tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN November 6, 2014 12:15pm-2:31pm EST
briefly at 2016, only a third of voters in texas said that ted cruz and separately rick perry would make a good president. 39% of our kansans said that hillary clinton that once claimed that state would, 50% there said mike huckabee would make a good president. 28% in, i believe, that was louisiana said bobby jindal would. 40% in florida said jeb bush would, and 36% gave that response about rubio. in wisconsin, 42% said that scott walker would make a good president. and 46% said that paul ryan would. that's just a quick summary of some of the exit poll data. we have a piece up on the website called exit poll trends a to z, goes into the issues in a little bit more detail. now we're going to turn to our panelists to talk about what was most surprising to them on election night. and we're going to begin with michael brown to talk about house races. michael, you said that, if i remember correctly, that at the beginning of the obama administration, the republicans in the house had 179 seats.
tell us where they are today. >> the republicans, yeah. the republicans had 179 seats at the beginning of the obama administration. they are up to, if you look at current leads at 251, some of those leads may evaporate as california in particular takes a long time to vote to count its votes. they -- they've taken as long as five weeks. a week ago sunday, brazil tabulates the votes in five hours. in california, which believes itself to be a more advanced state takes five weeks. in any case, it appears that republicans have won more than the 234. they won it in 2012, more than the 242, they won in 2010. and almost certainly more than the 246, they won in 1946. you have to go back to the 1928 cycle to find a time when
republicans did better in house elections. norm was covering that for cbs radio. and that's -- that's there. it's, you know, part of this is baked into the cake by demographics. you know, in 2016, 2012, mitt romney who many of you will remember carried 226 house districts, carried a majority of the house districts. he lost the electoral college, carried that. why is that? there are marginal effects in favor of republicans on the districting lines and house seats in this census cycle. but the primary reason is demographic. democratic voters, as i've been writing for the last couple of years, particularly heavily democratic voters, blacks, hispanics in some, but not all states, and i'll get into that. and gentry liberals. and i think we're talking about there. we're only two miles from georgetown.
the -- our heavily clustered in certain central cities, sympathetic suburbs, university towns. they get huge percentages there. republican voters are spread more evenly around the rest of the country. mitt romney carried 226 house districts for republicans, unfortunately, that's not the way we choose presidents. and in comparison, john kerry who got slightly higher percentage of the vote eight years before carried only 180. so it wasn't just the census cycle. it's a basic demographic thing. nonetheless, i think it's interesting that republicans gained seats in this house cycle. looking at the exit poll, it looks like the overall vote was 51%/47% in terms of republicans. that may be off a bit. we'll wait on california, out there in the beach or something, not counting the votes.
to see what's going on. but that's there. let me insert a word here about the polls. that you mentioned, the error margins. i did a blog post for washingtonexaminer.com on this. i looked at the seriously contested senate races. i don't know if this holds in governor races and house races, which there isn't usually a lot of polling. what i found was that the -- incumbent democrats, the polls were pretty much spot on to the number of votes they got. interestingly, the two that increased about three points were two female candidates kay hagan and jeanne shaheen. but basically, the polls were pretty much spot on on democratic incumbents. among republican incumbents which were only two in seriously contested races. the polls were about eight points low for mitch mcconnell. about ten points low for pat roberts. those are both heavily republican states.
and we note that republicans in polling are more likely than democrats to express dissatisfaction with their party's politicians with their parties members in congress but the rule that suggests is that polling is pretty good at getting the party. giving the percentage for the party that is doing badly in a wave election. . it's not so good at projecting the party that is doing well in a wave election. and yeah, this was a wave election, folks. >> point out that -- >> got his start in polling with peter hart many, many years ago. >> yes. >> but it was after the 1928 cycle anyway. my second point is that it's interesting, republicans lost two seats with incumbents that had particular problems. flori florida, two, nebraska, two.
they came close to losing another west virginia. where the candidate was an out of stater. west virginia. but basically, republicans gained or were ahead in 19 districts currently. and for what looks to be a 17-seat gain. a majority of these gains, and they came within 4% in another ten district. now, a majority of these gains came interestingly in seats with democratic districting plans or very heavy democratic majorities. arizona, california, especially. where you had the supposedly nonpartisan redistricting commissions in both those states, but the democrats successfully game them. illinois, where republicans gained one seat and heavily upscale north shore suburbs of chicago and another seat in a rather down scale, more blue collar part of the state
opposite the mississippi river in st. louis. maryland, where there's one near gain. john delaney the democrat had to pour a lot of money into that race. the house seat will be in states where they redistricted. a lot of times you create 53% districts and when things are bad for your party, you're down to 47 in those seats. we saw in the previous census cycle. republicans lost seats in states where they redistricted in 2006/2008. redistricting doesn't lock in everything forever. opinions going against you, the tide can run out on those things. people who predict the republicans will inevitably hold the house until 2022, my answer
is, look at the returns for '06 and '08 before you make that prediction. they're doing well now. the number of split congressional districts voted for president of one party, congressman for another was 26 in the 2012 election, the lowest number since 1920. we had nine democratic congressmen representing districts carried by mitt rom y romney, republicans won six of those nine seats. we don't have very much. we have republicans captured a few democratic districts ahead in them in. you have some odd slots losing, who has been in congress for more than 30 years, senior democrat on the house rules committee in upstate new york.
millennials, this group, they're the wave of the future. the republicans missed their chance to pass a constitutional amendment barring the vote for anyone born after 1980. and the democrats' advantage down to 54-43, 11 points. that's -- in 2008, barack obama won 13% more among millennials than he won among voters generally. 9% in 2010, it's 7% in this election. it's -- you know, it becomes much less important in the thing. obama's popular vote margin in
2008 almost entirely came from millennials. it was equivalent to 7% of the whole electorate. the democrats' margin among millennials in this election with a lower turnout in the off year from younger voters. 1.5% of the total electorate. that would be higher in the presidential year, with the same measures of support. what it says to me is the millennials at this point, white millennials voting republican on balance are a mildly more than average democratic group rather than a wave of the future that will vote 2-1 democratic forever and make the republicans a permanent minority party. they're up for grabs by both parties. asians, one of the most interesting things here. the asian vote came in at 50/49. not sure this is of as much national significance as suggested. it was 67% for obama.
remember that we're talking about house races. you had a close republican winning the congressional district, so people there -- that's an asian majority district. that would inflate the percentage in a way that may not be indicative of anything outside the particular individuals involved in that hawaii race. the democratic super majorities in the legislature wanted to pass, put on the ballot a proposition to repeal the ban on racial quotas and preferences in high, higher education in
california. that voted in the 1990s, this was, you know, if you analyze the electorate in terms of whites, nonwhites as the very able analyst ron brownstein. and apparently the democrats did. they don't want the place to know that quotas and preferences will work heavily p against them and the democratic solidarity was broken up, that ballot proposition didn't get on the ballot. i would like to know the asian percentages in maryland and massachusetts what governorships which have interesting things. no exit poll in maryland, no exit poll in massachusetts. i'd like to know what the asian percentage was in the close senate race in virginia. again, we don't have numbers on that.
obama against mitt romney, but they're very different at different states. no serious statewide contests except race for superintendent construction. they were 76% democratic, 69% in new york. they inflate, they help hold that 63 number up. john cornyn running for re-election won hispanics, 49/48. greg abbott running for governor, 44% hispanics. again, that was the state where a lot of liberals hope that, quote, the nonwhite, unquote, vote was going to put them over the top. the hispanics there are not behaving like black voters in texas or other states.
you see them getting 41% for david perdue in georgia. 52% for pat roberts in kansas. suggested to me that mark udall the democratic senator who lost carried hispanics by less than 10%. that figure's very dicey. and i don't offer it as anything definitive. but what it does tell me is that the democratic candidate was not winning by the 75/23 that the 2000 exit poll showed in colorado. so that's the -- that's the overall set-up legislatures. the hispanic voters up for grabs in a lot of places, but it's -- and it's not -- it varies substantially by state and the attitude they're in. legislatures. the numbers are not entirely tabulated. but it's the highest republican
number in 100 years. democrats' lowest numbers since the civil war. it appears that the last democratic legislature in what i call the 14 southern states is the kentucky house with a tie, and i believe, the west virginia senate. well, i think it's interesting here, democrats are disadvantaged in many states including those carried twice by obama like florida, pennsylvania, ohio, michigan, wisconsin by clustering. they win those gentry liberal and black districts. they lose almost everywhere else. and that pattern continues to flow in the -- in the elections. by my count currently, democrats are in control with the governorship, but majorities in both houses the legislature in only seven of the 50 states. they started off the obama era in control of 27. those states and basically those
states element to only 16% of the u.s. population, 12%'s in california, six are in other eastern, otherwise you've got hawaii, oregon, connecticut, delaware, and rhode island and vermont. the strength of the democratic coalition, the obama coalition, it elected and reelected president obama. the weakness we see on display last night. >> thank you very much, michael. before turning to our former colleague, john fortier, i'd like to remind everyone that we're live tweeting the event from our handle at aei -- you can join our twitter discussion using the hash tag election watch 2014. >> thank you. i'd like to start out with a bit about the senate and house races just to show some contrast with the governors' races. because i think much of what michael says is correct that the republican wave was strong and
it washed over especially red states and swing states, washing out democrats who are holding those seats. the governors' wave was stronger than we thought and actually did reach into even some very, very blue states. and i think it's useful to think about the contrast here. first in the senate, the seven most republican seats went to republicans. they were all held by democrats, the six very deep red states plus north carolina. and then two swing states, which are iowa and colorado. looking at that, i mean, susan collins did win re-election. she's in a state that president obama won by a significant amount. but you've got very few people left in the senate who sit in seats, sit in states that are not of their party. susan collins and mark hurd in illinois are in significantly democratic states. jon tester, joe manchin in republican states. that's down a lot. similarly, you can look at the house, and michael mentioned
that six of the nine democrats who held obama seats lost, that means -- and the top four were really dramatically republican districts, that leaves collin peterson as the most republican seat that the democrats hold. just by comparison, if you think back not so long ago, 1992, there were about 90 democrats who met that definition of being significantly republican states. probably about 15 republicans who sat in very democratic districts. did republicans do well in swing districts and red districts? yes. they edged into some districts where, which are, you know, significantly democratic. maybe not as democratic as jim mathison seats, but dan matthew, bruce braley seats, waiting on a recount, the schneider district in illinois. those are pretty democratic districts that the republicans won. but not, we don't see the dramatic ability of one party to hold seats that belong to the other party.
what we saw in the governor's race was a little different. you know, when we were here a couple of weeks ago, i think the governors' races were most uncertain. there were a lot of close races in the polling. and i would say, you know, probably looked like because governors were held. governorships were held much more by republicans that you weren't likely to see many gains coming into the election, we had, you know, 29 governorships, republican. those are nationwide and 21 for democrats. and 22 of the republican seats were up for election as well as 14 democratic seats. republicans actually gained a couple of seats here. we knew they were going to lose in pennsylvania. that was a case of a particularly unpopular republican governor. looks like, and maybe henry's been following the last election results in alaska. but looks like in alaska, the republican governor will lose to an independent, but not of the ordinary sort. one who ran with the democrat on
the ticket but also endorsed by sarah palin. so -- you can make of that what you want. but, you know, republicans did really quite well. and the three states that they broke into with varying degrees of surprise that are dramatically democratic states are, of course, they took the massachusetts governorship. they took the illinois governorship. and probably the greate esest surprise for all of us was that the polls were really not. were showing some closing, but certainly weren't showing this level of, several races right in our backyard that we didn't watch as closely as we might have in maryland where republican larry hogan is going to be the next governor. those seats just to give you some sense of where they stand. massachusetts voted for barack obama by 23 points, maryland by 26 points, and illinois by 27 points. and now all held by republican governors. so what do we make of that? some of it is that governorships in general have the ability to
define themselves more locally against the national trend that could be more about personalities or state policies. but i think there was a very significant push in both parties partly because we've seen unified government in a lot of states. red states are trying red state policies, blue states are trying blue state policies. and there were some big arguments about this, especially about taxes. and i would say that on the democratic side, certainly the tax issue was a significant one in maryland in massachusetts and illinois. didn't put the republican over the top in connecticut. but certainly that issue was strong for republicans. and then on the flip side, democrats believed that they would find some way to pin over tax cutting on democrats in places like kansas. i would say in north carolina senate race, which was not a governor's race, but certainly tom tillis was pinned with the policies he had been involved in and acting when he was involved in the legislature. and wisconsin, as well, where, of course, both collective
bargaining and taxes were there. all those states had on the ballot, republican policies, democrats making the argument there was overreach and republicans prevailing. couple other points. very large wins for two hispanic republican governors in nevada and in new mexico. and, again, as mentioned, more consolidation of gains in state legislative races. republicans gained the legislature both chambers of the legislature in nevada where sandoval will now have full control. arkansas with gaining the governorship and larger majorities in the legislature, republicans, again, will have full control. and, really, across the board, a number of these governors who are re-elected are going to have stronger majorities in their legislatures. that's in wisconsin, michigan, ohio, florida, kansas, texas, several of the southern states, as well. the list goes on. and then a number of democrats who are re-elected will face divided legislatures because
republicans have taken the legislatures or parts of the legislature in colorado and minnesota. the last point i want to make about governors is to talk about governor ed gillespie. he, of course, did lose his senate race. many people have noted that he is well set up to run again. i think he would've been well set up to run again if he lost five points or seven points. i think people thought he was one of the policy oriented or substantive candidates on the stump. but also, mentioned, ed gillespie also a student, and part of the fraternity i noticed which might be might run under the banner of the political spawn of norm ornstein, so with that, will turn it back. >> say something about vermont, can you say just a little bit
about what happened with mail voting in colorado and something in general about turnout? that was a much closer race. all throughout new england, republicans did quite well in the governors' races, they did quite well. on early and absentee voting, we don't have all the numbers in. i've always been someone who has cautious and i think that caution has been born out about trying to overpredict from early results that come in in various states. you saw a lot of prognostication about one state democrats doing better worse than thought.
partly those, you know, results are sort of selective. you select at various times. sometimes it's true that a party really gets motivated to spend more of its resources on bringing voters to the polls. i'm always skeptical about that. we don't know -- i don't know the final outcome of how much early and absentee voting there was this time. and then on turnout. we think turnout is down. i'd feel more comfortable to wait till a lot of the california numbers come in. we're projecting some of that. but it is likely to be lower broadly. but i'd give you an exact number, you've got to give us a couple more weeks for the late states to come in. >> thank you very much, john. we'll turn to henry olson now at the ethics and public policy center to talk about what interested him most in the senate contest. >> so the senate didn't surprise me very much. i missed two senate races as far as my compared to my pre-election prediction, one was
kansas, which was simply an epic polling fail across the board. the other was north carolina, which was pretty close and went down to the wire. simply i did some bad math. 7: and underestimated. both on the state polls and the national polls that this was going to be yet another election where the senate seats were dependent. not independent variables. which is to say people across the board were not considering. and it was quite clear that those were going to be resoundingly in favor of the rs given the states in play. there are some interesting things i think we want to take a look at. i want to spend a little bit of time on what this means for 2016. with respect to the polling
fail, my mean for this, for the democrats, you know, it was the good, the bad and the ugly, there were only a couple of races you would put in the good category at most in the ugly category. but it's the city mouse versus the country mouse. that if you take a look at the final average for the polls on the margin, whether the "r" or the "d" was ahead and compared it to the actual margin, the polls actually weren't that bad in a lot of states. new hampshire, the final real clear politics margin was in favor of shaheen by .8. it actually was shaheen by 3.2 in georgia, even though they underestimated the amount. the margin was pretty right. they had perdue winning by three, he won by 4.9. in alaska, they're still counting votes that are likely to tilt democratic for a series of reasons. but the final margin was sullivan by 2.4.
he's ahead by 3.7. even virginia was not an epic polling fail even though the margin was way off. the final percentage for warner was 48.5%. as far as the polls prediction, 49.2. my guess is what happened was there were a lot of people who had never heard of ed gillespie who voted republican. that would account for the wave and accuracy of the warner prediction. where you find big errors are four states, really. and see if you can figure out what the difference is and why i might have put it in that category. iowa, a 6.2% difference. it was 2.3 % in the final poll, ernst wins by 8.5. kansas, we talked about where orman was up by one. kentucky, mcconnell ahead by 7.2. he ended up winning by 15.5. and arkansas where cotton was supposedly ahead by 7, he won by 17. city mouse versus country mouse.
the states where you had the biggest polling errors also have incredibly small populations in what we would consider the metropolitan areas. take a look at colorado where the polling fail was virtually none. cotton, gardner up by 2.5. right now up by 2.9. more democratic votes are coming in because even though they're not california-esque, they're slow. almost a complete peg. 85% of the vote is cast in metropolitan area. contrast that with kansas. and that's including as a metropolitan area, which would consider to be a small area outside of kansas. iowa, 50% of the vote. and that includes a lot of places that we would not consider based on our experience, metropolitan areas, like buke or sioux city.
you go even further, arkansas, the total counties with 50,000 votes or more. cast there. kentucky, if you count the votes. the pollsters completely fail. and that raises a question of whether or not the differential response is not "r" versus "d," but city versus country. cast in the three areas that are considered to be part of the manchester or the boston metropolitan areas. but unlike every other state, the rural counties tend more democrat. that the strength for republicans is in the metro area. and that is a state where you saw the margins switch in favor
of the democrat rather than in favor of the republican. i'd like to throw that out for the polling fail. and also, if you take a look, the swing was much greater towards republicans in the non-metro areas and the metro areas. colorado i've divided into different areas. you've got the democratic metro areas, denver and boulder. and there's still more democratic votes coming in. but right now, gardner only gained over romney in 2012 by about 2%. if that had been extrapolated statewide, it would have been a 50/50 race. outside of that in nonmetro, nondenver metro area, he gained over 3.3%. rural areas, even more. in ski bunny, colorado, on the other hand, there are seven counties that if i told you the name of the ski resort you would -- gardner ran behind romney. it was a rural issue, not an
across the board issue. and the same thing is true in other places, as well. iowa, it's less obvious, but the same distinction prevails. so then the question is what does this mean for 2016 if what we're seeing is not a uniform swing but a -- a localized swing. and is this a turnout question? well, i've done two states, colorado and iowa, and colorado keeps moving up. the differential if you compare 2014 to 2012 turnout. it's slightly higher as a percentage of people voting in 20, in rural areas versus urban areas in 2014 versus 2012, but not enough to explain the difference. the reason why joni ernst won by 20 points, she won persuadables. the reason why cory gardner is -- is the new senator from colorado is because he won persuadables outside of the denver metro area and a few of them within. not bauds because of massive
turnout differentials. so if that plays out in other states, that would suggest that the democratic argument they lost because their voters didn't show up is kind of like the republican, you know, the flip side of the republican argument, vote fraud. that it's -- it's a convenient excuse to mask a message failure with persuadables rather than an explanation. what does this mean for 2016? well, to win the popular vote, republicans need to get a -- about 2% better than romney. you know, minus 2 from obama, plus 2 to romney. that's a narrow popular vote win. in the senate seats, only three states exceeded that. brown ran exactly 2% ahead of romney in new hampshire. gardner right now is 2.6 ahead in colorado, as i mentioned more democrat votes come in. that will go down by a couple of tenths. and only in iowa did joni ernst
run comfortably ahead. running six points ahead of romney. even worse to win the electoral college, you need a 2.5% jump. the marginal state that would put a republican over went for obama by five points not the national margin of four points. of those, only two of those states in the senate race do you equal or exceed the shift in the popular vote that is needed to elect a republican president. so the only places in the country where you see that are in the governor's races that john talked about. that walker runs six points ahead of romney. schneider, six points ahead of romney. paul le page six points ahead of romney. in maryland, hogan runs seven or eight points ahead of romney. so the difference between what governors were running on and what joni ernst was doing, the standard republican playbook is might be really important to
look at if you're a republican strategist trying to win in 2016 and might be very good for democratic strategists to look at if you're trying to take the republican wind -- the wind out of the republican sails. >> thank you very much. now, norm what does it mean for the lame-duck and the next congress? >> i spent much of election eve following henry olsen's twitter feed. i would suggest to all of you who are here and who are watching, if you really are an election maven, follow henry. a couple of comments on the house. as michael said, republicans are going to have the largest margin since 1928. their new slogan is we're going to party like it's 1929. my favorite house race that i watched closely was staten island. the question was, would michael
grimms' numbers exceed the counts of his indictment. he fell short. he won by 13, 20 counts in the indictment. so much for the anti-incumbent wave out there. for the stunned and disillusioned democrats coming back to washington, the one bright spot, now they can get legal marijuana. a couple of just bullet points. we talked the last time about the democratic turnout machine. we reflected on it last time. i think it's worth repeating here. turnout machines can be very sophisticated and very great, but you still have to get voters who want to turn out. i mention the old joke about the company that did the most dazzling advertising campaign ever for a dog food and it flopped.
when they annized it, it was because of dogs didn't like it. if your voters do not see a reason to vote, you can call them, you can offer them transportation to the polls, you can tell them you will take the mail-in ballot and stuick it in the mailbox and it will not matter very much. that's what happened this time. the turnout for democrats was in almost every category lower than in 2010 when they suffered historic as well. turning to the future. one of the things about a big wave and a victory that exceeds expectations and that is incredible across the board is that it poses additional challenge for governing. the conservative activist base believes that everything they stand for, every way in which they approached the process has been vindicated. they are now in the driver's seat. and the idea that now you will
dilute your product, compromise, give anything to a president who has been forced to the canvas is treasonous. so it poses a real challenge to leaders who are talking about reaching out and compromising. but the word compromise actually didn't come into the lechl i con in the soon to be majority leader's mitch mcconnell's statement the other day. it's we are going to govern in a bipartisan fashion, but mostly what that means is he's going to have to give in because now we're on top. that's going to be a little difficult to deal with. at the same time, we have an even more polarized ideologically driven congress than we had before. another house race that was of great interest was john barrow in georgia. the most conservative democrat who has managed to escape more near-death situations than every
indiana jones movie combined, but didn't this time. and that will also tell you something about the broader nature of our politics, not a single white democrat from the south left standing in the house of representatives. and, of course, it reflects the broader trend over the last three contests, that the robust blue dog coalition that was there before the 2010 elections is down to not quite but close to a trace element. and on the republican side, you have lost a group of boehner loyalists. if you look at the replacements, they are much more over to the tea party side. and they are not starting with any sense of affection or loyalty towards boehner. he will have a larger caucus. he is working to make sure he can head off a challenge. he will be the speaker next
time. it's a question of how many votes there are on the floor against him. but he will win comfortably. he is not going to have any more leeway than he had before to tell his republican caucus, we're bringing this to the floor even though a very substantial number of you do not like it. so that's going to make for some difficulty. on the senate side, the losers are most of the democrats who would be accommodating to compromises and working across the board. they're not all gone. mark warner likely will be back. we have joe mansion and king who will caucus with the democrats but will try to build a bridge. but they are going to be few and far between. always keep in mind, the old saw that used to be repeated all the time of the young house member
coming to one of his older colleagues and pointing to a member from the other party and saying, there's the enemy and the answer was, they're not the enemy, they're the adversary, the senate is the enemy. the house and senate have different cultures, rhythms, very different rules. when newt gingrich and bob dole took power in 1994 and had very much the notion that they were going to work together in sync and force bill clinton to his knees, within three months it was gingrich saying privately and then publically that he had far more trouble with bob dole than he did with bill clinton and then, of course, called dole the tax collector of the welfare state, which improved relations, as you can mamgen. now, we're not going to see the same name calling between boehner and mcconnell. but it's not going to be that much easier for things to move
smoothly through the house and then the senate including many that passed the house last time. one thing -- we haven't talked about presidential consequences. this election was very good for hillary clinton if she decides to run, not only because it puts a crimp in the potential campaign of my former student martin o'malley, who isn't going to be helped by the fact that it was his administration and lieutenant governor who were repudiated in a big way in that state, but i think democrats now are shocked enough that winning the presidency in 2016 takes a higher priority in this unprecedented effort to unite behind a candidate and push others into a marginal quality will be there. we see a significant boost for scott walker, for john kasich who becomes a factor on the national stage. keep your eye not as a
presidential prospect but as a serious potential running mate, brian sandovel who won in nevada and is probably a more attractive in many ways hispanic american candidate i think than suzanna martinez who will be governor but has a few issues, including some of the tapes that have been released of her comments. a lot of interesting dynamics out there. in terms of looking ahead, kevin mccarthy said before the election anticipating the republican majority. we have to govern. we want to come back in the lame-duck session. we want to take budget issues off the table. we will pass a long-term continuing resolution. at the same time, before the election, we had mcconnell te telling many of his fenders at one of the koch brothers enclaves, we will use the budget
process and reconciliation and appropriations bills to bring obama to his knees. he repeated this in more gentle terms yesterday at the press conference, we will use the appropriations and budget process and wrereconciliation we you need 51 votes to cut back on obamacare, the consumer protection panel, bring back coal and do a number of other things. those don't go together very well. you have mccarthy against mcconnell and mcconnell who said no shutdown, no debt limit. you can only imagine that if a budget reconciliation bill gets passed through, that does more than flesh wounds to obamacare. that basically defunds the consumer financial protection bureau and maybe does other damage to the sec and dodd-frank. that blocks the epa from issuing
regulations on climate change. obama will veto it. now, they may pass something else and send it to him. but if he keeps vetoing it, what do you get? a shutdown. we're not past that particular hump, even if the leaders know intellectually that it would be a catastrophic thing to do. there's another factor here that is important on the money front as well. we will see, i think, a continuing resolution that will probably take the current year's funding through to the end of the year in december. that will be controversial. but they will get it through. the argue will be, this is not the time to pick a fight. remember that starting october 1 that two-year budget deal that deferred sequesters ends. the see questers come back. you will have congressional republicans determined to negate it on defense.
but some are going to be saying, well, we can't add to budget deficits now. let's take an additional amount of discretionary domestic spending. that's not going to fly. it's not at all clear that it's going to fly even to deferred defense with a base that said, we came here to cut government, not to keep it going. as we move towards a budget which now will be a budget that's more than a talking point that will have to be in sync with the house and senate, which is not going to be an easy thing to do, and then as you move towards individual appropriations bills, and you are talking about across the board cuts on top of what we have had before, that means more cuts in emergency preparedness, the cdc, nih funds and medical research, the faa and air traffic control, not to mention the cuts in basic research and cuts in defense as we ramp up
against isis and with other crises around the world. this is not going to be an easy time to govern or to pass bills, even with just republican votes. those bills will very likely be vetoed or in many instances filibustered in the senate. the filibuster will be used in a different fashion. a couple of other observations on -- one on foreign policy. we have all seen this extraordinarily embarrassingly public pissing match between obama and netanyahu administration. some affects the belief on the part of netanyahu that he can rely on congress, which will give him unquestioned backing. that's true in both parties, but it's especially true with republicans. remember, netanyahu was almost public with his support for
romney in 2012, which is added to some of the problems here. this new republican majority in the senate and the more robust majority in the house is likely to lead the israeli government to be even more dismissive of the obama administration. i suspect we will see more tensions there and more friction before we are done. as we know we are going to see frictions ahead, including with the use of the budget process, as the administration moves forward with negotiations with iran, possibly towards a deal. we will see all kinds of efforts to try and put a crumb p imp in. we will probably see a republican senate move with the house to provide more sophisticated weapons or push to do so to the ukrainian government in kiev. and we will see, i think, more frictions there. at the same time, john kerry is going to be brought in to testify in both houses in multiple committees on benghazi
and on all of these foreign policy questions at a time when his challenges will be dramatically greater. one of the reasons my column in the atlantic and national journal today is about the implications of dropping oil prices, plummeting owl prices, which may have a different side to it as well. if oil prices stabilize between $70 and $80 a barrel, which is possible, you will see fracking drop off pretty dramatically. the cost and benefits don't match. you are also going to see drilling decline. that by the way will have economic implications for places like north dakota and louisiana. very good implications for california, among other things. it may change some of the political die nattics that we are dealing with as well. two other points. we are going to see enormous friction between the senate and the president on confirmations. one of the questions is whether in this lame-duck session harry reid recognizing that judicial
confirmations will dry up. some district court nominees that have been approved that may go through, but mostly nothing will happen. most of the executive nominations will die as well. if you are worried about obama using his executive authority, one of the ways in which you can hinder that and hamper is to keep people from moving into vacancies in the executive positions where they can act. we are going to see a lot of investigations, one of the most interesting people will be rom johnson who will take over the subcommittee on investigations. he has said, i'm going to go back to the old style of doing it in a bipartisan way doing real oversight. that will probably last a couple of weeks, maybe a month. the pressure on him to do all of these got you investigations will be very, very great. we will see some things done.
we will see trade agreements. that's a slam dunk for republicans. it's below the radar for a tea party activist. they don't care if you get that done. business likes it. democrats are divided. you will anger labor heading towards 2016. why not? there will be interesting possibilities for prison and sentencing reform and for nsa reform. you will see very unusual coalitions. rand paul and mike lee joining with ron widen and al franken, for example. they will be opposed by richard burr, the chair of the intelligence committee, john mccain and lindsay graham and others. we will see tensions there on both of those issues. there's a chance for corporate tax reform. but we have to keep in mind that business's idea of corporate tax reform is cut marginal rates and leave preferences alone. any reform that is not revenue
neutral is simply not going to happen. whether you can work some deal out will be interesting to watch. i do think there's a real possibility of infrastructure reform. john da laelaney has a bill in house. have profits from companies used with an incentive to buy a portion. so you don't have a lot of government funding directly. that could happen if there's a desire to make something happen. again, you will see substantial tea party opposition to anything that looks like it's expanding government. we are going to get a crisis in the highway trust fund again because of the refusal to race gasoline taxes or consider any other revenue source unless you can do something innovative like that. on the bigger issues, forget about it.
we did not break the fever or move towards a new or restored era of bipartisan policy making. tribalism is greater. with three to five republican senators absent without leave most of the time, out there raising money and building support in the primary and caucus states, with basically the appeals being far more to that even narrower version or slice of the electoral, you can see where we are going with that when you have marco rubio denounce his own immigration bill as we head toward that campaign. common core is the greatest to common core is the biggest threat to the american way of life, that kind of tells you what direction and approach we're going to see. that's like an electoral magnet pulling mitch mcconnell's caucus away from the idea of working out deals where you give a
little and you get a little. >> thank you, very much, norm. thank the rest of the panelists. i'm sure there have been disagreements. we have about a half an hour left. if you could wait for the microphone and ask your question as a question. we will try to go around the room starting at this table. two questions from this table. >> my question is a simple one for the panel. no one has spoken to what the election results mean for clinton. i wonder if you would speak to that. >> let's get the second question on the table at the same time. >> thanks very much. garrett mitchell from the mitchell report.
norm, i was looking for my black arm band, which i didn't think i was going to have to wear, but i'm going to put it on thinking about the prospects for next two years. your characterization of the mindset of the republican majorities, particularly in the house but in both chambers, suggests that there will be a preference for sticking it to the president and saying, you know, we had this wave because we stuck to our principles. so the prospect of there being some cooperation between white house and the congress is not good. on other hand, it seems to me
that one of the ways to characterize this election is that the republicans had better candidates and that one of the reasons that the republicans had b better candidates is because whatever the term mainstream republicans paid greater attention to getting a higher quality of candidate than they have had in prior years, which would lead you to believe that there will be a pressure in the republican party at large not to be the party of no but to be the party that wants to get some stuff done so that when you get to 2016 the republicans can run on some sort of message. i just wonder if you could speak to that? s >> team hillary and the next two years.
>> i think in some respects, the martin o'malley candidacy seems to be over. the mark warner candidacy was over some time ago and is not going to happen now. i think she's got problems as a candidate. the energy on the party increasingly is on the left. you have a party's wingers get discontented in a second term of a party's presidency. that happened with george w. bush. it's happening now. it's hard to picture hillary as the new face. i mean, the clinton's theme song is don't stop thinking about tomorrow. that was released in 1977. that's 39 years before the 2016 election. another area where i would disagree is that i think that after the government shutdown, the mood changed among house republicans. you had many fewer house republican members saying, we have to go to confrontation, we have to shut government down, we
have to defund obamacare and so forth. that lost appeal because they could read the polls and it was disaster for the republican party. republican primary voters, as gary suggested, i think have tended not to opt for the candidate who is the one that's loudest when he stands up on the chair and yells. that may have an affect on -- it will be interesting to see if that plays out in the 2016 election. you can imagine people reaching for the wings, as norm suggested. you can also imagine people campaigning the way i would argue cory gardner did and some of the other republican candidates. the republican candidates being newer to the scene. starting off unknown with the problems that faces you. also have an option of framing their candidacy in future oriented terms to an extent which will be difficult for a hillary clinton who has -- was involved in her first election
in 1970 and became a national figure in 1991 and is now sort of on the moderate wing of a party arguably, which is moving left, which poses more problems for her. that shows -- those are problems for her. there's challenges for republicans. it's not clear that any of the republican presidential candidates would be able to do that. >> a quick response and then we will take two questions over here. if somebody could bring the mike over here, right up here. >> well, first, gary, let me say, there were candidates who did not make a big splash this time like todd achen did. when you have a joni ernst who basically has bought into the agenda 21 conspiracy theory and said that the united nations was plotting to take away private property and cars from iowans so they couldn't live in their houses or travel said that she packs her gun and if government challenges her right, she will
use it and a string of other things. when you have tom cotton who said mexican drug lords are conspireing to bring them over the border to kill people in arkansas, that doesn't suggest to me that you have candidates who are right smack in center of the process. cory gardner, who is an establishment republican was one of the 20 most conservative republicans in terms of votes in the house. that's not a moderate group to begin with. so you have that factor. i think there's no doubt that you have an establishment that doesn't want to appear as the party of no. two ways to avoid that. one is to say we will compromise and give a little bit and the other way is to try and frame it so that he is the party of no and the obstructionist. and i think you are going to see more of a push on the latter front. one other point, mitch mcconnell said on election eve, we're not going to repeal obamacare. it takes 60 votes in the senate. there was push back from the
base. what did mitch mcconnell say the next day? of course, we're going to do everything we can to repeal obamacare. what you want to do -- that includes shutting down the government, even if you don't want to. if you end up with a confrontation where you are using the budget as leverage and you have enormous demands to use it to force the president to his knees and he says no, you have a couple of choices. you dilute your product and take the flak from your base or -- ted cruz will be right out there pounding you if you give a millimeter, much less an inch, or you stick to your guns and what results is a shutdown. like it or not, there are some things where the dynamics may pull you away from what pragmatically would be sensible positions. >> two questions here and then we will turn to that table. >> thank you.
it's my personal opinion -- >> who are you? >> i'm burt rosen. i really am addressing what you said, norm. that was not much is going to happen in the sense of compromise. it seems to me that what structurally needs to be done is the leadership needs to divest the power down into the committees, which has been the problem now for the last 20 years. and that would be the seeds of bipartisanship, because when committees start marking up bills, by nature, by definition, there are amendments and compromises and a better chance of coming up with solutions that -- by the time they get to the floor, are bipartisan. as i say, it's my view that the real solution to this is to just simply turn to your committee chairman and say, get to work. give us an energy policy, give us a tax policy, give us a health policy.
instead of the top down. is that -- would you agree with that is the first part of the question? the second is, can you see that happening? >> let's put this other question -- sir, you. >> i'm chris hennik. my question is directed toward michael. largely around self-described independence, i was struck on the first wave of the exits that show the party i.d. question was 34 republican, 37 democrat and 29 independent. my question is, have you seen a tick or a swing where ind pe independents contributed to a wave in second midterms and how long did that carry over into the presidential year? >> committee structure and independents. >> i agree that we should have policy making start at the committee and subcommittee level and take it to the floor.
in the senate, despite the polarization -- ideological polarization, you have a lot of problem solvers. that's irrespective of ideology. bob corker, lamar alexander, lots of them. you will get products coming out of some committees that will get bipartisan support on the floor. most will go nowhere in the house. that's a good part of the problem here. because you are not going to see bipartisan policy making emerge in the house. it's not in the current dna of the house. it wasn't there when democrats were in the majority. it's there even less now. that's a good part of the problem. if it were the senate alone, you would have some possibilities here. again, mostly with issues that are a little bit below the radar of the big, tough, national issues. but there's a real problem getting them to the president for signature or veto. >> john and michael.
>> i will fundamentally agree with norm, when we have divided government it's hard to -- at the end of the day, get a lot of the things through. there's a constituency in the senate and the house for broadly speaking regular order and that -- i think that is because -- if you look at democrats and harry reid and trying to keep a lid on there being controversial votes, it didn't do democrats a lot of good. a lot of the democrats who are in tough seats who didn't have to take votes were getting tagged on the campaign trail as having 99% voting records with the president. it may not solve everything. i think at the end of the day, you have to get something through both chambers and the agreement of the president. but i think there will be a lot of good will and something that mcconnell has emphasized in the -- emphasis on committees but also a freer amendment process, at least to an extent, where his side as well as democrats will have a little bit more chance to play on the
amendment side. >> michael. >> i think norm is right in that the senate has got people and i would name some democrats as well as republicans, inclined toward bipartisanship. they have been kept in -- joni ernst position over the last four years, basically prohibited from engaging in that. you have people like current finance chairman's future ranking member ron widen who hasn't been allowed to bring things. you have pat lahey, both supports, trial lawyers tell harry reid to not put it in the floor and it doesn't come on the floor. one person that we haven't mentioned is the president, who we could see in his press conference yesterday continues to have an apparent disincomplication, as well as a demonstrated inability to do bipartisan reform. that exists a problem.
but i think there's some possibilities there. the senate is the place where it can happen more easily than the house, as norm quite correctly identifies it. but we have had histories under president bush, under president clinton, under presidents bush and reagan, where the senate kind of does the compromising side. the house massaging its own view and they do get things through. that can happen. it helps to have a president who assists rather than retards the process. chris' question about party i.d. yeah, my understanding is that -- correct me if i'm wrong. three-point advantage for democrats in party i.d. on the exit poll. that seems -- is that wrong? >> it was 36, 36 democrat, republican and independent was 38. >> that's similar to the 2010, which was an even party i.d. then it came out six points democratic in the presidential
election, which i think partly was the result of change of mind, partly a result of different turnout. enhanced turnout among democratic groups. independents, a lot of people say they are independent. they don't vote like independents. they vote all republican, they vote all democrat. we have the fewest number of split congressional districts since 1920. a lot of people who are independents are -- at least were during the last two or four years disgruntled republicans. it's one of the reasons why we often -- not quite in the recent polls -- congressional republicans are rated lower than congressional democrats. when you look at the inards of the polls what you found out is that a lot of people who were identified as republicans give negative ratings to republicans in congress where relatively few people who identify as democrats give negative ratings to
democrats in congress. they are both negative. what it says -- we're in a period of competition. republicans have won four -- democrats have won four of the last six presidential elections. popular vote, majority and -- republicans have won house majorities in eight of the ten elections. that's robust competition on a fairly even playing field with the democrats having some advantage in the electoral congress, republicans in equal popular district legislatures. the fight continues. >> the number of independents in the university of michigan's long trend line in the 1950s is about 10% to 12%. we have two questions at that table. then we will go over to that side of the room. >> i'd like to elicit some commentary on the virginia race. ed gillespie believed in his
house so much that it was infectious. it was so infectious that i almost came to believe him. at any rate, what i'd like to know is whether you all think that the fact that he couldn't convince people of that infectious spirit sooner so that as a fund-raiser for him, i had a heck of a time getting people to give money because they said it's hopeless or the national committees, doing any support for him or whether there's any validity to the idea that having a 2.5% draw for a libertarian meant we couldn't make it. >> the question from the gentleman next to you. if you could say your question quickly. we will try to move around the room. >> adam powell from the university of southern california. michael, you said millennials are mildly more than average democratic in this election. to anyone of you, have you seen any survey data of millennial
voters about hillary clinton specifically addressing the question of the fact that she will be significantly perhaps a generation older than the republican candidate? >> anyone? >> i haven't seen that. but your question prompts me to go look for it this afternoon. i think that's a good question. i think it's something if you were running her campaign, you would be concerned about. is she -- she's -- you get somebody -- you get the mood of ed gillespie, more upbeat, sunny, optimistics. the democrats remind me of the phrase of the 1965 new york mar mayor race, he is fresh and everyone else is tired. that's a danger for the democratic party, possibly an opportunity for the republican party. ed gillespie, he went doo
49% in his one-point re-election victory. ed gillespie, who was a serious player in political vineyards showed very well. warner got what he polled. the polls were dead accurate on what mark warner got. all i can say is, you know, it must have been a heck of an election night for him when you come down 16 points. it says something about the obama democratic party, doesn't it? >> henry? >> it does. it also says something about the o obama democratic party in virginia where somebody probably would have done things differently if ed gillespie had gotten a couple million dollars weeks out, i would have imagined warner would have run a different race. it shows the stability of the obama coalition in virginia,
that it has held up over a governor's race, a senate race, two presidential races. virginia is not a red state. it's not even a light red state anymore. could gillespie have won? perhaps. certain sly wily with resources. if you were a national party strategy and had to decide whether to expend money three weeks out in the expensive washington market and i saw mark warner polling that way, i wouldn't have put $2 million into the campaign either. it's better to put those $2 million into the raises that you know you have a shot at that are probably as -- probably much less expensive per vote gained. >> this table over here, three questions. over here. let's put them on the table. anybody can happen. if you could ask your question quickly. we don't have much more time. >> in a low turnout election, anything can happen. my question is on the early impact of early voting.
what do you see is the impact of early voting on the get out the vote effort? the republican effort was said to be exceptional. democratic effort may have faltered a bit. >> the gentleman next to him and then the woman sitting on the wall. >> the republicans will defend a lot more senate seats in 2016. how might that affect the mitch mcconnell's agenda? >> then your question right here. >> one thing -- two things i wanted to say. one thing if you have looked at the virginia exit polls, mark worner's favfsh aabuilt was 49%. i think it's closer to 20% for independent voters.
there's a lot of reasons we can't go into here. but look at colorado. look at the difference in the governor and senate race in colorado. pick six, ten, 12 races this year, those were swing voters. >> henry. >> talking about the low turnout. i dispute this was a low turnout election. when you take a look at the states where they are competitive races as opposed to states like mississippi or alabama, where there were no competitive races, turnout was running between 70% and 75% of the 2012 level. the turnout differences between democratic urban areas and republican rural areas were not significant. in states where both parties were committing lots of resources, you saw voters turn out at rates that were pretty high for a midterm election and you saw partisans of both sides turn out. democrats did not lose colorado because democrats didn't show up.
democr democrats -- the turnout national figures obscure a couple of the things. one is that minorities tend to be concentrated in states that did not have serious races. hispanics are california, and te texas and nevada. african-americans are concentrated in a lot of southern states that did not have serious races. second millennials tend to be more non-white. the two things coincide. young hispanics are in areas where they are not motivated to turn out. that depresses the so-called millennial vote. it wasn't a low turnout race. democrats did bert tter in stat than they could have won than the national would suggest. it was up to the message which didn't persuade the people in the middle at this particular time. >> let me just address the senators who are -- there are 24 republicans up to ten democrats the next time.
it's a reverse phenomenon. almost all the democrats who won in 2010 won with a very, very stiff wind in their faces. republicans had wind at their backs. many of them in states thatowe be a ma carries. they have to worry about primary challenges. if they move too far too early to accommodate the broader die name is in their states, they could face a problem. but they do have a problem with some of these votes. where the new majority leader mcconnell has said he will return to the regular order and have a more open amendment process, i'm just waiting for the first bill that comes up, maybe it's the keystone pipeline or maybe it's repeal of the medical device tax, and an open amendment process where democrats step in with 20 got you amendments aimed at those republicans who are up, and i think we will see the amendment
tree filled not perhaps all the time but a lot of the time to protect those vulnerable senators who are up the next time. >> get out the vote? >> a couple things on early voting. i think there's been a little bit of a misunderstanding of what early voting does in terms of turnout. early voting by itself most research shows does not increase turnout. it has been used significantly by parties to encourage their voters to start voting earlier. but then on ee lks day you might not have the voters there. i think it's -- this cycle you saw republicans using it effectively in places. i think the opposition to in-person early voting by some republicans -- i'm not for a long period. but i think a reasonable period of seven to ten days of early voting is something republicans should not fear. on the senate, look, i think norm's point is well taken that the republicans have more ground
to defend. but one obvious point is republicans are going to have 54 votes in senate. they will need to retain the majority four or five seats, depending on the presidential outcome. while many are in states that president obama won, few are in wildly democratic states. they're in the states like ohio and wisconsin and places where certainly some of those republicans will feel pressure. but it's not as much as the slam dunks as the red states that democrats faced in this election. >> quickly. we will get questions from this side of the room. >> i would underline what john said. i looked at the seats that are up this time. you have got -- target states, states care required by obama, you have seven republican senators up. only one of those states that obama -- using the obama percentage as an index get more than 53% of the vote. illinois where he got 58, where
mark is up that has an appeal to upscale voters. they did throw out the democrat and elect the republican bob dole. i don't think mark is a sure loser. here's an obvious target. six of the seven states have republican governors, which shows republicans are capable of winning. the obama percentage range from 48 to 53. this is not quite as juicy a target for democrats as the current -- this year's lineup was for republicans. you have harry reid's seat up. he showed in 2010 the gaming industry showed they can bring them out even when harry reid's job rating was terrible. they conspicuously -- democrats did not do that in 2014 in nevada. basically got -- lost both houses to the legislature for the first time in a very long
time. the gaming industry and the culinary union are capable of getting that for harry reid again. we have to keep up with the las vegas review journal. >> a question in the back. are there any questions on this side of the room? then we will close things up. at the very back. >> can you explain to me the phenomenon of general disillusionment with the political establishment across the voting base left and right with a relatively low voter turnout and by my counts the highest number of uncontested races and the fact that about 90% of the house races were really not very competitive, in other words, why do you keep ee electing your own members if you are so angry and disillusioned with them? >> i think there are two points. it's true that there are a lot of safe seats. that's partly because of the way
we draw districts but more because of the way in which americans are living in democratic areas or republican areas. i have think those when one comes down to the mix of competitive seats, we have always heard this story that we're going to have the election where we throw out the incumbents on both side. that never comes about. these waves come about because one side is more motivated and the incumbents that are in dangerous seats on other side are the ones that get knocked out. if it comes around the other way, it's in the other direction. but almost never do we have this mythical throw all the bums out of both parties election. although, we talk about if every election. >> republicans appear to be -- have gained house seats or be ahead in i think only four of the seats are 55% or more obama districts. in straight ticket voting, you can target things pretty -- with pretty much precision and you
don't waste money on hopeless races. >> just -- michael may be the limiting case here. if you have an anti-incumbent move, strong enough that you decide to want the throw the bums out and you have a guy who is under a 20 count indictment for tax fraud and other things and who is known for threatening a reporter to throw him off the balcony and he wins by 13 points, what does that tell you? it tells you voters said, he's one of our guys. second, probably there's enough cynicism and disillusionment that people think, voters think, they're all like that. ours just got caught. if that's the sort of mindset that people can have these utterly conflicting views in their head, throw all the bums out, including polls that showed us a higher proportion who said they were willing to throw their own out, and then they vote in a
very different way, maybe that just tells us something about human nature. >> i want to thank all of you and thank my guys up here on the panel. i just want to say one more thing. i'm feeling very nostalgic at this particular moment. we have had election watch in this room since 1982. we will be back in 732 days, 11 hours and 45 minutes for the 2016 race. but we won't be here. we won't be here. we will be in our new building on massachusetts avenue. we hope you will follow us and join us for 2016. thank you so much. [ applause ]
we will have this forum up on our website in its entirety. just check out our video library at cspan.org. tonight at 8:00, conversations about higher education with the presidents of big 10 schools, penn state and at 8:50 rutgers, followed by 9:35 with a senate hearing on telephone scams. that target the elderly and at 10:30, a senate hearing on economic espionage. all that coming up tonight here on c-span3. tomorrow on american history tv, in prime time, three medal of honor recipients discuss their service in world war ii, vietnam and afghanistan. it's hosted by the u.s. naval institute. that's 8:00 eastern tomorrow night. followed at 9:40 by former "nbc
nightly news" anger tom brokaw. a look at promoting democracy around the world. the foreign policy research institute and the kennon institute held discussion discu. good morning, everyone. i think we will get started. i'm the director here. i'm very pleased to be able to co-sponsor and present this conference to you. welcome all of you this morning. there's no question that this is a timely and important subject.
it has always been an important subject but never more timely for us in particular in the russia ukraine former soviet world. the question of whether democracy, the development of democracy, democracy building and democracy promotion matters, whether it can be successful, what are the tools it takes to make it so. these are all questions i think we will address today, particularly compelling now. and i think questions on which many other important questions hinge, including those of security and prosperity not only for the region that we work on but for the wider world. i look forward to hearing the insights that our panelists have, that you have. i look forward to spirited discussion. before i hand the floor over to the ambassador, i want to thank him for taking point on organizing this event for many months, which has become more and more compelling as we approach the date as well as
other our ambassador who due to transsiberian syndrome, he just came off a 2 1/2 week train journey and picked up a cold that i think mary ann you remember that we got last year. he is not able to join us today. i want to thank my deputy who will moderate the next panel, my affiliate at fpri and many others who have made this possible. >> thanks very much. welcome to you all. ken was -- has the dual hat of having been associated with the project on democratic transitions for last nine years since its inception and being a
global fellow here. so working with him with will, matt, we put it together. you are very kind to give us all the credit. would not be at all possible without the extraordinary cooperation we have had with you. let me thank you and the wonderful team here at the kennan institute and wilson center and for the wonderful facilities that you provided as well. it would be very hard to imagine a more appropriate venue for today's event than the woodrow wilson center. given that president wilson started it all in some sense a century ago when he called for the united states to strive to make the world safe for democracy. the timing could not be more
opportune. it was opmore so today. the revolutions in central europe, but it's also a season of severe testing or threat to democracy. in many of the same countries where things look promising two decades ago but also most notably in ukraine and hong kong today. we are extraordinarilied foy foe to have two of the most respected and revered american figures in the field of democratic transitions. carl, for over 30 years president of the national endowment for democracy and larry diamond, who is right in the front row -- second row, one of our most eminent scholars,
based at stanford university and the hoover institute. and we are pleased -- very pleased to have as pannists several outstanding younger scholars and practitioners in our two panels who have been chosen for their fresh perspectives and their often dissenting views from the conventional wisdom or traditional policies of the last 30 years. indeed, one of the goals of this conference -- could we have -- if there are guests in the back row, could we have them move up? we don't need to use -- the reserved seats can be used for this session rather than having you to be stuck in the back. if you are able to stay for the full session. as i started to say, one of the goals of the conference is to engage the younger generation in deciding what we should or
should not do. in the area of support for democracy abroad, in the decades ahead. it's appropriate that the next generation have a major voice in this in formulating the new consensus, hopefully we will get to as a new consensus. you have bios. i introduced two of our speakers by name. in your conference packages you have bioinformation on all of them. our goal is to have a really intense, focused discuss where people have a chance to engage the panelists have a chance to engage with each other, they have dissenting and differing views. and then leaving time for discussion with you. so that is why we are going to dispense with a lot of formalities. before going on, thomas, who has agreed -- our fourth panelist is stuck in traffic.
he is confident to be here in time to engage in the discussion. i wanted to explain that will be hopefully part of the agenda. here are the three central questions that we have asked our speakers and that i ask you, the audience present here and the audience through web cast, to think about and focus on during this entire day. three questions, three topics, three issues. first, should support for democratic transitions continue to be a major goal of u.s. foreign policy? particularly in view of the drastically changed circumstances that we face today as compared to the 1990s. what priorities should we give to democracy support when it conflicts with national interests? that's the first cluster of
issues, the macro issue. there's room in the front row. please come up. second issue, if we should continue policies of active support for democracy abroad, what do we need to do differently to make them work more effectively? where should we focus our efforts in the coming decades and what should future democracy assistance programs look like if we indeed continue them? . third question, if we should no longer continue providing active support to democratization abroad, then what should be the alter maives to our present policies? it's not enough to say no, no, no, no, we haven't done anything right. tell us what we should do differently. for example, should america work to support human rights and
basic freedom s s abroad or sho we drop this traditional deeply rooted theme of u.s. foreign policy in favor of a more cold politic, let's say pure real politic. before going any further, let me underline one key definition in framing today's discussions. it's essential for proper framing of the discussions. what we do not mean by democracy support is the imposition of democracy through external intervention on the model of afghanistan, iraq or other places. instead, our focus today is on the pros and cons of assisting and nurturing existing attempts at transition and supporting new locally driven attempts at transition when and if they occur as we did account velvet
revolution for example or so many others. the roundtable agreements in poland come to mind powerfully, as well. just a quick word where fpri, foreign policy research institute and this our project, its project on democratic transitions. by the way, are the acoustics all right all the way in the back row? yeah. we think of ourselves, i think we are an invo knowvative think tank based in philadelphia and we especially pride ourselves in trying to maintain an independent outside the beltway perspective on global issues. this is why we dare to tackle so many issues that are debated and disagreed on in washington and try to take them from a different perspective and feel that we might be able to help break a little new ground. your conference folders, if you don't have one, i think there are still some on the table
outside. this is tom melia. welcome. you made it through the traffic jam. >> i did. >> i mean you made it safely. so you have in these folders conference folders the conference folders a one-page summary of activities and we have here today with us fpri's president alan luxembourg right here who introduce our luncheon speaker so you'll have a better chance and there are several of us here who are scholars affiliated with fpri through the program on the democratic transitions. when fpri invited almost ten years ago to set up a program on post -- it was on democratic transitions, it was mostly the post communist transitions that we focused on. and at that time, the leaders of the orange revolution had just come to power as you all recall. and the energy and initially positive outcomes that seemed to
be happening in the first months and couple of years of that revolutionary movement and more importantly of the many press departments of the 1990s, the successful beginnings of transition of that period, led many i would say most analysts and policy makers to believe that the prospects for post authoritarian transitions not only in the post communist world but prospects for democratization and formally authoritarian countries were very promising not only in the communist countries former communist countries but also in other areas of the world. of course, when the soviet federation fell part, people were even more optimistic. today, by contrast, we see authoritarian regression in many of these same countries. as well as deeply disappointing results over the past three plus
years in the so-called arab spring countries. therefore, the background for our conference today is one of significant i would call it democratic disillusionenment and much questioning as to the efficacy of u.s. policies in support of democracy abroad. therefore my hope today is that we will come away from our proceedings of this conference with a clearer sense of whether this current pessimism or discouragement is warranted and whether democratic retrenchment either on the ground in countries overseas or in the u.s. policies in support of democracy abroad, whether that retrenchment is inevitable or whether there are new rationales annua approaches that might permit us to deal more effectively with these resurgent autocratic trends. those are the three questions,
and that is -- and i want to stress once more the our desire for real dialogue, not talking past each other, not making speeches but looking for alternatives to the extent that you any of our panelists or any of the audience disagree with current policy. so we've asked our speakers to be very brief in their initial presentations and they've all said they will try just do a very short but will pomeranz, our moderator who has kindly stepped in at the last moment because of ken's flu has promised to be very strict with his gavel and his clock, his watch. and so presentations by our four panelists then a very brief round where they can respond to each other or add a point or two that may have been stimulated by the others' comments. and then we will open it above all we want to have your comments and questions. so think about your questions.
but please keep them brief. your questions and comments but please keep them brief when the time comes. i believe we'll have a microphone, is that correct, matt, when the time comes for questions. so what we are seeking here is real engagement and discussions that really stimulate fresh thinking and help to break new ground. so thanks to our very large turnout. as you can see, we have moved the sessions into this large auditorium in which no food is allowed. as a result of that, when we after the second panel, we have a very short time to move into the wilson dining room in order to permit our luncheon speaker, larry diamond, our keynote speaker, proper time to make his presentation. he's agreed to speak as you eat. but when you go into the conference room, very important that you grab your lunch bench and bench quickly, sit down so
that we can get started very promptly. larry will speak, dr. diamond will speak for 30 minutes and then we'll have 30 minutes of discussion. immediately after that, we will right in the same room go into the final panel that you see on your programs and the idea of that is to have four different, three or four different members of the organizers of this conference give you their take-aways. they will no doubt be different take-aways but we view this conference as a starting point for further discussion and further deepening of our understanding of these issues and what the way forward is. on these issues. now, as you probably have noticed from the cameras in the back, the entire -- the c-span is broadcasting all of the proceedings live, all the proceedings in this auditorium live. unfortunately for technical reasons, they cannot switch over
to the lunch session and the entire webcast, the buyer conference will be webcast and will be available on the kennan institute and the foreign policy research institute websites. finally, we encourage you to tweet and ask questions online using the #democracymatters, all one word. so thank you, will, for stepping in. and i turn it over to you to strictly keep to the agenda. thank you. >> well, thank you very much. mr. ambassador, welcome to the first panel on revisiting the case for democracy assistance. we have a group of very distinguished speakers as the ambassador noted, their biographies are in the panel but this is really a distinguished group that can get to the basic question about how to prioritize democracy promotion and where to allocate different resources. as we go forward.
the first speaker is carl gershman. it is a great privilege for me to introduce carl who not only has led the national endowment for democracy for decades but also was my boss for a good seven years. so carl, the floor is yours. >> do i push this on or is it on? thank you. thanks very much. it's a great pleasure to be here. i've been given ten minutes to give you a picture of the whole world. i'll speak in short happened so bear with me. i'll raise a lot of issues. you won't be able to talk about probably all of them. it's a very different period today than it was 25 years ago when the communism fell 35 years ago when it got started when the third wave of democratization crested, communism collapsed and democracy appeared to be triumphant and inevitable around the entire world. it was a period of a lot of illusions in my view. democracy was thought to be inevitable, all countries were thought to be like poland which
were going to welcome the united states. ned was no longer needed in the views of a lot of people. the government could step in and do the job because these issues were no longer terribly sensitive. there was something called the transition paradigm where democracy would just progress in transitional countries according to certain stages. mark plotner here and larry published an article by tom carruthers on that in 2002, but it was a period which i think is a little bit charles krauthammer called it a vacation from history and today we're i think a lot wiser. we understand how difficult it is to build democratic societies especially in countries that lack strong institutions and a middle class and how strong the resistance to democracy is from the old establishment. this doesn't mean that people don't want democracy. they're fighting for it, china and russia from venezuela to saudi arabia from pakistan to azure ba jan. did doesn't mean there hasn't -- did doesn't mean there has
been.some kind of failure of democracy promotion which in my view trivializes the problem which has five broad dimensions. first is that there is a growing effort by the world's autocracies to push back against the advance of democracy whose purpose is to control civil society and independent media to contain democracy to project their own version of reality into the flow of information around the world and to modify the international norms embodied in the universal declaration by elevating the principle of sovereignty above all others. we call that the pushback. the second is the dismal fate of recent efforts to achieve successful democratic transitions most notably the failure of the arab spring uprisings to produce any significant gains for democracy sake for the fragile now under way in tunisia. these uprisings once generated such hope have succumbed to authoritarian bash lash and the
growth of extremist movements. autocrats have retained power. they have not hesitated to use savage violence as we knows in syria. the third problem involves back sliding in countries once considered stable or newly consolidating democracies but which are now experiencing a surge of populism, extreme nationalalism and threats to independent media. the coup in thailand, the trend toward a liberal in hungary, the growing centralization of power in turkey, the steadily retreat in venezuela and countries in latin america are examples. the weakness of the response of the world's major democracies to the challenges posed by the new authoritarian assertiveness is the fourth problem. speaking to a conference on ukraine in the eastern partnership we organized five years ago said that and i quote
politics that politics where economic interests are put above basic political values are not only immoral, they are suicidal. speaking about ukraine today, the philosophy, miroslav mira knowvich has said that values are surprised for security, we will lose both. the suicidal tendency to elevate narrow interests over values is today stronger than ever in both europe and the united states. he was speaking about the weakness of europe but the united states is also at fault in the silences in latin america toward the erosion of democratic freedoms in many countries has been defening. we live at a time when the words of the poet william butler yates. the worst are filled with passionate intensity. the fifth problem has been the crisis of democracy in the united states and other leading democracies. it's a crisis that has many dimensions, political polarization and abgovernmental
paralysis, our failure to rebuild infrastructure and renew human capital or control entitlement spending and the financial crisis of 2008 that undermined the influence and standing of the u.s. and other democracies. the impact which is heightened by the rise you have china which claims to be an alternative model of democratic of autocratic capitalism. now, the situation is by no means au gloomy. i mean, i'll point quickly to three factors which go in the other direction. while there has been a democracy recession as larry has called it, there has not been a reverse wave in the number of electoral democracies which speak to the 123 is now at 116. that's not a reverse wave. there has also been democratic resilience during the economic crisis of 2008 which surprised a lot of people that weren't mastiff collapses of democracy with the economic crisis and there were democracy movements today with real vigor in hong kong and ukraine and other
countries. we must also recognize that some of the fundamental problems that affect the state of democracy have little to do with the success or failure of efforts to aid democracy, however, effective or ineffective some of them might have been. first and foremost, we have to commit ourselves to the restoration of american leadership in the world. this is not an expression of american arrogance or reckless or a reckless form of overreaching. rather it is the recognition of a fundamental geeiol political reality. the world without u.s. primacy sam huntington wrote two decades ago would be a world with more violence and disorder and less democracy and economic growth than than a world where the united states continues to have more influence than any other country in shaping global affairs. president obama himself acknowledged this point in a peach last year to the u.n. generally assembly when he called u.s. disengagement a danger for the world and a mistake since it would create a vacuum of leadership that no other nation is ready to fill.
the urgent challenge now is for the u.s. to exercise leadership in a convincing manner so that the vacuum is not filled by hostile powers or by chaos and violence. the problem today is not overreaching as some analysts wants to say or trying to impose democracy on other countries which is ridiculous to assert today. we need to return to a policy of real engagement. that doesn't mean draining our resources by getting bogged down in distant wars but it does mean backing up our diplomacy with military power and deterrents in the absence of which we will have little leverage in negotiations with countries that do not share our commitment to peace and the rule of law. why should they negotiate seriously they feel they have the option of achieving their objectives by other means including the use of force and why should we hold back from providing ukraine with the wherewithal it needs to defend itself? i would call your attention to the article in the "washington post" today by senators levin
and inhofe. but the restoration of u.s. leadership will not be possible unless we have the little will and the capacity to bring the spiraling u.s. debt under control. over the last decade, the gross federal debt nearly tripled to more than $17 trillion and now exceeds the total u.s. gross domestic product. while there are many reasons for the continuing public surge -- continuing surge in public debt including the 2008 fiscal crisis, the wars in iraq and afghanistan, the principal factor has been the growth of entitlement spending which has gone from less than one-third of the federal budget to more than two-thirds today. in the words of robert samuel n samuelson, the welfare state is taking over government. our other priorities are steadily being squeeze out from the investment and human capital to the international programs and even defense spendsing is expected to shrink by over 40% over the next decade. but there are things that can be done top address the other problems i mentioned even those
there are no quick or magic bullet solutions. i'll just give a quick list of some of these things. the effort to push back against the growing autocratic refrigs must be continued and expandeded. more needs to be done. and president obama's statement on defending civil society made last month in a speech to the clinton global initiative is a step in the right direction if there is real follow through. and the effort by the house foreign affairs committee, ed royce and eliot engel to reform the governs structure of radio liberty and radio free asia is an important step to count to the information offensive being carried out today by russia and other autocracies. on the difficulty of achieving successful democratic transitions i think it's important for civil society and protest activists to learn some lessons from past failures. such as the need to prepare to engage in political action and
take responsibility for governs in the event that the protest movements lead to the down fall of autocratic regimes. " protest movements must start thinking strategically and maturing politically. this is happening in ukraine today with a lot of the protest leaders taking part in the elections that be held next week. on the -- there are things that need to be done to reverse or retard what i call an democratic back sliding. corruption has to be fought with real determination and in addition to conditionality and assistance programs, something that larry has talked about and i assume will raise today, i think we need to look for new ways to integrate into the development strategies efforts to explicitly build the capacity of independence media which can be provide means for economic growth and accountability against corruption. we also have to develop strategies for strength ling democratic culture by supporting
indigenous groups committed to building tolerant societies and by helping to connects these groups to civic movements like the new movement in china. and to connect these movements so they can learn from each other. we also have to main tan and build up efforts to support indigenous democratic actors. we have to remember that democracy must come from within. it can't be exported or imposed. this has been the ned model and it's worked steady, cutting edge support over the long-term tailored to each local situation. the support needs to be comprehensive involving grant support, training, networking like the world movement for democracy, research, and political solidarity. democracy activists need all of that and they place special emphasis on the need for political solidarity at a time when autocratic regimes are cracking down so harshly. finally we must nind a way to
rebuild a sense of democratic conviction in the u.s. and europe. i'm just back from the czech republic. i was struck our friends there are as concerned about the growth of cynicism and illusions about the dangers they face as we are here. we'll soon be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the velvet revolution with a ceremony in the u.s. capitol unveiling a bust of havel. we should remember how strongly he felt about the suicidal character of policies that put narrow economic and security interests so perceived above freedom and human rights and his concern about sacrificing values to serve interests would end up undermining both. i think that the best way to rebuild democratic conviction something to connect americans with people on the frontlines of democratic struggles around the world. people who know the dangers and who are prepared to sacrifice to defend their dignity. drawing spirit from them and
maintaining a lifeline of support for their working is important not just for them but for the security and future of our own democracy. thanks. >> thanks so much, carl. nicolas? >> thanks. thank you very much. it's a pleasure to be here. let me just note since i am affiliated with the naval car college that my comments today are my own opinion and do not reflect any official position of the college or of the u.s. navy. those of us that come from the american realist tradition accept the proposition that american national security in the long run is enhanced by the existence of other well established stable democracies because on the most part, they provide higher standards of living, they're more responsive to their citizens, they generally find ways to resolve conflicts without going to war. they are better, they're transparent in how they engage their affairs. where the rub comes in is two
things. the first is that in the short term, democratizing states leads usually to greater insecurity. those that are familiar with the work of bremer and his j curve when you open formerly closed fortarian societies you generally have drops in economic prosperity and security, the work that schneider and mansfield and others have done which as you open up closed societies you run the risk of greater conflict. so there creates security problems for the u.s. because we generally don't like to see disorder particularly in key parts of the world as we're seeing now in the middle east. the second reality that we face is that oftentimes states that democratize and become democracies may become less close partners of the u.s. in security matters. this is particularly the case if the u.s. had supported an authoritarian regime that preceded it and then a new regime comes in and may seek to distance itself.
it may not seek to adopt the full panoply of the u.s. security agenda. so we've had difficulties in our national security establishment in being able to reconcile a commitment to the long-term which is to have the spread of democracy and then realizing that the short-term impacts of democratization may not be supportive of u.s. security interests. we, of course have, seen this in parts of latin america, parts of the middle east, we've seen it in some parts of asia. and then across theure asian space. then, of course, cree come back to the question well what, about our model in eastern europe. i think it is important for us to take a few minutes to look at how and why under what conditions american national security interests and a commitment to democratization went hand in hand because that will help us to tease out some of the factors we should look for when we're trying to reconcile in other parts of the
world some of the distinctions that are there. first thing of course, is that east european states had clear security threats when they were escaping from the soviet bloc, they would always have been concerned about a rear currentlient russia. there were concerns at the time in the early 1990s about germany so that these states had real security issues that led them to seek partnership with the united states. this, of course, is where condition alt played a big role because the united states could make demands and requests of those governments that if they wanted a closer security and political relationship with the united states if they wanted membership in nato and wanted to be involved in the european union, there were standards they would have to meet so that we could say that tas a we could use that as a very important levering for pursuing and encouraging domestic reform. we also had a certain degree of confidence in the 1990s that we could support a process without
having to worry about outcomes. that is, we did not look at many of the central and east european states and say, well only a few of the political parties here are pro western and pro american and the others may be anti-american or may be opposed to an american agenda. it allowed to us focus on process rather than outcome. we did not have the great worries that when the polish communists came in after solidarity's term of government that all of a sudden, they were going to rip up everything that had been done reverse poland's direction in fact, the ex-communists in poland were as support of western immigration of membership in nato and the eu as solidarity and any of the other political movements in poland. that allowed our democracy promotion efforts to avoid the appearance of trying to pick winners and losers in the domestic political process. we had a break down, of course, of this in russia in 1996 where we very much had a sense that yeltsin's victory, boris
yeltsin's victory was as american imperative. we had to make sure that are zu gan negative did not win that final round of the presidential election. so that is where we began to see some deviation from that where it wasn't simply about supporting process. it was about looking at particular outcomes, political outcomes that we wanted and then as we've gone back and looked at that, was the willingness perhaps to compromise the process or allow the democratic process to be compromised in order to ensure that president yeltsin would have his second term in office. and finally, one critical part of the central east european experience which may not be replicated in other parts of the world was the fact that the united states government put its full faith and credit behind the democracy process was very important. local governments looked at that as part of the validation of the reform process that they were doing. the fact that u.s. officials
that ambassadors, that government functionaries were involved and were supporting this process was seen as a positive for the process. and so therefore, looking at this experience, it can be tempting to say well, it worked in east why you were and we had the idea that every country is poland and all we have to do is take the polish model and apply it elsewhere wan we'll have the same results. if we misapply theest european experience particularly inure asia today and in the middle east, it can lead us to contradictions. it can lead us also to disappointments on our part. why isn't it working out the way it's supposed to? why aren't we seeing the emergence of political movements that both support democrat process but also align themselves with the u.s. we can see different reasons. we see certainly in the middle east that the popular opinion is not particularly supportive of the u.s. national security agenda in the region. so democratization if we want to
have more popular input in how governments are run, the tradeoff is to accept that there is going to be governments that depend if they're dependent on the will of their citizens are for he their legitimacy, it will contain what they can doing in terms of cooperating with with the united states. sometimes political movements that are seeking internal democratic reform are not seeking security goals that favor the united states. the green movement in iran was not going to necessarily dismantle iran's esnuclear program. it was not going to be a big part of their issue. so we cole support them or not support them as the case may be whether or not that was we should do that because it supports our values is one thing but the argument that somehow supporting that movement was going to lead to a geopolitical change in the middle east the facts don't seem to point that. we don't have the same sweeteners in terms of european union and nato expansion in other parts of the world.
we can't offer that kind of condition alt to say that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. this was very much what helped to keep the east europeans on the track and on the straight and narrow particular areally in the balkans that the idea that there was an end goal of joining the european union and nato we don't have those tools in other parts of the worlds and it may be more difficult to encourage that. certainly the rise of china allows for the possibility that we could use that as condition alt but it could also flip in the other direction, which is that we become so anxious to get allies for china as we did during the cold war that we will woo overlook a multitude of democratic sins at home if it means that we're putting people into our camp. finally, just on the last question and the last 30 seconds or so i think we need to recognize that this tension is here. we can't wish it twae between our short term security interests and long-term val pupz some of the things we may want
to discuss is does this mean we need to separate some aspects of the democracy promotion agenda from day to day diplomacy and governs? do we want to have more civil society participation, less micromanagement from organs of government the exit ept to which democracy movements fear u.s. government involvement because that may lead them to being tagged as u.s. agents. and finally, just to end on this point, i think we have to recognize as we move forward as the democracy promotion movement regains its initiative as i think it will, we have to live with the fact that the leaders that are produced as i like to say will be more nehrus than add naurs. they're going to be people who come to power. they will be democratic but not necessarily going to sign up on the u.s. agenda we've had difficulties in the past with leaders like nehru who were democratic but not aligned with us. we prefer that they be add naurs and i think we need to find ways to expect that that how are begoing to interact with the
future nehrus that will be emerging it particularly in the middle east in asia, and then ultimately we hope across theure asian space. >> thanks very much, nicolas. barak. >> thank you. i'm going to be very brief and say that on the democracy assistance hasn't been successful. i that i that tom or others will probably make a strong case for it. i agree with all of it. i think that it has been very successful. i'm leave it at that and focus on some of the challenges. now i should say also that i'm coming from the world bank. these are my own views not of the bank but no one at the bank tried to stop me. there is a democratization movement going on within the bank, too. i think ideas matter. i think how we frame problems in the world matter. and i think if we will look if you just watch five or ten minutes of news, you get the sense of security crises out of control. that we've got.
border crisis and we've got terrorism and the long war and we've got drug wars and there's all of these problems. now we've got the ebola panic and we see the way we frame the challenges that we have today, there's a very heavy family sis on there's a world the world is a dangerous place and weise have do everything we can to keep ourselves safe and keep all of these threats from abroad from wreaking havoc at home. and this is not the first time that we've seen the world this way. this is a recurrent period in history. you can go back say after world war i and the immigration crises we've got to the close the borders or the communist threats in the 1950s. so in other periods of our history, we've been able to rebalance the ship and hopefully get a more balanced focus on the problems that we face today, but i think that it's fair to say that we are in a period where u.s. foreign policy is very heavily influenced by security
concerns above all else. and i think that matters because it determines policies, it determines the types of programs that we fund and the way that we act to protect our national interests. now, i'll give you a contrast with the way that we frame problems at the world bank which is about the poorest of the poor and how do we ensure inclusive growth. so every time i have a project proposal, i need to say, well, this is going to benefit the poorest in society. this is about an economic inclusion and you can see how if we had a u.s. foreign policy that was based on trying to spread prosperity abroad and increasing economic inclusion what might lead us to a different set of policies an than we have today which is where i see everything is a security crisis. we've got agricultural food security. water security. my favorite new program is fishery security and afterry come in west africa is right now
the navy is helping fishermen in west africa improve the security of their fisheries. now of course, fishery security is one way we could talk about the issue but we could also talk about sustainability or development and that might lead us to a different set of proposals rather than having the united states navy taking the lead in fisheries development and working with fishermen in west africa to increase their economic opportunities. and if we will frame issues in terms of security challenges and there's all of these threats to our security, then we have to accept that the military is going to take a lead and we now have an -- doing some research on what i was going to say today. and it leads us to, well, a sort of blending. we've got the national security agency doing spying abroad and
here. we're not quite sure everything that's going on. it leads us to accept a level of lack of accountability on military affairs because, well, the world's a dangerous place and we have to just sort of accept that this it is how things are going to be. and i think in the context of lack of faith in our own democratic institutions, this creates a very serious problem. i think i saw last week that the latest pew poll had trust in government about somewhere around 20%, which means that a large core of obama's supporters including me don't really have a lot of faith in the way things in washington is broken. it's not just a meme. it's a reality. we have five months of congress not being in power. and going around saying we've
got perpetual war in syria, we've got this ebola crisis but meanwhile our own congress doesn't seem to feel any need to act. so i think that this creates a just to be clear, i'm not predicting any coups in the united states. i don't think that's going to happen. don't anyone say this guy from the world bank said there's going to be a coup in the united states. i'm not predicting anything like that but i am saying that in excessive reliance on the military in a situation where we lack confidence in our own elected officials whom we can control is perhaps not a great situation. and if we want to rethink about this balance between security and democracy and about how we can engage abroad in a more productive way to hopefully bring about a more peaceful word, we might want to think about actions we can take on our own to perhaps restore a bit of confidence and credibility in the way we think our own government functions.
and so adrian, ambassador asked me when we were talking about there, you're saying that everything is bad and there's nothing good we can do. oh give me some actionable ideas. give me a place to start of things the government could realistically do. so i've come up with a list of ideas that i think hopefully we can consider. first, i think we need to end giving surplus military equipment to police departments. giving them tanks that they don't need isn't good for police. it's certainly not good for us. and i think that maybe perhaps many people in abroad saw what was going on in ferguson, missouri and said, what do you expect of the united states? they start wars with with the united states. why wouldn't they put up arms against their own people. i think more transparency in u.s. military programs would be a nice thing. we've got drone wars going in somalia and yemen and pakistan. it would be nice if we had a bit
more knowledge about who is being killed and what's the source of this intelligence, how many innocent people are we killing and not allowing the cia to classify anyone of military age male as a potential combatant. so more transparency in our drone programs and certainly more transparency in our military programs all over the world. i work mainly in africa i can't say i'm familiar with the u.s. military efforts in the sahara because they're vast, sprawling and not very easy to spot unless you're on the ground. so i think it would be nice if we brought a bit more democracy to our security affairs. i think nsa surveillance and the nsa's deliberate attempts to weaken the internet in order to improve its capacity to spy on people i think that would be something that hopefully we could get a bit of a handle on. and i think it would be nice if
we talked a bit about the way that we've extended border insecurity and to this 100-mile barrier inside the united states which includes everyone washington, d.c. because we are within 100 miles of a coast that gives the border he patrol a bit of how would you call it, enhanced capacities for interrogation that i think are a bit worrying. so if none of these are possible and if you're going to sit here and tell me, well, all of these ideas are far outside the realm of what's an reevable given the security crises that we face in the world today, then essentially what you're telling me is that efforts to perhaps redo some of the problems in our own democracy are not possible and if that's being the case, then we're going to have a
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