you. i want to comment on hillary
clinton's lack of articulation. host: up next, we have dan calling from montana. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i just wanted to comment on hillary clinton's lack of articulation. host: up next, we have dan from montana. you are on. caller: good morning. i wanted to kind of reiterate feelings from years back. political feelings. and that is that we kind of prayed for gridlock. we hoped for it. we hoped that agendas would be kind of normally neutralized and ended that we didn't care for that we thought were extremist. i started to feel that way in the 1990s. that gridlock helped to stop presidential agendas that i felt were off base. by the time we got into the obama administration all i saw
coming along really is a marxist with a heavy socialist agenda. that's when i started to see we really need to stop this guy. we need to stop these things. because they're way out from the normal. host: let's let jonathan respond to that. guest: the founders intended for the system to be slow and hard to move. they were very worried about populism and passions driving policy all over the place in crazy directions, which was what was going on in the states before the constitution was adopted. but keeping the government open, for example, or being able to pass budgets from year to year, that is like not radical reform. whether you're left wing or right wing, that's the bread and butter of government. and when organizations and politics and on capitol hill is broken down to the extent that
you can't even get that stuff done without a whole lot of friction and back and forth, then you've got a different kind of problem. it's not a problem of socialism or right wing radicalism or any of those izzms. it's a problem about can yeah just get yourself organized enough to run a government. host: we were talking a little bit about the outsider sentiment from some voters that have pushed the candacies of donald trump and bernie sanders, for example. in your piece in the atlantic you write that insurgencies in presidential races and on capitol hill are nothing new and they're not necessarily bad as long as the governing process can accommodate them. what do you mean by that? accom what do you mean by that? guest: we've had insurgent candidates who beat the parties in their own game. 1964, goldwater, 1972 mcgovern. we've had insurgents on capitol hill like senator jesse helms
who was ted cruz long before ted cruz came along. but the difference is that those insirges brought those new passions, those ideas, those voices into politics without bringing paralysis and dysfunction with them. the system was able to absorb those ideas because you had enough infrastructure of professionals and people would say, ok, how can we adopt elements of these agendas that make sense for us and move forward? when you don't have that level of organization, then insurgencies just become disruptive and you wind up not being able to pass the bill. you end up with a republican nominee who is not a republican. you end up with a second place for the democratic nomination whose not a democrat. that's unheard of. host: up next, bill from florida on our independent line. aller: good morning. thank you for being there. i was just going to bring up
one thing that i noticed over the years, and maybe tell me where you think this might lead. you're talking about dysfunction in washington where i still believe if we were to maybe -- i'll just throw this out they're just doing way too much. and i know that we put people in place. you can call it lobbying, whatever it is, where people's for tunes that are tied to industry and need things passed by washington has really taken over. but i would think a big part of this solution would be to move more and more responsibility back to the states. i know that's the classical conservative view. but i think that would alleviate a lot of problems within congress, where they could just concentrate more in a area that would be more of national scope as opposed to thing that is could be handled more at the state level. as far as donald trump having his fingers on the keys of the nuclear weapon, i would just
tend to think that it's more along my opinion that i think a trump administration would be more in tune with the congress in the way of probably upholding the constitution and doing things that would be more on a constitutional basis. host: that's a lot to unpack. guest: first, i don't think donald trump knows what's in the constitution. he clearly doesn't know how many articles are in it. if you ask him what article one is about he would have no idea. he would probably say i'll hire people who know about that. so i would have to disagree with anybody who sees him as a constitutional scholar. i think he behaved -- if the campaign is any indication at all he would behave wildly unpredictably in the most important office in the world. your other point though i agree with. i'm a long stappeding advocate of devolution to the states. there's a lot of them so they can trive different things. they can experiment and compete. but you can't do that without
changing laws. and the problem is it doesn't matter what your agenda is it's probably not going anywhere. and also remember, i told this to my libertarian friends. what's wrong with gridlock? when congress does stuff and makes government bigger. the answer is nowadays when government doesn't do stuff it makes government bigger. but in a completely mindless bloated fashion. what government does now is automatic spending. if we're going to get our fiscal how in order if you would to shrink government to make it work better or reduce scope, you need to pass laws. you need a functional congress. host: in your piece you write about some of the outsigh groups influencing what's happening. what did you mean by that? guest: one of the ideas that we've been pursuing for the
last 40 or 50 years is to get money out of politics. the idea would be that money was tainted. it would make it less corrupt, work better reflect the people's will. it turns out that money is mother's milk in politics. in the old days money was to a large extent, not exclusively, it was raised and spent by parties and they used it to oil the machine of government. if you voted with me on a difficult bill i would make sure and drop some money on your campaign. that still goes on, but as a result of clamping down on the money that can go inside the system, gobs more money are going outside the system to completely unaccountable actors. in fact we don't even know who they are in many cases because they can hide their identities. so that has a few bad effects. one is it weakens people in government who are trying to get stuff done. host: jonathan, the contributing editor at atlantic and senior fellow at the
brookings institution. also, the author of six books and recipient of the 2005 national magazine award, the equivalent to a pulitzer prize. up next, claire from nevada on our democratic line. caller: good morning. i just want to go back a little bit to the lady with all them, the republican lady. i am very worried about the republicans coming in and overturning laws like row v. wade. i've been angry for a long time. i raised four children, worked two jobs for 20 years raising those kids. my pet peeve is they don't
believe in abortion, they don't want abortion, they call it baby killers. but when i turn the television on and see children in different cities in our country rocks and ool with lead and yet in beverly hills they go to school in beautiful places. and i just can't understand how when i ask these people about the baby killing issue, i ask them how many children they're feeding. host: ok. guest: i don't think we're going to solve the abortion problem here today. it's a very contentious issue. if i could just get people to focus a little bit more though on problems that we can do something about, which is reducing some of the imbalances
and changes that have made it so difficult for parties and political leaders to function, then i think callers who are worried about this kind of issue might be able to get somewhere with it. host: next, martin from wisconsin on our republican line. caller: good morning. i think we all can agree that congress, especially the last seven years, has been polarizing and divided and hasn't done too much. in my opinion, you've done a nice job of explaining some of the republican problems on this. i would like to hear your comments on harry reid, who i think has been a major road bloc for anything to happen in this country. guest: thank you. we've seen a bunch more polarization in congress. if you ask the current majority leader, senator mitch mcconnell, he will tell you that the senate his view is that the senate has been substantially more productive and more open to amendments and
more open to regular order since the republicans took over. and part of what's interesting is going on there -- i'm not enough of an expert on congress to know specifically which leader did more filling of the amendment tree and that kind of thing. both parties have had a strategy of blocking the other party whenever they possibly could. that's natural in politics. that's what opposition parties have always tried to do since at least the time of henry clay. but what's interesting right now about the senate i think is that the majority leader mcconnell is working very hard and it looked like pretty effectively to sort of begin to rally the forces of a political establishment to be able to defend itself. n 2014, the mcconnell -- the republicans did not lose a single republican incumbent to an outside challenger. and it looks like they will
repeat that in 2016. that's senator mcconnell organizing forces to say, look, if you're on my team. if you vote with me i'll protect you. that's how politics works when it works. so it's interesting to watch. it's not a hopeless situation. there are these horses trying to reassert themselves and having some success. host: let's talk more about the effect of the rhetoric on the presidential campaign trail. let's take a look at what republican nominee donald trump said on a bill o'reilly about president obama and as well as hillary clinton. >> i think he's one of the worst presidents, maybe the worst, that we've ever had in the history of our country. i think that hillary clinton maybe has the potential to be even worse. she will be terrible. look at the lie. look at the lies. look at the lie over the weekend that she told about the f.b.i. directer. i mean, such a lie. i was listening to it and i
said how can anybody even say that after what was said about her. so i think she has the potential to be even worse. host: how do you see this sort of messaging coming from the republican nominee as affecting both the election season as well as the overall sense of decorium in american politics right now? guest: well, it's -- in a way, it's kind of the wrong question . that's kind of the horse race question, how does this affect decorium. we're so far beyond decorium with donald trump. we're talking about someone who appears to be an unbalanced sociopath, incapable of regulating his mouth, incapable of telling the truth or being consistent from one moment to the next. this is no longer just a problem with decorium, this is a problem with is the united states considering entrusting the most powerful office in the history of the world to a guy who seems to be unbalanced.
host: up next, joe fro on our democrat yig line. caller: good morning. first, i would like to make reference to an article i read in the "washington post". about three years ago, actually. i believe the author is mitch miller. the title of the article was, it's the filibuster, stupid. and he does a very good history i thought of is the history of the filibuster and in particular pointing out how the republicans especially now during the obama administration has -- he makes -- abuse the filibuster, i think that's fair to say. and i support a nonpartisan group called common cause. you may have -- i'm sure you've heard of it. they're actually in the process of trying to sue the senate, claiming that the filibuster is actually unconstitutional.
now, the grounds for that real quickly are the constitution does not mention the word filibuster and it in fact says the only time you need a super majority to vote anything is like for declaring war or reaty et cetera. i would hope that attention could be brought to this, maybe c-span could interview senator you'd al or the retired senator tom harkin. host: let's let jonathan respond. guest: so filibuster's controversial. it's been used much more often in recent years than it has in the past and it basically does impose a 60-vote super majority rule in the senate and that does slow everything down. i'm agnostic on whether the filibuster is a big part of the problem or part of the solution. there's some people who would say it slows things in a productive way.
my view is try to look at what's going on underneath the filibuster which is a political problem, which is that the kind of deal making and horse trading -- which is already more difficult because of polarization -- gets even harder when you don't have the tools any more to try to attract that extra vote. whatever the majority level is, whether the threshhold is 51 or 60, it's going to be hard to get over if you don't have the tools to bring people on to your side. host: next, arkansas on our independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you. i'm curious and forgive me if someone's already asked, to get the speaker's thoughts on the media's complacency and role in , as the topic said, american politics going insane, especially with this regard for the insessnt need for balance over evidence. guest: a lot of people asking hard questions.
i was on the phone with another journalist. has donald trump changed the rules? has he lied so consistently and so frequently and so shamelessly that the media are just -- can't keep up? is it time to stop pretending that he is not in fact lying and we use you'venism. we say four pin oak yos. stuff like that. so there's a lot of soul searching going on in the media about this kind of asymmetric warfare that trump is using. it's a very, very hard question. tradition yalists, the way i was brought up in the media you do your absolute best to be fair to all sides of the question and you keep yourself out of it. you don't pass judgment. you let readers decide. well, people are kind of wondering is that playing into the hands of a dema gog who will say absolutely anything. and that's an ongoing debate
right now. host: it's not just the media talking about candidates. trump, president obama made statements that seem pretty unprecedented for a sitting president to say about a candidate. let's take a look. >> there have been republican presidents with whom i disagreed with. but i didn't have a doubt that they could function as president. i think i was right in mitt romney and john mccain were wrong on certain policy issues but i never thought that they couldn't do the job. and had they won, i would have been disappointed but i would have said to all americans they are -- this is our president and i know they're going to abide by certain norms and common sense. we'll observe basic decency.
well, have enough knowledge about economic policy and foreign policy and our constitutional traditions and government that our will work and then we'll compete four years from now to try to win an election. but that's not the situation here. and that's not just my opinion. that is the opinion of many prominent republicans. there has to come a point in which you say enough. host: and in addition to that, hillary clinton said in a tweet a similar sentiment saying donald trump is unfit to be president and commander in chief. now, for hillary clinton she is donald trump's opponent so it's not unusual to see that happen between opponents t. but for a president to speak
that much at the white house with another foreign leader by his side about the presidential race, talk a little bit about that and does that add to this insanity that you write about in your cover piece? guest: it's an unprecedented thing in an unprecedented situation. we had a system which for many, many years was good at screening out what i call political sociopaths. a political sociopath is not a crazy person. it's a politician who doesn't care what other politicians think of them and don't need to care. they can do whatever they want because maybe they're independently wealthy or maybe they survive with -- they need very little money or very little help. they come from completely outside the system, no loyalty, no roots. well, those people in politics are loose canons. they turn to turn renegade. if they are elected they can't
really govern because they don't owe anybody anything, no one owes them anything. one of the things american politics has done well for 200 years is screen those people out. well, 1e6 was the first year when the system began screening them in. of the final -- the big four at the end 069 nomination process -- clinton, sanders, cruz, and trump -- three i would argue are political sociopaths in the sense that they're outsiders who owe -- don't owe anything to anyone and campaign against the system in which they're running. trump is in some ways the most extreme in terms of his personal unsuitability for office. but three out of the four are people who are running against the system they're trying to govern. this is new. this is worrisome. and this is what we have got to start thinking about. host: up next, joe from iowa on our republican line.
good morning. caller: good morning. it's beautiful here in iowa. beautiful sunny day. i just want to say term limits. this is probably the only thing that will correct the situation that we have today. there needs to be limits even -- any political office, should not be more than four years. we have so many intelligent people in america. we need to keep it rotating, keep it fresh, and that's what i think should happen. any employer would want to have a new employee that would have more skills and if the other employee doesn't want to work, doesn't want to cooperate, then they need to be replaced. and people can do that every four years. host: let's get you to comment on that. guest: i take the opposite view. part of my burden in writing about political chaos is trying to push back against the overwhelming sentiment of a lot of people, which is politics is better when it's run by
amateurs because they're going to be less corrupt or whatever. well, why would someone imagine that politics is the only profession in the world where experience and knowledge don't mattered? what you do with term limits is get rid of people who have a long-term view and have to worry about getting elected year after year. so if i pass the budget this year what are its effects five years, ten years from now. they have to worry about that. you replace those with people horizon, rt-term time vote and move on to the next office, you empower staff members and lobbyists who are there and do know the ropes. so while the term limited members of congress are still trying to figure out where the bathroom is the lobbyists are writing the bills. so no i don't think this is part of the -- i don't think term limits are part of the solution. i think the mentality behind them, that amateurs should run
politics is what got us into this mess. host: but is the seniority system working? doesn't that provide too much centralized power? guest: the seniority system as we know it has been gone now. committee chairman are appointed on whether they toe the line of leadership and raise money. it used to be if you sat there for a long time, if you worked your way up through the committee system, you were pretty much guaranteed a senate chair. that's gone. one result is that it's in fact harder for people to be expecting to be promoted if they're loyal. that's another form of disorganization. host: next katherine on our democratic line. caller: good morning. i would say that you're a breath of fresh air. you have -- you are saying what most sane americans whole heartedly believe. that in government you have to
have civility. when president obama was elected and the republican party chose to say like they did, we're going to make you a one-term president, a former vice president refused to stand at his inauguration, and at his first speech he made in congress a republican man from south carolina stood up sand yelled you lied. when none of those people were rebuked or censored in any way y their party, it is a snowball effect. there is great resentment and hatred now for both parties toward each other. we have to get back to saneness. and i don't think -- i know -- donald trump will not take us there because i feel like he is a psycho path. i would hate to think that he has his finger on a nuclear
eapon. guest: there's no question that polarization is higher than it has been for decades and animosity is higher than it has been for decades. and that all by itself makes it harder to do the routine business of government. it also makes it harder to compromise. and that is a self-fulfilling prophesy because the less people compromise the less they're in practice of sort of working together and say i may not like this person but we can do business. we can figure it out. you've got a lot going on. to me the tragedy is there are still instances where people do want to work together and when they have incentive to work together. stuff like we've been talking about, just the routine business of government, for example. but they often can't even do
that because the system's become so disorganized it's impossible to contain vocal minorities who want to obstruct things. so we have problems at every layer. what i'm trying to get people to focus on are problems that we're more immediately able to address. like restoring some of the tools that leaders use in order to govern. we could talk for a minute about how to do that. host: next tina from north carolina on our independent line. caller: my question is you say that donald trump is a psycho path and i am an independent. but i have a lot of problems with hillary clinton because everything that you say about donald trump i feel that hillary has those problems and more, and what i fear is that donald trump at least is out there and honest about what he is saying while hillary is kind of like the wolf in sheep's clothing where she has lied to congress, she has lied to the
american people, the f.b.i. has said she's lied. then she went on the sunday morning talk shows and lied again saying the same thing but yet you sit up there and you're ok with that as a journalist. but yet you have problems with donald trump. and the last lady that called in said we need civility but the person who said no you lied, he was right. we didn't get to keep our doctor. and the thing that is obama said as an independent i voted for him. and they aren't coming true. i don't get to keep my own doctor. and these things that i thought the democrats were going to do for us didn't happen. host: let's let jonathan respond. hillary clinton the same kind of thing as donald trump? well, without getting into specifics about what she said on particular instances this is someone who has been in public life for 30 years. this is someone who was first lady of the united states and
then a senator and then a secretary of state. this is someone who does fact chect her speeches. this is someone who according to the independent monitors who actually counts this stuff comes off as not only more truthful than donald trump by a long shot but the person who stretches things least compared to all the other candidates. i'm not making a partisan point about one candidate or another. but for me, when you're dealing with a figure like trump who is capable of saying absolutely anything, like russians aren't in ukraine, you're talking about something, a very different kind of animal than a conventional politics. host: in your piece, your cover piece in the atlantic, how american politics went insane, you talked about some possible solutions. you write.
how might these changes specifically bring an end to this insanity? guest: well, nothing brings an end to it. it took years to get where we got to. it's going to take years to begin moving back. so no magic bullets. but with that said, we didn't just -- political caste didn't just happen. this is partly the result of years of making these policies and they can be unmade. a lot of them mechanically are not hard to do. you can restore, for example, earmarking which gives more incentives for people to cooperate in congress. you can reduce or i would say
remove on the restrictions on the fund raising that political parties can do so that more of the money will flow in through the parties which will strengthen them and then their ability to regulate political behavior. something very important is to give party professionals and insiders more influence. not sole influence but more influence over the nominating process. so if you take a tough vote for me in the house and senate i can help protect you from a challenge in your district in a primary. that also is very important. we can rethink some of the transparency rules that have made it hard tore negotiate. all kinds of things like this. and none of them are technically difficult but they involve changing some of these attitudes that these politics is always evil. host: next, oak harbor, washington on our republican line. caller: good morning. been enjoying your conversation, sir. i had a couple of questions for
you. first, how is it that we have allowed so much of the rule and lawmaking function to be transferred to bureaucrats who issue bundles and books and tons afrules that have the force of law? is that because congress is unable or unwilling? guest: what a great question. thank you. it's both. it's unable and unwilling. the same period we've been talking about, the last 50 years or so congress has transferred voluntarily a lot of power to bureaucracy. partly on the notion that bureaucracies will make merit-based, not politically-based decisions. they thought that was like cleaner politics. in my view, actually congress' role in the constitution is to make political decisions politically. but some of it has not been
voluntarily. article 1 of the constitution is about the u.s. congress. the congress is meant to be the preimminent policy making branch. but when congress is no longer able to organize and do its job in a reliable fashion, the way the constitution is set up is the power doesn't disappear, it flows other places to actors that can move unilaterally. actually three places. it's the president, it's the bureaucracy, and it's the court and that's where power has gone. part of my agenda when i'm trying to get people to focus on is by helping politicians organize their world, do what they need to do, you can strengthen congress. host: next, mary from ndianapolis. caller: i think the american political system went awry when the public namely the tea party has let fair trump good judgment. they thought it was funny when
the tea party was attacking president obama and the democrats saying obama is going to kill grandma. the traditional republicans stood back and laughed. i think this lays squarely on the g.o.p. and i think they need to vote out all tea party members. guest: i've spent a lot of time looking at the tea party back in 2011 when it first arose and it's an interesting movement. it's a principled movement. it's for smaller government, it is against immigration. but it was ideological. what's happened now to the republican party is different. partly introduced by factors the tea party did. they targeted anyone who compromised and they targeted professional politicians. but then along comes donald trump and he blows away the tea party. he is not a small government person. he is anti-immigration. but there's an article just today in the papers about how
the tea party has been basically thrown off the bus by trump. beyond trump, as i say in the article, donald trump did not cause political chaos. political chaos caused donl trumped. we -- caused donald trump. we created a system where the party can no longer protect itself from wildcatting. trump may be the beginning of the series. that's what we have to worry about. host: thomas from maryland. caller: thank you. ice to speak with you. i wanted to get your opinion and find out if we could find some common ground. i think -- and i think you would be hard-pressed to disagree -- that sometimes in the course of human events it's simply natural that a group of eople will find themselves
refining into i guess a pure expression of how they want to live and how they want to be governed. an analogy might be the horse and wagon. they were perfect together until it was time to split. the horse went its way, the wagon got its own engine and they did fine on their own. my thinking is this. we've gotten to a point where it seems like about half the population is fine with having creeded the power that was with we the people. they ceded that to bureaucratic leaders and politicians and judges. and they're fine with that. they agree with statutory law. they like it. they want more regulation. and then you have the purists like me who really would like to see just common law, the way our founders and framers wanted things to be with less governance. wouldn't it make sense if we split, like a civilized society would do and not fight that any
more? host: what's your thought? guest: i guess if you're proposing is he session and the division of the country into two pieces, we settled that in 1865. and i don't think we're going back there. i wish i could, when people come up with all these ideas like we need to have a big new third party or we need to have some kind of direct popular representation system based on town halls or we need to split the country into entirely new regions, i try and get them to stay on planet earth, where right now we have an all-out political crisis. we have only two major political parties and one of them is in a state of catastrophic meltdown. that's a very dangerous situation. and we need to try to stay focused on fixing the situation we've got in the real world. ost: next, gary from duncan,
south carolina. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. my concern i have is that hillary is stating that the student loans are going to be forgiven and we're going to get free college education for everybody else. but one of my concerns is that under the obama administration between all the government guidelines and all of the loans that have been pretty much i guess run over by the obama administration, there's actually guidelines that say if you defaulted on a student loan you can't get a mortgage. i've been in that business for 37 years. in addition to that, where they talked about the medical that you can keep your doctor and everything else, i haven't been able to even get medical at all . it would be so astronomcal it would be 60% of my income.
host: ok. guest: generic answer. if you want any of this stuff to get fixed, you've got to have a government and politics organized enough to fix it. so let's start figuring out how to get politics and government reorganized. student loans are an area like a few others, like criminal justice where there's emerging bipartisan consensus that fixes need to happen. and where i think it will be possible over the next four years. if people are able to work together to form these compromises to do something. tax reform is another area. there's a lot of desire on both sides to do that. so we've got to create the structure so they can go into the room and come out with a compromise, do the horse trading and the leaders can get enough votes to get it to the president's desk for signature. it's what you read about in civics class. it's the old-fashioned process of compromise. but it requires having politicians who are empowered to do that. host: michael from michigan on our democratic line.
caller: i wanted to make a couple of statements about the states rights. and that is sending things back to the states. wo points. one the civil war philosophy of denying people their rights, primarily african americans. in michigan state government has taken over the emergency managers school systems have become resegregated under the uise of school choice. according to marketplace programming, nationwide only
25% of the welfare money goes to the individuals needing it. and in michigan only 12% is returned to the people. host: we only have a few seconds left. i want to give jonathan a chance to respond. guest: there's a lot of good points i don't have a particular response to. i'm a supporter of welfare reform. it's 20 years old and example of a reform that went well. the number of people on welfare slaverping. the number of people on jobs grew. it is not true that most money in welfare does not go to welfare recipients. it does. host: jonathan roush contributing editor to the atlantic and senior fellow at the brookings institution.
earlier this week, donald trump decline to indoors house speaker paul ryan when asked. it at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. stein of the, jill green party talks about her candidacy and efforts to reach out to those who do not support donald trump or hillary clinton. even hillary's support hers don't actually support hillary. they are just afraid of donald trump and don't like donald trump. the same is true of donald trump's supporters. majority don't like hillary clinton. voters are calling for an independent candidate, a new
voice that represents every day people. before the election, we ought to meet voters to actually their urgent need for a real debate and more voices and choices. berniereemphasize what himself said, which is that the only answer to donald trump is a true progressive agenda that addresses the economic misery that gives rise to right-wing extremism, not just america, not just donald trump, it is a political surge in america like it is in europe, and this is very much a response to the policies of so-called neo-liberalism, the policies of prosperity, the policies that are great for bankers and billionaires, but terrible for working people. theuncer: you can watch rest of that interview with
green party candidate jill stein and sunday at 10:00 p.m. 6:00p.m. -- 10:00 a.m. and p.m. eastern on c-span. get audio coverage end up to the minute schedule information, plus podcast times for public affairs, book, and history programs. stay up today on the election coverage, c-span's radio app means you always have c-span on the go. next, experts discuss of the outcome of this year's aids conference in africa. they talk about new vaccines and research and comment on challenges that stand in the way of making even greater progress. from the center for strategic and international studies, this
is just two hours. >> good afternoon and welcome to the center for strategic international studies. i'm steve morrison, i'm a senior vice president here and i direct our global health work. today is the sixth occasion over 12 years in which we've joined together with jen kates and the kaiser family foundation to jointly host this debrief on an international aids conference. proud to do that. we've found year-in and year-out when we've done these that very strong interest. thank you all for coming. we're going to work to hear from
you. many of you who are here were present in durbin or many of you tracked and followed closely what happened. a warm welcome also to our audience online and the audience tuning in to cspan. special thanks to colleagues from csis. joe jordan and sara allender were together with me in durbin; special thanks to them. special thanks to lily dattilo who here in washington was tracking the responses in the media carefully and took charge getting us organized today, along with joe. we're here, we have to begin with a special heartfelt congratulations to the three leaders who we will be hearing from momentarily, chris beyrer, deborah birx and jennifer kates, and to the other people i'll mention momentarily who were so responsible for the success at durbin. chris, deborah, jennifer all brought science, rigor, human compassion, commitment and pragmatism to the table in durbin. all had dramatic and lasting impacts. and all are inspiring leaders to
whom we owe a great debt. their influence over time is so substantial and we're so fortunate to have them in that role, playing that leadership role. professor chris beyrer, he's the immediate past president of the ias. i think he stepped down around 5:30 p.m. on friday afternoon, whatever date that was, july 22nd. so he's clean and free now. and he's also, in his routine job, he's the desmond tutu professor of public health and human rights at the johns hopkins university bloomberg school of public health. he partnered at durbin with south african co-chair, olive shisana. chris brought extraordinary grace, wit and savvy in organizing this. on opening night, many of you may have seen the duet that he did with olive shisana.
it is his appeal to unity of purpose across the multiple populations and communities that matters so much on hiv/aids, but who oftentimes operate in somewhat exclusion from one another. it was an appeal for unity across sexual identity for an end to homophobia. it was an appeal for unit across -- unity across gender, across racial lines, across economic class. it was a powerful, genuine, timely and much-needed stroke and it was quintessentially chris. so thank you, chris, for doing that. he and olive were ubiquitous throughout durbin. their personalities permeated the assembly and set the tone of seriousness, of joy, of inquisitiveness and humanity. i want to pause for a moment to give a special shout out to owen ryan, executive director of the international aids society, and his remarkable team in geneva. they did an exceptional job under oftentimes not the easiest of circumstances.
they did it with grit and a lot of grace. and we're all in their debt. and of course, special note of gratitude to our south african hosts, most importantly minister of health aaron motsoaledi, also ubiquitous throughout the events, also inspiring in the multiple initiatives that he has pioneered, often in partnership with the united states and others. i also want to acknowledge special thanks to nomonde nolutshungu, health attache in south african embassy here in washington, who's been very supportive in assisting us in the events that we did in durbin. ambassador deborah birx, u.s. global aids coordinator and u.s. special rep for global health diplomacy. she has been in that role for over two years, and in that short space of time had dramatic and profound impacts. she carried to durbin, no surprise to any of us, her signature relentless drive to force a focus on young women and
adolescent girls, the special threats they face, their centrality, the future of prevention efforts, the demographic wave that lies on the horizon and the need for integration looking forward, bringing in all sorts of other sectors. she also carried to durbin her signature relentless drive to carry forward the transformation of pepfar's approach to apply greater rigor, to insist on better data, to concentrate investments of scarce dollars in the right place and the right time on priority micro epidemics, and to measure impacts much more carefully, assiduously in this process. just prior to the opening of the conference was the two-day pepfar implementers meeting. we'll hear, i hope, from deborah what that revealed about progress in moving forward with that agenda. deborah, like chris, was ubiquitous and indefatigable. it seemed like there were two or three versions of her at durbin. i would walk from one hall to the next and she would be speaking on panels that were happening simultaneously it seemed.
she embodied more than anyone in durbin the remarkable leadership of the united states, our continued indispensable role globally in battling hiv/aids. she embodied the way the u.s. has moved ahead in close partnership with the south african government and others. i do urge you to watch the video of her conversation with minister motsoaledi, which we brokered. it's a very illuminating and affirmative and honest discussion of the relationship. i also cannot fail to mention dr. tony fauci of nih who brought enormous gravitas and interest to durbin, a very active and visible presence, particularly on the scientific panels. our third speaker is jennifer kates, vice president, kaiser family foundation, a close friend and colleague. kaiser over the past decade-plus has been our single-most-important institutional partner in washington. it does invaluable analyses of budgets and programs like no other organization does and has an exceptional reputation for
objectivity, rigor, quality and reliability. they're the gold standard and we've been delighted to be able to benefit from that in our partnerships. jennifer released the kaiser/u.n. aids study on finances just prior to durbin that documented more than a billion dollar decline in resources in 2015, a 13% decline in aggregate, 8 % if you factor in special circumstances. either way you interpret it, it's a disturbing and precipitous shift. we'll hear more from her on what that means. at durbin, jennifer's analysis became a central pivot. it became a common reference point. it was the loudest wake-up call of the week. we'll hear more detail from her. these iacs, these international aids conferences, are daunting. they're huge, they're complex, they're exhausting. i always get very anxious throughout them, trying to figure out how are we in hell going to make sense of all of
this because there's just so much going on. and so that's why we're here. i begin to be less anxious when i realize that we can get chris, deborah and jen to come in here and tell us what happened and what we're going to remember about this particular one. these gatherings are always inspiring, and they're innately inspiring. how can you not be moved by a community of 15,000, 16,000, 17,000 individuals who constitute a determined army of advocates, implementers, civil society leaders, industry, scientists, ministerial officials, elected leaders. it's really a grand mosh pit. and it's unlike anything that we see in global health. it's all sorts of oddball partnerships, and it's really quite lovely, i think, and quite dynamic. and it's an ever-evolving base of knowledge and experience. every international aids conference is a sobering occasion. it forces us to pause and reflect. and this year was especially the
case, particularly when so many geopolitical forces were threatening to erode high-level political and financial commitments essential to sustain global efforts on hiv/aids into the future. we know what some of those are, we'll talk more about them. austerity -- while hiv infections have remained flat for five years, not declining, and rising in eastern europe, the former soviet union, funding has, as we've seen in the kaiser report, has had a significant decline. these are two key axes we cannot ignore in trying to judge progress looking ahead and wonder what the structural drivers are likely to look like. we know the refugee crisis is taking a heavy toll politically, financially. it has a huge geostrategic dimension mixed with stability and counterterror. we know there's a spread of populist nationalism, isolationism and chaotic political times. and that turbulence threatens the consensus, particularly in europe and north america, around hiv/aids. we here in the united states, of
course, face the prospect of a republican party in disarray and, frankly, we cannot afford, for purposes of hiv/aids and global leadership, we cannot afford a damaged or incoherent republican party. sdgs are creating a new reality and a more competitive, flattened playing field. one thing that we'll talk about is the pronounced absence of state leaders at durbin. 16 years after the 2000 durbin conference, after tens of billions of dollars invested in that region and in eastern africa, there was a stony absence of state leadership and only few ministers who showed up. i'm worried that hiv has diminished in significance. i worry that the world that's assembled in durbin, which is so dynamic and so lively and so committed, is a bit divorced from the broader world of geostrategic deliberation and decision power.
and that's a vulnerability. a billion dollars leaked out of the system quietly in the past year with insufficient alarm and no apparent strategy for reversing or staunching this trend. we can talk about that. ok, enough of that for now. let's get to our speakers. i'd like to invite our speakers to come up. the flow is going to be as follows. we're going to hear from chris, deborah, jen, then we're going to have a bit of a conversation across all of us, and then we're going to open the floor to you. when we get to you, put your hand up. we'll bundle speakers, we'll run microphones over to you. please identify yourself, be very succinct, one single intervention per speaker, and we'll bundle them together and we'll get to you quickly, i promise you. so if i could invite chris, jen , and deborah to come on up and join me. thank you all.
[applause] >> i don't know how many of you were with us at kaiser after melbourne two years ago when deborah, chris, jennifer and i were on the stage at kaiser talking about the outcome at melbourne. and chris led off and it was a tour de force, eight minutes, nine minutes, he didn't take a breath in that entire period and he illuminated every corner of the conference. so we've asked him to reenact and update. so, chris, the floor is yours. thank you. chris: well, thanks so much, steve. and good afternoon, everyone. wonderful to be here. i hope we can bring, for those who weren't with us in durbin, some of the spirit and the energy and the scientific excitement of this conference. it really was a very extraordinary experience. it was amazing to all share it together.
i just want to begin by reiterating steve's thanks to my co-chair, professor olive shisana. you can't really put on a show this big and this size without a trusted, solid partner in-country. and she also happens to be an outstanding scientist, a social scientist. and we are now foxhole friends, we've been in the trenches. i don't want to go through all the thanks, there are so many. i have to, of course, acknowledge the south african government and south african people for hosting us and being so splendidly welcoming. i'll get to other thank yous as i go through. but what i really want to do for you is go through the scientific highlights of aids 2016. and let me just say, it's often said, you know, that this is a global convening and it's more of a political event or a social event. there's a huge amount of science and it's really very critical. so a couple of things to say. the most competitive scientific
meeting we've ever had. a little under 4% of abstracts accepted for oral presentation, so that's extraordinarily competitive. first time ever that the majority of first-author abstracts were led by women. and of the 735-or-so presenters, the majority women. so really, a very important change. 37% or so of the accepted abstract lead authors were africans. that's also very important. 15,180 participants, not including the global village. if you add that in, about 18,000 people participated on-site from over 150 countries. and interestingly, in order of the countries, it was south africans first, the u.s. second, then zimbabwe, kenya and u.k. so an enormous african representation and that is because we tripled the scholarship size for this conference. we knew that we were going to offer an enormous number of scholarships to get africans able to participate. and we're pretty proud of that.
and we, of course, want to thank everybody who contributed scholarships. there were 16 pre-conferences, including the pepfar implementation meeting that debbie alluded to, tb 2016, enormously successful, hiv, viral hepatitis co-infection meeting, the msm global forum. and so really an enormous number of preconferences. if one real message emerged africa it has to be that it is too soon to declare victory. done yet global aids tuberccloses. enormous challenge to aids is a