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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  January 26, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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all right, that is going to do it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now, it's time for the last word with lawrence or donald. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. and the brilliant executive producer of this program, the boss of me, melissa reyerson, in her first text me this morning, said, it is a slow news day. and explaining the early outline of this hour, slow news day said melissa reyerson. and here we are with a supreme court vacancy coming up. and we have jim climber and joining us and so, thank you rachel very much for that
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dramatic reading of backstage events at that south carolina debate when jim clyburn convinced joe biden, as a candidate, to pledge that moment that he would appoint a black woman to the supreme court. >> and we just got confirmation from simone sanders that, indeed, she and other biden advisers told him that day, during debate prep, no, don't do it. there is congressman -- and other members of the black caucus -- debate prep day, simone sanders and others were telling biden, no, don't do it. and then, at the debate, congressman clyburn goes to him at the commercial the -- and says you have to do it. and now we are living the history of the results. both in the fact of his presidency and in anticipation of his nomination. >> yes. and so, the story of that movie, where the costar, clyburn, will
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be joining us to get his version of it. in composing my thoughts about this, leading into talking to clyburn tonight, i decided in the interest of time, to leave out the names of the people in the biden campaign staff who advised against this. so, you know, who wants to have that on them? and then i turn on the rachel maddow show and there is the confession. there is simone sanders confirming it and confessing and saying, clyburn was right. it's always great to be outmaneuvered and out advised by somebody in a situation like that and then come to the realization that, oh, they were right. >> yeah, and to be able to say, not only clyburn was right on this. but her take on it was also, candidate biden followed his got on this. and all of us advising him otherwise, it didn't matter. because he was committed to the
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idea. this was not him making a promise that he did not want to make. he wanted to make it anyway. he knew it was the right time. he was right. that's why he is the candidate. that is why he is the president. things don't always go as they plan. things definitely don't go the way that you think you can control them to go. but they work out. and we really are in a very historic moment. and we will find out who the nominee is tonight. congressman clyburn has to be on top of the world -- >> jim clyde byrne and i are going to decide who the nominee is in this segment. i believe the list is so short. i believe it is actually a to name list at this point. and we will get congressman clyburn's input on that. he has a favorite. he will announce his favorite. i will announce the one who i think is the most likely. >> i should get out of the way and you should go talk to clyburn. go do that. >> thank you, rachel. >> by, lawrence.
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>> thank you. well, we know how the shortest shortlist in the modern history of possible supreme court nominations thanks to our first guest tonight who convinced joe biden, when he was a candidate for president, that he should pledge to nominate, publicly pledged to nominate, a black woman as his first choice for united states supreme court. house majority leader, james clyburn, the most powerful democrat in south carolina, made the case for a black woman on the supreme court to candidate joe biden. some, as you have heard, some of the biden campaign staff were opposed to the candidate making a public commitment about that. they were concerned that it could -- that it might not work. might appear to be pandering, possibly. but congressman clyburn believed it was both the right thing to do and an effective campaign tactic for a candidate who performed very badly in the iowa caucuses and the new
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hampshire primary. when the democratic candidates came to south carolina for debate, clyburn continued to press joe biden to announce that he would appoint a black woman to the supreme court. and as rachel is just saying, in the movie where the dramatic backstage scene, during a commercial break in the debate, jim clyde burn closed in on joe biden, one-on-one, and urged him to both improve his debate performance, which was lagging at that point. and save his campaign in south carolina by making a very clear and strong commitment to appoint a black woman to the court. and after that commercial break, this happened. >> we talked about the supreme court. i am looking forward to making sure there is a black woman on the supreme court, to make sure --
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>> and today, after nbc news pete williams was the first to report that justice stephen breyer has decided to retire at the end of the supreme court's turn in june, president biden said this. >> every justice has the right and opportunity to decide -- on their own. there has been no announcement from justice breyer that he will make whatever statement he will make, and i will be happy to talk about it later. >> and, tonight, as rachel just told you, nbc news is steven alexander -- is reporting that justice breyer will appear with president biden tomorrow at the white house in a formal announcement from justin -- breyer's retirement. jen psaki repeated the
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commitment joe biden made in the south carolina presidential campaign debate. >> the president has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a black woman to the supreme court. and certainly, stance by that. >> some of the most unrealistic media speculation today including the absurd speculation of vice president kamala harris being nominated to the supreme court. now, you can ignore that speculation for many reasons, including the fact that a new vice president would then have to be confirmed by a vote of both the house and the senate in the process that would completely derail congress for several weeks at minimum. because the shortlist does not include any white men or white women or any other than black women, it is therefore easier to focus on the most likely
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candidates. and there is a very, very long list of qualified black women for the united states supreme court. but, because of the rigors and risks of the senate confirmation process, the shortlist will heavily favor black women who have already been confirmed by the united states senate and are currently serving as federal judges. the real shortlist, likely, only has two names on it. both currently serving as federal judges. the front runner has to be ketanji brown jackson, who has been confirmed twice by the senate as a federal judge. most recently, in june of last year by the current senate. when president biden nominated her to the federal circuit court of appeals in washington d.c. where several that judges have served before being elevated by presidents to the
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united states supreme court. three current supreme court justices served on that same court and five others served on other circuit courts of appeal. judge jackson began her career as a federal judge in 2013, when president obama nominated her for the federal district court in washington d.c., judge jackson's 51 years old and, like so many supreme court justices before her, including the current bus -- she is a graduate of harvard college -- judge jackson received three republican votes from the current senate last year in her senate confirmation to the circuit court, the 53 senate votes in her favor of her confirmation included republican senators lindsey graham, susan collins, and lisa
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murkowski. and there is no rational reason for the vote count to be any different if the president nominates her to the supreme court. so, there is no safe -- for senate confirmation in the current senate, in this 50/50 senate, then judge cut andriy brown jackson. that is surely what's all of president biden's advisers will agree on. but once again, they will have to reckon with the advice of congressman clyburn, who endorsed joe biden after the south carolina debate and with that crucial endorsement, joe biden won the south carolina primary in a landslide. and with the momentum from that win, joe biden went on to win almost every other primary on his way to becoming president of the united states. almost a year ago, clyburn told a south carolina newspaper that he supports south carolina federal judge, michelle --
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for the supreme court. last month, president biden nominated judge a child's to the same washington d.c. circuit court of appeals for judge jackson now serves. judge chiles has been preparing for her not yet scheduled confirmation hearing for that promotion for the federal district court in south carolina. judge child's, unlike anyone else on the current supreme court, is a graduate of public university. she went to college at the university of south florida, and earned her law degree at the university of south carolina law school. she is 55 years old and she could not have a more powerful or affective champion then our first guest tonight, leading off our discussion tonight, is democratic congressman clyburn of south carolina. he is the south majority -- thank you very much for joining us, once again tonight. on a night that has been
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defined, so much, by what you convinced joe biden to say in that south carolina debate. take us back to that backstage moment that you had with joe biden that led to him making that pledge publicly that night. >> well, thank you very much for having me. that night started out several weeks earlier. i have three daughters, as you know. and one of those daughters was at that debate with me. and i am telling you, -- with joe biden -- what i had been hearing from them and their friends, i talk to them a lot. and they were telling me that -- that had to do with the feeling that african american women were not given there just do from the democratic party.
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and one of the things they brought up to me was the supreme court. just think about it. as of that point, -- three current, one has retired. none of that black. no black person had ever been seriously discussed for the supreme court. catholic women, brown catholic -- but no black. and so, when i sat down with joe biden, i was going to endorse -- but i thought that he could do everybody a lot of good if he were to go public and say that, if given the opportunity, he would nominate an african american woman to the supreme court. i got a bunch of phone calls the night after this discussion.
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and so moans that, simone sanders said, that she advised him against doing it. i can understand that. it is a dicey move. but let me tell you, when you have lost three primaries, and this is the last one before super tuesday, sometimes you have to make the right decision for the right reasons and sometimes it works. and so this works. i think joe biden did what he wanted to do. and i think that adding my voice to those who are asking may have helped a little bit. >> the situation is so much more clear tonight because you did that and because president biden made that public pledge.
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we get to deal with not messy a list as we might be dealing with if it was a wide open situation. i know you have a favorite in this situation. you can see the point of going with judge brown jackson, confirmed by this same senate a year ago. you've got three republican senators who have already voted for her. lindsey graham voted to move her nomination out of committee. and it's a tide committee, as you know. equal representation of democrats and republicans on the judiciary committee. so that lindsey graham vote was very important, it would be very important if he were to do that again. so you can see the tremendous advantage that judge jackson has at this stage, having already served on the circuit court of appeals. and the situation that she's already been confirmed by this particular senate. >> well, you also realize that
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lindsey graham is going to get a chance to do that again. judge child's hearing is scheduled february 1st. that's tuesday. and she is going to be before that same committee on tuesday and judge childs'will be in front of a lot of people watching the hearing that time. and they will see in her what i have seen in her over 20 years. this young lady is not just a graduate of public colleges in florida and public law school here in south carolina. she served as a deputy director of our labor department. she is very astute in legal issues. and she was a workers comp and say shania. very astute in corporate issues. and she has been a circuit court judge, a district court judge, a federal district court judge where she is now.
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and nominated and vetted. and she has been scheduled for a hearing to sit on the d.c. circuit. and i think he is in a very good position, having been vetted. and everybody will get a chance to see on february 1st if they make these hearings public. and they will see what i've seen. >> and what is your sense of how lindsey graham would react to a south carolina nominee? >> he is a big supporter of michelle childs, lindsey graham supports her. tim scott supports her. i've had discussions with both of them. i would not have gone out as far as i did with her without talking to those two senators. and i've talked to them about michelle childs, they respect her highly. she has tremendous bipartisan
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support and i have talked to judges all over this country. and it would seem to me she is the best. they have been saying that to me for over a year. and so i was very comfortable saying to president biden that i thought that she would make a great nominee for the d.c. circuit. and the vetting prove that to be true. >> there is a beautiful example of how you do it, and an example of how congressman jim clyburn change's mind. i spent this whole day convinced that judge jackson has a huge advantage over everyone else in this composition of the senate, this 50/50 senate. but what you've just explained to me about judge childs'support and possible support from lindsey graham, south carolina and other republican senators, it is a toss-up to me now. i can see how you make this
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case. >> well thank you very much for that. she has served well and this president is committed to this. and there are other republican senators who have talked to me about her. and i think that you would be shocked at the breadth and depth of support for them michelle childs. >> congressman james clyburn, always doing more homework than the rest of us and most importantly working the back room and the commercial break during presidential debates. thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. [laughs] >> thank you very much for having me. >> and coming up, the cattle knows the justice -- very well. he has argued dozens of cases before his former boss. we are lucky on this historic night have neil cocktail joining us next. have neil cocktail joining us next.
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it's been nearly two years since the pandemic started. our students and teachers tried their best, but as a parent, i can tell you that nearly 18 months of remote learning was really hard. instead of helping students get back in the classroom, the school boards spend their time renaming schools and playing politics. schools that weren't even open. on february 15th, please recall school board members collins, lópez and maliga. our kids cannot wait any longer for new start. joe biden will become the first
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president in history to nominate a supreme court justice to occupy the seat of a retiring supreme court justice whose confirmation he presided over as chairman of the senate judiciary committee. >> i've tried to look at the broader issues at stake when we confirmed how many to the court. to consider the values by which our nation defines and redefines itself overtime. and the means by which government can best express and defend those values. so we welcome you here today, judge, not merely to measure your competence to sit on the court but to engage us in a discussion on those important matters. >> our next guest, lee neal katyal, is a graduate of law school from 1995 and a year
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later was writing supreme court opinions for justice stephen breyer. joining us now is neal katyal, former acting u.s. solicitor general and msnbc legal analyst. neil, thank you very much for joining us on this historic night. tell us what we should know about what stephen breyer are brought to the supreme court. >> i think that this is a man, lawrence, who was brilliant and humble at the same time. i have lived in washington d.c. for more than two decades. and almost never does the good person get the job. but justice breyer was the exception. this was a person who is fundamentally decent and also brilliant. he was a fighter. lawrence, there is a war on reproductive rights going on in this country. there is a war on voting and they were unreasonable regulation and environmental regulations, greenhouse gas emissions and the like.
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there is a war on affordable health care. on all of these, justice breyer led the fight for ordinary americans. he wanted a government that works for the people, which he knew then sometimes listening to experts and not thinking that he was the smartest person in the room. and that's true whether it was covid regulation or health care or greenhouse gas emissions. this was a man who understood that sometimes he does not have all the answers. experts do. and the primary job of the government is to work for the people. he carried irgc our greatest chief justice, thurgood marshall's legacy forward. >> do you feel he was greatly feeling the pressure to resign? >> i can't speculate on that except to say that for him, it was never about being a justice. he did it because he felt he could help the country. i am sure that, like every supreme court justice, he recognizes that there is presidential politics and elections going on and
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understood that this was a good time. that's what i am surmising. i do not know. >> and as we look at the replacement candidates for justice breyer, what should we be looking for if we want to see the briar legacy continue? >> i think the first thing is to not to rush this process. so yes, lawrence, you said at the top of this show there is one name and maybe some others. but the president has to take the time and make the right choice. you cannot be looking for patronage or reward of politics of or something like that. you've got to get someone who knows where the supreme court game is, who can go toe to toe with justice alito, justice kavanaugh and so on. and as someone who practices in the court all the time, i can tell you that more liberal sides are not represented at the court. and we need someone who can
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fight and who knows how to talk to other people. and so you have mentioned some names. ketanji brown jackson, i have known her for 20 years. she is stunningly good. she is so smart and so savvy. but i would add someone we have not talked about yet on your show. that is leondra kruger, a california supreme court justice. she actually happened to be my deputy, my principal deputy solicitor general. i named her to that post when she was 35 years old because she is that good. she is perhaps, if not the most extraordinary lawyer i have worked with, pretty darn close. she has done 12 arguments before the supreme court. i think that's more than any other african american women in u.s. history, and constants baker moxley had ten. this is someone who knows the court and someone who should get a serious look from the president and his team. there are others as well, like judge michelle childs that you mentioned as well.
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>> neal katyal, thank you very much for joining us on this important night. we appreciate it. and coming, up today a trump nazi pleaded guilty. the trump nazi is hoping for a lower sentence now that he is cooperating with the fbi. and the january 6th committee heard testimony yesterday about mark meadows and donald trump from a member of mark meadows white house staff. congresswoman zoe lofgren, a member of the january six committee, will join us next. committee, will join us next with unitedhealthcare medicare advantage plans, there's so much to take advantage of. like $0 copays on virtual visits... - wow! - uh-huh. ...$0 copays on primary care visits... ...and lab tests. - wow. - uh-huh. plus, $0 copays on tier 1 & tier 2 prescription drugs.
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today. the trump nazi who invaded the capitol during the insurrection on january 6th was not content to threaten all americans by a legally attempting to reverse the outcome of a presidential election. the trump nazi also wanted to show his full agreement with both donald trump and adolf hitler by attacking the capitol
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for donald trump, while wearing a sweatshirt that celebrates hitler's death camp at auschwitz. where the nazis executed 1 million of the 6 million jewish people tortured and put to death during the holocaust. the trump nazi, robert kakkar, will be sentenced on bail -- and is now trying to reduce that sentence by cooperating with the fbi. today, assistant u.s. attorney -- told the court, quote, mr. packer has agreed to talk with the fbi about the events of that day and allow the fbi to peruse any social media accounts he might have. also today, a judge ruled that elmer rhodes must remain in federal custody while awaiting trial because, as the judge put, it salma rhodes released, quote, could endanger the safety and well-being of others. elmer rhodes, who dislikes his first name so much that he uses his middle name, stewart, who is the leader of a group that
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calls themselves the oath keepers that name is, of course, a lie. salma rhodes is the kind of leader who was afraid to go to the capitol himself on january 6th and in fact, state across state lines in virginia the entire day, urging other people to commit crimes while he was safely in hiding. and today, we learned that the january six committee deposed ben williams and yesterday. mr. williamson was a senior adviser to trump, white house chief of staff, mark meadows. the committee's letter to williamson in november -- said, you are in a position to potentially inform the select committee's examination of mr. meadows efforts to communicate with other relevant to the select committee's investigation. in addition, reports indicate that former white house communications director alyssa farah contacted mr. meadows and you during the attack on the u.s. capitol and urged to you, without success, to have former president trump issue a
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statement addressing the attack and condemning the violence. joining us now is democratic congresswoman -- of california. she is a member of the january six committee and also, the house judiciary committee. thank you very much for joining us once again tonight. can you tell us how cooperative mr. williamson was as a witness who was able to inform the committee about mark meadows activities and donald trump's activities? >> i was only able to listen to about four hours of the deposition. but he answered the questions posed to him directly, he was under subpoena, he was well aware of his obligations. so, i think he, like the others who have come in, for the most part, are doing their duty and responding to the subpoena and the questions. we also had very good news in
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the john eastman case, just yesterday with the judge ordering cooperation and through the weekend, there will be a review by the parties and then, decided by the court. but basically, the court rejected his claims of privilege and so, we will get a lot of information there as well. >> and of course, eastman was the lawyer who wrote what is clearly a fraudulent memo, claiming it is a legal memo, saying that the vice president of the united states has the power to completely reverse the outcome of the electoral college when the job is simply to assemble the electoral college votes and count them accurately. do you sense that there is criminal liability for john eastman in this case? >> well, i can't say that.
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that is for the department of justice to decide, as i mentioned before. we are a legislative committee, coming up with facts for the american people. and a legislative recommendations. but certainly, the advice he gave was completely false. and it was persistent. it went beyond writing a memo. it was advocacy for turning -- overturning the election results, which is pretty serious stuff. >> you are still awaiting action from the justice department on the criminal referral on mark meadows for contempt of congress. it is now over 40 days. it took, i believe, 22 days for the justice department to indict steve bannon for the same thing for the same reasons. do you have any understanding of what the delay is about? >> well, they don't report to us, but we have reason to believe that they are looking at this carefully and seriously.
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obviously, mr. meadows did not comply with his obligation to come in. you can't just say i'm not coming in. you have a privilege. you have to assert it, question by question and then we can make a determination. on the other hand, he was the chief of staff, so the privilege assertions are more complicated than mr. bannon, who was not even a federal employee. so, we are hopeful that the doj will proceed. meanwhile, we are getting information about mr. meadows activity from other sources in a position to know. >> alex jones went public monday with the fact that he testified under oath to the committee on monday on his show, he talked about it. and he said that he took the fifth amendment about 100 times. and he said that he knew what the answers were for about half of those questions. you can't just throw the fifth
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amendment around. there has to be a legitimate concern that the answer to the question could expose you to criminal charges. was it your sense that the fifth amendment was being used properly in this case and that, indeed, there was criminal liability around the issues being discussed in those questions? >> well, if you listen to his public statements leading up to january 6th, they were very extravagant, inflammatory, and also prescient. so, there are questions about what he knew and what role he played. clearly, he must be concerned that he is criminal liability. we have yet to reach a conclusion. we are still meeting on whether to consider -- use immunity for some of those
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individuals who claimed fifth amendment protection. i set in on a large portion of that deposition and, frankly, you can't discuss it. but since he has already revealed that he took the fifth over and over and over on every question, so that did not take an entire day like some of these other depositions. >> congresswoman, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. >> thank you. always good to be with you. >> thank you. and coming up, our next installment of a house divided. we will be joined by fulton o'toole, who disagrees with much of what you have already heard from the authors who have joined us in this series already. o'toole's important essay in the atlantic is titled, beware prophesy's of civil war.
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house divided, we will consider what we have learned from our first two guests in the series, professor barbara -- the author of how civil wars start and steven marsh, the alt-author of the next civil war. both of these books refer to the 30 years of sporadic violence in northern island in the second half of the 20th century. and imagining what a 21st century american civil war might look like. our next guest, fountain o'toole, reviewed both books in an essay that begins this way. in january of 1972, when i was a 13 year old boy and dublin, my father came home from work and told us to prepare for civil war. he was not a bloodthirsty zealot, nor was he given to hysterical outbursts. he was calm and rueful, but also grindley certain.
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civil war was coming to ireland, whether we wanted it or not. he and my brother, who was 16, and i, when i got older, would all be up in northern ireland, with guns, fighting for the catholics against the protestants. what made him so sure of our faith was that the british army's parachute regiment had opened fire on the streets of dairy, after an illegal but essential peaceful civil rights march. troops killed 13 unarmed people, mortally wounded another, and shot more than a dozen others. intercommunal violence had been gradually escalating, but this seemed to be a tipping point. there were just two sides now, and we all would have to pick one. it was them or us. the conditions for civil war indeed did seem to exist at that moment, yet my father's fears were not fulfilled. there was a horrible, 30-year conflict that brought death to
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thousands and varying degrees of misery to millions. there was terrible cruelty and abysmal atrocity. there were decades of despair in which it seemed impossible that a policy that had imploded could ever be rebuilt. but the conflict never did rise to the level of the civil war. joining us now is o'toole, congressman and -- he was the visiting professor in irish letters at princeton university. his brilliant letter in the atlantic is titled, beware, prophesy's of civil war. thank you very much for joining us tonight. let's go straight to the title, of what should we beware in prophecy's of civil war? >> i think, lawrence, what's she we should be afraid of is, of course, there are an awful lot of people who have been fantasizing about civil war for a long time in america. the far-right in america has
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had this narrative going, for decades now, that america is already in a civil war. this apocalyptic rhetoric is really much part of their dna. and they have been -- we saw this of course, on january 6th. and the reason that they like the talk of civil war is that it seems to validate the idea that you are no longer in a democratic contest between people who have different points of view. you are actually in an existential struggle. so, all the sort of niceties of democracy can be laid a side. and really, you just have to prepare to hit them before they hit you. because if you are in a civil war, or you no one is coming, the logic really, is that you should strike first. and that rhetoric is already there. and i just think those of us who believe in american democracy, believe in the republic, short be very
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cautious and careful about feeding it. >> the phrase civil war itself to me seems to be being used rather loosely. we never considered it a civil war in -- we didn't consider it a civil war in 1969 through 1971. there were hundreds of bombings. i will say that number again because most people under certain uncertain age don't notice. hundreds of bombings against the federal government in the united states to protest the vietnam war. these were a bomb set off at post offices in the middle of the night, very few of them injured people, but some of them did kill people. including the people who are setting off the bombs. but that kind of condition in these new books is being described, or things like it, being described as civil wars. >> i strongly agree with you, lawrence. i think it's almost like we're
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setting up kind of a false argument. it's either civil war, or it's nice and rosy. the horrible thing and we know this so well from ireland, is that, actually, you can have something that is not a civil war, but it is still pretty obscene or pretty terrible. it is -- one unfortunate british -- called an acceptable level of violence. no level of violence should be acceptable. but you know, you're absolutely right. there have been many periods in american history other than civil war itself, where many people would have told you that they were experiencing conditions in their own communities, particularly in american american communities, when you talk about the burning down of tulsa. was that a civil war? well, but it was pretty horrific. but there is a level of endemic political violence in the u.s.
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from the right, sometimes from the left. which has to be taken very, very seriously. we have to understand the amount of suffering this causes. but i think calling it a civil war and then projecting that into an imaginary future and saying that america is set for a civil war, it seems to me it misses the point that a lot of the stuff has been around for a long time. but also misses the point that actually thinking about the imaginary future can distract you from thinking about some of the stuff that is staring you right in the face right now, which is insurrection. and how you deal with it. >> there has been some political science analysis brought to this, including a score that professor walter users in her book about ranking democracies. i find it all that he was the united states ever could have had a perfect score as a democracy, given that it has the united states senate, which
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is a fundamentally anti democratic creation, with two senators per state, but okay. let's pretend it was once a perfect democracy and it has descended. that creates the notion that the united states is now descending from perfect mccarthy into something else, where -- that could become civil war. the question i had for steven marsh and i ran out of time to ask professor walters, what is the richest country we have ever seen fall into civil war? and he had to reach back before the 20th century to find anything that he might consider an example of that. and my own personal belief is that those 75 million trump voters, not all of them were outraged by the election. a couple of thousand of them were outraged enough to go to washington one day. most of them are now facing federal trials. one of the leaders of the group, so-called oath keepers leader,
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who said before january 6th, as you report, we have descended into civil war. he said that it thought in december. he is in federal custody tonight. i personally just don't see anything that leads to the tender in this country that could create anything that we would call civil war. >> i think you are right. i think there are two ways of looking at this. i think the authors that you have been speaking to i think have written very interesting books and they have gone a good service it's sparking this conversation. but in a way that happens -- with those kinds of books, you imagine yourself in the future and you look back on the president and say, if there were a civil war, would the president look like the conditions that created it? right? and i think that is absolutely right. there is no doubt about the fact that the tribalism, the violent rhetoric, the fact that the republican party has become
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a kind of post democratic party and a lot of ways, that the problems that you have alluded to with the american constitution, with the senate, the structural problems of american democracy -- all of those things, if you ended up with a horrific civil war in the future, historians would look back and say, yes, those were the conditions that created it. but that's not the same as looking at things as they are now. and looking at absolutely the huge threats and the urgent need to really take very seriously the existence of american democracy, you must do that. but also look at the fact that the real task is to stop the insurrectionists movement that is there. and you do that lawfully. you do that through the process of law, by making people accountable for what was an attempted coup in america. and actually, talking about civil war, most people are very
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happy to hear that. because from their point of view, if they end up as martyrs and if they end up behind bars, they can say, i was acting on behalf of the people who are threatened with civil war by the other side. it's part of this kind of self justifying, self pity that this kind of people have. i think that is absolutely right that it's much more important to focus on, where are we now? what needs to happen right now and in the next few years? in order to change the conditions that do threaten american democracy. >> and i completely agree with you that these books are valuable entry in today's dialogue and have produced a dialogue, provoked and produced a dialogue that we have had here tonight. when you come back, because we need to continue the series, i want to discuss how belfast and how northern ireland went from bombs and shots being fired to being one of the most peaceable
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places that you can walk down the street today, where hollywood goes to shoot movies. all inconceivable back in the 1970s and peaceable tonight -- you will have to tell us how they got there. o'toole, thank you so much. always a pleasure to have you. >> great pleasure, as always. >> and if you are -- but you see a place to begin's kenneth bronx brilliant new movie, belfast, which will surely be in the running for best picture. kenneth brianna, who grew up in belfast in but northern ireland land will join us -- s -- rrick man, you gonna be much longer? it's gonna be a minute, minute. hey derrick, quit playin'. derrick! ever notice how stiff clothes can feel rough on your skin?
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