tv Checks Balances - Intentions of the Founders CSPAN August 12, 2019 8:59pm-10:29pm EDT
professor with the u.s. army command and general staff college. wants to say, beginning 8 pm eastern here on c-span. >> in 1979, a small network with an unusual name ruled out. these viewers make up their own minds. c-span opens the doors to washington policy forever went to see. it brings you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. a lot has changed in 40 years. today the idea is more relevant than ever. on television and online, from c-span, it is your unfiltered view of government. you make up your own mind, but to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. next, historian annette gordon reed and douglas brinkley examined the framing of the constitution and speak about the daughter's thoughts on the balance of power in the u.s. government today. the panetta institute for public policy hosted the event. thunder leon panetta automated the talk. >> [ applause ]
>> good evening, everyone. welcome to the fourth and final event in this year's leon panetta lecture series. before we begin, i want to first ask that on this memorial day, we have a moment of silence in honor of all those men and women who have died while serving in the united states armed services. >> [ event concluded ] >> >> [gavel pounding] >> thank you. >> this season, we are discussing the health of american democracy. it is very fitting that we recognize the individuals who have even the greatest sacrifice four our freedoms and our way of life. we honor their commitment to country. our guests and our
discussion this evening are particularly fitting four this holiday, because, tonight, we will conclude the 2019 lecture series by looking back to the finding of our nation founding of our nation and the man who first took up arms to fight in the name of liberty and protect our republic. in the wake of victory, they understood they had to create a system of government that would preserve and protect the values from which they had fought. what were their motives? what were their intentions? in asking this question, it is important to recognize that the founders had a long list of conflicting objectives. many were descendents of immigrants who had fled persecution and found
allegiance to liberty. however, a large portion of them were also slave owners. the founders feared a strong executive branch, but at the same time, they acknowledged that the articles of confederation, which had deeply favored states' rights were insufficient to protect the republic. they believed in free will. but they were also fearful of the democracy, if unchecked, would be to mob rule. it was with this combination of contradictions and compromises, that they drafted the constitution. the question we ask tonight, is, how successful were the founders? more importantly, how well are we doing in preserving and protecting the democracy they created? has the system of checks and balances insured that no single branch grows too powerful? or, has history seen an
executive branch that grows more and more powerful and a legislative branch that is failing in its role of oversight? has the balance between the house and the senate led to fair representation between small and ledger states? or has it created an environment that creates gridlock and dysfunction? between small and larger states? what was the hope of our forefathers? has it worked? tonight, leon panetta will pose these questions and anymore to two of the nation's leading historians. it is a discussion that will get to the heart of the issues we have been discussing all season. and, as we look ahead to the 2020 residential election, the topics we cover tonight will help consider who we are as americans, and the values we have always thought four. -- 2020 presidential election
-- our first guest is a renowned law professor and scholar of american history. presently, she is the charles warren professor of american legal history at harvard law school and a professor of history in the faculty of arts and sciences at harvard university. she has also taught at the new york law school, and at rice university in new jersey. she has published six books, amongst them the hemmings's of monticello, an american family. it won numerous awards , including the enterprise in history and the national book award four nonfiction. she is also the author of thomas jefferson and sally hemmings, an american controversy. it was a nonfiction finalist in the first annual library of virginia literary awards. among her many owners are the
national humanities medal alma and guggenheim fellowship in the amenities, the macarthur fellowship, and the national organization for women in new york city, women of power and influence award. she was selected a fellow of the american academy of arts and sciences in 2011 and is a member of the academy's commission on the humanities and social sciences. please welcome annette gordon-reed. >> [ applause ] >> our second-guess is a celebrated author, teacher and scholar of american history. he is a professor at rice university and cnn's
presidential historian. he has published best selling books on the presidencies of roosevelt, jimmy carter and ronald reagan and has covered subjects including american foreign policy, the louisiana purchase, d-day, the vietnam war, the civil rights movement, and hurricane katrina. the chicago tribune dubbed him america's new past master. the new york historical society named him the official united states presidential historian. his recent books book, cronkite, won a prize while his book the great deluge, hurricane katrina, new orleans and the mississippi gulf coast, received the robert f kennedy book award. he has received a grammy award or presidential suite and 7 honorary doctorates in american studies.
his 2 volume annotative works, the nixon tapes, recently won the arthur s link warren fq prize. he is a contributing editor four vanity fair , the los angeles times review, and american heritage. he is also a frequent contributor to the new york times, the new yorker, and the atlantic monthly. please welcome douglas frankly. >> please welcome douglas brinkley. >> [ applause ] >> and, of course, moderating our discussion is the man who created this lecture series. the former congressman four this district, director of the office of management and budget, white house chief of staff, they act director of the cia, and secretary of defense, please welcome leon panetta.
>> [ applause ] >> good evening. welcome to this, our fourth and final lecture further 2019 panetta lecture series. today is memorial day. it is a moment, not only to remember, those who fought and died four this country, but it is also a good time to remember the values and principles that they thought four. many of those values and principles are contained in our constitution. the constitution provided for our system of checks and balances. that has been the theme of our lecture, checks and balances,
will our democracy survive? we looked at the rule of law, we have looked at the congress, we have looked at the robert mueller investigation, we looked at the courts, the press, we have talked about the president's role as commander in chief, but tonight, in many ways, we go to the heart and sole of this issue, which is the constitution. and, what our framers had in mind, when they provided this system of checks and balances. our framers, the founders of our country, where the children of the enlightenment. this was a period in time when there were philosophers around the world who were talking, for the first time, about democracy , and the rights of people, to be able to govern themselves. it was based on what these
philosophers were saying, that our founders decided to really put together this experiment in democracy. but, they knew, that if this experiment was going to work, that they were going to have to limit power. and so, that is why they created this system of checks and balances. has that system worked? what are the lessons to be learned from history? if jefferson and hamilton and madison were around today, what the temperatures with a say about what is going on? those are the questions that i would to ask our two distinguished historians. let me begin with the first question, which is, obviously, this whole system of checks and
balances. it is not in the constitution. it does not have the words checks and balances. obviously, in the first three articles, dealing with the congress, and the executive, and the courts, they tried to define and limit the powers of each of those branches. i guess the question i wanted to ask you is, why did the founders feel that it was necessary to limit power? what were they afraid of? and, are their worst fears being realized today, with regard to what is happening with our checks and balances? >> what they were trying to do, what they were afraid of, was, setting up a system that basically reconstituted what they had before with a monarch. it was a big thing to from a world in which kings and kings ruled, hereditary monarchs ruled through a system to where the people were supposed to rule. the idea was, you did not want
to concentrate power in any single individual. it would replicate the thing you had with a king. they wanted the people to be sovereign. they were trying to set up a system. they had read philosophers before. they talked about mixed government, with the three stations in the states in society. these are the people who would check one another and make sure one entity did not become too powerful. they were concerned with having another king. they wanted to move away from that and do something different. >> if you read the federalist papers, james madison talks about how to make sure we do not have tyrants. and that is the key concept, the word tyrants, dictator, monarch. we decided that this checks and balances check and balance in our constitutional convention is the smartest, the best come away based on the enlightenment ansible's that you talked about. one of the things we have to be careful on with checks and balances, -- we become critics
of, it is the president is getting too strong and the founders below it -- the executive power -- judicial, legislative -- but, medicine talks about constitutional education, which is what the panetta institute is doing and what we are doing here tonight, meaning you have to have civic engagement. you have to have an educated public to understand the checks and balances. you have to have a civic education that a democracy is only going to work. you can write a constitution and do three branches. but if you do not have an informed and active a citizenry, it will be four not. it will be for naught. i am constantly amazed at the wisdom
of our founders, and medicine in particular. we are at a crisis point. there are seeming to be the congress, as i speak to you today, there is a 15% approval rating. the executive power keeps getting stronger and stronger all the time. the courts are getting very polarized. and so, it is timely, as we had into 2020, to start thinking about did we meet with our constitution? is it working for us now? yes, we are here today. our constitution is working in many ways. it is under intense strain. i think it is made difficult by president trump. he doesn't seem to care about the constitution. he did not do constitutional education in his own life. he operates as a good player and an action player. that, at times, can be dangerous. that is a road to being a tyrant. john adams, famously noted, and i quote, "there was never a
democracy yet that did not commit suicide." you know, you have talked about kind of, the president's view of his powers, and how he is dealing with the congress, and rejecting their appeals four information. that is under checks and balances. the congress itself, republicans and democrats, are probably more partisan and divided than they have been in a long time. and, the result is that, the president and the congress are not governing. major issues, whether it is immigration, infrastructure, budget, whether it is healthcare, are not being addressed. so, i guess, the question is, are we in danger of undermining our democracy? >> well, certainly, the founder
that i know the most about would be jefferson. his idea was, as doug said, a democracy required an educated populace. that is why he wanted a public education system in virginia. he thought you could not do it unless people could read and understand their rights, understand history, and see how it applied to themselves. things may seem that today, with politicians. a lot of it has to do with the electorate. if people are involved, if people are involved in these situations, -- it is difficult to do it -- we have issues of voter suppression, the issue of money in politics -- they would not have anticipated that at all. they would've thought, this is bribery. that kind of anticipation. this is what this is. so, there are lots of modern innovations, things that might be necessary. money could be political speech.
i understand the court has ruled that. there are a lot of things going on today that i do not think they could have anticipated and it would have affected the way they saw how the democracy plans itself out. a lot of this is a problem with politicians, congress, the president. a lot of it is with people as well. if we were more vigilant, active, involved in these kind of things, he might not have a sense that we were in crisis. >> when we look at our constitution, and we look at our three branches, the constitution was written. it is not say anything about two political parties going through warfare in a way that we do. if you cut to the election of 1800, with thomas jefferson and john adams, it is just brutal. there is a fair by some people at a democracy cannot absorb this kind of name-calling, mudslinging, you know, tearing down of candidates. once you elect a president, do we have
an ability, after that kind of heated warfare, like we have with henry clinton and donald trump, can the new president be accepted as a real president? with close elections, it becomes problematic. when george w bush be al gore, a lot of democrats said al gore should've been president. like we have with hillary clinton and donald trump. they said bush was not a real president. i see this in the early founders with the mounting trust thompson, who was the secretary of the continental congress, meaning in philadelphia, he called everybody together. he was the one who chose the eagle four hour national seal and this sort of thing. with george washington at his inauguration in new york city, or washington, the first president inaugurated. thompson, in 1800, gets really worried we not building the presidents up enough. it becomes a cult of george
washington. we name our nation's capital after him. he is on our dollar, our quarter. the counties are named after him. you go to d.c. and you study the monument. it was a kind of conscious way to build presidents up . we now save homes, birthplaces. they become like a super citizen. not that long ago, i was in place, georgia, and i was at a house that says, this is where jimmy carter was conceived. >> [ laughter ] >> you know. now, where in a society of celebrity due to television and the internet. we are in a celebrity culture matched with the thing up of presidents as super celebrities. now we are in the age of about super president, almost. >> the system almost gravitates toward that. you can know a president. you cannot know all the people in congress. you cannot have a cult or
personality about congress as a mess. you can do it with a president. so, jefferson, as you mentioned, and washington, adams, not so much, but jefferson, people can dictate on those individuals, dictate on them as a figure of hatred. they can fixate on them. even with love. they set up the system of checks and balances. one person can come to embody the nation in a way that congress cannot. the president's authority four foreign-policy. the face to the world encourages that. that was the seed of a potential problem by having this exotic native. they did not know -- the presidency has been talked about by a stanford scholar, that people did not understand what it could do. how do you have an executive without this person turning into a king? that was always a fear that it might be a possibility.
>> you mentioned this kind of cult of personality. john adams who was short and squat he, he was short and squatty. he said george washington was tall, handsome, looks good in a uniform. he had good breeding. he had a large estate at mount vernon. he basically said it was not his intelligence, but his image that got him elected, to become the first president. we have had, talked about this, the kind of cult of personality. the fact is, throughout our history, we have had presidents who have been elected from that cult of personality. could you talk a little bit about that? >> and a lot of our presidents, there have been great generals. we have general george washington, and beyond, his
looks and stature, they all used to mock washington, many of the political leading lights, and to washington walked into the room. then they sat like this. he was an imposing figure. whether it is in drue jackson, or william henry harrison, ulysses s grant, dwight eisenhower, so many generals have become presidents. we would build up the military service on -- memorial day was a big calling card four being president. theodore roosevelt becomes the rough rider. he wants to called the colonel. john f. kennedy built a campaign on the pt 109 experience in world war ii. you constantly would use war heroes, they were the big coin of the realm and much of american history. not all. not lincoln. not firing the weapon in the black hawk war. it was a big deal.
who are our celebrities today? who are the larger than life figures? somebody like president trump has been in the public consciousness since the 1980s. he was a celebrity. he was a celebrity's celebrity. in the apprentice, coming into your home. the thing we have to watch, that we are not turning, looking for presidents, like i hear people say, the only person who could beat trump is oprah winfrey. that might be true. but, we're getting into this sort of, you know, this powerful president that is using new types of media to be beamed into homes. no question, the founders could not have taken in the power of television and how television has changed things. it is the oldest story in our american history, the cold war book. went john f. kennedy debated richard nixon in 1960, that was the first presidential debate in american history.
not the first televised, but the first presidential, ever. it was on television. people were listening on radio. they thought nixon won. kennedy started having television be a major factor. many leading presidents have had to be telegenic. john adams home we just mentioned, he was not telegenic back. he would not be telegenic now. it does not mean he is not meant to be president. >> it kind of does. >> [ laughter ] >> it does, unfortunately. >> and him in particular. >> i mean, there is a frustration at times the best people are not the person who becomes president. we are not finding the best of the american pool. >> it is interesting. back to adams. he was jealous of jefferson as well. he said he was apollo.
he would be the vulcan to jefferson's apollo. jefferson was taller than washington. he was a philosopher. all these things. the point is, they were leaders who became cults, not cold, but people had that adoration forget them because of that zeitgeist of the time. washington was the only person that all members of the colonies respected enough to be the leader. it made sense afterward, that he would become president. jefferson, 1800, what he says is, the revolution of 1800, because he was actually trying to take the government back, they thought, further people. everson believe the people should be sovereign. the people who felt that looked at him almost, not as a god, but as a called. there was a cult of jefferson. jefferson had an age, from the
time of his presidency up to jackson. jackson saw himself as a jeffersonian. we have not had that political influence of one person ever again, since that time period. if it with the needs of the country at the time. jefferson thought that people should be sovereign. the people were given extra power. you had democratization of politics. these kinds of leaders come. they latch on to the public consciousness. because of the context. where people are at the moment. the people are critical. the actions of the people, i believe, the thought processes, are critical for the leadership that we are. >> yes, star power exit difference. >> how important was that washington step down. what a moment in history. he did not cling to power. he showed democracy in action, not by studying locke and montesquieu. people begged him to stay on to keep the country. he said, i have to refrain from that in order four democracy and the transition to kick in.
we washington a lot for that. he said, i have to refrain from that in order for democracy. >> other people could have been president. there was someone to hand it off to. just, thinking there would be chaos. any number of people could have been president. >> how about aaron burr. >> [ laughter ] >> let me ask you about, kind of, you know, the constitution, i think was recognized, in and of itself, it was not going to be enough. as a matter of fact, washington at one point had a famous, in his inaugural address, he said no amount of parchment can be so formed as to stand against sweeping torrents of boundless ambition and corruptive morals. so, the constitution would not do it on its own. hamilton, in the federalist vapors, wrote that, the people will have to decide whether you can establish a good government
from reflection and choice, or accident and force. the founders knew, that the constitution itself would not be enough. what else were they inking on, banking on, to make this democracy work? >> well, even people were thinking on different things. hamilton was banking upon the elite, who would tell the people what to do. that would govern. jefferson was banking on the people. he had a faith almost to the point of naoveti, you might say, in the people. he said, when things would go wrong , the people would make it right. they were counting, not just on the owner and intelligence and talent of individual people who happened to hold office. jefferson, i should say, was counting on the people to keep
the people honest. if things got out of whack, the people would make the kind of adjustment. it was not just the things on the paper. words on the paper. it was also a belief in those words and the paper. the notion of the rule of law. since you had a republic, and not a anarchy, you would have a chance four individual people to make their feelings known. they had to participate. there was a sense that people would like politics as much as he did. that is not true. they would be as involved in these kinds of things. surely, if you got rid of the king, and he gave these people power, they would want to exercise it. they were thinking about, the constitution as a framework. he thought there should be a new constitution every 19 years. it did not have to be specifically 19, but the idea is, the earth belongs to the living. the idea is, every generation of people should write its own
story about what they wanted four their government. they should not worship the constitution as if it were some sort of sacred text. you should be able to look around and say, what is it that we believe now? before but today should not be ruled by the deadheads of the past. medicine writes back and says, well, he writes -- madison after medicine works hard to frame a constitution. jefferson is in paris. he says the earth belongs to the living and we need to redo the thing periodically. the idea was that people should be involved. there was is critical thing. hamilton, not so much. the idea was, there would be an elite. hamilton wanted, at first, an elected, the president to serve for life. the senate to serve for life. so, he thought there would be those people who would provide stability for individuals. that is what he was hoping. he did not get that part of it.
he thought the system was developed so that the elites would have a way of managing the people. >> exactly. i would add, it speaks for itself, and what is the first amendment of the constitution? freedom of speech. journalism. we need reporters to keep an eye on potential scandals and tyrants. the cornerstone of our constitution is the first amendment, the freedom of speech. and so, why some people have been very upset in the last 2 years, when president trump called the press the enemy of the people, it is an anti- historical, it is not what our country is about, that the press is somebody in journalism, it is what makes democracy take and work. our founders recognized that and had the foresight to make it the first amendment. >> anett, you have written about this. this it is this interesting dilemma about jefferson putting
into the declaration of independence that we hold these truths to be self-evident. that all men are created equal. >> yes. >> yeah, he is a slave owner. he had a lot of comes himself about who deal with this issue. but, there are some books out now that kind of say, the framers basically were racists and just, you know, prying trying to protect slavery. and there are others who think, our forefathers were really trying to protect the unity that was needed in order to pass the constitution. because they were dealing with states that had slavery. so, tell me, you know, where were our forefathers coming from? what was motivating them?
to deal with that? >> i don't think it is either or. i think they were racists. it was white supremacy. it was the order of the day at that time period. there is no question that is the way they felt. and, when they created the constitution, they were trying to bring the unioned together. so, those things fit. they are not in contradiction with one another. jefferson, jefferson was not involved in the inking of the constitution. as i said, he was in france. he thought it was a good compromise. in the making of the constitution. he thought with the bill of rights it could be done. there were states, south carolina a particular, who would have walked. or they said they would. it would be interesting if their loss was called. they said, okay, you go. you face the richest by yourself. as a colony. face the by yourself. they said, no, we want a union. they compromised with the fugitive slave claws.
those kind of things. they recognized slavery , gave southerners what they wanted at a particular time. it was a compromise to bring about the union. it did not work, obviously. in terms of history, the blink of an eye, before they broke up because of that very issue. they passed together something. for jefferson, it really was, this was a person who started out as a young man, seeing himself as a aggressive, being anti-slavery, trying to submit a bill four gradual emancipation in virginia that is rejected. he decides, he has other things to do. it is basically the american revolution, building the united states of america, saying the next generation of americans will deal with this question. that is not satisfactory to us. that was his idea. there is a thing out here, this problem we have to deal with. that will be dealt with in time
. we have to fix this particular situation. get the united states on its feet. it turns out, that would be, he says, in 1821, the crisis, that slavery be the rock upon which the union split. that is what happened. it is kicking a canned down the road, thinking he is taking care of one thing. and, in fact, there is this other thing over there, that will end up destroying it. >> done. >> i think, one of the things we have to watch today, is the disease. we are looking at all of history, with the way we look at now. you have to put yourself back in different generations. i call it present-ism. they were all generations that were racist. the founders, there were some that seemed to, in writing, show more enchantment toward an enlightenment. i think john adams, it comes
out better in history four some of his writings, coming from massachusetts. later, john quincy adams was president. he goes back to congress and fights for abolition. some of those figures in that era come out better in a modern context than a slaveowning southerner. port jefferson writing notes on virginia, which is, you know, racism and that text. we look at it. we are reading other people's mail for a living. we are reading their diaries and letters and things. we can just judge, we were talking earlier today, with secretary leon panetta, and annette, and we were talking, sometimes, thomas jefferson's early years, we do not have some of the records. they do not exist. we are left with spotty records on some of these people's thinking. and, the problem, in the 19th century, people like daniel webster and henry clay and james calhoun were almost as large as presidents because
they were doing the wheeling and dealing in congress. lincoln comes in as president in 1860, and he is not even on the ballot in 7 southern states. now, he is president. i wrote a book on theodore roosevelt, tr believed executive power would be the wave of the 20th century. the 19th century may have been congress, but the 20th century, and he said if lincoln could emancipate the slaves, i can use the executive power . when tr uses it on things i care about, like saving the grand canyon with an executive order, so it is not mind for at best us, zinc and copper, you cheer the executive power. when a president you do not like the something you do not want, you say my gosh, they are abusing executive power. they were mining four for asbestos. we think there are
checks and balances. we don't know if we are in a constitutional crisis right now with a president being subpoenaed and ignoring them. some of our history shows there are checks. nixon being a big case in point, when the courts come in and say the nixon tapes do not belong to you, mr. president. they were able to inhibit a residential overreach. >> >> presidential overreach. >> the office is intoxicating. when president jefferson comes in and gets the chance to purchase louisiana. >> a temperatures of a deal. >> he drops the constitutional amendment and puts it in the drawer. he does not think he needs it. he rationalizes it as the first order of self reservation. he saw part of the territory as a way of retaining the united
states of america, so you do it. at one point, people were states rights. when he is president, and he has federal power, and the opportunity, that is what he will do. it shows itself throughout the years. you do have to have a congress to check and the court ultimately. i will say a thing about john quincy adams, he this is the dilemma. he was eloquent on the question of abolition. when he goes back to congress. john quincy adams was an absolute, as racist as thomas jefferson. his letters, his diaries, he was a racist. but, he understood, not everybody who was antislavery was antiracist. but, he understood that slavery was wrong. he actually worked against it. his racial attitude, this is something that is very tricky as a subject. it is something we do not think about that much. it left the currency of the day as attitudes about gender, men and women.
>> let me ask you something about executive power. it strikes me, that, throughout history, and, i understand that congress had its moments, you know, during the 1800s. but, what i sense is, there has been a gradual erosion of power from the congress to the executive. , what strikes me is, four example, the president, obviously, as commander in chief, there have been presidents who do much, on their own, it made the decisions to go to work, whether it was the mexican war, vietnam, iraq, what have you, the presidents have made those decisions. the constitution requires that the congress declare a war. but, presidents still go ahead and do that. we now have seen that presidents
are using emergency declarations . obama used executive orders. president trump is using an emergency declaration to give arms to saudi arabia and uae and to build a wall on the mix it and border. has there been an erosion of on the mexico order. has there been an erosion of power to the executive branch? >> there has been an erosion of it. the growth of the imperial presidency as arthur schlesinger jr. call it, has been a mainstay since the days of theodore roosevelt. but, it doesn't mean it is just your residential power all the time. the courts and congress can step in. presidential power. my political hero, franklin d roosevelt, in 1932, he got the presidency. he did these new deal reforms.
some made it through congress and some did not. then he gets elected in 1936. he is so full of power that he says, you know, the courts are starting to stamp on me. and i see which justices they are. why don't i bake it from 1 supreme court justices to 15? why don't i make it from 9 supreme court justices to 15? i can stamp it with pro fdr judges. that is pure hubris. his on hardy starts calling him accountable. some democrats said, that is overreach. we need people in congress. they started pulling in their own president. we do not have that done now because of checks and valances. his own party starts calling him accountable. when we see this overreach, we have safety nets with congress, as you see the subpoenas come into president trump. and the courts. if it happens that's the courts
get so politicized that they cannot have judicial meaning at all, and congress loses faith in the american public, the 15% approval rating doesn't go in the right direction, but euros, we have a problem with a president seen as the sole face of what the united states democracy is. donald trump says it in exact quotes. he says "i have all the power." he really believes he is it. these are just things bothering him in other places. when he tries to do deal with the border wall, the courts, the immigration ban's, the courts have stepped in and said slow this down. things get slowed down in the court system quite effectively, to make sure the american public really thinks this kind of presidential overreach is acceptable or not. in the case of nixon, it was deemed unacceptable. in theodore roosevelt's case, people accepted it.
a lot of fdr was accepted. people today say social security was government residential overreach. it is an ongoing conversation we have. it is healthe, so long as each branch is doing its job. >> it is interesting. in all the situations you mentioned, about presidents going to work, congress has the purse. if they did not want its, they would cut it off. the difficulty is, when the president access commander-in- chief, people want to support troops. they want to support people who have made the decision, and it will not do it. even in those situations, there is the power to do it. but the politics of the situation will not allow it. but, the framers gave an answer to that. it is, cut off the funds. they will not do that. >> we are at that point where we have to go to the questions from the audience. before we do that, i want to
ask a broad question. as historians, when you look at the lessons of history and whether history repeats itself. if you look at today, and then look at the 1930s, there clearly is an increase in nationalism, in authoritarianism, and its impact. anti-semitism is now coming growing, increasing dramatically not only abroad but here in this country. there is the issue of trade wars that are taking place now. in the 1930s, it was holly who try to restrict our ability to engage in trade. isolationism, there was the whole america first movement in
the 1930s. president trump has talked about america first and trying to kind of withdrawing from our responsibilities in the world. we know what happened in the 1930s. with hitler, and miscellany, and ultimately world war ii. i guess, my question is, mussolini -- are there the similarities today, to what happened in the 1930s? and, will history, in some way repeat itself? >> wow. in the united states, there was, in the 1930s, as you mentioned, intense anti- semitism. there were nazi's holding rallies in madison square garden. we had to go through that ordeal. i do worry that the danger is that we have a sleepy voting population, that we do not have enough civic engagement that allow us, in many ways,
american life is better now than the 1930s. this is pre-linda johnson, martin luther king, 1960s, civil rights, latino americans were treated as dirt. native americans had no land rights whatsoever. were being abused. i am not saying those problems do not exist. we have made a lot of progress since the 1930s. that is the good news. there is this strange feeling of authoritarianism in europe and latin america. this idea of these big power players. who is american and who is not? and the reading of what american heritage is, in the sense that, the great thing that your former boss, barack obama, did, was trying to open up the net of history. he signed bills to create national monuments fort cesar chavez in california. he sewn they were stonewalled four lgbtq people.
that site in new york. the harriet tubman site. buffalo soldier site in ohio. native americans in utah. the obama administration was saying, we can open up the net of history and understand it more, and be more inclusive. now , you feel there is backlash to that. that there is something going on, that the entitled class, perhaps it is white, a certain amount of white americans, who feel they no longer will be a majority, it will be a 60% or more nonwhite america. it may be a last gasp, grasping four the last privilege, perhaps. or, grasping for the last privilege. it could be a fad we are going through now. we may shake out in a couple of years. there are danger signs to our
democracy right now coming out of washington. the dangers are, in my mind, a president who does not just use executive power the way barack obama may have or george w. bush, but is potentially abusing power. and the abuse of power is what, it is at the core of the robert mueller report. our country is starting to debate. it is such a weird term, you know, abuse of power. what exactly is it? we are feeling it going on. we are not sure where it is. i think, it is time for all people of democratic impulses to be on red alert, to get excited, to participate in local government, state government, national government, and start cherishing democracy. we all, including myself, may have gotten lazy, that's the gift of the founding and our constitution is being passed on. it turns out, you have to keep fighting or the principles of democracy in a world filled with dictators and autocrats.
>> [ applause ] >> i agree with that. it is an interesting time. as you said, phenomenon. europe, u.k., continental europe, all of those places are in sort of turmoil. a lot of it has to do with immigration, the iraq war which unleashed refugees, which unleashed immigration, sort of a domino effect of things. things here, a backlash perhaps to an african-american president, a sense of the changing -- sort of a symbol of the changing of society. there are cultural forces at play that are making people uneasy, and when that happens, you do worry about a demagogue. you do worry about the sort of loss of faith in the government, loss of faith in the government that's supposed to be us after all, that's not supposed to be
some entity out there that is divorced from us. the idea of the founding, as we said at the very beginning, was that people would be involved, and people would keep politicians honest, and so it's not so much that i think we're going to go back to the 1930s. you're right, this could just be a fad. things could go away. i don't think so. i think that the upheaval, the changing of the nature of work, what are you going to do with young people? what's going to happen in a world where many of the jobs will be done by artificial intelligence? where do we go? how do you keep people occupied? do you need a guaranteed income, minimum income for people when they don't have jobs? when technology changes things? i think there's a sort of unease about the future, and that's when people can come and take advantage of us, and that's why as doug was saying everybody has to participate and be vigilant, you know. it's left or right, whatever.
people have to have a sense of ownership in the government and debate. you ought to be able to talk about these kinds of things and discuss and dispute without making the other person worthless or feel that they're worthless because lots of times you can persuade people. people can be persuaded. that's the only choice we have here if we're actually going to have a civil, civic culture, and that's what has to take place. we have to participate, and we also have to have, well, try to approach everybody with as much good faith as you can in this discussion because it affects all of us, and this is our future. >> yeah. [ applause ] >> that last part is what democracy -- the only way democracy functions is if there's mutual respect and people willing to listen to one another without just, you know, thinking that the other side is
the enemy, period. i'd like to take a moment at this point to recognize our question review team. they're the people as many of you know, that select the questions that will be presented to our speakers, and i'd ask you to hold your applause while i introduce the entire group. they are eduardo cuevas who's a reporter with salinas california, david kellogg, who's managing editor of the miami herald, and sarah reuben who's the editor and ceo of the monterey county weekly. would you thank them for us? [ applause [ applause ] i'd also like to take this time to thank our sponsors for the panetta lecture series. we've had a great season this year with our lecture series. we've had wonderful student programs.
we've had three great student programs. we've had a high demand for tickets, incredible guests, and very thoughtful and important conversations. none of this would be possible were it not for the support that we received from our generous sponsors, so if you would please join me in thanking them, i would appreciate it. [ applause ] >> madison, first question, madison said freedom of the press is the one right that guarantees all others. what would madison think of our press today? >> well, you know, the -- it is another bit when people worry about american decline. as mentioned, i had written a biography of walter cronkite, and when he left the evening news in 1981 as our kind of referee, the most trusted man in america, media press had about a
65 to 70% approval rating, and since that period of time when we would tune in just to three nightly news broadcasts and reporters were on a high, the public has gotten angry at media, and we're living in this age now with -- because of the internet people aren't sure what's facts and what's fake. how do we solve that? how do we create an honest debate if people are operating on different false premises with no referee? and you know, one of the things that cronkite had said to me, which i think we haven't done, is he said middle schools and high schools have to start doing a class. when he was young he had to take typing. cronkite said they need to take how to use the tool of the internet, that we're turning -- you can clap for that. [ applause ] >> basically they're saying we're turning over this whole world of information to kids that are 12, 13, 14 without any
instruction manual. just go at it, and you're wondering why there's a proliferation of hate sites and bad news sites and bots and you know, all of this going on. we're not doing our job of making sure our young people get educated in how to use that as a tool and not use it as something that abuses our democracy. >> well, he had many feelings about the news. i think he would be aghast at the focus on private lives, you know, that that were not -- you know, what is that about, and at the same time, i think he would be, you know, upset at any notion that the government would try to tamp down on news sources. so there's a -- this is just a world that is so different from what he could possibly have imagined. i mean, we have a press, but we
also have a system with the internet now and social media where there's no -- there are no gate keepers, so everybody's the press in a way. i mean, i feel like if i'm posting on facebook or twitter, i feel like i'm a skrurjournali a way if i'm commenting on things and speaking to people, and you know, my followers respond back. so this is just a world that would have been unimaginable to him, and actually probably quite frightening. >> has it changed the modern presidency, you know, what's happened -- >> yeah. >> what's happening with social media, the use of twitter, the way presidents communicate with the world? >> oh, yeah. >> has it changed the presidency? >> oh, absolutely. trump, president trump knew how to use that medium. he was a gene yuius using that
medium. that was a strength for him. he could go directly to people and make his feelings known. i think lots of times presidents wanted to bypass. i guess it was carter that did the speech with cardigan or whatever, the informatiamous sp. now the president can go onto twitter, and he can say directly to people what he feels and do policy that way and that was so shocking to people at first, but now i think it's something that will probably stay. i guess the the next president may or may not want to do that, but i guess president obama had a twitter feed as well. i don't think he tweeted as much as the current president, but he was very good at that, so it has changed things remarkably. there is no gate keeper. there's no filter. the president can go directly to the people. >> yeah, and obviously we judge presidents by how they are with communicating, and you'll find in history, you know, theodore
roosevelt would always have cartoonists around him, and would use the cartoon as his form of media. and then you have fdr, radio wasn't invented by fdr, herbert hoover could have used it or calvin coolidge, and they didn't use the medium, and fdr did with radio. and john f. kennedy started holding white house press conferences and just doing this trapeze act just throwing questions and answering it on live tv. and then reagan learned how to perfect state of the unions and these like major speeches, and barack obama was the big deal about blackberry president. he had a blackberry. trump took twitter and ran with it, and we still haven't caught up with it because social media is a big phenomenon, and donald trump sees the world as how many followers do i have, and he just -- he's interested in celebrities that have a lot of followers. if you're a congressperson or a
state representative and don't have twitter followers, trump thinks you're a loser. you know, how long's twitter going to be the big deal. there's going to be something new coming up, and it might be we have to find ways to restrain some social media. i mean, facebook has taken off people that are holocaust deniers, gone. you know, freedom of speech has its limits. you can't go into theaters and scream fire when there isn't one and the internet has not been patrolled properly, and we're going to have to figure out in this cyber age how to make sure that we're not being overly abused with hateful anger, you know, language without also losing our great gift of freedom of speech. it's tricky. [ applause ] >> hyper partisanship has occurred and reoccurred over our history. is this time different, and if so, how is it different?
what causes these periods of hyper partisanship? >> i would just say with -- you know, i don't recall thomas jefferson as bad as it was in 1800s screaming lock 'em up. that was a pretty brutal election we just went through. we've had others that have been brutal, but the amount of name calling this late in the 21st century, kind of a degrading democratic experience in many ways, i think we've got a kind of not applaud people but just say outrageous things. we're in a culture now where the most outlandish thing you say gets coverage, where the sensible people that are trying to do compromise and make government work are considered dull and boring. that's a problem. we're favoring sensationalism over understanding of how our government's supposed to work,
our civic -- our civic necessities we need to function as a democracy. >> i think in periods of scarcity people are -- there's a heightened sense of partisanship among citizens, you know, in the 50s and the 60s when america was doing very, very well, people could be magnanimous. you have the civil rights movement. you have -- there were people who were opposed to that, but you feel freer to move, i think, but when people feel that they're losing something, where there's an economic position or status or whatever, that brings out a lot of extremism that people feel like they are trying to protect themselves in some sort of way. i think the question was why does it recur, there tend to be moments when people are anxious, they're at unease about -- uneasy about something, whether it's their economic status, their social status or whatever, a feeling of loss. the possibility of losing
things, you want to band together with your team to make sure that you win. i don't really -- it's sort of interesting, the founders disliked the idea of faction, but it's sort of hard to imagine how they could think that you would not at some point come to have a different sense of what the public interest was. alexander hamilton and jefferson had very different understandings. they were both revolutionaries but they had very different understandings about what that revolution was about, what it was supposed to achieve, and they -- the 1790s were brutal because of that as they were trying to work that out. what was the revolution for? what should be the direction of the country? and again, once you get rid of a king that 1/4 the person who's king and parliament for britain when they got to that point, and it's the people, they're going to hash these things out, and you're going to have these moments of extremism going from one position to another. >> have we ever in history had
this kind of extremely partisan behavior by both parties? i mean, this is really as partisan as i've ever seen it in my lifetime. have we seen that before? >> not in our lifetime but obviously in american history it's been a lot worse. i mean, you know, in the 1850s, for example, people in congress could cane each other, beat them, i mean, and then of course the civil war speaks for itself when you have our country torn apart and 600,000 plus dead, you know, so times when the politics i think are worse than right now. in the '60s it was rough, hawk and dove and the establishment versus the counter culture, but what's a little bit odd for me right now, when barack obama was the president, a lot of republicans didn't want to be in a photo showing that they did any accomplishment with obama because it wouldn't play back in
their district, you know. and democrats certainly now don't want to be seen running being around donald trump, so it's become that partisan country that people are saying the president represents only my faction, not both factions, and it used to be presidents would at least try to do an olive branch. i mean, we're here in beautiful monterey coast, and we talk about california in the '60s environmental movement, and it's stunning to think that richard nixon created the environmental protection agency. nixon created endangered species and clean air water because he was listening to a congress that was, you know, instead of just saying they're all out to lunch, there was still a feeling of compromi compromise. part of it is modern transportation. congress people in government want to leave and flee it used to be without easy modern transport, people would stay in d.c., have cocktail parties,
talk and dwoernegotiate a littl more. this partisan divide right now i think is the worst in our and the audience's lifetime, not anywhere near comparable to that civil war era. >> the federalists and the republicans highly partisan? >> yeah, they were very nasty. they didn't say lock them up, but they said that jefferson was dead. the federalists sent out a rumor, they said that he had died. >> fake news. >> fake news, yeah. fake news, fake news has been here forever. i mean benjamin franklin made up these massacres and had them printed in the newspaper, massacres by native americans that never happened. yeah, no, the federalists and the republicans were very, very nasty to one another. i mentioned before at some point there was a thought that because jefferson and burr tied, and there was some sense if jefferson wasn't seated there would be a civil war.
people were talking about raises armies and stuff if the intent of the people was not actually carried out. so yeah, there have been other partisan times. you mentioned the 1850s, charles sumner getting caned and so forth. you're right, it's interesting now that we've come to a point where people don't -- after a period where people did do some things together don't even want to be seen in the same frame. a lot of it has to do with money in politics, i mean, the way people and districts that are drawn for individual people that they're going to be incumbent -- >> safe districts. >> safe districts if they're going to go on. if they really had to face a public whom they had to convince, this thing i said about persuasion, that changes you. when you know you have to make the case to lots of different people, and it moderates you and it makes you think about different ways of solving problems, and a lot of them don't have that. they don't really need to appeal
to people in the same way. >> yeah, and look, it used to be that people -- ever since fdr, let's just do modern times that believe that the federal government was here to be your friend and was going to do something, it was controversial, but fdr could do tennessee valley authority and social security and government is going to help the little people, the person struggling, federal government, and truman creates national security state with nsc and cia and government, and the gi bill and all of that. and then you get -- eisenhower does the interstate highway system and the st. lawrence seaway, and john f. kennedy. all of us 50 years ago were going to put a man on the moon and bring him back alive. it is bipartisan and johnson's government with the great society, medicaid, medicare, and jimmy carter creates fema and department of energy, and then reagan. and when reagan gets elected it's the beginnings -- and reagan was a very highly, is a
highly rated president and a good one, but there starts creeping in that the federal government is the enemy, that the government is the problem, that they're over taxing you, they're ripping you off. they lied to you in vietnam. there is something wrong with washington, d.c. and that politicians are no good, and yet you could say, well, what about clinton and obama? well, clinton did try angulation to get stuff done. and obama had to become like a firewall to protect the heirlooms of the federal government. don't touch social security, don't drill the arctic, don't undue medicaid and medicare and got the affordable care act in, but there are too many americans right now that think the enemy is the united states government, and that number is high, and how are we going to build our country when you have many citizens that think the enemy is within and it's called -- it's the whole, you know, everything since woodrow wilson and the
federal reserve is the enemy. that leads to conspiracy theories and a kind of neo civil war like feeling in the country. >> well, government is an enemy, unless the government is doing something for me. and everybody has something that the government is doing something for, it's just when the government is doing something for that other person, the government is the, you know, the enemy in a way. so that's -- yeah, it's an interesting idea when we are supposed to be the government. we are supposed to be the people that vote them in and keep them honest and you know, vote them out when they don't do the things that we think are right. they're not some foreign, you know, some foreign, you know, entity that has nothing to do with us, but that's -- i think you're right. there's a different understanding about the government, particularly as i said when they're doing things for other people. >> an interesting point, i
think -- i've never met a farmer who thought that the government was a friend, basically, you know, farmers have always said stay out of my life. on the other hand, with all the support price programs and with programs the president just announced another $16 million in aid for trade, you know, the farmers are going to get the benefit of that, and yet it is government providing that payment, and so, you know, you're right. i think it depends on -- >> who you are. >> who's getting the benefit. >> i was out in idaho some years ago, and i was talking to a group of people, lovely people, but i mean, the stoert ry is th their forefathers came there on their own, you know, effort, by themselves, you know, carved out this place, and it's like wait a minute, wasn't there an army that -- you know, there's
irrigation. there are all these other kind of things where they're -- you know, they did things by themselves, but they had help as well. and it was the government as well but people don't think about that as much. >> what we had at the time of the founding fathers was something common, which was we fought for american independence against great britain and we don't want a monarchy. that's what they shared. in the cold war, we had the soviet union is the -- what is it that unites america today, the cold war they gave us always a proxy for it, but now we're kind of left on our own and turning inward on each other. >> speaking of the russians -- >> speaking of the russians. >> we must always speak of the russians. have foreign governments ever interfered in u.s. elections in the past? >> people assume they did. people thought -- interfered in -- >> as a member of the cia, i
have to be careful. >> i was going to say, leon, senator. >> i think the reality is that governments have tried to interfere. >> of course. >> in elections. >> look at woodrow wilson in world war i when we had to deal with the so-called zimmermann telegram, you know, from germany trying to incite mexico to attack us so we would be forced to fight on the border instead of getting involved with the war. there's always been diplomatic, you know, meddling if you'd like, or foreign affairs meddling in our democracy, but the cyberworld i keep getting back to it today presents really new challenges, and cyber security should be the top of all of our list of concerns. what happened in 2016, what if russia or china tries to undo our democracy in 2020. i'm concerned about it more than
i perhaps think people were, you know, back with one telegram or one intercept or aspire to here or there, it can be done now in a very direct way on election day. >> and certainly dissensioning among citizens as i mentioned before with thinking about the internet comments that you think, or you're talking to somebody, a neighbor and you're talking to -- it's a russian bot or something that you're discussing things with. so it's very -- we're in a very complicated time. >> this is certainly the first time we've had as bold an effort by an adversary to try to interfere directly in our election process. i think everyone acknowledges what they tried to do. in 2016 and 2018 and possibly in 2020 as well, and a lot of that relates to social media and the ability to impact that source.
if checks and balances in our constitution are no longer working as they should what will -- how do we the people keep government power in check? sue. just kidding. just kidding. you know, but i'm only -- like, if for example, if you see the obama interior department doing an overreach on some land in the west, there are lawsuits that go and that slows things down until people can see whether it's overreach. suing has become an american tradition for better or for worse, and you know, but you know, and the law, legal law has to prevail. we cannot act like anybody is above the law. the president has certain rights, but the idea that a president can never be indicted is, to me, a frightening
proposition that we haven't had to really contemplate. we've had warren harding problems and angie johnson problems, but the donald trump problem is quite large because of his, you know, trying to be a -- have a -- he has a dictatorial bent that needs checked a lot, and it's the courts that are going to have to do the checking in the immediate realm. >> i think contacting your congressman, being involved in politics, voting, making your feelings known about these kinds of things. [ applause ] >> you know, it would matter to you if constituents contacted you. people can't take things for granted. i think there's such a complicated world and we're all busy, and we have so much to do, and the thing seems to be running without us, but it's really not. it's not running well without us, and so i think the only thing you can do is participate, is to be vigilant and really
look at things and make your feelings known not just by voting. voting's important, but coming out to meetings, meeting congressmen, writing to them, doing that kind of thing, letting people know that they're out there. if they become too complacent about all of this and the system just drifts away. >> this is an interesting one that raises the issue of states' rights, but how would the founders interpret states' rights and personal property on the issue of abortion bans in alabama and missouri? >> go ahead. [ laughter ] >> how would the founders? well, i mean, the founders -- during the founders' period of time, i mean, states rights -- in the founders' period of time, abortion was not legal before quickening, so this was not something that -- that would
have been considered to be a private matter. not all the founders -- the different founders would have had obviously different responses to that. they all had different, you know, viewpoints about matters, not just -- abortion would not have been something that they would have been thinking of. i assume they would have -- assume that if this were something criminalized that that would be a state right, states deal with criminal law. >> yeah and we're dealing with gender and evolution and ideas of gender. i mean, 2020 will be the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote, so we're talking about founders and their wisdom, but women were excluded from everything, and even in 1920 women were the culmination of all that suffragist fighting, still it was really white women getting the right to vote in 1920. it took the civil rights acts of the '60s to push it forward.
i don't know if the founders had a conception of woman power. >> no. i know they didn't. >> but look at how many women have just become a part of the class of 2018 in congress, and women are getting into power more and more. that may be where the future is, women may be able to compromise more than this kind of ugly thing that's been going on the last decade. more women in politics will be a good thing. [ applause ] >> let me ask you on the power of impeachment, which is provided in the constitution, which is provided to the congress to be able to move against a president who violates the law, the reality is that no president has been impeached, you know, in terms of --
>> conviction. >> conviction and removed from office. we've come close. nixon is probably as close as we've ever come. but generally it's a political process, so obviously parties are going to play a role in determines what happens with impeachment. at the same time, the justice department has said that a president cannot be indicted for violating the law during the time that that person is president. what would our forefathers say to a situation where if you can't impeach the president because of the politics of the congress and you can't indict the president, then what would our forefathers say should be the recourse to deal with the president who violates the law?
where the hell do you go? >> well, that'd be check mate. [ laughter ] the justice department -- the justice department policy, that's their opinion. it's not -- it's not entirely clear to me that the founders would have agreed with that opinion because -- because it would be check mate. if you're saying you can't -- well, obviously they ought to be able to impeach. that's a political question. that's -- because they don't want to. it's not that they don't have the power. the doj rule is something separate. the impeachment power is clear. the doj rule is something they've made up, so i think the founders probably would just unmake that up. [ laughter ] >> well, just with -- you know, with a question as did president trump obstruct justice and people are arguing with that, this is the fight within the democratic party right now of
whether to impeach donald trump. there's a group of democrats that are saying what mr. panetta is. this is tough, no president gets ripped out of office. they have all this presidential power. you can try to stain them with the eye in history that congress right now in this climate very well would move to impeach donald trump, but the senate would say no and trump could come out as, you know, i told you they're just the obstructionist democrats and cruise it for political leverage, but on the other hand, there's another group of democrats that say we must impeach donald trump now if we really do believe it was obstruction of justice and our subpoenas aren't being answered and what are we telling young people if we don't go forward in our exercising of our belief that a president had abused power. so it is a tough question, and particularly when you have electoral politics ramming up right against it in 2020, do you operate with your head, your
heart, and how much political concern do you sway? >> i would say the doj -- the doj policy, i should just say, doesn't just apply to the current president. the interesting nature of that applies just in general, this idea that any president, you know, what they do could not be indicted. that's -- i just find that a fascinating one, and that's whether the current president or anybody, where does that policy come from, and what is the purpose of it? >> let me -- as we get close to wrapping up here, as historians and with 250 years of hindsight, if you could go back to the framing of the constitution, what, if any changes would you make? >> you're asking me that? first, i've got to say no slavery, right? [ applause ] okay. but seriously, no, that's a
serious -- that was a serious answer. i would have a parliamentary system. doug [ laughter ] >> yeah, i think that the problem was the kind of litmus test to who was a real american right out of the gates was the problem that you had to be a white person of a certain kind of economic bearing to become a member of the continental congress and then to be a founder of our country and it excluded so many people, not just african-americans with slavery, but the treatment, the horrific treatment of native americans of that era and that they were seen as not human and subhuman and this is always embarrassing when you want to celebrate -- >> would you do anything about the electoral college? >> we were talking a little bit about this earlier, and it is frustrating for people to realize that every vote doesn't count in the sense that if
hillary clinton beat donald trump by 3 million votes she's not president due to the electoral college, but i think the electoral college is here to stay. i i don't think it's going to be done away with, and i know that disappoints a lot of young people, but we have a hard enough time with right now, like if you look at 2000 with florida and dangling chads and bush and gore and recounts in florida, imagine a close election where every county, every state has to be recounted, it could wreak havoc, let alone the proposition that if it becomes -- if you do away with the electoral college that politicians will only play for big urban areas. >> you say if we go back to the beginning, i would say i would have not have it, but i think he's right, at this particular moment, small states are not going to vote to get rid of their power. they're not going to do that. >> we've come to the end of the session, and, again, i want to turn to the audience and tell
you that in talking about the constitution it begins with the words "we the people," and i think the one thing i've learned from this session and frankly, from the other sessions we've had is that ultimately it is we the people that will decide whether our democracy survives, and the only way we the people will do that is becoming active and interested and vote and participate in our democracy. that's what this lecture series is all about. thank you for supporting us and good night. [ applause ]
>> all week we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span3, lectures in history, american artifacts, real america, the civil war, oral histories, the presidency, and special event coverage about our nation's history. enjoy american history tv now and every weekend on c-span3. >> weeknights this month it's book tv on c-span2. on tuesday the theme is history, krista rose recounts the murder of francis scott key's son, phillip barton key by congressman daniel sick els in 1859. historian brenda wineapple looks back at the impeachment of president andrew johnson and pulitzer prize winning historian david mccullough recounts the pioneers who settled the northwest territory. watch tuesday night beginning at 8 eastern. enjoy book tv this week and every weekend on c-span2.
>> american history tv products are now available at the new c-span online store. go to c-spanstore.org to see what's new for american history tv, and check out all of the c-span products. >> house speaker nancy pelosi hosted a reception to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the house of representatives passing the 19th amendment to the constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote. the event from the u.s. capitol included remarks by house minority leader kevin mccarthy, representatives brenda lawrence and debbieless coe, journalist coe key roberts and former senator barbara mikulski. the respective chair and vice chair of the women's suffrage centennial commission.