tv Martin Bashir MSNBC June 14, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
>> have we not just put our foot in quick sand. >> what's the syria end game? >> there is no strategy design. >> i applaud the president's decision. >> no one wants to start wars. >> the white house has made it clear they intend to do more. >> just supplying weapons is not going to change the equation. >> the president will be given the opportunity to talk to his counterparts at the g-meeting. let's see what happens. >> it's been a critical 24 hours in this nation's stance on the civil war in syria. it was at this time ep yesterday that we first learned that the white house had reached a clear conclusion that a red line had been croused with regard to the use of chemical weapons by the syrian government. and the president through his spokesman confirmed that he would now authorize direct military support for the relatives and so just a short time ago, some of the
president's advisors explained his decision. >> we have relationships today in syria that we didn't have six months ago that gives us greater certainty not just that we can get stuff into the country but also that we can put it in the right hands so that it's not falling into the hands of extremists. >> the move coincides with two ominous disclosures this week. first, the u.n. high commissioner for human rights announced at least 93,000 civilians have been killed since the uprising began just over two years ago. that number includes about 6600 minors and around one in four of those are under the age of just 10. these figures arrived at the same time as rebel forces would be appear to be in retreat, beaten back at cities farce back as holmes and aleppo with government forces supported by hezbollah militants. syrian president bashir al assad says the suggestion he has used
chemical weapons against his own people is a caravan of lies and he continues to be emboldened by support from the russians who say they are unconvinced by the evidence presented to them by u.s. officials. and this conflict over syria is certain to dominate the g-8 conference which begins next week where president obama and put tine will be in attendance. even before those talks have begun, in fact, even before the white house made its announcement yesterday, the usual suspects were out urging intervention. >> so i applaud the president's decision and i appreciate it. but the president of the united states had better understand that just supplying weapons is not going to change the equation on the ground of the balance of power. these people the free syrian army need weapons and heavy weapons to counter thanks and aircraft. they need a no-fly zone. >> it isn't just republicans who have been urging intervention.
former president bill clinton perhaps mindful of his own experience in bosnia believes the crisis in syria now demands action. >> the white house has made it clear that they intended to do more. they're exploring their options and right now, they don't want to talk about the details. i don't blame them because the less they talk about the details the more likely they're increased assistance is likely to be effective. as i said, they want to see what our other allies are willing to do. i think on balance, this should be seen as a positive story. >> for the latest we're joined by kristen welker at the white house. kristin, you broke the news on air yesterday that the white house was about to hold a conference call on the subject of chemical weapons in syria. now that the administration believes the red line has been crossed, are we getting any details as to what exactly that may mean in terms of supplying arms and filter hardware? >> well, martin, we understand
that the obama administration will be sending small arms as well as some other ammunition to syria to aid the opposition forces. they're asking for more weapons, larger weapons. they want anti-aircraft weaponry. at this point in time, it doesn't appear that is part of the calculation. certainly something that the obama administration is considering. now, as you just pointed out in your opening comments, martin, senator john mccain is calling for even more including a no-fly zone. today, deputy national security advisor ben rhoades made the point that the president is not ready to move forward with a no-fly zone. he has argued that it is expensive and not necessarily guaranteed that it will have the preferred outcome that they are looking for. and today, ben rhoades said there's no silver bullet in terms of imposing a no-fly zone. at this point in time it appears as though what the opposition
forces will be getting is light arms as well as some ammunition. now, this decision by the obama administration really was the result of a number of factors in large part because assad did cross what president obama called a red line by using chemical weapons but also as you point out, assad's forces have really been making gains in a number of strongholds. so you have a lot of people wondering if this is too little too late. we have to wait and see what occurs in the coming days. but as we understand it, some of those weapons have already reached opposition forces. >> kristin, the british prime minister david cameron just said he shares america's candid assessment of chemical weapons. it was suggested he may speak by telephone with the president today. are you able to tell us the extent to which the president is now seeking a coalition of agreement amongst allies prior to the g-8 summit next week. >> i think that that is a large part of the obama administration's calculation.
he has been consulting with his allies into the run-up of the g-8 summit and we were just told this afternoon again by ben rhoades that that will be one of the key focuses of the g-8 summit. russia will be there, as well. the president will meet on the sidelines with russia's president vladimir putin. his goal will be to get him to press assad to step down. at this point in time it doesn't seem as though putin is moving in that direction. he is disputing that claim that assad has used chemical weapons. there's no guarantee that's going to be effective. >> thank you, kristin. let's go to our panel. michael o'hanlon at the brookings institution and the author of "healing wounded giant," and joan walsh editor-at-large at salon.com whose new book is titled? what's the matter with white people?" ? >> michael, there you have it. the administration is convinced that the assad regime has used chemical weapons. i have to ask you, was it the
100 to 150 deaths from chemical weapons that an compelled the white house or was it the united nations finding that 93,000 syrians have been killed and assad's forces are basically gaining the upper hand? >> hi, martin. strategically i think you're right to suggest it's maybe the latter considerations just as much. in fact, maybe they should be seen as more important. i do think the chemical weapons issue puts added pressure on the president and obviously, it puts had his own credibility on the line. i don't believe we should go to war on presidential credibility as a rule. it adds up to what appears to have been a compelling case for this white house. we'll see how far that goes and you've raised all the right issues as did senator mccain and others whether this will be enough. but i think it's pretty clear the combination of all these factors left the white house with not much choice. >> joan, senator john mccain has scolded the president for his reluctance to take action. you heard him just now. isn't it a fact if we establish
a no-fly zone or indeed safe areas in syria, that will inevitably lead to a confrontation with syrian government forces and that plunges this nation into another conflict with an islamic republic? >> yes, that is what is, what, seems to be happening. i don't think it's possible. they're reassuring us we know how to get the materials into the right hands. we've heard that before, martin. i don't know how they will know that, how they will know what the right hands are at this point. so trying to appease senator john mccain is going to be a real sad game for the president because as we've already heard, he's not happy with small arms. he wants anti-aircraft weaponry. he wants a no-fly zone. so the president is going to have to continuously resist this pressure from i don't know right, left necessarily. means anything in this situation. but this is a very dangerous moment in time. i think that to go to president clinton, i'm sure you're getting there, i'm very frustrated with him sort of poo-pooing the
notion that public opinion should matter at a time like this. the american public is right flit skeptical of what we're going to do in syria, what we should do. why we would get involved there. i think no one's levelled with the american people about what our interests are and what our plans are. >> right. mike, how imperative is it that the president arrange a coalition with the french and the british at the g-8 summit and then attempt to persuade the russians to back off their support for assad and do you believe that president putin is persuadable on syria? >> not now, martin. in fact, and this gets to a point that was just mentioned. i think we're going to have to do a lot more than talk about incremental increases in arms shipment tos have a persuasive case we have a way to change the battlefield balance. your other guesses and i may disagree about the desirability of escalating. at least we agree we need to be
clear about the stakes and the options. the options are becoming much more simple for us to face. either we essentially acknowledge that assad may win or we be ready to do quite a bit more than provide small arms to the insurgents. i think it's becoming increasingly clear we're going to have to choose because president putin knows that assad is winning. and he's not going to be that impressed about i a few rounds of ammunition going to the insurgents from london, paris and washington. >> mike, is it your view that that as ostensible victory if you like by as sad is in part because we've acted so late? >> because this has been going on for over two years, as you know. >> yes, i think that's part of the reason. i also think that the course of insurgencies is pretty hard to predict from the outside. and it doesn't follow any simple rules of combat that you can write down on an equation. i've tried over my career. i've found these insurgencies
inherently difficult to predict. you don't have good awareness how large they are, as to whether they're growing or not. we didn't know the how many of assad's forces would peel away on decide to fight to the death for him. so i don't know that you can really be too critical and say that there was a moment when it was optimal and now it's become too late. i would have preferred to see us provide arms last year. but again, there's no way to be sure what effect you're going to have with any specific limited intervention of this kind. >> i guess i just feel compelled to ask michael, then what is the answer? if it's small intervention is going to work, what kind of large intervention would make a difference? what is possible here in the people who are advocating more intervention, what's the end game? i just -- >> go ahead. >> you're right. >> it's exactly the right question. my personal view is that we need to be willing down the road after a peace deal, which is going to take awhile to get to,
to put american boots on the ground as part of a multilateral implementation force, not an invasion force. an implementation force like we had in bosnia. in this case it would be more dangerous and difficult. we need to have other countries commit right up front to be willing to do it. and we need to protect the al alawi alawialoe whites. i think we need to agree that we need to have that conversation about an end game before we commit to anything specific in the near term. >> i agree about that. >> joan definitely agrees. michael and joan, thank you both for your expertise on this. coming up, bipartisan immigration reform hanging by a thread. ask some house republicans and well, they want it dead. >> this is president obama's number one political agenda
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for a store near you go to benjaminmoore.com/bayarea. well, that was quick. just four weeks ago, it felt like we were finally going to see comprehensive immigration reform in this country. and now this. >> we need your viewers to melt the phone lines and say don't vote for any immigration bill you be till the border is secure. >> what are we doing? we're saying you know what? let's join with the democrats for don't look at what's behind the sheet rock. >> we have a very short window. six weeks to kill this bill. >> clearly many republicans are
afraid of immigration reform. and that's not all they're afraid of. yesterday, representative steve king who you saw there tweeted 20 brazen self-professed illegal aliens have just invaded my d.c. office. obama's lawless order gives them defacto immunity from u.s. law. it was later revealed that the alien invasion was no less than this. a group of students from the youth-led organization united we dream. there to question mr. king about his draconian stance against dreamers like themselves. i'm joined by representative xavier becerra, democrat from the california. good afternoon, sir. >> martin, good to be with you. >> congressman, representative steve king, michele bachmann seem absolutely terrified quaking in their shoes at immigration reform. do you think they reflect the view of many republicans who are hoping, praying, literally, that
this issue will just go away? >> actually all they have do is talk to americans and they'll know they're outside of the mainstream that their position is not just out of the mainstream, it's extreme. when 3/4 of the american people tell you it's time for us not only to fix our broken immigration system but to help those kids and all immigrants who want to come out of the shadows and do things the right way, come forward if they're willing to pass a background check, pay taxes, learn english, it's clear that those politicians are way out of the mainstream. >> what is your reaction, sir, to a congresswoman like michele bachmann who has announced she's not going to in the house after the next election but what's her legacy? semi says we've got six weeks to kill this bill. >> martin, i think the reason congress has about a 10% approval rating and that's at some folks tell you, that's friends and family who support congress at this stage, 10%
approval rating. why? because politicians go out there and hyperventilate and make it very difficult to pass not only sensible reforms but things that we need for our economy, for our businesses and for workers to be able to get back to it and get to work and get this economy going. so we're going to get there. despite some politicians who are out there saying the wrong things because i think the american people have september a very clear message, get your work done in congress. i think we're ready. >> it seems even when the more moderate republicans try to offer compliments, they get their logic a bit lost. i'd like to you take a listen to jeb bush speaking earlier today. listen to this, sir. >> immigrants create far more businesses than native-born americans over the last 20 years. immigrants are more fertile and love families and they have more intact families and they bring a younger population. >> immigrants are more fertile. what is he talking about? >> i'll focusen ot fact that he
said that immigrants create more businesses that they are family oriented. >> i'm very happy for you to focus on that, but what do you think this man means when he says they're more fertile? >> martin, you need to get jeb bush on your show to respond to that one. >> i tell you, sir, i would crawl over stone and ice to do that. >> i'm an optimist. i intend to get this done. and despite what the some are saying or doing, i think we have to get past what the politicians are doing to put up these smoke screens and get this done. >> okay. speaker john boehner spoke about immigration reform yesterday which may have left many people feeling even less hopeful. take a listen to what he said. >> i don't intend to bring an immigration bill to the floor that violates what i and my members of my party what our principles are. so i continue to believe that you'll see strong bipartisan majorities for bills that we bring to the floor.
>> i'm sorry for inflicting so many comedians on you today so far. we've had michele bachmann, jeb bush and now the speaker. he says he won't bring anything to the house that violates the principles of the republican party. couldn't one argue that the principles of the republican part don't allow for any kind of immigration reform? >> well, if the principles of the republican party are the principles of republicans in america, then that means they support immigration reform because a majority of republicans in this country support us fixing this broken immigration system. i believe the speaker is going to make every effort to get a comprehensive immigration bill on the floor of the house and get through. it's going to be tough. he's got a conference a group of republican members who less than a year ago were talking about self-deportation for all immigrants. so to talk about moving forward in a productive constructive way i think they're going to get there. it's going to be a little tough. i think there are a number of republicans and you've seen it in the senate, a number of
republicans who are ready to get this done. the american people are speaking very clearly that the politicians are way behind the american people once again. it's no surprise. i think they'll catch up. >> congressman save xavier becerra, thank you for playing the straight man in the midst of comedians. coming up, pies in the sky. it's a republican pizza party and there is plenty of extra cheese to go around. stay with us. >> contract or no, i will not bow to any sponsor. >> it's like people only do things because they get paid. and that's just really sad. time for the your business entrepreneurs of the week. allison realized they didn't have a good place to take their babies in new york city. with their husbands, they opened apple seeds, a clean unique play
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however, this discovery on dough probably came no surprise to eric cantor because according to a national journal report this week, mr. cantor's wife diana has earned some $3 million in cash and stock from the pizza giant domino's for her work on the board of directors. and so it got us thinking. what is it with pizza and the republican party. >> remember papa john's owner john he said the affordable care act would force him to raise the price of an i pie. here's mitt romney speaking at a fund-raiser at the pizzaman's estate during the campaign. >> what a place this is. my goodness. who would have imagined pizza could build this. if a democrat were here, he would look around and say no one should live like this. >> who could forget herman kaine who ordered a form of pizza economics to resolve the recession and miss favorite food moved him to song ♪ imagine there's no pizza
♪ i couldn't if i tried ♪ eating only tacos ♪ or kentucky fried >> sadly, despite being powered by pizza, the republican party didn't do so well in 2012. and many republicans have since suggested the party needs to change more than the pizza box to do better at the ballot box. but this week's revelation may explain eric cantor's reluctance to change anything. after all, with $3 million coming into the household via his wife's work at domino's it looks as though they're going to be chomping on the same kind of pizza for a long time to come. the day's top lines are coming up. stay with us. [ female announcer ] doctors trust calcium plus vitamin d
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from faith to freedom and all of the crazy in between here are today's "top lines," you ain't seen nothing yet. >> you know what? before i pass away i would like to have a republican in the white house again. >> you ain't seen nothing yet. >> war is not a game or a sport and any politician who speaks of preemptive war with gleeful bravado should not be leading any nation. >> that whole beach boys song, bomb iran, bomb, bomb, bomb. anyway. >> i can recall no utter rans of jesus in favor of any war or any acts of aggression. >> i do have a very important announcement. i do the intend to run for president. >> no. no, please, god, no! >> of the tim tebow fan club. >> where is depot at. there he is over there. >> our brand is perceived to be tarnished, to be reactionary, to
be too negative. >> hispanics are not natural republicans. that is black american who's agree with us on the issues but won't vote republican because democrats told them we're racists. >> we are the mainstream. >> when we were kids, we didn't need security cameras on the telephone poles to watch us. because we knew god was watching us. >> pretty mainstream. >> he left hawaii. he's on the lam. no one knows where he may be a hero or a villain. yes, the president is missing. >> a lot of you at the reception beforehand asked about my brother. he's been out of the limelight since you asked, marvin's doing really, really well. thank you so much for asking. >> some people on our side complain that when they go to vote in november, they just have to pick the lesser of two evils. >> some people will say that i'm preaching to the choir. now this is my challenge to you. go out and sing solo. >> blue states are liberal ♪ ♪ keep your state red
>> let's get right to our panel. dressed in red is the host of disrupt with karen finney, the wonderful karen finney. and co-host of the cycle is toure and in washington is the political analyst the great michael steele. not dressed in a tie today. i'm going to start with you. please, can you answer this. what does the gop hope to accomplish by repeatedly appealing to the far right of the party while at the same time possibly alienating more mainstream republicans? >> well, i think they need to take a page -- sorry. next question. >> thank you, michael, for that considered response. karen, i sound like a broken record. but i mean, what have these guys learned? tonight, guess who the keynote speaker is at that event?
donald trump. donald trump is the keynote. what have they learned? >> not anything and actually if you were following, there were a number of news outlets doing crazy things heard from the faith and freedom conference throughout the day. one of the most interesting things is on the one hand you have a michele bachmann saying all the reasons why we shouldn't have immigration reform. followed by then jeb bush who says here's all the reasons why we should have immigration reform. so your question to michael, that right there is the problem. they have two very divergent views and nobody can seem to agree within their own party except for the fact they don't like obama but they don't have anything positive they're offering instead. >> well, can i come back? >> please. i'd be delighted. michael, i was trying to save you. you were gasping for breath. >> i think karen does hit the number of the question or the answer there. that is what is the central core
message of this party? how will we define our leadership to the american people going forward? particularly on the heels of a 2012 where we talked about everything but what we fundamentally believe in and have been core value issues for us on the economy, on individualism and opportunity. so i think that that is -- that's the problem we see right now is the problem of trying to find that messenger or messengers who can articulate that i really believe that guys like chris christie, governors like suzanne martinez and others, christie is up above a lot of folks in terms of media. but there are a lot of governors like a martinez and activists and even some political leader who are beginning to carve out that space. i'm just hoping they get the impetus to really move that message forward because the party needs it. >> toure, sfamt as this faith and freedom event is taking place, the global initiative conference taking place in conference.
and it was there that governor christie just referenced by michael appeared. here's president clinton speaking earlier talking about governor christie. take a lis. >> and in the i have culture of the northeast, if you're a republican and want to get elected and re-elected by partisanship is imperative. >> isn't that the singular truth, that bipartisanship is imperative to win elections but also what karen was saying because of the polarization on so many key issues from the budget to immigration, there's a reluctance for any kind of bipartisanship. that's why things are so difficult for republicans. >> especially on the right. betrayal is what compromise equals. you capital actually work with the president or work across the aisle and be seen well at home. we're all afraid of that primary from the right. especially on immigration reform. they are so ripped apart. the establishment in d.c. understands we have to move forward on this issue or we will leave the demographic trends of
america. you saw the census report this week. more whites are dying than are born. under 5 years old, white people are a minority. one in six americans are hispanic now. you can't be a 90% white party and continue to be a national party. you can't continue to offend hispanics with your immigration reform policies. it's not just talking about undocumented. most of these undocumented are coming over or crossing the border to reunify their families. when you say we want border security, you're saying we don't want you to reunify with your family. yes, that is absolutely true, michael. >> no. >> you are offending millions of hispanics and risking the future of the party. >> okay, michael. >> no. no, that's not what -- look, i can tell you that's not what jeb bush is saying, not what george bush was saying. it's not what -- >> michael, that is not the president of the party. >> again, again, this is my point, toure.
this goes back to the first question and karen's point about the internal struggle within the party to find that message, those messengers who articulate that message. you're right to a point you have voices who that may be their driver that the border means you're not welcome. but for a lot of republicans, a lot of mainstream republicans guys like me and others out there who see the party as it once was, a party of assimilation, border security is a part of the conversation. it is not the be all and end all. >> what are you talking about? a party of assimilation? you have marco rubio afraid to carry on with the legislation that he wrote. he's the leader of the party. >> toure, chill, dude. i'm saying we once were the party of assimilation just like we were the party that spoke about the environment at one time. >> michael's point is well made. >> it is but again i would remind michael you then also had michele bachmann and a number of other speakers not for immigration reform who were
using the kind of language toure was talking about. to me, this is the contrast between these twos conferences. one is about values and ideas. what is what president clinton has dedicated himself to since leaving office. what do they do? they work on ideas, this he work on how do we bring forth good ideas and implement them. at the faith and freedom conference a lot of what we heard was about hate, what we're against and not putting forth fresh new ideas based on values. that's a very important distinction. >> michael, do you not think when jim demint sent that letter to the speaker and he said listen, don't let's have a discussion about substantive issues that will reveal the conflicts in our caucus. instead, let's simply attack scandal. let's simply attack the president. isn't that now wearing thin after one term already, we've started the second. isn't it time. >> it is. >> isn't it time that people said you know what? we're not making any progress as a party.
let's just get off attacking this man and formulate some ideas and policies of our own? >> and you're absolutely right about that point, too. it's something that i and a few others have been really pushing very hard. it's like let's stop finding a reason not to support the president and trying to help the president move in the right direction. okay? just put that in quotation marks instead of just saying no or just blocking and tackling on every issue, the reality for the party right now is particularly coming off of 2012 is, how are you going to engage or reengage an american voter base that is diverse, more diverse than you've ever witnessed and certainly not following your lead right now? how do you bring them back? you don't bring them back by constantly going after obama. you bring them back by contrasting your ideas, yes, but giving new ideas a fresh approach, a different way to solve the economy, health care and other issues of the day. >> michael steele, toure who
really needs three hours of a broadcast each day and karen finney. thank you so much. remember you can watch karen on her new show "disrupt with karen finney" saturday and sunday 4:00 p.m. best time of the day. coming up, what, if anything, diagnose house republicans learn this week about addressing sexual assault in the milt? >> we have heard the words "zero tolerance" for over two decades. starting with secretary dick cheney in 1992. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin dedicated to your eyes, from bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite is uniquely formulated to help protect your eye health.
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ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪ na an update on a story we covered earlier this week. this afternoon, the house passed a new defense bill partially designed to curb sexual assaults in the military. the legislation would prevent military commanders having the authority to overturn guilty
verdict in cases of sexual assault and would impose stricter punishments. but the bill is also notable for what did fails to do. despite impassioned pleas by senator kristin gillibrand it does not remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual assault cases. of course, like most things in washington, the final product remains unclear with the senate expected to reveal its own version in the fall. coming up, more on the white house and the high stakes politics of syria. stay with us. one ordinary family goes big... then goes home... a mother sees the light... a son explores new worlds... and a father finds himself...
states would now provide direct military support to the syrian rebels. rather, it was someone else who appeared to jump the gun. >> in just a couple of minutes, the president of the united states will be announcing that it is now conclusive that bashir assad and the syrian butchers have used chemical weapons. >> and joining us now for an opportunity to market "the washington post" is dana milbank a political columnist and jonathan capehart an opinion writer both who work for the said washington post. dana, i'm going to quote account "new york times." a new editorial on president's decision. here's how it ends. those urging stronger action seem to have learned nothing from the past decade of war in afghanistan and iraq which has sapped the united states and has produced results that are
ambiguous at best. dana, do you think the president has made the right decision? >> well, i don't think he's made a decision so much as he's been forced into an action that's not entirely clear that it's wise to take. as you can see from the backdrop behind me, i'm in las vegas. the gambling capital of the world. that's the best place to research our syria policy here because we have no idea where we're going here. it's not clear that the alternative that we're backing now is any better than this admittedly brutal assad regime. it is entirely possible that this president in a desire to be strong and bold is going to wind up propping up al qaeda in syria. it's just a huge gamble and nobody, not john mccain or bill clinton or anybody else, knows how this is going to end. >> indeed. jonathan, according to polls only about a quarter of people believe we should provide arms or troops. two-thirds say we should either stick with just humanitarian aid
or do nothing at all. and we've already invested something like $515 million in nonlethal humanitarian support. what's your position, john? do you think the president is doing the right thing here? >> well, it seems as though the president has gone about trying to prove to his satisfaction that chemical weapons were endeed used against the syrian people by president assad. you know, crossing the red line that he's talked about so many times but as that poll shows you know, this nation doesn't want to do anything in syria. it's reflective of the larger mood which is after the war in iraq, after the war in afghanistan, and you know, the lives lost and the treasure lost, the american people are just weary. the american people are war weary. i think they look the anne conflict whether it's in the middle east or anywhere else in the world if people are demanding american action, they want the president to take a go
slow approach. i think the president it's been pretty clear wants to take a go slow approach because really the question is does the united states really want to get involved in a third conflict in the middle east in. >> dana, do you not think that the republicans may have a point that there is now a compelling humanitarian reason for engaging? and is that really as it were persuasive even beyond the hundred to 150 lives that have been lost through chemical weapons? >> well, it's not even the republicans that have this point. it's a few republicans that are making this argument. i think it's probably fair to say most republicans up on the hill feel much as the rest of the country does that there's no good option here. the polls that jonathan is talking about it's true there is more enthusiasm if we can call that for getting involved in syria if the regime is using chemical weapons. the president sort of boxed himself in here by creating that
red line sort of the understanding being that if assad used chemical weapons in a big way which he hasn't exactly done here. so it's hard to make the case to the public that it's necessary to do this. certainly, you don't worry about public opinion if you know you're doing the right thing overseas. that's what's underlying this public skepticism. it's not clear to anybody what the right option is. >> absolutely. john, before this decision was reached, president bill clinton reportedly told a closed door meeting that a president who didn't address a humanitarian crisis as he did have course, in kosovo would look and i'm quoting lame or like a wuss. a wuss. how do you think the white house would react to being accuses of being wussies? i'm pretty sure they would not appreciate that at all. i bet there are some people within the building behind me who would listen to president
clinton's word and have a one-word retort. and that would be rwanda. >> yes. dana, your reaction to the accusation that the white house is behaving like a wuss or has been? >> is it better to plunge into i an war and find you've just set up al qaeda running the country of syria and all that implies for the region and for israel? there are things worse than being a wuss. >> there are indeed. dana, i hope you have luck in vegas. i won't ask what you'll be doing because this is a family broadcast. jonathan capehart, thank you both. we'll be right back with a note on fatherhood. ♪ there's a new way to fight litter box odor. introducing tidy cats with glade tough odor solutions.
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choose its favorite park through our coca-cola parks contest. winning parks can receive a grant of up to $100,000. part of our goal to inspire more than three million people to rediscover the joy of being active this summer. see the difference all of us can make... together. >> obviously, this is a great way for us to celebrate father's day and just to remind ourselves those of house are fathers how
lucky we are. >> this weekend, of course, includes the annual celebration of father's day and the president got in an early word for us dads at a white house luncheon just a short time ago. the president has often spoken about his own complicated experience of fatherhood. most recently when he gave the commencement address at more house college. >> i sure wish had i had a father who was not only present but involved. didn't know my dad. and so my whole life, i've tried to be for michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me. >> parenting is an inexact science at best. we can all empathize with the president who says he's always trying to be the best father that he can be. now, already some poets and philosophers who believe such an approach is doomed to failure. the british poet philip will larkin perhaps best summed up a pessimistic approach to parenting in these famous lines. they "f" you up, your mom and
dad. they may not mean to, but they will do. they fill you with the faults they had and add some extra just for you. perhaps unsurprisingly philip larkin never conceived any children. to those of us who are fathers and know the daily experience of sometimes doing well and sometimes doing very badly, i often think what the great industrialist henry ford said about business could just, as well be applied to the business of fatherhood. failure, he said, is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. so let's begin again more intelligently and a very happy father's day to all of you. and thank you for watching today and all week. chris matthews and "hardball" is next.
ten years, four wars let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me get it started tonight with this. the united states is now committed to an act of war against the government of syria. okay. let's get the tally up to date. we attacked and went to war with afghanistan in 2001. we attacked and went to war with iraq in 2003. we helped to overthrow the of libya in 2011 and now targeting the government of syria. it's an interesting pattern when you think about it. in 2001, george w and the committed hawks he brought into our government with him including dick cheney talked of going after iraq, a big item on their agenda. it was the first item on their agenda and now looking back and what we're doing now, that's what we're doing, going from country to country setting our