Skip to main content

tv   Former White House Officials Discuss the Trump Presidency  CSPAN  April 22, 2017 8:00pm-9:04pm EDT

8:00 pm
vicious tactics. announcer: c-span programs are available at on our homepage and by searching the video library. tonight on c-span, a look at the first days of the trump presidency. then, foreign-policy experts discuss global challenges and what role the u.s. should have in world affairs. , educators,tists and environmentalists hold a rally on the national mall to highlight the importance of science and research. earlier this month, former white house staff from the next and, carter, and reagan administrations spoke about the first days of the trump administration and how it compares to previous administrations. this was part of a daylong forum at new york public library cohosted by the ethics center and the carnegie council for ethics and international affairs. it is in our -- it is an hour.
8:01 pm
>> good morning everybody. i would like to welcome you here to the forum at the new york public library for the first session in shades of red and blue, uniting a divided nation. my name is simon longstaff. i'm the executive director of the ethics center. on behalf of our partners in presenting this session, i would on behalf ofme you the carnegie council for ethics and international affairs, as well as the bard globalization and international affairs program, and a network of other australians like myself from around the world. think, thaticant, i we are meeting just after midday on the first of april. some people saw the choice of this date, and i thought it was a delicious irony. in fact, is a somewhat deliberate irony because in most
8:02 pm
countries around the world, people are aware of the fact that today is april fools' day. the significant of the fool is often underestimated in literature -- underestimated. in the future -- in literature, the role of the fool was to just truth to power, not to speak truth to the powerful, but to speak truth to power. power can reside in conventional ideas, ways of relating to each other which can close down conversations, in all sorts of ways which can be the enemy of open and tolerant, society's. when we meet today on this particular day, our opportunity to do what we may be doing for the first time, which is
8:03 pm
bringing people into the same room together to engage in conversation with passion and commitment, perhaps with disagreement, both principled disagreement, which is respectful. because in australia, and i think perhaps here, too, there are a lot of people who yell at each other from one side or another, but never really come constructively to engage with the issues of such profound importance that we face here and around the world. so i welcome you to this first session. .e've got a marvelous panel by john, whohaired is sitting in the center. please welcome him. [applause] please welcome them all. [applause] >> john, your presence here
8:04 pm
conjures up the specter or memory or muscle memory of the experiences four decades ago with watergate. as we sit here in the 10th week or the beginning of the 11th week of the trump presidency, scenesly one of your over the last 70 days has been this question of whether the trump presidency is an unprecedented event, or whether it evokes uncomfortably the period in which you were a ma j actor. or -- major actor. do you think we are in uncharted territory?
8:05 pm
>> we are not at watergate 2.0 yet. echoes of what happened in the past. i find tremendous differences in what happened in the past. i find the two presidents are very different personalities. was well schooled in the presidency before he arrived in it. , ahad been a vice president member of the senate, and a member of the house. , he had argued before the supreme court. he came into the job understanding it and on the run. his campaign transition was very quick. i find the trump administration about 180 degrees away from their. they seem surprised to win. they had a very weak transition period where they can get themselves prepared to take over.
8:06 pm
the take over for the first couple of months has been awkward at best. i find that difference. we have never had a president in my knowledge -- i am a student of the office, as well -- come in with the kind of baggage mr. trump is carrying that he arrived on the scene with unfolding scandals and a disposition that is very different than what we are used to in the presidency. >> the disposition question is where this idea that there is an analogy between donald trump and richard nixon, because of course nixon's public persona until we discovered what was on the tapes , what he said these secret recordings, and all the things you testified to in that we after theom haldeman presidency about his behavior and late-night ranting sessions and orders that were never carried out, and then we have donald trump, who is doing some
8:07 pm
of that in public. that is what is different. himselfnixon comported with a great deal of personal dignity at oval office speeches. he was always very cognizant of the grandeur of the office. >> i will give you a small and simple of how true that was in his respect to the office. i once went to a press conference in the east room. he had just hired a new pr man to change his image. one of the things that have been suggested is that he where a blue shirt because he was told it would be quite as a start a comparison. he told his pr man, presidents do not wear blue shirts. >> so this is a dispositional question. inbe what we see in trump his public behavior echoes with
8:08 pm
a lot of us uncomfortably, but that was nixon's private behavior, that he would never have shown the facebook to the public. not only hasiously no compunction, but seems to revel in doing it. >> he can't help himself. the public trump and the private trump are differentiated only by a slightly more elevated use of language in the public. yet on't mentioned pussy the presidential podium. this is unprecedented. was betterr a arthur prepared for the job than donald trump. he seems almost proud of his ignorance. we have a man of very bad character here who is prone to
8:09 pm
ignorance, who seems to know nothing about how the government works. the -- and test of so it is a test of the institutions we have because they are going to be subjected and are already subjected to tremendous strain by this. >> we were talking about this just before we got on stage. rick, you are talking about the institutions -- the separation of powers, the ability to enforce such things as the emoluments clause, the question of at what level the president is or is not subject to law as we understand it in some context. then we have the institutions, the separation of powers, how they'll interact. , what wase campaign
8:10 pm
revealed in the campaign over a year and a half and in trump's ability to get 63.5 million was that win 30 states many institutions of the united states have already failed or are already in a condition of failure. the institutions that would have made it such that a president caught on tape like that access hollywood tape would have somehow any previous time come together and forced him out of the campaign. i don't just mean the republican party or this or that -- >> not all prior presidents have bots working for them to take care of the negative impact in the story like that. had towhat they also keep them playing within the lines was the fact that, if you
8:11 pm
violated certain kinds of social youe's -- social mores, couldn't do it because the institutions that helped undergird civil society in the united states would have chewed you up and spit you out. and that did not happen with donald trump. >> while it was never tried before, really. because of his utter shamelessness, which meant the abouttions that came out the access hollywood tape, for example, he blustered his way right through that. i think the institution, the ,edia gets a lot of blame here is at is not really -- it failure of the business models of a traditional media. i think that is the problem that has led to a stove piping where
8:12 pm
people, if you get your news solely from fox news and talk radio, then you don't really know about most of these things. you have a whole different knowledge base then if you read pretty much any standard newspaper or news website. that, i thinkof we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that his win, his victory in the presidential election was a product of the electoral college. almost 3linton got million more votes. it can't be said that this is a choice that was made by the american people. >> there was something of a fluke about his election because of the way the forces happened
8:13 pm
to come together. hollywood tape got discounted because it was topped by a new scandal or something else breaking so quickly, and nobody could absorb it or even reacts to it at the time. >> i've heard somebody say -- i can't rumor who -- remember who -- that trump's genius in this people of poorce binary choice, and say, we are both awful. so the question is, who is least awful to you? and that sort of maybe what he is trying to do right now with the fight between him and the democrats and the media about russia and "the new york times." you don't like me, you shouldn't like them either.
8:14 pm
either it is a wash or pick your side, because everybody is a player. everybody is a partisan. everybody is a liar. i'm a liar, they are a liar, everybody is a liar. this binary choice thing -- >> crash the whole system down. >> -- but that was the secret to his success, saying the system stinks. ,bama was bad, bush was bad iraq was a disaster, obamacare is a disaster. everything that has happened before me is disgraceful, disgusting, and a failure, and everyone is a loser, and i am the only -- i am going to come in and win because look at all these losers before me. they would all have been so successful is the system had broken down. >> how long will that play out at the presidential level? >> what do you think? >> i guess everybody is wondering if he can last the full four years, and if not, how will his exit be brought about?
8:15 pm
i can't see it happening unless and until the republicans in congress decide that it is in their individual political life or death interest to get rid of president trump and replace him with vice president pence. >> there is the great difference between trump and nixon. n had a democratic house and senateixon -- nixon had a democratic house and senate. >> did the very different democratic party. the south was still highly democratic. all those southern democrats would today be members of the republican party, and he played on that. he made no effort whatsoever during the 1972 campaign to try and win congress because he was happy were congress was.
8:16 pm
the southern block was strong enough to help him join the republican party, often losing some of the progresses and the republican party, but to get as much of his legislative agenda enacted he relied on the same protection to prevent him from being impeached. >> it is interesting to think that 1970's two and now, not to -- 1972red this point, and now, not to beleaguered this , the, but watergate originating factor that made the investigation possible and that initiated the specific cover up that opened the pandora's box of everything else that was going 1972,u look at it in june in november, that one the
8:17 pm
second largest landslide in american history. >> everything but massachusetts and the district of columbia. >> i do think, why on earth would you be so paranoid as to think you needed to break into and listen to the democratic national committee? >> there was no white house direction for that act. >> so the whole world of politics then still breathe and lived in that paranoia, but it was all hit. the whole thing -- all hidden. the thing about trump is everything is on the surface. why doesn't he say, i don't like putin?i don't like wouldn't that be the thing to do, to cover your tracks? that is not his game. he covers no tracks. >> imagine if the shoe were on the other foot and it was hillary clinton, president hillary clinton who was being
8:18 pm
connected and identified as a russian intelligence asset. >> well, he is working on that. [laughter] >> this morning or last night, he said something about why are you investigating her -- why aren't you investigating her uranium sale? why don't you talk about that? foundation, he wants to investigate it. >> watergate was not that big a story until 1973. watergate runs approximately 900 days, from the june 17 break in to the last trial of haldeman and mitchell for the cover-up where they are convicted in january of 1975. theng the initial period,
8:19 pm
only newspaper covering it was "the washington post," and they didn't crack any of the story. what they did is make it an important story in the beltway. right now, the media is very confused about how to handle trump. what to emphasize, what to deemphasize. we really have two papers in competition this time, both "the new york times" and "washington post," and both are doing some of the best journalism that is happening. >> will be to the media's responsibility, trump is playing on real emotions, real feelings, and justified ones about how the issues and concerns of a great many people who associate with more conservative part of the ideological spectrum feel as though they are disrespected, falsely covered, dishonestly covered, impugned by the mainstream media. when he says, don't listen to
8:20 pm
them when they talk about me and russia, it's just the same old nonsense. the way that they have treated conservative issues all along, that has residents when perhaps it shouldn't. >> are conservatives really embracing his position on russia? >> no, they are not. but the question is, when he rallies his faithful -- we have polling data -- but when he says, don't listen to them, they are lying. don't trust them, they are lying, there is a lot of historical experience that conservatives have to back that argument up. he is using it completely opportunistically to say, don't pay attention to things you ought to pay attention to. it still resonates. >> he doesn't sound like any conservative i have ever known for a long time, and i know many of them. real drivingany
8:21 pm
ideology or core beliefs in the man. he has had positions on almost all sides of all issues at different times in his life. he slides around even as president on different issues. >> i don't disagree with that at all, but that doesn't mean that is not his base and who he is playing to as he attempts to distract and tell people not to pay attention to the things -- >> what can he deliver the space? and how long will they stay? >> we don't know. that is part of the test you are saying we're in the middle of area -- middle of. >> i think it goes a lot deeper than the media and recent current events. i blame the framers for this. [laughter] we have a system of government
8:22 pm
that was designed in 1789, and it was state-of-the-art political technology. machine have that same you know there has been a lot of experience on how democratic governments work and a lot of new electric technology and governmental technology. we still have the old one. how it has worked well for 225 years or whatever, but that overlooks 1860. the machine that was created could not solve the main problem of the united states. it was incapable. that had to be solved by him up to then, the bloodiest war in history. if you look at systems around the world based on our model, the presidential model with a congress and separation of
8:23 pm
powers, most of them end up military dictatorships at some point. >> nobody has adopted and electoral college. one of the thoughts i have is we are six states away from another constitutional convention, which is maybe even more terrifying than living with the constitution we have. >> the late philosopher sidney hook deliver the jefferson lecture when he won an award from the national endowment for humanity in the 1980's. he made this passionate pitch saying everyone's terror of a constitutional convention is a mark of this total lack of trust in our own system because it is built into the system that you can have one. i am scared about what people might want to play around with with the first amendment, for example.
8:24 pm
nonetheless, if you can pull it off, that is part of the system. >> they are close. >> obviously the state-of-the-art system has been altered over the course of 225 years through the amendment process. we now have direct election of senators. that started in 1913. we have the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, which -- >> you still have a machine which requires the president, congress, and a supreme court to all separately agree. it is shot through with so many veto points and places where organized interests can get their peace of the pie that it designs and coherent public institutions. obamacare is not what obama or me or probably you would like
8:25 pm
for our country. i would like something like france or canada has got, where it is understandable and you don't have to spend your life filling out forms and trying to decipher hospital bills. riggeds has to be jury so that it pleases enough interest to get through this enormously difficult process. , counts for atrn least some of the public citizens. people voted. people have been trying to get socialized medicine since the wilson administration. every president elected since truman on every democratic nixon, too. nixon's plan now would look like bernie sanders. >> nick, you came in with an administration that really wasn't a washington-based group. >> working for the carter
8:26 pm
administration as a speechwriter. i worked for the next and and rated administration. >> so you run the gamut here. >> but i'm curious, when you came in as a non-washington group, did you have the kind of organizational breakdown that we are seeing with this administration? i don't recall that as part of the carter startup. >> no. it sort of felt that way inside. basically, the machine was still working well. the white house staff was probably the most experienced ever until now. and we were damaged by our ignorance of the way this machine worked. >> what was the learning curve?
8:27 pm
how long did it take to begin to understand how the machine does work? >> about three-and-a-half years. [laughter] >> i should say that if you go back and read george stephanopoulos's memoir, which is a very good book, he was one of the people who was credited with having got bill clinton elected in 1992. became president, he was a minority president. 43%ot 43% of the present -- of the vote to win. the first three to six months of that administration were a disaster. >> they raised all the wrong issues at the wrong time. >> there was no issue discipline. they didn't know what they were doing. they know how to work the levers of government. they made stupid mistakes and had a chief of staff who had never worked in washington before and didn't know what to do. it was a very interesting
8:28 pm
portrait that remind you quite a lot of what is going on with the trump administration, except the difference is that it is not trump. it is not that clinton wanted chaos, it is that he wasn't sure how to present yet. brep breeze this chaos -- athes this chaos. --elieve there are number are now 520 can or mobile positions and offices throughout the cabinet for which there isn't even a nominee. >> apparently on some there is not even an intention to find somebody. >> you have an effort -- it is -- i don'toseful think it is purposeful, but the chaos is such that they can't -- even the most corrupt understanding of why you
8:29 pm
would want to be president, to put your friends in jobs, they can't even do that. it is a very odd thing. that is the easy part. there are jobs where there are people whose life ambition it is to be that assistant secretary, and use be a will to pick one. >> those people were all part of the republican establishment. the republican party, the people who were the kind of people you would draw this cabinet from, were all against trump. many of them were never trump. >> and he is holding it against them for being against him. >> but you still have to staff a government. havederstanding is they
8:30 pm
minders at lower levels they put out to >> it's like the soviets. you have the party chief. >> they don't need all these officers. the soviet in system, there was an overarching ideology that at least topically guided people in a policy direction. knowis case, what do you about the policy of the department of commerce? >> it will be all executive orders all the time. >> this is a question about the institutional strength in terms of governmental terms. the two executive orders on the travel ban, courts have prevented it. a showdown in which trump is asserting executive supremacy, which is not an irrational doctrine
8:31 pm
constitutionally. the national security act of 1952 gibson strong powers, strong executive powers over the immigration system. courts have no right to intervene, not using a constitutional or legislative framework to say what he is doing is wrong, so you would ignore them. approval dare take on the entirety of the federal judiciary? >> yes. >> he could, he has not. >> another peculiarity of our system is the existence of an essentially sovereign court. it was not designed to be this way. courtilure of the supreme was forced to do the job that other branches could not do.
8:32 pm
schools ingation of the united states of america, there was a problem that the congress and the president could not solve. this was a problem that was damaging to say the least to our side in the cold war. solved that problem by fiat. the court is a place where we actually have that -- >> eisenhower enforced it. we have these separate power structures and they are supposed separate but own equal power structure. though we look at trump and wayk he may test this is a it has never before been tested.
8:33 pm
obama, hes true with has not said i'm ignoring you. he is not ready. the big energy question -- >> before you leave executive orders, i caused to read a couple of them. they are very thin. they are more we are going to do or going to study. for example, i was interested in the one nixon tried which was executive reorganization. he failed because he needed congress and could not do it by executive action. a lot of time was spent to get around it. read trump's reorganization edit is really just a press release for a study of how we might do it. >> the travel and is the only thing that specifically directs his government to do a various civic policy act that involves people right now.
8:34 pm
courts stopped it. not been briefed on the system going on in this conference, we now are in a position where we can invite a couple people to come up on the stage and participate briefly, come in and ask questions and have a seat at the table and talk if anybody wants to. >> you don't get water. [laughter] if anyone wants to come up. i still think if you go back and look at how he got the nomination, by ignoring and destroying the republican establishment. all of these supposedly powerful institutions like the republican national committee and the governors and
8:35 pm
endorsements by other politicians, once they were tested by somebody who said i do not record highs your authority, they were incredibly weak. >> that is not new. nixon ignored the republican national committee, he ignored the republican party. he did not raise money for them. that was before he got elected. then in 72.and he did not think the republican national committee could do anything for him. that is why he had his committee to reelect ended it all himself. at the expense of the party. he sort of dictated to the party what he wanted and did not expect much out of them. so it is not really new what trump is doing. nominee byp came the
8:36 pm
the rest of the republican party splitting itself into so many bits and pieces that he could win these pluralities state to state and emerge at the end of the process as the last one even though he was the one that was explicitly disliked by the majority. wedge issues which drove them apart. >> in terms of the institutional thing, imagine the 1980's, or even gary hart as a counterexample. he dared the media to find out if he was monkeying around and then he was on the yacht, the monkey business with dr. rice. a giant scandal that seems postures today just because we have advanced so far beyond
8:37 pm
anything like that. had he really sort of gone into the 19 88 election like he was a serious candidate, just sort of imagine the combined force of even just the voice of the catholic church. we disapprove. archbishops saying adultery is a great sin. it would have an enormous impact in 1988. 15 million said they were catholics. now, if an archbishop or to say donald trump is an inappropriate person for president, even though they don't put it that way, would that have made a difference? are there institutions that can play that kind of role? i think that's what he exposed
8:38 pm
longere institutions no have the moral hold over our politics. but -- an idiot, >> i am sure not. [indiscernible] >> just a swirl of thoughts. i am not particularly astute. >> just like the trump white house. [laughter] >> certainly what i'm looking for the overlap of the event diagram and where can i identify as a human, certainly i see that. who extrapolates
8:39 pm
the breakdown of our social what we lose even from learning about each other with cell phones and subtle or overt cues. i become irrationally disturbed by people not abiding by the proper system. i do extrapolate that to a lack of concern and awareness beyond a very limited view. there is just not a lot of really caring about this stuff. and the trickle-down, as important and significant as these institutions -- what won't kill us will make us stronger. >> you are talking about the sort of tribe life nation --
8:40 pm
tribalization? >> may be a bit of a tribal thing read and the percentage of nonvoters. in the 1980's when i was a kid, one of the things that's distinguished the right from the left is the way that culture was ill. people on the right like me, i used to say we were bilingual. liberals are monolingual. i knew my own side, the issues of the right. i had read conservative texts and understood conservative policy prescriptions. i also knew rick's side. i knew where the left came down on thing. i understood the vocabulary the left used.
8:41 pm
we had a real advantage in some odd ways because we were all whereas the left was often very provincial. thetotally astonished by rise and success of ronald reagan. now because of the rise of these stovepipes, it is entirely possible to be a conservative who is largely ignorant of the things that liberals are can turned about just as throughout most of my life it has been easy for liberals to ignore what it is that the people they don't agree with and don't live around think. that is a big change. it's meant in terms of the ideological struggle between the sides, that there was an advantage the right had that it no longer has. now it is just a war of brute force. >> would you describe stove piping for those who are not familiar? >> just living in your own
8:42 pm
mental world of people who agree with you. through the media you consume and the people you talk to. you have an advantage. you speak really good liberal. you and i are from the same gene pool politically. commentaries.on think that that is being lost. i think you guys were kind of like an elite commando core for the right. and could go out there sneak behind enemy lines and take people off. i think we are reaching a point now where most conservatives can't speak liberal anymore. and it is true, most liberals can't speak conservative. there was a time when they could.
8:43 pm
lbj could speak conservative. all those southern democrats knew how to do it. now, we have separated ourselves into these two blocks that don't touch each other and we are just looking at each other across no man's land. >> i am multilingual. recently holding the goldwater chair of american institution. i'm not sure he would be considered a conservative anymore. our guest makes an important point. a lot of people are confused and uncertain. i think particularly those of us who make a lot of commentary tends to talk down to trump supporters, which i think is a very serious mistake and very troublesome to me. these people have deep leafs in this man and that he will accomplish everything he has promised.
8:44 pm
it is hard for them to be told he just does not understand the not likely toe is deliver as much as he has promised. >> i just think that the world of the really hard level trump supporters is much less policy driven than it is driven by a sense that the country has gotten away from them, that it is no longer their country. that it has either been stolen -- largely, trump says it has been stolen by those who benefited from nafta, trade deals, by wars. >> the most minor suggestions for nafta. >> that is the point. it is all kind of an expression of this terrible thing that has happened. i don't have the expectations that i used to have. somebody has to do something. so he says he will do something.
8:45 pm
i doubt he is going to do anything. --voting becomes just that an expression of emotion, rather than which set of policies do you endorse? have leftause people state and government to carry out the policies. where'd you get your information? two stellare journalistic sources you mentioned earlier. wnyc, got the new yorker. i also worked in the world. fool.professional one of the things i do is i work in hospitals as a clown. [applause]
8:46 pm
some of my friends who could not come today are in costume. >> it has been a tough year for clowns. >> i just wanted to basically challenge a meme that i think has emerged during the campaign and subsequent discussion, including this table. i feel this basically gets in the way, hinders our discussion about what is going gone. that trump and the frustrations of people who have been lied to by the institutions. fact, the is that in institutions have been lying does much as suggested by this
8:47 pm
mean. a lot of the real frustration out there comes armed forces beyond the control of our government, of any particular institutions. robotics, things like that could take away jobs. the problem is the people are told -- are not told enough about those. because of fox news in large part, and other media outlets on the right, they are told there is a problem of dysfunction of government. that is to me not an honest appraisal. governments against amongst certain groups. if you ask them today, medicare -- yes. do you like social security? yes.
8:48 pm
how many know that medicare is far more efficient than private health insurance companies? the overhead of private insurance, they spend so much money denying claims, it is something like 27% or 30%. you ontally agree with the point that there has been an effort to say that things that are gigantic civilizational historical forces like globalization are the result of ad policies, that if you had just an x, y and z, then you would have factories in the small towns in ohio. the united states as a result of the auto the of world war ii ended up with 60% of the world's industrial production for 20 years and jobs that were working-class jobs suddenly
8:49 pm
became middle-class jobs because will -- because we were supplying the world's entire industrial needs. to have europe rebuilt and japan rebuilt and over the course of time, china and india came online as industrial players. the role of the united states was going to shrink inevitably. and of course the things you're not supposed to say anymore, not only is that a fantastic ring, there has been an alleviation of worldwide poverty. one billion people have been lifted out of subsistence living into maybe not what we would consider a middle-class life, but at least a life where you where it isly -- or possible your children might die of starvation. this is an unalloyed fantastic thing. >> sounds like a liberal. >> not at all.
8:50 pm
i think this is the result of market forces. however, what i would say is -- what peoplet like tom friedman, who took the fact of globalization and started saying this is great. the world is flat, everything is going to be wonderful. a lot of conservative thinkers -- not politicians -- but there were people from the 80's and 90's onward who talked about how community was framed, communitarian life was framed in the united states. the things that bound us to each other and that cap civilization going were dying because of all sorts of things that should have been going on and that was not just the way the government is broken. it is the idea that government was starting to take on a role that was harmful because it was
8:51 pm
playing too much, it was taking on the role of parents and churches that are best done there. i would also caution you to say that it is not just that fox news said government was broken. barack obama said government was broken. you can blame republicans for everything and fox news, which only has 3 million viewers. false.ot fox news is that is also a large historical impersonal force of things going on that i think is about the fraying of the institutions. >> and often when you look closely at the analysis of public reaction to institutions. has congress, which notoriously single-digit approval. when you ask the same people how they feel about their own individual members of calm chris
8:52 pm
bishop congress, they like them by and large. even if they voted against them. you have a lot of conflicting views of the way the process works. find striking ignorance about the way the government really works when you talk to people in detail about how things happen in washington. >> i just want to respond to what you said about fox. the reality in my opinion is daily viewers does not sound like a lot, but it has influence well beyond that, just like the new york times, it is about one million officially -- >> not failing anymore, either. .o it reverberates
8:53 pm
so does the liberal outlet. fox -- and myhink when quarrel with them is that it is not just skepticism of government. it is giving a platform to uninformed players about government, about obama personally with he is not born in the u.s. it was a platform for people to say things like that and that is not helpful for dialogue. another thing is fundamentalist religious thinking, which to me is kind of a manifest issue. trump in that interview where he said look at us, we're not so great. that is actually something that maher saidhen bill
8:54 pm
that, all the people now, or many of those who are trump was their, that anti-position. now it is the probe position. of the worduse conservative is erroneous. it is reactionary. nixon brought in the epa. >> he did. and china. that is the bizarre conversion of so much of what is going on into a cult of personality, in which somehow that which is said by someone you decided you like is used, whereas anything that is said by somebody that you don't like, anything negative that is said, you accept immediately.
8:55 pm
but that is human nature. >> i think the infection from that is significant. where thengelicals group in this country that approached this last election with -- the most hardheaded lee. 81% of them went for trump, even though he is the very definition -- >> it is very interesting that roe v. wade came down during the nixon presidency. reaction inmost no the nixon white house to that decision. that reacted was pat buchanan, who was a good catholic. he saw from that view, not necessarily from his right view. givesy it spreads out and birth to the religious right and gives birth to the no compromise. these were now religious issues and they could not he compromised. ifs is the work of the devil
8:56 pm
you are on the wrong side. it grows from there. , why didms of that they look at trump and say him and not her? >> the supreme court. then there is also the fact that during the obama president see, there was in the administrative state that steve bannon hates so much, there were regulations written to compel people of traditionalist religious belief to conform with modern morality in a way like hobby lobby. said theyhere people are going to tell me that i have to believe what they believe and i do not want to do that.
8:57 pm
just like roe v. wade created a subculture that mainstream people did not owe existed. they did not know it happened. it did not cross ideological lines. many evangelicals were kratz, like jimmy carter and his sister, who was an evangelical preacher. joinedcans and democrats in this and not everybody on their side who did not see it coming. trumps ability to combine anti-trade with the sense that the country is being taken away and all sorts of racist dog whistling, it knocked people for a loop. it was a fantastic field of interesting candidates. ins very hard right guy texas, the governor of
8:58 pm
wisconsin, the governor of ohio, the governor of new jersey. these guys all one remarkable electoral victories. what a fantastic field to start. then the sky comes down the escalator and knocks them all over. out things are bubbling in the country. country is like what you guys talking about? we have not gotten a raise? >> it was better theater than the others. the message that everything stinks was a lot better. and we were going to percent growth, things aren't so bad. my cousinpeople say
8:59 pm
just died of an overdose, things are so good. trump gave us this incredibly dark convention speech. obama,n with hillary and it was unlike america is great. >> she did win the popular vote. -- he whole thing >> closest in recent history. theyouse and the senate, are the product of more people actually voting for democratic candidates than republican candidates. election, in a 50-50 republicans have an 11 c majority. i hate to keep coming back to the structural stuff, but if we just imagine what the public conversation would be if hillary had eked out an electoral vote win. was planning on
9:00 pm
that and making it held for her. be -- youicans would -- it turns out that you can't win the presidency with a racist sexual predator. in fact i think -- was planning before the election happen, on the next four years being a garbage show of dissension in the republican party splitting anyways. given who he continues to be and would have preferred that. he could have run his life like a business without the accountability of the institutions that were examining . >> it is clear he did not want the job. read kissinger's white house years, january 20, they
9:01 pm
get into the white house. there is a war between china and the soviet union. they hit the ground running. this was all nixing cared about was foreign policy. and line to his domestic -- his line just a mastic policy team was don't get me in trouble. >> he had a sense that he could manage, be the peacemaker. >> he did not life campaigning. he wanted to be president. it's the opposite of trump. i one.orite subject is >> here comes the hook. [applause] >> that was absolutely fantastic. unfortunately it has to stop.
9:02 pm
it could go on and on. we're going to break down for half an hour. the next session is about the problem of strangers. do we look after our own here first or are their obligations to people farther away? we will unpack that with a diverse panel. before we do, i should mention there are books for sale. they're prepared to sign some if people buy them. up for halfnd this an hour -- and please stay if you like -- would you please join with me in thanking our wonderful panel. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] are guest is as, kentucky congressman, the top
9:03 pm
democrat on the house legit committee. he talked about efforts to fund the federal government the on next friday when current spending expires, and other budget debates that could follow for the next school year. watch the interview tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. here on c-span. this week on q and a, a historian on his book the american spirit, who we are and what we stand for. a selection of speech is going back to 1989. >> the 20th century senator written about the most is joe mccarthy. there is no book written about the senator who had the backbone to stand up to him first -- margaret chase smith. hard as i have ever worked on anything i have ever delivered from a podium. >> historian david mcculloch on his


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on