tv The Ed Show MSNBC March 26, 2013 12:00am-1:00am PDT
let me finish tonight with this. there's a scene in "gone with the wind" when all the well turned out young southern boys are throwing their hats in the air and cheering. what's got them so thrilled is the news that war has broken out with the north. well, the bookend of that scene comes at that scene when see see the bodies strewn as far as the eye can see at the end of the war. it would take the lives of 600,000 americans, killed in most cases by bullets in open fields. what can we do? we often, but not always ask at the end of war. what could we have done to stop it?
one thing a vital free press. men and women able and set on reporting the set, the motivation of the war hawks. the faults in the intelligence, the alternative paths that the leaders have failed to explore and, of course, a reasonable estimate of the horrors to come. well, tonight we discussed the good journalism that was done during the iraq war buildup and the bad decisions to bury so much of it. coming up next, "now with alex wagner." in the great gun safety debate, michael bloomberg prefers data, and wayne lapierre prefers wayne lapierre's opinion. it's monday, march 25th, and this is "now." >> the whole thing, universal checks, is a dishonest premise. >> wayne lapierre, meet youtube. we'll take the nra spokesperson on a trip down memory lane. >> 80% of nra members even say that they think we should have reasonable checks. >> the numbers don't lie, but
are the lawmakers deluded? james carville and howard dean will discuss one nation under a gun. marriage equality sees its day in court and republicans are forced to see the light. >> can you imagine the next presidential campaign, a republican candidate saying flat-out, i am for gay marriage? >> i could. >> all that hinges on the verdict, ahead. the gop's best and brightest are out with their budgets. and they might just take the country to a scary, dark place. #runfromrand. forget the shadow, punxsutawney phil may have the legal hammer coming down on his head. what's a little climate change when there are prognosticating groundhogs to worry about? everything he sets his mind to, he does, he wants to be good at, and he's actually become a pretty good painter. >> maybe one of those things is true. we'll look at the paintings of the 43rd president. >> now, right up in here, we'll make a happy little cloud. >> art critic jerry saltz will
analyze the bush brush. we begin tonight with two men on opposite sides of gun safety reform. both claiming they represent the will of the people. new york city mayor michael bloomberg expressed confidence on "meet the press" that meaningful reform is on the horizon. >> i am cautiously optimistic. i think when you have an issue where 90% of the public, 80% of nra members even say that they think we should have reasonable checks before people are allowed to buy guns, they all support the second amendment, as do i do, but there are an awful lot of people that think that this is one of the great issues of our times. we have to stop -- >> yet nra executive vice president, wayne lapierre, is convinced that his organization is looking out for america's best interests while bravely fighting off a challenge from the nanny state and its nanny mayor.
>> he's going to find out this is a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. and he can't spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the american public. they don't want him in their restaurants, they don't want him in their homes. they don't want him telling them what food to eat. they sure don't want him telling them what self-defense firearms to own. and he can't buy america. >> but michael bloomberg doesn't need to buy america. that 90% statistic the mayor referenced earlier wasn't just made up. poll after poll shows support for background checks hovering at around 90%. even the latest polling from fox news shows the overwhelming majority of americans, 85%, to be exact, support them. the same is true when you survey gun owners. and the same is true of nra households. that seems to put the rank and file of the nra's membership at odds with the nra's leadership. >> the whole thing, universal checks, is a dishonest premise. there's not a bill on the hill
that provides universal checks. criminals aren't going to be checked. they're not going to do this. >> which puts wayne lapierre at odds with wayne lapierre. >> let's talk about what's reasonable and what's not. we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. no loopholes anywhere for anyone. >> but the nra's hypocrisy and fearmongering is proving effective. the group can hauling in some serious cash, bringing in $1.6 million last month, their strongest numbers in over a decade. in response, mike bloomberg will spend $12 million to finance his safety group, majors against illegal guns. the ads will run in 13 states targeting republicans, senators, and democrats believed to be on the fence regarding an assault weapons ban and universal background checks. >> for me, guns are for hunting and protecting my family.
i believe in the second amendment, and i'll fight to protect it. but with rights come responsibilities. that's why i support comprehensive background checks, so criminals and dangerously mentally ill can't buy guns. that protects my rights and my family. >> as "the new york times" put it, this ad blitz represents, by far, the biggest escalation of mr. bloomberg's attempts to become a one-man counterweight to the national rifle association in the political clash over guns. yet in the 100 days since sandy hook, despite the polling, despite the public support, despite the crusade of mayors, governors, and the white house, there hasn't been much progress coming from capitol hill. harry reid admitted he didn't have the votes from republicans or democrats to include dianne feinstein's assault weapons ban and a larger gun reform package to be voted on in early april. but bloomberg isn't calling that a win for the nra. >> i don't know that that reflects the nra's power. we've got to go out, we've got a lot of work ahead of us. but i don't think we should give up on the assault weapons ban.
but clearly, it is a more difficult issue for a lot of people. in the meantime, the nra knows no bounds in its battle to make sure nothing is done to reform the nation's gun laws, including making robo calls to the residents of newtown, connecticut, urging them to oppose gun safety legislation. joining me now are james carville, democratic strategist, political consultant, and author of, "it's the middle class, stupid!" and howard dean, former vermont governor and former dnc chairman. james, i want to go to you first, sequestered as you are down there in a red state. how hard is it going to be for red state democrats to come out in support of any type of gun safety laws? >> it's going to be very hard, and the reason it's going to be very hard is the nra is going to do what it always does. they're going to send out letters lying about what happened. they're going to say they were against the second amendment, they want to take your guns away.
they'll say everything else but that. but they'll send the letters two days, three days before the election and scare the wits out of everybody. and a lot of these politicians know that. and there's a lot of fear of that. and a lot of concern about that. there's not -- the truth is not going to come out. that's not what the letter's going to say when it hits. and all the campaign they're going to run will say, they want to take away your guns, they want registration so the federal government can come in and take your guns away. that's what the debate will be. >> governor dean, as someone that had a strong rating from the nra, i want to point to some of the reaction comes from senators who are probably going to have a hard time on the vote on this bill. mark pryor says in a statement, "i don't take gun advice from the mayor of new york city. i listen to arkansans." there's a little bit more room in the statement from senator mary landrieu where our friend james carville is. "senator landrieu has a great deal of respect for mayor bloomberg on a great deal issues, but the senator will be
listening closely to her constituents on this issue." you hear that and then you look at the poll, it is overwhelmingly supported by 91% of this country. some form of universal background check. why then is it so hard for our political class to catch up with that, governor? >> this is about guns and power -- excuse me, this is about money and power. this is not about guns. what the nra is doing is you played the clip. look, i ran for office eight times, statewide in vermont. i got an "a" from the nra every single time. why? because nra members are not lunatics up here, they're hunters. what you see in washington is basically this organization, which is very different than the ordinary nra member in the states is, just as james said, fearmongering and they're raising a hell of a lot of money. that's what this is about. this is not about sensible laws. there are very few people, as you pointed out, that are opposed to background checks so that crazy people don't get guns. everybody's for that.
and sensible, thoughtful gun owners are for this. but the nra needs to raise money. they want to crank their membership up and scare people, and they mostly want to scare people in washington so they can get their way. that's what this is about. >> james, let's talk about the money, honey. in terms of cash, bloomberg has thrown out a $12 million figure, which is not chump change. that said, the nra spent, i think, $25 million in the last election cycle, trying to get candidates to do their bidding, what do you make of that number? what do you make of his efforts? are they going to be enough in the long run to push back on the nra's efforts? >> look, you saw karl rove, who's essentially an nra spokesman. he went on sunday morning tv and he actually got confused. he thought he was on fox, so he started spewing a bunch of falsehoods, and he got slapped back in the cheap seats when it was pointed out about you can't transfer stuff in the family, and national registry, which there's no such thing as that. but what that did and people should watch that because it gives you an example of the
level to which they will go to. if they have $25 million, as governor dean can tell you, the national nra is funded in large part by gun manufacturers. they'll crank in more if they need to. they'll keep pumping it out. and he also makes a very good point. there's a lot of hunters in vermont. most people don't realize that. it's a great outdoor state. and the average hunter is fine with crazy people not being able to buy guns or felons not being able to buy guns. but that's not what they're going to get told. you can see what carl was doing when he was there, acting on behalf of the nra on the sunday morning show with george stephanopoulos. thank god he was confused and thought he was on fox and they slapped him back. that happens sometimes. >> governor dean, i would recommend any video that shows karl rove getting slapped back into the cheap seats as something everyone should watch. but i wan to know, deputy white house press secretary josh ernest today had to defend the idea that the government was somehow coming for people's guns. where does that paranoia come from? the president has not done anything to in any way suggest
that men in black, you know, uniforms and helicopters are going to be storming the rifle range. and yet this seems to be a meme in american society, american politics. what's going on there? >> well, there's two things. first of all, there are the right-wing people who have always sort of been the black helicopter folks. that's a pretty small percentage of the population. but most americans, whether they're democrats or republicans, have a libertarian streak. and they do want government to stay out of their business. so it's not hard to convince people that the government wants to intrude into your life. we saw that in the health care debate, where people would say, keep the government's hand off my medicare, but then, of course, they'd want to keep their medicare, because of course it's a government program. so it's easy to confuse people by using a lot of rhetoric about how the government's going to come and do this and that. but when people understand the issue, they tend to be pretty sensible and this is an issue they do understand and i think the american people have a pretty sensible position. nobody's interested in take ago
way their guns, but they are interested in taking away guns from the people who are going to mow down their children, like they did in newtown. >> james, you're a master strategist here. in terms of getting folks on board, and i mean, we've seen the white house come out on this, joe biden, supporters of gun violence, supporters of gabby giffords, but at the end of the day, is there someone who will convince them it's not a bad idea? i mean, mayor bloomberg is a very culturally sensitive figure. i mean, you saw wayne lapierre outlining what he's done on obesity initiatives and anti-smoking initiatives. is there someone else culturally who would have a bigger footprint and be a more efficacious spokesperson? >> anything remotely an honest description of what the debate is, 85, 90% of the people agree there should be background checks to prevent felons or people with mental illness from acquiring a gun. but that's not going to happen from karl rove and wayne lapierre. you saw that.
now, what i think is really valuable about mayor bloomberg is he's stepping in and he's putting real skin in this game. i mean, that $12 million, he's the kind of guy that's competitive. once he gets in, he's not going to want to lose. so if you frame the debate correctly, then the hunters in vermont or the hunters in louisiana or the hunters anywhere else or the people like myself, i was -- i have been a number of guns. i always have, i grew up with them, i was in the marine corps, i don't want felons in new orleans to be able to go buy a gun. i don't want them to be able to buy at a gun show or anywhere else. and i know what the legislation is. but that's not what's going to happen. the nra will frighten the heck out of people and people like mayor bloomberg, who were advocating this commonsense stuff, who are good at this sort of campaign to tell people what the facts are. but we're a long way from -- mark twain said, a lie can go around the world twice before the truth can get its shoes on and we're still trying to tie our shoes right now. >> i could just sit here and listen to james carville all
evening, but unfortunately, gentlemen, we have to leave it there. james carville and governor howard dean, thank you so much for your time. coming up, after weeks of standing with rand paul, paul dynasty scion rand paul is reminding the republican party that he is still, in fact, his father's son. we'll get into the particular policies of paul, next.
proposition 8 and doma are about to have their day in court. but can the gop unstick itself and its platform from the 1950s? and a former president is channeling bob ross by spending his time painting happy little dogs. "new york" magazine art critic jerry saltz will tell us why this may be the best thing george w. bush has ever done. hang around. ys into school break and they're already bored.
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it's been an exhilarating month for senator rand paul. his 13-hour filibuster inspired the hashtag, stand with rand, and trended worldwide. he was crowned king of the conservative world at cpac and the chairman of the iowa republican party has invited him to headline their annual lincoln dinner in may, citing his 2016 potential. meanwhile, politico reports today that the young gun once believed to be the future of the republican party has fallen entirely off the radar among members of his own party. could it be that republicans are ready for rand? on friday, rand paul gave america a road map to his strange, strange land, releasing a budget he calls, quote, a
clear vision to revitalize america. perhaps, you might also call it paul ryan's budget pumped up with insane levels of human growth hormone. rand paul's plan balances the federal budget in five years, half as long as paul ryan proposes. while paul ryan drops the tax rate to 25%, rand paul calls for a 17% flat tax. both plans eliminate the tax on capital gains. and when it comes to shrinking the government, paul's budget follows in the footsteps of his father. >> the department of education, gone. interior, energy, hud, commerce, gone. later, bureaucrats. that's how ron paul rolls. >> rand closes four cabinet agencies, education, energy, commerce, and housing and urban development. and it privatizes the tsa. but where paul ryan has thus far been reluctant, rand paul goes there. rand paul raises the social security retirement age, privatizes medicare, and turns
medicaid, food stamps, and other social safety net programs into block grants. but not everything is mana for the right flank. rand paul also spends $500 billion less on the military than paul ryan, in order to, as he put it, keep the large military complex of yesterday in check. "fox news sunday" host chris wallace asked the scion of the paul dynasty about his bipolar approach. >> do you think there's room for a realistic, feasible presidential candidate who's to the left of obama on some issues and to the right of paul ryan on other issues? >> i think we have a confusing spectrum. this left/right spectrum doesn't always work for people. >> so, who voted for rand paul's whackadoo semi -- semi apocalyptic vision for the party? senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, john cornyn, and
rising star, ted cruz. "newsweek's" david frum makes sense of it all quoting public polling saying, "the out size influence of hard-line elements in the party base is doing to the gop what supporters of gene mccarthy and george mcgovern did to the democratic party in the late 1960s and early 1970s, radicalizing its image and standing in the way of its revitalization." let us bring in health magee, vice president of policy and outreach at demos and michael tomsskey for "newsweek" and "the daily beast." heather, please help me to understand what is happening here. what does it say to you that folks like mitch mcconnell and john cornyn, both of whom are likely to face primary challenges in 2014, feel the need to sign on to the rand paul budget? >> we've lost our way. we've officially lost our way. you know, i actually curled up with this 106-page document today with a warm cup of tea. >> what could be cozier.
>> and maybe it's the tenth anniversary of the iraq war, but i closed it and said, this is like a shock and awe attack against the american government, right? you're bringing four departments, decimating them to rubble. you know, a flat tax that would basically bring the level of spending in this country to sort of predepression case. who cares about financial rules. we'll do the roll it back to the housing bubble and days of secret trades. it's as if they didn't open a newspaper. they don't recognize that there's anything going on with, i don't know, joblessness, right? because, of course, if you actually cut this much spending, you'll send a couple million people back to the unemployment line. so i think, you know, the democrats have an opportunity to sort of double down on the demagoguing of paul ryan's budget with the rand paul budget. >> michael, you wrote some truths in "the daily beast" at "newsweek" daily beast today about the gop's sort of three fundamental lies. and i want to make them known to the american people. you write, "the gop is advancing three crucial lies --
that we have to balance the budget, that public investment at this point is irresponsible, and that if we do slash spending and balance the budget, jobs will come. it's all nonsense. in fact, every assertion is the exact opposite of the truth." tell us more about that. >> well, thank you, by the way, for the plug. i can't say that i mind that. but, you know, yes, especially the last point, alex. the last point, to me, is the most important. you have paul ryan going around, when he released his budget a couple of weeks ago, saying we're going to balance the budget in ten years and that's going to create growth. that's going to create an explosion of jobs. just like bill clinton did. no, no, no, no, no. it's exactly the opposite. it's the other way around. bill clinton created jobs, created growth in the economy, and that's what had the effect of balancing the budget, because we got so much more in tax revenues from those people who were working and paying taxes and from those businesses that are going great gangbusters and paying more taxes into the
coffers. and we had more growth. so that's, you know, the republicans have these things exactly backwards. and rand paul has them even more backwards than paul ryan does. but, you know, there's no -- you know, it's like talking to a brick wall. there's nothing that can be done and there's no negotiation that can be made with such people. >> i wonder, heather, how much of a liability this is going to be in 2014. i mean, you now have mitch mcconnell and john cornyn and ted cruz on record supporting turning the social -- basically tearing the social safety net asunder. and the question is, are they going to be held accountable for those positions? >> i mean, here's the question, you've got the base of the republican party completely still supporting a balanced approach to the budget mess. actually raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. adamantly opposed to raising the social security age. so, actually, the sort of rank and file republican members, even in these districts and these states we're talking
about, are actually really in step with the president's approach. so, it depends. it depends on how much the sort of progressive movement really gets behind making sure that the people of kentucky know exactly how mitch mcconnell and rand paul voted. >> michael, let's talk about the progressive community because on some level, the republicans have really won the ideological battle insofar as this is all washington talks about, which is deficits and budgets. and you could argue that, in terms of the goalposts, we're arguing in and around the rand paul budget or paul ryan budget. and there was very little news made, very little discussion of the house caucus budget which in its own way should be the flag around which democrats rally, given the extreme opposition. >> the progressive caucus budget is the most responsible budget that's been presented. i think even more than patty murray's budget. the senate democratic budget. but you're right. it doesn't get attention, because inside the beltway, the fixation is on deficit reduction, and that's not just among conservatives but centrists who somehow buy the
idea that government is going to crush us if we don't immediately and drastically cut now. i don't think they want to cut as much as rand paul wants to cut. and you were right to highlight that part of his budget, increasing the retirement age and privatizing medicare, because i think that's the part of his budget that's going to really crash his 2016 hopes. but to get back to 2014, you know, it's going to be up to obama, particularly, to lead the charge. he's going to have to get out there and get in front and put his political capital on the line to make sure that democrats can win seats. and he and other democrats have to stop talking about the federal budget as if it's a family budget. it's not. it just isn't. they can't use that metaphor, ever again. >> heather mcgee and michael tomasky, let us stop talking of deficits and let us start talking of jobs. thank you for your time tonight. >> amen. in a country rocked by sexual violence, an ad agency
the disturbing images created by jwt india were uploaded to the ad archive website adsoftheworld late friday without approval and they have since been removed. but what happens on the internet stays on the internet. one of the ads found here on business insider depicts three cartoon women held hostage in the hatch of a ford car driven by former italian prime minister, silvio berlusconi. the tag line, "leave your worries behind with fig o's extra large boot." ostensibly, the worries here are berlusconi's infamous bunga bunga parties, countless affairs, numerous court cases, convictions, and charges of sexual misconduct. all used to highlight the car's spacious trunk. the berlusconi ad is just one of a trio. another ad shows paris hilton in the driver's seat with the kardashian sisters similarly bound and gagged. in response to the uproar, wpp group which holds jwt india issued a statement saying "these were never intended for paid publication, and should never
have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet. ford says, we deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it never should happened. perhaps most regrettably, these ads appear as the issue of violence against women hit the news coming out of india. india's parliament approved a new law aimed to protect women against sexual violence. the legislation hailed as a milestone in india's women's rights movement comes in response to global outrage in the wake of the gang rape and murder of a woman on a bus last year in new delhi. beyond trunk space, what the ads point to is a culture of degradation, violence, and objectification of women that is not most shameful because it made it on to the internet, but because it exists in the very first place. on the eve of its supreme court hearing, support for gay marriage has picked up a full head of steam. jonathan turley, ryan grimm and jonathan capehart join me to discuss whether republicans will get on board the love train or
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tomorrow, the supreme court will begin hearing arguments in two of the biggest civil rights cases to reach its docket in years, if not in decades. up for consideration, doma, the so-called defense of marriage act, and california's proposition 8. as the court prepares for an historic moment, more public figures are weighing in. we can now add senator claire mccaskill of missouri and senator mark warner of virginia to the growing number of current and former lawmakers throwing their support behind marriage equality. senator mccaskill wrote, "i have come to the conclusion that our government should not limit the right to marry based on who you love. while churches should never be required to conduct marriages outside of their religious beliefs, neither should the government tell people who they have a right to marry."
senator mark warner announced his support for marriage equality in a facebook post. "i support marriage equality because it is the fair and right thing to do." one of the two lawyers arguing against california's prop 8, david boies has predicted victory. >> i think we're going to win, but i don't think we're going to win 5-4. i think this is a basic civil rights issue and i don't think that this is the kind of issue that's going to divide the court the way some other issues divide the court. >> meanwhile, the man who exploited anti-gay referenda to juice republican turnout in the 2004 presidential election, a guy named karl rove says he could envision a different kind of republican candidate. >> karl rove, can you manage the next presidential campaign, a republican candidate saying flat-out, i am very gay marriage? >> i could. >> or perhaps not. a day later, karl rove tried to backtrack. in a statement, rove said, i was ask fundamental i could see a republican presidential candidate supporting gay marriage in 2016, and i said i could. i was not asked if i could see the republican presidential candidate or the gop
presidential nominee." as for the latest "washington post" poll showing the country's support of marriage equality at an all-time high, the religious right's gary bauer sounded a familiar note. >> do you worry that this only puts the republican party further out of touch with the mainstream of american voters? >> no, i'm not worried about it, because the polls are skewed, chris. >> the polls are skewed. not but five months ago, republican poll deniers were in full swing. and we know how far that got them. let us bring in jonathan turley, a professor of constitutional law at george washington university, jonathan capehart, opinion writer for "the washington post," and ryan grim, washington bureau chief for the "huffington post." ryan, i can't believe we're talking about poll deniers at this point. i will quote dick morris from 2012, in september, saying, "i don't think the numbers are accurate. i think there is a fundamental error going on in the polling by the media origination."
it is unbelievable to me that those resistant to change are once again citing poll errors. what do you make of that? >> yeah, i mean, if you remember, i think they even had washington state going to republicans and oregon as a toss-up. you know, it was insanity. but people like karl rove have gotten over it. and, you know, he was completely wrong about that. but he's taken a look back and he's admitted he was wrong. bauer, there's a different case. but you know what, i think we actually owe a debt of gratitude in a strange way to karl rove for this movement taking off the way it did. if he hadn't been so vicious and vindictive in 2004, and basically run bush's re-election campaign on the issue of marriage equality, it would have continued kind of on the back burner. but making it such a partisan issue forced democrats to take a side, one way or the other. and if you force democrats to take a side on a civil rights issue, eventually, they're going to side on the side of freedom.
so, you know, it took, you know, eight -- it took four or five years until the democratic party in general, you know, it was not acceptable to be against marriage equality. once democrats got on board, you know, it allowed -- you know, it allowed a lot of other folks to get behind it. and so i think that if karl rove hadn't made such a big stink about it in 2004, we might not have seen, ironically, the progress that we have over the last several years. >> jonathan, let's keep talking about karl rove for a second. i'll quote the president who's quoting other people, but the arc of history is long, but i believe ben stewart is justice. karl rove almost seemed to be bending in that direction for a second this week and then backtracked. i mean, what is the deal there? he was almost going to say, it is unacceptable for a republican on the national stage to be against marriage equality. and then summarily backed down from that issue. how much does that hurt the party? >> well, i mean, i think -- you know, not to defend karl rove or
back him up, but he's probably accurately describing where the party is. in that "washington post"/abc news poll that you showed, a majority of republicans are still against same-sex marriage. now, having said -- and senator portman is the only republican senator, sitting senator, who has come out in favor of same-sex marriage, sitting in the senate right now. that being said, a majority of republicans 18 to 45, 51% or 52%, favor marriage equality. you have more than 100 top republicans, not elected officials, but folks behind the scenes, high-powered people, who have signed on to an amicus brief, calling on the court to strike disown proposition 8. right now, karl rove saying that, yeah, maybe, one day, maybe one day, a republican will be able to be for marriage equality. it's not going to be 2014, it's not going to be 2016. it might be 2020, but certainly
by 2024, the republican party will catch up with the democratic party, which as we know, any of the top people we're talking about running for president for the democratic nomination in 2016, whether it's hillary clinton, joe biden, andrew cuomo or martin o'malley, all of them are for marriage equality. >> jonathan, let's talk about -- jonathan brings up the friends of the court brief and the sense that public opinion is definitely moving in one direction. to what degree is the supreme court going to take that into consideration? and i just want to bring up the sort of parallel argument here, which is around interracial marriage. if you look at public support for interracial marriage, when the supreme court ruled on it, public support wasn't nearly as high for that as it is now for gay marriage. how much does that inform their opinion? read the tea leaves, if you could, for us. >> well, you know, the justices live in the world, and they are affected on some level by not just the public but a sense of history, particularly justice kennedy. i really don't think justice kennedy wants to be on the wrong side of history.
i don't think he wants to be one of the last justices to oppose equal rights for gays and lesbians. and i think that, clearly, he understands the way that history is going. so i don't think that these are people who really do vote the polls. and i believe that about all of them. i think that they try to do what they think is right. but they do have a sense of history. and that's going to weigh most heavily on the shoulders of justice kennedy, who could be a swing vote here. i think that we have to be careful, though, these are magnificent cases with such important issues at stake. but to some justices, they may be resting on clay feet. that is, they have to -- in order to get to these decisions that we hope they will get to, the court has to decide that they have standing. and both of these cases have very difficult standing problems. and that goes to whether this is a party who can ask for relief.
this court's extremely conservative, in my view, too conservative on standing, and they can use it as an out. and they also have other options short of recognizing true equality. and so they have, unfortunately, a full menu of options and only one of which is true, full and absolute equality. >> and jonathan -- jonathan and jonathan, jonathan capehart, jonathan turley brings up an important point, which is, this could end up actually creating more problems for the republican party if it's sort of a split decision between doma and prop 8. there's also the idea that they could, you know, they've already ruled once on the subject of separate but equal. they could strike down civil unions on that basis. which will create a host of problems for the gop. in fact, the best thing for republicans in order to sort of put this issue away and take it off the table for them and stop the interparty sort of debate is for the court to strike down both doma and prop 8. if they don't, one can see this
sort of, this time spent on the psychiatrist couch deciding what to do about marriage equality prolonged for the years to come. >> i think the time on the couch with the republican party on this issue will be prolonged. look, i think whatever the court does, marriage equality -- say marriage equality could become the law of the land in the state of california. if they do such a narrow ruling that it only applies to california, marriage will be legal in the most populous state. and people will go to california to get married, and then they will go back to their home states, most likely, a state that already has a constitutional or legislative ban on marriage equality, and then they're going to sue and have their cases go to the court, and that will only prolong the conversation in the republican party, because then they will start to be forced to choose sides in a way that democrats have already chosen. >> what i say is, just get on the love train now. jonathan turley, jonathan capehart and ryan grimm, thanks for your time. >> thanks, alex. devastating storms and biblical wildfires, catastrophic droughts.
the calendar says spring but persistent winter weather conditions have some people looking for a scapegoat. in this case, a rodent will do. punxsutawney phil is the target of some less-than-serious legal action as his weather forecasting skills have been called into action. the once trusted marmot predicted a early spring when he didn't see his shadow on february 2nd. a county prosecutor from ohio is charging phil with misrepresentation of spring. the tongue in cheek indictment says phil acted with prior calculation and design to mislead.
yes, mildly amusing. but in reality, phil's track record isn't too shabby. over the past 127 years, the punxsutawney groundhog has correctly predicted the early arrival of spring 39% of the time. not too bad, especially when you compare phil to the people who are actually paid to get a handle on our volatile climate. in the 112th congress, 57 bills dealing with direct action on climate change were introduced. zero passed. he predicted an early spring if phil is being slapped with misrepresentation of spring, what charge to levy on climate change denier senator james inhofe of oklahoma, a ranking member of the committee on the environment. >> the fact that all of this is happening is due to man-made gases i really believe is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the american people. >> perhaps more troubling, senator inhofe told rachel maddow last year that he used to believe climate change was real, until he realized the solution
wasn't free of charge. >> i was actually on your side of this issue, when i was chairing that committee and i first heard about this, i thought, until i found out what it cost. >> you see, for senator inhofe, the cost was the problem. particularly, the cost to his re-election hopes. the top funders of senator inhofe's campaign since 2006 are from the oil and gas industries, to the tune of nearly $500,000. inhofe's top contributors all benefit from loose environmental regulations. instead of blaming a groundhog for the unpredictable nature of our changing climate, perhaps we should point the finger at the actual human beings who have the power to do something about it. or maybe punxsutawney phil should look for some benefactors in the energy industry. that seems like the best way to avoid accountability on climate change. coming up, if you thought the 43rd president of the united states was the architect of our despair, turns out he is an artist too.
former president george w. bush has been channeling his inner da vinci. a number of his paintings have been gained by a hacker, so we can't show you all of his master works, but we can show you there one. bush released this portrait of barney after the dog's passing in february. the former president also paints
landscapes and the occasional bathroom self-portrait. w. is so into his new metier, he spent a month in the studio learning how to paint. his art teacher told atlanta's fox 5, quote, he picked it up so quick, it just was amazing, actually. his whole heart is in it. she went on to say that bush will go down in the history books as a great artist. jeb bush recently said history will be kind to his brother for other reasons. meanwhile, bush's brain, karl rove, got his hands on an original bush xliii. >> what do you think of president bush's paintings? have you seen them? >> i have one. i have one of the original first 43s. he painted my wife and our dogs. and it's -- he's pretty good. i called him when barney died and he painted a picture of barney, which i thought was really, you know, clearly from the heart. >> clearly, already aware of the future value of these works on canvas, the former president
signs all of his paintings with a 43, paging christie's. for more on this, let's turn to jerry saltz, senior art critic for "new york" magazine. jerry, a pleasure to have you on this most important topic. >> great to be here. >> but let's talk about it. you actually have written on the subject of bush and his artistic sensibilities and seem to be somewhat of a supporter or a fan or someone that thinks there's maybe something perhaps deeper going on there. tell us about that. >> well, art shocks you. your own tastes can surprise you. for eight years, i looked at george bush. i did not vote for him. and he sort of gave me the heebie-jeebies. and when i saw his paintings, i was stunned. i actually liked them. i thought that he was a gremlin on the wing of the united states. and then i saw this portrait of him in the shower, thinking about, this is a man that has seen the entire world. but everything. and he starts painting himself naked in the shower, this small, secluded, bizarre, private, il