tv Washington Journal Katrina vanden Heuvel Discusses Progressive Priorities CSPAN January 25, 2017 11:11pm-11:46pm EST
raise in their paycheck. host: i want to ask you your thoughts on the congressman up to be donald trump's budget director. his outlook on fiscal policy and budgeting in the future? guest: i am just glad i do not have his job. he is dealing with enormous budget deficits. he will have to try to convince people in the chump cabinet and people in congress, we have got to cut the budget and make sure ae expenditures -- it is difficult thing to do. everyone in washington loves to play santa claus. no one likes the person is trying to restrain them. he is a very good man and he knows the budget. he has been in congress three or four terms. he has been an expert in fiscal policy. cannot --said, we somehow that will make america rich. >>
>> "washington journal" continues. katrina vanden heuvel joins us. what is the state of progressivism in the donald trump? time.s a tough there is much honesty and the politics right now. i do think that we saw in the campaign, first of all, the nation endorsed bernie sanders. and then hillary clinton and the general election. the bernie sanders reveal is a country that has a hunger for what i would call progressive majority positions on a range of issues, such as higher education, medicare for all, and the democratic platform that emerged from the campaign.
hillary clinton won the popular vote by close to 3 million votes and i think we have a largely progressive centerleft country which, for a variety of reasons that we can talk about, has been , hasn't been realized and i think it's going to take a lot of work, a lot of structural work and ideas work, work as a years old,100 and 51 the oldest weekly and american history. work that we are dedicated to. i think we are in a place -- maybe one calls it the ,ilderness or the rethinking the rebuilding, the organizing, people are committed. you saw it in the women's march this past saturday. the largest political march in u.s. history.
people may call me on that, but i think if you put together the numbers, it is that. and if that protest, those people marching, if that can be channeled into organizing and rebuilding, i think we are in a better place and we do need to move from politics into electoral politics. i was encouraged the thousand women were being trained and recruited to run around the country. whether it is school boards, municipal wards, city councils. i think that politicization in the best sense, the waking up of millions of people, especially young people, is perhaps a silver lining, is one, if there is one in the trump era. host: donald trump's message has been described as populist. what do you think the differences between being a populist and the progressive? this pastid cnn
sunday and that was a focus of conversation. the term populism has a long history in our country. there was a populist at the end of the 19th century. progressives, rooted in community. george wallace. right-wing populism, to put it crudely. reactionary populism. and there is a progressive, left democratic populism. you see donald trump is a repository. bernie sanders is a progressive populist who is not -- he doesn't turn to division and scapegoating. it's about inclusivity. about taking on the corporations on behalf of the underdog. blue states, red states, or purple states. i think that there is a progressive populism. we are seeing an ascendancy of -- ascendancy of reactionary populism with donald trump, and around the world, europe, as elections loom large, in france,
the netherlands, or even germany . how do we rebuild progressive populism? i write a weekly column for "the washington post," and it was the progressive response to trumpism and i do think that progressives ofe to respond to the anger alling people around -- people, working people, against an establishment that has not listened to working people for close to 40 years. we have seen an epic fail of the elites in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, 2009. without speaking to a more progressive trade agenda, to what the nature and dignity of work will be, without speaking to patriotism and nationalism, which should not be seated to a right wing, these are issues we
must grapple with and that is the work of progressives, in addition to much else. bernie sanders, seward brown, if the senate had gone democratic which was one of the heartbreaking didn't go moments of the election night, you would have had a progressive populist caucus. senator warren, elizabeth warren, jeff berkley. others who i think could have rebuilt the idea of populism as a progressive, galvanizing democratic force in american politics. and they will, but the obstacles are much larger. host: if you want to join the conversation, the phone lines are open. host: as callers are calling in, what would be your advice for progressives calling in to rebuild, resist in the trump era? so, i wrote a column with
sort of a blueprint. i say with humility there's no single answer. i think we need a diversity of tactics and ideas. but i do think that the states, the cities, the communities will be a place not only of resistance and opposition, but legislation, moving, humane reforms improving the conditions of people's lives, which is always for me the bottom line of what matters in politics. you see city states as bulwarks against a trump administration rollback of the civilizing reforms of our time, whether it's immigration, health care, climate. you see it already in new york city, with mayor deblasio. schneider has laid out how cities can resist, legally. jerry brown's state of the state yesterday was a defiant response , i would trump hoss
argue, cruel agenda on policy. that becomes important. it's important to draw a national lesson from what happens on the ground. not just from the elected, but in the streets. the movement. connecting that movement energy to the inside energy of the elected. build ayou want to pipeline of people who will run for office at the local and state level. eric schneiderman has a good line. it is the case that under president obama we have seen a ofrible hemorrhaging democratic, progressive power at the city and state levels. 69 of 99 state legislatures are now controlled by republicans. in 2018i think you have some 36 gubernatorial seats open. the fight for 2018 is important because it leads to 2020 and redistricting.
we really need to focus hard on rebuilding in that area and ,inding that pipeline of young not so young, progressives, candidates, especially people of color, women. the democratic national committee fight which is underway, the new chair will be elected in february, that's important. all of them, the nation will , these keith ellison congressman from minnesota. consultancy is a first round that is critical to revitalizing the democratic party. everyone of those people running for dnc chair still remembers howard dean and what he reminded us of. we need a 50 state strategy. we cannot give up on parts of this country. we have to fight where we can. cities, states, going like all
caps -- local, driving what happens in those communities, connecting the energy to those in washington, but let's be honest, we won't be seeing a lot of action around d.c. we will around the country. i think that will be positive. woodstock, virginia, democratic line, mike, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you for c-span. i agree with the comments from a moment ago about state and local. let's face it, mr. trump won the election on the electoral college and i think that democrats, and those who are interested in the people being successful, versus other levels -- for instance, here in the commonwealth of virginia we know that gerrymandering is as old as politics in america. focus,ess the democrats
as was just being said, on a ,tate legislature in particular where for instance here in the commonwealth the latest redistricting, governor mcauliffe took to the court, it was called unconstitutional. there is the biggest place, i think. i don't think we will be able to change the constitution on the electoral college. i would like to see that. again, the encouragement of old,er people, 62 years younger people to get involved , liberalogram conservative, once again, aren't we all in this together? , health care,oln republicans, teddy roosevelt, republicans, even richard nixon,
they all realized that if we , they healthy population are then able to contribute to and are able to contribute to their communities. again, state legislatures and focusing on those issues of both the electoral college and getting more people involved and not feeling like it doesn't make any difference. thanks for the call. our civil rights correspondent is someone that your listeners may know. reverend barber of north carolina, leading monday's movement in the state. when didto say -- workers rights, voting rights, health rights become a left or right issue? there is a right and a wrong. and i agree with that.
--hink sometimes her late labels are useful in different ways that we should be in this for a healthy, sustainable, fair and just america. , july ofn was founded 1865, at the end of that bloody, brutal civil war, founded by abolitionists ending slavery, committed to an equal, just, and fair america. so, i agree. on the electoral college there is something called the national popular vote. your listeners can check it out. it would not a mean amending the constitution. it's an interstate compact that could mean to the abolition of the electoral college. towas founded, really, reduce participation, keep voices out. there was obviously the connection to a structural racist history. i think our political system in many ways is a mess. the travesty. when donald trump talked the other day about not winning the
popular vote because of, as he called it, illegals voting illegally, what a decent president should be doing is trying to restore the integrity of our voting system. this was the first election in which i believe 15 states had new voting restrictions to suppress the vote, not to enhance the vote. not to enhance participation. at the end of the day i think a small d democrat should want to deepen democracy in this country and it shouldn't be about left and right, but ask yourself why is it republicans have committed themselves to voter suppression as a political agenda. that will reduce, not enhance. there are certain states around this country that are doing a great job. i'm singing of oregon, with our extraordinary voting rights correspondent covering it a few months ago, they are working overtime to increase participation. we should want more people participating and more people --
there is a saying -- organized people versus organized money. we want more people, not more money in the political system. let's get to that work, not confusing this with that and tampering with our voting system. from these tweets earlier president trump, tweeting out this morning that he will be looking into voter fraud, including those registered to vote in two states that are illegal and those who are dead, many for a long time. depending on the results come he said, they will strengthen up the voting procedures. go ahead. guest: i was just going to say, one thing that i felt -- this is day five, i think, of the trumpet ministration? i had to tweet the other day to take a deep breath, we will need strength. it is for the brain and the soul. that said, the hyper coverage of donald trump's tweeting, what do
we do about it, we can't ignore him? win the morning, right? define the news coverage of the day? we need to do the reporting that needs to be done. not just follow up his tweets and make that what cable news is through the day. it is the case that his campaign manager, his filings in states like michigan, they noted from the trump campaign that there was no tampering and there was no problem with the vote. that was certified at the time. i don't know, this is a longtime republican obsession. and now a trump obsession. the suppression of voting rights. i don't want to spend the rest of the 45 minutes talking about how many qualified lawyers in groups have explained that voter fraud is essentially sort of a fantasy going on and, again, i come back, let him restore
voting integrity. let the attorney general and the justice department move hard on that. i don't see it in the cards. i think it will take independent action in the work of groups that have labored hard in the field for many years. carla, republican line, good morning. caller: good morning, how are you? host: go ahead. caller: i want to make a statement that yes, i did vote trump, but i prayed long and hard on that decision, too. what i see in our country that i'm really worried about? i'm a 61-year-old disabled widow . my husband died four years ago. i do depend in my social security, but i tried to go back two years ago and my body wouldn't let me. i'm kind of concerned about, you know, believe me, i live on a budget, but i'm also worried about our country.
i see the fight between the democrats and the republicans, the independence and the progressives, all of these , but aren't we americans first? and before that, aren't we all of god's children question mark doesn't god love all of us? , the we find some way people running the country, can't they quit arguing like children? want to say, first of all, i feel for your condition, but what i said earlier is how i feel about politics. -- does itline is improve the lives of people? you are facing a difficult situation. i agree with you that the bickering often seems petty in contrast to the great needs of this country. but it's not about republican and democratic. i wish that c-span had a channel called trans-partisan.
issue thatwith every democrats layout for every issue that progressive layout. there are differences. but taking your situation as i expansion ofam, social security can be done and would be of great value to you. i think it's on the trump agenda too -- it will be interesting to see because during the campaign he said he didn't want to cut social security and medicare. but in congress, paul ryan has had their eyes on the prize, which is either privatizing, block granting, or cutting those earned benefits. benefits of working people like you. look at the issues, don't look at the labels. if you look at the issues i will submit to you that those who have put out the plan to expand social security are more in your corner and fighting for you. pennsylvania, charlie is waiting in east strongsville. independent, good morning. caller: i have a couple of
statements to make. isconcern in the country that the reason why we cannot is ahead in this country because of all the greed that is out there. runs the country just wants to get rich, rich, rich. with trump dropping the corporate tax from 45% to 15%, that makes people like walmart and all these great corporations , it makes their profits double almost automatically and immediately double. does the money trickle down to the employees? no. you got mcdonald's, making great, great profits. the employees are being paid $7.50 per hour. they talked about how regulations will make more jobs and more money. if you remember in california, when there was an electrical problem? i think you're right.
i think the idea of the linkage between deregulation and the creation of more jobs and growth is fantastical, meaning that it's very hard to prove. i think you are absolutely right . greed is a human emotion. there needs to be a check on greed. we have lost the check in the last decade. we lost it because the so -- social contract between corporations, communities, people, workers, has been shredded. not to use too big a word, but ourfinancial is asian of economy, where wall street is involved in speculation? paper products. it is not creating. and then you have this a norm is gap that has emerged between ceo pay and worker pay. what's interesting is that, for example, in portland, talking about city state reform, a bill was passed that if a publicly traded company, if the gap
between ceo pay and worker pay , the company had to pay a surtax. it used to be just three decades ago i think the gap was 36 to one. there is also the fact that we have a fetish in this country and it's not a fetish recording in these false dossiers about donald trump. the fetish is that the true purpose of the corporation is to maximize shareholder value. well, no. it should also play a role in worker's rights, in community. it shouldn't upend unpatriotic corporations, leaving communities ravaged. donald trump may have given a dystopian speech, but american carnage is what a lot of corporations have left in their wake as they trample on workers in their rush to move the -- move to countries where they can get a much better deal.
to beying there needs some check. the needs to be a regulation. it's being rolled back faster than we can talk about them in washington right now. to control what are essential, primal human emotions that have run amok in this country to the detriment of working people. to the detriment of fairness. basic fairness. shared prosperity fairness. host: about 10 minutes left with therina vanden heuvel, of " nation" magazine. shelley, go ahead. caller: hello. i'm a fan. guest: thank you. caller: i have a few comments. i believe that the democrats in congress, if they would follow , they sanders example would get many, many more people on their side. excitedieve that he
people and, much more, the millennials. i voted for him in the primary. but i did switch to hillary because i don't trust donald trump. and i think the democrats should leave trump alone. i think you will have enough rope to hang himself. also, the republicans in congress, the ones that follow him, they will all have enough rope to hang themselves. guest: peers what i think. first of all, i hope your listeners go out and learn about the progressive caucus. something that bernie sanders cofounded 25 years ago. about 80 members in the house of people who really share his vision on the issues. keith ellison, who i mentioned, is cochair of the progressive caucus and i hope you will be
chair of the dnc. he gets it. he was one of the few that i think what bernie sanders said to inspire young people is extraordinary. that we need to do is make sure those people do not tune out, drop out, that they remain engaged. i think they women's march was exhilarating, to see the engagement. i agree with you that -- and "the nation" has covered sanders for more than 20 years. bernie sanders took a risk. i remember talking to him. he said, if i run, if no one pays attention and it does not catch on, won't i have discredited the prevent -- regressive vision? it certainly caught on. 22 states, millions of voters. it is important that the others who follow and take a measure of his issues -- again, he revealed that this country wants to hear those ideas, wants to fight for those ideas. that is, to me, what was so exciting.
even with what i call media malpractice -- the media gatekeepers did not give him fair time, especially early on. his issues still caught on. i think that says a lot about the resiliency and possibilities of democracy in this country. city, arizona, a republican. good morning. caller: good morning, john. how are you? host: doing well. heuvel ms. vanden -- professes progressivism. bernie sanders ran as a democrat . he was a socialist. how many slaves was harmed with brian land several years ago? a book had just written called "the forgotten man," which i read. and she defined in that book that the progressives were registered members of the communist party from 1900 until about 1948 or so. in 1948 -- guest: there is enough
redbaiting in this country. we do not need redbaiting. what we need is how to rebuild a healthy, democratic america. bernie sanders, democrat socialist, independent from vermont. essentially, he is an old style new dealer. if you want to call franklin roosevelt a communist, he was a .ocialist in those days do so at your detriment. because boy are there a lot of people in this country who share bernie sanders' ideas. you want to smear his ideas as communist? you are on the losing side. there is a generation, by the way, which grew up in a very different country. barack obama was the president they know. everyone needs to learn history, but essentially, bernie sanders, new dealer. old-style new dealer. and if the democratic party was in europe, progressives would be social democrats. even on the right side of social democracy.
can we do something better? there is enough about putin and russia that is ridiculous at the moment in our discussion. way, that it the is not pro-trump. it is not appropriate in. it is simply sober realism to seek a working relationship with russia in order to deal with nuclear escalation, which is deepening and dangerous, to try to resolve the syrian crisis, the refugee crisis destabilizing europe, to try to deal with combating terrorism. a whole slew of things. but at the moment, there is a new kind of baiting in this country, and we do not need yours. i am sorry. host: do you have a quick question? caller: she will not admit she is a socialist communist. gosh, john. guest: give me a break. i mean, come on. what? this is so ridiculous. ."am an editor of "the nation
i am a progressive. i am a liberal. i am a democrat. i am sorry. early in it is early, the morning. maybe not for you. i guess people who rave about communists under their bed get up real early and have a lot of energy. an independent from montana. bob, go ahead. guest: good save. , i am a big fan of yours. i agree with everything you just said. i was for bernie sanders. the corporate media destroyed his campaign. what is so sad is, both parties, from 1958, for the last 40 years, have let down the working man. policies, the removal of glass-steagall during
his time -- i held a hope sign here in great falls when obama was here. a -- i would call a liberal elite. his policies the last eight years have not helped the working man. i agree with you. bernie sanders, everything he said, was what fdr was about. my mom grew up during that time. he was god. he helped the working class. there has not been done in this country, since fdr -- if you look at this country, the work that was done during the works programs that fdr got going -- guest: it is true. when we look at the desperate need for an infrastructure program in this country -- and i think donald trump's is going to
be about privatization, not rebuilding in a positive way -- we are living, in many ways, you are right, on the remnants of new deal policies, buildings, and bridges that were built at that time. i will say that i think with the democratic party, what it needs to do at this time is be very clear on whose side is on, cause it is the case that bill clinton -- it was also republican policy. bill clinton repealed glass-steagall act. "the nation" warned in an editorial that it would lead in some ways to the financial crisis that we saw the average working people. that so much of this is something else bernie sanders has talked about, if i might intercede -- the tethering of democratic party funding to wall street, to big money, to corporations -- we need to find new ways to fund campaigns. this is going to be a long, arduous struggle. we have a set of terrific decisions which empowered
corporations and big money. what bernie sanders showed with a seven dollar in her net fundraising is there is a different model. but it is important to on tether, because it does define the issues given preeminence and prominence. inside theood people democratic party, but it is divided. and the fight for the party is on. the soul, the direction. and i hope you will play a role, because it does need to show its hand to the working people across this party -- this country if it is going to retain its history and its possibility. host: you mentioned the supreme court. what should democrats in particular -- what can and should they do when it comes to donald trump's nomination, expected to be announced next thursday? they need to play hardball. it is just disgraceful what the republicans did to president obama's choice. i think there needs to be a strong opposition.
of course, a strong opposition. and i would ask your listeners, your viewers, to read our next issue for an editorial as to how we see strategy for the democrats. but yes, trump says he is going to lay out three or four ideas. but i think it is worth understanding the disgraceful afort to delegitimize president, president obama in this case, in the way the republicans handled his selection for the supreme court. ,ost: katrina vanden heuvel editor and publisher of "the nation" magazi