tv Washington Journal CSPAN April 28, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
they happened to be born outside the borders? >> that's right this happens all the time now. if we look at the purpose of this clause, it would seem reasonable to allow the elibility in an example if their parent s were born outside the united states. john mccain was born outside the ter fory of the united states.
there was some consensus he was eligible he was eligible to run for the presidency. >> he was born in a u.s. territory in the panama canal. >> correct but it wasn't the u.s. proper. given this situation. if he had been born in kenya for any reason, would that have disqualified him from being president for any reason as far
facts were the same. he was born in hawaii, if this imagine ari barack obama was born in kenya, he would have been a citizen at birth. there is a question whether that was good enough. as far as a military base this is something that we are not going to get a definitive word on. is it becomes something that
those arguments made by the challenges. one more time. if somebody said what does it mean to be natural born, could you put that in a sentence or two. >> today, that means the person must have it citizenship at the moment of birth to be eligible for presidency. >> today, if a person is born anywhere in the world or on the moon, that person would be qualifieded to be a citizen as a
citizen of the u.s., right? >> the parent has to have spent some time in the united states before the birth of the the chi child. >> even if that person was a citizen deployed or military deployed? >> that's true. >> professor peter spiro is a law professor at temple university. we want to hear from you. do you think it is important that the president is a natural born citizen
let's take an example. would you like to see somebody like governor granholm be eligible to be president? >> no. she was born in the u.s. >> what do you think about this? skwoo i think this is ridiculous. america is everybody. people who are person presidents don't have to be born here. this country is for everybody. we have people here going on saying, no. we can't have people being born outside the u.s. i was born in canada. i had ambitions to become the united states president one day. when i heard i couldn't, it
broke my heart. there are smart people all over the world who come to this country >> absolutely 100%. going back in history to the founding fathers. natural born, the way they thought of it was someone who had to be born of parents of the united states, residents of what was to become the united states. this was based on combon law, english and french. i don't know where he learned about that in school. in all of my education over the
. >> we should have people born in the united states that can run for president and be our president. of course, the first african-american president is the legitimate american president, period. we've been here as african-americans since the 1600s. we are talking about this in 2011. ub believable. that's what i have to say.
caller: it is so wide open natural born citizen, yes. they ought to be from right here in the united states. i can make an argument that when they signed the declaration, it was caucasian people also. they can argue the fact that there's a black man in presidency now. i think they should have been a little smarter to close all them loo pfrp holes. we had this tweet here.
the dentist from orange county. i looked to see if she would apologize that the president, a person of color. i'm talking about donald trump on nbc. >> should the president be natural born citizen? >> yes. i think america needs to figure out its history. today. raceism in part. the fact that we are having this conversation is because of
you guys should stop this. we as america should be embarrassed. that is an advancement on this country. it really is. boston on the republican line. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. little nervous. people can come here be educated, willing to die for their country should be able to be commander and chief. americans think they are the best in the world because they are born here. i disagree. we are all equal.
next call from london. what do you think? caller: it seems like your president and vice president have to be naturally born citizens, however, god forbid, if those two are out of the picture, it goes down to your speaker of the house and the protem p of senate. my question is those individuals may not be natural born citizens. what happens then. i agree.
couldn't get our highest position. as far as our current president goes, you can put it into photo shop and it is set in layers. >> so you don't think this is going away? caller: no mark. . >> good morning caller: i feel sympathy for you. i know a lot of people are giving you a lot of pressure. i think someone should be a natural born citizen. i have never heard a president show his birth certificate before. this is the first time i ever
be natural born. the other time i called was about 7-8 years ago. you had a similar discussion. the republicans wanted to change the constitution to allow arnold schwarzenegger to run. i don't remember if you were the host or not. >> i think i was. i remember that discussion. we talked about jennifer granhold at the time and arnold schwarzenegger. >> exactly. i find it so amazing we are having this out cry about the birth when the republicans were the ones who wanted to change the constitution so you did not have to be natural born. >> all right. thank you for calling in. and in georgia, darryl on our
independent line. >> before i make my comment. what the lady before me just said, that was interesting. i still ponder on my comment. on one hand, i think the president should be a natural born citizen and then on the other hand what if a little kid comes here when they are 2 years old? why can't they dream about being the president? this whole thing has been run by the media.
it accounts for the increase. there's not much the federal reserve can do about gas prices, per se. what we can do is try to keep higher gas prices from passing into other wages throughout the economy and creating a broader inflation. our view is that gas prices will not continue to rise. as they stabilize or come down, that that will provide some
relief dealing with the gas prices, on one hand it does deal with that. the chairman said yesterday, if the chairman tries to attack that issue, they are going to hit a lot of other parts of the economy, push unemployment higher and push down on wages. it doesn't have good choices for all of this. >> how much does this fact things, really? >> they could. they could affect a lot of other
things. one of the things we are struggling to deal with right now. we live and we are operating in a global economy. there were other players influencing our welfare. we were putting pressure. we are starting to live in a world the rest of the world is living in. all these other factors come into play. >> your front page story this morning, the headline, fed takes foot off the gas. >> right. the fed announced a program in november they did it because
they want to give a lift to the economy and help going. the program will help and confirm. the program is going to be over. that marks the end of the fed easing efforts. we still have an easy environment. we do when we can. it is now the economy's chance. they tried do this a year ago and ended upcoming back and taking more. one of the important things we
learned is that bernanke was committed. how concerned are we in seeing. the fed had been talking before about the price pressures we have been seeing are transit torry. he pretty much stuck to that line. he really wants to keep the policy easy right now. they are really only going to act in the economy. and seeing it in other prices. the price of a hair cut and going out to kinner. those are the core prices that are outside these sectors like food and energy.
dave, a republican in michigan. hi, dave. dave you with us? caller: yes. ok. i was just wandering when you were speaking with mr. bernanke, this bit about inflation and we people on retired incomes. they don't talk about what keeps you alive anymore. they say there's no inflation because property values haven't increased. that fact is a disaster for us. we lost all our life savings in our home and inflation at the grocery store or gas pump where it is hard to stay alive.
>> i had a list of questions i wanted to ask. number two was, what do you say to retireries who feel like they are being hurt the case of keeping this so low and putting their money in riskier assets. i think that is a valid quest n question. when he talks about inflation, i don't think he would have said that. the point he's trying to convey is that we are highly unlikely to go into a 1970s type
inflation style. in that case, prices were going up, interest rates were going way up, wages were going way up. there's a lot of fear. he's likely to say we are unable to go back into the 1970s. people's real incomes are being squeezed in foods and services. food, gasoline is going up and their own wages aren't rising much. that's part of the global economy we live in. the real inflation adjustments are rising. in america, we are trying to deal with that. there is a great imbalance going on.
-- he held himself up. not everyone is going to agree with what he said or his stance, but he held himself up pretty well and answered questions in pretty good step. host: is he is accessible to a reporter such as yourself away from press conferences? guest: he has done press conferences -- not quite press conferences -- but he has answered questions at the press club. he is trying to be out there more than he used to be. he is talking at universities, taking questions. the fed, as an institution, you can see this from all the chatter from fed bank presidents. it seems that they are all over the world talking. as an institution, they are out there making their case more than they used to. host: next phone call from palm
beach, florida. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to ask the question, two important things, raising oil prices and gas prices. number one, the printing of too much money, which is something i hope has to do with the federal reserve. the other thing is wall street and the gamblers making the bats -- bets. will it go higher or higher? i will make it go higher by selling something else. it is not just gas but all commodities. host: printing of money, gasoline prices, speculation on
wall street. caller: let's take the last one, speculation on wall street. the theory is, if you have speculator try to push the currency up -- i am sorry, try to push commodity prices up, and it gets to a point where it is not sustainable, you what speculators on the other side that will make that it will go down. it ought to equalize at some point at a level where supply and demand are justified. what i am trying to say is there are speculators out there expecting to see it go up, but there are others who think they can make a lot of money if it goes down. it is certainly one of the arguments, the fed, by printing money is putting pressure on the dollar. but we cannot ignore the fact -- there is a lot of demand for
oil. there is a lot of demand for cotton. there is a lot of demand for wheat in the world right now. we have billions of people in china and india and brazil who are joining a global middle- class, so to speak, and they want to go out and buy these things that we americans have been buying four years. -- for years. is the fed printing money a factor? yes, it probably is, but we are living in a world where other people are pushing up prices, too. host: paul in michigan. good morning. caller: i found it interesting in that clip that you played with bernanke, he dodged the question about the role the fed is planning, causing prices to rise -- playing, causing prices
to rise. it seems to me, over the past several decades, the fed's printing of money has caused commodity prices to rise, and that has led to increases in other things as well. i think ron paul that is exactly right. out,e 1970's, he pointed coming off the gold standard gave the fed a free pass to print as much money as it wanted. now we are seeing the effects of that and our own days. guest: the fed's point of view is that we are actually not seeing as much inflation right now as it feels like we are getting. we see inflation at the gas pump, a grocery store, but if you look at other parts of the economy -- for instance, what it
costs to get a haircut -- that price has not changed. for 20 years it was going up three, 4% a year, but now it is pretty much flat one of my favorite indicators is the cost of buying food at a garage restore and the cost of getting food at a restaurant. if you look at that, the prices are not rising very fast at the restaurant. the common denominator is the service sector of the economy. this is two-thirds of the economy. because we are in a slow recovery after a deep recession, because unemployment is so high, there is little apart pressure on a lot of services that we go out and buy. that is one of the things that makes the economy we are in today different from the one in the 1970's. if you remember back in the
1970's, prices were going up 10% a year. it felt like it was out of control. what we see now is a grinding economy. certainly, it is grinding a lot of people down, but it is not the economy where inflation is through the roof, where every price is going up. host: a tweet about something that you addressed early on. he played down that idea yesterday. he was asked if he felt qe2 -- as bond-buying program that we talked about -- if it worked. well, if it worked, why not do more of it? his explanation was that the cost-benefit equation has changed. if he does more, it could cause more inflation that would be difficult for the fed to unwind.
we can probably expect that he but not do another round of quantitative easing. host: pennsylvania. conrad, you are on the air. caller: good morning. glad to talk to c-span. medicare, medicaid, international tariffs on china, are on the pennsylvania school taxes, those are my issues. it all has to do with making money. i have been a realtor for 37 years. i finally got to a point where i did not need to worry -- having a lean on my house with the social programs in place, such as medicare, were able to pay less money for hospitalization, which is good. we can also depend on some
social security to pay the bills for us in these lean years, but everything is being raided medicare is coming into line. they have compliance organizations to straighten out those problems, which most people are not aware of. social security was raided in jimmy carter's days, and it continues under obama. the school taxes, here in pennsylvania, are outrageous. we are the no. 2 retirement state next to florida and our school taxes are cut bridges here. no one seems to address it. hopefully, the governor will do something about it. a few weeks ago, you had the president of the international
banking fund, import-export bank, and somebody asked about terence from naphtha, which we got back in 1994 -- tarrifs from nafta, which we cut back in 1994. nobody mentions these billion dollar agreements with these countries. host: we are going to have to wrap it up here to see if jon hilsenrath has a comment. guest: the point about medicare, medicaid, social security is an important one. the viewer was talking about that being raided. the public money to get its hands around the fact that those programs all have to be changed in the long run because they are
not sustainable. we have these baby boomers coming online, medical costs are going up. the hour from it cannot function in the long run unless it finds a way to control the cost. the status quo is unsustainable. what you could see his less of some of these programs, either in the form of higher retirement ages, or for people my age, or crossed control. -- more cost control. it is something that we have to deal with in this a competitive economy. host: how did wall street react? guest: to bernanke? host: yes. guest: the big picture story was
that the fed did not collapse. he could say something -- and this is why the fed had not done this. there was always aware that the chairman would say something wrong, stock prices drop, interest rates go through the roof. what you saw was stock prices went up because monetary policies are staying in place. the dollar went down because easy money policies are staying in place. commodity prices went up because the easy money policies are staying in place. i thought the most interesting reaction was the one that did not happen, the one in the u.s. treasury bond market. if there was a feeling that the fed was going to let inflation really get out of control, yields on treasury bonds would have gone way up. they did not. they did not move. i hear a lot of concern from viewers, on our own web site,
that the fed would let inflation get out of control. if that was really expected to happen, we would see treasury yields up higher. they are up 3.5% right now. the bond market does not see the kind of thing that americans are so viscerally concerned about. host: next question for jon hilsenrath. river falls, wisconsin. randy. republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. jon said earlier the united states, maybe we would have to degrade ourselves like the rest of the world or something? it was not nice to hear. on gas prices, i have the perfect solution. president obama, all he has to say is we are going to start drilling in anwar, we are going
to start doing shale. we need to let them keep drilling and keep going on oil. we need to open up the alaskan pipeline. we are also going to go to the gulf of mexico and start drilling again. maybe the last thing that president obama could say is, $25 million for the first person who can develop and all the electric or hydrogen car. reward the american people. as far as developing that sort of stuff, we would be good at that. guest: a couple of things. going back to this point about americans degrading. i do not think i said that, i certainly did not mean that americans need to degrade themselves. the point i was trying to make, we live in a highly competitive global economy, and we are finding that we are going
through, after a difficult financial crisis, having to compete in a competitive economy and it is a difficult challenge. what we are finding is, we, as a nation have to respond and deal with the consequences of what is happening in other places. the good news about that is billions of people around the bold have embraced america's economic model and they are becoming better off as a result of that. on the energy question, it seems to me there are a lot of solutions out there. our political class is having a hard time coming up with a compromise. drilling is one of them. another way of getting the united states off of its addiction of foreign oil is to
raise the price of it through taxes, so that we do not have to pay a higher price on it and then send it overseas. that was tried in the 1990's but went nowhere. you could come up with a compromise where you tax gasoline and you give the money back to people in the form of lower payroll taxes or something. that gives people an incentive to create other products, like electric cars, and to move into areas that gets you away from the addiction to oil. certain issues, we just cannot seem to make any progress on in congress. host: this tweet comment -- sebastian, fla..
herbert, an independent line. -- herbert. independent line. caller: i always wondered why fuel oil -- i have a place in new york as well. we are burning fuel oil for the same price of gasoline. it used to be, if gasoline was $2 a gallon, it would be $1.50 for a gallon of fuel oil. i wonder why all of this has come down -- basically, you need that to live. and cable, time warner, it has gone up 10% annually. i am just wondering what is going on with that. thank you. guest: i cannot really speak to the difference between fuel oil and gasoline prices.
you would think it would relate to the cost of refining the fuel oil into gasoline. cable prices, everybody goes through that. you have a few concentrated companies to control the wire going into your house. i have to go back and check those prices. i think cable costs fall into the category of services where prices are under less pressure today than they were a few years ago. cable companies are under intense pressure right now because you have video that gets streamed in through your computer, so there is more competition now. host: spoony35 tweets in -- it is true. it is kind of an interesting
story. peter diamond won a nobel prize for economics in october. he was nominated by the obama administration last year -- it april of last year -- and he has not yet been confirmed. senator shelby from alabama has been the main obstacle there. his point of view -- shelby's point of view -- he does not agree with diamond's political philosophy. his view is we do not need another liberal on the fed board. this is part of a game that has been played in congress for fed nominees, a game that has been played certainly for judicial nominees. democrats nor republicans have a moral high ground here.
it is one of the unfortunate counter effects of our political system, that these nominees sit around for a long time. i do not know if diamond is going to make it, which is ironic. and nobel prize winner. host: next phone call. caller: when we went into afghanistan, gas prices went up. when we went into iraq, gas prices went up. now in libya, gas prices are up. when we had the oil spill, gas prices went up. how much do you think gas prices are due to that or putting too much money -- printing too much money and inflation? caller: everything -- guest: everything that you mentioned, we would call supply shocks. there is worry about less oil in the markets because of
difficulty drilling in the gulf war problems in the middle east. when you have less supply, the price goes up. that is certainly a factor in this. just as important a factor as some of the issues that we have talked about. host: was the issue of a fed audit brought up yesterday? caller: no, -- guest: no, it was not. perhaps that was the case of the washington press corps being too gentle. i am sure there are people who want to hear what the chairman has to say about transparency. i had a list of three or four questions. one of the questions i would have asked, if i had a chance was, the fed is trying to be more transparent. the chairman was opening himself up to the press corps. if it is trying to be
transparent, why did it take so long to reveal the loans it made to banks during the crisis? there was a worry if the fed disclosed to gets its loans, when the next crisis comes around, banks are going to be afraid to come to it in an emergency, and that could make the financial system even more vulnerable. i do not agree with that argument and we have seen through these disclosures, the financial system works fine when the fed makes their disclosures. host: greg it in nashville, tennessee. -- rank in nashville, tenn. -- greg in nashville, tenn. caller: we know that tons of money went overseas.
if they want to pay the debt off, we need to get the money back from these foreign banks, with interest would be nice. as far as oil issues, everybody says to drill off the gulf or anwar. i think we should be drilling in texas and oklahoma, where all the oil is in the country. states can benefit from that. that could help to build their economy. this global this, global that -- this country group because it was independent from the rest of the world. if the rest of the world wants to buy goods from us, that is fine to do business with other countries, but we do not need other countries providing us with our livelihood, and goods. we have all the technology here. it is the government doing what they can to tax and regulate our businesses out of business. guest: two points, one on banks,
one on foreign trade. it is interesting, the disclosures that came out of the fed release of its lending turn the financial crisis. it was indeed the case that a lot of foreign banks came to the fed for short-term loans during the financial crisis. that is something worth talking about in more detail. two important points. the fed loans to foreign banks that have branches here in the united states -- and the rules of the game are, if a foreign bank is going to operate in the united states, it has to be treated like a domestic one. it has to be a level playing field. if you are registered here, you get treated like a domestic bank. but the other important point here is, this was not just about
the fed giving these banks our money. what was going on was the supporting banks, a lot of european banks in particular, had bought american mortgage debt. they were the ones that loaned to us. they were the ones that made the loans to the guy in the nebraska, texas, ohio. when your local bank gives you a mortgage, those are often bundled and put into securities. a lot of overseas banks held those securities with our mortgages. during the financial crisis, when there was so much concern for our home prices, these banks were having a hard time finding the mortgages they held and were having liquidity squeezes. they needed dollars to hold the mortgages. if the fed had not made those short-term loans, they would have had to solve -- sell the
debt, mortgages, and our mortgage rates would have gone through the roof. it is a complex story, it is hard to appreciate, why are we sending our money overseas? but it is part of this global team. global capital goes all over the place. -- global theme. we are, in many ways, benefiting from global trade. exports have made up the biggest component of growth that we have. they have accounted for almost half of our recovery. we need the rest of the world right now. we cannot depend solely on domestic consumption to fuel our economy. we need to be selling to china, brazil, europe. it is the path to us being
better off. one final point on imports, the viewers and we do not need the rest of the world, we can make this stuff ourselves. the fact is, americans want the rest of the world. any time you go into walmart, by yourself a cheap computer, television, or close. there is a good chance that that stuff was made in china and we are buying it. host: eric in cocoa beach, florida. jon hilsenrath from "the wall street journal" is our guest. caller: many have said that china is growing faster than we are and that is because they are moving toward capitalism. meanwhile, in america, we are not doing well and are moving away from capitalism. why is this lesson not being learned by the government and many people?
another question. how much is chinese manipulation of currency also factoring into that? is it mostly the fact that they are moving towards capitalism? is it even more than they are manipulating their money? thank you for taking my call. guest: that is an interesting set of questions. the first part, china moving toward capitalism and america moving away from it, there is certainly a big debate going on in the country right now about this question. are we moving away from capitalism? have we done too much to regulate the health care sector? i think it will be an important part of the 2012 elections. china's move toward capitalism is an interesting case. it is in many ways at a controlled economy. in particular, its financial sector, banks, are run by the
government. especially its currency. there is no question, the chinese manage their currency, and they manage it in a way to make their export sector competitive spirit one of the big price of every administration for the last many years is that the chinese need to let their currency float. what they mean by that is they need to allow the currency to appreciate a are keeping it so weak it is making their exports competitive. the chinese allowed their currency to float freely and appreciate, what that means for us is our dollar gets weaker. host: jon hilsenrath, how can the chinese control their currency? guest: that plays into all of this, and it is a bit of a complicated story. it might be the core of what has
happened in the global economy over the last 10, 20 years. basically, we by all these trout -- tiny televisions, sneakers, apparel -- chinese televisions, sneakers, apparel. we give them dollars for those goods. they have to do something with that dollar. if they converted them into renminbi really, it would appreciate and then the dollar would decline in value. they do not want that to happen too much because it makes the goods they are selling us too expensive. they have to do something with the dollars. what they do with their dollars is a take them and give them back to us in the form of buying our treasury bonds and mortgage debt. this is something that is helping to hold our interest rates down. ben bernanke's theory before the financial crisis was that all of this recycling of dollars, the pressure the chinese were
putting on our interest rates to hold the dollar up and interest rates down, was making housing to cheap and was helping to fuel the housing bubble. one of the questions was, when they allow their currencies to adjust and what would be the consequences when they allow that to adjust on their own interest rates? i hope i explained that clearly. it is an important part of the story. host: we used to call the chinese currency the won, and now is the renminbi? guest: it is the difference between a dollar and a book. it is either way. host: jon hilsenrath is an economics editor @ "the wall street journal." we appreciate it. coming up, we will be reviewing
and looking at the defense of marriage act and its current status and some of the issues surrounding it for today. up next, a discussion on the new military and national security team that president obama is due to announce this afternoon. first, this news update from c- span radio. >> the death toll from severe storms last night in the south has risen to 173 it across five states. president obama released a statement saying, in part, "machel and i express our deepest condolences to the families of those that lost loved ones in the tornadoes." the president also signed a state of emergency for the state of alabama. held a callgovernor today to talk about local response. you can hear that later on c-
span radio. more on aftermath of michelle obama's aborted landing at andrews air force base last week. the faa has changed top managers at the raiders center that and of the aircraft. a spokesperson said that the agency has returned to the acting manager at the center to his previous duties as assistant manager. the individual who had previously been working at headquarters has been reassigned back to his center. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> this weekend, panels on science, american history, climate change and the constitution. just a few of the highlights from our live coverage of the los angeles times festival of
books. but the skindell onlin 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. here first-person accounts from people who shaped modern america. history bookshelf features the best known history writers of the past decade and travels to important battlefields to learn in the key figures and events. every weekend, visit college classrooms across the nation's, as professors delve into the past. and the presidency focusing on american policies.
american history tv on c-span 3. get the schedule online and sign up to have them e-mail to you. -- e-mailed to you. host: joining us now is michael swetnam, a former cia official, former u.s. navy official, and currently chairman of the potomac institute for policy studies. mr. swetnam, what does the president get by moving leon panetta over to defense, david petraeus into the cia? guest: a couple of things. first of all, continuity. we are involved in sellout -- several military actions across the world. he is preparing to run for office again. it is the wrong time to have anything go wrong in the national security status.
so he is taking some of his top players and is shuffling them around. he has to. gates has announced he will leave. continuity is probably number one by word in this effort. host: what does leon panetta bring to dod? guest: he has tremendous management experience. he has managed part of the white house staff, omb, especially when we are talking about downsizing, doing the same with less money. he has shown that he knows how to manage the tough jobs in washington, d.c. he went to the cia and people said that he did not know anything about intelligence. he is a budget guy. he has shown he knows how to manage tough organizations. his management style is one of
the things that recommends and for the job for the pentagon. host: what will be the reaction to what is called an outsider colon 2 dod? going to dod? guest: actually, there are a lot of people in the past that ran the organization considered outsiders. very few of them were generals, had a background in the military. he is more of the norm of the kind of person that you would pick for secretary of defense. you need somebody with a good management background, someone who understands washington. how things really happen in this city. that is panetta. i think he is a typical selection at this point in time.
he really fits with president's team. i think the probably counts as much as anything. host: and now david petraeus and over to cia. guest: this one is a bit harder. there have been a few career military officers that have led the intelligence community, the most prestigious, the cia, but very few. it is a closed organization. it is an organization where they have a secret handshake, being part of the family means something. he will have a little bit of an uphill battle if he walks into the place with the attitude that it is broken and he is going to fix it. he will have a hard time. but i do not think he will do that. he is not that kind of guy he has been working closely with
the intelligence community and cia in the last couple of jobs he has had. at least the operational arm. it will be an interesting transition for him. the hardest thing for general petraeus is he is going from a job where he is an operational commander. he helped design the strategy, how we are going to win the war, and then implement it and make it happen. he is a policy and operations guy. at the cia, he is an advisor. his job is to find the secret, find out what is going on around the world and advise the president on that. people like to talk about intelligence being part of a policy team. they are not there to give policy. they are there to provide the real facts, the information. they are not supposed to the policy and the mentors but
policy advisers -- implement but policy advisers. host: how will david petraeus navigate his role? guest: probably very well. you are referring to a tough time over the last couple of years between leon panetta and the former dni admiral dennis blair. they really did have a prototypical washington ball at that level. dni wanted more control over who variousr leaders at the statio cia stations. they had a typical washington fight.
leon panetta demonstrated his tremendous ability around washington, d.c. he totally won the battle with the appointment of jim clapper. jim is a different kind of guy. he was not confrontational. they found a working relationship. with petraeus coming in, clapper, having worked with him already, will find a friend. we will see these battle disappear. these individuals have so much in common. i would look for a time -- a period family have not had for a time. where the leader of intelligence and dni are on the same page. host: in your view, has the dni
structure worked? guest: not very well. and i was an advocate for the structure of dni. before that, we had someone who was the director of the cia, and he also had to be in charge of the other agencies. there were people that came to that job and acted when they ran all the other agencies, exerted control, and made that work. there were people there who only wanted to run the cia and forgot about the other agencies. part of our national security organization needs not to be personality-driven, but by the definition of the job. i was all for the creation of dni. unfortunately, in the creation of the law, we watered down the authorities to the extent that there is enough loopholes and
daikon is to the wording of the law -- vagueness to the wording of the law -- this is something unique to washington. in washington, you want two bosses. when you are getting asked to do something that you want to do, great. if not, you can say, i have this other boss that i have to follow. half works for the intelligence community, have of them do not. all of them are supposed to work for dni and many of them get to play this two boss game. there is a lot of talk around
washington about how we fix this. people are talking about changing the legislation to fix some of these problems. it will take a while. host: our guest is michael swetnam, a former cia official, former u.s. navy active reserve, currently chairman of the potomac into two for policy studies. we are talking about -- potomac institute for policy studies. we are talking about personnel changes, leon panetta over to dod, david petraeus to cia. phone numbers are on the screen. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. 202-628-0205 for all others.
as president obama who decided who is going to replace david petraeus? guest: i do not think the decision has been made. the list is very short. at the top of the list is the vice chairman, mr. cartwright. he is one of the most experienced marine corps officers we have had. all the way back to general gray in the first bush administration. widely respected in the administration, around town. he is the odds on paper. but until the president actually makes the decision -- each of the services always try to put forward their top candidate. it is a game of washington politics, which is different from other washington politics games. the military does not play
games, except when it comes to appointments. i think the list is probably dominated by general apart right at the moment. >> and general eikenberry is also leaving -- host: and ambassador eikenberry is also leaving afghanistan. guest: he has felt strongly about what should happen in that part of the world. there has been some debate about how things should be handled in afghanistan and pakistan. with a new commander going in there, it is not only fitting, but it will probably help the end game execution there, having a new person in charge coming in there. host: first phone call comes from miami. wilson, on the republican line.
caller: i appreciate you taking my call. what kind of changes do you think we would see if ron paul became president and changed the foreign policy of what you are discussing? guest: i am not sure i know what ron paul's position is on these senior leadership positions. i know he really advocates a lot of change in our national security approach. i would expect, if he is elected, he would change out most of this team. beyond that, i am not sure i thoughts details of his pe on personnel. host: what does that do to our policy in afghanistan, anything? guest: it speeds up the
execution of the president's plan to draw down and find an end game, and all traces of our involvement in iraq'. strategyeral petraeus' that we began in iraq, his strategy that we are deploying in afghanistan. having him there is the best way to make sure that the and the goals are reached. that mean we probably need to stay more engaged than this white house acts like they want. i think the president was publicly stated position that he wants to have an and the game is more realizable with panetta in place.
host: a tweet -- guest: he has some experience with the military. the biggest thing will be in the budget context. panetta has tremendous national security background. he is very experienced and security. running the pentagon is like running a huge corporation. the military side of that is overseeing and protected by the joint chiefs of staff. secretary of defense, it is very hard for them to screw the military up because jcs is meant to be there as an independent voice to the president. but he will have a lot to say about what we buy, how much we buy, and in the next few years, will probably have a lot to say about what we cut, how we downsize.
that is something to keep an eye on. how do we downsize the department of defense? this could be the real story around washington, d.c. over the next year or two. host: next phone call. democrat line. caller: [inaudible] guest: i do not know. that would have been an interesting pick. i understand she has worked hard. probably there are rumors that she will not stay around for the next term, if there is a next term. she was a real student of the military when she was on capitol hill as a senator. she would have been an interesting pick in the department of defense. again, someone without a tremendous military background, but she did study it on capitol
hill. i do not know the dynamics between the clintons and the obamas, but certainly seems to go passed before the last election. host: what about the connection between hillary clinton and leon panetta? guest: those two families have been closed for a long time. it was bill clinton, if you will, who pulled leon panetta out of congress and made him director of omb. and it was bill clinton who made him chief of staff at white house. i think the panetta's and clinton's are extremely close in ology but panetta is more of a washington operator and manager than the clinton's are.
host: if he gets into dod, hillary clinton is state, is that an important relationship? guest: absolutely. on most national security issues, they would be aligned. whenever you have the top two cabinet members, top two members of the national security council, a line on issues, it is hard for other people in the apparatus to contend with. they will certainly -- on issues they agree on -- will form a bloc that will be formidable in a national security context, and it will be hard for the president to ignore their advice. host: what is the potomac institute? guest: we are a not-for-profit think tank and we do analysis for the hill, agencies around town. we like to think that we come out of the ashes of something
called the office of technology assessment. it used to be part of the science and technology policy for the congress. it was abolished in 1994 and we created the atomic institute in 1995 to assume part of that mission -- potomac institute in 1995 to assume part of that mission. from chriscall comes in richmond, virginia. caller: thank you for taking my call. aren't we really in afghanistan so that exxon and chevron can route natural-gas from the caspian sea? this is the objective of unicol in the transafrica and pipeline.
isn't this really why america has turned against the taliban, which meant george bush on american soil? is it because they could not complete the caspian pipeline in a timely fashion? guest: that is an interesting comment. certainly, protecting lines of commerce and delivering natural resources like oil and natural gas are vitally important to the u.s., and i am sure that is part of our consideration. our relationship with the taliban, though, has it a different background. i know this because i was involved, years and years ago. the taliban was created by the pakistani intelligence service to be a political force in afghanistan. was greeted by an intelligence service. in the early days, national
security in the u.s. was deeply involved in afghanistan. we helped the afghanis throw the soviets out. it all fell apart when the taliban embraced the usama bin laden, embraced radical islam as a form of political discourse, and started plodding and attacking. i would not say that we were ever supportive of the taliban. they were an intelligence covert action created by the pakistani intelligence people. we were supportive of what the afghan were doing to throw the soviets out. then the taliban took over and they embraced radicalism, and it has all gone to the pot since them. once they embraced usama bin laden, they have been our enemy. unfortunately, the pakistani intelligence organizations are still supportive of this
political movement they created in afghanistan and a lot of people have commented -- and i think they are right -- the real war of afghanistan is in pakistan. pakistan support for the taliban is standing in the way of afghanistan becoming a free nation. the taliban does not want a free nation. they want an islamic caliphate, which is rooted in the sixth century. in answer to your question, yes, there are economic concerns like pipelines than do impinge on this. there are other concerns, too, there is a drug trade that we would like to stop. much of the world's opium comes from there. we want to stop that happening and encourage things like pipelines. all of those economic concerns take a back seat to organizations like the taliban and al qaeda.
the al qaeda organizations that preach a radical form of islam, not the truth is long, and the core of that belief is -- is long, -- islam, and at the core of radical islam is to incite violence. general john allen, continuing executions. in the way it was explained to me. i was trying to get a firsthand rating on the president's intent. the idea was the president has made these decisions. he has embraced the strategy for afghanistan, believes we're executing it. he wants to make sure that as
these changes happen, the person in charge in afghanistan is the person who understands the strategy and will explicitly execute it. i understand that is exactly the reason for the potential appointment of alan. it is believed that he is not just one of the authors of the strategy, but is totally committed to executing it the way the president wants to execute it. that is one of the main reasons for his appointment. then he been able to carry it through -- there were people out for a friend that petraeus would say we cannot pull out yet, we have not met these objectives. i think they want a commander that will not do that. host: is there a concern within the defense industry community, related communities, about these moves? guest: yes there are, and there are some legitimate concern that bear close watching. the biggest is, i think, we are
going into a downturn in the budget. we are trying to save money everywhere. we are certainly going to try to cut the defense department. a lot of people have been talking about it. secretary gates embarked upon what he called a set of efficiency measures. about $70 billion out of the department of defense over five years. a lot of people think that is not enough, we need more. the director of omb, the last time we took defense down and in the 1990's, the last time -- we call it "a peace dividend" then, and we decided to downsize the department of defense in the 1990's, the director of omb who said many of those goals was panetta. many people think we took it down too far, and and after 9/11
had to build it back up. today, the department of defense is doubled the size it was in 1993. dollars indny defense as when panetta was director of omb. the real thing to watch around town is whether panetta is the instrument of the reducing in dod once again, and what role he plays and in bringing dod's budget down in a significant way over the next couple of years. this has the defense industry very concerned, this has a lot of people around town concerned. he is a very thoughtful guy, and we will see how it all plays out. >> next call for our guest, michael swetnam, comes from pennsylvania. >> i would really love to have a general petraeus drafted to run
for president, as we did it general eisenhower . he would unite our country to stand up for freedom and truth, which we don't have now. i wish that the tea party people and club for growth would support him like i do. i did it would be a waste -- to waste -- i think it would be a waste to put all his good qualities on the cia. host: is there a political calculation to moving general petraeus to the cia? guest: it leaves the option open, particularly since general petraeus has decided, i understand, to retire from the military and go to the cia as a civilian. you could use that as a stepping stone to either more civilian jobs or to a political future after that. this is not unheard of.
we had at our president who was director of the cia, george bush -- host: george h.w. bush. guest: george h.w. bush, the first one brought it could have been. it could be a stepping stone -- and george h.w. bush, the first one at. it could happen. it could be a steppingstone for him. he claims to have no political aspirations, but over time that changes. host: stepping down from the military before he takes this position? guest: that is what i have heard. host: has that been reported yet? is it inside information? guest: it is around washington. i don't know if it is in any of the papers that. host: when should the state place? how quickly will leon panetta be confirmed by the senate and
moved over to it dod, petraeus to the -- guest: we will know this afternoon when the president makes the announcement, but from what i understand, the time-late june, early july. i understand that secretary gates has been anxious to leave for a while. he has paid his dues, his wife would like to get him back to texas. i think he stays until july. that is the first move to bring out the panetta move may be later and we may have an acting -- that is the first move. the panetta move may be later and we may have an acting cia director for a few months while at general petraeus finishes up in afghanistan. but the time he gets to this cia, it may be later summer. we may have an acting cia director while panetta in the june time frame moves to the department defense. the timing is all subject to what happens on capitol hill,
that is what is expected at the moment. host: what is the thought about secretary gates leaving washington and dod? guest: as i said, he has had the desire to leave and has paid his dues -- host: is a loss? guest: absolutely. he is one of those people who come from time to time you hear people talk about "we don't have public servants like we used to have." it does not matter if it was a republican or democrat, and they would serve the president and do a good job. that is bought gates. he is the consummate public servant. his number one aspiration in life was to serve his country, for god is of whether it was a democrat or republican -- regardless of whether it was a democrat or republican. the good of the country was always first. it is a real loss to have a guy like that leave, not just because he put it on line and was a good public servant. he knew how to make washington
work. we talked about the pentagon for years. he has rebuilt the pentagon. it is a totally different department of defense and then it was six or seven years ago, to a large extent because of bob gates took charge of it and really implemented structural change at pentagon. i think it is a great loss to the country. he has served the country for so many years and he deserves to be able to retire. host: president obama is due to make his personal decisions this afternoon at about 3:00, a little after 3:00, 3:10 p.m. eastern time. that will be live on the c-span2 this afternoon. ron in miami, a democrat. caller: first, sir, i want to thank you for your service to the country. i have served my country also. osama bin, why didn't
laden come from saudi arabia? we go after his family and freeze their assets, and also for saudi arabia, to go after him. the second question is, like you said, since the sixth century they have been fighting over there. it is not only democracy. the muslims who want to rule -- they want to rule their own. i have heard that the taliban are getting the opium trade. is that true or not? guest: let me take this question in order. after 9/11, there was pressure on at the saudis and other governments to help us with osama bin laden, but almost certainly not enough pressure, because they and help some but they of course did not help as much as they could have, for lots of reasons. every administration has reasons why they did not push one government harder than they
should have. today it is just as why are we not helping in libya, those types of things. we could have gotten the saudis to do more. why we didn't is a question for historians. i think we should have. yes, the battle over hearts and minds is an ideological war throughout the islamic world, it is really what this is all about. if you look at the surveys and a majority of muslims, the vast majority of muslims around the world, they do not support his radicalism that is represented by al qaeda and a bit late in -- and bin laden, and to a large extent by the taliban. the taliban has played this game in a very insidious way. they say they hated the opium trade, yet the use the opium trade dollars to finance what they are doing.
educating and creating schools and taking care of families it is part of their mantra. if you go to those madrassa schools run by the taliban, you find a date to only radicalism -- they teach only radicalism. they played a propaganda game to tell the world they are doing what is right, when in fact they are driving are radical, extreme agenda that is anti democracy and anti-freedom. host: alabama, you are on the line. you are on the air. caller: good morning. great to hear you all. thanks for saving the country. my question is, how come we keep sending our troops over to iraq, afghanistan, libya, wasting our dollars we could spend on our own economy? host: michael swetnam, do you
have a philosophical as of that caller? -- philosophical answer for the color? guest: this is tough, because i would agree that the number one job of our government, if not the no. 1 job, free, protect us from people that would come attack the united states. as to what extent you do that is the big debate for the last 220 years. do you just erect a big wall, and anybody who tries to crash the united states, they get them out the wall? or do you go help settle disputes are around the world so they do not come and attack you? a lot of people like to make a valid point that we were close to the afghan people and we help them throw the soviets out, and then we left. we left them to their own devices and the taliban took over. it became a place where osama
bin laden could create al qaeda. from afghanistan, a place that used to be close to us, we were attacked. people said that if we had stayed involved in afghanistan, we would not have been attacked on 9/11. yes, we spend a lot of money overseas, a lot of our blood and treasure goes into those places. there is the belief that that keep us free, because it is better to fight the war there than to fight here. host: michael, a republican in new york city, you are on the air. caller: thank you for your service. in regards to the national security structure of the federal government, before we had the cia director, then the national security council, and then after 9/11, the director of national intelligence. what is the lesson that the american people and federal government does not seem to learn, that we keep reading
positions after a tax instead of having one -- keep creating positions after a tax instead of having won a central director of security -- after attacks instead of having one set for director of security. thank you. guest: thank you, sir. you and i probably agree on a lot of things. since 9/11, are spending on intelligence activities has doubled in this country, and we created the director of national intelligence, and his staff is reported to be a couple thousand people. in the 1980's, i served on the staff of the director of the central intelligence 1 bob gates was the deputy director of central intelligence. at that time, the staff that did his work for him was 234 people. to date we have -- today we have the dni staff, a couple thousand
people. you are making a valid point. is not the amount of money we spend more than number of people -- is not the amount of money we spend or the number of people, it is effective management. , but instead of 13 agencies that report to different parts of the government, and one guy who was supposed to coordinate his agencies, it might be of much better, more efficient structure to follow those guys that really reported to one guy. that guy would have authority to manage them and bring it together. unfortunately, by the time it went to the sausage on capitol hill, we ended up with a mess. personally, to improve our national security, one of the best things we could do is to streamline, make more efficient the entire structure. these are things, by the way, that the new chairman of the house floor committee on
intelligence, mike rogers, has been saying ground count. i totally agree with him and i agree with you. we don't need another structure or staff. we need to streamline it and make it more efficient and make it more responsive, not just cost thee want tit to appropriate out, probably less than it today, but because intelligence is a vital thing but a dangerous thing, and it needs oversight. the more spread out it is, the less you can over see it from congress. host: phoenix, arizona. james, you are on "washington journal." caller: my question is, all these unnecessary structures you have been aiming under the pentagon budget, for which we spend more than it the rest of the world combined -- secondary is, in libya, we've spent about $1 billion so far. is there any way you can get the arab league to pay as for what we've done in their, since they
asked us to go in there? guest: yes, all of these moneys are in the national security defense, defense department account. it is tracked closely by congress, but it is all part of that same account. libya, and the increasing costs in libya, is a great concern in this town. at this and going-i proposition, at least in the last few weeks, -- the going-in proposition, at least in that last few weeks, is that the costs are going to be out of department of defense. the prospects of getting some of our arab friends or others in the middle east or nato are very bleak, dismal.
we are going to have beaten those costs and will be very painful. host: what was your specialty in the navy and cia? guest: i was sick apologist, and i spent a good amount of time it doing -- cryptologist, and i spend a good amount time doing cryptological work. i was flown off to the cia and did work there, and then i did a program and budget up for the director of central intelligence. i did arms control work for them, and i work with the president's foreign intelligence advisory board in the first bush administration. host: michael swetnam chairman and ceo of the potomac institute for policy studies, thank you. we are going to turn our attention to the current status and future of the defense of
marriage act. we will be in that segment in just a minute. first, another news update from c-span radio. >> economic numbers in this hour show more people requesting unemployment benefits last week. that is the second increase in three weeks. the labor department says that applications for benefits rose by 25,000, bringing the total receiving unemployment benefits to the highest level since january brought the commerce department reports that growth in u.s. gross domestic product as a measure of all goods and services produced within u.s. borders slowed to 1.8% annual rate. it is after a 3.1% for the quarter pace. economists had expected a 2% growth pace. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke and other economists say that the slowdown last quarter is a temporary setback, that gas prices will stabilize, and the economy will grow at a
3% pace in each of the next three quarters. meanwhile, exxon reports today that the company earned nearly $11 billion in the first quarter. that is a 26% increase over the previous quarter. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> you are watching c-span, bring you politics and public affairs. every morning is wa "washington journal," connecting with elected officials, policymakers, and journalists. congressional hearings, a policy forums, supreme court oral arguments. on saturday, "the communicators," and on sunday, "newsmakers," "2 na," and "prime minister's questions" from the house of commons. it is all searchable on our c- span video library. c-span, washington your way, a
public service created by america's cable companies. >> now available, c-span's congressional directory, a complete guide to the first session of the 112th congress brought inside, new and returning house and senate members, with contact information, twitter addresses, district maps, and committee assignments, information on the white house, supreme court justices, and governors. order online at c-span.org/shop. "washington journal" continues. host: now joining us is david masci, a senior researcher at you forum for a religion and public life. -- the pew forum for religion and public life. our discussion is on the defense of america act. what is the defense of marriage act? guest: the defense of marriage act was passed in 1996 by a pretty overwhelming majority of both houses of congress,
president clinton. it does two things, basically. first, it says that states that don't allow same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize marriages performed in states that do. this all goes back to something called the full faith and credit clause, part of the u.s. constitution, article 4 of the u.s. constitution. what that says is that it generally -- that generally, states must recognize a valid laws of other states. i don't have to get remarried in maryland to have a maryland recognize my marriage to perform in virginia. that clause also says that congress can work out the contours of the full faith and credit clause. they have the ability to determine what exactly it means. the first part of the statute does that. they say that in this case, states don't have to recognize same-sex marriage unless they want to read the second part
says that for purposes of a federal law, benefits, all the eligibles that pertain to -- all the laws that pertain to the federal government over the years, marriage only means between a man and woman. the federal government says that we do not recognize same-sex marriage even if it is legally performed in states. host: why was it passed in 1996? guest: in the early 1990's, in hawaii, the supreme court of hawaii ruled in a case, i challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage -- a challenge to the state passed a ban on same-sex marriage, that the state -- it did not actually overturn the ban did it simply said that the standard that the state would have to meet to keep the ban constitutional was a very high. then they've demanded that case back to the lower courts, --
they remanded the case back to the lower courts. that case scared social conservatives and others, we thought that hawaii and other states might legalize same-sex marriage. they did not want same-sex marriage foisted on other states or the government -- the federal government. that is what got the ball rolling. host: what is currently going on with doma? guest: over the years there have been many more than a dozen suits filed against that defense of marriage act. currently there are about a dozen in the courts right now, mosely challenges to the second part, which said that the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage. not so much a challenge to the full faith and credit clause issue, but the issue of the federal government's on a tremendous same-sex marriage with regard to its own law -- the government's own treatment of same-sex marriage with regards to its own law.
the justice department, which had been defending the law, as it has all federal laws that unchallenged. -- that has been challenged -- attorney general holder said that the president, with his advice, said that the justice department should belong to defended his law. he said a number of other things that i think this sort of got lost in this. one and thing he said that only section 3 of this law would not be defended, and that is the section that says that for purposes of a federal law, marriage only means of the union of a man and woman. again, not the full faith and credit issue. the second thing he said was that the federal government would continue to enforce the law, it just wouldn't defend in court. it did not change anything on the ground. once president obama made the decision it was not as if same- sex couples could then start
claiming federal benefits. that was the case. -- that wasn't the case. the second thing he said is that congress, a coequal branch of government, was free to defend the law in place of the justice department, which is exactly and otherer bannoehner republican leaders and it has decided to do and what they still plans to do. host: they hired paul clement, a former solicitor general under the bush administration, to do that. his law firm decided not to follow through. he quit the law firm enjoyed a second law firm. -- their cases a -- and joined a second law firm. are there cases around the country where doma is being challenged? guest: yes. he has retained -- he is still retained by leaders in congress to do this work.
he has just shifted his perch to a smaller loss from -- smaller law firm. host: in the ninth circuit court of appeals, the california gay marriage case. how does that relate to doma? guest: they are all interrelated. if you determine that the u.s. constitution, particularly the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the u.s. constitution, it does not allow you to ban same-sex marriage, prohibits the banning of same- sex marriage, at that point all bets are off. even if doma itself would not be directly struck down, at that point, let's assume that the circuit as it will die, which they have not yet come up by the way -- let's assume that the circuit does it rule out, which they've not yet, by the way -- the case you are referring to is the challenge of proposition 8.
proposition 8 was a ballot measure passed in 2008 by california voters that amended the california constitution to ban same-sex marriage. that was first challenged in state courts and that was ultimately unsuccessful. then last year, david boies and ted olson, boies being a prominent democratic attorney and olson being a bush administration lawyer, and it together to challenge proposition 8 in court. late last year, a federal district court overturn proposition 8, saying it violated the equal protection clause of the constitution. that case has now appealed to the ninth circuit court of appeals, which is the circuit appeals court that covers the west coast. there are a lot of technical issues that are holding the keys up right now.
at some point, though, probably the ninth circuit will rule on the case brought most people expect that is ultimately to go to the supreme court. that is not doma. the ninth circuit court has already ruled on doma. they started down in 2009 when a public defender's -- they struck it down in 2009 when a public defender's same-sex partner, who had been married and a california in the brief period before proposition 8 was passed when california actually had same-sex marriage -- i know there is a lot to follow here -- they sued, saying that as spouses, one of them should be eligible for the other's federal benefits. they were denied because of doma. the ninth circuit court of appeals said that doma was unconstitutional. it is one of a number of courts that ruled that doma is unconstitutional. the federal district court of
massachusetts, which ruled together in some cases -- similar things, denial of benefits. one of the case was brought by martha coakley, the attorney general of the state of massachusetts, the woman who ran against scott brown for senate in 2009. she was not suing as a person in same-sex marriage. he was suing as the state attorney general on behalf of -- people -- she was serving as the state attorney general on behalf of people who were being denied benefits. there is huge legal churn, you might say, with what is going on. people expect that at some point, all these issues will ultimately find their way to the supreme court. host: our guest is david masci, a senior researcher with the pew forum on religion and public life. we want to hear from you, hear your opinions and questions.
of course, our twitter handle, twitter.com/cspanwj. queens, new york. curtis, a democrat. caller: i have one big question. everybody denigrated right ri -- everybody emigrated -- denigrated rev. wright, obama's old minister. we're supposed to be at a country that is freedom and justice for alall. i can not work now, because i had pancreatic cancer, up eight -- i cannot work out, because i have
bad credit cancer, but i used to work with a muslim. it was a little before 9/11. i asked him a question about the muslim religion, why is all this happening? he was telling me that when they go to mosques, their imams teach them that when you have a problem, and, you know, you can even go to get a marriage, you don't fight over it -- go to gay marriage, you don't fight over it, you leave it up to god to leavmake the ultimate decision. host: david masci, when it comes to freedom in this country, is that an argument that is made on behalf of those who want to get rid of doma and support gay marriage? guest: think a lot of people who support same-sex marriage say that this is a personal trust, that the states should not be a
barrier to people making that choice. the other big argument date make is what exactly do opponents have a problem with? if i get married to my same-sex partner, al, hurting someone else? those are two of -- how am i hurting someone else? those are two of the arguments made. on the other side, opponents said that if you allow same-sex marriage, it will be damaging to marriage, it will ultimately cheapen the whole institution of marriage, which has already been a . badly damaged by no-fault divorce laws and other social trends. since that marriage would be another nail in the coffin of marriage -- same-sex marriage would be another nail in the coffin of marriage, and if we lose marriage as an institution, families would suffer and it would hurt a whole social fabric of the country. host: toronto, canada.
caller: i wanted to draw a distinction between marriage, which is marriage, and the family, meaning having children and keeping everything going the way we use. same-sex unions. if we call them the civil unions but don't allow them the word "marriage," we keep marriage and family support, and allow them to be united with whoever they wish to be, but make the distinction that is not a marriage in the same sense we understand marriage. host: what is the situation in canada? caller: pretty much the same thing. not found upon where it is places where it is, but i think it is a little more lax. i am not quite sure, exactly it is a big country, and in the same way their states with different laws, that there are provinces with the different
laws. traditionally, when you say marriage, you think of marriage and family and children and keeping things going the way we understand it. whereas the other thing -- host: all right, we got your point. david masci. guest: the position, if i'm understanding correctly that the one she is taking, is essentially the position of president obama. president obama opposes same-sex marriage. he supports the rights for same- sex couples, so he supports civil unions, which would give the couple's virtually all the rights of married couples without actually using the word "marriage." that position has enjoyed the support of a majority of americans for a least five or six years, probably longer. same-sex marriage, according to the latest pew poll we have done, it still slim
majority, - i would not say majority, because it is under 50% but it has narrowed the gap between supporters and opponents. it is never pretty steadily over the past 10 years. it used -- it has narrowed a pretty steadily over the past 10 years. opposition to same-sex marriage used to be stronger than it is today. support for unions of same-sex couples is still quite strong and getting stronger. host: according to recent poll on gay marriage, a 53% of americans support the marriage, 44% are opposed to gay marriage republican line, good morning to you. caller: good morning to you fellows. are you listening to me? host: yes, sir. caller: all right, i've got my
tv turned off. i would like to say that if you go to 10 years ago, they did a survey here in the united states and they found that over 80% of people in the united states believe in god and the bible. if you go to live it is, chapter 19, you read these words, "if a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, this is an abomination to the lord." you go over one chapter, chapter 20, and you read these words, "if a man be caught sleeping with the man as with the woman, they are to be put to death and so shall you put away evil from among you." as far as i'm concerned, if it is ok for god to say that homosexuality is an abomination to him, it is ok for christians to say that homosexuality is an abomination to us.
i would like to correct the first caller you had. he said that muslims -- they kind of looked the other way for homosexuals. but that is a lie. the muslims, if they find a homosexual, they kill him. host: ben, thank you. that was banned in arkansas. mr. -- ben in arkansas. mr. masci, any thoughts? guest: i think he is right about muslims -- not about killing, necessarily -- but in many denominations of orthodox christianity, homosexuality and gay marriage are prohibited. i think he is right about the
attitudes of at least muslim -- most muslim clergy on this issue. you know, one of the things i think i would like to say in reference to the points he made -- we find people who are more religious and attend house of worship regularly are more likely, across america denominations and faith traditions, to oppose same-sex marriages than people who are less religious. when i say that, i don't mean they necessarily are, but by the measures we use, people who say they pray regularly and that they go to church and house of worship regularly, more likely to oppose same-sex marriages than people who do not. i think that the caller in a sense makes an important point. also, the polling we have done on a belief in god is higher
than 80%. it shows pretty routinely that 90% of americans believe in god. host: david masci is with the pew forum on religion and public life. next call, oregon, hugh, democrat. caller: i am not for or against either way. my point is that the federal government has an obligation to make uniform law across the states. it should be put up for an issue or a ballot and settled one way or the other. it is getting kind of old and i'm getting tired of listening to the issue, coming up in elections and all this other. make it one way or the other and make it uniform across the country .
guest: a couple of things, responding to comments the caller made. first, america has traditionally been the realm of the state's -- first, that marriage has traditionally been the realm of the states. regulation of marriages made by state legislators ended badly by state courts -- regulation of marriage is made by state legislatures and eventually by state courts. it is hard for me to imagine the congress ultimately regulating same-sex marriage to quite that extent. that would be a step beyond what doma does right now. i was just going to say that there is something else the callers said that -- host: should wide. he is getting tired of hearing about it br. guest: i think that is an
interesting point. six or seven years ago, this issue is much more of, i guess you might say, a cultural which issue that it is today. that is not to say that there are not very, very strong supporters and opponents still working very hard to push their agenda. that is happening, that hasn't changed. what seems to have changed is that there seems to be less interest in this issue, especially among political leaders. there is not as much talk about it as there was, say, during the 2004 campaign, which might be thae height of the same-sex marriage debate in terms of the bus and activity. that, if you recall, was the year after massachusetts' legalize same-sex marriage, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in our country. that was, of course, an election year, and president bush and senator kerry talked about same- sex marriage. president bush came out in support of a constitutional
amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage entirely. there is some belief among people who look at elections that, especially in ohio, same- sex camarriage may have helped president bush win the election, because it was quite a close one brought by any way. -- because it was quite a close one. but anyway. john, democrat, good morning. caller: i hope everyone is having a great day. i agree with that tweet. are not a theocracy. it is unfortunate when people enter the bible and leviticus is very handy for that, because there are also parts of the bible that say you should not let two seats together.
in the new testament, there is a lot of things, but i don't think there's anything that calls homosexuality a venal sin. i am sick of people picking and choosing these social issues to stand on. i wish we could leave this alone and get along. i agree with the other caller that it is getting older to hear about this all the time. we have much bigger issues to deal with in this country. thank you. host: thank you for your call. peter in vermont. independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. first-time caller. what i found -- my concern is -- excuse me, i am a little nervous. first time calling on tv here. vermont has civil rights, which is probably a good thing. but the only thing is is that i
find, when you see this happening where civil rights couple get married, have a child -- i am talking about something that happened in the news, two females, one at a child, now they got divorced, and the other one is announcing the lesbian part of the marriage and then takes the child and leaves. now they are fighting over this child, and the other one is fighting to get custody of this child and she is not the biological -- i think it opens up whole pandora's box of the legal issues for marriage or against marriage. i like what the caller said before that -- leave it up to god to take care of the matter,
and what the other caller just said, live and let live. it should not be a political issue. if a state decides to have very sho -- decides to have marriage or same-sex couples get married or whatever, it is their choice. the whole other legal part of it is very concerning to me, because it opens up, like i said, a pandora's box -- host: let's leave it there. any comment for that caller? guest: two things. there are possibly more than 50,000 married a same-sex couples in this country. many of them live in states where it is legal. some live in states where it is not legal. but they went to states where it was and got married. when you have lots of people who get married, some of those marriages are not going to work
out. eventually, when children are involved, there will be nasty custody disputes as well, which is what the caller was describing. this is not terribly surprising that these sorts of things are happening with same-sex couples. they have been happening with opposite sex couples for a long time for not getting back to the comment that he made a comment that the other caller before him and made regarding the whole idea that this is getting old, i think we see some signs that, again, especially people who are thinking about running for president are less interested in this issue. gov. mitch daniels, of indiana, who has not announced whether he will run for the republican nomination, has famously said that he is not really all that interested in dealing with the so-called culture war issues. he has taken flak for that from social conservatives. but even other people, after, for example, the obama
administration decided not to continue defending the defense of marriage act in court, after attorney general holder issued that letter that i talked about a little earlier, it is interesting that a number of the people who are real contenders for the gop -- well, they come again, have not officially announced, but people will are expected to or are likely to running for president, did not , or if theyh in did, they did so relatively quiet. sarah palin, if i remember correctly, did not say anything about this. governor romney, who was the governor of massachusetts in 2003 when at state legalized same-sex marriage and came out against it at the time, i think he just said he was disappointed in the president. some of the other candidates, if
i am remembering correctly, it did not say anything. gov. huckabee, who may not run, came out strongly against it, as least -- at least as far as my reading is concerned it again, there was not this great groundswell of outrage, of this like you might have seen in 2004 when the issue is much more in the public eye. host: next call for david masci , jerry in franklin, north carolina, republican line. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask about what you mentioned earlier, the ruling and a california -- the ruling in california with the judge knocked down the public about -- public vote. i downloaded the ruling admitted as carefully as i could two or three times.
you could take in substitute words like "incest" or a lot of other things and use his second rationale. somehow or another it just does not make sense. i wonder what is your thought about. guest: it is interesting you should bring that up. that is one argument that opponents of same-sex marriage make, one of the key arguments they make, that once you open up the definition of marriage and start including different combinations of people that did not exist at least through time in marriage, once you say marriage is not just about a man and woman getting together and creating a family, then you open it up to all kinds of possibilities. multiple, polygamous marriages,
the possibility of incestuous relationships being -- people in incestuous relationships being married. on the other side is, people who support same-sex marriage say that reading laws -- creating laws is all about drawing lines. just because you say that same- sex couples have the right to marry does not mean that you necessarily allow for these other, nations as well brought we draw lines of a time when we tell people -- does not mean that you necessarily allow for these other combinations as well. we draw lines all the time like when we tell people we take certain substances but not others. host: was the same argument made when interracial marriage was allowed? guest: that is a good question. i am not 100% sure, to be honest with you.
i was not alive in the mid- 1960's, but i was not thinking or reading very much when that sort of issue was finally set aside. i just don't know, actually, to be honest with you -- host: next call for our guest, who spent 14 years working for the congressional quarterly family publications, dennis, democrat. caller: hi, good morning. first-time caller. that guy from arkansas, if he truly believed in the book of leviticus, he might have second thoughts about eating shellfish, which is also an abomination according to the book of leviticus. if it were not for religion, we would not be having this discussion. gays our taxpaying people, they vote, they serve in the military, and they should be treated equal, not special, as some republicans would lead you
to believe. that is my comment. host: thank you for calling in. montrose, iowa, is our next caller. caller: hello. this is the first time call for me. i was asking pretty much the same question that a gentleman just a few moments ago voiced. i was wondering, isn't it discriminatory to pick and choose a certain groups we are going to check it for? -- to champion for? the law is very discriminatory on marriage, and it seems to be a double standard that homosexual couples say, we want the right, but not those people. we want the right, but not those people. that is what i am wondering. 25 years ago, the idea of gay
marriage was not on the board really. not as a national dialogue. if this happens, what is going to be the national dialogue 25 years from now when other groups are saying -- because it will be -- it is discriminatory. if we take this group it champion, but not that. that is my question, what is going to happen in 25 years? what will die like be then? -- what will it be like then? host: what is the situation in iowa? iowa went through not a defense of marriage, necessarily, but a same-sex marriage situation. caller: the problem we were having in iowa is that they were saying it is all about the freedom to choose an individual right to choose. the problem we're having in iowa is that there are people
who work in public county because of eidether their muslim beliefs or jewish or christian beliefs have to choose between their individual beliefs in freedom -- police and freedoms and getting licenses -- beliefs and freedoms and getting licenses of versus that person boston individual freedom. they have to go against what they feel as their personal freedom or lose their job now really, it is like one trounces on another. host: any comment for her, mr. masci? guest: all the things she says dance around the documents been on both sides. people who oppose -- the arguments made on both sides could people who oppose same-sex marriages say there is the reason we regulate marriage, and we don't regulate, say,
friendship. the reason is children and families. callers earlier were talking about this shouldn't be a legal issue. but proponents will say is a legal issue because of the state has an interest in the proper rearing of children. they are not as interested in the quality of your marriage or relationship as the quality of reporting and the institution of marriage as a family-building and child-rearing institution. proponents of same-sex marriage, people who favored since its march, will say, yes, that is exactly right -- people who favored sex marriage, will say, yes, that is right. why shouldn't they at the same protections and rights that opposite-sex couples have? you see these arguments on both sides brought again, i think the caller was, in some ways,
talking a little bit around those. host: when you look at the issue at pew, where does it ranked as far as issues go with americans? guest: right now it is not a big issue. the issues most voters are concerned about are largely economic -- the budget deficit, the economy in general. a little further down the list, some of the policy issues -- wars, terrorism, things like that. what we find in general is that culture war issues, a same-sex marriage, abortion, right to die, which was an issue awhile back when the terry schiavo case was very prominent in the news -- these issues arise when big things happen that push them into the public consciousness. the massachusetts decision i spoke about earlier, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, that was a huge story
and it turned a same-sex marriage into a very big issue. one of the callers earlier talked about how 25 years ago, same-sex marriage was not on the radar screen as an issue. i cannot remember if it was a he or she, but they were right, it wasn't. people in the gay rights community were talking about it, but by and large, it was not on the minds of our political leaders or most people as they went through their daily lives. it became a big issue, it's sort of a faded to some degree. something could bring it back, like the supreme court decision or something like that, one way or another. the same is true with a lot of these so-called values or cultural issues. if there is not something really big that is crowding out most everything, as the economy is by now, and all the attendant issues with the economy, and something else to push the issue up to the public consciousness, then it becomes a bigger issue.
the voters, usually not the primary or secondary, but further down the list, something the voters are thinking about as they go into the ballot box and make decisions at. host: santa cruz, california, suzanne on the republican line br. caller: we have got to quit being so nice here. while we are being so nice and politically correct, they are pushing and day appreciation in grammar schools, they are having harvey milk day -- harvey milk was a pedophile -- a czar in the schools, his lifetime partner is a pedophile, and when his partner came to him, a boy complained, "this older man is having sex with me," and a man who is our state school czar
said tom "are you using protection?" host: tie this into the defense of marriage act. caller: another step they are taking pride when you destroy the foundations of society, you destroy society. let me tell you, we used to have close friends who were gay, and we saw them on a social level, and they were influential where they live. we went on vacation with them, my husband and i, and they spent all time oogling and googling over young boys where we were. i realized, what is this? this is insidious, we are drowning here. host: we will have to leave it there. a final comment. guest: again, the comments that suzanne makes are very much in line with what opponents would say, that the family is the most important social institution in our country, and same-sex
into andwilll eat damage the institution and turn marriage into something that is less about family and more about personal autonomy, and alabama to marriage. again, on the other side come up -- and that will damage marriage. again, on the other side, people who support since the khmer disabled strengthen marriage and make people more responsible -- people who support same-sex marriage say it will strengthen marriage and make people more responsible. host: does pew have research online? guest: pewforum.org, and you look on the left-hand side of the home page, you will see a whole list of issues -- abortion, death penalty. you will see gay marriage is one of the issues. click on that, and there