tv Washington Journal Thom Hartmann CSPAN June 28, 2022 7:16pm-8:01pm EDT
c-span is your unfiltered view of governmentunded by these television companies and more including charter communications. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that is why charter has invested billions tilting infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications supports c-span as a public serve along with these other television providers, giving you a front row s -- seat to democracy. thom hartmann joins us now. he is the author of the hidden history of the supreme court and betrayal of america. in that book, you argue in 2019 the supreme court had reached
past his constitutional powers and duties. i wonder what this term of the supreme court has shown you on that thesis? guest: thank you for having me on the program. it seemso me the supreme court is continuing is process of essentially promoting an agenda organized a bunch of very big dollar donors may be 15, 20 years ago with the creation of the feralist society and other organizations to basically rollback a series of rights americans have foughtor for more than a century, rolling back the rights of people to be members of labor unions, for example. it is difficult noto be a labor of -- of a labor union thanks to the supreme court rolling backhe rights of women to get an abortion, rolling back
-- they just did away with the miranda rights, for example. radically increasing police power if you have been unjustly accused of a crime. you do not even kw the rights that you have. i am concerned about it. i do nothink the court is representative of america from our values, and i think it is doing genuine damage to democracy in this country. host: rollback, you say. rollback to what or when? what do you think the agenda is trying to get back to? guest: it looks to me they are trying to be the reincarnation of the lochner court, that they are tryingo take us to the 1920's. it was in the 1930's that we got the right to unionize without your employer killing you or generally not quite that bad. d of course abortion was
illegal tn and theight to vote was not well-tablished at that time. the supreme court roed back the right to vote in the shelby county decision. i forget the name of the case, but in the case of ohio in 2018 they ruled that republican secretaries of state can just throw people off voting roles if they choose. substantial purges. we saw in georgia before the last election the scey abrams electionthat the governor was then the secretary of state and put several hundred thousan people off the voting roles and then several hundred thousand and won the election by 50,000 votes. this is why stacey abrams still refuses to knowledge the election.
that was madeossible inarge part by decisions of the supreme court. the preme court has empowered corporations to pollute our water and air. i am relativy certain this coming week we will see them got -- gut the epa further. the project of stacking the court was put together by a group of right-wing billionaires , many of them out of the oil industry and chemical industries. the major priorities were keep our taxes low, in other words help construct a political system where the party that will always keep taxes on billionaires low has power, and deregulate our industries, stop costing us money by forcing us to clean up our pollution. to bring along other voters and
the republican party, the court has jumped in on issues like prayer and guns that i doubt anybody on the court gives very much consideration to. and the gop as well. they are really about doing the business of wealthy people and giant corporations, that th throughout this so-called cuure war to bring in voters. host: let me get the phone numbers to bring in viewers. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. thom hartmann is the host with the thom hartmann program come up with us uil 10:00 a.m. eastern. as folks start to dial in, as of yesterday, what is the line
between separation of church and state in this country? guest: this is another example of how bizarre decisions have been. in this case, the court has ruled for a long time,ack to the founding the republic, that people who ve the power of the state should not have also power to inflict religion on people who do not have the wer of the state, and there was a ruling in the 1950's about school prayer. what was so -- this is a long-established principal. jefferson wrote about this. james madison,is first veto as president was a bill that would ha given money to a church in washington, d.c. to pay for a courouse. there is great danger if government ever go money or
power to a church acting as an agent of government. it must never happen. this was literally james madison, fouer -- father of the constitution. in this decision, 13 times come and might be 14 times in his decision, he describes the pray of the coach as being quiet. he talks about how people could make phone calls and be talking to their friends during it quit trying to minimize. in fact, it was not quiet. this guy was on the 50 yard line praying loudly, which jesus told us not to do in the sermon on the mount. that is only what hypocrites do. this guy was on the 50 yard line with a bunch of people around him and students felt pure pressure. you are not part of the team if you do not show up for the prayer. that is the power of the state. the fact that gorsuch felt he had to lie more than a dozen times in this ruling shows in my
opinion how corrupt the court is and how willing they are to subordinate basic principles of democracy, that democracy is not based on anybody's religion. it is based on the rule of law and the fact that this court is willing to blow those things up just to satisfy wealthy donor bases and a minority of voters in the united states, is vy troubling. host: you talked about the federalist society and its agenda. is there an equivalent for liberals? guest: i wish there was. there is not. there are a few progressive think tanks mostly that have to with economics.
but there are no major foundations. for example, i do a radio talkshow. for years, ken vogel wrote about this in politico. for years, the heritage foundation was pumping $1 million a year into sean hannity's show got $2 million a year into rush limbaugh's show. there is no equivalent on the left. there is nothing like that. you have 1500 right-wing radio stations around the country, several hundred of them now in spanish language pumping out right wing propaganda, and there is a tiny fraction of that on the left. and without the subsidies and enormous amounts of money. you have several of the richest people in the country funding these organizations, whethert is the federalist society trying to put right-wing judges on the court, whether it is troops
funding individual politicians. the supreme court ruled in citizens united that corporations are persons, so they're entitled to first amendment rights of free speech. because a corporation does not have a mouth -- which demonstrates the absurdity of the decision -- becse the corporation does not have a mouth the way it can speak is by pouring money down the throats of politicians. now we have a law -- they blew up hundreds of state and federal laws dating back to the 1800s, political bribery laws that made it a crime to bribe politicians. five republicans on the supreme court said we are not going to call tt bribery anymore. we are going to call it free speech. and the result iyou have politicians -- virtually the
entire republican party unwilling to acknowledge science around climate change. many of these wealthy donors are deeply involved in the fossil fuel industry. you have republicans who for decades have been allowing themselves to be bribed by the tocco industry and they are still denying tobacco causes cancer. a country cannot work -- no country can work when half its politicians are being aggressively and openly and legally bribed by special interest groups. that is what we have now as a result of the supreme court. host: for viewers who have not caught or show current work and they find it? guest: i am on commercial radio stations around the country. there is a life youtube stream of it. it is live on twitter and facebook. you can get it off the iernet. we are on free speech tv.
ther are lots of ways to get the ow. host: thom hamann with us taking your calls and questions kevin is up first. caller: good morning, mr. hartmann. i can understand your concern that the supreme court is going back to the original reading of the constitution. guest: they are not doing that. caller: let me finish. it has been about 100 years and coming. it is when the progressives took control of the supreme court during fdr andfter fdr that they changed it where the federal government did have power. that they did not have before. guest: what? caller: i have been a union member. i have paid union dues for 23 years. i nder how money times you have paid union dues, but --
guest: every year. caller: good. i would be interested to know which union. guest: sag aftra. caller: ok. so anyways, before fdr, we had no federal laws on unions. and yetamuel gompers, consider the grandfather of the labor movement, created the afl and it thrived before fdr. it was not until the federal government took control the labor unions that we have become where the labor union is the party, is the democratic party. that is what destroyed -- i know you guys like to complain about right to work laws, but you like to complain about money going into these political organizations, which the uaw has
been doing for decades. host: let me pause there and give thom hartmann a chance. guest: i was curious what his question. it was not uncommon beforthe wagoner act was passed, the ameran labor relations act. it was not uncommon for strikers to be beaten, killed. police were used against strikers. there was no legal right to strike in the united states, no legal right to join a union. i would encourage you to google the ludlow massacre. people understood this in the 1920's and 1930's. gompers and others were leading a movement at great risk to thselves and their own lives and many others union leaders did lose their lives in those battles. so the fact that congress legalized workers having a union
-- think about this for a minute. a corporation is a collection of people and mon worki together for their own purposes to make profits. why can't workers organize together for their own interests? this baffles me, why anybody would say workers ould not be able. it should be one worker against a billion-dollar corporation and the people on its board of directors and 200 executis all working in concert to destroy that one person who is trying to establish their rights or get decent pay or decent benefits. so we have this extraordinary imbalance to begin with. then, what happened here, your caller is right that the democraticarty was associated with unions for years and still is and it was unionthat were the major funders of the democratic party until basically
the early 1990's. what happened was in 1981, when ronald reagan came in, this was the reagan revolution. reagan came in and basically declared war on unions. he broke one of only two unions that had endorsed him. he broke his promise to them. at that time come about a third of americans had a good union job, which meant a third of americans had thequivalent of a good union job. two thirds of us had a good union job and the economy was strong. the american family was strong. a single person working a good union job could raise a family anbuy a house, could put their kids through school, could take a vacation, had good benefits. that createdfor the first time in the history of the world, a middle class that encompassed
more than half of citizens in the country. reagan came into office, almost 60% of americans were what you would call middle-class today. as a consequence of reagan declarinwar on unions, today it is about 44% of americans are middle-class. $50 trillion in wealth, from 1980 today, has been extracted from the middle-class and handed to the top 1%, which now have so much money spilling out that they are shooting themselves to the moon for fun. th is a real crisis for americs, for ameran democracy. we are getti pushback as a nsequence of this, so my 1992, just 12 years after the beginning of the reagan revolution among unions have been so damaged they could no longer fund the democratic party. just before the reagan revolution, in 16, the supreme
court rst said if a billionaire wants to give money to a politician that is not corruption or bribery. that is free speech. two years later, the supreme court said, that applies to corporations, too. corporations can now own politicians. that fueled the reagan revolution, so b 199wead had union density in the united states abo cut in half. when bill clinton wa running for president, he could not get ough money from unions to run. republicans had already said, ok, we will take your money. oil industry, tobacco industr anybody who wants to give us mone we will take it. thatowered the reagan revolution, famously. reagan, his inaugural ball was a celebration.
so clinton found hself outn the wilderness. what d he have to do? he said, ok, we willtart taking corporate money, but we will take it from the clean corporations, from tech and insurance and banking. the y that worked out with the democratic party got just as corrupted as the republican party, just by different industries. that started to change during the obama administration, when the democrats figured out that they could raise money from average ople instead of having to go toiant institutions. now the democratic party is in the process of shedding itself of its corrupt members. but the republican party is fully embracing corporate and billionaire money. host: we have a lot of clers waiting for you and about 20 minutes left. john paul out of chapel hill, north carolina, democrat. good morning. >> quite an extensive library
you have there. guest: 50 years of books. caller: an earlier caller -- this is something i would like to hear your comments on -- compared the coaches' prayers on the football field with a person doing a bake sale. i justhought that was kind of humorous because i wonder at would happen if a person wanting to conduct a bake sale thought they had the right to it on the football field, where their worm thousands of people in the stands. guest: at a state-supported school. caller: right. just a ridiculous analogy in my opinion. so i thought that was funny and i would like to hear your comments on that.
guest: i agree with u. the state-supported part is the important part. i have no problem if a catholic school in the united states wants to hold prayers during a football gamon their property. that is up to them, but when our dollars, when my dollars, our dollars, are supporting a public institution, like a public school, and a member of that scho, a person in power in that school come and coaches have tremendous power, a person power in that school says, i am a member of the church of satan and so we are all going to get together here on the 50 yard line and give a prayer t satan, that would upset me considerably. ankly, i'm expecting the church of san to try something like this. this is now absurd -- this is how absurd the court has gotten
and how far they he taken us in their promotion of this bizarre worldview they hold. host: new york, julie, independent. are you with us? you have to stick by your phone. we will goo barbara in jacksonville, florida. good morning. caller: how are you? host: doing well. guest: hope you are, too. caller: i have a couple things. mr. hartmann is definitely talking aut how he is against everything that is american, think. he is totally againsthe supreme court, who is a divider of the anger between all the political things. we have to have somebody that splits all t anger since the president into doing it.
host: what do you mean by splitting the anger? caller: the republicans, the democrats, we are all fighting. somebody has to be able to separate the fighting. the praying, the abortion, we are all fighting against everything. he just said about the praying. the praying -- he said we are going to go to satan. what abouthe abortions? somebody's going to pay for it. why should i pay for somebody going to another sta? guest: for a governmt money to be used for abortion,as been since 1978. caller: i am against abortion, so why should i pay? guest: you should not have to
pay for somebody else's abortion and u do not. if you are opposed to abortion, do not get one. under roe v. wad if you did not want an abortion, you did have to get one. now the government is going to use the por of police to force women to behave in the way that six justices on the supreme court have decided is the way women should behave. that seems problematic to me. host: would you agree with her that the supreme court is -- she said the divider or separator -- i think she was implying the supreme court was cooling passions between two sides fighting a lot. do you think theare inflaming passions or cooling passions in this country? guest: just look in the streets. i think barbara was ming an importt point, and i'm not sure she pulled it allogether. that is that we are at ch other's throats. th is a shame.
that is not the country i grew up in. i am 71 years old. i have been around for a while. this really all began in the 1980's. those of us who are old enough n tell you from personal recollection. we used to have political disagreements, but we could work together and make things happen. it was not until a fairly subsntial group of about 100 billionaires and about 200 very slickly active corporations got together and said, we e going to take over the republican party and remake america in a way that will ke our taxes low , keep us richer then send and allow ourompanies to continue dumping pollution in the air a water. and we will whatever we have to do to get suckers to come along with us, whether we have to talk about abortion even though we do not care about it, whether we have to talk about guns even though we live in mansions and do not have to
worry about gun violence and things, this is what they did. i think that is when the horrible division of america began. and also with ronald reagan's inaugural speech on january 20 oh 1981 when he said government is not the solution to your problem. government is the problem. the republican party on that day declared war on the american government and have been trying to tear apart our government ever sense. the result has been this horrible division where people are at each other's throats. i do not like that and i do not want to see it continue. host: out of arizona, this is john, and independent. caller: hello, mr. hartmann. i haveeen a listener for years. i have tried to call in.
the primary thing i'm asking about is ruth bader ginsburg almost predicted what the supreme court was going to do. my question is,ecause this is since 1974, why didn't congress make it a law? the supreme court does notake laws but interprets what has given to them. at the time in 1974, the supreme court was primarily a liberal institution versus today. now it is a conservative institution. ruth said this was going to happen. why didn't the democratic party pursue or codify it and make it a law? guest: make what a law?
caller: make the roe v. wade. guest: oh, that is a good question. they should have. in my book, which was published two years ago, there is a whole chapter about e v. wade and how in many ways with the supreme court decided this -- keep in mind it was in march of 1970 that new york state became the first state in the union to legalize abortion. by 1973, a handful of states had decriminalized abortion across the cntry and it was growing. birth contl pills were legalized in 1961. in 1965, the supreme court legalized married couples havg birth control on their own homes, which had been illegal in connecticubefore tha
this kicked off the women's movement in the la 60's and early 70's and women were coming into the workplace. 1972 it became legal for woman to get a cdit card or sign a mortgage or car contract without the signature of her father or husband. so in 1973 we were moving in the direction of most of the states in the united states legalizing abortion. the supreme court stepped in and said, we will take ce of this. then congress ver put this into law and they should have. it is the major faile of the democratic party and republican party. in 1973 when roe v. wade was passed, rold reagan had just signed the second most liberal abortion bill d united states as governor of californi george herbert walker bush, his wife was an activist in planned renthood a he was openly pro-choice. the reblican party was
essentially pro-choice. it did not change until the election of 1980, when reagan hired s vice president's son, george w. bush, as a liaison to the evangelical community, and jerry falwell, who just a year ago the southern baptist convention had voted to recognize roe v. wade. a year later they decided we can use this as a political wedge. we can use this to tear america apart and get people on our side. that was when reagan and bush both renounced their support for abortion rights for women. and started down this handmade road and here we are now. i agree with you. the democratic party should have done this a long time ago. the reality is it has been at least 25 years since the democratic party had a substantial majority that would happen able to pass it over a filister.
it should have been done back in the 1970's, when there were a lot of pro-choice republicans. host: newton, new jersey, thi is bill, and independent. caller: good morning, mr. hartmann. i have a queion and comment. first, does this reversal of roe move us closer or further from a culture of death? no matter how you define life, your definition of life may be different than mine in terms of pregnancy. i believe this is a moral question. do this reversal move us further were closer to a culture of death? guest: in 1970, when al blumenthal stood up in the new york assembly when they were debating the first decriminalization of abortion in
the united states, he pointed out over 300 women had dined from -- died from a legal abortion in the past years. these re documented by a medical examiner. i remember in high school in the 1960's -- i did not know her personally, but i knew who she was. there was a girl in my class who one day op coming to school. we discovered she had tried to give herself an abortion with a knitting needle and had died. so i think providing women with the right to choose to have an abortion before a fetus is viable is saving lives and empowering women. i agree with pretty much everybody in america that after the six-month or perhaps for the month that it then becomes the interest of the state.
i am astonished. yesterday i was listening to npr and they had one of these antiabortion group leaders on who sai democrats want abortion until the end of the ninth month. there is not one single democrat in america or in the history of america who has ever said that. nobody is saying that, and yet the lie persists? -- the lie persists. what the supreme court has done is going to lead to more deaths in the united states. host: in philadelphia this is marka democrat. caller: this show, we love you guys on rt. my question is this. how do we fight back against these right wing zealots? how do we fight back within our confines of our democratic republic? guest: you do it by showing up.
this is the way that we make, in theo political change in america. prior to the reaganevolution. the way that we made politil change in america is not by bribing politicians. it is by showing up and voting. it is by sharing with your friends and neighbors were political opinions and rationales and understandings, having honest disssions about the issues of the day. and voting. we need to show up in massive mbers in november. host: to hank in south carolina. caller: i keep hearing you talk about these 200 republican billionaires. youave big conspiracy theories
going. there e no democratic billionaires? how abou hollywood and the media, the left-ng media? and why are you so down on reag? he was elected twice and i thght he did a good job. you act like he was the wors president in the world. guest: i believe he was one of our worst presidents for a variety of reasons, his tax on the -- attacks on the medal class. when he came io office, we had a federal budget deficit of $800 billion. when we left, he had tripled e national debt. he was following a prescription laid out by a republican strategist. he called it the two santa claus theory. said, for years democrats have been able to be santa claus. they got us medicare, worlace protections, all these thingto all these benefits.
so republicansave to force democrats to sho santa and repuicans have to become their own santa. so he said how it should work is when a republican becomes president cannot cut taxes like crazy. and spend mon like crazy. spending that moy will stimulate the economy s everyone will think the republican gives you a good economy, and cutting taxes will run up the national debt, so t democrat because president you can force that docrat to shoot the democratic santa. he was talking about socia security and medicare, but radley let you can force that democrat to shoot santa clause by screaming about the debt. jimmy carter and bill clinton were the only two presidents in my lifetime who proposed balanc budgets, but all that we have can -- all the debt we have can be attributed to a series of republican presidents, among other things. that is just one issuethe debt. i have a problem with reagan.
host: a reminder to our viewers that the january 6 committee, we found out sterday they will be meeting today. you can watch here on c-span, the free c-span now video app. we know that it is when to be cassidy hutchinson expected to testify today, former special assistant to mark meadows. what are youexpectations for today? guest: i am not sure. i am looking forward to it. probably what we are seeing with the investigation is what happens when a party sets aside its moral core. prior to the reagan revolution, the republic party were typically honest brokers. i remember dwight eisenhower. he was a good man. in h letteto his brother in 1956, he said any party that says they are going to overturn
or destroy social securitynd end unions and things like that will never be heard from again. he said their numbers are small and theyre stupid. he was referring to the hunt brothers, billionaires down in texas. he was warningis brother of billionaires taking over his own party. at is what happened. so what i think the january 6, e big picture here is ware looking at the corruption of an entireolitical party that has been 40 years in the making. trump was just the logical outcome. host: lindaas been waiting in missouri. caller i saw you several decades ago on crossfire with tucker crossan. i wondered what your feelings on tucker carlsen are now. guest: tucker is an entertainer. he said as much in court.
he has every right to say what he says commit like i do. i respect that right. i do not agree with him on politics, but he is a competent fellow. he does a good job at what he does. st: what news do you watch? do you watch much? guest: we watch msnbc, cnn, and fox. host: what are you getting out of watching all three channels? guest: i think the major way our news is spun come as it were, is by choosing which stories to focus on rather an by direct commentary. during prime time, there is an enormous amount of direct commentary particularly on msnbc and fox. i think my kratz feel like they need to have a home. they are finding it at msnbc.
republicans are finding it at fox. and people just looking for the ws, more and more cnn is going to be just about the news. it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. i think it is important to check out all three, and i encourage my republican viewers to check out msnbc and i encourage democrats to check out fox. you need to know the other side isaying. host: marianne has been waiting in clarks grove, minnesota. caller: you redeemed yourself a little when you said that comment about eisenhower. before that you were pretty much trashing the party that i think does more good. i am calling because the roe v. wade, i recalled when it occurred and heard on the radio. i lookedt my 18 month old and just started bawling. at 21, i knew the gravity of
what that was going to be. it was predictable. the pendulum swung way too far and people just -- it was supposed to be safe and rare and it became, for some people, i have had seven or eight abortions. for me, thiis not safe and rare. i believe the child is sacred, obviously, and i do not want women stoned or anything. i do not want anybody killed. guest: the rate of abortions has been going down for over 20 years. caller: 60 million babies? it is not going down. i get a real bang on what goes on in our country because we have people in toronto and california having a parade for pride and all these naked people running around in front of children and we are worried about some guy sitting on a
football field silently praying? host: i am going to stop you there because i have about a minute left. guest: he was not silently praying. you may be offended by gay people walkinground their chested. this is america. people have that right. whether we agree or disagree with how people behave in plic cannot like people have the right to walkround with giant guns strapped to their backs like they have some sort of penis we have to respect that. that is what makes america strong. diversity of opinions, diversity of -- host: thom hartmann.
tom: thomhartman.com for the website. thank you, this is a great service. thank you so much for allowing me to participate. >> c-span's washington journal. every day, we are taking your calls live on the iran -- live on the air on the news of the day. coming up wednesday morning, the liberty justice center and the freedom from religious foundation, discussing religious liberty cases heard by the supreme court. then, the fda decision to pull juul e-cigarettes from the market. washington journal, join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets.
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