tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 4, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
so get a copy of my book. i'm asking because it's exactly the lesson of democratic government we need to study today and pass on especially right now. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. house republicans are at it again, playing a piecemeal game in the hope of winning public opinion. like earlier this week when they introduced a separate resolution to open the world war ii memorial in d.c. and like yesterday when they introduced a resolution to resume funding national institutes of health while today they came together to support another mini-cr that would fund wic which provides food and nutritional education for millions of low-income women and their children. a program they previously tried to cut. >> we've got to be sure that our most vulnerable citizens don't fall victim to that politics.
>> moms and kids shouldn't suffer because senate democrats have shut down the government. >> will they deny food to women, infants and children? >> look to your heart. we're not talking about defunding obama care. >> and will say that we don't want to provide this funding for women and children? i have six kids of my own. >> reporter: the united front displayed by republicans in recent days stands in stark contrast to the division that preceded their shutdown. >> i think that's a horrific outcome for the republicans. >> reporter: once the shutdown began, the establishment fell in line with the insurgents. >> this is going to make the democrats look out of touch and intransigent and ugly. >> reporter: but that was just for public consumption. today the behind-the-scenes discontent is once again taking center stage. the house suicide caucus finding itself besieged by the establishment and big-business interests that have dictated the republican agenda for decades.
>> there is one element that does not reflect the views of the republican party. what they are doing is they have hijacked the debate. >> reporter: wall street is starting to panic about the genie they have let out of the bottle. >> the narrative out of washington the last couple days seems to be that it's going to be worse than 2013. >> instant crisis if it's breached? >> in my mind. >> debt ceiling can really have catastrophic results. >> it's just like "thelma & louise." it's fine until you go off the cliff. >> reporter: the chamber of congress has told republicans to pass a budget. the business roundtable want a compromise. they've been listening to republican default denialism. >> all this talk about a default has been a lot of demagoguery. >> the debt payment's about $30 billion. we just promise we'll always pay it. >> you're going to default. anyone that says that is looking you in the eyes and lying to you. >> reporter: louisiana representative john fleming told "politico" nothing happens if the debt ceiling is reached. texas rep steve stockman
tweeting today, "even if debt ceiling stays, we'll still be paying all our bills." and if that's not scary enough, the architect of the current government shutdown gave this confused, troubling analysis of the debt ceiling earlier this year. >> what would happen if the debt ceiling was not raised is it would be a partial government shutdown, and we've seen this before. we saw this in 1995 when republicans in the house shut down the government. and what happened was, it was a partial shutdown. there was some political costs to be paid. but at the end of the day, because republicans stood strong in 1995, we saw year after year of balanced budgets and some of the most fiscally responsible policies congress has produced in the modern era. if we stand strong, we can do that again." >> reporter: the grim irony, wall street and big business helped buy this government shutdown. in obama's first year in office, wall street gave democrats almost $30 million and republicans just over $20 million. leading up to the 2012 election,
wall street gave more than $36 million to republicans compared to just less than $10 million to democrats. the chamber of commerce last year spent over $35 million on elections. of that amount, just over $300,000 went to democrats. now wall street wants a return on that investment. and the suicide caucus isn't having it. >> there are a lot of folks in the washington establishment who don't want to hear from us. there are rules. you are not supposed to speak for the people. >> reporter: privately, speaker boehner reportedly told his caucus he will not allow a twau default. he also said he wouldn't shut the government down, but here we are. >> wall street's been pretty calm about this. is that the right way to look at it? >> no, this time's different. i think they should be concerned. >> joining me now, tim carney, visiting fellow at the conservative think tank aei. and tim, your column today is about precisely this kind of dynamic, the different sources
of power inside the republican coalition with big business and wall street and a kind of ascendant power of the tea party. what is your understanding of how this dynamic's shaking out? >> there used to be one place for republicans to get campaign cash, and that was basically "k" street, the lobbying corridor here in d.c. if you wanted to raise money and you need to do raise money to win re-election, you had to turn to big business. and that explains why republicans would campaign as we're limited-government conservatives, but then they hand out corporate welfare to boeing or the drug industry or anything like that. because ultimately their campaign funding came prosecufr business. but then the tea party, through technology and the internet, through the ability of the grass roots to really understand what was going on, and through sort of a growing dissatisfaction with the republican leadership, there became a second base. and a lot of liberals have trouble understanding this, so let me explain this. >> speak slowly. >> the tea period of time is not big business. it is the anti-big business
wing. the tea party is a bunch of -- the people who watch fox. these are conservatives who had small businesses. these are conservatives who were on wall street and weren't like -- and they donate money. >> let me stop you right there. i think there is some truth to this, and there is some real misleading aspects of that. here's the truth to it. right now i think on the debt default, on the debt ceiling, you are right, that the tea party base and big business are absolutely at odds with each other. and we've seen other votes like that. the first t.a.r.p. vote is the real kpmpl of that, where the tea party base voted against the bailout, wall street and big business wanted the bailout. the house financial services committee was going to vote this week to gut initiatives. it strikes me that the grass-roots fox viewers aren't going around up in arms about derivatives deregulation. that is just a concession to wall street. i mean, so let's not fool ourselves what's going on here. >> there are places where wall street and where big business
want limited government, and there's going to be overlap. but ted cruz and mike lee and marco rubio and pat toomey, all these guys -- and rand paul -- all these guys came to washington by beating "k" street. this is my column coming up in "the examiners" pointing out how all the corporate pac money, all the lobbyist money went into sort of the modern establishment of the republicans while ted cruz was getting money from the senate conservatives fund and from club for growth. and so you had the ideological money. >> ideological money. that's the important thing. that's the way to understand this. you've got big-business wall street institutional money which is amoral. >> and pragmatist. >> right. and then the koch brothers are both big money. they represent big business, but they also have an ideological agenda they're pushing. those two have to be separate. >> think about the parallel to make it more sense to your audience is sort of you guys have the net roots. you guys have real liberal money pouring in.
so think about elizabeth warren and hillary clinton. that dichotomy. elliz beth warren wing, the analogy is ted cruz. the hillary clinton wing, the analogy is mitch mcconnell. >> hold on, i want to bring in robert. robert, there's a bunch of different cleavages behind the scenes that were very open a few days ago, and they've been pushed behind the scenes because republicans have done a good job of presenting a united front. but we heard this amazing report in "the new york times" about a meeting in the senate in which you had had sitting senators, kelly ayotte among them, mitch mcconnell, screaming, yelling at mike lee. what was that all about? >> it really comes down to hard politics. when you talk to senate republicans, and i've talked to them after their luncheons that usually happen on tuesday afternoon, they can't stand that senator cruz is going at them publicly and trying to undermine their own conservative reputations. and that's what really gets at them, gets under their skin. >> is that going to come do
anything? i mean, think what's interesting so far is the house republicans and senate republicans, we saw the open mike moment between rand paul and mitch mcconnell had done a very good job of presenting a united front, right? but i'm wondering how long that's going to last if these kinds of tensions are still festering behind the scenes. >> no, i think those tensions are actually spilling out into the public. i was just walking here from the capitol. and i was talking to some house members. and they just kept bringing ted cruz up to me. republicans in assailing him without me even bringing up the texas senator. when i talk to republicans in the senate, they really think that ted cruz is becoming a loner. i think this is going to cost senator cruz politically because he's only in office eight, nine months now, and he has very few allies beyond senator lee. if he wants to build coalitions for the future to make and build conservative policy, where are the allies now in the republican conference? i can't find them. >> here's the other thing i can't get to. tim, i want you to weigh in on this. i cannot get what is the out here? i am really confused. the outs seem to be the
proposals on the table every day is a new mini-cr to fund some small part of the government. that is not a resolution to the crisis, at least when the issue was delay the mandate for a year and make our staff pay more for health care. i understood what the demands are. i don't understand what the demands are or what's achievable -- what's the out ear? here? >> i'm not even sure if the leadership really knows, chris. i was just talking to republican leadership sources, and they're really worried that if they can't sell a small-board deal to house conservatives and to senate conservatives, there is a real risk of default because conservatives, many of them have dug in their heels so much because as tim mentioned, there's this outside money, this outside narrative building that unless there's a full delay for defundable obama care, conservatives will oppose it, and that's a real problem for boehner. >> you and i share this, this disposition to distrust the establishment, to distrust wall street and "k" street, we're on the same page. i never liked ted cruz as much as when he's being clucked at by the establishment. that's when i like the guy.
that said, this debt ceiling shows the perils of doing your thinking by being against whatever wall street is for. >> yes. >> because it is seriously dangerous. do you agree with that? >> i do. and that i think that shedding the first step in sort of reforming the republican party has been shedding the addiction, the dependence on "k" state. the next step is going to be getting -- not driving yourself down cul-de-sacs as i believe cruz has done, and i basically agree with what bob was just saying there. and so the question is, is there a way out? and it's tricky. is this a full-year cr? i put up a blog post saying what republicans should ask for is abolishing some corporate welfare program. the sugar subsidy, boeing subsidy, something like that, that you have to get out of this. and we've gone from republicans sort of playing on conservatives making impossible promises and then casting fake votes and then going ahead and doing what "k" street to now ted cruz sort of promising a different sort of impossible thing, and who knows
where it goes? >> that's exactly the problem. i agree with you. i would love nothing more than for us to come together on sugar subsidies or corporate welfare. that's going to be the thing that satisfies the base. this is where i think there's a little bit of disconnect, tim, in your understanding of where the base is. i'm disposed to disagree with you on certain parts of this analysis, but what the base wants, what they're getting from both the institutional tea party grass roots and the folks that are calling into offices is they want some blood, right? what is coming -- what calls are coming into the office, robert? >> oh, it's a great question. and i think this is the real problem right now for the republican party. they're not talking about conservative policy. they're not debating principles. everyone's really on the same page. the party has moved to the right. and every's really in that general area. it's all about tactics and strategy, and they're quarrelling constantly over that. it's always going to end messy because it's not about ideas. it's not really about policy. it's about how do you posture in a standoff, in a stalemate? >> tim carney from "the washington examiner" and robert
costa from "the national review." thank you, gentlemen. >> thank you. coming up -- >> this isn't some damn game. the american people don't want their government shut down, and neither do i. all we're asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness, reopen the government and bring fairness to the american people under obama care. it's as simple as that. >> the shutdown that was supposed to be because of obama care has actually managed to overshadow the actual implementation of obama care. how gop theatrics helped the president's press coverage next.
we always like hearing from you on facebook and twitter. the gop, not as united as they may seem. on one side, you've got big business. on the other there's the conservative grass roots. so tonight i ask you, in this most epic hollywoodesque showdown ever, who would you rather see emerge victorious and why? it's a hard one, big business or the tea party? tweet your answers
@allinwithchris. i'll share a couple at the end of the show, so stay tuned. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] introducing new fast acting advil. with an ultra-thin coating and fast absorbing advil ion core™ technology, it stops pain before it gets worse. nothing works faster. new fast acting advil. look for it in the white box. [ female announcer ] pop in a whole new kind of clean with tide pods.
three chambers. three times the stain removal power. pop in. stand out. and the house responded to the millions of americans who are hurting under obama care. and i think the senate needs to do the same thing. >> as we end the first week of the shutdown, one of the grand ironies is that the dreaded obama care, the shutdown was originally about, according to the republicans, has overshadowed the first week of the actual enrollment in the health care exchanges. and amazingly, the gop messaging on the shutdown has knocked off the front page the fact that the rollout has had a rocky first week. it has not been rocky from a
demand perspective at all. that has been amazing. quote, when the exchange opened 17 minutes later than the 8:00 a.m. scheduled start time, the website and call centers were flooded with inquiries. a worker with the nevada health exchange said that in the first few hours, it was just raw emotion calling in. people eager for insurance, at times in tears, wanted coverage they didn't have before. but this process of enrolling from reviewing the choices to filling out the onlynam indication to actually purchasing a plan, none of that has been working very well so far. this "new york times" headline was typical. "on the second day of the exchanges' operation, users were still encountering loaning waits, malfunctioning web pages and messages telling them to try again later. particularly in the 34 states where the marketplaces are being managed by the federal government." enrollment in obama care's federal exchanges may only be in single digits. more on that later. all of this somewhat concerning especially for a single legislative achievement and i
separately want to see people get health insurance, i'm more than a little worried. one thing that makes me feel better is this. selling medicare is not easy. that headline by "the washington post" wonk blog is from 1966, back when 5,000 federal workers across the country were actually knocking on the doors of seniors to try to enroll them in what was then a brand-new program called medicare. critics predicted disaster then, too. but of the 19 million seniors eligible, 93% had enrolled by the summer of 1966. joining me now is dr. patel, a primary care physician at johns hopkins hospital and brookings institution fellow. she worked as a senior adviser in the obama administration white house. okay, doctor, i had you on the first night. you can't judge anything from the first day. you sure as heck can't judge anything from the first four days, but what's your feeling about the stories we've heard about the difficulties people have had in actually getting to the end point where they can sign up for a plan? >> well, chris, i think you said
it just accurately, that there have been glitches, and at the same time, there have been this amazing outpour of raw emotions. four days in, i've got to tell you, we've got six months of enrollment. we're starting, and this is going to get better and better. and i think it's not surprising that we had these glitches. >> okay. i want to push a little bit here, though. again, i do not want to, you know, gleefully be pointing to obama care isn't working. i think there's tremendous amount of politically motivated attacks, but at a certain point, it really matters if people can get through the system. i mean, there's a threshold of -- and i know this for myself. i'm one of those people that if someone tells me to click a link and it takes more than 30 seconds for a preroll ad, i'm out of there. and getting people signed up is a real matter of successful law and also sheer humanitarian import, are things getting fixed, i guess, is my question? how sure can we be that this stuff's going to get fixed? >> one thing we know for sure,
that even with this government shutdown, the federal government has already begun to add the technical fixes that they need to in the form of manpower servers, which i think is ironic, given how much we're talking in washington, d.c., about things not working. there are people desperately behind the scenes trying to make these things work. i agree with you, that if you've been waiting to do this and that you get on board and you sign and click and then there's lots of burdens and hurdles that you won't be as inclined to do it, especially, to be honest with you, what we're all concerned about are some of those really young, healthy people being frustrated by it. >> right. so there's some news that came out today in which hhs officials said they're actually going to take healthcare.gov offline for the weekend to do some server maintenance, to add some new capacity. that has predictably invited an attack by john boehner. you see what republicans have done is anytime anything is delayed in this, they're pointing to it as this thing's coming apart at the seams.
what do you say to that? >> i think it's very easy to attack when -- you know, it's funny, google and gmail and twitter, whenever they have some lapses and breaks, it happens. it's acknowledged. and somehow life goes on. but we're using this as a way to say, oh, this is an epic failure. i think what they're choosing to do is look at the glass half empty. and i can promise you that for those people, whether they be thousands or hundreds of thousands, the bottom line is that more than nothing, people are getting access and finding a way to actually get health care. and when you think about what that means for the country, that's a pretty big deal. >> one of the things you mentioned was twitter. and we were talking at an editorial meeting today the fact that the twitter ipo is coming up. it was a running joke. the thing was down five times a day. it was constantly, constantly, constantly crashing. they've, over time, succeeded despite that, they've added capacity. i think the best analogy, better than medicare, is medicare part
"d." part "d" was launched amid political scrutiny, it was very controversyial, it was very complicated and it was unclear if seniors would sign up and whether it was going to work. this is from 2006, i believe, when the program launched. medicare meltdown. many elderly aren't getting vital medicines because of glitches in the new drug program. nearly two weeks aof it began, the new medicare prescription drug program remains plagued by problems and calls for help are growing, advocates report. medicare part "d" is now loved and incredibly popular, right? >> yes. we even had seniors when medicare launched, we had seniors showing up to get their prescriptions, and pharmacies had no idea what their plans were or even who these patients were. so could you imagine how that would play out? and in light of that, all we're talking about is web traffic being slow and links not working. >> dr. kavita patel, thank you so much for your time.
>> thank you. >> we'll be right back with click 3. ♪ [ male announcer ] maybe you've already heard what they're saying about the nissan altima. ♪ and we have to admit, that it's all true. but don't just take their word for it, check it out for yourself. the award-winning nissan altima. nissan. innovation that excites. now get a $179 per month lease on a 2013 nissan altima. ♪
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coming, she's ended up in solidarity with the destructive radicals of the education left. she'll be my guest ahead. first, i want to show you the three awesomest things on the internet today. we begin with the shutdown and the fact that everyone is more than a little tired of it. congressman -- republican congressman george holden of north carolina is the most obvious about it. while presiding over the house floor last night, he was lulled
to sleep. they caught him taking a snooze in the speaker's house. the watchful eye of the c-span cameras. there's holden counting sheep. did we turn the government back on? no? okay. and back to sleepy time. nighty night, functioning democracy. the second awesomest thing on the internet today, our new favorite head banger. until now humans were the only known mammals that could keep the beat with music. aside from the occasional monkey puppet from old levi's commercials. but now there's a california sea lion that's been trained to bop along to the beat. ♪ okay, pretty cool, but i've got to say for such a notable evolutionary advancement, i'm
not sold on the music choice. he should have a sound track that's way more epic. ♪ expertly done. now, that is more like it. keep that up, ronan. you'll be on stage with john tesh in no time. a speaker blowout. twitter was the talk of the tech and finance world today. the ipo that got wall street buzzing. you'd think the ipo was a big success. the problem is this isn't twitter stock. no, it's stock for tweeter home entertainment group. finance experts explaining, whoops, some getting their twitter ticker wrong. tweeter stock is on fire. in case you don't remember, tweeter is a bankrupt home electronics company famous for selling speakers. 684%, of a future market driven by the culturally illiterate. >> we want openness of the
press. we don't want to have to use tweeter. >> regardless, congrats to all the new tweeter stock owners. and i'm not saying it's the best way to make a buck, but maybe when hulu announces its ipo, you want to keep an eye on those things. they'll be flying off the shelves. find the links online. we'll be right back. razy idea, and a crazy idea can either make you kind of famous or kind of fired. his bosses told him to pack up his things and go... ♪ ...to an office...with a door. see, matt works at esurance, where crazy ideas make car insurance faster, friendlier, and fit for life in the modern world, which isn't all that crazy when you think about it. esurance. insurance for the modern world. now backed by allstate. click or call.
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♪ [ male announcer ] build anything with the new toyota tundra. toyota. let's go places. big news out of texas last night. and it's big news for even bigger reasons than you think. >> i am proud to announce my candidacy to be the 48th governor of this great state! >> reporter: yesterday was the day for wendy davis. the texas state senator throwing her hat in the ring to become the first democratic governor of the lone star state since ann richa richards. you remember wendy davis. ♪ the woman who waged an epic
11-hour filibuster to temporarily block a republican proposal restricting abortion in the state, sporting a pair of neon pink sneakers throughout. and the filibuster wasn't some ted cruise-style spectacle. this was a real-deal filibuster, an attempt to block a republican bill restricting women's access to medical care. davis's actions galvanized folks across the country. a flood of supporters gathering inside the state capitol to cheer her on. and when the bill was ultimately blocked at the midnight deadline -- davis became an overnight rock star in the democratic party. inspiring memes, nail art, a hash tag, even taiwanese animation. but a wendy davis candidacy is more than just good politics for democrats. it's literally a matter of life or death for many texans. according to gallup for the
fifth straight year, texas leads the country in its percentage of people without health insurance. a whopping 29% of texans don't have coverage. that's over 6 million people, roughly the population of the entire state of massachusetts. and the trend is getting worse. piling on, the state's current governor, republican rick perry, rejected the very thing that would help those people most to receive coverage under obama care. >> medicaid expansion is simply put a misguided and ultimately doomed attempt to mask the shortcomings of obama care. texas will not be participating in medicaid expansion. >> reporter: rejection of the medicaid expansion around the country leaves 8 million people without health insurance, many of them poor single mothers. wendy davis, a single mom at age 19, supports the expansion. as a governor, she would help the uninsured in texas on a road to recovery.
texas is not the only state to reject the medicaid expansion. in fact, 26 states have said no to this key provision of obama care. and that risks gutting a huge part of what this law was supposed to be chiefly about. insuring the uninsured. "new york times" estimates around 60% of the country's uninsured working poor live in the states opting out of the medicaid expansion. but if wendy davis can reverse opposition to medicaid expansion in the biggest state of the south, that might be the trigger to get texas's neighbors on board as well. in fact, if you look at the map of these states rejecting medicaid expansion, you'll see that many of them are clustered in one geographic region of the country. jamelle bowie offers a particularly provocative comparison noting that nearly half of the states seen here also made up the confederacy. only one of the former confederate states opted into the medicaid expansion. let's hear it for arkansas. joining me now is senior editor
for "the atlantic" and josh barrel, politics editor at "business insider." and you have written so much about the way that race plays for our politics. when you see those two maps side by side, when you read "the new york times" article about who the uninsured working poor in those states are, what's your reaction to that? >> the idea that the expansion of the social safety net would leave out those people who historically have been most vulnerable. i think it was two-thirds for poor african-americans, i believe, is devastating. it's emotionally devastating. what is a social safety net worth if it can't protect the most vulnerable people? >> there's a provocative article about how it's led us to the point of the shutdown. i'd like to get your response to it right after we take this break. lyrics: 'take on me...' ♪
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we're back and i'm here. josh, you've got a situation where you have a number of states in the south, majority white with large non-white populations that tend to be poorer and more likely to qualify for the kind of benefits under medicaid expansion. that are also states run by republican politicians for the most part. those republican politicians who receive the vast majority of their votes from white voters. and when you put all those things together, it looks like there is a very frank, clear, straightforward racial story to tell about what's going on with something like medicaid expansion in the south. >> there is that story to tell.
and that's a significant part of what drives opposition to welfare programs or other means-tested entitlement programs in the united states. but i think -- and this is the mistake i think joan walsh makes in her salon piece. you don't want to talk about that like it's the only driver of this because, for example, other states not expanding medicaid include new hampshire and maine, which are almost entirely white. and republicans there are still strongly opposed to medicaid expansion. so i think when democrats focus on this as a driver for why republicans oppose these programs, it's a wholly illegitimate reason for opposing them and it allows you to say my opponents are illegitimate and you lose other arguments they're making that require a response. >> race is the most objectionable argument. so there's a real responsibility to call that out. that doesn't mean it's the only argument being made, but it's a wholly objectionable, completely, you know, unethical, immoral argument that deserves to be called. that doesn't mean that everybody's doing it, but it has to be answered for, i think.
>> so you're saying sha ing th sense it's in the different moral category than some other kind of expansion, that it should be called out. the difficulty and the thing i hear from conservatives all the time and tim carney who was on the show and matt welch who's been on the show, this is doing this kind of easy stereotyping, liberals like ourselves, to be, like, oh, you don't like our big-government health care because you're racist. what do you say to that? >> right. i think part of the problem is we get into this debate where it's like is ted cruz racist? is rand paul racist? we try to peer into people's heart. but the fact of the matter, is you look at the history, the expansion of the social safety net throughout history, it has always been racialized. so those of us who live on the other side of that racialization find that deeply, deeply objectionable. and we feel the need to point it out when we see it. >> and, of course, and social security and the new deal is a perfect example in which there was this kind of deal with the devil made with southerners. >> right, the g.i. bill.
you can go down the list. >> and josh, the other issue i would say and to your response of the idea of what about maine and, you know, northern states is that there's also a degree to which the nature of the modern republican institutional party and its politics have kind of been exported from the south, that the driving institutional structure, the drivie ining eth increasingly the ethos of southern conservatism. that is where the grass roots of the party is. that's where the kind of center of gravity of the house republican caucus is, and that that actually has an effect. that that actually sets up the kind of institutional conditions that means that that's not to say there's some sort of contagious racism, but that is having an effect in the way that all kind of northern republicanism looks like. >> well, i don't know how you can diagnose that. i mean, you have republicans -- i mean, republicans have run the state legislature in new hampshire for basically the entire history of the republican party in the united states. so i think, you know, if you
look at conservative republican tea party-style activism and define that as southern, then when you look at places that have that kind of activism, you'll end up calling it southern but that's just circular. you no he, know, idaho and wyoming as deep southern states have the same opposition to these kinds of social programs with very different racial politics. so i think the race thing is real, but i think it's not an explicitly southern thing to have that. >> how do you understand a state like new hampshire rejecting the medicaid expansion? >> i think that -- i think that republicans have been strongly opposed to the expansion of the health care safety net for the entirety of the last 50 years. when bill clinton was president, they launched a scorched earth campaign against his health care plan and succeeded in defeating it. so i think republicans are very energized against the president, against his plan. but i don't think that it's -- obviously, you can't understand that as a black versus white thing because nearly everybody who would go on medicaid in new hampshire is white.
>> there's this piece that ryan lizza wrote in which he was talking about what charles krauthammer called the suicide caucus which is the 80 members of the republican caucus who signed the original letter calling on john boehner to have the shutdown fight over defunding obama care. he went through and he looked at the kind of demographic base of this group. and he finds that they're overwhelmingly from the south, that obviously their voters chose mitt romney by wide margins, that their voters are much whiter than the rising electorate. it does seem to me that you do have an increasingly racial division between the kind of gerrymandered white particularly southern base of the house republican party which is now the governing center of what the republican party is and the multiracial obama coalition that voted for obama after he passed obama care and essentially ratified it that way. >> right. and if that's your base, there will be some effects. >> right. >> you know, to put it bluntly. that does not require individual racism from individual senators or individual house of -- you
know, congressmen from the house of representatives. that originates in the fact that this is part of who we are. this is a systemic issue that we have. and if you're dealing with a situation in which portions of the electorate are isolated over here into a sort of homogeneous situation, folks will represent. >> how do you find against the racialization of the social safety net? you have this issue in which there's been so much rhetoric about what the people who are the beneficiaries of government look like and how they're racially coded. how do you undo that? >> i don't know. i don't know. i mean, you know, we've been debating on this for the past three days about this, and i don't know. i know a lot of sociologists say don't leave it up to the states. there's debate about how to make that politically actionable. i don't know, chris. >> josh, what do you think? >> i have one idea. there is a problem where you have a lot of people who are working poor or on the cusp of working poor and as they lose
benefits as they earn more income, basically they feel they're climbing a ladder they can't get up. it's poverty perhaps created by these phase-outs. i think if we have a comprehensive reform of these programs that try to turn that into more of a slope, and obama care does that to an extent. currently you have this problem where if you don't work and you're on medicaid, you go back to work and you lose your health insurance. that discourages people from work. it would make welfare less of a poverty trap and that might change public perceptions that welfare is encouraging people to be lazy or not to work. i think real policy improvements could improve the racial political environment. >> part of the problem also, though, deals with the degree of good faith to assume on the part of your critics. and one of the things that's been difficult about watching the obama care debate is there is a small segment of people who i feel like in good faith are trying to improve the law and then there's a lot who i feel are bad faith trying to destroy this thing because this thing represents something ideologically challenge to them or they want to see president obama fail.
and that's where it's much harder to engage. that seems to be the kind of foundational soil into which the seeds of the shutdown have been planted. thank you, gentlemen, both. >> thank you. she once led the fight for standards and testing in her schools. she has now become the education reform establishment's biggest enemy. she'll be here coming up. i'm a careful investor. when you do what i do, you think about risk. i don't like the ups and downs of the market, but i can't just sit on my cash. i want to be prepared for the long haul. ishares minimum volatility etfs.
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america's students are falling hopelessly behind. worldwide, we're 14th in reading, 25th in math, and less than half of our students finish college. at this rate, the world will soon be out of reach for america's children. >> everybody knows american schools are broken. they're failing, and they need to be saved before it's too late. but what if that's not actually true? what if the current movement to reform our schools through testing and standards and teacher accountability is actually dismantling a system that's working rather than fixing a system that's broken? that's a provocative argument made by the woman who may be the biggest heretic in american schooling and one a decade ago was standing alongside the reformers. she was a proponent of the arguments made by people like michelle re. ravish is now probably the
harshest critic of re and her allies who say is grounded in a massive hoax perpetrated on the american people. if you think the fight in washington right now is brutal, it has nothing on the fight over how to teach our kids. joining me is diane ravitch. the author of "reign of error." what i found provocative about the book is this. usually the debate is framed in terms of how do we make america's schools better. how do we reform them. what does reform constitute. everyone wants reform. you attack the very premise upon which the whole thing is built, is that our schools are bad, that they're failing, that we're laggards in the world. that is such conventional wisdom. persuade the viewers, persuade me that's not true. >> well, they'd have to read my book. that would be a good start. but i'm an historian of education. i've been writing about education since the mid-1970s. i've written lots of books. and what i did was to look at the data. and what the data shows is test scores for american students today, based on federal tests,
have never been higher. they've never been higher for white students, black students, hispanic students or asian students. grad rauation rates are at thei highest point. i even looked at international test scores and found that we're actually doing quite as well. >> okay. there's a few things to dissect about that. one is, there's in equity issue. but actually, you know, i grew up in the bronx. and my mom worked in education in the bronx. i've been around big cities my whole life. and i know what big-city education is. i've worked in schools as a tutor. a lot of those schools are really struggling. and i've talked to students who are in fourth grade in a neighborhood in new york city and talked to students in a poor neighborhood in new york city. >> absolutely. >> i think i want to establish the premise that we've got a lot of public schools in this country in lots of parts of the country that are in areas that have parents with not much income that are not doing very
well. >> the schools are not doing well because our society is not doing well. the schools that you're describing where there is real failure, they're very often filled with terrific teachers. hardworking principals. they're underresourced. they don't have an arts program because all they're doing is testing. they have physical education once a week because they have to do the testing. and the kids don't have the resources that they have in the tony neighborhood, and the biggest problem we have in this society is poverty. and you can look at any standardized -- any set of standardized tests anywhere, state tests, national tests, international tests, poor kids are at the bottom. rich kids are at the top. >> two responses you'll hear from reformers. one is controlling for poverty, there remains a racial test gap in this country. >> absolutely. >> that's something we have to get rid of. that's part of the teach for america ethos is getting rid of that. and the second thing you'll hear about that is, okay, fine, yes, we should get rid of child poverty, but i'm an education reformer. i work in education and i have to essentially play the hand that's dealt me. so if the hand that's dealt me
is i've got to run a school system in harlem or in the ninth ward in louisiana, i have to deal with the facts on the ground which is that people are poorer. what do you want me to do aside from complain about the fact that the parents don't have more money? >> the reason i wrote this book was i have a dozen chapters explaining what the research shows. what the research shows is that everything -- these so-called reformers, i call them corporate reformers because they use the business lingo. everything that they're doing actually doesn't work. charters are no better than regular public schools unless they kick out the low-performing kids. vouchers don't work. >> this is on average. >> on average, yeah. vouchers don't work. merit pay has never worked in 100 years. everything that they recommend actually doesn't work. what does work? reducing class size in the high-poverty neighborhoods. having early childhood education. that works. because the achievement gap exists before kids come to school. >> i've seen data on both early
childhood education, the bulk indicates does have a real effect. the effect is nowhere as big as we would like it to be. >> it's one of many things but it's very important. and actually "the economist" magazine ranked the advanced nations of the world, and we were number 24 out of 45. in providing early childhood education. >> i want to play you a clip of michelle rie talking about testing. she's become kind of the face on a whole variety of education reforms. this is her talking about testing. >> we have to have measures by which we understand whether or not kids are learning. appropriately. right? so you have to have a standardized way to determine that. >> so two different ways of thinking about critiquing testing, right? one is the presence of testing themselves. the other is not having the right tests. sometimes it seems, in your book, you kind of move between those two different -- there's parts of the book where you say we need -- children need to not be worrying about testing
particularly when the young feed to be creative and playful. but at other times you seem to be saying testing is important. we seem to be doing the wrong testing. >> i'm relying on the tests where no one gets a reward, no one gets a punishment. those are the federal tests. when tests are used as carrots or sticks, it distorts all of education. what i do believe is that teachers should give their own tests because they know best. what we're doing now is we're fattening up the testing industry on standardized tests where we get the results six months later, and it's too late to do anything about what we learned. >> very quickly, respond to the critique a lot of people said -- and the book has a harsh tone in it really assumes a lot of bad faith on the part of the people who are sort of conspiring to undo public education. why do you think that? >> well, actually, i don't think it has a harsh tone. i think it has a very measured tone. i'm an historian, and i look at facts and evidence. and the evidence shows that, for example, in washington, d.c., which michelle rhee led for four years and her deputy still leads, there's a huge achievement gap. it's double the size of any other major city in the country,
so i wouldn't consider that a model. so i think it's important to look at evidence. but the most important thing we need to do is to recognize the root cause of low performance and its poverty and racial segregation. that's hard to deal with. >> that's great irony, those two things have gone up during the flowering period of education reform. diane ravitch. that is all for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> good evening. thanks for joining us this hour. this is, of course, the fourth day of the shutdown of the federal government. and apparently the fourth day is when the democratic party starts pulling rabbits out of hats to try to save the republican party. >> good afternoon. madam speaker, all of my colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, we are announcing something good today. we are about to rescue the republicans who have gotten themselves in the unhappy position of the dog that caught the car. >> 87-year-old congressman john