ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 7, 2013
Guests: Reid Ribble, Maxine Waters, Maya Wiley, Jonathan Chait, Jerrold
Nadler, Heidi Moore, John Ridley
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
And we begin tonight, the beginning of week two of a completely
unnecessary and destructive government shutdown and amazingly, that might
be the best news out of Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I take it from your answer that you`re not
prepared to schedule a clean vote on government funding right now.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There are not the
votes in the House to pass a clean C.R.
HAYES (voice-over): Week two of the government shutdown kicked off
with John Boehner denying simple arithmetic and with members of his caucus
calling him out on it.
Republican Congressman Peter King said he could see anywhere from 50
to 75 Republicans voting for a clean, continuing resolution to fund the
Republican Congressman Charlie Dent today.
REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I believe there are the votes,
in fact, to pass a clean C.R. The plan was to pass a clean C.R. all along.
That was the plan. I want to stick to that long, and I believe inevitably
that`s where we`ll end up.
HAYES: NBC News puts the tally at 22 House Republicans who would vote
for a clean C.R. to fund the government. Add that to 200 Democrats. And
John Boehner is busted.
Today, the president himself called Boehner`s bluff.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If Republicans and
Speaker Boehner saying there are not enough votes, then they should prove
it. Let the bill go to the floor, and let`s see what happens. Just vote.
HAYES: Instead of ending the shutdown, John Boehner is doubling down
and is now threatening not to raise the debt ceiling, pushing the United
States into default.
BOEHNER: The president`s refusal to have a conversation about this is
putting on --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, are you saying if he continues to refuse to
negotiate, the country is going to default?
BOEHNER: It`s the path we are on.
HAYES: Like a driving strapping his foot to the gas pedal in a game
of chicken, John Boehner now wants the world to know he`s just crazy enough
to drive the U.S. economy over a cliff.
And while his caucus is clearly divided on reopening the government,
they`re all cheering on his game of chicken, trying to convince the
American people the wreckage won`t be so bad.
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: There is no such thing as a debt
ceiling in this country because it`s never been not increased.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This talk of default by the U.S. Treasury is
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Big picture is not an immediate
default. The big picture is a gradual bankruptcy that`s occurring.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted Yoho, another Republican congressman was
talking about the prospect of debt default. He said it would bring
stability to the world markets. The default would.
HAYES: Polling out today finds that a whopping 70 percent of
Americans oppose Republicans` handling of the budget. But as we enter week
two of a government shutdown, it`s clear the GOP has the no intention of
backing down. A sentiment Congressman Pete Sessions echoed at the World
War II Memorial today.
REP. PETE SESSIONS (R), TEXAS: If it passes it will pass.
SESSIONS: He`s created a fight.
HAYES: Republicans remain committed to fight. But no one seems to
know what exactly for.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN: When you talked last night, you were at the
Virginia Republican event in Richmond and said Republicans will win is.
And what does "win this" mean to you?
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Let me be clear: I didn`t say Republicans
will win this. Listen, I think career politicians in both parties have
been part of the problem. What I said is the American people are going to
HAYES: Joining me is Congressman Reid Ribble, Republican from
Wisconsin, a member of the House Budget Committee.
And, Congressman, if John Boehner is telling the truth about the whip
count on the clean continuing resolution to fund the government, that looks
like the Senate version, why not just bring it up for a vote we can
dispatch with the argument?
REP. REID RIBBLE (R), WISCONSIN: Well, I guess you could make the
same argument, why Senator Harry Reid wouldn`t bring our legislation up for
a vote if that`s the path you want to go down?
HAYES: There aren`t the votes for it in the Senate?
RIBBLE: I think this thing has -- the train has left the track on
this. What you are seeing here is a merging together now of the discussion
of the continuing resolution and the debt limit.
We`re only about nine days away. I think everybody`s focus, because
that is really a critical juncture in this country`s economy that`s so
important. We ought to be focused on that; discussion of the C.R., kind of
a sideshow on this right now.
HAYES: I agree with you. I would hesitate to add, that kids getting
kicked off Head Start, people not receiving welfare checks and people not
having food inspected would not call the shutdown of the government a
sideshow. I agree with you where the political emphasis is on.
But since all of the conversation is now on the debt ceiling, why not
just bring the clean C.R. to the House floor, and if it passes, we could at
least do all of this with the government opening and functioning?
RIBBLE: Well, that would be a suggestion and a question to ask the
speaker on where he feels, what numbers he is getting from members of
But I`ll tell you the concern at the end of the day is we`ve done a
series of clean things. For exam pull, back in June, we funded the entire
Department of Defense. In July, we did Homeland Security, and Melcon (ph),
the construction firm, military, we did V.A., we actually followed the
actual appropriations process every one of them clean -- none of them
having anything to do with Obamacare -- and the Senate has not even taken
up any, nor have they passed their own appropriations.
HAYES: I would also note that you guys tried to pass a transportation
bill that actually you had to pull it didn`t have the votes.
RIBBLE: As did the Senate have to pull theirs.
HAYES: Right, the cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act are so
Your colleague, Congressman Yoho, said that actually breaching the
debt ceiling would, quote, "bring stability to financial markets". Do you
agree with him?
RIBBLE: No, not at all. I think that`s just crazy talk.
HAYES: Well, I`ve got to say, there`s a lot of -- he is not alone in
this. I mean, you saw Senator Tom Coburn, a man who served in the Senate
for quite sometime who objected to Ted Cruz`s essentially strategic play on
shutting down the government over defunding Obamacare, you have him saying
there`s no real such thing as a debt ceiling. There seems to be a growing
consensus in your own party this is just a fiction. This is a paper tiger
made up by the White House.
RIBBLE: Well, I think though that you`re kind of stretching a little
bit there. On Senator Coburn`s conversation, the point being the nation
hit its debt limit over 100 times. Every single time it has gone up.
Senator Coburn`s take is a debt limit that never holds is not really a debt
limit at all.
He`s trying to maybe cast some light on what he views as a bit of a
bit of I don`t know -- political kabuki that happens around this debt
limit. But the debt limit has historically been since 1978, a vehicle for
both parties to negotiate some type of reforms into how we spend and budget
money in this country, to get some type of control over it.
HAYES: But the precedent --
RIBBLE: It has been successful.
HAYES: The precedent there is not just borne out by history. There
has been a number of times, budget negotiations have happened. And as a
result a debt ceiling increase has been rolled into them as opposed to
going up to the debt ceiling and saying you won`t vote for it unless you
get some kind of substantive concession, particularly when the concession
being remanded doesn`t actually have to do with the budget as in, say,
RIBBLE: Yes. Listen, I was never on the train on the Obamacare
thing, because I didn`t think that was the right strategy. I was more
where Senator Coburn was. However, if you go back to 1978, it was House
Democrats that took the debt limit right to within eight hours of when the
was going to go up. This has happened a fair number of times. I don`t
think it`s the right way to function.
The debt limit is being reached because spending and, expenses,
revenue and expenses are not in balance. And the debt limit is really just
a symptom of a process that`s severely broken.
HAYES: That`s a process that emanates out of the Article One branch,
the United States Congress, House of Representatives, including Congressman
Reid Ribble. Thank you for your time tonight. I really enjoyed it.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Democrat from
And, Congresswoman, what is your reaction to some of the things you
are hearing from your colleagues on the other side of the aisle about the
debt ceiling being fundamentally kind of fictitious or not as the bad as
scary Democrats are making it out to be.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: I am absolutely appalled at the
fact that Speaker Boehner has lost all control. Cruz seems to have reached
across the houses. He`s running what goes on in the Republican Caucus in
our House. And he has been referred to as a snake oil salesman. He is
leading them to a path to nowhere.
Simply, they are trying and they have tried to negotiate this based on
getting rid of Obama care. That is not going to happen. As a matter of
fact, it is the law of the land. It`s supported by the United States
Supreme Court. People have moved forward as of October 1 to enroll and
sign up. We have a lot of interest in it.
They need to get over it. If they want to repeal Obamacare, they have
to go through the legislative process to do that. There is a process.
This is not how you do it. And the president is absolutely correct.
He is not going to negotiate with a gun at his head at a time when we
should be dealing with the budget, and not trying to overdo the Affordable
HAYES: One of the strategies, the Democrats are pursuing is
something, a little procedural anomalous. It`s called a discharge
petition. It allows essentially the minority to bring something to the
floor if they get a majority of members of the House to sign on to it.
There is a little less than 200 House Democrats who signed on to a
discharge petition to basically pass a clean C.R.
Is there any hope -- when you speak to Republican moderates, should
they exist, of getting the additional 20 signatures you need?
WATERS: Well, obviously there is a growing number of Republicans who
want to bring a clean C.R. to the floor. I think they are trying to be
patient with their speaker. But increasingly, the noise is getting louder.
They don`t like what they`re -- what they`re seeing happening.
And so, I`m any just hopeful that they will be able to convince the
speaker that he`s got to back away from being led by the most conservative
element in the Republican caucus.
And I hope that they will keep telling him that he has got to bring a
clean C.R., because they`re prepared to vote for it. If he put it on the
floor tomorrow, then it would pass.
HAYES: What do you -- what is your response to the previous
congressman and others who are saying things like we have moved past the
C.R.? This is all about the debt ceiling now. Is there any way to stop
the shut down from extending to October 17th?
WATERS: Well, no. And you can`t forget about the C.R. I mean, this
is where fight all started.
Yes, we are moving towards the debt ceiling. We are hopeful. And I
am very hopeful that we will have taken care of getting a clean C.R. passed
before we get to that point. They could not, they should not converge
where all of a sudden, we are negotiating with the Republicans on both the
continuing C.R. and on debt ceiling.
HAYES: Yes, that`s precisely where the convergence seems to be headed
as piloted by John Boehner.
WATERS: It seems to be heading, yes. The markets are shaky. They
are getting nervous. They don`t like what`s going on. They don`t like the
uncertainty. And they`re putting this country in possible economic crisis,
simply leading up to the debt ceiling discussion, because they don`t like
what`s going on.
HAYES: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you so much for your time.
WATERS: You`re so welcome.
HAYES: Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hear all about the shut down ramifications
but this one really hits home, hits in the most personal way for you guys.
What did it mean that your daughter could not go to these trials?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, meant an all of lot to us, because up
until right now, until this drug, that there`s been no treatment. There`s
been no cure for her disease. Pretty much sent home with her diagnosis at
9 months of age with a death sentence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has been shown to stop the progression and
reverse effects of the disease. Maybe, Ivy (ph) will stand up, maybe
she`ll sit, maybe she`ll crawl, maybe she`ll talk, we don`t know. But
there is so much hope that underlies at the 743. And with NIH not at work,
we won`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just one of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions
of human stories about the effects of the government shutdown, that the GOP
seems intent on maintaining for another week. Here`s the thing -- every
single day that passes, the shutdown actually gets much worse. I`ll
explain why and tell you who is getting screwed now, when we come back.
HAYES: Last week I made a mistake, and I mispronounced the Filipino
language tagalong. I said a word that sound like the cookies tagalongs.
My error did not go unnoticed. The good people of Twitter let me know I
was wrong, over and over and over again. Thank you to all who corrected.
Really, thank you. It was embarrassing.
And in honor of my blunder, tonight`s question is what word did you
once embarrassingly mispronounce? Come on, make me feel better. Tweet
your answers @allinwithchris, or post at Facebook.com/allinchris, I`ll
share a couple at the end of the show.
Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the meantime, there are new concerns that the
Obama administration may be intentionally trying to make the government
shutdown just a little extra painful for Americans after the Amber Alert
system. Is this a good idea? It was shut off. You`ve got the Amber Alert
System shut down, is that wise?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Martha, two words: totally ridiculous. But it`s
consistent with this president`s political strategy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, totally ridiculous.
Despite the latest right-wing meme about Amber Alert system being
suspended for political purposes, it is actually up and running and has
been throughout the government shutdown. The Web site listing the alerts
was suspended, along with a bunch of Department of Justice web sites, not
the actual Amber Alerts.
But that is not to say there aren`t crazy things shutting down right
now. Each day brings something new, because effects of the government
shutdown are not static. This is important to realize. Every day, there
are new impacts, because different programs have different funding streams
that are running out of cash at different points, which means the shutdown
will get progressively worse day by day by day.
Here are some of the government services suspended or severely
affected by the shut down: clean-up on 62 percent of nation`s toxic waste
super fund sites now halted until the shutdown ends.
Temporary assistance for needy families in the state of Arizona
suspended for 5,700 families.
Food banks have been hurt. For example, the North Texas food bank in
Dallas could lose more than 300,000 meals because USDA furloughs affect
College sexual assault investigations by the Education Department`s
Office for Civil Rights on hold.
Approval of new home mortgages stalled, because banks and lenders
can`t get paperwork from the IRS and Social Security Administration. This
affects up to 15,000 new home mortgages per day.
CDC tracking of disease outbreaks threatened, biomedical research
suspended across the board and across the country in both universities and
hospitals from cardiovascular research to oncology.
Three thousand FAA flight safety inspectors. That safety inspectors
And 6,600 FDA employees furloughed, including food inspectors.
That`s just some of it. We also learn that Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel ordered almost all 350,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work
based on interpretation of military readiness.
Great deal of this looks like a rerun of the sequester in which we
normalize, slowly, slowly, something, something that`s severe by getting
used to it over time. And over time it looks more and more like the
government it produces is the right-wing`s ideal version of government.
What`s getting hit the hardest and sometimes furthest from the headlines
are the things they don`t want the government doing any way. But as soon
as the government shuts down something they care about or may hurt them
politically, they go ballistic.
Joining me is Maya Wiley, founder and president for Center for Social
Inclusion, progressive policy and advocacy organization.
This has been driving me nuts. The Amber Alert thing is a perfect
example. Every time there is a shutdown of something they think is bad
press or they think is very vitally important, they accuse the president of
playing politics as if the shutdown has been created ex melo (ph) by the
White House simply to screw people over?
MAYA WILEY, CENTER FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION: Halloween is coming early
this year, Chris.
HAYES: Yes, that`s right. The big, bad President Obama who is out
And it gets something sort of profound I think about the vision of the
right vis-a-vis government. It gets back to the famous keep your
government hand off my Medicare, which is we hate government in the
abstract. Want to shut it down. Oh, wow, look at it, it does all these
things that we kind of like.
WILEY: Yes, I mean, literally half of all Americans benefit from the
programs that some don`t mind that we lose. So if you look at one program,
which I think is critically important, you know, I tweeted on the way over
here I was cooking dinner for my kids before coming here, right? But there
are so many families afraid they won`t have baby formula for their babies.
So if you are one of the 9 million women in this country who receive
supplemental WIC benefits, which means women and infants -- which is
literally a program for mothers or pregnant women and their young children,
5 years old or younger. These are, the best, you talked about the FAA.
There is actually a woman, who`s 22, were furlough and she relies on these
programs, $200 a month because her federal pay is so low.
HAYES: Someone who`s actually an employee who`s also --
WILEY: So, she`s double whammy, right? She gets furloughed. And she
is at risk of losing nutrition programs that help her feed her family
because she doesn`t earn enough.
HAYES: We are seeing in Arizona. I thought the headline about, about
TANF, which is formerly called welfare, TANF under Clinton administration
because of the way the funding structure works in Arizona, 5,700 families
won`t get the checks.
No one is running to the House floor today -- I will note -- to pass a
continuing resolution to just fund to make that the TANF recipients in
Arizona get their checks.
WILEY: Yes, I think one of the things we often misunderstand is that
people often, particularly in an economy like this, lose jobs, lose jobs
for long period of time, and some of what we are cutting are the very job
training programs that come with these programs that help people find jobs,
get placed. These programs are often programs that feed families until
they`re able to get back on their feet.
Arizona though has got to be one of the meanest states in the country
when it comes to these programs.
HAYES: Yes, and this is an outlier. I mean, other stats have not had
to do this. When you are talking, oh, well the president is making choices
to, to, you know, to put barriers around memorials. Arizona appears to be
making a choice to cut people off.
WILEY: It`s been making choices for the past decade to make it harder
and harder for people to get benefits and to make those benefits stingier.
I mean, you have to -- if you earn $300 as a family of three, you do
not qualify for help.
WILEY: So, that`s kind of mean.
HAYES: That`s pretty low.
So, one of the other things that we have seen we`ve come out of this
is Head Start, which Head Start got very hit hard by the sequester.
There`s a lot of stories about that. A lot of enrollment decrease. It`s
now getting hit again by the shutdown.
I saw this headline today which to me was, a really awful vision of
our future. It`s an incredible story. Private donors offer $10 million to
reopen Head Start programs in six states. Seven Head Start programs were
closed last week after the shutdown. But philanthropist Laura and John
Arnold offered up $10 million in emergency funding to reopen those
programs, some as soon as Tuesday morning, to prevent others from closing.
But this is a back to the future moment, in which what we`re doing is
the thing that we say the social contract from the state should take care
of, which is the social safety net and making sure that poor children can
get an education. That`s what we are cutting out. And it`s being filled
by private philanthropy.
WILEY: And, first of all, private philanthropy cannot replace the
government. And I think that`s one thing that`s very important for us to
understand. There is not enough private philanthropic dollars to do what
the government does. So, it`s not a solution.
WILEY: But, secondly, this is actually -- when we look at indicator
whose gets into the middle-class, and remember talking about as a country,
with a shrinking middle-class. We got to help more people get and stay
there. That`s what we`re cutting.
HAYES: Yes. Maya Wiley from the Center for Social Inclusion -- thank
you so much.
WILEY: Thank you.
HAYES: We`ll be right back with #click3.
HAYES: In 1841, a free black man in New York was tricked, kidnapped
by slave traders and sold into slavery in Louisiana where he toil toiled on
a plantation and freed 12 years later.
That incredible story is the basis of a new film that critics are
rushing to hail as one of the great films of our time. I`m going to talk
to the screenwriter later in the show.
First, I want to share the three awesomest things on the Internet.
We begin with the latest unrest over the government shutdown. There`s
no end in sight. There`s no shortage of speeches coming from the halls of
For regular folks the best way to make your voice heard during the
trying times is utilize the protest sign. In the Internet age, many will
survive in digital space forever. "BuzzFeed" compiled the government
shutdown signs, from satirical, furloughed NSA won`t listen to your phone
calls, for food, to righteous, this one from a D.C. coffee shop. Free cup
of coffee to government workers, members of Congress pay double.
Some take approach, these two monks with a request to solve the
problem. And there`s the old college try, no government day 3, no longer
feel obligated to pronounce Boehner correctly.
Second awesomest thing on the Internet -- in weighty critique.
Millions saw the new science fiction thriller "Gravity" this weekend. I
was one of them offering up this review -- if you are looking for 90
minutes of anxiety, stress, panic, and unrelenting contemplation of the
certainly of your won death, `Gravity" is for you.
But overshadowing those reactions, the astrophysicist and planetarium
director. As you may expect, his Twitter taking the film comes from unique
vantage point. The film `Gravity` should be renamed angular momentum.
And this -- mysteries of gravity why Sandra Bullock`s hair and
otherwise convincing zero g seems did not float freely on her head. Let me
get to his main point: mysteries of gravity. Why we enjoy sci-fi films in
make believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space.
He`s right. Remember the Mars rover landed and how awesome that was,
and everyone was thrilled for all those celebrating NASA scientists. We
should value the moments and we should pay for them. And don`t worry,
gravity fans. We can do both.
(NAUDIBLE) says that ultimately he enjoyed the movie, very much, a lot
more than his review of cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Food from the
sky, not in this atmosphere.
And third awesomest thing on the Internet, a ten second masterpiece.
The title of best comic timing ever could be applied to many. But no
matter who is your top choice as a new contender for the throne, he`s a
reaction shot for the ages.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: The cat with the take is Shorty. We know this because Shorty
has its own Twitter page and is the rage these days its own Facebook page,
too. And shortly is right to bathe in self promotion. Watch this again.
First, a long walk down the hallway, a slight glance upward. The man
passes by with balloon, look at the camera, post for effect, and off Shorty
Truly we witness the next great comedy star of our time.
You can find all the links for tonight`s #click3 on our Web site,
Allinthechris.com. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: We are right now as I speak to you, as you listen to my voice,
headed towards a full blown constitutional crisis. That is the growing
consensus among a number of extremely stud political observers, who argued
the political dysfunction that has brought about a shutdown and is now
threatening default is not some run of the mill gridlock. It is exposing
the fatal flaw in our constitution and highly distinct system of
In other words, it is the constitution`s fault and something truly
catastrophic was bound to happen sooner or later. Here is the argument in
nutshell. This kind of shutdowns, the one we are experiencing now, are
almost impossible elsewhere in the world, because of the European style
parliamentary system used by most democracies. Just about ensures that
executive and legislature are controlled by the same groups of people.
But, thanks to the quirks of our U.S. constitution what makes it
possible for different branches of government to be controlled by different
parties. Each party during one of the standoffs we are seeing right now
can plausibly claim that they are the ones that represent the will of the
people. Now, the founders did this with the hope of restraining
government. With checks, balances, in the past because the unique nature
of American political parties, which were stitched together from a bunch of
different regional interests, not particularly ideologically coherent,
divided government has led to big compromises.
Under President Eisenhower, and a democratic controlled senate, we got
the civil rights act in 1957 and 1960. And in 1981 with the help of
southern democrats and the House of Representatives, President Reagan
passed his enormous tax cuts. But, that is not what we have anymore. What
we have now is record polarization. In one party the GOP that is likely
the most extreme ideologically coherent and demographically self contained
party probably ever in American history.
They believe that despite losing the presidential election, being a
minority in the senate and receiving less votes in the house, they have
full democratic legitimacy. They are willing to do whatever it takes, no
matter how unprecedented or destructive to impose their will. The writer,
Jonathan Chait, calls what is shaping of a domestic Cuban missile crisis,
where a single could have unalterable consequences. The question is, can
our constitutional system function with the modern GOP.
Joining me now is Jonathan Chait, Columnist for "New York" Magazine.
And, Jonathan, your piece has thousands of likes on Facebook, is incredibly
arresting thesis. Walk me through the basic idea. We got the
constitutional system that we have. --
JONATHAN CHAIT, COLUMNIST FOR "NEW YORK" MAGAZINE: Yes.
HAYES: -- And, the modern political party system. And, you seem to
be saying these two are on a collision course?
CHAIT: That is right. Now, look, it is not all the constitutional
system, right? Because the debt ceiling is the -- is the most explosive
party of the current showdown. And, the debt ceiling has nothing to do
with the American system per se. We could just get rid of the debt ceiling
and have our elections and the rest of our constitution carry on as it
But, you do have a lot of factors coming together. And, like several
other writers, like, I describe the political scientist, Juan Linz, who
talked about the dangers of having a system where you have opposing parties
trying to share power because you can`t always decide through laws who gets
to have the power.
HAYES: Yes. There is a great Linz quote. And, people should be
aware and I think that a lot of people probably don`t know this that our
system, which is called a presidential system, where you got --
HAYES: -- the executive one party legislature probably another. That
is rare. That is an anomaly across the world. And, Linz says the problem
when you have only standoffs like the standoff we have at this very moment
is, there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be
resolved. The mechanisms of constitution might provide or likely to prove
too complicated and arrogantly legalistic to be much force in the eyes of
the electorate. In other words, what is the game plan out of the shutdown?
What is the game plan of the debt ceiling? There is no game plan, right?
CHAIT: There is no game plan, right? There is no game plan. There
are no rules. It is really a contest of will power. And, that is a really
dangerous system for any democracy to have. You want to have rules to
decide how you resolve this conflict. Because if you can resolve reopening
the government at some point, you have a serious problem and if you can`t
resolve the debt ceiling before the X-date the you have a severe problem --
HAYES: That is right.
CHAIT: -- A total crisis and we have got no playbook. It is just a
matter of which side really wants it more. They are more willing to endure
the political pain.
HAYES: And, that gets us to the nature of modern parties. I want to
bring in congressman, Jerry Nadler, democrat from New York --
HAYES: -- who wrote for the "Huffington Post." If he is about this -
- being essentially democracy at issue here? And, there is a fascinating
bit of data I want to show you. This is essentially about the overlap
between the most conservative democrat and the most liberal republican,
which were decades there was a whole area in the middle where you had
overlap between the people that were -- the people that were -- you know,
the most -- the most conservative democrats and the most liberal republican
and there was overlap, and overlap, and overlap. And, as we have gone
through time, that overlap has completely evaporated. Congressman.
JERROLD NADLER, (D) NEW YORK REPRESENTATIVE: Well, that is true.
And, that makes -- making compromises much harder, but that is not the
fundamental issue here. The fundamental issue here is that the republicans
are doing what -- no one has done since arguably before the civil war, and
that is trying to use a minority control of one house or even a minority in
one house, leveraging control of the house, to thwart the will of the
I mean the Obama Care bill was passed. The affordable care act bill
was passed by the senate, by the house, by the majority of congress -- by,
by, signed by the president; okayed by the supreme court. It was -- it was
one of the issues in the election in which the democratic senate and the
president were re-elected.
If you want to repeal it, and again without regards to the -- to the
merits of it, if want to repeal it, make that case of the American people,
get the majority in the house, and majority of the senate --
HAYES: But, congressman --
NADLER: -- and the president.
NADLER: Don`t -- don`t, don`t blackmail the country by saying we`ll
destroy the economy if you don`t go along with this.
HAYES: Well, lets get back to these rules question that Jonathan and
I were just talking about, which is they are not doing anything that
violates the constitution. I mean they are essentially attempting to use,
to maximize their leverage. They are -- they are reacting in a rational
way, given the constraints.
NADLER: They are not violating the constitution. But, they are
violating democratic norms.
NADLER: The norms, upon which this government -- the operations of
our democracy, depends. And, that norm is -- you allow the majority to
rule it. If you think the majority is wrong, you try to --
HAYES: I want to bring in some of the conversation who thinks the
notion that there is a constitutional crisis or this is somehow
unprecedented anomalous is completely preposterous. This is run of the
bill, there is a lot of posturing. And, we are going to find our way out
of it. She is going to join us after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL LOFGREN, FMR. HOUSE & SEN. BUDGET CMTES. STAFF MEMBER: Now,
what we have is an insurrectionist neoconfederate party that is seems to be
dedicated to all kinds of apocalyptic outcomes. I don`t know whether this
comes from their fundamentalist religious outlook or whether it is just
good fund-raising for them among their base. But, they are no longer a
normal political party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is Mike Lofgren who spent decades on Capitol Hill as a
staffer in the senate and house for republicans talking about the modern
incarnation of the Republican Party. I`m back with Jonathan Chait and
Congressman Jerry Nadler and joining us is Heidi Moore, U.S. finance and
economics editor for "The Guardian."
And, Heidi we have been talking about this moment as a constitutional
crisis. We have been talking about it as a crisis for democracy in which a
party that is essentially, a minority party attempting to use their
leverage to rule from the minority. And, you think this is nothing as
apocalyptic as that. This is just basically the run of the mill, that
gridlock you get.
HEIDI MOORE, U.S. FINANCE AND ECONOMICS EDITOR FOR "THE GUARDIAN":
Yes, this is crazy pants. But, it is a kind of crazy pants and the kind of
insanity that our country was designed to invite. We really don`t have a
minority running congress. You don`t have even a minority running the
house right now. They just seem to have the upper hand temporarily but
nothing has been decided. And, I think the question that a lot of people
in America have is why bring the constitution into it? Why is this just
not people who can`t do their jobs?
HAYES: Yes. Well, that is a good question. Jonathan --
NADLER: With all due respect.
HAYES: -- Congressman, please.
NADLER: With all due respect that is simply wrong. It is
unprecedented. You don`t see the democrats in the senate saying, "We will
cause a default on the debt. We will destroy the economy unless you give
us a strong immigration bill or -- or a strong gun control bill, or the
union recognition bill that we wanted."
It took 60 years to get any kind of national health insurance -- even
though we had democratic presidents in congress before because you had to
assemble a majority in all three branches at one time. What is making this
unusual, unprecedented is that the republicans in the house are threatening
not to -- not to negotiate, but they are threatening default. They are
threatening catastrophe. It is like a 1930s gangster film as I wrote,
saying -- in which somebody says it is a nice economy you got there. A
pity if it blows up if you don`t pay me off.
HAYES: So, congressman, I want to distinguish a few things here and
Jonathan I want to come to you on the constitutional aggression, but Heidi
first, right? There is a few things I think to distinguish what is making
up this crisis, right? Why it feels bigger than previous? One is the
stakes of the debt ceiling, right? One is the idea this is happening, not
after an election of the republicans just won as in 2011 in which, you
know, arguably they just taken back the house, had some sort of mandate.
But, one they just lost, right?
HAYES: Do you think essentially that all of this hyperbole as you see
it about the debt ceiling is essentially posturing that is going to go away
when a deal gets struck?
MOORE: Well, I think something needs to happen for a deal to get
struck. You need an intermediary. I mean in the world of business, it is
just like a union standoff. It is just like a strike. And, so somebody
has to come in and solve the strike. But, yes, I do believe that it will
be solved. It is almost beyond comprehension to believe that, anyone who
serves the United States of America would willingly allow it, to default on
its debt, even if they say so.
HAYES: Right. OK. The reason that I got very excited, Jonathan, is
that I would have said the same thing a month ago. I really would have. I
would have said this is posturing because I didn`t think they were going
shutting it down, because shutting it down with something that basic
majority of the house caucus didn`t want; "The Wall Street Journal"
editorial page and Karl Rove, and the Krauthammer and essentially the
entire republican establishment, and yet here we are in a shutdown.
Jonathan, that suggests to me that it does not mean the logic common sense
prevails over the party at this point.
CHAIT: That is absolutely right. There is a couple things that are a
concern here. First of all, does Boehner really want to do the right
thing? He may come to a moment where he has to choose between saving the
country and saving his job. And, what will he choose? Second of all, even
if he tries to do the right thing, we have seen multiple times in which he
can`t do the right thing --
CHAIT: -- in which he bungles the vote count. Something goes wrong.
And, that is the problem with having this incredibly high stakes vote, tied
to these fraud political negotiations; because, if something goes wrong
even by accident -- a bad faith to tempt by one of the parties to extort
concessions, you can have other disaster.
HAYES: Congressman when you say that this is unprecedented. How do
you understand the rupture that has happened? You see what I am saying?
At what point did the GOP convert over from something that was normal to
something that was abnormal? Something that was precedent? --
NADLER: No. No, I think it has been developing for a while. And,
Norman Ornstein and Mann in their book say that the republicans are
becoming outlier and insurgent not a real political party anymore. And, I
think, I don`t know exactly when, but when they determined that stopping
Obama Care or any particular goal became -- important enough to use -- to
threaten the economy, to take hostages -- to take the government and the
That is when the -- the -- the point was reached. It was certainly
reached -- when they threatened -- when they used the debt ceiling for that
purpose two years when the president unfortunately negotiated with them
and gave us the sequester. He can`t do that again, because that will be
the end of democratic government.
HAYES: End of democratic governance. And, Heidi, you cover financial
markets. And, one of the things that I think has been interesting is we
saw a lot of turmoil in financial markets around the 2011, almost defaults.
Financial markets seem relatively calm. Cutting against the Jonathan Chait
thesis, of the Congressman Nadler`s, in my belief this is -- we are heading
towards something extraordinary and apocalyptic. Financial markets seem
relatively sanguine right now.
MOORE: Yes. It is the congress who cried wolf, right? We have seen
this before. And, everyone in the market reacted before and knows that
there is no use to doing it now. They know that a last minute solution is
not only a possibility but it is exactly what happened last time.
HAYES: I will say this. I hope the markets are right. Jonathan
Chait from "New York" Magazine --
CHAIT: Markets are wrong all the time.
HAYES: Yes. They are, right? I said hope, not expect. Congressman
Jerry Nadler from "New York" and Heidi Moore from the Guardian. Thank you
NADLER: Thank you.
HAYES: American film has failed to fully depict the sheer evil of
slavery until now. I will talk to the screenwriter of the incredible new
film and we will get a preview coming up.
HAYES: Misery loves company. So, earlier in the show, we asked you
what were you embarrassingly butchered. We got a lot of answers posted to
our Facebook and Twitter pages like, Laura McNaughton from Facebook says
"Quiona." I hope I got that one right because otherwise I am in some sort
meta-inception situation here.
Mary Raynes from Facebook who says, "Not a word, but when I was a kid,
I said liar, liar, ants for hire! Which of course is wrong. Lol." And, a
twitter viewer who says, "I pronounced Chopan as chopin in front of a
couple of music students. I cringed just thinking of -- We will be right
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s been called brutal and eloquent. A gut wrenching epic
tale, surreal in its evil. A landmark of cruelty and transcendence. I
have seen what will surely be this year`s best picture wrote one critic
after seeing the film in Toronto. The fact that there is still any room
for debate at all, means that the Oscar bloggers who saw the film at the
festival were high.
The movie is called "12 Years A Slave" and it captures the horrors of
precivil war America so strikingly well. The scholar Henry Louis Gates
calls it perhaps, quote, "The most vivid and authentic portrayal of
American slavery ever captured on screen. I have seen it though and though
I am neither historian or a film critic I am inclined to agree. In a
moment, the film screenwriter, John Ridley will join me.
The movie is based on the true story of Solomon Northup. A black man
who is born free in New York State but abducted, sold into a slavery and
kept in bondage for a decade in Louisiana. Northup turned his ordeal into
an 1855 memoir, also entitled "12 Years A Slave." Published shortly after
"Uncle Tom`s Cabin."
It was a success selling 30,000 copies. A best-seller at the time,
but after several editions the book fell into obscurity for nearly a
century. Only be revived by two academics in 1968. If you have not heard
of Northup`s account, you are not alone despite renewed interest in the
late 1960s is a story didn`t achieve widespread prominence until now.
And, after watching this film I can`t think of a more vital important
story for every American to know. Joining me now is John Ridley, the
screenwriter of "12 Years A Slave," which will be in theaters on Friday,
October 18th. John, first of all, congratulations, it is a phenomenal
artistic achievement. The film is incredible --
JOHN RIDLEY, "12 YEARS A SLAVE" SCREENWRITER: Thank you.
HAYES: -- Everyone should see it. So, I hope you feel good about
what you have made.
RIDLEY: I -- I feel very honored to be part of a group of people. As
you say, it is like a document that has largely disappeared from the place
of prominence it deserves and hopefully I have returned to that place. It
feels enormously gratifying.
HAYES: How did -- what made you as a screenwriter? How did you come
to encounter the original text, the memoir itself? And, did you know about
RIDLEY: I did not. Very sadly when you talk about people who don`t
know about it, I put myself at the top of that list. I met Steve McQueen,
who is a director -- A phenomenal director. The film was like "Hunger and
Shame." We had talked about doing something in this area. We explored it,
explored American history. But, couldn`t find something that really met
the criteria of what we wanted to talk about.
His wife, who is an historian, found the book, gave it to him, he read
it. He passed it on to me. We both thought it was absolutely phenomenal.
But, the fact that I didn`t know about the story. The fact that as much as
I consider myself to be an educated American and didn`t know about this
really speaks to how far it had fallen off of everyone`s consciousness.
HAYES: What is brilliant about it as a kind of narrative device from
the modern day viewer is to watch some one go from freedom to bondage.
HAYES: Which somehow -- it somehow draws something out of the modern
viewer that is easier to relate to that someone who is born into bondage?
RIDLEY: Well, the interesting thing I think most people think, "Well,
I heard all the slave narratives that you could possibly hear." The fact
of the matter is, is that of course all of us are born free.
RIDLEY: That is a right that is delivered to all of us. But, under
the laws at the time there were free black Americans, not freed. They were
born free. And, I think it is as you say, it resonates with people because
I think right now. We talk all the time about all my freedoms are being
taken away. My rights are being taken away. And, we connect with the
concept. But, I don`t think most people really know what it means to truly
have your rights and the freedom is taken away and be truly
HAYES: The film -- watching the film, it felt like I was watching the
first -- true sounds like a weird. But, the first visceral expression of
the reality of slavery that I had ever seen in film, I stopped and realized
as I was watching this, I never felt this way. I never seen the sheer
death was cruelty like I am seeing here. And, it starts very early on.
HAYES: Was that intentional? Was there -- How did you approach this
in the sense of the history of film and how film has dealt with the subject
RIDLEY: There are two areas there. One, it was definitely intended.
But, mostly to be honorific to the source material. Solomon Northup`s
memoir is incredibly evocative. It is incredibly beautiful in points.
And, the writing, the elevated language is just so powerful. And, with
Steve, as a director, one thing that he is -- most concerned about is the
level of honesty.
And, that means not turning away when it becomes uncomfortable. It
means also focusing on moments of great beauty. There are just small grace
notes throughout this film that are powerful, that are evocative. But more
than anything, it was designed to make every individual connect with these
themes of faith, family of a system that is difficult but one that
ultimately we can all overcome.
HAYES: How did this movie get made? I mean in the modern -- I mean I
feel like I go to the movies and I see every preview is, "Ironman 27" or
you know some franchise. And, this film is -- amazing and compelling and
beautiful but hard to watch. It is hard to watch because the subject
matter is difficult. How did it get made?
RIDLEY: There are people out there that are committed to making films
that are special. And, they mean special difficult territories, especially
beautiful. But, I have to give a lot of acknowledgement particularly to
the company Plan B, which is Brad Pitt`s Company. And, his executives
there, they identified both, myself and Steve early on.
They wanted to get us together and when we came back with this
material. They didn`t turn away or say it is going to be too difficult to
try to mount this or look at it historically and say a film like this has
never been done before. They wanted to do it. They saw the importance of
it. They saw the resonance of it in a modern setting and they said do it.
HAYES: What did you come out of this project knowing about slavery or
knowing about what the institutions of precivil war American life were like
that you didn`t know going in?
RIDLEY: I would say the biggest thing that I learned is that slavery
did not arrive in this country fully formed. We just assumed that it was
here, that it was brought over in some fashion. But, it went from --
indentured servitude to slavery, to slavery predicated on the concepts of
racial inferiority. And, when we look at where we are right now in 2013,
we wonder why we can`t get past. Some of the notions we have is because we
have all been indoctrinated in these thoughts and until we understand that
history, we are not going to be able to move forward into the future.
HAYES: John Ridley, screenwriter of the phenomenal "12 Years A Slave"
in theaters, Friday, October 18, 2013. Seriously, go see it. Take the
people you love. That is all for this evening. That is "All In" for this
evening. The "Rachel Maddow" Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST OF "RACHEL MADDOW" SHOW: That heartfelt
endorsement was well received, Chris. That was excellent.
MADDOW: Thanks. I believe you.
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