UP with STEVE KORNACKI
October 20, 2013
Guest: Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Evan McMorris Santoro, Dafna Linzer,
Chris Coons, Krystal Ball, Michelle Bernard, Sean Wilentz, Michael Pesca,
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: I have the start of this Sunday morning. In
October we`re finding a little hard to let go. We know in theory that the
upcoming budget negotiations between Paul Ryan and Patty Murray are
supposed to be a fresh start. But can they put everything behind them and
actually reach a deal? Also, there are a couple of governors` races coming
up in a few weeks, but it`s the midterms, one year from now that have us
wondering if voters will still be remembering the shutdown when it comes
time to cast their ballots.
And here is a more basic question, will the Republican Party be able to
survive everything it`s been through, everything it`s going through right
now? Remember, it is not etched in stone, the political parties have to be
permanent. We`ll get into that in a little bit.
And kickoff for today`s Chicago - Washington game is a few hours away. But
before they take the field, we`ll wade into the controversy over whether
the home team`s nickname is a slur that should be changed.
But first, stop me if you`ve heard this one before, after walking right up
to a cataclysmic deadline, Congress has pulled back at the last possible
moment and agreed to hammer out a long-term bipartisan fiscal blueprint.
Something that will finally put an end to the governing by crisis madness
that has come to define Washington. That was the resolution that
Washington reached this past Wednesday night to end the shutdown to reopen
the government, to avoid default. It is not a permanent solution or even a
long-term one, but it does set a new deadline, December 13Tth, for the
Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate to meet
together and merge their budget plans, two very different budgets with very
different priorities, to merge them into one single bipartisan blueprint
that each chamber would then need to pass. If and only if that happens
will the government then be funded for the rest of the fiscal year. Then
and only then will we be able to truly take a break from all of this
brinksmanship. And if they can`t get to that point, if the two parties
can`t come to an agreement, well, then we`re right back where we started,
staring at yet another potential shutdown.
And there is a reason to be optimistic here. When he was asked if there is
any chance we`ll go through this all again in a few months, Senate
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said this on Thursday. No. One of my
favorite sayings is an old Kentucky saying, there is no education in the
second kick of a mule. First kick of the mule was in 1995, the second one,
the last 16 days, government shutdown is off the table, we`re not going to
do it. And the fact that McConnell felt safe to say this is important. He
is running for re-election in Kentucky next year. It`s the same state
where a Tea Party primary insurgency toppled his prot‚g‚ in 2010 and sent
Rand Paul on his way to the U.S. Senate. McConnell is now facing a Tea
Party primary challenge of his own and yet the damage to the Republican
Party`s brand from the shutdown that damaged the McConnell`s general
election positioning has been so severe that he now seems intent on cutting
some kind of deal to avoid another crisis. To avoid even worse damage to
his party`s image, even if that means alienating the Tea Party right. It`s
a big shift for McConnell and if it mirrors a broader shift in his party,
it does portend well for some kind of budget deal being struck.
And, yet, well, like I said at the top, we have been down this road before.
The whole reason in fact that we just went through what we went through is
because we went down this road before. Let`s go back to the summer of
2011. Against the backdrop of a looming debt ceiling deadline, President
Obama and House Speaker John Boehner seeks to negotiate a long-term fiscal
blueprint, a grand bargain, they call it. The president offers to meet the
GOP halfway by putting popular social safety net programs on the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Essentially what
we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to
discretionary spending. Both domestic and defense. We then offered
additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs. Medicare,
Medicaid, Social Security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: In return for that, in the summer of 2011, President Obama asks
the Republicans to give ground on new revenue. He wants $1.2 trillion from
closed loopholes and deductions and tax reform. Boehner seems interested,
but when he takes it to the House Republican conference, message comes back
loud and clear, no way. And with that, the grand bargain talks die.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: They refuse to get serious about
cutting spending and making the tough choices that are facing our country
on entitlement reform. That`s the bottom line. I take the same oath of
office as the president of the United States. I`ve got the same
responsibilities as the president of the United States. And I think that`s
for both of us to do what`s in the best interest of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And so that set the stage for the super committee. Remember
that? That was the last second deal to avoid a default in 2011, called for,
a special bipartisan committee to come up with a budget blueprint to strike
the deal that Obama and Boehner couldn`t strike and to end the cycle of
crisis governing. But guess what? Republicans were just as uninterested
in giving ground on revenue and the super committee came up with nothing.
When that happened, the clock started ticking to the sequester. The
automatic across the board spending cuts that would go into place if
Congress failed to agree on a longer term fix by early 2013.
Early 2013 came and went and guess what again? No agreement. So then the
sequester went into effect. And it is still in effect because there was
just no bridging the gap between the parties, no budging Republicans from
their anti-tax orthodoxy. Revenue as Chuck Schumer put it this week, is
the old bugaboo that has made any budget deal impossible for three years
now. And now here we are again, Republican House and the Democratic Senate
are supposed to come up with a deal. But how? Early reports say that two
parties are narrowing their focus, they are not looking for the big broad
grand bargain that Obama chased in 2011, they are being more realistic,
they are looking for common ground, they are playing small ball.
But if anti-tax absolutism is still the rule in the Republican Party, there
is every reason to believe it still is, if Republican office holders are
still fearful of primary challenges, there is still every reason to believe
they are, is there really any deal that can be reached here? Well, joining
me at the table is MSNBC contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, political
scientist and the fellow at the Center for Politics at the LBJ School of
Public Policy at the University of Texas. That`s a long title.
KORNACKI: And Evan McMorris Santoro, the White House correspondent with
BuzzFeed.com and April Ryan, she is the White House correspondent and D.C.
bureau chief with American Urban Radio Networks and msnbc.com managing
editor Dafna Linzer.
So, I guess I just want to start by seeing if we can understand, if we even
know, and if we can understand what the basic parameters are that the
House, the Republicans in the House, the Democrats in the Senate, they sort
of - they`ve assembled this conference committee, Paul Ryan sort of the
point man from the House side, Patty Murray, the point woman from the
Senate side, the Democratic side. April, do we have a sense of what the
basic sort of contours, the basic parameters of their discussions are.
Because we`re hearing, it is not as big as this grand bargain thing, it`s a
lot smaller. What does that mean?
APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: What it means is, and I`m glad
you asked that point, the question, I heard from the Democratic caucus
chair of the House, Xavier Becerra, and he said whatever happens, it is
going to be very simple. They cannot come up with anything beyond
simplicity. We saw the fighting. And it is about what level of
dysfunction were they? They don`t want to go back to that dysfunction
again. So, they have to start out very small and basic. And what`s on the
table, again, is the Medicare, which the president said, the entitlement
programs, Social Security and things of that nature, but you have to also
understand that the president is very encouraged. So that gives them some
push to move this forward, that Murray and that Ryan began meetings right
away. So they are -- they already know that the issue is bad. And they
have to do it -- start from -- baby steps, like little babies, start with
milk before they take the meat.
RYAN: So, you know, so I mean they`re having a hard time and they have to
get it together because America is watching.
KORNACKI: And we - just, you know, you say Medicare, it sounds like what`s
being discussed here is more means testing for -- so people with wealthy
people who already pay, I guess .
KORNACKI: They pay a little bit more right now, than they have for the
last few years, they will pay even more. That`s sort of what`s on the
table right now.
RYAN: Yes. Yes. And Republicans don`t like that. They don`t like the
higher taxing and things of that nature. But it`s got to be right now and
that`s what`s on the table.
KORNACKI: And .
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, BUZZFEED.COM: Define - it`s define what victory is
for both of these sides, right?
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: I mean the Democrats, you know, they have a little bit -
- it is a little bit broader for them. If they get anything out of this
committee and they get anything out of the conference, they can sort of put
together and put a budget together. Obama can say look, I`ve governed
across the aisle, you know, we can do this as the party, our party is able
to do this. Republicans have a much harder sell with this. Because their
problem is what used to be a big defeat for them, which is the big upcoming
defense cuts in the sequester, if they don`t get a deal, are no longer a
defeat. I mean there are some Republicans who are upset by these defense
cuts still. I mean, you know, if you go back at the beginning of the
sequester, you can talk about, you know, Buck McKeon, who is the head of
the defense committee in the House, who was really upset about these cuts
and want to stop them, Scott Rigell from Virginia, who is the Republican,
that was against his cuts.
But by and large, these guys are looking at a ticking time bomb that if it
goes off they like the result. So, it is much harder sell.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: You know, and "The
National Journal" is writing a piece on this and that, so the Republicans
faced a loss with regards to the government shutdown, it`s very unpopular,
but fiscally, they`re winning the fight. They`re keeping Washington to
spending levels that the Democrats really don`t want. So in the long-term,
even if nothing comes out of this budget committee, it is going to be a win
for the Republicans.
KORNACKI: That`s the part to that that I want to sort of understand here,
so - because we had the whole dispute over the shutdown and the default and
then there were some coverage of the fact that Democrats were saying, you
know, what sort of have been lost in this was Democrats who were saying,
well, OK, we don`t want the shutdown, we don`t want the default, but you
can have these sequester level, spending levels, at least for now, to
Republicans. And so that`s where we are. We still have this sequester
level spending levels, there are additional sequester cuts that are
scheduled to kick in starting January 15th. So, it`s more cuts, more to
what sort of the Tea Party side wants. The question, Dafna, is if you`re
going to replace the sequester, you either need more revenue to do it, or
you need cuts somewhere else. And if we`re talking small ball here, I`m
assuming that means revenue is off the table. Because that`s been the old
bottom, though. So besides Medicare, are there other cuts here that
Democrats, you think, could live with in place of the sequester?
DAFNA LINZER, MSNBC.COM MANAGING EDITOR: Yeah, I think, you know, when you
sort of took everyone through the beginning of what has been happening here
and where are sort of the battle scars in the last couple of years, you
know, we all chuckled when we got to do you remember the super committee?
LINZER: And I thought, wow, the super committee is the laugh line now. I
mean that`s pretty .
KORNACKI: It was going to stay off the - right?
LINZER: It was going to stay (inaudible), but I think, you know, the
bottom line that you really get to now is this issue of sequester and the
fact that actually the American economy either failed to grow by $24
billion over the last couple of weeks. People are suffering under the
sequester. Additional cuts are not going to make life easier for
Americans. And I think this is really the issue now before the budget
committee and I think that it is up to the Democrats if they care about
this to keep it front and center because I think, you know, this issue of
where the economy is headed and how much it can grow, in revenue, I think
are the number one things that people really need to think about.
KORNACKI: And this is the part, let`s -- this is a quote from Harry Reid,
so the deal was struck on Wednesday, it went to effect and now on these
budget talks and this is Harry Reid sort of setting the stage for them
talking about, you know, would you give ground on, like, Social Security,
as we`re talking about, like, this chain CPI, you know, for Social
Security, would you give ground on that, and in exchange for getting rid of
the sequester? He said, that`s no trade. We`re not going to affect
entitlement so we can increase defense spending. Don`t check me for a vote
there. I`m not interested in that. So, again, if revenue ends up being
off the table here, and that`s the impression, I get, maybe I`m wrong, is
that revenue ends up being off the table, and you`re going to start getting
resistance from Harry Reid on perhaps justifiably on things like chain CPI,
I`m just wondering how can you plausibly turn the sequester off if you`re
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, that`s a really good question. I mean I think
that`s the question that we`re facing, especially when you face the fact
that, again, going back to the sequester at the beginning, it is almost
hard to remember this now, the sequester is something that nobody in
Washington likes. It`s supposed to be the most dangerous, most ridiculous,
you know, preposterous cuts that have ever been. And when you have one
side saying, hey, no, these are actually pretty good, you change the entire
picture of the game. So, you know, this is a big deal because if you have
the Democrats saying that this sequester is really, really awful, and
Republicans saying it is not so awful, you know, let`s trade for it, but
Democrats saying we`re not going to trade anything for it, you know, it
puts a lot of onus on the Democrats in terms of what they`re willing to
RYAN: And the popular - but one thing about sequester, though, people with
sequester, people are still off one day a month from work. And people
don`t remember that.
RYAN: This situation, the government shutdown, people were off. Some
people had to work without pay. But people are still off. People are
still not getting paid one day a week. Then you also had - I mean we heard
more screaming about the fact that the White House was shut down during the
time of sequester, than anything else.
RYAN: Yes, the tourists at White House. I`m sorry, the White House tours,
yeah, and until the White House for the Secret Service has found money,
until January 15th, to allow the tours to happen for three days a week
instead of five, we heard more outcry about that at that time than we did
with the government shutdown.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: But that`s those are small. Those are small.
RYAN: It`s small, but it matters.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: But coming up into the sequester, the first time around,
there was this sky is falling type of mentality. An argument by Democrats.
And people are hurting. But the sky did not fall. We have had slow
RYAN: It`s usually one day - one day .
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Because Democrats decided to join the Republicans to cut
off a lot of the pain of the sequester, right?
Like as soon as airlines got delayed, everybody in the entire House, these
entire Congress, they can`t move together ever, they all passed a big bill
to spend money to keep airports open and keep lines short.
KORNACKI: The other thing we`re talking about - the other thing we are
talking about the sequester two, it`s sort of the cumulative effect, that
it takes months, you know, to really develop, and we`re talking about, you
know, of how it affects GDP or something. It`s not going to be instantly
felt. Oh, we have the sequester, now I feel the pain. It`s more like you
look up a year or two it, and you`re like, gee, why isn`t this economy so
strong? And it was accumulative effect to that, but it`s tough to really,
you know, get that across. So, we have a member of this -- this is the
latest super committee, we`re not going to call it the super committee.
It`s the House and Senate conference and one of the senators who is part of
that conference, who is part of these negotiations is going to be joining
us next. We`ll ask him all about this right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WASHINGTON), SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE: Chairman Ryan
knows I`m not going to vote for his budget, I know that he`s not going to
vote for mine. We`re going to find the common ground between our wedges
that we both convert on. And that`s our goal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: All right, Senator Patty Murray this past Thursday, on the
prospects of finding a budget agreement as this House Senate conference
takes shape here. Democratic Senator Chris Coons, from Delaware is on the
joint conference committee, whose task with coming up with a budget. He
joins us now from Wilmington. Good morning sir. And thank you for being
part of the show. I guess it was last year because we were just getting
into this in the last segment, if the goal here for Democrats, if the goal
is to address the sequester, to get that turned off or to get a big part of
that turned off at least and the sort of contours of these discussions at
least as they`ve been reported are sort of -- they`re small in scope, we
maybe are not talking about revenue like we were before, we`re not talking
about the concessions that President Obama was talking about before, how
are you going to find the money to actually get the sequester turned off?
Is there a strategy that you have for that?
SEN. CHRIS COONS, (D) DELAWARE: Well, Steve, that`s a great question. And
thanks for a chance to be on. If you look at the timing that was worked
out in the deal that was finally agreed to end the reckless shutdown of the
federal government to avoid default and to get us back to work, the timing
is such that if this budget conference committee, if this negotiation
between the Senate budget committee and the House budget committee works,
we will have just enough time to put in place a new budget that replaces
the sequester, so that really is the goal.
This is quite different than the not so super-super committee that you were
talking about. We don`t have the expedited path to the floor, the special
legislative way of taking whatever deal we work out and getting it right to
the floor without a filibuster, which the super committee had. So the
scope of our total goal is a little bit more constrained. The other thing
that I think, Steve, makes it more likely that we`re actually going to get
to some deal is that the very real pain of sequester, the impacts that your
group there spoke about, the impacts not just on defense, but also on
education, on cancer research, on every function of government that
matters, that`s been impacting all of our home states. So any senator, any
congressman who`s listening to their home state community, their district,
is hearing that sequester, which for the super committee was a future
potential harm is now a very real and actual harm.
So we`re going to have to find ways to generate the revenue, the roughly
$20 billion gap, and it might be in payment system or forms, it might be in
tax loophole closing, but I`m not quite sure where we`re going to get it at
this point. What is good is that we`ve ended the government shutdown. And
we`re getting back to the negotiating table with the House.
KORNACKI: Just let me to follow up on that, though, the question of
revenue, because we looked at how the super committee fell apart, how the
deal that Boehner and Obama were working towards or seemed to be working
towards in the summer of 2011 fell apart. It`s what Chuck Schumer called
the old bugaboo revenue. If we`re talking smaller scope here, is it safe
to say from that that we`re not talking revenue right now?
COONS: Well, Steve, I hope that we will find a way to put revenue on the
table. It may or it may not be. In fact, I would be very surprised if it
included raising tax rates, but there are lots of ways to generate revenue
in the federal government. Probably the most attractive for us is by
closing some tax loopholes, improving tax enforcement, or finding places
where there is waste or fraud that we can agree on that ought to be cut
out. All of those essentially are savings. So we have to find some
savings to make possible offsetting the sequester cuts that under the
Budget Control Act will automatically kick in on January 15th.
DEFRANCESCO-SOTO: Good morning, senator. This is Vicki DeFrancesco Soto
from UT. And my question is, we see that the confidence in government is
near an all-time low. The public is already skeptical about Congress and
this committee, what are you going to tell the public in terms of how this
time it`s different?
COONS: Well, first, this time it`s different because of the amount of pain
that our home communities have felt. I`ve gone to the Dover Air Force
Base, for example, to apologize to the hundreds of families who have been
impacted doubly, first by sequester in August, hundreds and hundreds of
airmen and their families were laid off, or furloughed and then again with
the government shutdown, the same group of people suffered through several
weeks of uncertainty if not getting paid. And so, if anybody is listening,
in Congress, and obviously the low approval rating you referred to suggests
that a lot aren`t, but those of us who are listening who are connecting to
our home states are hearing just how difficult this is for classroom
teachers, for parents whose kids are sick and who are hoping for new drug
treatments from the NIH, or for those who defend our country who are either
reserve or guardsmen.
There is real pain across our country as a result of this sequester and as
a result of this government shutdown. My hope is that that will motivate
Republicans to be willing to join Democrats in finding some balance, in
finding some way forward. As you referenced, the confidence in government
is at an all-time low. So, even if we make some modest progress, even if
we come together and produce some reasonable midpoint from the current
spending level of about $986 billion and the projected spending level in
January 15 of about 962, if we can split that difference and relieve some
of the pain of sequester, we`ll have done something, we`ll have
demonstrated we can listen to each other and we can reach some compromise.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Senator, hi, this is Evan McMorris-Santoro from Buzz
Feed. I`ve got calls last week after the end of the shutdown deal from
progressive activists and progressive members of Congress who called me and
said that their concern, their fear is that at the end of this fight that
you -- that has been happening in Washington, the endless fight that`s
happening in Congress, Democrats will go ahead and try to do some
entitlement cuts as part of trying to make a big deal to show that they`re
willing to make big deals with Republicans.
Are you going to support a deal in the conference committee that`s going to
cut entitlement benefits?
COONS: Well, Evan, that`s a great question. And let me just start by
saying what the folks who have been calling you and the folks who may be
watching this morning ought to take some real encouragement from is just
how strong the president was, just how strong the Senate Democratic caucus
was in defending the Affordable Care Act. It`s had some significant
problems in its first few weeks of rollout and we`ve got some issues that
we have to address to make sure that the Affordable Care Act actually
delivers on its promises. And I am willing to work in a responsible
bipartisan way to improve the Affordable Care Act to ensure that it is
implemented responsibly. But for progressives who worry that we`re going
to cave, or cut some deals or negotiate against ourselves, I think the way
that the president led and that the Senate Democratic caucus held firm
during this entire 16-day irresponsible shutdown that was really launched
by a very small group and the Republican Party should give them real
I don`t think we should take anything off the table. But as this segment
was framed, the reality is that expectations for what this budget
negotiation will accomplish are very small. And if we can get anything
done that replaces the pain of sequester, I think we should do it.
Personally I`m very committed to defending the entitlement programs that
are at the very core of what Americans treasure about, our government and
what we`re able to do to reduce poverty among our seniors. But we have to
be willing to put everything on the table that is part of the budgets that
were passed in the House and the Senate and negotiate from there. That`s
what a negotiation means, Evan. Is we have to be willing to talk about
things that are required if we`re ever going to get to a compromise.
KORNACKI: All right. Chris Coons, Democratic senator from Delaware, thank
you for joining us this morning. We`ll pick it right back after this. We
will talk about the other side of this, too, on the House with Paul Ryan
and then what he`s looking for out of this. That`s right after this.
KORNACKI: So, we just heard from Senator Chris Coons who is on the House
Senate conference committee and I think setting very modest expectations
for what we can expect out of this. But I`m even wondering, so, that the
timeline takes us to they have until that committee has until December 13th
to reach some kind of a deal. If they don`t, if they go the way of the
super-committee, that leaves a month for the Congress to do what it has
been continuously doing for a few years now, pass another continuing
resolution that funds the government for a month, for two months, for three
months, for something like that. And what I`m wondering is, we can look at
the Democratic side of this with Chris Coons, with Patty Murray, look at
the Republican side. The top two Republicans in this negotiations are Paul
Ryan from the House and Jeff Sessions from the Senate. Paul Ryan and Jeff
Sessions both voted no this past Wednesday night on the deal that would
have averted the default and that reopened the government. And at the last
minute, they still voted no on that. So, that tells me something either
about the pressure they`re facing, the posturing they`re trying to do, a
combination of both and it really makes me wonder if even something modest
like Chris Coons was just sort of outlining in the last segment is possible
in this Republican Party in this atmosphere right now.
LINZER: Yeah, I think that`s exactly where the spotlight needs to be. I
think you have somebody like Paul Ryan, right, coming right back in, after
kind of disappearing for a little while, voting no to reopen the government
and this is the guy who is now going to run the budget negotiations from
the House side. I think the question here is not so much where the
Democrats are going to be right now. They are coming into this whole new
session very united, they are coming off a win, and I think the issue is
just where is the Republican Party and what kind of path here can Paul Ryan
really walk, having voted no, and it is still with the same group of
Republicans who were keeping the government closed for weeks.
RYAN: The issue is you have to remember that they still have to appease
the Tea Party. And we knew that the vote was going to happen, that it was
going - they were going to pass it that night. But the problem is the Tea
Party, and going back to Xavier Becerra, he said, you know, when the
elephants rumble, there is hurt. And so the rumbling is because of the Tea
Party right now. And they have got -- the Republicans got to get that
family feud together. They can`t -- they can`t come up with the words, the
phrases, the whatever, they`re trying to have this moving picture and the
picture is not (inaudible). And to your point earlier, you said all the
Republicans are winning. Each side is taking this I`ve won, I`ve won, but
you know, when you look at it, the polls are right. The American public is
saying the frustration has happened. I lost my money. I mean I`ve talked
to a fashion, there`s a big fashion house here, someone from the fashion
house last night, who sells shirts for $500, they were saying -- and
government workers are not buying shirts from them. They`re saying that
their sales were down for two weeks. So, and when you look at it, who held
the whole thing up? The president and John Boehner said every time we go
back to the Tea Party, they said, no, they said no. So, you have to
remember that the Republicans have to appease them, but they have to bring
them in the line.
KORNACKI: And I guess the question with Ryan then is maybe this is just --
this represents the limits of the Tea Partier, but is it possible he`s
buying himself space for these negotiation by taking -- what ended up being
more of a symbolic vote against this or am I giving him way too much credit
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Not at all. I mean I think that his deal that he had
pitched in the Washington did not happen and I think he voted against the
deal that happened in the House because it wasn`t his deal, right? But, I
mean, the real issue here is the Republicans on this committee have got to
tell their base that what they get out of these negotiations are better
than a huge cut to the government with the sequester. I mean this goes
back to, you know, kind of like the old John Bolton thing about, you know,
the U.N., like lop five floors off the top and, you know, just as good or
better for it or whatever. This is sort of what they`re thinking when it
comes to government. I mean lop ten percent off the top, why not?
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Lop three percent. I mean this has been the key
component of the Republican Party measure for so long that what Paul Ryan
has to do is come out and say, listen, I`ve made a deal with Democrats
that, well, let me just say if Coons is right, protects entitlement
programs, protects a lot of the stuff that Democrats want protected, this
is better than these deep, deep, deep cuts to government that you`re
already going to get.
KORNACKI: And that`s it. If nothing happens, then the Tea Party could
potentially just latch onto, hey, we have got another round of cuts coming
in January, another quote/unquote victory for us.
Anyway, the general rule for midterm elections is Democratic president,
Republican gains in Congress and vice versa, which should not bode well for
Democrats in 2014. What happens when you factor in the shutdown? Will
voters remember when they head to the polls one year from now? That`s
KORNACKI: Let`s go back to 1996, one year after the last government
shutdown when Illinois was still pretty much a swing state and there was a
race for an open Senate seat there. Democratic candidate was a congressman
named Dick Durbin, and this is how he decided to fight his opponent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK DURBIN: Al Salvi supports Newt Gingrich`s budget that cuts Medicare
benefits to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy. Al Salvi backs Gingrich`s
cuts in student loans. That`s the wrong way to balance the budget. The
Gingrich/Salvi budget is wrong for Illinois families.
ANNOUNCER: Dick Durbin for the United States Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And Dick Durbin won that year. Now he`s the number two Democrat
in the U.S. Senate and Illinois is a savably blue state. That`s what the
last shutdown brought. What will the one we just went through mean for
2014 and beyond? We`ll talk about that next.
KORNACKI: Deciphering the political calculation behind now each Democrat
in the House and the Senate who voted on the deal to reopen the government
isn`t that hard. They all voted for it and they all presumably believed to
varying degrees that their party was playing a winning hand on the
shutdown. It`s a pretty safe bet to make when surveys showed the other
party plunging to the lowest favorable ratings recorded by either party in
modern polling history. When it comes to Republicans, though, last
Wednesday`s vote was testament to the conflicting political imperatives
with which GOP lawmakers in the Tea Party era must grapple. Also, the 144
Republicans in the House voted against the deal. And only 87 voted for it.
Look closer and some patterns emerge. Only one of the 16 Republicans who
represent blue districts, this district that supported President Obama last
year, only one of them voted no. Clearly they`re more worried about
general elections than primaries. But look at the House Republicans who
are trying to move up the ladder next year. Or planning to run for state
wide office for the U.S. Senate. Three of them, Tom Cotton in Arkansas,
Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia and Steve Daines who represents all
of Montana supported the deal.
Maybe not coincidentally, they`re not facing serious opposition in the
primary, at least not yet. Then there is John Cassidy from Louisiana.
He`s running for the Senate and there is also no reason that he`s in
serious danger in the primary, but he still voted no. In the Tea Party
era, there may be just no such thing as being too safe or feeling too safe
from a primary threat on the right. There is also the state of Georgia.
And open Senate race next year and the GOP primary field there, and three
of those Republicans in that field are from the House and all three of them
Jack Kingston, Paul Brown, Phil Gingrey. These guys have been taking pains
for months to try to out conservative each other. And now you look at the
Senate, you have Thad Cochran, he is the long serving Mississippi
Republican, he voted for the deal, then he immediately found out that the
Republican state legislator is planning to challenge him in next year`s
primary and that two of the top national conservative pressure groups, the
Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth will be backing that
challenger. Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander, on the other hand, they
already know that they`re facing Tea Party primary challengers next year.
They voted yes anyway. For that matter, you can throw Senate GOP leader
Mitch McConnell who helped broker the deal and is being challenged in next
year`s primary into the same category.
Democrats can`t wait to start using the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis
against House Republicans no matter how they voted on the final deal. In
fact, they`ve already started. In Arkansas, the Democratic Party this week
sent Tom Cotton an invoice for the estimated $24 billion cost of the
shutdown. It`s also the basic matter of control of the House. Democrats
will need a net gain of 17 seats to take it back next year. That is a huge
challenge for the White House party in the midterm election if history is
any guide. But the nonpartisan "Cook Political Report" made waves Thursday
when it questioned and we stressed the word questioned here whether the
Republicans are putting that lock on the House in jeopardy. Quote, "We`ve
always maintained that House Republicans would need to engage in some
spectacularly self-destructive behavior in order for Democrats to have any
shot at netting 17 seats in the majority next November. Over the 16 day
course of the government shutdown, House Republicans flirted with just
To look at what the shutdown and all of the drama around it means for the
next year races, I want to bring in Krystal Ball. She is the co-host of
some show on MSNBC. I make the same joke every time she comes out.
KORNACKI: And I`ve heard of the show, I was on it. I`ll stop making the
jokes. She was also the "Up Against the Clock" champion a few weeks ago,
her record score was broken yesterday by somebody else. We`ll maybe talk
about that later.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC`S "THE CYCLE": Boiler.
KORNACKI: Brian Boiler from the (inaudible), look out. Michelle Bernard,
political analyst and president of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics
and Public Policies joins us as well. April and Dafna are still at the
table with us. So, I guess, look at these piece by piece, but I guess I
want to start with the issue of control of the House next year, because it
is one of these things where, you know, I think Democrats clearly
understand from the last three years when you don`t have unified control of
the government, when you only have the White House, when you don`t have the
House, the limits that imposes on what you can do as president, they would
dearly love to get the House back for the last two years to have control of
the Senate. That 17 seats looks like such a tall order. I guess - is
anybody here looking at this, feel that Democrats really have a chance at
winning back the House majority next year?
BALL: I do. I definitely do. And one of the things, you know, one of the
arguments that I`m hearing made is that, well, Republican approval ratings
are record lows. But that`s because Republicans are upset with their own
leadership. So, they shouldn`t worry so much about that. And I think
that`s very wrong headed. Because in a midterm election, it`s actually
more devastating to have your own party upset with you. They may not vote
for the Democrats, but they may just not show up to vote. And we saw a lot
of that in 2010. Democrats were very dispirited. A lot of them just
stayed home. Then you had a lot of energy on the other side coming from
the right, and it led to a wave election. The other thing that I point
out, you were talking about sort of the analysis of who voted for the deal
and who voted against it, I don`t think it matters that much. Because they
all were complicit in shutting down the government. So I don`t think
voters are going to make this distinction over who voted for the deal and
who didn`t. They`re all in trouble.
RYAN: Steve, you know, at the end of August, the White House knew that
there was going to be a government shutdown. Because they just couldn`t
agree with the Republicans. And they also felt at that time that they were
not going to win the House. But now, because of American frustration, from
both parties, they think they have a chance. So we will see. And I mean
it goes from the elderly to the poor to the minority to people in
Appalachia. I mean you have the head of the House appropriations committee
who has a good portion of his constituency in Appalachia.
RYAN: Yes, so, you know, it is going to be interesting to see how all of
this plays out in the elections. But I think people are frustrated.
KORNACKI: Michelle, do you think Republicans are feeling that fear?
Because I guess one of the other questions is in the time between now and
the election of 2014, if Republicans think they`re in danger of losing the
House, think they`re in danger of Democrats actually winning a bunch of
swing districts maybe that would change their behavior a little bit? Do
you think .
MICHELLE BERNARD, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I don`t think by any stretch of
the imagination we`re going to see Republican behavior change at all,
whether it`s on economic issues, which they are absolutely deplorable on
now, but also on social issues which they have a history of being
absolutely awful on. I think they`re more fearful, particularly in
Southern states of Tea Party challengers and of being quote/unquote
"primaried." So, I think going forward in 2014, it is a tall order. The
American public has a short memory. We`ve got a long time to go. But
whether it is, again, whether it`s on social issues or economic issues,
they keep basically stabbing themselves and the American public is, you
know, is beginning to look and say these people are really very, very
dangerous. If the people that we have sitting in Congress right now, House
Republicans are as dangerous as they are and they actually might be
primaried by people who are even more to the right, I think that unlike
historically we`ll see more Democrats come out in midterm elections and say
we`ve got to do something about this.
KORNACKI: So, given an idea of the math behind this, what it would take,
though, Dafna, it`s last year President Obama nationally wins by about 5
million votes over Mitt Romney, a pretty comfortable margin. Democrats
actually got more than a million more votes cumulatively for the House than
Republicans did. They are beat them by about a point there in the House
popular vote. They would need to win the House popular vote by, like,
seven points .
KORNACKI: Next year to be able to take this back.
LINZER: Right. And I think one of the things that actually Republicans
don`t have going for them in the midterms is they don`t have the president
running. So I think they`re not having more people come out to the ballots
as Krystal was saying and get more people to try and vote against the
president. I think the reason you would come out to the polls, I think,
from the Republican side to try and beat the president out of office is
gone in the midterms, especially in the last midterm.
KORNACKI: But the anti-Obama fever is still very much there. I can`t
imagine a Tea Party Republican still wouldn`t love to stick it to the Obama
LINZER: I think that, too. But I think that Charlie`s comments in how
many seats, 14 seats that may be vulnerable suddenly is very, very
important. When he says spectacularly self-destructive behavior, I think,
you know, that is something that we have witnessed. And I think that that
is something that, you know, again, you`re right, people have short
memories, but, you know, we`re going into - you know, we just talked all
about the budget negotiations that are coming up. We talked about December
13th and January 15th and February and we heard lots of Republicans in the
Tea Party at the very end of the shutdown saying that, like, we`re OK with
this, as long as we`re guaranteed that the fight is going to come back in
February. I think, you know, there is a lot of space here for more self-
KORNACKI: As soon as we get a commercial break in right after this.
KORNACKI: All right, Michelle, I interrupted you. But go ahead.
BERNARD: What I was going to say is, even if we believe that they`re not
going to campaign against Obama during the midterms, with the whole rollout
of the -- of the Affordable Care Act, they`re going to campaign against
that and they`re also going to be looking at Hillary Clinton in 2016 and
just imagine, you know, the ads that we`re going to be seeing about what
Hillary Clinton might do to the country, should she be elected president of
the United States. They`ve got lots of issues that are going to give them
lots of fodder for debate during the midterms.
RYAN: But you know, but you know, part of the problem is, is that - and we
have to be real about this, part of the reason why the Republicans are
headed for self-destruction, remembering that song from 19 .
RYAN: Part of the reason why there is an issue for Republicans, they have
such disdain for this president, his politics, and you have to bring in the
elephant that is in the room on this. It is race. Part of this is race.
And you can`t deny that. So the White House, of course, will never say it,
but when you saw the Confederate Flag and walk away from the Koran and
things of that nature, it was right there. It was right there in your
KORNACKI: Well, Krystal, so you have firsthand experience running in a
midterm with Obama in the White House. You ran for Congress in 2010.
BALL: Great timing on my part.
KORNACKI: Because I need - this is, you know, the reason why Democrats are
sort of pessimistic about their chances in 2014 and the reason why a lot of
Republicans say, even though this is going really badly for us, we still
think we`re going to be OK in 2014 .
KORNACKI: Because they are in the climate of the midterm is different and
the types of voters who turn out is different.
KORNACKI: Can you just talk about the experience you had in running in
that climate in 2010?
BALL: Sure, well, in 2010, I mean that was right when the Tea Party was
coming out, that was right when there was a huge backlash against the
president and there was huge backlash against the health care law.
And part of why I said earlier that the folks who voted for the deal to
open the government, it is not going to save them, is because the Democrats
who voted against health care, that did not save them. It didn`t matter.
It was the national mood of the country. And so, partly the reason why I`m
somewhat bullish on 2014 and yes, caveats, there is a long way to go, there
is a lot that needs to be done for Democrats to win, et cetera, et cetera,
is because the mood is so dramatically different. This time it is
Democrats that are much more energized and they see the stakes of how
important it is that we have the House if we`re going to get anything done.
On the other hand, you have Republicans who are divided, they are angry at
BALL: It is ugly and I don`t think that they`re going to stop the self-
destructive behavior because even if you do have folks who are starting to
respond to the pressure from swing voters, so far those supposedly more
centrist Republicans have been cowards. You know, the Tea Partiers who are
more worried about the primaries, they`re the one that is driving the ship.
And I don`t see that changing. I don`t see anyone really other than, you
know, Peter King standing up and saying, we have to be reasonable, we have
to keep it open.
KORNACKI: And that`s one thing to keep an eye on here. Because I know -
how you voted on this final deal after the government was shut down for 16
days and with the threat of default hours away, maybe isn`t the ultimate
barometer of standing up to the Tea Party. But it`s something. And it was
enough for, like, Thad Cochran to suddenly get a primary challenge the next
day. So, I think that`s one thing to look at. It`s a longer term question
here, I think in terms of the idea of getting the Republican Party back to
sort of a functioning and healthy state, the question is, you know, would a
guy like Lamar Alexander who voted for this deal, can he survive the
primary challenge next year? You know, can Lindsey Graham survive the
primary challenge? There is this congressman from Idaho, Mike Simpson, the
Republican who voted for the deal, who has the Tea Party back (inaudible).
If they start surviving these instead of like Christine O`Donnell beating
Mike Castle in Delaware .
RYAN: Yeah. Right.
KORNACKI: Again, that`s not going to change in the next few weeks, the
next few months, but that`s the kind of thing that has to start happening.
LINZER: Right. I agree. You have to see that kind of message. And the
one thing I would say, too, about the Hillary issue, which I think is so
important, I`m so glad you raised it, is because I think one of the things
we saw after 2012 and the GOP autopsy .
LINZER: . was the damage that was created within that party, with women
voters. And I would be very, very cautious, you know, within the
Republican Party, I would warn, you know, about being very careful with the
way that they want to frame women candidates and the way they want to
respond to women voters. Because I think women voters did not like what
they saw -- with what happened in the shutdown. We saw women in the GOP
working much more closely with their Democratic counterparts to try and
forge a deal. And I would be very, very careful if I was a Republican
about pushing a message that seems to be anti-woman again in the midterm
elections, I don`t think that`s a winning strategy for them.
RYAN: And I think you`re absolutely right. And I think right now we are
poised as a nation to look for something big, the next president has to be
someone big because once Barack Obama leaves, the first whatever he is, the
first African-American, the air will be let out of the balloon and then you
have to bring someone else big. But also, Hillary Clinton looked dynamic
yesterday. The Hillary Clinton that we saw yesterday in her red with Terry
McAuliffe in Virginia, hair sculpted, she looked like she was back in
fighting mode. I talked to former president Bill Clinton, during the CGI,
about three weeks ago and he said, I don`t know yet, you know.
RYAN: But she is poised. And then - and then what was the singer, Elton
John gave her an award that she would be the next great president. So, I
think the Republicans have to deal with minorities, and women, the elderly.
They got a whole bunch of people they`ve got to be .
KORNACKI: We are up against .
KORNACKI: We are up against the hour here, but I have to get this in, I
want to get the last word in the segment to of all people Frank Luntz
because Buzz Feed and the (inaudible) has tweeted this morning that Frank
Luntz said on Fox News this morning, "For the first time, you may have to
start considering Speaker Pelosi in 2014. That`s Republican pollster Frank
Luntz this morning. I want to thank April Ryan with American Urban Radio
KORNACKI: Dafna Linzer of msnbc.com. Is Republican infighting now so bad
they might actually break apart and go the way of -- who were those guys
again? We`ll talk about that after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: The Southern revolt against President Truman reaches its
climax at Birmingham under the "Safe Rights" banner. Memorable (inaudible)
Murray comes out of retirement to join the protest against the president`s
civil rights program. More than 6,000 flock to the rump convention to
select the presidential ticket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: 65 years ago, Southerners left the Democratic Party in
droves over its embrace of the civil rights plank to hold their own
convention. It was called the rump convention where they nominated a rival
presidential ticket for the 1948 election. The nominee was none other than
Strom Thurmond, who is not always remembered as a former Democrat, as a
Dixiecrat, but he should be. Because we think of the Democrats and
Republicans as ageless eternal entities, and they have been the two major
parties in this country for 150 years now. But about the only thing either
party has kept for all that time is its name. Once upon a time, there was
no region more in love with the Democratic Party than the South. The white
This through a series of dramatic events in the middle of the 20th
century when Harry Truman integrated the military, when Northern Democrats
pushed through that civil rights plank in 1948, when LBJ signed the Civil
Rights Act in 1964, it was through those events that the white South split
off from the party. And not coincidentally, that series of events also
marked the birth of the modern Republican Party. For generations after the
civil war, there was basically no such thing as the Republican Party in the
South. Because the GOP had been the party of Northern liberals. Anti-
segregation pro-civil rights liberals. But when those white southerners
came up for grabs, the conservative movement of the Republican Party made
common cause with them and together they shaped and defined what became the
modern Republican Party.
Sometimes parties don`t even get to keep their names, though.
Sometimes they just disappear. Mentioning the Whig Party might get you a
laugh these days, but it was the real deal for the generation leading up to
the civil war. It was an alliance between business interests and moralists
in the North and slave owners in the South. The Whig sprained up in the
1830s to fight Andrew Jackson, to push for a national bank, infrastructure
improvement, for schools. They wanted the federal government to create
conditions that were favorable to commerce. Jackson in his party, the
Democrats preferred the idea of an agrarian nation. Some of the biggest
names in American political history were Whigs. Henry Clay was one, Daniel
Webster was one, some young congressman named Abraham Lincoln was one of
them. There were three Whig presidents in the 1840s and 1850s.
But the coalition wasn`t stable. It became impossible to avoid the
issue of slavery and on that issue there was just no common ground. Party
fractured and the Whigs of the North folded into the new anti-slavery
party. They were called the Republicans. The Whigs of the South became
the Democrats. The Whig Party was tossed on the scrap heap of history.
Given everything that just happened in Washington recently,
everything that is still happening in Washington, I`m not about to predict
that today`s Republicans will go the way of the Whigs. But if one thing is
clear right now, it`s that the coalition that defines today`s Republican
Party just isn`t that stable. At least at this moment. One way of looking
at what is happening now is it`s just a phase. That the Tea Party uprising
has temporarily paralyzed the GOP, helped to dozens of true believers, far-
right antigovernment (inaudible) who pride themselves on standing up not
just for the Obama White House, but also to their own party`s leadership in
It`s movement that has also scared the daylights out of Republican
office holders who aren`t true believers, but they bite their tongues and
they play along with the Tea Party anyway because they don`t want to be its
next victims. It`s basically the story of John Boehner`s speakership. But
maybe, maybe it is all a phase that will just pass. Poisonous poll numbers
will take a real toll and scare some of the true believers straight. The
business community, the party`s financial backbone, will assert itself,
maybe the passions of the base will cool. The true believers will slowly
realize they can`t get everything they want if their party isn`t big enough
to win national elections.
That`s the happy ending that the Republican Party establishment is
clearly hoping for. It won`t happen next week, it won`t happen next month,
but eventually the GOP will evolve back into a relatively healthy and
relatively functional political party. But when you watch the
extraordinary lengths, the increasingly extraordinary lengths that John
Boehner has to go to just to do things like averting a default. Well, it
raises another possibility. What if this isn`t just a passing phase in the
history of the Republican Party? What if we`re actually living through a
bigger, more fundamental turning point? Republicans have been the party of
business for a longtime, that`s where they raised their money, where they
recruit a lot of their candidates from. It is one of their favorite things
to talk about. How many times have they invoked job creators these past
We`re watching right now the interest of the Tea Party and the
interest of the business community diverge. Businesses terrified of a
default. It hates the idea of even flirting with a default, which is what
we just did. They can`t understand why a quick (inaudible) quest to defund
Obamacare is worth linking to the debt ceiling. And the Tea Party, well,
it just didn`t seem to care all that much. And that leaves establishment
figures like John Boehner stumped about what to do. And it lives me
stumped, too, because I can`t see how the alliance between business money
and Tea Party populism can last. It feels like something is going to give,
like something is going to have to give and soon. And here to discuss
this, we have MSNBC contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, fellow at U.T.,
she`s back at the table and Sean Wilentz, he is author and a professor of
American History at Princeton University. Still with us Krystal Ball from
MSNBC and political strategist Michelle Bernard.
And I will confess, if that monologue I just read that it sounds at
all familiar, I did do a version of that on the "Rachel Maddow Show" the
other day. But I said I would like .
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: It was great.
KORNACKI: . to get some smart people around to talk about this.
KORNACKI: Thank you. An A from a Princeton professor, just you
know, I`m a public school guy. So I appreciate that. Well, Sean, I`ll
start with you, though, because you`re the, you know, resident political
historian at the table. When you look at today`s Republican Party and sort
of the dysfunction that defines the Republican Party in Washington right
now what we just presented, can you look at this and apply some historical
context and say, yeah, the party is going to be all right, they go through
phases like this or are we seeing something maybe extraordinary?
SEAN WILENTZ, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: It is hard to say. I mean it
depends on what the Tea Party manages to do. It`s not the Whig Party so
much. It is really the Democrats from the same period. Party of the South
and some of the west, they flip names, but then the party is being driven
very, very hard to the right in effect by a faction. And that faction was
the faction led by John C. Calhoun. And the politics actually lines up a
little bit more exactly because that was the party of nullification, the
party of not just small government, but really small government, and that
eventually was going to lead to secession.
That`s the challenge that I think the Republicans face today. It`s
not so much, I don`t think the Tea Party is interested in forming a Whig
Party or having people fall out, they want to take the Republican Party
over and we`ll see if they do.
KORNACKI: But what happens to -- if the Tea Party does take over the
Republican Party, we`re seeing how their interests don`t always line up
with what has been the financial backbone of the Republican Party, the
business community. And you look at our two party system right now, the
Democrats are already sort of the party of labor. What happens to business
if the Tea Party takes over?
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: I actually don`t think the Tea Party is going to
take over. I think what we`re going to see in the next couple of months is
that business sector really reassert itself. Because what happened with
business in the past couple of years was, first of all, they didn`t take
Tea Party candidates seriously. When Ted Cruz came around, they said who
is this crazy whacko guy and look, look where he is today. They also were
turning a blind eye because they had so much contempt for Obama. So now
they`re saying, OK, we cannot turn a blind eye anymore. And we need to
treat every contender seriously and then you also see the institutional
components like rose (ph), American Victory Project going forward. So, we
see the business class asserting itself institutionally and also, not
taking anything for granted.
KORNACKI: And we did have some news this week, and I think this was a
Bloomberg story yesterday that has the Chamber of Commerce .
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Yes.
KORNACKI: . the political arm of that, where, you know, it`s run by
Scott Reed. He ran Bob Dole`s campaign in 1996. We`ve got a long history
of Republican politics saying exactly that, that we`re planning to spend,
we the Chamber of Commerce, maybe spending a lot of money, you know, to
sort of support, basically, to support the Thad Cochrans of the world, the
Republicans who voted for this deal this week and are facing primary
problems in 2014. They say they are going to be supporting them.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: And I never thought I would see the day where I`m
like, yes, Chamber of Commerce!
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Who loves Chamber of Commerce? But, you know,
the problem with that is for as important as money is in politics, the
business community is not going to take to the streets. It is just not who
they are constitutionally. They might, you know, throw in money for
lobbying and behind candidates, that is sort of the civilized thing to do,
but they`re never going to be the ones at the town hall meeting, screaming
at the member of Congress. That`s just not going to happen. So, as much
as I`m encouraged to see these sort of movements from the chamber and from
more sort of reasonable people who would like the country to continue
running, I am not ultimately hopeful that this is going to be that helpful
because it is not just the money coming from the Tea Party that is the
problem. It is the fact that the money is feeding into all of this anger
from citizens in the districts who will show up, who will call, who will
take to the streets. And ultimately when someone is in your face like
that, that is what the real pressure is on these legislators.
BERNARD: You know, I have to say, I am actually very hopeful that
we`re going to see a big change. My prediction would be that we`re going
to see the great American center rise. You are meeting - and it is
anecdotal, but I would tell you, I have met Republican after Republican in
the last few weeks, particularly over the last 16 days of the government
shutdown, who have said, you know, I`ve done this very quietly, but I`m now
an Independent, I`ve done this very quietly, but I`m now a Republican. And
they have said that they`re doing so number one, because when one party can
hate one president so much, that they`re willing to destroy the country,
that something is very, very wrong. When one party has the loudest voices
in their party being anti-black, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-Hispanic,
something is very, very wrong. And then on top of that, when you`re
willing to cripple the economy, we don`t want anything to do with this.
So, I actually do believe and I`m quite fearful of the tyranny of
the minority, I think that the Tea Party has a very good chance of taking
over the Republican Party and I think as a result of that, we will see more
and more moderate, quote-unquote, moderate Republicans migrate out and
either self-identify as independents or actually become a conservative .
KORNACKI: And that`s the question I had, is because take an issue
like the Affordable Care Act, like Obamacare, which was sort of, it was
defunding Obamacare, the drive to do that, that was behind the shutdown,
the default brinkmanship we just went through. The dispute there that did
exist in the Republican Party is not over the Tea Party Republicans .
KORNACKI: . who want to get rid of it and the moderate Republicans
who say, no, this is a good law, Republicans, we should be for it, it is
entirely a tactical dispute.
KORNACKI: It was the Tea Party saying, basically taking the
rhetoric that the entire parties agreed to its logical conclusion. I mean
every Republican has said, this thing is like going to kill freedom in .
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: You know, and getting back to Krystal, I agree
the Tea Partiers are fired up, they are out there. But the key to
Republican moderates is using that money to get non-primary Republican
voters out to vote in those primaries. It is going to be difficult, but
you need to get .
BERNARD: I just think that`s a big battle. That`s a push
BALL: I don`t think that we`re there. And you can see the dynamics
in the last fight. I mean the Tea Partiers make up a minority, even within
the Republican caucus. But the others are so fearful that they were quiet
and they allowed this to happen. I think the Republican Party has to hit
bottom. I mean they have to nominate someone like Ted Cruz and lose 40
states before there will be a real backlash.
WILENTZ: For a moment, where if the Tea Party takes over, it would
be not unlike what happened in `64 when the extremist wing of the
Republican Party nominated Barry Goldwater .
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Right.
WILENTZ: And they had to go through that experience.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Right.
WILENTZ: Very quickly they caught on and they changed and they
moved to Richard Nixon, who was conservative, but not Barry Goldwater. So
KORNACKI: They ended up at Reagan ending .
WILENTZ: But Reagan was very, very different. Reagan was a much
more inclusive kind of politician than Barry Goldwater was. I mean it is a
much broader - and it`s a different situation too. Different time. But
the other thing was neither the Whig Party nor the Republican Party had the
Koch brothers, Freedom Works, all of that stuff that`s feeding it. It is
the anger. But the money behind it is extraordinary. And the organization
behind it is extraordinary. And that`s why I think the Tea Party, it may
not succeed in the short run, but it is not going away anytime soon.
BERNARD: I mean it is extraordinary. If you think in the last week
to see Orrin Hatch who I used to think of as the conservatives`
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Right.
BERNARD: And John McCain coming out, and saying we`ve got a serious
problem and Republican Party cannot be run by the Heritage Foundation,
Heritage Action, the Club for Growth. I mean, normally you would never see
that kind of public statement being made. And they`ve said it, this shows
us that there is a -- I mean it is not just a splinter in the Republican
Party, they`ve got an earthquake going on in the party and the Tea Party is
completely responsible for that.
KORNACKI: Well, I`m curious, we talk about, again, the difference
between the Tea Party wing and the moderate Republican wing. What does it
even mean? What would it mean to be a moderate Republican anymore?
BERNARD: You`re a democrat.
KORNACKI: There it is. We`ll take it up on the other side. We`ll
pick up that question on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UF: Are you prepared to back challengers to these Republican
senators in their contests?
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I`ve been saying for years
that robust competitive primaries make for a better political system. It
makes people work harder. And express more articulately what their record
is and what their intentions for our country is. So as for the individual
races, I`m going to see who the opposition to the sitting kind of status
quo politicians are, and we`ll go from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Sarah Palin, same question I ask about the super committee
earlier, remember her?
KORNACKI: But there she is, toying with primary challengers,
backing primary challengers in 2014. We have a little more news we can
bring to you from this morning. Marco Rubio on "Fox News Sunday" this
morning, he was asked about whether he would join the Senate conservatives
fund, as that old Jim DeMint group, and opposing Mitch McConnell in the
Republican primary next year in Kentucky and Rubio said, no, he`s for
McConnell in that primary. So it`s interesting. I know Rubio has been
pretty quiet and pretty sensitive to offending the right after the
immigration stuff earlier this year. But picking this up where we left off
right before the break, I was just talking about what it even would mean to
be a moderate Republican anymore. And I`m thinking of this in the context
of compare the Affordable Care Act, compare Obamacare right now with when
Bill Clinton tried to propose a national health care program 20 years ago,
basically a generation ago.
And back then the parties were, I think, a little bit more
ideologically diverse, geographically diverse. There really were a lot of
moderate Republicans around, a fair number of moderate Republicans around
back then. And so when Bill Clinton proposed health care reform in the
1990s, Republicans would post alternative plans, rival plans. One of those
plans that was drawn up originally by the Heritage Foundation became the
basis for what President Obama did a generation later. But we`re now in an
era where the parties are so sorted out ideologically, so sorted out
demographically - as sort of the - sort of default -- it is the home of all
of the conservatives in the country, there was no alternative for
Republicans to pose, there was nothing for them to do, but oppose
Obamacare. I just wonder - is there even room anymore for a moderate
Republican or have the parties sort of - sorted themselves out so much,
that there is almost no in between?
BERNARD: I don`t see that - I don`t see where there is room. I
mean you get branded by talk radio, or by others as a Republican in name
only. Someone has -- someone in talk radio or many people in conservative
talk radio now have the ability to define. There is a litmus test for what
it is to be a Republican, and if you don`t make - you know, meet all of the
standards on that checklist, you`re a Republican in name only. And so,
what do you do? I don`t think quote/unquote "moderate Republicans" have
any choice but to either hang in there and watch the party self-destruct,
or if you`re a dedicated public servant and actually want to govern, which
is what we elected people to do, is to go - is to either become an
independent or migrate to the Democratic Party so that you can actually get
some work done.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: There is a middle. In terms of an NBC poll that
just came out recently, we see that there is obviously an ideological base
on the left. And on the right. But there is a vast middle. There is your
minivan moms, there`s your pickup game blue collar folks, there`s your
apathetic - so, there is a middle there. And the Republican Party, if it
wanted to, could approach that middle. The problem is they`re not doing a
very good job of it.
WILENTZ: I mean historically, the removal of the moderates goes back
to `94, and it has been a long process since then. It really begins with
Gingrich and what Gingrich is doing. And they all -- Gingrich said in `94,
when he was out in `98, he said, I want to lead, but I don`t want to lead
cannibals and there`s been a process of cannibalization in the Republican
Party ever since and that`s where we are today. Who are the moderates in
the Republican Party? If Orrin Hatch is the moderate wing of the
Republican Party, then policy was really shifted and the cannibalization
has been really complete.
KORNACKI: And how much of this, I raised this yesterday in the show a
little bit, talking about Ted Cruz, though, how much of this isn`t even
about ideology? It is about like - it`s tribalism. Or it`s even
tribalism, it`s like a conservative -- a demographic -- a sort of very
specific demographic groups make up the conservative tribe and it is just -
it`s fear of offending the tribe more than it is fear of sort of breaking
the ideological thing that .
BALL: I think there is a lot to that. And we talk a lot about
gerrymandering and that certainly has had an impact. But we`re also self-
sorting, right? So, we are moving ourselves into ideological enclaves and
yes, there might be people who are more moderate, but they are not the ones
who are fired up. They`re never going to be the ones who are taking to the
streets, they are not going to be in control of the primary process. And
even in the NBC poll, you know, who was classified as moderates, it didn`t
necessarily mean that they were moderate on particular issues. They had a
different ideological sort of mix in terms of where they are on different
issues. They might have been more socially liberal, and more fiscally
conservative or vice versa. But that didn`t mean that they were
necessarily like in the center on every issue. So I don`t know. I`ve
never seen this thing of the center suddenly becoming energized and
overruling the folks at the extreme because those are the people who are
the most energized and they control the process.
KORNACKI: So, can we please had it all? Where do we think this is
going? I mean we have seen this Tea Party movement sort of rise up at the
start of the Obama era. Is it something - just with Barack Obama, you
know, two-term limit, if he`s out in January of 2017, does that take the
air out of it or is this the future?
WILENTZ: I don`t think that - about Barack Obama, particularly, I
think it is about any Democratic president, and that goes back to Bill
WILENTZ: The idea that Democrats should be in the White House is
illegitimate as far as these people are concerned. So, it is not going to
end. And the internal dynamics means that the death throws, if you will,
of the continued turmoil, it is just going to continue. It is going to
continue. And it is going to continue. I don`t see it ending anytime
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: At least at the state level. Because let`s think
back why the Tea Party was able to rise so successfully -- it goes back to
Tom DeLay`s move in redistricting midterm for Texas. And it filtered up.
We have a Ted Cruz really because of a Tom DeLay, so if the Democrats for
the medium to long-term want to see a shift in our politics, we need to go
to the state houses and when we start building up those races and getting
Democratic houses, so when redistricting comes around, that`s where we can
finally put the Tea Party to rest.
BALL: Go ahead.
BERNARD: No, I was just going to say. I mean the fact that if you
think about today`s Republican Party, the fact that Eisenhower, Nixon and
Ronald Reagan would be too liberal for today`s Republican Party, that`s --
it is a very sad notion about what has happened in terms of the
cannibalization of the right and of the Republican Party. I think the good
news is, in a very ironic way for people in the middle and for Democrats is
this is a great opportunity to go out and energize the voters who really
care about the country and who quite frankly their livelihoods are in
danger, to go out and get them energized and get them engaged in politics.
Think about all of the people who can vote, that don`t vote that are
registered to vote or not even registered and should register and go out
and vote, and actually, I think, I believe that there is a time now for the
critical mass, the great American center, to get involved and actually do
something about this.
KORNACKI: So, I think we settled it. We end where we started.
KORNACKI: The Whig Party is coming back.
KORNACKI: Anyway, I want to thank political strategist Michelle
Bernard, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto of the University of Texas and Sean
Wilentz of Princeton University.
A passionate movement, decades in the making is coming to, ahead, in
Washington, D.C. And it doesn`t involve the Tea Party. We`ll tell you
what it is, next.
KORNACKI: It seems every week in our rapid fire high stakes current
events quiz show "Up Against the Clock", there is at least one question
that stumps everyone, like this yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: D.C. area Congresswoman Donna Edwards co-sponsored
legislation this week that would strip the trademark from this
controversially named organization. Time!
Not showing that as a knock on our contestants. They all passed our
rigorous contestant screening process. They acquitted themselves
honorably. But was the answer that was eluding them? Well, if you don`t
know we will tell you, and we will talk about the sensitive issue at the
heart of it right after this.
KORNACKI: As a little kid, back in third grade or fourth grade, I
spent a week in a camp sponsored by the local college basketball team, the
Chiefs. The University of (inaudible) Chiefs that was the school`s mascot,
an Indian chief. But within a few years, the school changed its identity,
it became part of the University of Massachusetts, UMass Lowell was the new
name. And it didn`t stop there. There was pressure on the school to
change its nickname too. The school relented and the UMass Lowell Chiefs
became the UMass Lowell River Hawks. That`s still their name today.
Similar story played out here in New York City around the same time. In
1994, St. John`s University finally stopped calling their teams the Red
Men. It became the Red Storm. In 2005, the Seminole tribe of Florida
passed a resolution in support of Florida State University continuing to
use the Seminole name logo and traditions. Movement of American Indians in
the light groups launched decades ago has prompted dozens of nickname
changes from elementary schools to premiere universities all across the
nation. There is a singular team name that remains unchanged. That stands
out for its prominence, its popularity and yes, its brutal origins. It`s
the Washington Redskins. Battle over the NFL franchise is the pinnacle of
the decades` long fight over whether team tradition trumps racial
sensitivity. Maryland Democratic Congressman Donna Edwards, whose district
includes the stadium where the team plays, has introduced legislation to
require the Redskins to change their name. President of the United States
said he would think about changing it if he was the team`s owner, and this
week the man with one of the biggest microphones in all of football, NBC`s
sports caster Bob Costas, said it is time for Washington to ditch the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB COSTAS, NBC SPORTS: Put it in these terms, if you were to walk
into a gathering of Native Americans, if you on a reservation or happened
to come across a family of Native Americans in a restaurant and you began
conversing with them, would you feel comfortable referring to them as
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: I want to bring in Wilson Pipestem, he is the member of
the Osage Tribe in the Osage Nation. He`s an attorney who represents
American Indian Tribes, Mike Pesca, he`s a sports correspondent for NPR.
And still with us, we have MSNBC`s Krystal Ball and Evan McMorris Santoro
And Wilson, I`ll start with you. We had you on briefly a few weeks
ago. So, welcome back. But it feels to me, in the latest sort of big news
on this, I guess you want to call it, this is Charles Krauthammer, who is a
conservative columnist in "Washington Post", he used his platform on
Thursday to say, he, too favors a name change. It feels to me there is
some new momentum on this, do you feel this is all sort of coming to ahead
right now and something is actually going to change?
WILSON PIPESTEM, NATIVE AMERICAN ATTORNEY: I think it certainly is.
You`re seeing Daniel Snyder become more and more isolated on this issue.
So, when you have President Obama, Charles Krauthammer real conservatives,
saying it is time for a name change, Daniel Snyder has to take this very
seriously. And you`re seeing also that Roger Goodell, and Daniel Snyder
now saying two very different things. First, they were on the same song
book. They were saying that no change is necessary. And Daniel Snyder
said no, never, we will never change the name, put it in caps. Now you see
Roger Goodell saying, well, if one person is offended, we need to take this
very seriously. And I think very soon, sometime very soon, Daniel Snyder`s
going to look out from his sky box at FedEx field and see that society has
changed around him and it`s not going to be a good place to be.
KORNACKI: Mike, can you tell us a little bit about Snyder`s of the
Washington Redskins team owner and this guy bought the team, and it was
like 30 years old or something, they haven`t been that good with him as the
owner, I`d say. But that aside. What is his? I mean he`s been so sort of
stubborn on this, I think. What is behind this stubbornness? Is this just
financial, is there something more?
MIKE PESCA, NPR: Well, he`s dug in his heels. That`s the personality
of the man. He`s - it`s safe to say the most loathed owner in the NFL
fairly or unfairly. I think I have to add fairly or unfairly.
PESCA: But it is an extremely valuable brand. It goes back 80
years. And what they always say, it`s the intentionality of the nickname
is not to offend. They go back to why they were called the Redskins, which
actually has been called it`s a questions, which is a very famous player,
Willie Dietz was a member of an Indian tribe, although scholars have
researched his heritage and perhaps he wasn`t even. He was actually hauled
before a court to challenge that.
KORNACKI: And the original owner of the Washington Redskins, his
history on racial issues is nothing.
PESCA: Oh, yeah, he was a flat out racist. But, you know, so I
think when Snyder started this, there was always a little bit in the
background, because it just clearly is a slur, it`s been a slur and known
to be a slur in dictionaries for two decades. So, the question is will you
change? Now there is more momentum, the president weighing in and even
Snyder himself, he said the never thing back in March, now he`s not saying
that he`s going to change it, but his tone, he`s not saying put it in all
BALL: Yeah, that`s the thing I noted, too. I mean Snyder recently
sent out a letter that, I mean he is still very much standing by the name,
very much laying out the argument that you say that it is meant as a term
of respect and why do we want to strip all Native American heritage from
society, et cetera, et cetera. But it was much more meant to be much more
genuine and contemplative, you know, I really thought about this and it is
weighing on me versus never, you can put it in caps, absolutely never. And
I thought Krauthammer`s piece was really quite thoughtful. I mean
basically his argument was, look, language changes, and I`m not for the
language police this is essentially what he was saying. I`m not for the
language police. But just think about it. You would never use the word
Negro anymore. Not because of the language police, but because you
yourself have realized that it has negative connotations that you don`t
want to be associated with. And it is the same thing here. So I think
you`re right, Steve. I`ve been a Washington sports fan and in particular
Skins fan since I was a little kid. And I`ve never seen this much
momentum, this much attention to the name. I think we are coming to a
place where Snyder is going to find that it is in his financial interest
ultimately to make the change.
KORNACKI: Well, Evan, from the politics in D.C., because you have
like, you know, President Obama, you know, weighing in on this, you have
Tom Cole, the top Republican, Indian Heritage, he`s speaking out, Donna
Edwards, the congresswoman, whose district includes, you know, FedEx field,
now with this legislation that we teased from the great quiz show we do on
weekends. But I mean how much of that -- how much of that political
pressure do you think is a factor here? Can we expect more of that, more
people in Washington speaking out?
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: I mean as a political reporter, I will say that it
does feel to me like we have reached a point where this is going to change.
I mean I know there is a lot of fights going on, a debate going on. I mean
if I`m covering this as a political issue and it is, you know, it`s on the
campaign trail, this is the part where the candidate has decided not to
apologize, decided not to, and then they`re going to apologize. I feel
like that we have flipped over that, and partly this is this political
pressure. I mean nobody wants to really defend this, except for a lot of .
BALL: That`s really defensible.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: I mean to be fair, I live on U Street in D.C., a
street that is very proud football street, when the games are played. And
people there, they don`t want to see the name change. I mean a lot of
people -- a lot of fans don`t want to see the name change.
KORNACKI: That`s right. There is polling on this. When you poll the
fans, when you poll the question, there is still a lot of support for the
nickname. I think we have it up there. I mean this is an Associated Press
poll from back in April. Keep the name or change it. 79 - 11. So, it`s -
there is a bit of a gap here between the conversations we`re having and the
conversation that fans of the team are having.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: I think that can change very rapidly.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Because ultimately people don`t want to be
offensive. They don`t want to be associated with an offensive name. They
may be the biggest Washington sports fans, they may love the Skins, but
they may come to feel uncomfortable with the name at the -- the more that
they hear about it, the more tat they realize what the historical
KORNACKI: And it`s true there are examples, too, I think Peter King
is the sportswriter of the sports illustrated NFL writer who doesn`t use
the term anymore. There are a lot of these - there are a lot of sort of
self-censorship that I`m thinking up - that I haven`t seen before. But
Wilson, maybe you could talk about, too, sort of - what would it mean for -
because this is -- the movement to change this name is part of a much
broader and longer movement and we`ll talk about it a little bit more
later, but it`s part of a long movement that`s really decades in the
making. What would it -- is the feeling like if we can get Washington to
change their name, then all of this will go away at every level in the
country, every name like this will go away?
PIPESTEM: Well, I`m not sure about that. But I do know that
ignorance is a very powerful enemy. And it is particularly powerful for
Indian people who are fewer in numbers, and many of us live in isolated
places. But I think what we`re seeing is a moral change in the public is
coming -- the society is just becoming more educated on the issue and those
numbers are going to change. So, first of all, let`s question those polls,
first of all, and the questions that went into them.
But, you know, the last year I`m a father of four young kids, one of
- my two boys are in the seventh and the fifth grades. They came home and
asked me questions about this Washington team name and the activity that
goes along with this. And we sat down and we talked about it. And they
said, dad, are they making fun of us? And I said, well, we need to talk
about that. And ultimately, when you`re an Indian parent, and you`re
trying to teach your kids, that it is a good thing to be an Indian and you
should respect other people who are different than us, and when we see
things that this sort of - and you try to teach them that the ceremonial
use of paint and the use of Eagle feathers are sacred and that these are
good things, that it makes it more difficult when these sort of things are
part of a significant institution within our society, and ultimately when
confronted by the truth of the team name, its origins and its meaning, the
meaning and background of George Marshall Preston or George Marshall
Preston, that they will realize that when society is confronted with this
truth, that there is going to be change. And the change is coming.
KORNACKI: And, Mike, I wonder too, I`ve heard other names out there
suggested for - you know, the "City Paper" in Washington calls them the
BALL: I like that.
KORNACKI: Call the football the Pigskin, there`s the hog, the hogget
tradition, it seems to mess with the team, I wonder would they really lose
much money if they .
PESCA: Well, PETA is going to be against that one. But, well, they
have their own idea. We`ll show that later.
But it doesn`t matter what the new team nickname is - I mean usually
like the Redskins of Miami of Ohio became the Red Hawks, St. John`s became
the Red Storm. Sometime they keep the Red, sometimes they don`t. But, you
know, I think the fact - and another point that people are making is, well,
once you change this, what`s the next guy down the road? You know, what
about the Fighting Irish? What about the Minnesota Vikings? What about
something else that might be analogous, therefore can I give offense in the
first instance? I mean think about that. There might be other things. I
think it is a poor analogy. But the very fact that I would be
uncomfortable turning to this gentleman saying, how about those Redskins
that makes me feel bad.
PESCA: Sorry, dude, I mean I think at some point you look at those
polls, not just the one you put up, you look at the polls and say maybe
even Native Americans aren`t a majority of them polled aren`t against it.
But what number are we just happy being rude and offending people and
making their feelings extremely hurt. 20 percent`s fine. Like I`m fine
offending 20 percent of Native Americans. I`m not.
KORNACKI: What is - there is an interesting story. We`ll tell it
when we come back from the other side of this break, but in North Dakota,
there was a campaign and it led to a vote last year and a surprising
result. We have that poll number on the Washington name, something very
different happened in North Dakota last year. We`ll tell you about it
right after this.
KORNACKI: So, talking about the controversy over Washington`s name is
really the product of a decades` long campaign. And one of the most sort
of prominent and drawn out aspects of the campaign is involved, the
University of North Dakota. And you don`t necessarily associate University
of North Dakota with athletic greatness. But in the world of college
hockey, University of North Dakota, it is a big deal. The story is they
were called for years, the fighting Sioux, one of the top college hockey
programs in a country, they had a big arena, you know, 15,000 seat arena.
They filled up with their games. The NCAA passed a rule in 2005 and it
basically said they were going to start penalizing teams, not allow them to
compete in post season competition, if they had offensive names. If they
had offensive, you know, took offensive American Indian names. So the
Fighting Sioux then had this long protracted fight and it all came to a
head basically last year where faced with these sanctions, they put this to
a vote, and they put this to the vote in the state primary in June of 2012,
in the state of North Dakota and 68 percent said, no, let`s just get rid of
the name. So, the University of North Dakota is now looking for, I think
they have until 2015, to come up with it. They don`t have a nickname right
now. But it is no longer the Fighting Sioux. So, that is an example
where, you know, once you actually explain the issue to people and put it
out there, people`s minds changed on it.
PIPESTEM: Well, the idea that these team names honor American Indians
and Alaska natives, it`s just - I just think that`s wrong. So, if you see
what George Marshall, the first owner, George Preston Marshall said, what
he did as the first owner, he created this team name, and he was -- as it
was said earlier, he was just an avowed racist and he made William Dietz,
the head coach at that time wear a fake head dress and dance around to try
to -- as a way of entertaining fans, or trying to get more interest in the
team. But that is not honoring American Indian people. That`s denigrating
them. And so Daniel Snyder is a part of that legacy and he needs to change
KORNACKI: One thing I want to ask you, the one exception to this NCAA
rule I just talked about is Florida State University. The Florida State`s
Seminoles. And if you t- to this day, if you go the game, they are still
called the Seminoles, at the start of the game, somebody will come out
riding on like an Appaloosa with this flaming spear and feathers and paint
- and will throw the spear in into the middle of the field - and this was
done - this was a tradition that was created, I guess it has no roots in
actual Seminole history, but the local Seminole tribe did this in
conjunction with Florida State. When the NCAA passed that rule, the
Seminole tribe appealed to the NCAA and said we want this to continue. I`m
just curious what you think of this.
PIPESTEM: I feel like that`s exactly how it should work, when you`re
using some of the imagery that belongs to a certain tribe. They should be
working together, respecting one another and I think that`s just fine.
PESCA: There are a couple of teams. And what you have to do, is
you have to get the local tribe to not only sign off, but present evidence
to the NCAA. And the NCAA - it has really just four or five. And the show
aspect of it has been less because of that. It is more or less to honor
the what the (inaudible) still exist, it`s more or less to honor the tribes
rather than just, you know, appropriate them.
DEFRANCESCO SOTO: Wilson, I was wondering if you get at all
frustrated, though, that, I mean the debate that we`re having on this show
is about the name, but we talk very little in this country about other
issues, which are arguably much more important to Native Americans in this
country. Do you get frustrated with the lack of concern in those areas?
PIPESTEM: I don`t really think there is a lack of concern. Even
though this one is an issue that is right now, it has been around for a
long time. So last week I was at the National Congress of American Indians
convention. The tribal leaders across the country have decided this for a
long time. It is not like there is a real ongoing debate. Despite some of
these manufactured polls that you see out there, Indian country, I believe,
is a -- has largely -- Indians are tribal people. And our tribal leaders
have spoken out across the country saying this is really something that
needs to be changed. So do I -- I think that our issues do get attention.
We have seen dramatic change over this last year, when legislation, changes
in policies through the Obama administration, so I don`t think we`re
getting short thrift.
KORNACKI: Mike, I wonder if you can just sort of game out what you
think happens next, how this all kind of plays out? We all - there seems
to be a sort of consensus here that we`re heading towards. This is going
to eventually change, when, how, what are the conditions what do you think
is going to play out here?
PESCA: Well, I think that probably Roger Goodell, the NFL
commissioner intercedes and it`s made clear to Daniel Snyder, not only
should you do this, but we`ll have you back. And maybe there can be some
way, you know, I think Snyder is a really good businessman, despite
everything else that he`s arguably fairly or unfairly the most loathed .
PESCA: You know, you could resell a lot of jerseys if you have a
new team name, right? You could resell stadium naming rights if you have a
new team name. And I know that brand is one of the most valuable in
sports. He`s made a ton of money on the Redskins. He can probably make a
ton more money on the Red Clouds or the Red anything or the Pigskins or
KORNACKI: Right. He`ll still own the 90,000 seat stadium and the
nation`s capital team. I think, Daniel Snyder and his team will be fine.
Anyway, what should we know today? Our answers are coming up after this.
KORNACKI: All right. It`s time to find out what our guests think we
should know. Krystal, we`ll start with you.
BALL: I think we`re going to hear a lot of talk about health care
this week and the White House is now saying that almost 500,000 people have
filed applications, that`s not the same thing as enrolling, but they are
trying to show that there are a lot of people who are interested and who
are filing applications and that is moving forward.
KORNACKI: All right. Evan?
MCMORRIS SANTORO: Very interesting sort of twin track, two stories
we`ve been talking about a lot, about voting rights and abortion rights are
going to be happening in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on November 19TH.
There`s a ballot initiative to ban abortion after 20 weeks. And because of
some (inaudible) of what the conservatives were able to do, the normal vote
by mail ballot has been canceled. So, we`re having the situation that we
had in Colorado, where you saw - it`s going to be a low turnout election,
and, you know, in a liberal place and it`s possible you see some
interesting things happen with abortion there. Something to keep an eye
KORNACKI: OK. And Wilson. So, this week the sons of Jim Thorpe and
the Sac and Fox Nation will file briefs in a federal appeals court in a
case about whether or not Jim Thorpe`s remains will come back to the Sac
and Fox Reservation for internment there. The history of this is in 1963,
when Jim Thorpe died, his - they had started a ceremony to begin his
funeral, and his widow came in with the state troopers, took his body away,
because she had sold that to a place that`s now called Jim Thorpe,
Pennsylvania. So, I`m really hopeful that Jim Thorpe will come home.
PESCA: And possibly the greatest American athlete ever. So those
were really edifying. I`ll take this in a different direction.
PESCA: We have got - I don`t know what it - is like less than two
weeks before Halloween, Halloween when all the streets are filled with
ghosts and goblins. But there are no goblins. I looked this up. No
costume store sells goblin outfits. Party.com doesn`t, costume.com. There
were just no goblins. We say ghosts and goblins, there are no goblins out
there. I figured out why. Goblins are weird, they`re small, they have got
one trick, they bite you on the leg. They`re just not good.
Yeah, they are not at all cool. If you want to be a ghoul, be a
zombie. We`ve got to do away with the "ghost and goblin" idiom.
MCMORRIS SANTORO: How about Washington goblins.
PESCA: How, here you go!
KORNACKI: You know, it`s better than wizards. If we`re talking
about it. That`s one of the worst meanings.
Last week, in case you remember, I`m never going to stop bragging
about this, a success we predicted, the final score of the Patriots and
Saints. > 30 to 27, Patriots. I`m not going to try to do football.
Melissa is angry.
I`m not going to do that again today. I`m going to say the Red Sox
and (inaudible) in the World Series, though. I want to thank Wilson
Pipestem of the Osage Tribe and Osage Nation, Mike Pesca of NPR, MSNBC`s
Krystal Ball and Evan McMorris-Santoro of Buzz Feed, thanks for getting up.
And thank you for joining us. Melissa Harris-Perry is next. I`m telling
the MPH is a very serious conversation about rape culture. This is going
to be a conversation that should be seen by everyone - parents, young women
and certainly young men. From Steubenville Ohio, to Missouri to the
country`s elite university campuses, excuse me, there comes the sexual
assault, there are many false assumptions and misunderstandings. Melissa
is going to tackle those matters head on this morning. I hope you stick
around for that and we will see you next week here on "UP"
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