tv Washington Journal Jack Moline Discusses Todays Political Climate CSPAN July 2, 2017 8:00am-8:31am EDT
i really think the senate approach in the house of not simply revealing, but start to put in place the elements to make healthcare affordable. that's what the president set out to do. that should continue to be our oal. >> this also plays in the way congress goes about it, using the reconciliation process. you would agree you couldn't go back and do a republican-only bill to replace once you've repealed using that? >> i agree. democrats no doubt would obstruct any fair opportunity to replace the affordable care act in the future. the very best opportunity is good, thoughtful tranceful to affordable care is right now in reconciliation. host: the chair of the house ways and means committee. kevin brady of texas, republican congressman, our guest on c-span's "news makers."
listen on c-span radio, and check out our free c-span radio app. our programming streamed on the web at c-span.org. welcome back the president of the interfaith alliance, as we talk about civility in american politics. it's something many americans are not talking about. let's talk about your organization. what is it? what's your mission? guest: thanks, steve. our organization is about 20 years old. our tag line is protecting faith and freedom. we approach the first amendment from a faith-base and had constitutional perspective in the hopes of protecting the rights of all americans to freedom of conscience and protecting the government and the people from interfering with each other on matters of religion. we were formed about 20 years ago in response to the rise of radical right in the religious community who tried to impose their agenda, continue to do that in our country. host: is the first amendment under assault? guest: it's always under assault.
people love the protections of the first amendment, but sometimes, in exercises those protections, they try to deny them to others. our task is to make sure that doesn't happen. host: this is one survey, and there have been lot, "usa today," quinnipiac. this is from cbs news, the president's approval rating is at 46%, 36% disapprove. the congressional approval rating, 29% disapprove behalf congress is doing. my question is, the tone of this story from cbs is that americans debate becoming increasingly uncivil. why? guest: i think civil sit something modeled by people in public life. people have always had nasty arguments with each other, but generally we have seen a protection of civility by people who practice public discourse on issues. that simply is not happening
these days. worry seeing politicians in an attempt to get elected are reaching for the controversial rather than the enlightening. host: is the tone and civility of u.s. political debate getting better? 68% say it's getting worse. 24% say it's about the same. is that the fault of the president or the media? is it congress? where do you lay the blame? guest: i try tonight lay the blame on anybody. instead, i try toen courage personal responsibility. civility is something that happens because an individual makes a choice. it is not something that is legislated, and it's certainly not something that is going to be either corrected or corrupted because we make a pronouncement about whether you start it or you're rubber, i'm glue, whatever that happens to be. i think it needs to be modeled at the top, and i think that the president of the united
and social oral issues needs to model that for the american people. host: is the tone of the current political debate encouraging violence? overall, americans say 73% yes, 68% among republicans, 85% among dems, 68% among independents. here would you put yourself? guest: i would caution people looking for root cause of violence in the rhetoric of others. once again, the actions that people take are a matter of personal choice. they're not governed by the sometimes intemperate rhetoric of other people. host: let me get your reaction from weekly standard, check it out online at weeklystandard.com, "by the time donald trump proclaimed i am officially running for president of the united states, voters were already consuming the country's omnipresent politics and the accompanying
outrage" -- guest: i think that's a pretty wise statement. i don't ascribe the power of creation to the president of the united states. a scribe the power of modeling. we've had lots of people in our country, in the leadership, people who have simply stepped into the void of leadership in the past who have modeled conversations, modeled interaction for our country. the president is first among them. i would agree, we can't blame him for what we have, but we can certainly hold him responsible for fanning the flames. host: did we have more civility after the japanese attacked herl harbor and after 9/11?
how did we get away from that? does it take a crisis to create civility? guest: we have more civility at each other after the japanese bombed pearl harbor, but not toward the japanese. rhetoric looks for a victim in politics. when that victim is someone who is acted against the country against society, that's where the bile is corrected. unfortunately what we have now is the casting of political opponents as demons or as evil human beings, and that's why incivility in this country is rampant, because we're not listening to each other. we're calling each other names. host: you offered a blessing to barack obama and joe biden as they were sworn into their second term, january of 2013. guest: i did. host: what did you tell them? guest: that i hoped that when they went to sleep each night, they were exhausted from the good work that they were doing to improve the world. i wished them the rest and
dreams to get up the next morning ready to do the good work of creating a better world. host: what would your blessing be for donald trump? guest: great question. that he would have the wisdom to tend to the business of the nation. host: phone calls, our guest is jack moline, head of the interfaith alliance. is being, is independent line, good morning. welcome to the conversation. caller: hey, steve, good morning. host: good morning. caller: jack, how you doing? man, this subject is so appropriate, and it is well-timed. steve, thanks for bringing it up today. i just to want make points about what goes on among politicians. i know a couple of politicians. they're like lawyers. when i was young, i'm 69 years old, i'll be 70 in august. we have three tv stations, we did you not have 24/7 coverage of politics and politicians,
doesn't matter -- by the way, i'm an independent, but anyway, that's another subject. today we have social media, we have twitter. we have facebook. we have politicians we have access to all day long, spewing their opinions about issues, and rightly so. they're very passionate about their issues, but we got to understand, they're not going to lose the form. they know they're on tv. they're posturing for votes all the time. and what we need to realize is these people, not me, because i know better, but a lot of people around the country are looking at stuff, and before you know it, they're facebook, telling, you know, somebody what somebody said on tv, and some rumor is running like wild fire, somebody wants to shoot somebody. what they don't understand, and these guys on every side of the aisle, on saturday and sunday, are over in the country club
playing golf together. they're good friends. they chat. they socialize together. they're just being politicians. do you remember when trump won and somebody said what are you going to do about hillary, he said i don't want to harm the clintons, all that mess he was talking about before him, it was political, for lack of a better term b.s. barbara bush loves bill clinton. they don't like his politics. she said, i love bill clinton, i love the clintons. so people, please, just calm down and relax and understand that these folks in washington are just doing their job. they're not going to miss the chance to try to attract people for the next election. host: thanks for weighing in. our first caller, we'll get a response. guest: i think you're right. information is not the same ads orientation. most people who are in the business of providing information to the american public understand, as was said
a long time ago, that the medium is the message. agree with you. i have a lot of friends who are republicans, a lot of friends who are democrats, and a lot of friends who, like you, are independent. i thank you for pointing out it's not personal, it's politics. host: was there ever civil knit politics? the adams and jefferson election comes to mind. there's this from michael, politics has never been about manners. the general population has now gotten down to where the political class lives and works. here's this tweet, it's difficult to have civil knit american politics with such an uncivil leader. i want to share what was in the "new york times" after the shooting that took place in alexandria, virginia, last month, any debate about civility in politics begins with trump. no one has degraded discourse more while embracing the fringe. his view, it's fact, not opinion.
guest: that event happened not floor my home, so it's very close to home. i remind everybody that the shooter was somebody who was -- who identified with the left and not the right, so we can't put this kind of action on one group or another. again, i don't think we can legislate civility here, but i think we have to model it. the president of the united states has the bully pulpit, and it should be his behavior, his conduct, his values that set the tone for the nation. i can't put the responsibility for my behavior at the feet of donald trump being but i can certainly put the validation that have kind of behavior on the person who commands the bully pulpit. host: connie from new jersey, democrats line. good morning, with jack moline of the interfaith alliance. caller: good morning. ou should know me.
going to be 77 years old. was born in 1940. and span the spanish civil war, second world war ii. so i've been there. i've been in fashion, and now i'm scared to death. first thing they do is like, you turn 16, you have to have an i.d. second thing, we have another way, you don't think the way they think, you run, so you can small to keep your mouth shut. it ever goes against you, is fake news or whatever, it's like comparing. when i saw president trump yesterday giving out his pitch in religion to all, religion is
not like that. the religion will allow a lot of damage to this world. host: thank you for the call and comment. we'll get a response. guest: first of all, please be cautious, but don't be afraid. america is not europe in the 1930's and 1940's. nowhere in this world right now is europe in the 1930's and 1940e's because we've had that experience already. and like you, we know how to recognize many of the signs of decay. america has a strong heritage of freedom and civility, and lofts people like you and me and the other callers are not willing to give those freedoms away. host: let's go to henry, wisconsin, independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. i never miss your show. i see it every morning. i'm 67 years of age.
i remember when donald trump came out, i'd like say he's lying, cheating, and stealing, and here's the reason he's lying. he's lying to the american people when he come out and said i will not touch social security, medicare, or medicaid. and then what does he do? he's going after medicaid. he's a liar. my grandmother, when she raised me up, they said there's two people you can't trust am you can't watch a liar. you can watch a thief. but you can't watch a liar. once they lie to you, don't ever talk to them again, because they'll keep on lying. that covers the lying part. the cheating part and the they'ving part comes from where donald trump builds a college, and a child saves up his entire college fund, and until you go
to his education, looking forward to the finest college in the world, because with trump, you're going to be placed in the best job that you could ever be placed in from any college in the world, and they pay their money, and trump says bankruptcy, bye-bye, but i'm not your money and i'm gone. host: thank you. we'll get a response. guest: kenny, thank you for helping me draw the fine line distinction between criticizing behavior and calling into question the character of an individual, and that's the line between debate and incivility. mr. trump may or may not have lied purposely or coincidentally, but calling him a liar is what drags the debate away from the issues and into personal matters and distracts us. host: this is from neo, too pad
it cannot peacefully coexist. not new, but nor right now. guest: i agree with that entirely. it's not beyond our reach. host: katherine, republican line from pennsylvania, good morning. caller: yes. host: go ahead, katherine. caller: we have two presidents that were in this last he protection. we had president trump, who's president now, and we also had president obama that was out on the campaign trail for hillary clinton, speaking publicly, and he was not using this court that you're saying, that trump -- he was totally -- he was arrogant and whatever as trump is. trump has only dished out what he has been dished to. his family was attacked, and he was attacked. he recoursed from what he was being talked about and what was
being told about him personally. attacks like that is going to naturally just attack right back. the civility you're talking about needs to go both ways. the democrats right now are act tag. republicans aren't attacking back. host: can you do me a favor? can you stay on the line? i want to give our guest a chance to respond and show you something from last week's press briefing and i want to get your reaction. stay with us. katherine? caller: yes, i'm here. guest: let me respond this way. i'm sure there are plenty of examples of uncivility on the part of every politician, and certainly there were times when president obama's remarks were intemperate, just as there are going to be times that president trump or anybody, any president is going to offer intemperate remarks. i think you would have a hard time suggesting that the climate of discourse that was set by the obama administration
reached the depths of uncivility that we've seen during these past 100 and some days. host: let me get your reaction to this exchange between cbs' major garrett, covering the white house for cbs news, and the principal deputy spokesman, sarah huckabee sanders. >> someone suggested in their tweet response or public announcement today that the president misconstrued one of the messages that should have been gathered from a shooting that involved steve scalise and others, that the hostility of the verbal environment can create an atmosphere of violence. i'm not saying that, but members of congress have said that about particular tweet. i know that affected the president and those here personally keeply. do you have any action to that sentiment that conversations like this create an atmosphere that is either dangerous or one we need to avoid?
>> the president in no way, form, or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. if anything, quite the contrary. and he was simply pushing back and defending himself. host: we wanted katherine to respond, but she hng up, so we apologize for that, but your thoughts? guest: i understand the desire -- i understand the desire of the press apparatus in the white house to defend the president and cast him in the best possible light. i think the evidence just speaks for itself. the president chooses language that attacks people's character rather than the issues at hand. and that's a bad example for the country. host: robert puts it even more simpler, trump is a typical brash new yorker. guest: as a chicagoan, i couldn't agree more. host: jimmy republican line,
spring hill, florida, good morning. caller: good morning, sir. host: go ahead, please. caller: i'm a u.s. combat veteran. my entire family served in the military. i'm they're say that desperate times call for desperate measures. the reason we voted our president in is the behavior we see in the world today. there's a total lack of morality we feel. it's evident with the way the protesters tear up towns, destroy property, and it seems to me that a lot of them are pro-abortion, and i feel that that is my most important voting reason, side from all the other things i've mentioned, is that no one is speak for the unborn lives and unborn souls that are destroyed. i believe that the president, who is behind saving these unborn lives, deserves my loyalty. and those of my wife's. host: jimmy, thank you follow call. we'll get a response. guest: first of all, i think
what's most important here is that you have every opportunity taken the chance to serve your country, both in the military and by going to the voting booth, which is the responsibility of every american. desperate times and desperate measures is a powerful call. preserving the constitution and its protections, that is the asis of our country. host: alabama, democrats line. what's on your mind? caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. you've been a religious person. i think you can answer this for me. it's been troubling me. what i see in president trump is a vain person. vain, the way the bible describes it, vain people are dangerous, because they react in unprecedented manners. host: thank you, danny.
we'll get a response. guest: danny, as a religious person, i would say the most important function of faith is the improvement of the believer's soul. i'm not going to make prescriptions about what mr. trump needs to do or needs not to do. judge not and you may not be judged. host: how are the rest of us supposed to preach civility among ourselves when the president of the united states clearly sets a horrible example himself? guest: i agree that the president has set a horrible example. but the bottom line is that the only behavior i control is my own. and the civility of behavior among americans has the power to overcome the example of any individual, even if that example ought to be more appropriate. host: our guest is rabbi jack moline f. you're listening on c-span radio, we're talking about civility in american politics. milton next in philadelphia, democrats line.
caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i'd like to make a couple of points about president trump. one of the things that -- when the president wins, usually he makes an all-out effort to reach across the aisle and reach out to his opponent and try to bring the country together. since president trump been in the white house, he has made no effort at all to reach out to the democrats, and he is constantly called names, make up lies about president obama, then he lies. he constantly lies about his plan. and every now and then he still taking shots at hillary clinton. i mean, he is setting the tone. i don't understand how people in this country continue to blast this president. he makes remarks about mika brzezinski on msnbc. he insults women. he insults john mccain. how much -- then republicans always say we need to come together as a country. but when president obama got elected, they did everything they could to undermine him.
they even questioned president obama's birth. i mean, he tried to delent mize president obama in the worst kind of way. the people on the right just excuse -- oh, supreme court, as long as we give them tax cuts, we undo everything obama did, it's ok. how can u a president that sets this tone? look at how he talk about women. we try to set an example for young men and tpwhem our society. how you talk to people, i don't want no man talking to my daughter or wife or whatever the way he talks to women like that. and everybody keep excusing, and they make excuses for him. that's my point. thank you. host: thank you. guest: i would say if that's the way the gentleman feels, then he, like the rest of us, needs not to emulate what the president is doing. that is the best way to achieve civil dialogue, to model it yourself. if you break the pattern, the other person has to change his
tactics. host: mary, republican line, good morning. caller: yes. are you there? host: yes. please go ahead. caller: ok. i changed my mind on what i wanted to say after what i just heard. at the problem is, the media is really bad. they're not telling what is really going on. and they're not telling what mr. president trump has already done, and he's done so many good things, but the media don't cover it. all they ask is the stupid stuff and they report stupid stuff and keep the people stirred up. they're the ones causing all he problems. if the people that are democrats would watch their news, now, you should know that
news people don't ever act like that. that's a red flag. there's something wrong. all the news people are democrats. i heard that fox is a little good. they report both sides, and that's what the media is supposed to do. they're supposed to be telling what he has already done. even you just, a little while ago, reading out of the newspaper, about nikki haley, you are misleading people. it was never said, you guys get your news out of the "washington post", and the other one, and it's all lies. you report about news that's all lies. host: i got to jump in on that point. what i read was a piece from national review, is nikki haley the alternative secretary of senate we put the information out there, and then give you a chance to respond. we're not making anything up. that's what's being published or printed. caller: well, people are calling in and taking it that this is happening.
it's not happening. host: what do you mean this is happening? what's happening? caller: no, it's not. it ain't been said that she's going to be the person, ok? host: we didn't -- caller: but still some people believe it. host: but we didn't say that. we read the essay that basically said, is she now the spokesperson for american foreign policy? we never said rex tillerson was stepping down. we simply shared what national review is saying, to get that information out there, and give you a chance to respond. i need to be very clear about that, because we're not making anything up. we're not putting any fake news out there. we're reading what's in "the washington post," the weekly standard, and give you a chance to decide what you think about it. caller: ok, what the democrats need to do, anybody against trump, what they need to do is go to the internet and look up what he's passed and what the people -- the people love him that's working with him.
they think he's the greatest president ever. for what little bits i can catch, because i can't watch the news. i catch little bits on c-span, and i listen to what the people are saying, and they absolutely love him. they love working with him. they say he's the greatest ever. i mean, this world is going to come together. i'm already praying for him to be president the next four years, but you democrats don't know what's going on because they won't listen to him. they won't look what is your profession he's already done and what the people are saying about him that he's worked with. and the people that work with him absolutely love him. host: thank you. we'll get a response. guest: whether or not i agree with your perspective, i appreciate your taking the time to keep yourself informed and looking for unfiltered sources of information. host: our last call is from new york, republican line. steven, good morning. caller: good morning.
i have a few comments. one is on trump policies that we need to pull together and actually hold him, actually hold his policies more accountable and work with them to actual al chief actually a better country. when barack was in, people talking about -- barack's thing was about raising taxes, which he couldn't do, because the way the economy was, because he's let the economy go, we wouldn't have an army or anything else to run this country, and same thing goes with trump's record. a lot of the things trump wants to do he cannot do because it would troy america, not make america great again, which is what his campaign was about. we need to work with our senators and effectively work on making america great again. i think that's where the real -- the debate has gotten lost. host: thanks for the call. host: thanks for the call. is the told her rhetoric
different from the past? guest: it is different because we are living through it. when we look back, we have a tendency to alter what we want to learn about. i think the quality of discourse in the political arena now is a lower level than it has been, certainly in my lifetime. there have been controversies about individuals, about presidents and other people in politics. i don't think they have consumed the nation the way incivil behavior has consumed us. i hope is every american will take individual responsibility and do their best to reduce the attacks we have seen over the last cycle and administration. jack moline is the presidents of the interfaith alliance. people can follow him on twitter. thank you for being with us on this sunday. have a good holiday weekend.