All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 23, 2013
Guest: Matt Lynch, Steve Beshear, Ben Domenech, Henry Louis Gates, Ezra
Klein, Joan Walsh
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
Obamacare is the news tonight as NBC News reports for White House
intends to delay the deadline for individuals to be required to buy health
insurance from February 15th of next year to March 31st. This comes on the
same day that some Democratic lawmakers called on the president to extend
open enrollment and Health Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met
with insurance executives.
Tonight, the White Houses strongly denying any changes being made to
the deadline. They say they`re simply clarifying the law`s intention not
to penalize anyone who buys insurance before not later date of March 31st.
While confusion reigns in Washington, D.C., there`s none in the states
where Republicans continue to wage their war against Obamacare, a war that
began over five years ago.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now is the time to
finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every
HAYES (voice-over): Before it even existed, Republicans have been
singularly obsessed with making sure Obamacare never came to fruition.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Americans need to
realize when someone says government option, what could really occur is a
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And yet the Democrats
come forward with a bill that really is a government takeover of our health
HAYES: Fought it before passed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This bill is not being debated openly and fairly.
HAYES: And created an entire movement.
They tried to kill it in the Supreme Court.
CROWD: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!
HAYES: In 2012, they held their nose for this guy because he said he
would kill it.
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I`m president I
will appeal Obamacare.
HAYES: When he lost, they kept voting to repeal it.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: That`s why we`re here because
we`re saying let`s repeal this failure before it literally kills women,
kills children, kills senior citizens. Let`s not do that.
HAYES: And this summer, after months of raucous rallies and a
devastating government shutdown, the Republicans failed again, and
amazingly Obamacare is getting more popular.
After all that, you would think Republicans would get the message.
Obamacare is here to stay. But no, like an unstoppable humanoid robot sent
from a distant future ruled by tyrannical private insurers, the Republican
Party will not stop trying to kill Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t be bargained to with. You can`t be
reasoned with. It doesn`t feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely
will not stop, ever.
HAYES: They`re now ready to define a new lawsuit in Indiana.
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: I want to bring you this, though. Also
breaking tonight, a federal judge gives the go ahead to a lawsuit that
could stop the health care law in its tracks.
HAYES: That lawsuit alleges that the law as written does not allow
for subsidies through federal exchanges to be applied in states that did
not create their own exchange. An argument one constitutional scholar
In Ohio, Republicans are fighting the Medicaid expansion in the state
championed by Republican governor John Kasich.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ohio`s Republican governor bypasses the state
legislature to get approval to expand Medicaid in Ohio.
HAYES: The expansion was approved by independent committee after it
was blocked by Republican lawmakers in the statehouse and Senate. It would
ensure 275,000 people in the state.
Yesterday, six state Republican lawmakers sued, saying the board did
not have the authority to approve the expansion.
If it hasn`t dawned on you that there is no end to the fight, it
should by now. Seventy years from now, conservatives will still be trying
to kill the Affordable Care Act. Oh, sure. Eventually they`ll talk about
how it`s part of the nation`s ironclad commitment to the people.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: This bill demonstrates for all time
our nation`s ironclad commitment to Social Security.
HAYES: But in their unguarded moments, Republicans will still be
saying it`s a hoax.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TECAS: It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids
that are 25 or 30 years old, that you`re paying into a program that will be
there. Anybody for the status quo with Social Security today is involved
with a monstrous lie to our kids.
HAYES: Joining me now is one of the six lawmakers who filed the suit
against Ohio Governor John Kasich over the state`s Medicaid expansion, Ohio
state representative, Republican Matt Lynch.
Representative Lynch, thank you for coming on tonight. Why do you
want to deny these 270,000 Ohioans Medicaid?
STATE REP. MATT LYNCH (R), OHIO: Chris, thanks for having me. I knew
it would be fun.
That is not really the issue for us in this lawsuit, Chris. We found
a lawsuit to preserve the constitutional system in the state of Ohio that
separates the legislative from the executive authority.
HAYES: Let me stop you right there. I totally understand that.
There`s a question before the court that has to do with the Ohio state
constitution, and I will admit to you, Representative, I am not an expert
on the Ohio state constitution.
But the point here to me is the lawsuit you`ve reverse engineered
around opposition to the substance of the policy. I mean, you don`t want
Medicaid expanded. You`re going to do whatever it takes to make sure that
doesn`t happen. Isn`t that right?
LYNCH: Well, it`s true I don`t want Medicaid expanded. And, frankly,
many, many members of the legislature do not want Medicaid expanded.
But we`re still debating that issue. We`ve never brought it to a
floor vote. And, frankly, this action by the controlling board is what`s
preventing it. The controlling board simply masqueraded as a legislative
On Monday, for two hours, I sat in a hearing where all they heard was
testimony in favor of Medicaid expansion.
HAYES: There`s a lot of good arguments in favor of it.
LYNCH: Well, you wouldn`t have heard anything else at the controlling
board. They didn`t allow it.
It was a controlling board that was established with a chairman that
was appointed by the administration, with hand-picked members of that
controlling board to make the point they are going to pass medication, even
though as you said in your opening, and you were quite right, that the
legislature would not pass Medicaid. And that board is obligated by
statute to follow the intent --
HAYES: To follow the intent.
LYNCH: -- of the legislature, which they did not do.
HAYES: You have a Republican governor. You have polling in the state
that shows 62 percent of Ohioans agree. They want Medicaid expanded.
I don`t want to keep belaboring this, but this is where Democrats and
Republicans and conservatives and liberals talk pass each other on this
issue, because you`re talking about process. And what I see before me is
275,000 people in your state, people not making a lot of money. We`re
talking about people making between $16,000, $28,000, somewhere in there,
who have the ability to get health insurance.
And I just -- it seems to me there is implacable desire to stop them
from getting health insurance. Why don`t you want them to have health
LYNCH: Well, we have to be clear on what`s happening here, Chris.
Two years ago in the state of Ohio, the citizens in every county of the
state, in all the eight counties, passed the Ohio Health Care Freedom
Amendment saying they did not want national health care. They did not want
Obamacare in Ohio.
I thought an oath to uphold that constitution. And I was elected by
HAYES: But, again, that`s -- but, Representative, with due respect,
there is substance here. Look --
LYNCH: My oath to the constitution is not processed. My oath to the
constitution I take very seriously. And my constituents take it seriously.
HAYES: But you oppose the policy, too.
LYNCH: Well, it is bad policy. It`s true.
HAYES: So explain that to me -- 275,000 people going from the
uncertainty and terror and psychic and physical -- no, it`s not funny.
People don`t have health insurance.
LYNCH: Well, I drove from Columbus to Cleveland today. I didn`t see
anyone being terrorized by the lack of health insurance or health care for
HAYES: You really think people aren`t terrorized by a lack of health
LYNCH: The fact is you`re talking about putting hundreds of thousands
of people onto a failing health care system called Medicaid, at a very high
cost. And those people will be locked into that system indefinitely
because if they make a little more money they`ll be off of the system. And
it`s paid for by bankrupted federal treasury. That is not good public
HAYES: The federal -- first of all, the federal government is
definitionally not bankrupt.
LYNCH: Well, $17 trillion in -- that`s a lot of debt. And the money
that`s going to be used to pay for Medicaid expansion in Ohio is going to
increase the debt.
HAYES: The final question here. You say these people will be locked
into it. The point is actually if they do make more money, right, they
will pass out of qualifying for the Medicaid expansion.
LYNCH: Sure. That`s right. What you do is you disincentivize people
from wanting to make more money because the cost --
HAYES: That`s it --
LYNCH: -- of going from Medicaid to a system where they actually have
to pay will be extraordinarily more than any amount of money.
HAYES: We have now -- I think we`ve hit a bedrock. We`ve come to
some bedrock principle place about how people`s behavior is going to be
altered by this.
LYNCH: It could be altered in this way. Absolutely right.
HAYES: Thank you, Ohio State Representative Matt Lynch. I really
Joining me now is someone on the other side of this, the governor of
Kentucky, Steve Beshear.
And, Governor, your state is one of the only two states that did not
vote for President Obama in 2012, that decided to set up your own exchange
to strike out into the wilderness of back ends and front ends and Web sites
and hits. How are things going in Kentucky?
GOV. STEVE BESHEAR (D), KENTUCKY: Things are going great in Kentucky,
Chris. We`ve got 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians. We have the worst health
care statistics in the nation. We`ve had them since they started keeping
statistics. And it was going to take some kind of transformational change
for us to dig ourselves out of that ditch.
And the Affordable Care Act gives one that opportunity. I have seized
the opportunity. As you`ve mentioned, we`re the only Southern state to
both expand Medicaid and set up our own exchange.
And I`m determined to change the course of Kentucky`s history when it
comes to health care. We`re right in the process of doing that.
Kentuckians, right now, are loving it. They are swarming all over our Web
site. About 280,000 of them so far. We have signed 18,000. The rate of a
thousand people a day, 375 or 380 small businesses are in the process of
So, I`m going to tell you something, this is going to work. I want to
give a shout-out to my good friend, Governor Kasich in Ohio. Thank
goodness that he stepped up and put the people first and partisan politics
second, because that`s all the opposition is. It`s a partisan politics
that people are sick or tired.
I don`t care if you`re Republican or Democrat, whether you like the
president or not, you know, that`s what I tell the people here in Kentucky.
You don`t have to like the president. You don`t have to like me.
This is not about him. It`s not about me. It`s about you. It`s
about your family. It`s about your children. So, go on that Web site.
It`s not going to cost you a dime to check this out. And you`re going to
find something you like. And that`s what Kentuckians are finding.
HAYES: It sounds like your website has been working very well. Just
those numbers, 18,000 signed up. I mean, it sounds like you pulled off
this pretty difficult technical project pretty well.
BESHEAR: You know, we have great people working for me. They always
make a governor look good when you have good people around you.
We started out, Chris, as soon as the grants came out to start
planning your exchange, we got them. And we made this decision early
because all of our stakeholders here in Kentucky were for us running our
own exchange. Our business community, our hospital association, the
providers, the advocates. Everybody felt like, look, each state is unique.
We know better how to design a Web site that will fit our state than to
have to do a cookie cutter approach that you will do with the federal
And so, we worked hard. We kicked it off on October 1. And it`s been
going great guns.
HAYES: So, have you faced a lot of political opposition? Opposition
from Republicans in your state? Is there grassroots opposition as this is
What is the political experience like in the state of Kentucky?
BESHEAR: What you find your politicians like our congressional
delegation for the most part are sticking to the talking points. You know,
you can give them facts. You can give them figures. And all they do is
look at their talking points and say it`s not working, it`s not working.
It`s failing, it`s failing, when in fact, it is working.
I mean, our senators came out the other day in an op-ed and said
Kentuckians don`t want this. Well, look, 280,000 of them want, 18,000 that
are signed up right now want it I don`t know what state they`re from. But
I`m from Kentucky. And it`s working here in Kentucky.
Our grassroots, they`re just confused. You know, there`s been such
misinformation out here. They have woven this web of misinformation for
months and months and months. The critics have.
So, we`re having to dig through that. Buy you know what we`re finding
is when people number one are eager to find out, they`re going on these Web
site in droves. And when they really dig down and look, man, they like
what they`re finding. And they`re going away with affordable health care
for the first time in their lives.
HAYES: That`s Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, thank you for your
Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) you guys are tearing down people
like Ted Cruz and Mike Collin (ph) and Rand Paul can stand up and stand on
their principles and do the right thing even if it means being criticized
to the heel.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), TEXAS: We know what Ted Cruz stands for, and
that is to shut down the government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He stands for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That moment right there at a senator John McCain town hall
exemplifies perfectly what`s going on in the Republican Party right now.
I`ll explain ahead.
HAYES: We always love hearing from you on Facebook and Twitter.
Republicans have engaged in this epic battle to end Obamacare for what
seems like forever. How long could this go on? No, seriously, we want to
know what you think.
What will it take the GOP stop trying to kill Obamacare? Tweet your
answers @allinwithchris or post at Facebook.com/allinwithchris. I`ll a
share couple at the end of the show.
So, stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Everything costs more to go back and
retrofit the toilets that don`t work, that no bureaucrat understood or
flushed before they may use them. It costs money. It will cost thousands
of dollars to go back and add some kind of jet streams to the toilet. We
don`t save money. We flush them ten times. They don`t work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Senator Rand Paul at a hearing of the Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in March of 2011. The senator
has honed his anti-government message since then, because if you want to be
the Republican nominee in 2016, there`s a game you need to play.
OK. You need to feed red meat to an insatiable base, tell them things
they want to hear, so you come out on top in the Iowa caucuses and in
primaries, while not alienating the 1 percenters and big business interest
who control the purse strings and run things in the Republican Party. And
for a long time, that hasn`t been that hard. We talk about abortion and
gun rights to the base and then you go and talk tax rates with the wealthy.
You talk about the monster that is Obamacare and that unites them both.
But it`s gotten much, much harder in wake of the shutdown because with
American credit on the line. You had to choose, in the pocket of the rich
and powerful, or in the pocket of the grassroots?
We now have a case study in how to navigate this trick, question from
three of the people who will likely be vying for the Republican nomination
in 2016. Senator Ted Cruz, he is taking Sarah Palin route. He may never
be president, and probably won`t even be the nominee. But if he wants them,
there are book deals and cable shows and a lifetime of right wing speeches
in his future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Would you like them in a house? Would you
like them with a mouse? I do not like them in a house. I do not like them
with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them
anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senator Marco Rubio, very early on, thought his best play in
the wake of 2012 was to cast his lot with the corporate Republicans, the
Chamber of Commerce vein, who very much wanted an immigration deal. And he
thought he was such a gifted politician that he uniquely could pull it out
without offending the conservative base.
It was like trying to straddle two continents that were drifting apart
and fell right into the water. And now, he`s desperately trying to get
back on dry land, desperately trying to appease people who will never like
him, who consider him forever a traitor. For example, he cravenly pondered
to the base by withdrawing his support last month from a federal judicial
nominee he previously backed. The nominee would have been the first openly
gay black man to serve as a federal judge.
Senator Rand Paul is the most interesting case because he has a built-
in conservative street cred from his last name, and he does seem to have an
almost genetic feel for where the base is out. So, he`s been able to
deftly escape through the politics of the government shutdown in a far more
clever way than Ted Cruz.
Paul, you`ll notice, is not associated with the shutdown the way Ted
Cruz and Senator Mike Lee of Utah. He`s not the face of American default
and extremism the way Ted Cruz has become. But even so, the uber
conservative caucusgoers in Iowa will probably still have a lot of nice
things to say about Rand Paul. So far, he`s the one who figured it out the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Even with the sequester, the federal government will grow over
$7 trillion over the next decade. Only in Washington can a $7 trillion
increase in spending be called a cut.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Ben Domenech, publisher of "The Federalist," a
Web magazine, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, a conservative
So, I think it is really fascinating to watch these three guys try to
navigate this. Can we take them in order?
BEN DOMENECH, HEARTLAND INSTITUTE: Sure.
HAYES: So, Rubio really does seem -- and I don`t want to write his
obituary early, but it really seems like he has a problem right now with
DOMENECH: I think he does. But I think it`s interesting to look at m
and then look at Cruz and see them making errors in terms of what it means
to be a senator in this day and age. think on Rubio`s side, he`s saying
let`s come to together. Let`s unite around some kind of policy --
HAYES: And a big legislative victory that has your name on it.
DOMENECH: Something that you can go and brand as your own.
In Cruz`s side, you see sort of people who were fighting for a
partisan sort of gamesmanship in terms of the way that you would confront
I think both of them have made errors in the way they approach this.
And I think your point is accurate in the sense that Paul has been I think
the smartest and in navigating what it means to be a senator today, which
is primarily coming up with good web names. And essentially, I think he`s
done that --
HAYES: Right. So here is a question about Cruz which sort of relates
to this, which is does -- has it sunk in, do you think, to the grassroots,
to your median Iowa caucusgoer, to your median Texas primary voter, that
the shutdown was a disaster? Has that -- is that a reality for them or
DOMENECH: I don`t think they view it that way at all. I think the
current conversation that we`re having about Obamacare is one they all
flowed into, as being sort of a national following. We`ll hear the
argument from them, that, you know, we wouldn`t have been talking about,
you know, Obamacare so long or something like that. From their
perspective, that`s what he was highlighting.
But I think, you know, you talked about the plays that they are making
in terms of different portions of fighting over the same kind of red meat
base. I think they`re very distinct. I actually think that there`s a lot
of differences in terms of the populations they seek their support for.
And I think Paul in particular is someone who has a unique following that
is somewhat separate and distinct from these candidates.
HAYES: How so?
DOMENECH: Well, I think with Rubio you see the great hope of the
establishment, everything that comes with that. People talk about him as
Jed Rubio, only one of them will run because they have the same team.
I think with Cruz, you see sort of the traditional Tea Party base.
And I think with Paul, you see a different, a younger and a more sort of --
I would say a base that is more coming from outside of the party than from
within it. And I think that that comes with not just in hearing his
father`s backing, but also inheriting I think a lot of cred. No one going
to call Rand Paul an establishment.
HAYES: Right. And he is also, I just love this -- he`s very deft at
sort of catering to those folks. Cater sounds condescending. That`s his
HAYES: He`s got this constitutional amendment now, which I love,
because it`s like he fired his legislative director and replaced him with
an inbox of viral e-mails. So, this is -- you`ve got this viral email, I`m
sure you`ve gotten this. It`s a viral e-mail in circulation in 2009.
Congress shall make no laws that applies to citizens of United States
that does not apply equally to senators and representatives. Congress
should make no law applies to senators and representatives that does not
apply to the citizens of the United States. It`s in this viral email about
how senators don`t have to obey the law and they don`t have to pay off
their student loan debts.
And here`s Paul`s constitutional amendment. This is like straight
ripped from the headlines -- Congress shall make no law applicable to the
citizens of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress,
not equally applicable to executive branch, Supreme Court and judges of
such inferior courts.
This is just the perfect example. This is the kind of thing no one is
going to cover, but to some folks, it means something.
DOMENECH: It`s a beautiful approach to taking on government. And if
you`re coming from that sort of school, I think this is something that Paul
really does believe in. There`s also a test of political skill. You know,
you talked about Rubio being up a creek and having this difficulty in the
wake of sort of fail strategy that he had.
I think that this is really going to be test of skill. And at this
point, I think Paul has to be considered to winning that skill. In a
situation where you`re playing out Braveheart, you don`t want to be William
Wallace. You want to be the Bruce afterwards, getting the crown, OK?
HAYES: That`s right.
DOMENECH: We bled with Ted, now believe with me.
HAYES: That`s exactly right. Bed Domenech from the Heartland --
thank you so much.
DOMENECH: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With this visual evidence, Houston began building
a legal case against Jim Crowe, showing just how unequal education was
between black and white students in America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They would film a black school. It would often
be in shacks. I mean, you know, places with cracks on the walls. The
children crowded on the benches with no desks.
And then he would go to the white school, neighboring white school.
Two story, brick. Basketball courts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was a clip from a new documentary series that`s airing on
PBS. The series creator is a man who may recognize. And I`m very, very
excited to have him join me at this table next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the few documented safe houses on
the underground railroad and the site of at least one remarkable escape.
KATE CLIFFORD LARSON: Mary Corbett heard a knock on the door. And it
was an enslave man who was fleeing and the sheriff was after him. And he
pleaded to her to help him.
And here`s the cupboard that Sam hid in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That?
LARSON: Yes. Mary Corbett brought him up here. He squeezed himself
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God. This is so tiny.
LARSON: And the sheriff decided not to look, because they didn`t
think a man could fit in there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have just caught me. I`m too claustrophobic
to go in there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The first known African to come to America was a free man,
Juan Garrido, who arrived with Spanish explorers in 1513 and later went
west to searching gold. And that is just one of many riveting, surprising
details in the fantastic new PBS series, "The African-Americans: Many
Rivers to Cross," which covers 500 years of African-American history in the
course of six hours and joining me now is the executive producer, presenter
and writer of the series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. And, Professor Gates, it
is a great, great honor to have you here. Thanks for coming in.
HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.,WRITER OF "THE AFRICAN AMERICANS" PBC SERIES:
Thanks for having me on the program.
HAYES: Why this series now?
GATES: Well, I fell in love with the idea of studying African-
American history. When I was 17 years old, sitting in his parents living
room in Piedmont, West Virginia, watching a documentary made by Bill Cosby,
and it was called "Black History: Lost, Stolen Or Strayed."
And, a year later I went to Yale. And, the first course I enrolled in
was a survey course in Afro-American History. It was taught by a white man
named William McKinley. In fact the book and the series is dedicated to
two people. One of them is McKinley.
And, I was raised to be a doctor. My mama wanted two doctors. My
brother, Dr. Paul Gates, is an oral surgeon. And, you know, in the black
community, a doctor is like sitting at the right side of Jesus, right?
But, I knew that --
HAYES: You are the prodigal son.
GATES: -- but I knew from that course what I really wanted to be was
a scholar writing about my people`s history. Well, you know, as fate would
have it, that`s the way I ended up. I went to Cambridge fell in love with
being -- the idea of being an academic. I get a job at Harvard in 1991.
And, Henry Hampton, the greatest black documentary film maker in history
invited me to come to his production company, Blackside, Inc was there.
And, this was October of 1991.
And, I walked in and within an hour -- for me it was like, I imagined
being on cracker so -- I knew I wanted to make documentary film. And, so I
was able to bring these two things together for this by 13 series. And, to
do it in the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the first African in the
continent of the United States. As you said, one Gorito. It is a miracle.
HAYES: One of the things in the series I think is fascinating and I
read a little bit about this actually when I graduate or studying was the
period for Africans or African-Americans, I guess you can call them really
Africans pre-slavery that there was a period of freeness, freedom before
GATES: Yes. That is right.
HAYES: That slavery is a constructive thing. It wasn`t just there
when we got there.
GATES: Right. And, Gorito is a perfect example and it was -- so
encounter intuitive. Here is a man, who shows up with Ponce De Leon in
Florida in 1513. What is he doing there? Is he carrying a bag? No. He
is looking for the fountain of youth, just like the white guys.
And -- But even in the British colonies and we know every other
history, every other documentary about African-American started in
Jamestown 1619 when the first 20 Angolans, that we all know these guys are
from Angola who go to Point Comfort and then go to Jamestown. But, even
they through the work of scholars like Ira Berlin, we know that there was
an indeterminate status for the first few decades --
GATES: -- And, they were more like indentured servants. It was not
until death -- until about after about 1654 that slavery and grace became
synonymous -- blackness and slavery in the British colonies.
HAYES: And, that is one of the many things I have learned from
watching this. The question I have for you is, in this era, are we getting
-- is it trending in the right direction in knowing our history when it
comes to race?
GATES: Well --
HAYES: -- I can`t tell.
GATES: -- When you ask why did I do this series? Well, I gave you a
personal impulse because this has been a fantasy since that time I walked
in the Blackside. But, every time there is a racial incident in the
country, there are calls by activists, by journalists for a town meeting,
the proverbial conversation about race --
GATES: -- I do not think they are -- I they are good. They are
necessary, but not sufficient. You are a philosopher. I do not think that
that is how we solve long-term problems. Think about what you learned in
first grade. You learned, my countritisity (ph), America the beautiful.
I played something I should have flagged. Schools have always been
vehicles for the shaping of the citizenship. And, your teacher didn`t
shape you to be a citizen by saying I am, Chris, going to shape you to be a
citizen. She just shaped you --
GATES: -- by demonstration. The same thing with race. We have to
imbed the history of race and racism into the curriculum seamlessly,
inextricably, intertwined so that every day is a conversation about race
without anyone using those words.
HAYES: You say conversation race and while I have you here, I have to
ask you about one of the most bizarre capitol C in conversations about race
that ever happened in my ascension life, which is the beer summit in the
wake of the incident that happened outside your front porch in your home in
which I think the president spoke at a press conference early in his
tenure, very earnestly expressed with to me what seemed completely natural
frustration with an incident that seem pretty ridiculous and then became
this bizarre through the looking glass prism moment in which you end up at
the White House having a beer with the guy. How do you understand that
GATES: Well, it was a slow news cycle. It happened -- depending on
what is going on. You know my producers and I sat down and they had this
funny look on their face. One -- My two main producers, one went to
Harvard, one went to Yale, right? These are two women. So, I sat down
between them. I said, "What is wrong with you people?" They said, "This
time, we have decided" and I said, "What?" They said, "We want to include
the incident in Cambridge that happened to you in the series." And, I said
"That is ridiculous." They said, "Why? It is important." I said, "It was
an aberration." You see, we told 70 stories in the six-hour series, and
each story has to be exemplary of larger trends. What happened to me was a
GATES: -- Pseudo-generous.
HAYES: All right. I do not know if I agree with that. Henry Louis
Gates, Jr. The series is "The African-Americans: Many Rivers To Cross"
airing on PBS on Tuesdays. Great pleasure. Thank you for coming in.
GATES: Thank you. My honor.
HAYES: We will be right back with Click 3.
HAYES: Are the reporters and pundits who spent the last several weeks
covering the falls, problems, and glitches with healthcare.gov doing their
job and holding the powerful to account or they contributing to a
hysterical contextless frenzy that only aids those -- in the name of
universal health care. We are going to debate that question with Ezra
Klein and Joan Walsh in just a bit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): But, first I want to share you the three
awesomest things on the Internet today. We begin with a miniature version
of a fall classic. October means playoff baseball and as the World Series
kicks off, fans of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox are
reliving some of the big moments that brought them to be big stage.
Folks over at Sports Illustrated Kids and the toymaker, OYO, not to be
competed with the Lego are helping those fans enjoy the greatest hit so
far, including the grand slam that helped win it all for the Red Sox in the
final pitch of the Cardinals-Tigers series. And, there has been now the
HAYES (voice-over): Yes. That is a plastic version of Officer
Horrigan and the infamous Horriganing pose. A fun way to look back and a
reminder for Boston fans to be thankful they were no toy recreations of the
1986 World Series.
And, the second awesomest thing on the Internet today, it is hard to
believe "30 Rock" has been gone for almost a year. Fans will never forget
the antics of Liz Lemon, Tracy Jordan and the rest of "30 Rock" crew. It`s
really hard for us to forget because we work with Jack Donaghynow. There
are a slew of less memorable characters in the website, "The Toast" and
have been shrine them in Liz`s forum. Everyone from human resources
worker, Jeffrey Bienerslav -- I am sorry. I mean Weinerslav to Liz Lemons
prepubescent agent Simon. And, thankfully, they did not forget the moon
JACK MCBRAYER, AS KENNETH PARCELL IN "30 ROCK" SERIES: Hey, Moonfest!
I got an idea for a game show last night.
CRAIG CASTALDO, AS MOONVEST IN "30 ROCK" SERIES: Give me your
MCBRAYER, AS KENNETH PARCEL: No!
HAYES (voice-over): They even include the host of "Homonyms," the
world`s most frustrating game show.
HOST: Next word is Au Pair.
CONTESTANT: What? There is only one definition. It is like a nanny,
a foreign nanny.
HOST: No. You forgot. It could also be an exclamation about a
fruit. As in "Oh, pear!"
CONTESTANT: What you are doing here is not right.
HAYES (voice-over): Congratulations to all the minor characters who
made the list. However, it is a true trine -- A.K.A. Johnny Mountain.
And, the third most awesome thing on the Internet today, Knights of
Columbus, they are back.
Today, we are partying like it is 2004, which is the last time we got
an Anchorman movie. It is a promotion for Anchorman II with a full gear.
We are celebrating as only Ron Burgundy can.
WILL FERRELL, AS RON BURGUNDY IN "ANCHORMAN" MOVIE: I love scotch. I
love scotch. Scotchy, scotchy, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my
HAYES (voice-over): Not with actual scotch. That`s a new
butterscotch flavor for Ben & Jerry`s. The clever product placement was
unveiled in true channel for two news team style. The custom news vane, a
vanity license plate and a Burgundy in a full costume talking the new
flavor. We have not one but two new trailers with the return of America`s
most socially regressive journalists.
RON BURGUNDY: You are not black or Asian.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: I`m gay.
RON BURGUNDY: Do you sleep in a coffin?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: No, that`s vampires.
RON BURGUNDY: Are you allowed to be out in the sun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Those are also vampires.
ROB BURGUNDY: Are you a vampire?
HAYES (voice-over): We know this is not amounting to much more than a
plug to the new Anchorman movie, which I guess we really want to see. We
like to throw on a little promotion diversity here on "Click 3."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: What in the hell is diversity?
RON BURGUNDY: Well, I could be wrong, but I believe diversity is an
old, old wooden ship that was used during the civil war era.
HAYES (Voice-over): Good to have you back, Ron. You can find all the
links for tonight`s Click 3 on our website, allinwithchris.com.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, have you noticed that healthcare.gov has been getting a
lot of coverage lately?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE SCALISE, (R) LOUISIANA CONGRESSMAN: This is not some glitch.
This is a national embarrassment. How could this website be such a
ADAM KINZINGER (R) ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN: This is just a website.
This is like the easiest thing to do in the whole complicated government
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: And, what is happening in the website is a
very public view on what is happening all over America in multiple
different aspects of the rollout. There are issues that have to be dealt
BILL HEMMER, HOST OF FOX NEWSROOM: Setting up a website where people
can go on and buy something is not that complicated. People do it every
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Hilarious irony of the government shutdown is that the
ostensible target of the shutdown, the launch of Obamacare, was completely
swallowed up by the news of the shutdown itself. But as soon as the
shutdown ended the entire national media turned their attention to the
rollout of Obamacare, which has been rocky to say the least.
And, amid to this all-out media feeding frenzy comes an article by
Salon.com editor-at-large and MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh, which
argues the tidal wave of Obama Care coverage is helping the right wing in
its mission to distort people`s impression of the new law.
On the one hand, she writes, "Yes, it`s important for democrats to
acknowledge when government screws up and then fix it." On the other hand,
when liberals rush conscientiously to do that, they only encourage to
completely unbalance and unhinge coverage of whatever the problem may be;
or in other words, criticizing the problems of Obamacare more specifically
the problems with healthcare.gov, which are real and need to be fixed
immediately plays right into the hands of the same conservatives, who shut
down the government.
They believe that Obama care will destroy America. An article on
Walsh specifically calls out "Washington Post" editor and MSNBC Policy
Analyst, Ezra Klein for going on Morning Joe and calling Obamacare the
rollout a management failure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC POLICY ANALYST: And, they were not given the
information by their own bureaucracy to do it and that is a management
failure on them. Ezra responded by Twitting "Kind of shock at this piece
from Joan Walsh. My job is to cover Obamacare accurately, not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
There are I think two critiques here. One is that when liberals
criticize the democratic policy, they might unwittingly be giving aid and
comfort to Republicans who are intent on destroying the said policy.
The other is a question of prospective in amidst of this flood the
zone coverage of the rocky Obamacare roll out, have we lost sight of the
context and the scale? I think these are really important issues to sort
out. So, Joan Walsh and Ezra Klein will both join us to do just that right
after the break.
HAYES: Joan Walsh and Ezra Klein will join me in just a second.
Earlier in the show I asked what it would take for the GOP to stop trying
to kill Obamacare. I got many answers posted to our Facebook and Twitter
accounts including Mike Madaris from Facebook who says, "When the states
that refuse the Medicaid expansion starts to hear from their voters locally
and reverse course like Ohio." Lisa Crider, "I think the GOP will stop
when our son burns out" and Don Potata from Facebook says "An alien
invasion of Sarah Palin clones. Thanks." We`ll be right back.
HAYES: We are back. Joan Walsh and Ezra Klein are both here. Joan,
so you wrote the piece in Salon. Why did you write the piece?
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON: Because I woke up Monday morning
in a changed America. We have gone from nonstop coverage, and I thought
appropriate coverage of the constitutional crisis that the Republican Party
had brought us to the brink of global economic disaster.
And, suddenly the analogous disaster was the website of the affordable
care act, which is not the affordable care act. It is only a part of it.
The president was right to say that. And, I saw a kind of piling on,
including by liberals. And, I really -- you know, I didn`t do many of the
things I`m accused of. I didn`t say don`t report on these things.
WALSH: I didn`t say don`t talk about them. I said, have a sense of
perspective. This may doom the program, but it`s way too early. And, I
think that was read as somehow, you know, prop for Obama. And of course, I
am the last person -- not the last person, but --
HAYES: Yes. You are not the last person.
WALSH: I`m not the last person. Good call. But, you know, people
who are real devotees of our president are sitting in their living rooms
saying she is no Obama bot.
HAYES: Right. Ezra what was your respond to it?
KLEIN: So, I think a couple of things here. I am not going to -- I
read the piece. I think a lot of folks had read the piece, which -- it
seemed to be saying -- and I thought the headline in a lot of it was clear,
which said folks shouldn`t say too much on this because the president knows
this a problem and if you do it as the headline said and as part of the
article said, "You`re aiding the right wing."
And, I don`t have actually have a huge opinion on. And, I mean I
think this is kind of an important thing. Some of this just comes down to
what you think the job is. I don`t approach my work, and I work for the
"Washington Post." I`m on the news side of the "Washington Post." I have
no interest. I really am not thinking about whether or not reporting on
the failures of Obamacare is going to help liberals or help conservatives
or help democrats or help republicans.
I honestly on some level just don`t care. My job is to report
accurately what is going on in the website itself -- I`m sorry, in the law
itself. And, I think that one of the actual substantive places where Joan
and I disagree, and I think this is actually important is, yes, President
Obama has this line now that is getting repeated a lot that health care is
more than just a website. I am sure, it is.
But, that actually wildly understates what the website is doing. And,
I think this is a bit of misinformation that has gotten out there. If this
was about the front end of the website, the part that people were having
trouble getting into a couple of weeks ago, that would be no big problem.
Traffic problems get solved.
You are dealing with the entire core of the system in the back end,
though. And, it is true. That isn`t a website. I don`t exactly what the
call, may be the digital architecture, but when you call the health care
system on the phone. When you call Obamacare on the phone and try to sign
up, they are sending that information about you through the computer system
KLEIN: -- to the insurance company, and that isn`t working --
KLEIN: -- And, they are getting your eligibility information through
that computer system. That isn`t working. So, those things don`t work.
No. Obamacare doesn`t work. And, that`s why this is a really big deal.
And, we are reporting it at Wonk Blog and by the way, we are doing the same
thing during the shutdown as a very big deal.
HAYES: Do you think part of -- so, what`s your response to that?
WALSH: No. It`s more than just a website. But, I think that -- you
know the affordable care act is already helping people. Millions of kids
are still on their parents` policies. Millions of us, myself, included,
are getting preventive care that we used to have to pay money for without a
Millions are getting help through Medicaid and millions more would be
helped through Medicaid except for republican governors. So, there are a
lot of great things going on. And, there also a lot of people frustrated
but hanging in there because they desperately need health insurance.
So, they`re going to get it. It may be a complete disaster down the
road. But we are not there yet. And, I guess, Ezra, what I would say to
you is you are a wonderful reporter. I read you every day. I probably
read close to every word you write.
HAYES: This is a brutal takedown. Continue.
KLEIN: I`m toast.
WALSH: But, it was your tone and I think what people trust about you
is your sobriety. People think you`re a liberal, that`s because reality
has a well known liberal bias. But, you know, you do your job and I
appreciate that. I just felt like, you know, live blogging your attempt to
reach somebody on the phone and complaining about the lack of hold music
kind of crossed over.
WALSH: This is a little bit.
KLEIN: But, this is really important, right? Because -- I hope that
I got a reputation from the readership of being sober about these things.
I think it`s really important to keep your head about you when these things
are going on. When I called the system, it`s because president was saying
call the system that day. And, the system dropped the call twice because
it was so overwhelmed.
I am trying through this reportage to convince people to persuade them
something has really gone wrong here. Now -- You know, Chris, I don`t
think there is anybody that wasn`t literally writing the law that wrote
much more about this law in the construction phase in its legislative phase
and through Wonkblog and its implementation phase and we have a Wonkblog.
I mean, we have been sort of covering this all every step of the way.
And, so the reason we are covering this with the aggression that we are is
that something real is going on here. We never said the law is doomed, but
I think what we kind of found in our reporting, they think if this is fixed
by thanksgiving, it`s probably pretty much OK.
But, these are not small problems. And, they`re not at the moment by
the way OK problems. These are not things that the Obama administration
should be given a pass on. Not least because they didn`t know they were
happening. And, so one thing that I think is important about our role in
the kind of informational ecosystem is something that went wrong for the
Obama Administration is they didn`t know. There was a breakdown between
their bureaucracy and them.
And it`s very important, I think, I believe, I hope, for folks like us
to be somewhere in this process, kind of getting out the information that
people don`t want to hear, but they need in order to make right decision --
HAYES: Right. So -- so, here is my --
KLEIN: -- The problems which you have known four months ago, they
would be better off today --
HAYES: -- the thing that I`m having a hard time getting my hands
around -- Ezra, you say this is a big problem. The problem is that there`s
a context now in which the media is in its own kind of frenzy mode.
HAYES: We played this tape yesterday of the kind of genre of the
reporter calls and gets put on hold.
HAYES: And, what ends up happening for me is I`m having a harder and
harder time getting my arms around what the scale and context of this is.
And, Ezra I`m hearing from you, like this is a big problem. But, I don`t -
- I think there is something to be said for when the kind of jets get
going. You could lose sight of the thing at the core. And, I find myself
now and I`m calling people and reporting this out. I`m having a hard time
getting my hands around it.
WALSH: Correct. And, so am I. And, I think it is important what
Ezra was saying, in doing is important, but I feel like when we join the
frenzy and when we join in with people who have trying to kill this from
the beginning and trying to kill it now -- now and the guys, this is what
government is going to do with your health care, I worry about. All I was
saying was let`s take a minute and have some perspective.
HAYES: That I think -- is there are two things here about perspective
in the sort of instrumentality. Ezra Klein from the "Washington Post."
Joan Walsh from "Salon." Thank you both for joining me tonight. That is
"All In" for this evening. The Rachel Maddow" Show starts now. Good
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