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tv   Jackie Calmes Dissent - The Radicalization of the Republican Party and...  CSPAN  August 15, 2021 4:56pm-6:01pm EDT

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you can't make that up. it is a gift of god. >> to watch the versus program visit our website and search for henry louis gates to find this and other book tv appearances. >> good evening everyone. welcome to pmp live. i'm brett graham along with my wife who lives in muscatine. we have with us this evening a very experienced journalist to talk about her insightful richly detailed new book dissent for the radicalization of the republican party and its capture of the court. a couple brief housekeeping notes though, to post a question on the bottom of the screen the chat : you find for purchasing copies of dissents. jackie has had a long and
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accomplished were in journalism stretching back more than 40 years. first reporting jobs were in texas and the late 1970s the abilene reporter news. and then she worked for the dallas morning news where she covered state government and politics. in 1984 she moved to washington and join congressional quarterly six years later in 1990 she shifted to the wall street journal washington bureau where she spent time on the congressional and white house beats and became the paper's chief political correspondent 2008 she jumped to the washington bureau of the "new york times" the national politics reporter and chief economic correspondent in recent years she's been white house senator for the los angeles times and later this month she will become a washington based columnist for the los angeles times.
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you can see she's had a lot of experience reporting on u.s. politics over the years draws on that experience as well as much additional research in her new book takes the story of brett kavanaugh's life and ascent on the supreme court puts it in the larger context of the republican party's shift to the right over the past four decades. particularly the determine campaign to dominate the judicial branch. npr review wrote jackie's book called it a remarkable work sink jackie writes elegantly without adornment resisting the urge to editorialize or make grand pronouncements. commended the book as it well written and deeply informed account of the long battle to
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steer the supreme court right word. jackie is in conversation with another veteran journalist's "washington post" columns are no doubt familiar to many of you. previous incarnations during her long career served as a political correspondent for the washington post and before that she reported for "time" magazine and the los angeles times. earlier this year karen's own excellent book was published the triumph of nancy raygun a biography of the former first lady. jackie and karen the screen is yours. >> thank you a lot for that. thanks all of you for joining us on this friday evening. i don't know if you can tell, where only semi- virtual. jackie and i are together in politics and prose which we
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can go out to dinner after this. i am absolutely delighted to be here. assists are excellent new book you can pick up a signed copy right here at politics and prose. we start out with a high altitude here, you come with the perspective of someone who has been in washington, observe this, reported on it, analyzed it from the reagan era and really you have the perspective of someone who has seen the entire evolution of the republican party reagan to newt gingrich. [inaudible]
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the tea party movement, and of course one of the biggest projects of the conservative movement during all this time was to reshape the court. how did that perspective really shape your approach? >> i had been thinking of a book for some time in recent years because it had become obvious the biggest story of my career was this transformation of the republican party. it's a sign of more things to come. when i really started thinking about this book i thought about the radicalization of the republican party now it seems like a given, i don't think there's a better word.
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i had seen the change starting with the reagan where he really politicize the party for the conservative based after years in which the more moderate mainstream's has controlled. and segue to newt gingrich and saw the sunny optimism that ronald reagan brought to conservatism taken over a style that he himself and coincided with the rise of conservative media, talk show host in 1996 on fox news. and so the two fed off of each other. gave rise to very conserved militant base of the republican party by the turn of the new century there is a
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bottom up movement of the voters themselves. i said the study meal of the talkshow in the well-heeled groups that rich conservative donors had given to make it feel grass was the astroturf that really propel these forward as grassroots. and it gave way to trump who did not create the magna army he harnessed from the tea party. and further analyzed and gave license to be racist, bigoted, and so, trump or know it will
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continue in the direction we see it right now. speaking in terms of the republican party was too busy to put down by thoughts and eight book proposal link taming brett kavanaugh and serendipity my agent and editor with whom i had been speaking about the republican came to me about brett kavanaugh's confirmation. neither going to beat out several other books in the works. i decided we would talk and marry the two ideas. we look at at brett kavanaugh's life and you see somebody with a virtual zealous character corrects it strikes me the early part of the book you are seeing his own journey through this shifting landscape. if you were to manufacture a
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supreme court candidate for a conservative movement it would be brett kavanaugh. and what we mean by that is you look at his life he grew up within the the beltway as we would say in washington and from the son of eight republican father he ended up at yale law just a couple years after the birth of the federal society there as he got older he joined right away. he is very conservative basis the society was going to be something. it became something beyond its founder's wildest dreams. it was virtually institutionalized network for identifying conservative lawyers and effectively setting them so there's six of the supreme court there's no better evidence of the federal
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society than all six of the republican nominated justices are or were members of the federal society. he did that he did the federal clerkships were very conservative well known judges internships and is on investigation of bill clinton for nearly four years. and then he is a lawyer for somebody's culture war issues, and then worked on bush v gore and then it was easy to the bush white house visit the the center of some of the biggest controversy of the bush administration including a judicial nomination. he himself became the center of one of those fights when bush nominated him for the appeals court the second most prestigious course and it took him three years to get
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confirmed. it was controversial enough some of those controversies would arrive again and his 2018 confirmation ahead of the sexual assault allegation. >> you use the word revolution there have been four revolutions. these were more than trump. could you describe what these four revolutions were? what specifically at the different points were rebelling against? >> reagan revolution like i said was a culmination of what had been a decades long fight in the republican party. especially going back to world war ii but even before. and the conservatives were militants, they wanted to be harder edged they were against
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the new deal program long after most republicans started with dwight eisenhower given up. ronald reagan was one of them. and yet he put, he approached it with a smile and long into his presidency people like his style. it was far more conservative. it was still true to some of the foundational matters like free trade and immigration. in internationalism that is now missing from the republican party. when gingrich came along there was a desire to be more militant still. in many ways sought ronald reagan as to pragmatic and
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they were much more doctrinaire. it was not even about ideas as much as newt gingrich would like to say i think, it was more stylistic. it was more geared toward culture war issues as opposed to economic. for instance ronald reagan antiabortion politics was a big part of his campaign, he never did anything about it. he talked a good game. by that 90s newt gingrich again they were more willing to do it. mainly it was about society. and just a sense it was a beginning of what we came to for russian with donald trump as they were picking on the grievances of the whites even more than it ever happened before of white working-class americans.
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in the tea party was an extension of that. they were rebelling against the fact the gingrich republic once they came to power that seemed to pragmatic. they had become the establishment. when you are in power as you know you have to raise the debt, you have to have the budget every year. there voters were so radicalized to demand a balanced budget, defund plant parenthood and defund all sorts of programs they could not understand why the republicans could not force this and that gave, trump came along and harness that. which is why you have a president against the republican stance very much
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seem to be of that. i was in washington, yes he wasn't conservative politics. did he ever go with evolution as well as he is making this journey, at some point as he shrugged off the establishment himself? >> i don't know he would ever i would not say shrugged off the establishment. when he began he was known as a conservative legal movement. if you are in a conservative legal movement during the federal society. he worked for two very conservative appeals court
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judges and was able to get in with anthony in the supreme court. but it was when he then joined, he never really went into private practice. it was interesting. it was clear that is not where he saw himself. he saw himself in a judgeship was more political. went can starr brought him onto the clinton investigation most people would think that could be a killer it was such a party enrolled. instead it was to the right it was a good thing. plus the evolution that happened to him when he did that was over those three or four years he became a part of it he became a political actor. he took on a hate of the clinton that we would hear echoed in 2018 when he had his
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rant at the senate judiciary committing and what she talked about the revenge of the clintons and his angry tirade was before the committee would have been a disqualifying performance. >> my former colleague refers to this book as the confirmation hearing. [inaudible] what did you come up with in your assessment, much of the confirmation process and what did it do wrong? >> i cannot honestly think of
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anything it did right, karen. i think what i have here is actually nothing in here that was not available and would not have been available to the senate if they had done honest confirmation hearing that they should have. which would be appropriate for giving 853-year-old, a 54-year-old man a lifetime seat on the supreme court. there were people, there to to the brick kavanaugh hearing. this is before sexual assault allegations came up. i remember watching those hearings at my desk at work and watch it in spare time between editing. i was sort of a blown away.
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i only vaguely knew of brick kavanaugh. this is before had any idea i be writing a book about him. i was so persuaded by the evidence the democratic senators marshaled that he had been dishonest and his answers to them during his two previous confirmation hearings for the d.c. court of appeals that i thought and backgrounds alone he should not have been confirmed. what i have in the book and comprehensive forms that did not get much attention our e-mails that the senate did not have in 2004 and 2006. from his time in the bush white house showed us he played a role in warrantless surveillance during the bush years, the attention and torture of terrorists some of
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the most controversial judicial. testified earlier under oath he had nothing to do with. these e-mails proved otherwise. there was also in that time one thing he testified to that perhaps the most damning thing at all, i remember from covering congress in 2003 it was a scandal and evolving theft of thousands of e-mails by a republican staffer. it was not clear brett kavanaugh testified under oath in 2004 and 2006 he did not have any idea where they came from and had no reason to suspect. he just did not know anything about this by 2018 he was in
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some cases the from the republican staffer went from saying had no idea oh yeah i did it was standard operating procedure, that is the way democratic republican staffers all the time share information, did you ever know republican and democrat staffer to share a 4000 page memo from democratic stafford to her boss senator pat leahy? the senate democrats knew they were being lied to. but he got through anyway. that does not even get us to the sexual assault allegations.
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>> that is what everyone remembers him for. i have no doubt are telling the truth. one of the other things, everyone is familiar with kristine ford's story. but they are not familiar with because of the scam of the confirmation hearing and investigation there was some cooperation. their sworn statements i got no attention from not just her husband but three good friends swearing under penalty of perjury that for years passed she had told them about the teenage assault. she had either described it as being, she names it to her husband or she said a
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washington lawyer who networks for for bush and is a federal judge. the republicans were able to bury her story. and just to show one thing, there are two people so debbie rimer's story did not come up until after the week of kristine ford. the republicans were ramming this through so fast it was remarkable. they were able to keep a lid on it so it did not suggest a pattern of behavior on his part. one of the reasons the third allegation came up from girl name julie was credible. i am not sure. [inaudible] i am not sure that was credible. there may have been truth there but the republicans
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conflated her story which was credible with the other two women who were credible. there were two yale classmates, guys who did not even know who she was. who would come to the fbi and the senate judiciary committee in july of 2018. right after he was nominated. i'm told the story they had heard about in real time that brick kavanaugh had exposed himself to one of their classmates. they did not know who she was they described it there had been a deal so wade and jim around in real in this woman's face they could not get through to the fbi they did not respond the judiciary committee did not act on it.
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and there you have it. >> what we have seen is all of this, what does that say going back to your initial assessment of whether we should be of report? >> that does not even matter what i think. the performance of september 27 which was the memorable day and he separately testified for the senate judiciary committee both of them for three or four hours apiece that wasn't angry performance that was keeping with his reputation for being
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belligerent when he was drunk. from the white house counsel he voted and delivered. with john paul stevens changed his mind about brett kavanaugh said perhaps not confirm him. the american bar association was reconsidering recommendations for him. and the number, a great number of law school deans and professors wrote including the dean of yale law school.
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but it did not matter. it is similar to clarence thomas in 1991 when he referred to the high-tech lynching and the racecar in his confirmation hearing was when there are politics the republicans were not going to peel off as long as donald trump did not peel off. and donald did not. if the man was charged with sexual misconduct, birds of a feather flock together. donald trump was behind this. brett kavanaugh, now on the court we have had years to see what kind of justice he is, trump gets another appointment to the supreme court we had
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just come out of eight supreme court we are looking at when this fall in which they are going to be huge cases including involving abortion, involving gun rights. with a majority. what has that meant and what is it going to mean going forward? >> i think is still a work in progress. one of the interesting things it was frustrating is a lot of commentary coming out of this most recent supreme court term was that it was the fear of the left in the hopes of the right even the 63 majority it
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was more pragmatic, more moderate, books for compromise ruling to the great chagrin of the rate but one of the justices would frequently complain in his defense. even in his concurrences about what the conservative majority had done. you are seeing a couple of things stand out they advanced the idea of religious liberties which is primarily for christian conservatives. they upheld eventually a ban against muslims. coming into the country or people from the majority of muslim countries.
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they are considered whether religious liberty even at the expense of discriminating against gay rights, against voting rights and you saw a lot of that scene as pragmatic it does not take into consideration these cases they were emergency orders in the past month because of the pandemic in which the christian groups, religious groups, but appeal decisions of state and local government had put up restrictions including churches because of the pandemic. the conservative group appealed these. once amy coney barrett was on the court it became five -- four ruling for religious groups went ruth bader ginsburg was on the court and it went the other way.
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willing to be deferential. the other went as a new voting rights. they were pert to perfect cases action before the courts for the other was voting rights. again because of the pandemic. in all of those cases democratic groups, voting rights groups walked every time. >> right at the end. >> there always talk about where they were generally pragmatic or not that far right street on the very last day of the term, no coincidence there, six -- three take this one which essentially gutted or weekend last meaningful provision of the 1965 rights act. it would raise disclosure of
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contribution including campaign contributions might be a thing of the past. one is deferential to the states. and the other one, the other thing that was interesting in the case in which the republican appointee upheld arizona's republican-controlled arizona laws, restrictions on voting justice skull lido road that went to great length justifying and doing this because of a which they are banishing little evidence and he cited none. he based his opinion on the fact the governments were in their rights to restrict
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voting within and a california case against its law requiring disclosure or contributions to a conservative vote, the state argues, california argues the law was intended to the disclosure to the state only, not to the general public the state could determine whether these groups or whether they were fraudulent. california residents might be heard as a result. you show us there's no evidence you ever use that, there was fraud. they just rode right over that, argued in that case. it was so highly inconsistent. that it came out that way on the same day.
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we have especially systemic in the next that was again six -- three conservative majority showed it. the two cases in particular. one was a mississippi law and abortion after 15 weeks it's astounding the courts even taken this but it is unconstitutional if you just go on the law of history of precedents of roe versus wade which said women had constitutional rights up to the point of viability and their pregnancy. there's 15 weeks gestation by anyone. and then the gun case they
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took is partly because of john roberts is trying to off controversial cases that will put the court on the wrong side of where the american public is. and most of the american public is for greater gun control. : : : in a way that isn't like for instance a downright roe v. wade. because they want to sort of
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stay you know not, not make the court be seen as just as partisan partisan as their other two branches of government. we have time for questions from our audience so what i'm going to do now is throw it back to brad graham and we'd like to invite you to, if you have any questions for jackie go ahead and put them in the queue and a. >> they are is one question. let me go ahead and ask it. it's a question to both of you and it's about, it's a court action from last month or actually a decision that the court issued not to act that they decided not to hear an
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appeal from a coalition of men who were challenging the mail only u.s. military draft registration requirement on the grounds that it amounts to discrimination and the court decided not to hear that appeal and justice sotomayor issued a statement agreeing with that decision and it was signed also by justice kavanagh and justice -- and the statement cited the court's long-standing mission of deferring to congress on matters of defense and national security and the specific question of draft registration is being actively considered by congress. but peter who is asking this question says as a veteran i'm
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surprised that four justices could not support this case and wonder what both of you think about the court hunting to congress to address what is this constitutional issue. >> well they are bury conservative courts we've been talking about one of the things that most of the conservatives support or they say they are textualists so they go by the text of any law justice alito isn't quite there but generally they aren't deferential to congress and they rarely stick to the letter of the law when the evidences evidence is in the legislative record that would allow for some flexibility and that said even as they say there has been some evidence that they
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really are just started gainful of congress but that said i think there is a case and those are the cases they are not going to take up this quite clear that congress has the power to define that and this court is trying to avoid controversy not walk up and picked that up unless you are justice scalia or clarence thomas, then you take those on but in this case they wouldn't take that case. >> do you want to add anything karen? here's a question from gale specifically about cat and not. recognizing some of the issues justice kavanagh faced in previous confirmations why has
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he put it forward to the supreme court as opposed to other candidates? >> it goes into the first time he had the chance to do it and also in very recent days we had the michael wolf book just raging. the guy could be me get a job at a law firm. michael wolff put that in his book. trump didn't just say that in private. he said it in public. he said it several times at his rallies and its campaigns and on january 5 is famous or marks to the rally that much to many of the members who became direction is within our say we must
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remember now how he soared as six the crowd on congress and told him -- them he'd march up fifth avenue and they'd have to fight. what people didn't persist is that he spent a good number of minutes railing against the supreme court including brett kavanaugh. they could just as well when i got to the capitol and started fighting it was the supreme court and enough of them that his complaints about the conservative majority in particular brett kavanaugh said he felt brett kavanaugh owed him the coast he would have been confirmed but for donald trump in the face of sexual assault allegations. so the question was why threaten
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kavanagh not someone else? brett kavanaugh is a smart lawyer who had achieved a lot and one thing he did, he collected mentors. he had justice anthony kennedy who pushed him including donald trump in the oval office. he had to conservative appeals court's judges that he clerked for and george bush and george bush did not recommend him to donald trump so why did he get nominated given trump -- i think you really have to get credit to donald trump white house counsel
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john mcgann who is a very key libertarian conservative and his pet project is on the administrative space and don mcgann that's why he really put his thumb on the scale for neal gorsuch to be the first choice for trump to take the seat that rightfully should have been married garlands, obama's nominee but brett kavanaugh had a record on the court of appeals ruling against federal regulators and so was very appealing to don mcgann that he chose cat amount to swear him in which he became a commissioner of the federal election commission. i think don mcgann and in bush's
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ear he had a virtual simon bush named to the d.c. court of appeals was not -- it all back then. >> regina kavanaugh's ruling so far show him to be as conservative as expected but as he proven to be as respected this thomas alito and. >> absolutely. he is most of the time voting with alito in gorsuch more often than not. what he does not do though is he does not sign on to their opinion or dissent but often the majority as well so what he is doing is he doesn't like to sign on to their hard right in alito's case angry rhetoric.
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he wants to take a case even though it comes down to the same place. he will put a soft glow won it, and for instance in the case he sided with them against but he offered his opinion to just what great contributors men and women are and it was some immigration cases where he had eloquence about what a tough time some of these immigrants had a what immigrants have contributed to this country but it came down against the immigrants. >> he definitely is on board with expanding religious liberties even to the extent of antidiscrimination laws and
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explicitly calling for the court to expand gun rights. >> morgan asked where's it coming from for this --. >> there is any number of bottomless pockets out there that are conservative and this is true going back to the 20th century where very conservative businessmen especially after the new deal just have been putting their money into groups that will promote these ideas and its for the most part undisclosed and is behind groups at the federalist society but i don't see the federalist society is
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nefarious at all. the network is what it is. but it's money i have no idea where the money comes from. they are the groups that are far more political and far right but also we don't know where the money is coming from. there are plenty of rich conservatives out there. >> rj says there are many republicans who blame than senator biden for the court pointing to his handling of the border. you agree with that assessment and if you don't do think this is a flawed argument and why? >> certainly it was a turning point but really the emblematic moment was not just that.
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what ted kennedy did in giving a speech on the senate floor as far as why the conservatives republican conservatives are able to say the democrats engaged in character assassination of work. he gave a speech and it really was over the top talking about how and roberts court you have people knocking on your door without a warrant and back alley abortions and things which frankly some of it doesn't sound all that far-fetched anymore. a lot of democrats were chagrined. we go into this at length in the book because the two that
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justify their own much greater maneuvering skullduggery to get their own people on the courts. bork frankly and i think it's a story of two joe biden's. on the bork hearings joe biden i think was if you look at the full record ran a hearing and a confirmation that was textbook what you should have under the senate's power of advise advice and consent. it was a master class in constitutional law and the problem was that robert work there's a reason he was one of ronald reagan's last of supreme
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court nominees until he had to replace him once bork was busted by the senate. it was because he was seen as too extreme not to mention unhealthy. republicans like their judges to be young so they can serve for a long time and he was shown how extreme he was in his responses. he was the last judicial nominee to the supreme court he was candid about his views because he was so candid that he turned off a number of republicans. people look at that as a bipartisan vote and ronald reagan frankly a lot of people including rob lukens blamed him because he did not like bork and karen may know more about that soon she's written a book on the reagans but but i don't think nancy reagan liked bork all that much. but then you go comment so i think you know bork arguably was
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too extreme to be confirmed. wasn't a big surprise in the end and people forget democrats have taken over the majority. this is a lot like kavanaugh, bork would have been replace was the swing vote on the court but reagan brought everything political. howard baker his chief chief of staff white house argued he should name someone more moderate is the democrat majority was not going to replace a swing vote justice with this extreme conservative and then on the clarence thomas hearings was another matter. as good as joe biden arguably was in the stewardship of the bork hearings he was terrible in the thomas hearings and he was so concerned with being seen as
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fair that he and all of the senators especially the democrats did not want to be in the middle of this he said, she said unlike anything they had ever taken up. they all had lyrical reasons to want to avoid this and so you know biden did not treat anita hill well and he did not allow some of her corroborate or steven testify and so he has been rightfully criticized for that one. >> there are couple of questions here about the kavanaugh hearing. one has to do with the whole issue of cat amount as a designated liquor -- week per when he worked for star. he says the reporter wanted to testify against cat amount was
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called -- not called by the senate democrats and when asked why not because dan mulcair would have testified that he was the star leaker in the long question about how there were subpoenas issued for various people like star staff the kavanaugh was protected until the danger had passed and he was never subpoenaed. so, wasn't that something that should have been explored by the senate democrats? that's the first question. the other question at the hearings were why do you think the democrats did or didn't do what they could have too caused debbie ramirez to testify? >> well first dan mulcair is an investigative reporter and he had a sworn statement under penalty of perjury in 2018 to
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the senate judiciary committee about his previous experience with brett kavanaugh during the star years. there was a lot of complaint from the clinton -- that star's team had been leaking grand jury information which is not allowed to the conservative media and dan, his statement went to an incident in which he was told by one of the people wanted these more senior lawyers on the star investigation office that rat was the man he should talk to and he did have an off the record meeting with kavanaugh. there was an investigation by a retired judge of the question of grand jury leaks and the problem
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was it only looked at the year when it didn't look at the three years were kavanaugh had been working for the star committee and only at the very end and a period it didn't really apply. cavanagh was writing the report for star and so it just didn't even look at the investigation didn't look at the exoneration of him but that was kind of like the democrats when they had these confirmation battles they wanted to pick their issues and that wasn't seen as an issue that was prominent enough that would be worth raising but as for debbie ramirez, what specifically was the viewer's question on her in terms of. >> what do think the democrats dithered didn't do the caused ramirez to be.
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>> right, that is if there's a good argument that democrats should have the democrats were really powerless. this was a democratic run committee and chairman chuck grassley of iowa was running it with a stern hand and he had mitch mcconnell behind him virtually pulling the string so it was not -- the democrats didn't have the ability to pass any of these things was such a travesty and debbie really didn't think she was going to get called as a wit -- witness but then they had a sham of an fbi investigation only in the end because there were a couple of moderates like susan collins and jeff flake who were not going to vote on the nomination unless there was an fbi investigation. the fbi did interview database
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of republicans said that was enough. if she had a public hearing and i've talked to her a lot she would have been every bit as credible and impressive the witness as christine was in her term and that's what republicans feared. >> let me ask a question from ann and this will be the last question per tank is that it's hard not to be completely depressed about all of this meaning success the republicans have had in making the court more conservative so ann ask any of ice on keeping any think he'll despite the way the supreme court is ruling? stanger everybody keeps telling me my book is so depressing and i wish i could give them a happy ending but it is what it is. i think keeping it on an even keel people need to stay engaged
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and i think it's the kind of public pressure and just making making -- votes matter and being involved and make this court is conservative as it is cognizant of public opinion and the fact on many of these issues whether it's abortion right to reproductive rights gun issues the overwhelming majority of american people are in a different place than the majority of the supreme court. certainly chief justice john roberts is aware of that and is trying to steer it isn't utterly to the rights of there would be an uprising. one thing i would say it is
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progressives and centrist should pay as much attention to the courts and judicial nominees as conservatives have been for a half century or more. that would be my advice. >> it makes sense. we have come to the end of the hour. thank you karen and jackie you may not offer a happy ending to many but it does add considerably to our understanding of how kavanaugh got to where he is and how the court got to be so conservative and invocations of that. so i encouraged everyone to get a copy. >> thank you brad. >> they are it is. we have signed copies because you were in the store signing them. >> it's a nice cursive. i was raised by nuns so it's nice cursive.
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i so get your copy. >> thanks for tuning in. you can find a link for purchasing copies of "dissent" and from all of us at politics and prose stay well and well read.
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>> i wrote the book mostly out of -- i was frustrated because for four decades president nixon visited china for four decades the u.s. foreign policy with china was largely a failure. it was based on illusion and is need to understand at least understand what the commonest party really did. i'm going to explain that. as long as we economically engaged the party based on that
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than people will change in the regime will change so for the longest time almost all western democracy were disillusioned that as long as we engaged the communist party of economically eventually they would become more like us and they would be more open and believe in democracy. by now we had realized that was an illusion. all of us realized it and that's part of my frustration. not only do our decision-makers recognize that but some continue with that long policy. i'm not saying economic engagement was a bad idea. i myself was the beneficiary of economic engaged meant. agroplus food rations and everything was rationed and my parents used to have to get up
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at 4:00 in the morning to stand in line all night at the grocery store to get some cooking oil or sugar. i remember we went to go to mcdonald's. the first mcdonald's opened in beijing and i remember the first thing i got was an apple pie. the apple pie was only this big and i savored every bite. i never had something so sweet and tasty and now i stay away from them because i want to stay fit. but back then i didn't care. to me it was the apple pie. some day i wanted to go to the places where you could have as much sugar as you want. i'm a beneficiary of that economic engaged meant. economic engagement itself is
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not wrong. it's not a wrong policy. what we did wrong and when i say we the american government of business what we did wrong as we assumed that unconditioned economic engagement would somehow change behaviors. we forgot who we are dealing with, the true caricature of the communist party. >> thank you for joining us for this event with the claimed author and financial expert and founder of the progress network cesar torres. my name is gene kelly -- and i'm director of the cavalli center. before we hear from zachary i have the task of reading a short


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