tv Democracy Now PBS April 12, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
04/12/18 04/12/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we're asked pompeohanced interrogation, torture, waterboarding, and he has basically stuck by the fact that he doesn't believe it is torture. that to me is very troubling and one of the reasons i opposed him at the cia. amy: confirmation hearings begin today for cia director mike pompeo, capped by president trump to become the next secretary of state. as republican senator rand paul vows to vote against him. what democrats unite to block his nomination? record look at pompeo's
from his ties to the koch brothers, to his opposition to the iran nuclear deal's. then house speaker paul ryan announces he will not seek reelection. >> i'm announcing that this you will be my last one is a member of the house. to be clear, i'm not resigning. i intend to fulfill my full term, but it will be retiring in january, leaving this majority and good has with what i believe is a very bright future. amy: over 40 house republicans have announced they will resign or retire. we will look at the state of the republican party with political theorist corey robin the author of "the reactionary mind: observant judaism from edward burke to donald trump." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. wind after tweeting and go get
ready russia because missiles will be coming, nice and new and smart," president trump has appeared to back off slightly from his aggressive stance over syria. this morning, trump tweeted -- "never said when an attack on syria would take place. could be very soon or not so soon at all!" trump's tweet came after he missed a self-imposed deadline of 48 hours to announce major decisions on syria in the wake of an alleged chemical soon at all!" attack on saturday. on wednesday, pentagon chief james mattis said the u.s. was still investigating who was responsible. >> we're still assessing the intelligence ourselves and our allies, still working on this. >> [indiscernible] we stand ready to provide military options if they are appropriate as the president determined. amy: mattis' comments came as russia raised the specter of a direct military confrontation
with the united states in syria. speaking at the united nations security council, russia's u.n. ambassador directly addressed his u.s. counterpart, nikki haley. >> you were very good at threatening and that threats your proffering, that you are stating, vis-a-vis syria, should make a seriously worried come all of us, because we could find ourselves on the threshold of some very sad and serious events. , onced once again ask you again beseech you, to refrain from the plans are currently developing for syria. amy: on thursday, french president emmanuel macron said he has proof that the assad regime was behind a chemical weapons attack in douma. the world health organization said it has seen credible reports that 500 people had been treated for signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. but the world health organization said it could not determine who was responsible, since syria's government continues to block access to the
area. meanwhile, vermont independent senator bernie sanders has warned the white house against any attack on syria without a declaration of war from congress. on wednesday, sanders tweeted -- "president trump has no legal authority for broadening the war in syria. it is congress, not the esident, who determines whether our country goes to war, and congress must not abdicate that responsibility." house speaker paul ryan said wednesday he will not seek reelection this fall, sending shock waves through the republican party ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. ryan said he's retiring to spend more time with his family, but many have cited ryan's frequent clashes with president donald trump. more than 40 house republicans have announced they will resign or retire this year, including nine committee chairs. during a wednesday morning news conference, ryan downplayed
republicans' concerns that his departure could add to a blue wave of democratic gains in november. >> i gave it some consideration, but i really do not believe whether i stay or go in 2019 is going to affect a persons individual race for congress. i don't think a person's race for congress is going to hinge on whether paul ryan is bigger or not. amy: top contenders to replace ryan as republican house leader are the majority leader kevin mccarthy of california and the house majority whip steve scalise of louisiana. we will have more on paul ryan's retirement from congress later in the broadcast. home,ents who raided the hotel room, and offices of president trump's personal attorney michael cohen were seeking clues about how cohen worked with the trump campaign in 2016 to suppress negative information. that is according to "the new york times," which reports the agents were seeking documents related to the 2005 access
hollywood tape in which trump is recorded openly boasting about sexually assaulting women. the latest revelations come as trump's former chief strategist steve bannon urged the president to fire deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and to stop cooperating with special counsel robert mueller's investigation into alleged ties between trump's campaign in russia. in algeria, the government has declared three days of national mourning after a military passenger jet crashed outside the capital algiers on wednesday, killing 257 people on board. it was algeria's worst-ever air disaster and the deadliest plane crash since 2014, when malaysia airlines flight 17 was shot down over ukraine. among the dead in wednesday's crash were 26 members of the polisario front, a western saharan independence movement seeking to end morocco's 42-year
rule of the west african territory. on capitol hill, facebook ceo mark zuckerberg faced off with lawmakers for a second straight day wednesday, admitting to a house committee that he, too, had data from his facebook account collected by a third party without his consent. zuckerberg's testimony came as lawmakers investigate how the voter-profiling company cambridge analytica harvested data from more than 87 million facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support president donald trump. this is zuckerberg being questioned by illinois democratic congressmember bobby rush. >> mr. zuckerberg, what is the difference between facebook's methodology and the methodology of the american political pariah to edgar hoover? >> this is an important question
because i think people often ask what the differences between surveillance and what we do, and i think the difference is extremely clear. on facebook, you have control over your information. the content you share, you put there. you can take it down at any time. the information that we collect, you can choose to have us not collect will stop you can delete any of it. you can leave facebook if you want. amy: president trump's nominee to become a federal district court judge in louisiana refused to say wednesday whether she brownts the landmark 1954 versus board of education supreme court ruling on school segregation. this is louisiana lawyer wendy vitter, under questioning by connecticut democratic senator richard blumenthal. >> do you believe brown versus board of education was correctly decided? senator, i don't mean to be
coy, but i think i get into a -- difficult area when i start commenting on supreme aret decisions which correctly decided in which i may disagree with. amy: at wednesday's confirmation hearing, vitter also insisted that, if confirmed, she could put aside the longstanding anti-abortion advocacy. vitter has spoken frequently at anti-abortion rallies. she has worked for years to defund planned parenthood. she once told the "new orleans clarion herald" that planned parenthood "kills over 150,000 females a year." in missouri, republican governor eric greitens is refusing to resign after a report commissioned by the state or public and led legislature found he sexually assaulted and physically abused a woman before blackmailing her to cover up his crime. the report cited a woman whose name was withheld, who says
greitens repeatedly groped her, slapped her across the face, coerced her into sex, and verbally abused her. speaking just before the report's release wednesday, governor greitens insisted its findings were tabloid trash and gossip. >> we fully expect that report tonight willd include lies and falsehoods. i want to say again what i've said from the beginning, this is a political witchhunt. amy: governor greitens faces a felony charge of invasion of privacy at a trial scheduled for next month. missouri's republican house speaker todd richardson called wednesday for governor greitens to resign, and the state's top democrat said lawmakers should begin impeachment proceedings if he doesn't step down. in climate news, new research finds the atlantic ocean's gulf stream current has weakened dramatically in recent years, and could be headed for a collapse that would bring extreme winters to western europe while accelerating sea
level rise in the eastern united states. the findings come in a pair of new reports published in the journal "nature." researchers found prevailing ocean currents have weakened by about 15% since the mid-20th century, as human-caused climate change causes added vast amounts of fresh water to the north atlantic due to melting ice from greenland. in chicago, dozens of employees of the "chicago tribune" said wednesday they are organizing a labor union, which would be the first in the 170-year history of the traditionally anti-union paper. members of the organizing committee of the chicago tribune guild say they're looking for job security, raises, lower health care costs, and greater diversity in the tribune's newsroom. and former gold and house speaker john boehner has joined the board of directors of acreage holdings, medical marijuana company. on wednesday, boehner tweeted --
"i'm joining the board of #acreageholdings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved. i'm convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities." during his 24 years in congress, ohio commerce member john boehner championed laws that saw millions of people arrested on marijuana charges, a highly disproportionate number of them people of color. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. confirmation hearings begin today for mike pompeo, the cia director tapped by president trump to become the next secretary of state. last year, the senate confirmed pompeo to head the cia by a vote of 66 to 32, but the vote is expected to be far closer this year. at least one republican, rand
paul, has already announced he will vote against pompeo due to his support for the iraq invasion and torture. and more democrats are expected to oppose him this round democratic senator brian schatz of hawaii said on twitter -- "i voted yes on pompeo for cia on the theory that he would be the 'adult in the room.' i was wrong. i am voting no on pompeo for secretary of state because our top diplomat should believe in diplomacy. he has an alarming tendency towards military provocation and brinkmanship." pompeo is a former congressman from kansas where he was widely known to be the koch brothers favorite lawmaker. he once wrote an article for politico titled, "stop harassing the koch brothers." amy: pompeo also has a long history of ties to islamophobic organizations. the group act for america, which is considered the largest anti-muslim group in america, awarded pompeo its highest honor, the national security eagle award in 2016.
the southern poverty law center considers the organization a hate group. on the foreign policy front, the national iranian american council has wanted that pompeo's confirmation would threaten the iran nuclear deal and increase the risk of u.s. attack on iran. pompeo is also a vocal climate change denier. more than 200 environmental groups wrote a letter this week to senators urging pompeo's rejection. we are joined now by two guests. trita parsi is the founder and president of the national iranian american council. author of "losing an enemy: obama, iran, and the triumph of diplomacy," and zaid jilani is a staff reporter at the intercept. zaid you have been on capitol hill following what is going on in preparation for the hearing today for pompeo to become secretary of state. talk about what you have found. >> it is very interesting because unlike a number of the nominees that went through last or when the trump administration sort of initially staffed up,
pompeo's nomination is in a bit of danger. rand paul leading several republicans on the senate foreign relations committee has already said he will try to block his nomination. was confirmedmpeo a great thetor, calculus were on the senate foreign relations committee, they could effectively block his nomination due to the new sort of senate dynamics. it is possible they could bring pompeo directly to the floor and bypass the committee, but that really has that happened i think in decades. if president, trump really wants to appoint him, he could use a recess appointment. sort of forcing them to take those steps would draw a lot of political capital from the trump administration. if the democrats, i believe senator paul said something
about gina haspel, but also applies here which is the democrat show solidarity, they can block the nomination. i think a number of them, and you played the tweet from brian he is, where he said changed his mind, i think a lot of democrats -- it is big question mark. a lot have not announced if therefore to continue to support pompeo like they did last year. that is the big question in the room whether the democratic caucus will stick together with rand paul and block the nomination or at least attempt to slow down. amy: rain check saying he voted on yes that he would be the adult in the room. voting no because our top diplomat should believe in diplomacy. yes alarming tendency toward military provocation and brinksmanship he said. >> i think that tweet shows sort of -- there's a learning curve among members of congress.
i think there was a logical error may toward trump in the beginning where he was perceived as having a very strong ideological bend and they needed security state figures like generals in a for instance, voted for john kelly to lead dhs for the same reason. more are coming around dusk what we're coming around to his trump does not have a strong ideological bent. he is more of a pragmatist. he is very malleable when it comes to people around him. in the first term or the first year, president trump's presidency, we're seen moderate easilypeople who did have worked for obama or clinton. -- who could easily have worked for obama or clinton. mike pompeo as cia, i think that would be a changeable shift to the right. that is scaring a lot of people who are willing to roll along with that strategy a year ago like brian schatz will step nermeen: trita parsi, could you talk about some of your concerns particular and in
the concerns that others have also expressed that in nominating mike pompeo, trump is more or less putting together a work cabinet, given that john bolton has already -- also come in this week as national security adviser. i think that israel much part of the context here that i think is also giving a lot of senators ause, that this is not just vote for pompeo. this would be to enable donald trump to have a cabinet in which you have no longer these mystical adult in the room, but almost exclusively yes men. as a result, think what is emerging on capitol hill is understanding that a vote for pompeo is essentially a vote for john bolton. and a vote for john bolton is a vote for war. i think that has been one of the factors that has really changed the dynamics because it will be
very difficult for the democrats to build to justify such a vote, particularly mindful of the fact we are very likely to see the death of the iran nuclear deal which will open up a pathway for war. you don't want to be a senator that has enabled us to happen, like casting a vote for pompeo, if you're in the democratic side. as well as some republicans. i think a lot of eyes are going to be on senator jeff flake. if you decided to vote against m but against, the nation' is dead. >> they left uranium's with a breakout capacity. they had a short timeframe that these restrictions would remain in place. and north korea's commit capital enrichment capacity continues to remain in place. those are all things that present risk to the world of president obama's -- excuse me, president trump is determined to
prevent that from happening in north korea. amy: trita parsi? >> here again, i think you are seeing that pompeo is saying something very different once he got to the cia nomination them what he said at the cia nomination hearings. then he struck a much more moderate tone, being very aware bethat his hawkishness would a concern for a lot of senators. and having read his transcript of his statement that he is going to give today, it is very rare he is very worried about this once again. his views have become quite clear now. their undeniable. his rejection of the iran deal is part of the reason why he is being nominated by donald trump to be secretary of state. and his arguments in regards to the ability is entirely wrong because in the case of the iran deal, the breakout capability has been extended to one full year which then combined with a very, very intrusive inspections
, etc. essentially impossible for the iranians to be able to build a nuclear bomb without getting detected very, very early, which gives the world an opportunity to intervene. that is based on the idea that we live up to our end of the bargain of this deal and allow those inspections to continue. but if we pull out of the deal, trump is likely to do, then we lose the inspections. if we lose the inspections, forget about a 12 month breakout capability, that is when the real danger comes in. the path of pompeo is the exact path that would lead us to some of these disastrous consequences. in one approach he is had through all of this that i think we should be very concerned cia, he washead of presented with evidence from the cia that show the iranians are living up to the deal. knowesponse was, well, we that they're still cheating. yet no evidence of that, but yet already drawn a conclusion.
it reminds us of what happened during the iraq war in which the conclusion was drawn first and then the ca was being asked, now, go find the evidence for it. nermeen: i want to go to another 'slated issue, which is pompeo will document it islamophobia 2013, twoin june months after the boston marathon bombing, then congressman mike pompeo erroneously claimed muslim groups had not condemned the attack. >> just under two months since the attack in boston, and in those intervening weeks, the silence of muslim leaders has been deafening. i'm the most of us dating terrorist attacks on america in the last 20 years, overwhelmingly from people of a single fate and are performed in the name of that faith was special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith. silence has made them complicit in these acts. kille -- violence
perpetrated in its name. nermeen: a day after pompeo gave those remarks, the council on american-islamic relations wrote to him demanding an apology. cair and a number of other major muslim organizations had in fact condemned the marathon bombings -- many within hours of the attack -- and organized blood drives and other relief efforts in boston. pompeo never apologized or responded to the letter from cair. trita parsi him a canoe talk about that and your concerns about the way in which mike pompeo has spoken about muslims in america? >> i think once again, we are saying that his line of thinking is very much in line with the thinking of donald trump here. so rather than being someone that actually would be able to bring in a different perspective into the white house, balance things, the an adult in the room as brian schatz originally thought pompeo would be, instead we're seeing some who will be
enabling the worst instincts of donald trump. i think this will be very dangerous to have someone as the secretary of state holding those views because these are views that are considered and are extremist views, and it will create additional problems for the united states and its diplomacy with the rest of the views ofpropagating these kind. amy: 2015, mike pompeo appeared on the radio show of frank gaffney. agreeing with him that then president obama had "affinity for muslim terrorists." >> wonder whether in fact with the president is conveying to them is not simply that he doesn't understand, but that there is really kind of an affinity, if not the violent beheading and crucifixions and slaying of christians and all that, but at least for the cause in which these guys are engaged in such activity. closely,atching this
of course, from your vantage point on the intelligence committee. could that possibly be a , saying for bad guys nothing about their ideological agenda? starenk, every place you at the president's policy statements, you see what you just described. the egyptians bomb terrorists in eastern libya and then you administration says, gosh, we can support that. the egyptians under el sisi begin to push back inside the ideology of the faith and our president refuses to talk about it today is that americans are sitting at the tables with the arabians. the largest state sponsor of terror in the world, treating them as if they are negotiating partners. every policy of this a administration has treated america as if we are the problem. and not the solution. to not only keeping america safe, but a stable world. amy: that is mike pompeo in 2015. zaid jilani, if you could talk
about this and how it is being discussed right now. connections to a number of anti-islamic groups, not to mention these kind of views. >> i think this is exactly the kind of thing that we would expect congress to start interrogating pompeo on today when he has his first hearing before the foreign relations committee folks. pompeo not only has appeared and made some sort of offensive remarks here and there, he has actually been a booster of an organization called act for america, which is led by a woman named brigitte gabriel, who argued very strongly that the essential problem with terrorism are basically centralized to the religion of islam. our diplomats across the world have to deal with very large muslim population. most of our conflicts are with muslim majority populations. it is very unclear whether mike pompeo actually knows how to speak diplomatically, whether he can ask lisa press these sorts
of use -- even if he was doing this as a political pandering for the mastech audience at one point, he has not demonstrated the ability to do the opposite, which is to be able to engage hold dialoguedoes with muslim publishers worldwide. which is something i think rex tillerson did effectively at times. as a former exxon ceo, he kind of had a lot of expressed telling with muslim majority-headed states. i think he did show some capacity to dupe diplomacy that -- to do diplomacy that i pompeo is not shown. amy: let's go back to mike pompeo in 2014, congressman pompeo, addressing a church group in wichita, his hometown. >> the threat to america is from people who deeply believe that islam is the way in the light and the only answer. as we think about what the u.s. policy needs to be, how we will
begin to combat this, we need to recognize that these folks believe it is religiously driven for them to white christians from the face of the earth. they may be wrong. they may be wholly misguided and i will tell you it is absolutely a minority within the muslim faith. but these folks are serious and or christians and will continue to press against us and to we make sure we stand and fight and make sure that we know that jesus christ as our savior is truly the only .olution for our world amy: that is mike pompeo a few years ago speaking in his hometown wichita. leadership ande a coalition of more than 200 national organizations wrote a letter on monday urging senators to vote no on pompeo. how significant is this? significant ins the respect that when mike
pompeo i think was being appointed to cia, when he was very easily confirmed by the senate, i don't think we saw the same level of respect. -- level of push back. there was a belief that he was sort of a longtime, standing member of congress with security credentials. you should be there as the adult in the room. but i don't think his views were necessarily interrogated with as much rigor as they are being now. i think with those forging democratic senators and the one inependent who supported him his cia nomination, they need to hear from their constituents and they need to hear particularly the interest groups like 200 that signed that letter about how they're going to be held accountable should they vote to confirm him. because honestly, members of commerce have political creatures. they care about votes and money. they feel close to things on the line, they're much more likely to vote against the nominee.
i do think the interest this time will deftly change the calculus. i cannot predict whether all 14 senate democrats who voted for him before as well is the one independent would turn against him, but i can guarantee you that he will get less votes this time than last time. nermeen: trita parsi, i know you have to go very soon, but before you do, if you could comment very quickly on the escalating situation with syria, what you expect to happen. he hasarlier said -- gone back on what he said earlier tweeting this point "never said when an attack in syria would take place. could be very soon or not so soon at all." this is a tremendously dangerous situation that we have right now, precisely because of the fact that the administration's strategy since only be driven by events, not by any strategic thinking, not by any type of consideration of what lies in the u.s. national interest, combined with the fact
he has no diplomatic components whatsoever. particularly, when you put it into context that this could ask a put the united states in direct confrontation with russia, then we truly see the tremendous risk for escalation that exists here. hearing takeompeo place in this context, given a lot of these senators an opportunity to ask questions of what is the u.s. natural interest in this conflict and how would you pursue it? when you listen to donald trump saying he wants to bring the troops back, but then he also says, well, the saudis want us to stay and if they want that, they should be paying for it. what he is signaling is he has no concept of what u.s. national interest is. he is willing to do things as long as some other country is paying for it, essentially, prostitute in the american alitary and turning it into for-profit interest. that is extremely dangerous. amy: zaid jilani, your latest
, ife, which we will link to you can talk both about trump and what pompeo as secretary of state would mean. does it matter? already rex tillerson, of course, having guided the state department by something like 30%. >> it is interesting. if you go back to last year's confirmation hearing for rex tillerson, the vast majority of questions were about russia. they barely talked about palestine, the conflict in yemen which the u.s. is supporting saudi arabia. they were overwhelmingly focused on russia because there was a you'd be tohat philly to rush and democrats were angry about the hacking scandal and so forth. i think with pompeo, he has a level of into egoism toward russia that i think capital
probably takes a lot of pleasure in, but i think the point of the views i wrote is that if you look at the policy of the trump administration has followed in the first year and a half or year in office, they have been more antagonistic toward russia and president obama was. they went ahead and approved lethal arms sales to ukraine. they appointed a very anti-russian you and now butting heads in syria. --u.n. and now butting heads in syria. normally russians and a mac and still suffer from the escalation, but other people do. many people in ukraine and syria , you know, should president trump escalate in syria and started attacking the syrian government -- which would be illegal, by the way, without the and congress. but i would expect russia would fully respond by bombing the rebel held areas much harder. a very dangerous situation. the point of the article's people should stop goading the trump administration to be more anti-russia.
yes, district, president trump may have some personal affinity for vladimir putin but he also does for netanyahu and duterte and el sisi. he seems to like these type of personalities. it doesn't mean that policies he is pursuing our diplomatic for those people. they're actually fairly hostile and they can lead to a dangerous situation. i think pompeo and bolton fit into that. much more anti-russia than the people that preceded them. i think that is a dangerous situation that people should stop trying to goad the trump administration to escalate in that way. the people who will ultimately suffering of the hotspots with u.s. and nato are butting heads with russia where they should becoming to terms with each other and both should be trying to deescalate rather than escalate. amy: zaid jilani, thank you for ofng with us, zaid jilani the intercept. trita parsi, the founder and president of the national iranian american council.
we will cover pompeo's hearings today on capitol hill. this is democracy now! when we come back, the house speaker paul ryan is resigning, not only leaving as house speaker, but will leave the house of representatives. you will leave at the end of his term. what does this mean for the republican party? does he predict a blue wave? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
shock waves through capitol hill, house speaker paul ryan has announced he will not seek reelection this fall. ryan is the most recent and high-profile republican to depart congress ahead of the 2018 midterms. over 40 house republicans have announced they will resign or retire, including nine chairmen of committees, leading many to speculate republicans are fearing a blue wave will bring a democratic majority to power in november. this is ryan speaking at a press conference on wednesday. >> today i am announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the house. to be clear, i'm not resigning. i don't for a certain my term as i was elected to do. but i will be retiring in january, leaving this majority in good has with what i believe is a very bright future. amy: during the news conference, house speaker ryan said he's retiring to spend more time with
retiring to spend more time with his family, but some have suggested his disagreements with president donald trump may have fueled his decision. on wednesday, cnn's jake tapper asked ryan if he and the president have a different temperament and character. this is ryan's response. are very different people. i'm from the upper midwest, not new york. we are from a different generation. we definitely have different styles. a what we learned after we got to know each other -- we didn't know each other at all. we had a lot of friction in our relationship. what we learned is we have a common agenda that we agree on and we want to get it done and we know it is going to be making a difference in people's lives. nermeen: ryan's retirement now leaves a vacuum in house republican leadership with the top contenders expected to be house majority leader kevin mccarthy of california and the house majority whip steve scalise of louisiana. ryan's announcement also leaves open the race for wisconsin's first congressional district. the democratic front-runner randy bryce is campaigning on a platform of increasing the minimum wage, strengthening labor unions, and passing universal health care. meanwhile, the most prominent
republican contender for ryan's seat is paul nehlen, a white nationalist and anti-semite who has called for deporting all muslims from the united states. amy: well, for more, we spend the rest of the hour with corey robin, a professor of political science at brooklyn college and the graduate center of the city university of new york. he is the author of "the reactionary mind: conservatism from edmund burke to donald trump." "the new yorker" magazine says it's "the book that predicted trump." professor corey robin, welcome to democracy now! you just came from giving a speech at harvard law school on the united states under president trump. you then get this announcement that the house speaker paul ryan is leaving, is retiring, not only leaving the house speaker ship, but retiring the house. what does this mean? >> i think it means two things. first of all, we have seen these wave of retirement announcement
that you have mentioned. i think the statistic is you haven't seen this many number of republicans retiring from congress, announcing retirement from congress, since the 1930's. amy: we're talking 41. you're pushing 50. it is an extraordinary amount, re than double the nber of mocrats. what that first means is the parties that are either into senate seat or firmly and confidently in power, you don't tend to see the most powerful elected leadership resigning their seats of power after a mere three years in office, which is what is the case with paul ryan. i think the first thing is he a seen the writing on the wall. over the weekend before the announcement, the result piece in "the washington post" were missed -- mitch mcconnell and all of the donors have said, forget the house, we're going to lose it. focus on the senate because if you focus on that thank you the senate, yohave the courts.
that is for the republican party and the conservative movement has put its money. that is the first thing. and the second thinghat i ink is goinon, which very important, after the november 2016 election, paul ryan announced an extraordinarily ambitious agenda. this was the moment to fulfill long-standing republican dreams. not simply the repeal of obama care or the tax cuts, but also the final assault on the welfare/entitlement state. this was the vision. the truth of the matter is, with the exception of the tax cuts -- which is something the republicans can almost do on autopilot -- they have not been all that successful. they were not able to gut obamacare, in particular, the medicaid part of it, which is very important. there were not able to really touch that got more important, since the tax cuts, you may remember right after the tax cuts in november
and december, ryan said, ok, now we're going after the entitlement and the welfare state. what do we see in the budget they just passed? increases in health and human on thes, increases department of education, increases in pell grant's come a head start. the fact of the matter is, despite having total control over the elected branches of government, the republican party has been radically constrained in its ability to fulfill the long-standing dreams and paul ryan knows it. nermeen: can you explain if you think that there are substantial you logical differences between paul ryan and trump and also more broadly, i mean, all of these republicans resigning, what do you think accounts for that? for many years in the conservative movement, what held this movement together was, first and foremost, the soviet union and international communism -- i realize i'm reaching wayack. amy: maybe not so far back. [laughter] that was the real glue that
held it together internationally. was thestically, it liberal, of a kind of democratic party. they were able to rally against that over and over again. i think beginning with bill clinton, the fact of the matter is, that argument got increasingly less powerful for the republican party. so what you have seen, these divisions that were already there, increasing fragmentation. if you look at it in terms of -- decreasing popular support for the republican party and conservative positions. nermeen: i want to ask about something you said in your harpers column called "forget about it." you write that the united states of amnesia, true to form, we don't remember who coined the phrase. it is been attributed to orbital and philip rob meadow it appears
in a syndicated column from 1948. but more than forgetfulness is at work in our ceremonies of drowned. repeatedly what you mean by that and in particular, in the context of the ways in which trump is viewed as heretical break from the republican party? >> we have this tendency in this country, in particular, liberals have this tendency, to look at whoever is the contemporary face of conservatism on the right and to say about that person, this is a monster am a this is like nothing we have ever seen before on the right, this is a break with whatever can before. people may remember this is actly what was said about , in particular in the run-up to the iraq war. nermeen: but not to the stem extent the way trump is talked about. >> well, it was pretty powerful, actually, particularly after the iraq war. there was a real sense that -- the neoconservatives were in
control, that they were these adventurers imperialist and that was a real break from the more moderate, constrained vision of ronald reagan. lo and behold, it has only taken less than 10 years at this point, and george w. bush has been rehabilitated as a moderate, genteel face of the republican party in comparison to trump. so there is this constant forgetfulness and amnesia about who these people were in the past in order to declare whoever it is -- whoever the current incarnation is a somehow completely out of bounds, nothing we've ever seen before. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. we're talking to corey robin professor of political science , at brooklyn college and the graduate center. other of "the reactionary mind: conservatism from edmund burke to donald trump."
amy: the new york times reported in 2012, house speaker paul ryan is a fan of rage against the machine. that prompted the ba guitarist to tell "rolling stone"nd's ryan phantom is "amusing because he is the embodiment of the machine our music has been raging against for two decades." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. as we continue with our guest, from paul ryan to what is happening around the country in the conservative movement and those that are challenging it. nermeen: in oklahoma, dozens of teachers have completed a
seven-day, 110 mile march from tulsa to the state capital okemos city, where they will now meet with lawmakers to demand they pass legislation to fund education in oklahoma. public schools across tulsa and oklahoma city remain closed as thousands of teachers continue their strike into its ninth day. amy: our guest corey robin recently wrote on facebook -- "in west virginia, oklahoma, kentucky, and arizona, we're seeing the real resistance, the most profound and deepest attack on the basic assumptions of the contemporary governing order. these are the real midterms to be watching, the places where all the rules and expectations we've come to live under, not just since trump's election but since forever, are being completely scrambled and overturned." professor corey robin, can you talk more about these teacher rebellions? you have the stoppage in kentucky, was virginia and they won. oklahoma and then
arizona. we're talking about trump land here. >> i think it is really important for a couple of reasons. beyond the specific issues of teacher pay and classrooms and quality of public education, which is in such a perilous state, what these teachers are really doing is raising the question about the low taxes, low public services politics that we have been living with in this country for a very long time. i just want to bring this back for an historical analogy. if we went back to 1978, the midterm elections, you would have seen the democrats were still firmly in control of the house of representatives and the house and the senate, the controller many state legislatures across the country. inklingd had little just looking at the midterms of the very profound right-wing counterrevolution that was
coming in two years and election in 1980. if however, you looked at california with proposition 13, which was a public ballot initiative that basically made to raiseifficult taxes, there you would've have seen the future of american politics for the next half-century. likewise today, i think if you're looking at what is happening in oklahoma, as you said in the heart of trump country, these teachers are is such aething that challenge to the republican party about taxes and spending, but also to the democratic party. democrats have been terrified of being tagged as the tax and spend party, really since walter mondale. gilly time democrats are willing to raise taxes is to deal the deficit or the debt. these teachers are saying raise the capital gains tax, not to cut the debt or the deficit, not to be good government people, but to deliver vital public services that the public needs
and wants. i think that is the real challenge. amy: this is such an astounding story happening in oklahoma. you have schools that are only operating quadrant is a week because they don't have enough money for the fifth day and the teachers don't have enough money to teach for the fifth day because they need second and third jobs. for 20a teacher years and her husband, and on the fifth day, he sells blood products. -- in the cityhe of new york. it has also been systematically underfunded and defunded by both republicans and democrats alike. this is a national problem. what is so amazing, it is been confronted in the place for you think would be the most support for it. not only -- amy: you're talking about democratic governor cuomo here in new york. >> and going way back to his father as well defunded cuny.
in oklahoma, these teachers are doing this and it is amazing to me that they've got an overwhelming public support with what they're doing. nermeen:'s or any presidents for this number of teachers strikes or even sector workers in ?eneral and the u.n. >> public sector workers have been in the forefront for the last 50 years of leading strikes in the 1970's, particularly color.f in fact, one of the reasons you could say that the republican right has been so -- pushing so hard on this decision which would make a very hard for public sector units, the supreme court decision, is precisely because they feel like that is the last bastion of unionized workers and they are workers that tend to be, compared to the rest of the workforce, overwhelming -- amy: in this is why judges are so important right now.
as you have mitch mcconnell saying the fight should be in the senate, we're going to lose the house he said, verily, this week and, according to "the fight is around the judiciary and they are packing these courts. they do take this extreme we seriously for anyone who thinks that president trump isn't getting anything accomplished. >> this is been very clear from the early part of the trump administration. they bungled so many things, but the one thing that from the get-go they knew how to do was to get the courts, the judge is appointed. appointing judge aat tells pion, going back to george fork in the 1980's, which is -- judge work in the 1980's, say nothing. you can present yourself as if -- clarence thomas said he a no opinion whatsoever on roe v. wade. he claimed he never even had a conversation about it even know you as a law school when it was decided. this is a long-standing strategy to say nothing about what your opinions are and get you in that
way. amy: your stephen reinhardt who is just died, ninth circuit court of appeals, huge steel, with the last president jimmy carter's federal judicial , trump to now remake the ninth circuit. >> this is the goal. it has been astonishing, given the dysfunction and the disorganization that we have seen, trump to now remake throughout this administration, their inability to pursue things on so many fronts. but when it comes to this, this is something that they have been very focused on come almost maniacally so. nermeen: can you talk about the rise of someone like bernie sanders and all of the movements , the occupy wall street movement, black lives matter, in the context of what you were saying earlier that these strikes are geared towards not just republicans were opposed not just republican policies, but also democrat policies? as i've said, the conservative movement and the republican party is quite weak, i think,
and in part the reason why it is is because the servant it was historical project, really was overwhelmingly successful. the fundamental target of conservatism, number one, was the labor movement. compared to what the heyday of american labor, completely succeeded in destroying it. the second party was the black freedom struggle, and they were very successful in destroying that struggle as well. conservatism, i think we have to realize, has been very successful. what you are seeing now i think occupy,eft in both bernie sanders, teacher strikes, black lives matter, is growing confrontation within the left, a growing reckoning of how successful in fact conservatism has been and how feckless and ineffective the democratic party and traditional liberalism has been in opposing this. i think, frankly, the real story in american politics right now
is not so much what is happening with the republican party and the conservative movement, which i have said is by any historical quite weak and incoherent, precisely because it was so victorious over the last several decades, i think the real story, the real question is, is there going to be a force on the left, not just movements in the street, but it organized force that is able to tip this house of cards over? that further.t what exactly you mean, where you feel the democratic party is failing right now. >> first of all, just look at the numbers. bernie sanders pointed this out andississippi the other day got attacked for it. the fact of the matter is, over the last 10 years from the democrats have lost nearly 1000 legislative seats. i think the highest proportion of seats lost under democratic, two-term democratic president since at least maybe dwight eisenhower. you often lose seats, but the proportions were tremendous. the democratic party as a whole is really a kind of gutted
machine. the mere fact that bernie sanders was able to get as far as he did in those primaries tells you how weak sort of rudderless the democratic party is. i think the real question is on the left, do you have an ideology, a theory a kind of account similar to what ronald ingan did in 1980 or fdr did 1932 -- these are these two great realignment presidents -- not that i support, but powerful. what they did is articulate a really profound, completely countervailing set of ideas and institutions and were able to shatter existing disposition. i think that is the question on the table and that bernie is slowly pushing towards. amy: corey robin, we thank you for this very interesting discussion, one we will continue. professor of political science at brooklyn college and graduate center of the city university of new york. officer -- author of "the
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