tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg June 26, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm EDT
josh: i'm josh green. john: and i'm john heilemann. and with all due respect to president obama -- [cell phone rings] >> i just want to say congratulations. john: thank you, mr. president. happy national chocolate pudding day, sports fans. if you were happy to you the news from the supreme court today you are probably celebrating. here is how president obama commemorated the gay marriage ruling in the rose garden with the birds literally chirping. president obama: it is the consequence of the countless
small acts of courage that millions of people across decade, folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts and stayed strong and came to believe in themselves and who they were. and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love. the most countless, often anonymous heroes, they deserve our thanks. they should be very proud. america should be very proud. john: meanwhile, it was a sad trombone day for republicans. on one hand, jeb bush, chris
christie, and john kasich say they disagree with the ruling, but it's time to move on. others had more pointed criticism like mike huckabee who said he would not acquiesce to an imperial court and ted cruz told sean hannity that we have just lived through some of the darkest 24 hours in our nations history. whew. all right, josh, the republicans seem a little more torqued about this than democrats do. how do you think that this will play out in 2016? josh: it really settles gay marriage as a national issue. it is legal. everybody can get married in every state. the reaction that we saw from republican presidential candidate show it will continue to be an issue in a problem for republicans. some came out as that essentially this is the rule of law, i do not agree with it, but let's move on. there were some like scott walker who came out and called for a constitutional amendment and ted cruz said that this was a worse event that even 9/11 or
pearl harbor. the danger is this can be a wedge issue for republicans against republicans. if you are one of these 13 social conservative candidates trying to stand out, here is how you differentiate yourself from front runners like jeb bush by making this an issue in a place like iowa that is socially conservative and that is a danger for republicans. john: it is clear the establishment candidates in the top tier -- scott walker, i will talk about him in a second -- they want to get to a point where they do not alienate gay americans. scott walker is running so hard to the right. one of the campaigns provided me with a litany of statements where he has shied away from the idea of a constitutional amendment. now all of a sudden he is the managing one on gay marriage. he is putting himself in jeopardy pursuing that strategy.
moving on. after speaking in the rose garden, president obama spoke to charleston to speak at the funeral of reverend clementa pinckney who was shot with eight others in charleston. the shooting has plunged the country into a grim reflection on race relations. there has been a kind of unity born out of the tragedy. house speaker john boehner took his first flight on air force one since obama has been president. president obama performed passionately, belting out "amazing grace," and bringing the audience into chorus with him. president obama: for too long we have been blind to the way that past injustices continue to shape the present. perhaps we see that now. perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many
of our children to languish in poverty, or to attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or a career. perhaps it causes us to examine what we're doing to cause some of our children to hate. maybe we now realize the way racial bias can infect this even when we do not realize it, so that we are guarding against not just racial slurs. we are also guarding against the impulse to call johnny back for a job interview but not jamal. john: as awful as the shooting was, but has the cumulative reaction been a sign of progress on race, or a mirage? josh: i think it is a sign of progress and a multiple number of things have happened, really beginning with the republican led crusade to take down the
confederate flag in south carolina in mississippi and other places, but also to undertake a kind of personal introspection that has led to remarkable changes. the guy that stands out the most to me is the south carolina congressman mike mulvaney who has said it is a poor reflection on me that it took the shooting of my colleague clementa pinckney to understand the pain this is causing. i think we should take it down. that is the kind of change we have seen. and that is the reason why this will be more than a fleeting national conversation that does not lead to anything in the end. john: there is no doubt that the debate on the confederate flag went faster than almost anyone expected and the consensus emerging and really about 72 hours moved quickly. at the same time, the concrete
parts of president obama's usually -- president obama's eulogy -- i commend president obama for an incredible speech but when he talks about gun control and the agenda items, it is not clear to me that there is much will on the democratic side or in the white house to go back and refight the gun control battle or to try to make any tangible progress. i have no doubt that this has been in some ways a clarifying moment for america. i just wonder if two years from now or two months from now there will be anything to show for it other than the confederate flag having been taken down from a few southern states. to recap, president obama's week. obamacare, check. trade, check. gay marriage, check. and then that powerful eulogy. apart from the sadness of charleston in has been a pretty incredible week for president obama. is this the best week he has had in his second term? josh: there is no question this is the best wiki has had. he has gotten wins on not just the big cases we have talked about.
even ones that came under the radar like the housing discrimination ruling. big win for liberals. i think this will end up being the high point of his second term. even the tragedy seems to have kicked off a discussion with clear positive effects, not just for democrats and obama, but for the country and the culture. john: the way that president obama spoke today speaks to a kind of liberation. but gosh, you cannot understate or overstate the extent to which the supreme court, for a second consecutive time has come down in favor of obama. that will be his domestic policy legacy and now it twice has survived. it is now, as he believes, more and more ingrained in the fabric of american life. that alone could make it the biggest week of his second term, but throw trade and there, and it's hard to see him having a better one over the course of the next two years.
john: our guest tonight is super lawyer david boies who has been at the forefront of the gay-rights battle. i would you go back to january where you protected right here in that chair the supreme court would make gay marriage legal in all 50 states. let's look at you right now. david: it is the right thing to do. i think they will have it this year. john: i knew that bearded freak was right. you said off-camera you are getting nervous. was there anything about this opinion that surprised you even given your prediction? david: not really. one thing that was uncertain was
whether the court would come down strongly on people's protection and due process. the court did, establishing the constitutional right both under the equal protection clause and the due process clause. a very powerful opinion by justice kennedy. john: i'm going to go through kennedy's opinion, roberts's a pinion and scalia's opinion. just to get commonality. justice kennedy wrote -- he wrote we misunderstand these men women when we say the disrespect the institution of marriage. they do respect it. they ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. the constitution grants them that right. could you have asked for anything more? in terms of arguments you have made on this issue and what advocates have fought for?
david: he set it so well and elegantly there. what we said from the beginning this kind of discrimination seriously harms gays and lesbians, seriously harms the children they are raising and it does not hurt anybody. he is says it right there. it simply restores to these people the rights they should have for equality. john: there are those who thought that chief justice roberts might join the majority. i know you thought there was a chance. i want to read from his opinion. i want your view of this grade he says the majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. the right to marriage has no basis in the constitution or court precedent. openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own new insight into the nature of injustice. whether same-sex marriage is a
good idea should be of no concern to us. under the constitution, judges have the power to say what the law is, not what it should be. his argument is in the equal protection laws, it is not there. you cannot find it in the constitution. how do you respond to that? david: it says everybody is equal. the court ruled in 1967 the equal protection clause said you cannot say to people of different races you can't get married. now they are saying you can't say because of sexual orientation you can't marry the person you love. we have expanded the concepts, but the concept of equality is written into our constitution in the equal protection clause. the purpose of the courts is to interpret the constitution. it is to protect fundamental rights. if they are not going to protect those fundamental rights we do not need a constitution and we do not need it supreme court. john: i'm going to go to justice scalia. i like having these up on the big board.
especially for justice scalia. referring to justice kennedy's majority opinion, justice scalia says who would ever have thought that intimacy and spirituality whatever that means, or freedoms? and if intimacy is, one would think freedom of intimacy -- capital letters, i like that -- is a bridge rather than by marriage. ask the nearest hippie. he said if he had ever been asked to join in opinion that began with these words -- i would hide my head in a bag. he says that those are mystical aphorisms you would find in a fortune cookie. the fact that justice scalia is against gay marriage, not surprising. but this is a collegial body the supreme court. this seems like such an
incredibly harsh trashing of a colleague. how do you maintain collegiality of the court when one member is talking about the other that way? david: i was surprised to the extent to which justice scalia attacked justice kennedy personally. i checked his words, not his concepts, the legal reasoning, but just almost ad hominem attack. i think that probably reflects justice scalia's frustration. he predicted this, 12 years ago to the day. he said, gay marriage is coming. you can't stop it. how are we ever going to say you can prevent people from getting married? that is what he said 12 years ago. i think you saw it coming, saw this trend coming. he is personally very opposed to it. and i think what you see there
is -- john: lashing out. david: lashing out. frustration. john: i need to ask you a story personally. you have a storied legal career. when you think about your legacy, is this at the top of the list of the most important things you have done? david: it is right at the top. i cannot think of any cases i have been involved in -- to see the difference it makes in people's lives, the difference, having dignity, the ability to be with the person they love, to be with a loved one in times of trouble, to raise their children in a stable marriage. think what that means to them, their families, their parents. john: there have obviously been a lot of people who played a big role in this and you honestly have a right to be claimed as one of them. david: a lot of people. and one thing that i thought president obama got exactly right today is the real heroes
are the gay men and women who for decades came out, express their identity, stood proud, and made all of us recognize them for what they were, which is simply another american citizen who deserves equal rights. those were the people who really drove this decision. john: david boies, thank you. thanks for coming in. we will be right back with the reverend calvin butts right after this. ♪
john: i want to play a couple pieces from the eulogy that president obama gave. he talked about race relations woven throughout the speech. i want to play this. we will talk about this in a second. president obama: none of us can or should expect a transformation in race relations overnight. every time something like this happens, someone says we need to have a conversation about race. we talk a lot about race. there is no shortcut. we don't need more talk. none of us should believe a handful of gun safety measures will prevent every tragedy. it will not. but it would be a betrayal of everything reverend pinckney stood for, i believe, if we allow ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again. [applause] john: since the shootings in
charleston, there has been progress on certain fronts, with the flag. we will talk about that in a moment. do you think this could spur a real change, or will this be a sentimental moment where we talk about how we want to get along and go back to our original stance? reverend butts: i think it will probably be another sentimental moment when we go back to our original sense. after 9/11 we made pronouncements. we have taken security measures, but we have not dug deep into the problem of how something like that could happen. and we were hugging and embracing and we were inspiring, but i think we have been low back into complacency, which is dangerous for our nation. i think these same will be true with race. we seem to be going back to where we were at one time with busing and integration and now we have an african-american
president, but look at the hell he has caught. he had a great week. but the speech is at the end of his term. imagine if he could have made a speech like this at the beginning, absent the tragedy. it would have had had much greater impact. we have had certain criticisms about how we move. the killing is heinous, but what about the mortgage scandal? what about education? the president alluded to these things and his eulogy. these are the things we will have to drill down on and with much stronger emphasis from the top. john: i mentioned the confederate flag. the president said that this is not just a symbol of historical pride. it is a symbol of oppression of trade wrist behavior. you went to morehouse. reverend butts: i did. john: are you surprised it did this long to get to this place?
reverend butts: no, and i do not think we would be here even now if it was not so close to an election. you can note one thing. while the president praised the governor of south carolina, she did not take that flag down until after reverend pinckney had to be escorted by it. it was an insult. i think the deep-seated hatred that is in places like south carolina, pockets there, is still across the country. john: we have republicans now -- i do not dispute any of the things you said -- we have republicans taking down statues of jefferson davis. mitch mcconnell made that proposal. how do you feel about that? what is the place for any kind of memorials around the confederacy? should those all be gone, lost
statues in all public places? reverend butts: i have not thought that deeply about it because it does not really matter. they can stay. if you are going to take down symbols of hatred and bigotry you have to start -- is it the museum of history where teddy roosevelt is riding on his horse and he has a black man under one boot and a native man under the other? that is as racist as that flag is. the symbols are important to be removed. but the kind of -- the discriminations that you see can be addressed. it's only the men and women at the top. i will put all of my resources behind wiping it out. john: in keeping with that
point, en toto, six and a half years into president obama's presidency, argued disappointed he has not let on this issue or do think he has done as well as can be expected? reverend butts: i think he has done as well as can be expected. of all the presidents we have had in my lifetime, he has been one of the best. he has been in a difficult place and he has handled that well. i am hoping only he will not be the last, because that will be another indication of how far we have come in race. john: thank you for coming. we will be right back with the video. what happened at the end of that eulogy, the president and "amazing grace" after this. ♪
and on television twice a day. until next week, president obama singing -- president obama: ♪ amazing grace ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ get excited for the 1989 world tour with exclusive behind the scenes footage all of taylor swift's music videos interviews, and more. xfinity is the destination for all things taylor swift.
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