'Up w/Chris Hayes' for Sunday, June 24, 2012
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
Guests: Michelle Goldberg, Sam Seder, George Martinez, Elise Jordan, Herbert Smitherman, Leila Hilal, Mona Eltahawy
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris
A new "Reuters" poll this morning shows that most Americans oppose
the new health care law. But when they are asked about what`s actually in
the law, strongly support most of it.
We`ll be talking about the Supreme Court`s impending ruling in a
And thousands of people are gathered this morning in Cairo`s Tahrir
Square. In less than one hour, the world is expected to learn whether
Egypt`s new president is a former Mubarak official or the Muslim
Brotherhood candidate. We`ll go live to Cairo for coverage of the
announcement as it happens, later this hour.
But right now, joining me today, we have Pace University political
science professor, George Martinez, also a candidate in Tuesday`s New York
congressional primary race in the new 7th district, right?
GEORGE MARTINEZ, PACE UNIVERSITY: That`s correct.
HAYES: And an activist with Occupy Wall Street
Former national security communications director Elise Jordan,
returning to the program, a speechwriter for Secretary of State Condoleezza
Wonderful to have you here.
"Newsweek/Daily Beast" senior contributing writer and UP regular,
Michelle Goldberg, author of "The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the
Future of the World".
And Sam Seder, host of "The Majority Report" at Majority.fm and co-
host of "The ring of Fire" radio program.
All right. As early as tomorrow morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will
announce whether it is striking down the Affordable Care Act, President
Obama`s signature legislative achievements, and America`s first attempt to
provide health care coverage to all its citizens. In the run-up to the
announcement, much of the discussion has centered on its potential
But the bigger stakes are the human stakes, the effect of the Supreme
Court decision will have on ordinary citizens if the Affordable Care Act is
On Wednesday, the "Associated Press" released a poll in which an
overwhelming majority, 77 percent, said if the law is struck down, they
think the president and Congress should start work on a new health care
reform bill. Good luck with that. Only 19 percent said they think the
health care system should be left as it is.
In other words, hardly anyone wants to return to a time of pre-health
care reform. But somehow, that message gets lost. And because it gets
lost, it has created a massive problem for the Obama administration.
"The New Republic`s" Alec McGillis picked up on this in a great piece
he wrote for the magazine that was published on Monday, writing about an
uninsured woman, Robin Layman, at a free health care clinic in Tennessee,
who had not even heard of a law. McGillis says, "Layman was hardly the
only patient aware of the law aimed to help people like her by expanding
health insurance beginning in 2014. And this gets to the heart of the
political dilemma for the Democrats. Despite spending tremendous political
to pass the law, the party is unlikely to win many votes from the law`s
future beneficiaries, most of whom live in Republican-dominated in the
South and the West."
I thought this piece just perfectly encapsulated the problem. To me,
the key issue with the Affordable Care Act, the big -- if there was one big
mistake they made in the law, it was delaying implementation of the law
until 2014 so that they could say when they scored the cost of the law over
10 years, that it basically came in under $1 trillion. Whatever the target
they wanted to hit was because there is no constituency for the law right
now because most, the lion`s share of the provisions and the most central
provisions and the things that might affect people`s lives that might
create a constituency have yet to happen.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NEWSWEEK: This is a question that I don`t know
the answer to. But was it doable to implement it before then? I mean, you
have -- you need these exchanges. You can`t -- you know, somebody has to
set them up. There is the kind of whole infrastructure that has to be
SAM SEDER, MAJORITY.FM: You could have -- you could have implemented
like the expansion of Medicare, Medicaid. You could have -- you could have
implemented a lot of the sort of preexisting conditions stuff on some level
And, you know, there`s still a lot of things I think that people
don`t realize that they`re getting now --
SEDER: Whether it`s free preventative care, people`s colonoscopy,
the co-pay is not what it was.
I think, you know, part of the problem was they didn`t -- there was,
that six-year horizon or whatever it was, the four years that we had to
wait for it was similar to the stimulus in some ways. The administration
was so afraid of what opponents would say that without -- and I think you
mentioned this yesterday on yesterday`s program -- they`re going to say it
SEDER: You couldn`t make it under $1 trillion, they`re going to talk
about it --
ELISE JORDAN, FMR. NSC COMM. DIR.: Well, they couldn`t implement,
though, because they`ve been hiding the true cost of what this was going to
be. Upwards of, you know, $50 billion and estimates of what it could be.
And politically --
HAYES: Fifty billion a year, you`re saying?
JORDAN: No, $50 billion long term over the scope of time. It is the
CBO original estimate, that`s why they need to have the mandate, because
they need to keep -- you have to be required to buy insurance to cover the
whole program, much like Social Security.
JORDAN: Social Security would collapse if we didn`t -- if we had a
choice to opt into Social Security, it would not exist any more.
HAYES: Sure. Right, I mean, but that`s the whole point of universal
social insurance, that you don`t have a choice to opt-in and that the way
the risk pooling works is that it mandates people into the program, right?
That`s what spreads the risk.
JORDAN: But I think what`s wrong this -- I have many reasons, I have
many problems with the health care bill, but they try to satisfy too many
parties. And so, they made insurers happy. They made the pharmaceutical
companies happy. And they didn`t achieve real reform.
What bothers me about the health care debate is transparency.
HAYES: Now, you sound like a lefty.
JORDAN: But transparency -- why do Americans not know what a service
is going to cost when they go to the hospital or a doctor`s office?
GOLDBERG: You think that`s the result of health care reform?
JORDAN: No, I think they should have done more to require -- what
industry do you have just blind expectation of going in, getting a service
and there`s no standard billing procedure. And that really hurts the
uninsured because they pay three to four times more when they go to the
emergency room and they do end up getting billed.
HAYES: You do sound like a lefty now. That`s absolutely true about
the uninsured, right? Uninsured because they don`t have bulk negotiated
rates. You`re totally right about the current -- you are describing
perfectly the status quo.
JORDAN: I want a free -- I want to free market solution.
SEDER: But here`s the problem, there is no free market solution to
the problem that you`re talking about. That is a function of the free
market and, in fact, in some ways what you`re advocating for is what I
think some on the right would call the death panel. I mean, to look at the
effectiveness of --
JORDAN: I have a huge problem with the phrase death panel. It`s not
a death panel at all, end-of-life conversation about what people want. I
think that was really politically terrible.
GOLDBERG: But there are two conversations, right? There`s a
conversation about rationing, you know, and dishonest conversation about
rationing and death panels and the like. But there`s also conversation
about the kind of one of the huge problems that we have now, which is that
you do seek, you know, uninsured do seek medical care in the emergency room
and get these insane bills.
HAYES: And they can`t pay them.
GOLDBERG: Right, and it`s kind of inefficient and deadly for people
at every level. But what that possibly has to do with flaws in health care
reform, I mean, health care reform is designed specifically to address that
and there`s -- I`ve not heard any argument that it exacerbates that.
MARTINEZ: Clearly, this is a major problem --
JORDAN: -- by 2024, so, we`re adding in recently --
HAYES: No, no, not Social Security.
Medicare -- Medicare absolutely by 2024 is going to have a
significant financial strain, partly because -- largely because of the
increase of cost of health care of inflation year over year, which is one
of the things the Affordable Care Act is designed to bring down.
Now, part of the reason that we`re having -- I mean, here`s the key
point. We`re having a debate that is identical to the debate that we would
have had before to the passage of the bill, which is precisely the point,
right? Which is that we are still having a debate that is largely in the
world of abstraction -- I don`t mean that in that way, in the world of
ideology, the world of speculation about how we can change the current
system, but that`s exactly the political problem that they have with the
law and it`s a problem they face right now which is that they can`t go to
voters, they can go to voters and essentially make the case that is a
similar case from the we made before passage of the law, but because only
so few of the provisions are in place. And those are important, right?
GOLDBERG: The same thing that it would be almost impossible to make
a case for Medicare and the abstract, especially in the face of -- if
Medicare hadn`t yet been implemented, in the face of kind of right wing
demagoguery, nobody would listen to this argument only because people have
Medicare and they are like holding on to it with both hands.
HAYES: This gets to the point you made earlier about implementation.
Medicare, I believed, ramped up in about six months after passage and
that`s a huge program, right? So, in terms of whether this was a political
calculation about the scoring window and what the CBO score came under and
whether the program can be implemented in time, I think the fact that
Medicare got on its feet as fast as it did.
MARTINEZ: Right. Now, I mean, one of the realities is you have to
be able to deliver the goods to the people that you`re talking about. You
have to build your constituency. They have to see the bread and butter.
But consider that if the law`s struck down, California will be
negatively impacted because they move to expand their coverage of Medicare
recipients immediately and they were very successful in doing that in the
SEDER: I think there were two complaints, biggest complaints on the
left during this whole Medicare -- excuse me, the Affordable Care Act
debate and that was, one, the lack of public option and, two, 2014.
Because you can`t, you can`t sell somebody on a policy if you don`t show
them, like you say.
MARTINEZ: It`s the goods. It has to be the goods. You`re not going
to buy a home with the prospect of moving in. You want to see the goods.
HAYES: Right. Let`s also just say, I mean, when we`re talking about
this bill, we have to -- we have to remind ourselves. And everyone, I
mean, there`s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on. They`ll be
more certainly if the law`s struck down.
You know, the thing passed by the skin of its teeth, as it was,
right? So, it`s unclear whether you could put even a gram more political
pressure, if the gram more political pressure you put on it was the fact
that the sticker, the price tag on the law was hundreds of billions of
dollars more because they were scoring it now because implementation
started earlier. I don`t know if it passes.
SEDER: That`s not where it starts -- I mean, that`s where it
started. I mean, both of those elements are more or less where it started.
You know, the public option was still in play, but the scoring is all sort
of where it started in that process. It got trickier as it went on after
Kennedy, after Kennedy`s seat was lost. But, I mean --
GOLDBERG: Right. But that`s the nature of the kind of legislative
sausage, right, is that you kind of start with something that`s more robust
SEDER: I`m not sure. We started with --
JORDAN: But they went with the mandate because then it`s not called
tax, which is what, and this is going to require a lot more tax dollars.
So, by the using the mandate now, that`s the very reason that it`s likely
to get struck down.
GOLDBERG: They went with a mandate because that had been up until
Obama proposed it, or up until Obama supported it. That have been the
HAYES: Conservative, the conservative Republican position.
GOLDBERG: That is the bipartisan conservative position. And so,
Obama, I think, has underestimated the bad faith of his political
HAYES: In terms of the tax issue, one of the things I think we`re
going to see in the decision is the fact that if it had been explicitly
called a tax with a rebate, it`s almost certainly constitutional and one of
the things the Supreme Court justices are going to rule on is whether the
actual letters, the combination of the letters, T-A-X, are what makes it
constitutional or not, not the actual substantive structure of the policy.
It`s actually going to be these letters attached to it.
More on the Affordable Care Act, when we get back.
HAYES: Talking about the health care act -- Affordable Health Care
Act, what -- and I think what the stakes are for this decision that`s
probably going to come down this week, possibly as early as tomorrow. I
just want to make two points.
One is that in terms of the sort of notion of the free market system
and there have been proposals about what that would look like.
GOLDBERG: Yes, the mandate.
HAYES: Right. The mandate was the version, right? The mandate was
the idea that you get risk pooling by requiring this, of course, that is
the model that Mitt Romney puts into effect in Massachusetts. The politics
of this will be interesting because Mitt Romney is going to have to talk
about health care and his health care record in Massachusetts, which he
doesn`t like to do.
One of the fundamental things I just want to emphasize with people
watching this is, the market for health care is different than the market
for all sorts of other goods, for a whole bunch of reasons. But one of the
big reasons it`s different is that the consumer doesn`t really make
decisions about what they will consume, right? The key market mechanism is
that I walk into bed, bath and beyond and I decide I want those shower
curtains or those shower curtains and I can price it out and I can exercise
I don`t have a shower curtain doctor who comes in and says, based on
my expertise on shower curtains, you have to get this shower curtain,
right? There is this mediation of consumer decision in health care that is
really unlike anything else. People were making decisions based on this
median and third party who is the person with the expertise, with the whole
world of advisors who have degrees, who have knowledge that you don`t have,
right? You`re dependent upon their expertise to make these consumer
And then, of course, they`re making those these decisions without
paying for them. That`s part of the problem as well. So, we just have
this bizarre triangulation that happens in this market. I just want to lay
that out as a kind of principle of how this market functions because it
functions so differently than other markets.
Second of all, I want to play this great clip because one thing
that`s really interesting here is: people don`t like the status quo. They
also don`t like the new bill -- in terms of the polls. They like the
individual things in it.
But this idea that the bill gets struck down and anyone touches it,
the idea that anyone politically goes near that hot stove, again, for 10
years, for 15 years, for 20 years, to me is preposterous. The system will
collapse in and on itself before that happens, again.
What that looks like, what the system collapsing in on itself looks
like I think it`s important for us to focus on. The human cost of that.
Here`s an exchange with Jay Leno and Mitt Romney about exactly what
the day after Affordable Care Act repeal or being struck down looks like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": You would make the law stand for
children and people with pre-existing conditions.
ROMNEY: People with pre-existing conditions, as long as they`ve been
insured before, they`re going to be able to continue to have insurance.
LENO: Well, supposed they were never insured?
ROMNEY: Well, if they`re 45 years old and they show up and they say
I want insurance because I`ve got a heart disease, it`s like, hey, guys, we
can`t play the game like that. You`ve got to get insurance when you`re
well. So -- and then if you get ill, then you`re going to be covered.
LENO: I only mention this because I know guys that work in the auto
industry and they`re just not covered because they work in brake dust and
they could -- so they`ve just never been able to get insurance. And then
they get to be 30, 35, they were never able to get insurance before, now
they have it. That seems like a good thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Right, that`s the point, right? I mean, this is the break
George, you were saying you are one of the few who retains what you
call a cookie hope that the destruction of this bill would lead to
universal health care.
MARTINEZ: Folks of my community are nervous of this bill, too. They
don`t know what it`s going to mean to their cost, these individuals, small
business owners, just regular folks in the neighborhood, except the few
tare part of the class that are the automatic expansion of Medicaid.
HAYES: Which is a lot of people.
MARTINEZ: And it`s a huge portion of people where I live and in New
HAYES: And a huge. Let me just be clear, a huge progressive victory
--15 million who are poor who didn`t have health care who are going to get
MARTINEZ: Clearly, it`s a step in the right direction. Part of what
I represent is a movement to start challenging the progressives of the
Democratic Party. I think we need unwavering progressives who are not just
going to hold the line and who need to move forward.
The reality was, we still know -- we have a memory in our head that
it was our party, the Democratic Party, that failed the president to
deliver to the American public universal health care because of these blue
dog Democrats, who all got primed and who all lost.
MARTINEZ: So, the mandate from the American public was there. I`m
still one of those kooky folk who believe that we can actually have a
progressive movement to pull the House of Representatives back in two years
and deliver on the promise if --
HAYES: Of universal health care.
MARTINEZ: That`s correct. If Supreme Court actually marks it down.
HAYES: I think substantively you`re right. But the idea that you
can go --
GOLDBERG: I mean, substantively you`re right that that`s the right
thing to do. But politically, there`s just -- I mean, the people who went
from for this kind of adulterated version of health care reform, it`s not
because they were necessarily sellouts or because they are less progressive
or less idealistic.
MARTINEZ: Some were.
GOLDBERG: Yes, some were.
But I think Obama has been pretty clear. I think Obama in a perfect
world would have preferred a single health care system, he said as much,
and I know there are a lot of people who don`t believe in his good
But the fact is, there is no political universe that we live in in
which this was a possibility. The idea that you could have replaced these
blue dog Democrats and some of them weren`t blue dog Democrats, but the
idea you could have replaced -- we recently saw a bunch of primary where
they challenged more established Democrats and they have lost --
HAYES: A lot of them.
GOLDBERG: Yes, they lost across the country. When you look at the
polling, when you look at the polling
MARTINEZ: Some of them.
GOLDBERG: When you look at the polling, there is a reason that the
Democratic Party is not as kind of ideological liberal as Republican Party
as ideologically conservative. It has a lot to do with the ideological
makeup of this country.
SEDER: I mean, I would argue that part of the problem is if you
don`t deliver on this, it`s really hard to measure whether or not, you
know, more progressive candidates will do well because, you know, one of
the toughest parts about health care is that 80 percent of costs are born
by 20 percent of the people.
SEDER: Most people do not realize how horrible their insurance is
until they need it when it`s too late and those are the people who this
bill really does help.
HAYES: Final point on this topic is that -- and I believe this
strongly -- the reputation, the political reputation of liberalism or the
left or the center left, however you want to call it, is tied to this
president and tied to this bill whether people on the left like it or not.
And so, to me, just completely a moral calculation interest, the bill`s
failure whether it doesn`t work substantively or whether it`s struck down
is a huge political blow for liberals I think broadly.
And I think the idea that you can sort of double down after that is a
I want to talk to someone who is on the ground in the city of Detroit
working with folks that are low-income that don`t have health care that are
just in the grinder of the system we have and what life looks like for them
now and what it will look like on the day after this is struck down, if it
is or the day it`s upheld, right after this.
HAYES: The great Ted Leo this morning UP WITH CHRIS.
I want to bring in Dr. Herbert Smitherman, president and CEO of
Health Centers Detroit Medical Group, and assistant dean of community and
urban health at Wayne State University.
Good morning, doctor. Great to have you here.
DR. HERBERT SMITHERMAN, WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY: Hi, Chris. How are
HAYES: I`m great.
So, let`s start off this way. You are working with -- in a community
health center that is attending to the needs of folks who don`t have very
I guess I want to start with -- have their lives or lot improved
under the Affordable Care Act? Are there things the Affordable Care Act
have done for them that we do not know about, that are one of these under
the radar aspects of the bill that haven`t been trumpeted or given much
SMITHERMAN: Definitely. In cities like Detroit, where we`ve seen a
loss of almost 60 percent of our primary care physicians, and with a
population of almost 800,000 people, with 200,000 people who are uninsured,
this act will actually, in its full enactment will cover about 170,000 of
So, what has initially been passed when the bill was released in 2010
are things like temporary risk pools where those who are uninsured that
have pre-existing illnesses that really had no where to go, the bill
actually funded about $5 billion for 50 states to form temporary risk pools
immediately so that people who were uninsured, pre-existing illnesses could
start getting health care. Small business tax credits, that definitely
helped because many of the -- I don`t know if it initially or helped
businesses add people to their health care rolls, but, clearly, it stopped
small businesses by dropping people by having 35 percent tax credits for
those who are, if they spend money on health care insurance.
And, clearly, we`ve seen -- even my kids, you know, with the
expansion of coverage for those who are up to age 26. I mean, that`s been
a critical. We`ve seen that law and that part of the law definitely expand
coverage for kids, about 3 million people in the United States.
But I did want to say something about the reason for the four-year
ramp up because I can`t speak to the political aspects of that.
SMITHERMAN: But, clearly, the political and the delivery system
Let me tell you, you cannot turn a spigot on in the United States and
try to absorb and cover 33 million new people overnight. Massachusetts,
which is a small state, actually turned on the spigot and covered 550,000
people. They gave them insurance cards and they got the insurance cards
and what happened? They tried to get an appointment with the physician and
they did not have the primary care capacity and the population ended up in
an emergency room and exploding costs by 33 percent.
SMITHERMAN: Now, imagine -- that`s a state -- imagine expanding that
at the national level. We needed time to develop and build the
infrastructure, the primary care infrastructure in the United States. Four
years is clearly a drop in a bucket, but it gave us time, especially with
expansion of community health centers in the United States and the money is
put in place for community health centers to get the primary care and the
infrastructure and delivery system infrastructure in place.
And we also need the money for the exchanges and the time for it to
build up and ramp up for the exchanges.
HAYES: What I`m hearing from you and what I`ve read time and time
again on how the system works on the ground is that we just -- our current
system and the medical schools undersupply, vastly undersupply primary care
physicians and this is particularly true in communities where they`re most
needed, like a place like Detroit.
Is the law as enacted now helping on that front? Are you seeing the
difference in that now or will you see it in the future if it is, indeed,
SMITHERMAN: Well, let me just say, there was $11 billion put into
the law to expand primary care capacity and physicians in communities. And
also another $1.5 billion in the health service corps to give loan
repayment for physicians who practice in urban and rural areas where you
see a lot of the deficit.
But, remember in 2010, when the Republicans took the House, one of
the things that came up was they wanted $100 billion cut right away in the
budget. The cut came down to $38.5 billion. What that meant was, the $250
million to build 350 new primary care sites throughout the United States
was cut from $250 million to $29 million which means instead of 350 sites
across the nation, we actually only had enough money in that first year for
Those kind of policies go backwards. We need and, actually, the
community health center program has always been bipartisan. Both sides of
the aisles have always supported --
HAYES: It was massively supported under George W. Bush, in fact.
SMITHERMAN: Exactly, exactly. So, they have always supported the
expansion of primary care. But if we continue to -- the bill is set up to
have the resources in place to ramp us up to primary care capacity.
But if we, in these cyclic budget cuts continue to cut primary
capacity out of that program, then, you`re right, you will have people with
insurance cards with no place to go.
HAYES: Doctor, I want you to stick with us and when we come back,
what the human toll of this looks like and whether the folks you`re seeing
in your medical and community health centers know what`s at stake when the
Supreme Court issues this ruling. Stick around.
HAYES: Dr. Herbert Smitherman in Detroit, you work in community
medical centers. Now, I want you just to tell us what is -- are the human
stakes for the folks that are coming into your medical centers, if the law
is struck down? And do -- are they aware of those stakes? I mean, I don`t
-- I want to be very clear, I do not fault them if they aren`t, but I`m
curious as just a factual matter whether that it`s -- there`s an awareness
that this law is out there and might deliver some tangible improvement in
SMITHERMAN: Exactly. We have 50 million people without health
insurance in the United States. Community health centers and primary
capacity we`re caring for about 23 million of them. We have about 33
million people out there that are actively looking for physicians.
And in our health center it`s not uncommon that outside Detroit in
rural and urban areas, we get calls from across our state from people
looking for a doctor to help them solve their problem. That is find basic
medications and find if you`re diabetic or hypertension. Just getting a
medication can prevent a heart attack or a stroke.
In fact, I think the furthest we`ve received a call for a patient
that was looking for health care in Detroit was from Florida, was a
gentleman who had actually been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He was able to afford the PSA, the screening test. He had symptoms of
It took -- he said, it took him a long time to actually find the
prosthetic biopsy. Once he identified the fact that he had prostate
cancer, he could not find anyone to treat him. And we received the call in
So, this is occurring across the nation. What we have seen since the
law has been enacted, especially with these temporary risk pools, that is
the 50 states got $5 million. Our state of Michigan, I believe, we got
$140 million to set up temporary risk pools that are basically insurance
plans for people who are uninsured with pre-existing illnesses to help them
And we have had patients in our practice who are uninsured, had a
pre-existing illness and we`ve been able to get them health care through
these temporary risk pools and those risk pools actually got started 90
days after the plan was enacted.
HAYES: This is a perfect example, also, because that is a great
example of a concrete, deliverable from the law. But it`s also, it`s
absolutely a moral requirement that our country have a social contract that
produces that kind of result, but it doesn`t necessarily result in some
massive, tangible political benefit because that is a small subsection of
SEDER: Yes. I mean, I`d like to ask the doctor if the temporary
risk pools, are they functioning at capacity? In other words, are the
people who are eligible for that temporary risk pool, are they coming? Is
the word out there that this is available to people?
SMITHERMAN: The word is out there in many states. In fact, in
probably 35 states, even prior to the bill, many states already had
something similar or something rudimentary. So, the actual bill helped
either start this new in a state or add in capacity. So many states
actually had this already ongoing and this was just an expansion of that
And, yes, people are hearing about it. You know, different states
have different penetration into the communities, but we in community health
centers are making our patients aware of it and getting them signed up.
So, that`s a value we bring to that situation. And it`s extremely helpful.
And just to let you know, you can have a diagnosis of cancer, a known
diagnosis of cancer in the United States and have no access to treat it.
HAYES: Doctor, tell me what your life looks like and the lives of
your patients look like if the law is struck down. I mean, I guess it`s a
return to this status quo that everyone sees as broken. What does that
look like? What do you personally feel about when you`re thinking about
this decision that might come down this week?
SEDER: Well, I think our largest concern is that the, as your guest
and as you mentioned before in 2014, is when the majority of the act gets
implemented. That is the expansion of Medicaid up to 133 percent of the
federal poverty level, and the exchange between 133 percent and 400 percent
of the poverty level. That is for people making $29,000 to $88,000.
We actually have health care for them. That`s 91 percent of the
population. If this law is struck down, especially if the individual
mandate is struck down, it really undermines the insurance aspect of the
bill and the exchanges actually, probably go away. I mean, it`s
unsustainable because the reason you need an individual mandate is because
if you`re going to take sick people. That is those with pre-existing
illnesses, insurance doesn`t work when everybody`s sick. You have to have
healthy people in it.
So if the individual mandate goes around, the exchanges which cannot
sustain themselves with just sick people in them, they actually go away
and, really, that`s half the bill and that means a significant, probably
over of the 33 million people, about 15 million or 16 million of them, will
not have health insurance.
We can still have the expansion of Medicaid. We probably can still
have if they just strike down the individual mandate, the tax -- business
tax credits, we can probably still have the, obviously, the keeping people
on their health insurance plans up to age 26, banning, banning the
rescissions or dropping people when they`re sick, which we also see in
That`s something that is not uncommon in practices in the United
States. You`re caring for a person. They develop a serious illness and
the insurance comes and drops them.
SMITHERMAN: Yes, the insurance plan drops them.
HAYES: Dr. Herbert Smitherman of Health Centers Detroit Medical
Group -- thank you so much for joining us this morning. We really
SMITHERMAN: Thank you.
HAYES: Supporters of Egypt`s two political parties, if that`s what
they can be called are gathered in Cairo`s Tahrir Square at this moment.
They and we are waiting the results of Egypt`s hotly disputed presidential
We`re expecting results at the top of the hour. That`s a live shot
from Cairo. We`ll have live reports from that city, when we come back.
HAYES: We`re standing by right now for word from Egypt, where
election officials say by 9:00 this morning, Eastern, in just a little bit
-- they will announce the results of that country`s disputed presidential
runoff election, the first since the revolution.
Both the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, and Ahmed
Shafik, the last prime minister in the Mubarak regime, have already claimed
victory. You`re looking at a live shot from Cairo`s Tahrir Square where
protesters have gathered for the results.
The protesters were sparked in part by fears that military rulers
were preparing to invalidate the results of the vote and declare Shafik the
winner. The preliminary tally cited by the Muslim Brotherhood earlier this
week showed Morsi, their candidate, winning with 52 percent of the overall
vote. The results were initially supposed to be revealed on Thursday, but
election officials delayed the announcement, saying they`re investigating
allegations of voter fraud.
The deepening political crisis comes a week after the Egyptian
military tightened its already strong grip on power, rewriting the
constitution to consolidate the army`s sway over the political process and
dissolving the country`s first elected parliament since the revolution.
Military officials said Sunday that they are prepared to answer any unrest
by protesters in Tahrir Square with decisive force, according to the
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Egyptian
military leaders to relinquish power.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I know that there are
ongoing conversations between our military leaders and their counterparts
in Egypt. We think that it is imperative that the military fulfill its
promise to the Egyptian people to turn power over to the legitimate winner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining us now at the table is Leila Hilal, returning to the
table, co-director of the Middle East task force at the New American
Lila, good to have you here.
LEILA HILAL, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: You said something to me. It was in a private conversation
so I hope I`m not putting up on spot, but you said something to me when I
saw you in Washington last week, you said, the Arab Spring is dead. And
why do you think that?
HILAL: Well, perhaps I can revive what I said.
HAYES: Our off the record conversation that I just put on national
HILAL: I think what happened in Egypt is there is a complete
reversal. So, essentially, the counterrevolution has brought Egypt back to
square one. And, so, we have now, in place, what is essentially the same
power structures that were there before the people went to the streets.
HILAL: So, in Egypt, at least, we can say that the Arab Spring is --
HAYES: On its death bed.
HILAL: On its death bed.
But also, if the Arab Spring as we interpreted it before, which is
the idea of people, many people going to the streets and calling for the
fall of the autocrats and the leaders leaving and then a new set of
principles in democracy flourishing. This sort of framework of the Arab
HAYES: Which we saw from country to country revolt in the streets,
against autocratic regimes, autocratic regimes on the defense and striking
back either violently or not, and the fall of the succession of these
regimes which people thought would endure forever essentially.
HILAL: Right. So that idea, I think, are finished. What we have
now are ongoing uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa and
what we need now is a new set of sort of revolutionary oppositional
politics that will allow countries to build movements, to build a consensus
for a road map for transitioning from what was before, the autocracy, to a
new democratic system.
HAYES: That`s quite the challenge.
We`re going to go live to the NBC News correspondent in Cairo in just
a moment. We`re going to be hearing from what it looks like there, right
after we take this break.
HAYES: I want to bring in NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin
live from Tahrir Square.
Iman, what is the mood right now? I see people mass behind you. I
guess my first question is: who is massing in the square? And why are they
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right here
behind us in the iconic Tahrir Square, those supporters of Mohamed Morsi,
of the Muslim Brotherhood. And all of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters
have gathered here. There are some revolutionary groups. Largely the
crowd behind me is mostly supporters of the presidential candidate,
In another part of town late last evening, there were also thousands
of supporters for the rival candidate, Ahmed Shafik.
The mood in the city, in general, has been one of great tension, a
lot of anxiety. There have been a lot of rumors that there maybe a curfew
imposed tonight. That has been denied by the prime minister`s office. But
to give you a sense, though, of the anxiety building up here over the last
several days, there`s no doubt that there is a little bit of anger and that
tension is pretty much palpable across the city.
HAYES: And the tension is based on the fact that it sounds from the
reporting I`ve read, from the folks that I talked to, and even people I
talked to in the U.S. government, that it is genuinely unknown what this
announcement will be, that SCAF, which is essentially the military, the
generals who have been running the country in the wake of the revolution
are holding the cards right now and there is a sense that Morsi probably
actually did win a majority of the votes in the election, but it is
genuinely unclear as whether SCAF will go ahead and announce him as the
MOHYELDIN: Absolutely. You know, when you look at the past week,
there had been a series of decisions made by the ruling military council
that has angered the public. There`s no doubt that the underlying tension
is the result of the election delay, particularly in the announcement, that
the announcement haven`t been made and they were scheduled to be made on
Thursday. Now, that`s been delayed in a short while from now.
But underlying all that also have been the attempts by the military
council to hold on or to serve certain parts of power, including
legislative power, the right to detain people and, more importantly, their
control over the national budget and not giving the incoming president the
full powers of a civilian president and that`s why people here have now
begun to feel that this transition to a civilian government, this
transition to a democracy is being somewhat manipulated by the ruling
general and that certainly heightened the anxiety.
Against that background, you have both candidates who claim that they
have won. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate has come out and saying
according to their tallies that they`ve won, Ahmed Shafik, the rival
candidate, is also making those counterclaim, and nobody is speaking to the
Egyptian public transparently about who is the winner.
GOLDBERG: So, this is Michelle Goldberg. From the reporting I`ve
been seeing, it seems like one reason that the Muslim Brotherhood has not
been vocally protesting the dissolution of parliament or at least not out
there in front of parliament is because there`s some kind of backchannel
negotiations with the military.
But if Shafik -- you know, if they named Shafik the president, then
it is kind of like the coup is complete. At that point, what does the
Muslim Brotherhood do? I mean, at that point, do you see kind of real
civil unrest or violence or what are people planning for?
MOHYELDIN: Well, if you take the Muslim Brotherhood for their word,
they`ve been very open, very public in saying there will no violence. They
will absolutely not call for any type of violence or demonstrations against
the results, if, indeed, Ahmed Shafik wins.
But people here are very cynical of that. And so, there is a great
sense of mistrust, because of the fact that you indicated, there have been
some backdoor politicking taking place. We`ve already heard from Muslim
Brotherhood officials that they have been meeting with the SCAF and there
is some indication that the Muslim Brotherhood is entering into some kind
of power-sharing agreement with the council. That in itself has angered
many revolutionary groups who don`t want to see the groups come at the
expense of genuine transition to democracy.
Having said that, though, there is always the opportunity in the eyes
of those that are cynical here, including Muslim Brotherhood supporters
that the military supporters may not trust the Muslim Brotherhood. They`ve
reneged on some deals in the past and so, they may feel that their best
interest is to try to shape the election results into the hands of Ahmed
Shafik. That would anger and certainly mobilize a great deal of
protesters, not just the Muslim Brotherhood, but also the pro-revolutionary
groups that are not aligned to one group or the other movements.
MARTINEZ: I want to -- this is George Martinez from Occupy Wall
Street. I`d like to try to make some sort of connection here because lots
of us in the movement have been paying attention to Egypt and paying
attention to the Arab Springs. To what extent have the folks out there in
the beginning, the grassroots community, to what extent are they falling
off to the background as now you have the Muslim Brotherhood and the well-
organized groups mobilizing because one of the reason why Occupy Wall
Street really rejected in so many ways overt electoral participation is
because it`s so top-heavy, so elite-driven that we would suspect to be
under the reins of other people`s controlling.
To what extent have they retreated into the woodwork?
MOHYELDIN: Well, for those of us that have been following Egypt for
the better part of the last year and a half, there is no doubt about it
that the very organic movement of the revolution that began on January 25th
has not moved to the back seat.
At the forefront of the confrontation between the military and a lot
of the political forces here have been the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as
their allies, particularly other ultraconservative Islamists, the secular
groups, the youth movements, the social movements, the labor movements have
all somewhat rescinded a little bit particularly because they have been not
as politically organized. They have not been as well-funded as the
historic Muslim Brotherhood that has 80 years political experience.
And as a result, when it comes into entering these negotiations, the
military found it easier to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood and their
allies, than the more fragmented social youth.
HAYES: Ayman Mohyeldin, we will check back in with you in a little
bit. We`re expecting a decision imminently.
When we come back, Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy joins
us from Cairo. We will discuss what has become of a revolution that really
captured the imagination of Americans and around the world and whether
we`re seeing its end and demise before our eyes right now, after this.
HAYES: Hello from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
With me this morning, I have George Martinez, an activist with Occupy Wall
Street, who is also a candidate in Tuesday`s New York congressional primary
race; former national security council communications director, Elise
Jordan; Michelle Goldberg, author of "Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power,
and the Future of the World"; and Leila Hilal from the New American
Foundation`s Middle East Task Force.
You`re joining us at a moment of tremendous anticipation and tension
in Egypt. That`s a live shot of Tahrir Square in Cairo where momentarily,
we are told, the ruling council of generals will announce who has won that
country`s presidential election. The two candidates that have gotten the
most votes are the Muslim Brotherhood`s candidate Mohamed Morsi, and the
candidate of the old Mubarak vestiges of the regime, Ahmed Shafik.
It appears that we`re going to get an announcement momentarily. So,
you should stick with us and we`re going to go to Cairo.
Right now, I want to bring in Egyptian-American journalist Mona
Eltahawy, who is in Cairo.
And, Mona, what I want you to set up for us is how did the revolution
arrive at this point? Because I think all of us in the States who don`t
necessarily know the intricacies of American politics watched with just
tremendous emotion and admiration for the -- what looked like the most
beautiful expression of popular uprising we had seen recently in our times.
Probably since the fall of the Berlin Wall as people nonviolently brought
down a regime that was so corrupt and so brutal to its people and now, we
see a choice between the Muslim Brotherhood and the vestiges of that old
And the question -- and the question that George asked is -- what
happened? How did we end up at this point?
MONA ELTAHAWY, JOURNALIST: Right. Well, first of all, you have to
remember that we`ve been under military rule since 1952 and that regime was
the regime behind Hosni Mubarak and that regime has not gone. We got rid
of Hosni Mubarak, we didn`t get rid of the regime.
ELTAHAWY: So that regime is one of the strongest institutions in the
country (AUDIO BREAK) the oldest opposition movement in Egypt. They have
been in operation for 80 years.
During the Mubarak regime, the only way you could oppose the regime
was through the mosque because Mubarak could not close the mosque.
ELTAHAWY: The rest of us who did not use religion as a form of
opposition to the regime were imprisoned. The Muslim Brothers were
imprisoned, too, but they had the mosque as a platform. Civil society was
suffocated and strangled to death by the Mubarak regime. So, it`s not a
surprise that the strongest opposition to the military regime is the Muslim
This is actually very natural. What we on the revolution need to do,
what we on the revolution need to do is organize for the next elections and
run, but organize socially and culturally on a whole host of other levels.
But I want to stress something, Chris.
ELTAHAWY: This is not back to square one.
ELTAHAWY: If this was back to square one, do you think the military
junta that has been running Egypt since February the 11th, do you think
they will be negotiating with anybody?
ELTAHAWY: If the revolution had lost, do you think the generals
would sit there and backroom channels to negotiate who gets what piece of
the pie? They would have said, you know, go away, we`re in charge.
ELTAHAWY: So, they clearly feel the need to negotiate. And the
Muslim Brotherhood, too, are losing legitimacy through that negotiation.
I want to remind your viewers that the Muslim Brotherhood got 10
million votes in the parliamentary elections and those votes were halved in
the first round of presidential elections. So, me as a revolutionary,
whose arms were broken and was sexually assaulted under this military
junta, who`s as a feminist and a secular Muslim, under the Muslim
Brotherhood should they hold the president, I oppose both of them equally.
For me, the real winner of this presidential election is the
military. And for me and other revolutionaries in Egypt, the revolution
continues because our struggle is the constitution. Our struggle is not to
sit there and negotiate with the military junta. That is going to taint
and delegitimize the Muslim Brotherhood.
Our struggle is to free Egypt from military rule. Our struggle is to
free Egypt from any kind of dictatorship, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
HAYES: Leila, do you have something you want to weigh?
We have Leila Hilal here from the New America Foundation, Mona.
LEILA HILAL, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: I think also, just to correct
what I had said to you about the death of the Arab Spring, I mean,
definitely Egypt is a different country. People have a new consciousness.
They have a new sense of empowerment. Collective action is an important
operating principle within society. There is a new set of politics and
that will continue to live on.
But in terms of the Muslim Brotherhood`s power, you have to remember
that Tunisia also went through a revolution and they also held elections
and the Brotherhood party, Ennahda, won the plurality of the vote there.
The Brotherhood won the majority of seats in Egypt`s parliament.
Now, why are they winning? It`s in part because, yes, historically,
they were able to talk to people through the mosques. But, ultimately, why
they won and I saw it in action in Tunisia and I was observing the
elections because they were mobilizing through familiar networks.
They were mobilizing their families through friends. They were, they
were close to the people on the ground. And they were working at that
community grassroots level.
Now, I think whether or not they will continue to have the support
that they have in the elections is a question and that will come down to
what kind of governing decisions they make. And the Brotherhood`s support
in Egypt was said to be slipping.
HAYES: And, Mona seems to be making the point that part of the
slipping of that support is the fact that the closer they get to be appear
implemented in the corruption of the status quo before, of essentially
striking corrupt bargains with SCAF, they themselves get tainted as an
My question here, also, is -- Mona, I want to play something and I
want to play it for all of you at the table, because it strikes as a pretty
profound statement. To me, there`s this question of whether -- where this
ended up is inevitable because the two institutions that actually did have
roots and power were the military regime and the Muslim Brotherhood. And
so, inevitably, this is what you would more or less expect, or whether it
was brought about by strategic mistakes by the revolutionaries that we
couldn`t be at a different moment if different things have been pursued.
This is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton making the case that the
Tahrir protesters essentially fell down on the job because they refused to
engage in electoral politics. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The people who started the
revolution in Tahrir Square decided they wouldn`t really get involved in
politics -- and I remember being there, this kind of goes back to your very
first question. Going to Cairo, you know, shortly after the success of the
revolution, meeting with a large group of these mostly young people and
when I said, so, are you going to form a political party? Are you going to
be working on behalf of political change? They said, oh, no, we`re
revolutionaries, we don`t do politics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.
CLINTON: You know, I sat there and I thought that`s how revolutions
get totally derailed, taken over, undermined, and they now are expressing
all kind of disappointment at the choices they had and the results.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mona, does that, does that ring true to you?
ELTAHAWY: Well, Chris, first, I mean, before I even answer that, I
have to impress upon your viewers that we`re all very well aware in Egypt
that five U.S. administration supported our dictator Hosni Mubarak,
understanding fully that he was a dictator who was preventing us from
organizing to form exactly the kind of political the policies that
Secretary Clinton says we have lacked.
ELTAHAWY: So, please, let`s remember this.
ELTAHAWY: Secondly, yes, of course, there was an idea that politics
was tainted because it was tainted because we looked at the choices
available. It was always a regime who told those five U.S. presidents who
supported him it`s either me or the crazy men in beards, and it was the
crazy men in beards saying it is either us or the regime. And so, we were
stuck between these two people and we said this is not the kind of politics
We want to end dictatorship of all kinds, whether it`s fascists with
guns or fascists with God, we want freedom and dignity. The chants of the
revolution were bread (ph), liberty, and social justice and social dignity.
We saw the candidates that were available and none of them were fully
representing those ideals. Now, we have been under military rule for 60
years. It was very difficult to organize politically. Now, we start to
In 18 months, yes, we didn`t have time to organize politically.
Anyone would be foolish to claim otherwise.
There are revolutions who still do not want anything to do with
politics. I understand that, fine, please go to the side and organize
socially and culturally. But many of them now are saying, we need to be
involved in local councils, we need to be involved in very grassroots
network that grow up, with revolutionary Egypt.
And, again, I stress the constitution is the most important ally in
this regard because the framework of the constitution, whoever is our
president and whatever the role of the military junta, we need a
constitution that guarantees we can get rid of that president in four or
five years. We need a constitution that guarantees they cannot rid of our
parliaments that we have elected.
HAYES: And the constitution, of course, has yet to be written and
this is one of the questions in the wake of the revolution was, the order
in which things like parliament, constitution, president would happen. And
what ended up happening was there are parliamentary elections and the
parliament was dissolved by the SCAF. There is no constitution. And now
we have this presidential election and we`re going to have a president in
which there is no properly constituted parliament and there is no
The live shot you see there is the call in which the announcement of
the next president in Egypt will take place imminently.
Stick with us. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: We were monitoring very closely the situation in Egypt where
we`re expecting an announcement any moment of who will be the next
president of Egypt, that is the hall in which that announcement will be
made. That`s filling up right now with reporters. They have announced
that they`re going to be telling us shortly.
Elise Jordan, you worked in the National Security Council and I`m
curious your thoughts as you`re watching this unfold.
ELISE JORDAN, FMR. NSC COMM. DIR.: You know, three years ago this
month, Obama gave his much vaunted Cairo speech. And at the time I said,
he really wasn`t out there enough on democracy, but then, again, he kind of
staged the traditional U.S. rhetoric of, you know, we do stand for these
I just really worry when we have the situations on what`s unfolding
in Egypt and it doesn`t look like our actions. We are perceived as
interfering against the democratic process and looking out for our own
interests. I don`t think it`s not helpful in the long term.
HAYES: But it also seems to me -- it also seems to me the U.S. right
now could turn from a moment to how the U.S. plays its role in this, that
there is, (a), less leverage than it may first appear in terms of what
leverage we have over the Egyptian government. Obviously, there`s the
massive amounts of foreign aid we give to the military. There was just a
waiver exercised to disperse a $1.3 billion payment in that regard, but if
we stop that payment, that seems to possibly unravel Camp David which is
the signature cornerstone in the entire region.
And it also seems to me that, you know, in some ways, the U.S. has
the same, the same difficult choice as folks like you, Mona, and the
revolutionaries who are not thrilled about either the SCAF or Muslim
GOLDBERG: I`m not sure what your criticism of the administration is.
Most conservatives that I`m aware are criticizing the administration for
being too soft on the Muslim Brotherhood, not for being -- not standing up
for democracy. The standing up for democracy in this case would mean
JORDAN: I think they were slow hanging with Mubarak too long.
Hanging with a dictator, how old was he? He was in his 80s, I think.
HAYES: Right, yes.
JORDAN: Who has been there for 40 years and not seen the popular
protest was the direction it was going. I personally think that that put
us behind the curve.
HAYES: Mona, is it perception, is the perception in Egypt about the
U.S. role fundamentally being a helpful one for democracy, a hindrance or
maybe not as central as we America like to think we are?
ELTAHAWY: Right. When we began our revolution last year, it was
very clear that the revolution was clearly outpacing the U.S.
administration. The U.S. administration at the time and I was in New York
at the time and I was doing a lot of media and I was here, was struggling
to keep up with events on the ground. And I think essentially people in
Egypt understand that five U.S. presidents supported the dictator at the
expense of our rights and our freedom because you offered them stability,
this mirage of stability.
ELTAHAWY: So, now, people look and say, well, you know what, if the
Brotherhood opposite to the U.S., they are going to support them. If the
military opposite to the U.S., they`re going to support them.
At the end of the day, the U.S. pays $1.3 billion in aid to the
military in Egypt so that the military can pay -- can buy U.S.-made
weapons. And the Egyptian people are sitting there saying, when do we get
a say in this because none is made conditional on the respect of our rights
and our demands of freedom and democracy. So, the U.S. one is not one that
is looked upon sympathetically.
HAYES: I just want to respond there and interject one thing and you
are the expert on these matters, and I`m sitting here in New York and
you`re sitting there in Cairo.
But it also is important for the American audience to understand that
there is a base of popular support for the military regime, whether that is
completely the product of propaganda because they have been culturated to
it, because it`s a product of a corrupt patronage system that buys people
off, but there are genuinely millions of Egyptians who do want to see the
regime and power and want to see Shafik announce the winner. Isn`t that
ELTAHAWY: Well, let me put it down in just plain numbers for you.
In the first round of the elections, Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood
candidate, got 25 percent of votes and Shafik got 24 percent of votes. Is
that the majority of Egyptian voters for you? Clearly not.
ELTAHAWY: And also, just as importantly, the majority of Egyptian
voters, 57 percent of Egyptian voters voted non-Islamists.
So, I think we need to deconstruct these narratives that Egyptians
want stability through the military junta and that Egyptians want Islamists
through the Muslim Brotherhood.
ELTAHAWY: Twenty-five percent and 24 percent are not the majority.
When those two candidates run against each other, the majority of people
voting for Muslim Brotherhood Morsi, voted out of hate and fear for Shafik.
ELTAHAWY: And the majority of people voting voted out of hate and
fear of Morsi.
HAYES: That`s called a democratic election.
HAYES: That`s exactly how we rule here in the U.S. Leila?
HILAL: Which is why when we`re talking about transitions in the Arab
Spring, we need to think less about procedural democracy and more about
mobilizing consensus for what a new -- a new vision, a new type of
governing system, a new social contract looks like.
HAYES: What does that mean? What does that mean?
HILAL: Well, I think Egypt -- you`re talking about how you sequenced
transition. Well, so, the Egyptian protesters in the streets accepted that
the military took over power from Mubarak. They did this unilaterally.
They suspended the constitution and they took over and then they said that
they would call for parliamentary elections.
So, Egypt went straight from the military control to a parliamentary
elections and, instead, I think what they should have done was write the
HAYES: And the constitution remains unwritten at this moment, as we
await -- you see on your screen the announcement of the next president of
Egypt and the first presidential elections after the revolution, we will
have that announcement, it appears, when we come back.
HAYES: We`re monitoring events in Cairo where we`re set to hear an
announcement from the Egyptian supreme command allied forces, which is
essentially the military generals that have been run Egypt since the
revolution about a year and a half ago. They are -- they`ve been
withholding announcement of who won the presidential election from this
week and that announcement is imminent.
We have correspondents. We have Mona Eltahawy on the line from
George, you`re making a point about the politics of -- we`ve been
talking about the Arab Spring and the revolution the Egyptian revolution
which so captured our imagination here in the U.S. for a variety of reasons
and tracking its progress. And, George, you made a point about the sort of
political calendars of revolutions and electoral politics.
GEORGE MARTINEZ (D), NY CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Right. I think
folks need to be very much aware that there are different calendars.
There`s a political calendar and this is what most people recognize as an
election cycle. There`s the normal process of things.
And then there`s a revolutionary calendar which tells us that we`re
building horizontal grassroots social movement that will inevitably affect
And I think Mona put her finger right on it. She said that you
should expect within 18 months that there should be a serious horizontal
move of revolutionaries who will engage the political process.
But at this stage in the game, I think it`s unfair to analyze what
the revolutionaries are doing, considering that most of the world is paying
attention to the formal political processes.
HAYES: The question is, those formal political processes have a lot
of power. Sorry, excuse me.
MARTINEZ: No question about it. But consider that in 7 1/2 months,
Occupy Wall Street has done more to recognize social injustice in United
States of America than progressives have done in a 30-year period.
And I`m the first candidate to emerge in the backdrop of folks who
are building horizontally. What we can expect is that in a few years, when
you have a multi-pronged, multi-layered grassroots movement to affect
electoral outcomes, you should start seeing the real preferences of the
revolutionaries embedded into their formal mechanisms, not what we have now
where revolutionaries are engaging in formal mechanisms that they haven`t
GOLDBERG: I don`t understand how anybody can see what`s going on in
Egypt, in as much as you can draw analogies what`s going on in Egypt and
what`s going on in United States are obviously, radically different.
HAYES: Radically different --
GOLDBERG: Radically different situations and much less at stake for
GOLDBERG: But in as much as there are analogies, to me, it seems to
show off the kind of naivety and futility of a kind of purely horizontal
political strategy that refuses to engage with the world as it is and the
political system as it is. You know, if you kind of say, well, the
political system is corrupt and tainted and we`re just not going to
participate, you end up with, you know, the Muslim Brotherhood or Shafik,
and in this country you end up with the kind of, you know, a counterculture
that is politically impotent.
MARTINEZ: Or you only end up with those folks in the interim.
We do believe that another world is possible and you can`t kill an
idea. The reason that people came to the square in the first place, the
young people, the hip-hop community, the reason that they came is still
there and they have fallen back is because they have a vested interest in
GOLDBERG: The point is coming into the square and building
horizontally doesn`t change things. What changes things is the very hard,
long term work of building institutions, building constituencies, and kind
of hierarchical work of actually working within political parties.
HAYES: And this is a really important point of contention. I think
the key question, the unanswered question about this, this vision of
different calendars -- working on a longer timescale, building from the
bottom up, refusing to engage in institutions that one finds corrupt or
morally reprehensible or dysfunctional, right, and instead, building an
alternative set of institutions that can affect political outcomes, as a
strategy. The question is in the time it takes to do that, do the powers
at be manage to consolidate their power and squash what emerges from those
Mona, and that seems to me the big unanswered question right now, not
just in Egypt, but also, Leila, across the Arab world, which is -- are we
seeing in the vacuum the fall of some of these regimes essentially the
ascension of a bunch of very powerful interest that will then use this
moment to squash what might be the second wave of revolutionary movements,
if it were allowed to take hold?
ELTAHAWY: Well, Chris, it`s really interesting for me to watch
fellow Americans arguing with the comfort, basically, of a system that
allows them to have this kind of argument and talk about institutions and
is it horizontal or is it vertical, because we haven`t even have the chance
to have these arguments in Egypt because we don`t have the freedom to have
this kind of discussion.
ELTAHAWY: So, if it took George 18 months to become the first
candidates for Occupy, I mean, eight months, sorry, and we`re at 18, in a
country that has been corrupt and suffering from military rule, you
understand where we are right now.
We definitely need both in Egypt, as I said. I clearly said, we need
people to be involved in the political process as well as that
horizontally. But I have to stress that Egypt has changed forever. The
fact that you see people filing up Tahrir Square, I want to remind you of
In 2005, September 2005, when we had our first multi-candidate
presidential elections, it was Mubarak against several other candidates,
the largest protest we should get in Tahrir Square was 3,000 and we were
ecstatic. Looking around thinking, oh my gosh, 3,000 people.
You have hundreds of thousands of people in Tahrir Square now.
ELTAHAWY: Egypt has changed forever. Whoever is going to be our
president, whatever the military thinks it can do, the Egyptian people have
put everyone on notice that we have the ability and the right to say no.
It is our struggle.
But while it`s our struggle, it is very important for foreign allies
to understand, to ask themselves, are they going to keep making the same
mistake of choosing stability at our expense? Democracy and putting a
piece of paper in a ballot box is not freedom. We want freedom and
dignity. We want bread, liberty and social justice.
So, I ask Secretary Clinton and President Obama, as well as the
European Union, and all the other people who are fascinated by our
revolution, whose side are you going to take? Our side, the people who
went out there and paid a price for this revolution or the people either
with beards or guns who will promise you stability at our expense. Choose
our side because this is the side of freedom and dignity.
HAYES: I want to thank Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy
for joining us this morning from Cairo.
We`ll have more from Cairo as we await announcement of the
presidential election right after this.
HAYES: We`re monitoring closely the situation in Egypt where we`re
expecting an imminent announcement of the next president of Egypt. It
could be, I should note, the first time a democratically elected Muslim
Brotherhood candidate in the Middle East, right, wouldn`t that be the case
if Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate is announced.
We just had Mona Eltahawy on the line who is talking about the
revolution and the revolution`s legacy and basically making the case that
appearances to the contrary, the revolution has forever changed the
politics of Egypt and the SCAF, which is the military that is now ruling
the country and the Muslim Brotherhood will have to listen to the demands
of Tahrir -- and, Leila, what did you think of that?
HILAL: Well, I`m just wondering to what extent is street protest is
an effective means of pressure on the SCAF. I mean, people have been in
Tahrir for -- in mass numbers for 18 months now.
And, essentially, the SCAF just took supreme authority away from the
parliament. It declared, it amended the constitution that was approved by
a referendum unilaterally. It`s holding near exclusive power and despite
that people have them in the streets for 18 months.
So, what I`m saying is, I think, Egyptian revolutionaries have to
come -- have to take it to the next step, which is to organize a vision, a
consensus-based model of transition that will make it much harder for the
military authorities to object to -- and which other countries, external
actors like the U.S. can get behind. It`s a matter of translating
collective action into substance.
SAM SEDER: I mean, I think, first of all, Hosni Mubarak can speak to
the power of people going down.
HAYES: Not any more.
SEDER: That`s the point. Yes, obviously, the military it`s more
difficult because they have the guns and they`re a wider bureaucracy. So,
I mean, you know, the idea of focusing necessarily --
HILAL: They have been responding to the street. But just by giving
and taking a little bit here and there, but it`s not enough. And it`s not
-- there`s still --
SEDER: Also, look, I think lost in this, I`m very curious as to
where the United States is. I mean, we know that the many of these
generals were actually in the Pentagon when people first came down to the
square 18 months ago. And so, the idea that the -- you know, they`re
getting their funding from somewhere and they`re all trained in the United
States, and I wonder what type of leverage the United States is using in
HAYES: I don`t think there is -- maybe I`m wrong, I mean, I could be
wrong, I`ve been wrong before, a lot on this program.
But it seems to me that the leverage is a bit overstated just because
I`m not sure. I mean, let`s keep in mind the military in Egypt is not just
a military in the way that we think of it. It`s the most powerful
institution in the country.
It just loaned the Egyptian state $1 billion in the past year. It
loaned $1 billion. It is very cash rich. It runs enterprises, huge
profitable enterprises through patronage network. It`s running olive oil
factories and presses and things like this.
So, the Egyptian military has a genuine base of not just political
power, military and monopolization on state use of violence, but it also
has a huge bank account from the enterprise that it`s running.
SEDER: How can we talk of the failure of people in the square over
the course of --
HAYES: In the face of that, right.
SEDER: Not to be able to be making --
HILAL: The question I have then is why when Mubarak left did the
protesters say, OK, we welcome the army and they are with the people, when
they knew that they had these invested interests and that they were part of
the corrupt system.
SEDER: Because it was probably the only way to get Mubarak out
there. You cannot go from A to Z --
MARTINEZ: And to some extent that`s what they had before. That`s
what they knew they had.
HAYES: Is there a model? This is an interesting point, we`ve seen
now just to tick through this. It began --
HILAL: And it`s not what Syria is doing either, by the way.
HAYES: It began in Tunisia with the self-immolation of a fruit
vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi, right? It led to the fall of the autocrat
in Tunisia and then in Egypt, we`ve seen it spread to Libya and, of course,
Libya is a rough situation right now. It`s very unclear who is holding
power. There are militias, armed militias.
We saw it move to Yemen. We saw it move to Bahrain where the U.S.
looked the other way while the Bahrainis basically squashed the entire
thing and now we`re seeing it move to Syria where we reported 10,000
civilians have been killed by the regime.
Is there a place that has gotten it right? I mean, I guess the part
of the problem is, you know, I think when we`re talking and looking at this
on large scale, the deck is so stacked, right? That the fact that it
toppled it all is sort of a miracle and the chaos and the violence and the
regression to the mean that we`re seeing in terms of the force of the
status quo seemed altogether predictable at a certain level.
Is there some -- is there some group of revolutionaries that have
pursued a path that has been most successful?
HILAL: Well, I think -- we typically look at Tunisia as a successful
example. But I would just say, also, I mean, transitions have been
happening around the world for years. Latin America, Africa, half the
countries have gone through political transitions.
But Tunisia is the one that seems to have followed the most coherent
road map that has allowed the country to begin to build a new set of
politics. And there are social tensions.
But what they did is they held power, they kept power in the hands of
a civilian government and then they formed a representative commission to
guide the transition to plan it, to decide that we would first vote for
constituent assembly. And then once that assembly, once the constitution
is in place, then we will hold elections for the regular government. And
this has worked.
So, now, we have the politics in Tunisia, the tensions channeled into
SEDER: But does the military have the same --
HILAL: The military backed off a in Tunisia --
SEDER: That`s a big, that`s a big factor, right?
HILAL: Of course. It is a big factor and the army was much smaller,
less empowered entity in Tunisia than in Egypt. But I still think the
Egyptian revolutionaries who have been active for quite some time before,
they could have had the foresight to see that this is not a complete
HAYES: I want to check in with a live dispatch from Cairo where tens
of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square awaiting announcement of who will be
the next president of Egypt, right after this.
HAYES: We`re getting word that the members of the presidential
election commission in Egypt are filing into the room right now. You see
that live on your screen there. That is a presidential election commission
which is set to announce the winner of the presidential election in Egypt.
The nation is on the edge of its seat. There is tremendous tension
between the backers of the two main candidates, Ahmed Shafik who
essentially represents the Mubarak regime, as a prime minister under
Mubarak, and Mohamed Morsi, who is the party functionary of the Muslim
Brotherhood and we`re going to find out live in just a moment who exactly
he is announcing.
Michelle, you wanted to make a point.
GOLDBERG: I wanted to ask you a question, which is if you are a kind
of a secular liberal in Egypt, who are you rooting for?
HAYES: Yes, that`s a great question.
GOLDBERG: Is it like Turkey where you often do find the cosmopolitan
liberals looking to the military for protection against the Islamist whose
power they fear enormously, or do you kind of see Morsi as being the only
hope of at least some kind of beginning of a democratic transition?
HILAL: Well, I think there are those that saw -- I think there are a
lot of liberal seculars who are afraid of the Brotherhood. But did that
mean that they voted for Shafik? I don`t think so. I think probably it
meant that they didn`t vote. I mean, there was -- so, I think it depends.
HAYES: But who do you want to see win? I mean, no, this is a real
question because there are people -- there are people in the United States
government who don`t know what is going to be announced right now and a
question of what outcome, what is a preferential outcome. What is the
better outcome right now?
HILAL: If Morsi is confirmed, because the votes show he won, if he
is confirmed he will be the only legitimate power actor in Egypt and that
will create an important dynamic and pressure on the SCAF going forward, as
the country moves to write its constitution and hold another parliamentary
election. But it will be -- his power will be significantly constrained.
And there will be a lot of people, the liberals, the seculars, who will not
get behind him and fight for what he stands for.
HAYES: It would be a huge -- a huge momentous occasion in the
history of the region to have the Muslim Brotherhood actually take helm,
even if it`s symbolic after what the SCAF has whittled down the office of
But it would also mean, I think this is an important point as
Americans watch this, right? I mean, if you`re looking between the Muslim
Brotherhood and the vestiges of the Mubarak regime, if the president is the
vestige of the Mubarak regime, all the other power in the country is also
the vestiges of the Mubarak regime -- which means a complete monopoly of
power by one institutional structure. Whereas if Morsi is announced the
president right here, there is at least some check and balance or some
tension between different institutional players.
I want to bring in NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin live
from Tahrir Square to get a sense of what you are hearing there and what
the mood is.
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris,
several thousand people standing behind me, but you can probably hear a pin
drop. That`s how quiet it is. Just a while ago, the judges who head up
the supreme presidential elections commission entered the room, they are
right now playing the national anthem and so, that`s why it got really
quiet behind me. Everyone here is waiting to hear what that result is
going to be.
You know, one of the criticisms throughout this whole entire process
is that there is a lack of transparency as to how this election
announcement was going it be made, particularly with so many of these
complaints and allegations of fraud that the supreme presidential election
commissions had to entertain. So, when this process now gets under way,
will they simply read the winner, will they go governor by governor (ph) --
that`s why there`s so much anxiety and tension that has been consistently
building up not just with how this government dealt with transition but
particularly when it comes to the bodies that belong to the government and
how they are dealing with notifying the public about the results.
HAYES: That on your screen there is the presidential election
commission which played the Egyptian national anthem first. It is now
reading a statement. So, it may be a little while until we actually get
word of this.
I wonder if there are lessons about, you know, there`s this question
about the U.S. and its support for military regimes in the region. And as
you think about how the U.S. is going to interact with the leaders that are
coming to power in the wake of the Arab Spring, one of the criticisms of
the Obama administration has been, a, hypocrisy in the case of Bahrain for
instance, we look the other way while our ally put down quite brutally a
And another is ad hoc lack of coherence, we intervene here, we don`t
intervene here, we`re supportive here, we`re not supportive there -- is
that a fair criticism? Does it strike you as a fair criticism, the ad hoc-
Because to me the ad hoc-ness seems to be produced by the fact that
the region is so difficult and complicated and --
GOLDBERG: And what`s the alternative to that is kind of like
rigidity, and, you know, kind of having a doctrinaire uniform approach to
situations that are all kind of completely unique and generous.
MARTINEZ: There`s no cookie cutter formula for how to deal with any
of these situations, at all.
HAYES: But it also means that there`s a lack of predictability,
right? I mean, that is a critique, is that if you`re one of the
institutional actors in the setting, precisely because of the ad hoc-ness,
you are operating in an a environment in which you do not know what the
response is going to be precisely because it is varied so much.
MARTINEZ: And that`s why my challenge will be back for the
revolutionaries. Consider that the revolutionaries do know that there is
some sort of stability between their recognition of the 50 years of under
military control. They do know there are some things that work and in the
space where they`re basically imaging a new world and re-creating reality
but running up into the existing calendar of the political reality, and
that`s why Mona put her finger right on it.
And I don`t actually think their lack of engaging in a political
arena was any sort of miscalculation. I think that`s part of their reality
that they understood their power was going to come from this autonomous
independent spaces that they never had access to before. And it was
critical to start dialoguing, building conversations in these spaces that
they could never have before under military rule.
GOLDBERG: This conversation is kind of impossible to have unless you
know they are engaging in kind of that institution building, which you
don`t necessarily see.
HILAL: Well, I just -- very briefly, I think the Egyptian political
scene is very polarize and divisive. And, in fact, we haven`t seen
liberals and seculars building a coalition, a coherent one that can put
forward an alternative set of politics.
MARTINEZ: But we have seen young people engage in --
GOLDBERG: And building institutions --
HILDA: And the brotherhood is, as I said, increasing -- well, it`s
But I want to say something about the U.S. I mea, the U.S. is used
to having a patron client relationship with regimes in the Middle East and
it is now searching for a new client. And what we`re hearing in Tunisia
and what we`re hearing in Egypt and what we`re hearing in Syria is that the
U.S. is gravitating towards the Brotherhood because they are the most
organized, because they are the potential new client and because they`re
sending such moderate signals.
HAYES: I want to thank Leila Hilal of the New America Foundation.
Thank you so much for coming in and sharing your expertise. It`s really a
HILAL: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. What you should know for the news week ahead,
coming up next.
HAYES: In just a moment, what we know that we didn`t know last week.
But, first, a quick personal update. My book, "Twilight of the Elites," is
on sale now. And last week, it was a real blast to meet Uppers in
Washington and Chicago.
This week, I`ll be appearing at an event at the Writer`s Guild
Theater tomorrow in Los Angeles with the one and only Harry Shearer.
That`s going to be great. Wednesday, I`ll be at the Harvard Bookstore, and
on Thursday in Montclair, New Jersey. Check out "The Twilight of the
Elites" Facebook page or our Web site, Up.MSNBC.com for details and
information about other upcoming appearances.
So, what should you know for the week coming up?
You should know that the interest rate for Stafford student loans
will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent one week from today, an
increase that will affect 7.4 million students this coming year alone,
unless Congress does something about it this week.
You should know that Senate leaders from both parties say they are
nearing a deal for how to pay for the federal subsidy for those loans.
Republicans have said they support keeping the rate low, but have only
talked about extending the 3.4 percent rate for one more year.
You should know that the Supreme Court strike down the Affordable
Care Act this week, an estimated 30 million Americans due to be covered
under law will lose their are insurance. You should also know that even if
the Supreme Court let the Affordable Care Act stand this week, that will
still leave an estimated 26 million additional people without coverage.
About a quarter of those will be undocumented immigrants, according to "The
And we should know that immigrants overall use the American health
care system less than citizens do. And we should also note that millions
of Americans are still projected to fall through the gaps of the new law,
making too much to qualify for government assistance to buy coverage, but
not enough to purchase it on their own.
You should know that health care is not the only momentous and
polarizing issue we expect the Supreme Court to weigh in on this week.
Arizona`s notorious law, Senate Bill 1070, requiring police to check the
papers of anyone they stop and think might not be in the country legally,
is being challenged in court by the federal government.
And you should know, because you can bet Mitt Romney does, that
because he`s come out in support of SB-1070, no matter how the high court
rules, Governor Romney will be expected for the second time this month to
clarify his policies on immigration.
I want to find out what my guests think you should know.
George Martinez, what should people know?
MARTINEZ: Well, you should know that today actually, the Occupy Wall
Street is having a debt assembly, of people`s debt assembly. It`s one of
the first times where people are trying on organize debtors, because we`re
talking about student loan debt, people who have lost --
HAYES: Household debt.
MARTINEZ: Without question. And what we realize, student loan debt
is a pressing issue. It`s something that the president has a plan to do
something about -- capping the amount of payment, for example, relative to
your income. And it`s happening today in New York City, but it`s going to
continue as we build solidarity of debtors.
SEDER: In the buildup to the Affordable Care Act ruling, you should
know the Supreme Court just struck a huge blow against unions in Knox v.
SEIU, where they are inviting essentially cases to attack unions` right to
And you should also know that the Chamber of Commerce has never done
so well in terms of being on the wining side of cases as under the Roberts
court. And they`ve already heard 88 cases involving the Chamber of
Commerce, which is more than they did in the entire Rehnquist court, where
the chamber had a less success rate.
HAYES: "New York Times" have a great editorial on the Roberts court
and unions and the Knox case yesterday that I would commend people to check
SEDER: I would also.
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg, what should folks know?
GOLDBERG: Well, one of the big stories in the paper today is about
how massively right wing super PACA are out-raising left wing super PACs,
and how Romney -- I think it`s almost 10-1 at this point, how much the pro-
Romney super PAC is going to be spending.
And I think you should know that this is part of what happens when
liberals refuse to cooperate in corrupt institutions.
HAYES: It`s true. They are having a hard time to get wealthy
liberals to give to super PACs, because they oppose super PACs.
GOLDBERG: They oppose super PACs, as they should. But this is part
of what happens when you kind of say, we oppose --
HAYES: Michelle Goldberg to America`s liberal millionaires: get
corrupt and get corrupt fast.
Elise Jordan, what should people know?
JORDAN: On Friday, an amazing powerful documentary called "The
Invisible War" was released, about the staggeringly high rate of sexual
assault in the U.S. military. It is important for every American to watch
this movie. It is so powerful and we need to treat female soldiers with
the same respect that we treat our soldiers.
HAYES: "The Invisible War," I`ve heard amazing things. I have not
seen it yet.
Michelle Goldberg, when you were on this program, you talked about it
was well. They have been on "MORNING JOE," and people should definitely
check it out. I`m going to check it out.
I want to thank my guests today, Pace University political science
professor George Martinez; Sam Seder, host of "The Majority Report" at
Majority.fm; Michelle Goldberg, author of "The Means of Reproduction: Sex,
Power and the Future of the World"; and former natural security council
communications director, Elise Jordan -- thank you, all.
Thank you for joining us. We`ll be back next weekend, Saturday and
Sunday at 8:00 Eastern Time. Our guests will include Congresswoman Yvette
Clark, my congresswoman, and Salon.com`s Glenn Greenwald.
Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY". On today`s "MHP" --
results if they come from the Egyptian presidential election, we should
hear that soon.
Black churches around the country battle the tide of voter
And executive privilege. Why President Obama reminded us all who is
the most powerful man in the world.
That is the one and only Melissa Harris-Perry. That`s going to be
awesome. I`ll be watching. You should too. And we will see you next week
here on UP -- thanks a lot.
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