tv [untitled] CSPAN June 21, 2009 12:30am-1:00am EDT
as far as his or her god-given talents will allow, and the responsibility to take advantage of that opportunity. i believe those of us who have been blessed as i have and who are privileged to hold positions of influence have the further responsibility to do our part to make it so. to me, reconnecting the democratic party with the american dream, with the principles of opportunity and responsibility, is the most important thing the dlc has ever done. you were a democrat. in the 1970's, 1980's, we lost that. in the new orleans declaration, the seminal document of the d.l.c. and new democrat politics, we brought it back. we declared in clear and simple terms that the promise of
america is equal opportunity. that the purpose of the democratic party is to expand opportunity, not government. and that economic growth and the private sector is the prerequisite for opportunity for all. but with opportunity comes responsibility. as we further declared in new orleans, we believe that american citizenship entails responsibilities as well as rights. we mean to ask our citizens to give something back to their communities and their country. i hope i have done that and i intend to keep on giving. we've evoked a lot of memories tonight. we should enjoy and savor every one of them, but as we do, let us not forget that our work has just begun. that we still have so much more to do. opportunity and responsibility are the cornerstones of the
poll stick -- politics of the future, not the past. finding new way to further them is a never-ending challenge, even as we look back we must look ahead. so let me leave you with this thought. as president clinton has often reminded us, when our memories outweigh our dreams we become old. and it is the destiny of america and of new democrats to remain forever young. it's up to all of you to make sure that that is always true. thank you very much and thank you again for coming. [applause]
>> coming up next, a conversation with columnist george will. after that, president obama is remarks at the radio and television correspondents dinner on friday. then on america and the courts, supreme court justice anthony kennedy delivers the commencement address at stanford university. this week on c. spence "newsmakers," california congressman pete sparked discuss this legislation working its way through congress. he talks about one proposal that would establish a public health insurance plan to compete with private plans. >> at the end of the day, if you
choose to have competition and you choose to have a plan that is dependable and affordable, you cannot do it without having a public plan there. that creates the competition for the private plans. so yes, there will be a public plan in the bill. will people vote for it? i don't know who wants to go home in next year's primary and say i voted against the plan that is going to provide 30,000 people in my district, most of whom are nonwhite, ports, working, do not have a way now to get insurance. i vote against giving them away to pay their doctor and hospital bills. i don't think that is a vote many people want to make. that is tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern, here on c-span. >> people don't want to think of
roosevelt's conservation as a policy as much as a passion. he put aside 240, almost 240 million acres of wild america. so now as people are talking about environmentalism and read movements -- green movements, roosevelt is coming dickies politician who understood bird migratory patterns and understood mating habits of deer and elk and antelope, and actually did something. >> sunday on "q&a" the first of two hours would douglas brinkley on wilderness warrior. sunday night at 8:00 on c-span, or listen on satellite radio r.d. spent -- download the c- span podcast. >> a discussion now on iran, general motors, healthcare, and other political news with syndicated columnist george will. he was a guest this week on "washington journal" for about
an hour. morning we are pleased to welcome columnist, george will. >> glad to be here. >> there is so much and i talk about your column, on sundays and thursday, and the topic today is tobacco. and why did you choose it and what is your point? >> i have written it over the years, because we're trying to deal with a product that's legal and deadly if used as to be used. it's curious, we are regulating the truthful communication about information of a legal product. it raises all kinds of problems. it seems to me one of the great successes of government. that half the population 50%
woke up and lit a cigarette, and that's a good thing now it's 25%. and there are many tremendous public health benefits. and what got my attention, congress powering the food and drug administration to regulate tobacco. and the president said it's changed, it's not how washington used to work. it's exactly how washington used to work. the bill was supported by phillip morris, why? because they know that by restricting advertising, it restricts the measures by which it's market dominance can be challenged. it's what is called regulatory
capture, and industry delighted to be regulated because of it freezing their advantages. and the mere fact that they are regulating tobacco does not immunize them of liability. that's protecting another strong measure here in washington. host: in your paragraph, ironies abound by the state tobacco taxes. guest: all over the country state companies are addicted, i use the word intentionally to tobacco prices. they have to price the tobacco, to not discourage too much smoking. because if they do, there goes their revenue source.
you couldn't loot the tobacco companies unless they have loot to be looted. and in 1948, 46 states came to a compact with the tobacco companies to get $246 billion over 25 years. they have to make sure there is a continuing supply of smokers to keep the revenue flowing. and it's compounded with s-chip, state children tobacco program. and to fund this improvement, we need to have self-damaging habit of smoking flourish in this country. host: mr. will is here for you to call for questions. we have our lines for
republicans, democrats and inpendents. i am sure you have seen two polls on the president's popularity, and in a nutshell, both have similar results of a popular president and strong marks for his leadership and communication style. rising concerns about the problematic approaches to the financial crisis. you can either comment on the polls or tell people what you think of his performance. guest: first on the polls, they represent that american people are sensible. which is to say that the president is engaging, attractive, bold, interesting man. fresh from winning an emphatic vote from the american people.
and he's taking the country into the area where people are scared to go, and people were polled about reagan were squeezy about policies but love the him. host: we have calls, and this is from north carolina, this is t.i.watkins. sir, you will her an echo unless you hit the mute. caller: ok, george will, i am one of your fans down here . a few years ago you wrote an
article what you thought of colin powell, and you took him apart. it was so good to see that and everything he had done wrong. i would like you to comment on that. guest: i don't remember the column, but i remember having a distinct difference with mr. powell and the middle east. and colin powell is someone that the republicans should have in their party. an enormous distinction and achievement and strong feelings. i am a much more conservative republican than he is. but i am what they call a big-tent republican. and wil'mton where my favorite
is from. host: where the government contested distention. you wrote a strong column about the president's speech in cairo, would you tell them of your concerns of what he said? guest: the concern, all presidents but particularly this one, tend to think their personality is an irresistable force, and there are a lot of immovable things out there that won't find it irresistible. the president had a theme in the 40's, if we would just talk and harmony would break out. this is the old belief that the
natural continue is harmony, i tend to be more like hobbs, people getting along is difficult. in the 30's, when we got to know the empire of japan, we had an irrepressible conflict on our hands. i thought his view was "a," optimistic, and for the palestinians to slaves, and to slave master's of absurd. host: do you applaud the effort or should not have made it? guest: i am all for the effort to get the palestinians and israelis together. i do think when you get a peace process going, it's an end from itself. and we would almost do anything to keep the process going, and
the process is to be a means to the end. host: chicago, you are on the democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning, primarily when i turned the program on you were talking about big tobacco. and i see that @@@@@@@@#) what is on your mind? caller: i was calling about the big tobacco issue. from my experience and from review of mr. willis position, it seems that there seems to be a problem, and the proposed regulation of tobacco by numerous agencies or an agency that has been given dominance over the other agencies in the
federal government to regulate the tobacco. be done in that area to curve the abuses, being that the general american public suffers from this product. and if mr. will does not believe that's a positive step, what proposals do you have? we know this is an issue that's been adversely affecting, a product that is adversely affecting the american people. it seems in the united states if there is a product that affects the health of the general public as illegal drugs or marijuana or something of that nature. it's regulated. there is an agency that steps in and does something about it. and we know for years that the american public is adversely affected by tobacco.
guest: he used an interesting word, the "abuse" of this product. and what makes it interesting, you don't have to abuse cigarettes to be injured by them. used as intended they are unhealthy. questionably they have a big public risk to the country, so arguably do cheese burgers. the question do we want the government regulating things and us and our choices for our own good. there is a limit to the paternalism, the nanny state should be unleashed. i am not saying it's wrong, but flags ought to go up when we talk about the government impinging on our libertarian abilities.
host: next caller, don. caller: good morning, i am don and from maryland. but i agree with you on the fact that mr. brinkley was a good man. and i am from north carolina. and read your articles everyday, you know, when i am going to get "the washington post". president obama, i want to know what your take on him giving a good speech in cairo, and then the people critiquing him the way they do. he is trying to set up a new type of relations in the middle east. and we all know that the middle east is really controlled by the desires of god.
and i would like to know your take on that. guest: what worries to me about the president's approach to the pal -- palestinian approach is historical and the honest broker, brokering the differences of israel and the forces, the hamas and all the rest who want to destroy israel. because israel is a salient of our values, in a dangerous and inhospital neighborhood, it seems that the united states is an ally of israel and gets many awards from that association. host: as we jump around about the policies in iran?
guest: it's thrilling what is going on in iran. in the run-up of the election, twittering, i don't know the verb. twitting was important. when the ayatollah came back in 1969, he was using cassettes. the world moves, 30 years late we have internet and satellite dishes, purities have established of sealing out outside forces. socializing the people. it's impossible nowadays, simply impossible. furthermore the median age of iran is 25, they are not going
to be governed indefinitely by medieval clerics. it's not going to happen, and we are saying what happened in philippines when marcos call for election from the senator from nevada. fed the election, and it was obviously fraudulent, and people came out and four days later he was gone. but that these changes are coming to iran is obvious. host: we had a woman who wrote reading alida in tyrann and one talked of the china presence in iran. guest: sure china being a
permanent member of the security council, and having these close commercial relations with iran. this is one reason why we won't get meaningful judgments of sanctions of iran. the good news is regime changes are coming to iran. the bad news is the regime whatever it is will have nuclear weapons. we will have to learn to deter iran into eternal revolution or the society makes it a pacific nation. no one would care if the belgiums had nuclear weapons because they are peaceful people. host: we have our guest george will and we are throwing baseballs at him and taking the swings.
next we have kevin. caller: good morning, this is my first time for years to call, i am batting a thousand this morning. mr. will, i respect your opinion and i believe you are left in the journalism industry that have quality respectively. and here is my concern, i think we have lost sight of governing our country. with the bush administration and promoting democracy with weapons and now we have an african-american president inos. -- in office. and this underlying disparity has manifested itself. i see a problem, not a dichotomy but hypocrisy, the crimes that have taken our country down has been
executives, predominantly white executives, that are not indicted and now trying to take control of other countries. my question is do we need to take a look at governing ourselves? guest: the short answer is yes, but i think we were guilty of overreach in the bush years. remember that the candidate ran for honest and more public policy. and disavowing to do what is called "nation building." to me this is an oxymoron, it's like orchid building, you don't build orchids or nation, they are a product of the long organic evolution. and the problem is that "a" it was flawed going in and "b"
refuted by the unpleasant experience of trying to put iraq back on its feet. colin powell said on the eve of invasion of iraq, remember the pottery rule, if you break it, you own it. and we owned it for years. host: what is the state today? guest: iraq, so far so good. there are unresolved questions, the kurds in the north are essentially an independent country, they have their own flag and passports and oil. and the question is will iraq tolerate this session there. and second, once the united states is gone will the bitterness that's prevailed for generations continue to subside? or will be a resurgence of it?
i don't know. host: cape coral, this is bill, democratic line. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. mr. will, i understand you have a vast amount of knowledge of this world. personally i consider you one of the vanguards of the party of no. you have a lot of proposals for the administration all the time. but i have never heard you seek a solution. now just like the house yesterday and the senate came up with a health bill. four pages long. and they were shaking it in front the tv's. they came up with nothing they told us. they said only that this is a proposal. but they didn't tell us anything. and that's what i consider you,
you telling us a lot of things but there is no solutions to what you are saying. thank you for taking me. guest: first of all, i would like to say something in defense of the solid english word "no." it appears in the constitution, and the five most beautiful words in english language, congress shall make no law. the bill of rights is a series of nos, it's something that the government cannot do, and unreasonable searches and seizures. and no has a role of context where most new ideas are bad or false. the truth is less plural than all the errors in the world. so to say no is a respectable thing to do. but beyond that, i would like to think i have solutions to a
lot of america's problems. not all of them, but i have ideas. they don't involve expanding the government. now some people say if you are against expanding the government, you are generally negative. that's not true. i am for the market and initiative and for entrepreneurship and for light taxes and regulation. in health care, insuring the un insured. the simplest thing, give them money. vouchers or a debit card loaded with a value. that's simple. that empowers individuals and not make them dependent on the government. host: i wonder in your life and you have said in "the washington post" and before that you were writing and teaching. did you ever consider running
for office? guest: not seriously, i have lived in maryland since the mid-70's. and in 1982 some republicans wanted to know if i was interested in running for the senate. and i said no, there were only two republicans in maryland, as far as i could tell, i was one and gene patrick was the other. it's a democratic state. and i have a metabolic urge to write, if i can't write i will explode. and i would find the life of public office interminable of sitting and hearing others talk would be tiresome. host: next caller. caller: mr. will, you are one might have favorite