tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 27, 2013 4:00am-5:00am EDT
florida state senator, dwight bullard, thank you so much for your time tonight. appreciate pit it. >> thank you. >> that is "all in" for this evening. rachel maddow is next. >> i have to apologize, we are sharing a studio, and we just had a really loud technical -- >> i thought you were beating someone up. it seemed so out of character. >> there's another side to me i don't usually like to show on tv. i'm sorry about that. i'm sure it was very distracting. i didn't mean it. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. i'm sorry for you too. anyway. so ronald reagan had tip o'neil. when ronald reagan had confrontation with the congress and the other party about maybe shutting down the government, it was ronald reagan versus tip o'neil. when bill clinton had his confrontations with the congress and with the other party about maybe shutting down the government and, in fact, shutting down the government, he had his adversary as well, and that, of course, was newt gingrich. so it was ronald reagan versus tip o'neil, it was bill clinton versus newt gingrich, and now it is barack obama versus -- who, exactly?
who is president obama negotiating with? who is this showdown in washington with? and, yes, john boehner has the same job title that tip o'neil and newt gingrich had, but nobody, nobody believes that john boehner is doing the same job that those guys did. in that nobody believes that john boehner speaks for anyone. when john boehner says republicans should do something, or that republicans are doing something, nobody believes republicans will actually do that thing. in july, he said, hey, republicans have written a farm bill. we're going to pass a farm bill. they did not pass a farm bill. in july, john boehner said, okay, now republicans have written a transportation bill. i'm in charge here. i'm in charge of the republicans in the house. and so now we are going to pass our new republican transportation bill. they did not pass their new republican transportation bill. even earlier this month, john boehner said, republicans do not want to shut down the government. he said, we republicans have
drawn up a bill to kick the can down the road and fund the government. we are going to pass our fund the government bill and he brought it up and the republicans did not pass their own fund the government bill. john boehner does speak and he is in the house, but the idea that he is the capital "s" speaker of the house like tip o'neil was or newt gingrich was when they fought with presidents of the opposite party, hah! no. sadly, no. this week, bloomberg business nik posits a new cover story that the man actually in charge of congress is not john boehner, but actually this guy, jim demint. the guy who quit the senate right after being re-elected to go run the heritage foundation instead. you might remember us talking about jim demint's tenure at the heritage foundation, because soon after he took over, he got embarrassed at his new job, when it turned out that they had hired a guy with white supremacist ties to write their anti-immigration study.
then they had this totally genius move, when this study came out showing that 57% of americans did not want to defund obama care. they put out this poster, saying that 57% of americans did want to defund obama care. they read the poll backwards or upside down or something. the poll says 57% of americans don't want it. they put out a poster saying, look at this poll, it says that 57% of americans do want it! who cares! we used to be a think tank, but now we're run by a senator who quit and used to run a marketing firm before that. sometimes we get our numbers backwards. who cares? we make posters now. then, under jim demint, the heritage foundation said they would score senators on whether they voted with ted cruz to filibuster for a government shutdown. we there track that vote, they said. we will score you on that. you won't look like a real conservative anymore unless you vote with ted cruz to filibuster, to shut down the government. well, that got awkward, because after ted cruz did stand there for 21 hours, talking about the
bill to fund the government, talking about why it was so important to block that bill, even senator ted cruz himself then, right afterwards, voted for that bill. so, then, how is that going to score over at jim demint's place. apparently, though, jim demint, though, is in charge. at least he wants to seem like he is in charge. and jim demint has now rolled o out the new argument for why it is still a good idea to shut down the government as a way of killing obama care. jim demint says republicans are justified in going there and doing that. because we have never had a chance to vote in a national election, in which we got to make a choice between someone who was in favor of obama care and someone who was against obama care. obama care never had a hearing in a national election. asked by "bloomberg businessweek" if maybe the 2012 election was just that chance, senator demint responded that in 2012, quote, we did not litigate the obama care issue. yeah, you know, come to think of
it, in 2012, the whole obama care issue just never really came up in the campaign. >> we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing obama care. >> we have to repeal obama care. >> we will roll back obama care. >> obama care! >> replace obama care! >> get rid of obama care! repeal obama care! get rid of obama care. obama care! >> day one, president romney moves to repeal obama care. >> obama care! obama care! >> obama care! >> all all of obama care. >> i'm the one that's going to get rid of obama care. we're going to stop it on day one! >> remember 2012, the presidential election, about how obama care just never came up? it's like it wasn't even an issue in the campaign. so nobody ever expected that that election would have settled anything about obama care. >> you had said, next year, that you would repeal the health care vote. that still your mission?
>> well, i think the election changes that. it's pretty clear that the president was re-elected, obama care is the law of the land. >> well, now the latest republican argument for shutting down the government in order to stop obama care is that it was never addressed as an issue in the presidential campaign. this is the point where the way your friend told you that you should calm down, use deep breaths, this is the time for deep breaths. president obama today went to maryland and gave a speech about health reform, and he has given a million speeches about health reform. but this one today, the president seemed both totally exasperated by what's going on, on the other side, and also like he was kind of having a good time talking about it. >> one congressman said that obama care is the most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed. ever. in the history of america, this is the most dangerous piece of
legislation. providing -- providing -- creating a marketplace so people can buy group insurance plan, the most dangerous, ever. you had a state representative somewhere say that it's as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the fugitive slave act. think about that. affordable health care is worse than the law that let slave owners get their runaway slaves back. >> the president also made a prediction today about what's going to happen now that health reform is going into effect. watch. >> medicare and social security faces the same kind of criticism. before medicare came into law, one republican warned that one of these days, you and i are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our
children's children what it once was like in america when men were free. that was ronald reagan. and eventually ronald reagan came around to medicare and thought it was pretty good and actually helped make it better. so that's what's going to happen with the affordable care act. and once it's working really well, i guarantee you, they will not call it obama care. >> that was president obama today, apparently enjoying himself, giving his umpteenth speech about health reform, talking about obama care. he was at prince george's community college in largo, maryland, giving that speech today. but what the president said there in the end, about if health reform works out great, they sure won't call it obama care anymore. he has raised that issue before. he's shown an acute awareness that health reform is so closely associated with him personally. he told a funny story about it a couple days at the clinton
global initiative. >> you know, in kentucky, it's called like kentucky connecticut, and in idaho, it's called the idaho health care exchange. and there's a story that came out of kentucky where some folks were signing people up at a county fair somewhere and some guy goes up and he starts looking at the rates and decides he's going to sign up, and he turns to his friend and says, this is a great deal. this is a lot better than obama care. all right? which is fine, because we, you know, i don't have pride of authorship on this thing, i just want the thing to work. >> president obama is getting at something there, with the branding issue on health reform. a couple of weeks ago, there was a fox news poll that turned up an accidentally hilarious finding on this. look at this. republican support of president obama's health care legislation rose by eight percentage points
when identified as the affordable care act instead of obama care, a new fox news poll has found. if you ask about it by another name, they like it more. it's not an outlier. a new poll by cnbc finds that among voters overall, opposition to the affordable care act stands at 34%, but opposition to obama care is nine points higher than that! they're the same thing! they are the same thing. the affordable care act is obama care. one's a nickname. it's like jim and james. ahh! deep breath. branding matters and the president knows it. and the white house knows it. and today in recognition of the ridiculous scaremongering over everybody getting health insurance, and the ridiculous outcome in which people sure like the policy when it's called one thing, but not when it's called some other thing, today the white house welcomed the adorable care act. we do not know exactly who rolled this out on tumblr. the white house says it was not them.
but from affordable care act to the adorable care act, it is not a big leap. and there's a bunch of different ones, so you get the idea. thanks, adorable care act, this mouse and his cute little feet says, i can rest easy knowing that life stooim caps on health coverage have been eliminated. or this one, "get your ducks in a row. visit health care.gov. this is a good one, don't be a sad panda, health insurance market places open in five days. now, is calling cuteness a pre-existing condition, kind of a ridiculous way to publicize changes in health insurance regulations? of course it is. but is this kitten actually going to live to be 26? only in cat years, america! this is a scandal! this is a scandal. is this little kitty actually a defective eye patch this tolerant old dog will be able to replace with a proper eye patch once the health exchange is opened next week? no, not at all, dogs aren't covered, this is ridiculous.
but this is a far sight less ridiculous than saying that nobody talked about obama care in the last election. or that ted cruz, giving a long floor speech, will magically kill a law passed by congress, signed by the president, upheld by the courts, and affirmed by the voters. yes, the kitty thing is ridiculous. but this is all ridiculous. and the kitten one, at least, has a slight chance of actually working. joining us now is dr. zeke emanuel, a special former health adviser and currently chair of medical ethics and policy at the university of pennsylvania. thank you for being here. >> it's my pleasure, it's an honor. >> as a doctor, can you affirm whether or not that dog will be able to get a proper eye patch? >> i'm not a vet, although we do have a vet school at the university of pennsylvania, but i never trained with dogs. >> the president today said that republicans' biggest fear is not that the affordable care act will fail, but that it will succeed. do you think that political judgment is a sound political judgment and do you think it
will succeed? >> you have to ask my brother about sound political judgments, he's told me that i'm not allowed to make political statements since i don't know anything about politics. but on the policy issue of whether it's going to actually work, i do think it's going to work. and i think we've already had signs that it's worked. many people say, well, october, the affordable care act is going to kick in, but it's been around for almost four years now and it's had a pretty big effect. millions of children getting insurance through their parents, preventative services with no co-payments, so you can actually get things like birth control pills or cancer screening tests without having to pay for them or having that financial barrier. people getting rebates, if their insurance companies don't spend enough money. seniors getting a cheaper drugs if they fall into that doughnut hole. hospitals working assiduously to reduce their readmission rate, to reduce their hospital-acquired infections. we have already had a lot of activity from the affordable care act that has been in the positive direction of improving the system. >> have the things that have gone into effect already largely
turned out and had the kinds of effects that were predicted by the people who designed the law? >> yes, in general, we have had the right effects. and, you know, that's not to say everything's been smooth or there haven't been glitches in implementing them, and we haven't had unintended consequences, but you'd have to remember that in 2009 and 2010, when we were debating health care reform, the issue was, do we want to reform the system? the current system was untenable and unsustainable. and the democratics came up with a proposal, and i have to say, the republicans never had a coherent proposal, which insured everyone, cut health care costs with, and improved quality. the democrats at least had a proposal and that was called the affordable care act. >> when we have seen pieces of the law, that have delayed implementation. and some of that, you see little pieces of that all the times in the news, different parts of it and people have tried to make a lot of political hay out of that, saying, see, it's a disaster, they're trying to delay it long enough that they can, something, something, something. something, something, something, my tinfoil hat hurts.
but when you look at pieces that are delayed, do you think that's a cause for concern or a sign of reasonable prudence? >> probably the biggest and most important thing was the employer mandate, delayed a year. the president made clear, it's only going to be delayed a year, it's not going to be delayed longer. and for most of us, that didn't really make a difference, because, again, it applies to employers over 50 employees and about 98% of those already offer insurance and the big ones offer almost 100% offer insurance. so it affects only a small number of employers and a small number of employees. so it wasn't a major issue. delaying the individual mandate is an entirely different issue. and that would not be prudent in my opinion, at all. we do have to get people used to the fact that they have an obligation to take their responsibility and have insurance, and that, i think, is what the individual mandate says. and, again, this is one of the things that sort of perplexes me, as much of this perplexes you, is the republicans are the
party of individual responsibility, assume your responsibility. and part of that is insurance, right? if you are uninsured and you get sick, someone else is going to largelyened up paying for it. that's not individual responsibility. and part of what the democrats, you know, wanted to do is to say, all right, we're going to give you a way of assuming your responsibility. and let me finally, you were talking about jim demint and the heritage foundation. we should remember that the individual mandate, which sends the republicans around the bend, was their idea. >> the heritage foundation -- >> the heritage foundation's idea. >> and i would just add, i am having a deep breath problem with this story today, as you can tell. but in 2007, when mitt romney was running for president, jim demint endorsed mitt romney for president, because he said he liked that sound health care program that he'd come up with in massachusetts. >> there you go. >> dr. ezekiel emanuel, with the university of pennsylvania, great to have you here. thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. all right. there has been a bunch of news today, including some
bold-faced, big-type headline news that has just broken tonight here in new york at the united nations and we've got a live report on that next. so please stay with us. [ male announcer ] when you have sinus pressure and pain, you feel...squeezed. congested. beat down. crushed. as if the weight of the world is resting on your face. but sudafed gives you maximum strength sinus pressure and pain relief. so you feel free. liberated. released. decongested. open for business. [ inhales, exhales ] [ male announcer ] powerful sinus relief from the #1 pharmacist recommended brand. sudafed. open up.
we have some significant news breaking late tonight here in new york, where the united nations is still meeting in its general assembly and where the obama administration appears to have achieved a big dploeptic breakthrough tonight. at least, that's how senior state department officials are describing it to nbc's andrea mitchell, telling andrea that
what happened tonight is, quote, historic, and unprecedented, that it is, quote, a breakthrough, arrived at through hard-fought diplomacy. the breakthrough in question is about syria. you'll remember about three weeks ago, president obama was threatening american military action against syria, because of that country's apparent use of chemical weapons in its civil war. the president threatened that the u.s. would even act unilaterally, because no one thought it would ever be possible to get the united nations on board, to do anything internationally about syria. that's because syria's -- the syrian government's best friend in the world is russia and russia holds a seat on the security council, and therefore they can block any u.n. action, same goes for china, which no one thought would ever go along with any u.n. intervention on syria. both those countries had veto power, and both of them would block anything the international community tried to put together. until today, apparently. breakthrough!
the u.n. security council, including russia and china, as of tonight, says it has reached an agreement on an international u.n. plan, a security council resolution, to go get and go destroy syria's entire chemical weapons arsenal. this is apparently binding, but we'll have more on that in a second, because that's a difficult question. but in addition, look at this. this is something that never happens. not for decades. today, at the u.n., on the sidelines of the formal session there, some diplomacy broke out between the united states and iran. this is the first high-level political contact between our country and their country in decades and the world did not end. i mean, it's early yet. so far, though, the sky is still up and the ground is still down. two really dramatic breakthroughs today, all achieved with no one firing a shot. this seems like a big deal. the security council meeting on the syria part of this tonight, as we speak, this is a live shot at the u.n. outside where the security council is meeting.
joining us now is andrea mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for nbc and the host of "andrea mitchell reports." andrea, thank you for being here. >> thank you. this is actually exciting stuff, in diplo-nerdland, which is where i live. >> that's what i wanted to ask you, on the andrea mitchell scale of diplomatic achievements, where are we at on that scale in terms of these two developments? >> well, first of all, on the syria deal, this is real language, it's not threatening specific actions, but it is under the chapter of u.n. resolutions, which would permit military action if assad are reneges. >> that's key, chapter seven. >> yeah. and everyone said that would never happen. so this was worked out in final draft between lavrov, the russian, and john kerry, this afternoon, and then they brought their, you know, partners in, and there was another meeting, and it's now being worked out. it could, actually, be approved by the security council, as soon
as tomorrow night. these things do tend to fall apart at times. we've watched this over the iraq resolutions, so we don't know if it's going to actually happen, but i think this is a pretty important handshake. >> the speed with which this is happening, on that point, again, if kerry and lavrov worked o out this language today, should reread anything into the fact that we are meeting tonight? they're not expected to sign it tonight, but they're right into the security -- >> exactly. and the fact is, this is the first time the united nations will have decided to take action on chemical weapons and in syria. it's the first resolution on syria since the 2 1/2-year war began. because russia and china wouldn't go along with anything, but now they will. >> let me ask you also on iran, on the specifics, and it's even the body language stuff here, is it the case that john kerry and his counterpart from the iranian foreign ministry actually shook hands today? >> they shook hands, they sat next to each other, because you saw notetakers and interpreters sitting between them, they're
basically notetakers sitting between them. they were basically sitting side by side on the corner of that table and had a separate meeting afterwards, each coming out and each describing their meeting in the same way, constructive, substantiative, substantial. this is only the beginning, and we'll see what happens down the road, will they drag their feet. but i was at a meeting where rouhani spoke without any cameras very candidly yesterday, and he acknowledged just how tough these sanctions have been. and he said to the council on foreign relations tonight, i was elected with a mandate overwhelmingly for a moderate course on foreign policy and to fix our economy. and that's what i have to do. now, we've seen a little bit of twists and turns, where he talked about the holocaust and then the government news agency said he'd never really said that and he said, then, to charlie rose, yeah, i did say that, and repeateded it. and, you know, he didn't shake hands with president obama. that was probably too much, too
soon for the people, for the audience back home, acknowledging a lot of people have acknowledged both in their mission and externally, that, you know, there were diplomatic problems, political problems back home with the hardliners. but he has certainly more running room than we've seen with previous -- >> and just the fact of them meeting and talking, it has been years and years and years since anything like that has happened, isn't it? >> it has been a formal meeting at this level since 1979, since the revolution. >> since argo. >> exactly, the real argo. andrea mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for nbc, the host of "andrea mitchell reports," which is 1:00 p.m. eastern here on nbc. >> we had a great lead today. >> thank you. it was very fun to be there today. and we bookended each other's shows today nicely, which is probably rude to everybody else who works here, but it's fun for me. thank you, andrea. we'll be right back.
there are unwritten rules for politics, at least for american politics. for example, we have the unwritten rule that there should be no hitting. we have not always had that rule in our politics, and not every country in the world believes in it, but that is an unwritten rule in our politics. use your words. no hitting. also, raise the debt ceiling. it's not a written rule, but it is an unwritten rule. do not damage the full faith and credit of the united states, no matter what political point you are tempted to make about it. just don't do it. there are also unwritten rules in baseball. like, for example, if you crush
a pitch into the stands and hit a home run, you do not, then, verbally taunt the pitcher who just threw you that pitch. the fact that you just hit it into the stands is supposed to do that talking for you. do you want to see a guy break that rule? this was last night, milwaukee versus atlanta. milwaukee's carlos gomez hits a home run, totally kills it, but then he doesn't just give the pitcher a piece of his mind, he yells at everybody else. as he runs around the bases to score his home run, he's yelling at everybody. it's totally against the unwritten rule. you're supposed to let your athletic heroism do the talking for you. the guy that decides to enforce that unwritten rule is tlan's catcher. the catcher just gets up and decides, you know what, you're going to yellow at my pitcher and my first baseman while you're running toward home, you are not going to do that, i will not let you pass and he stands there on the base line and will not let the guy pass.
and the swearing was bad enough that tv networks had to pixelate their mouths when they showed the replay. and then, of course, there was a big fight. and even though the dude was not allowed to get to home plate, they gave him the run anyway, but then threw that guy out of the game. the guy who hit the home run got thrown out, not the catcher who blocked him from getting to home plate, which is maybe unfair. but also in this instance, it is the enforcement of that unwritten baseball rule. that's how it works in baseball. that was amazing last night, in the first inning of that game. what are the odds of the same thing happening in republican politics? who is going to enforce the unwritten rules of american politics for republicans in congress? that story is next.
the date was november 1st, 1983. the number one tv show in the country was "dallas." the number one song in the country was "islands in the stream," by kenny rogers and dolly parten. and the president of the united states kept a diary. i know, ronald reagan kept a diary. and on november 1st, 1983, here is what president reagan wrote in this has diary. "dear diary, day began with gop
congressional leadership, a full cabinet room. last night the republican senate very irresponsibly refused to pass an increase in the debt ceiling, which is necessary if we are to borrow and keep the government running. after we gave them all a rundown on lebanon and grenada, we took up the budget and the necessary legislation. i sounded off and told them i would veto every darn thing they sent down unless they gave us a clean debt ceiling bill." that ended the meeting. love, ronald. i don't think he signed it like that. the guy that ronald chewed out was senator howard baker of tennessee, the top republican in the senate at the time. and a few weeks after that intense confrontation, howard baker received a personal letter from president reagan. "dear howard, this country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. the full consequences of a default or even the prospects of a default are impossible to predict and awesome to
contemplate. the risks, the costs, the disruptions and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion. the senate must pass this legislation before congress adjourns." ronald reagan sent that letter november 16th and, tada, two days later, congress raised the debt ceiling. ronald reagan strong-armed congress into raising the debt ceiling 18 separate times during his presidency. and he did it by essentially saying, it would be a freaking disaster for the country to not raise the debt ceiling. so let's go, you guys. quit messing around. >> congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default, before facing its responsibility. this brinksmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on social security and veteran benefits. interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets and the federal deficit would soar. the united states has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations.
it means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility, two things that set us apart from much of the world. >> ronald reagan speaking in 1987. two years ago, when republicans in congress were threatening that they would not raise the debt ceiling, democrats used that old ronald reagan tape to say, we know that you really hate president obama, but do it for the gipper. listen to ronald reagan, at least. do not mess with the debt ceiling. but two years ago, regardless, in 2011, republicans in congress messed with the debt ceiling. they took us right to the brink of default, and even just getting to the brink was enough to not only get the u.s. government's credit rating downgraded for the first time in our history, it also took what had been relatively strong job growth and put a big four-month dent in it. and now two years later, we're doing it all over again.
today, house republicans unveiled their big wish list for all the things that they want, in exchange for not sending the country into catastrophic default. the u.s. government is set to go into default on october 17th, three weeks from today. and republicans say that they will let that happen. they will crash our economy and likely crash the world economy, unless democrats agree to pretty much everything republicans have asked for over the last few years. they want to delay obama care for a year, they want to gut wall street reform, they want to approve the keystone oil pipeline, they want to increase oil drilling on federal lands, they want to increase oil drilling offshore. they want to block epa regulations on carbon and power plants, slash medicare benefits for old people, and maybe, although this one is uncertain yet, maybe they want to institute a new federal abortion ban. also, tort reform, killing the consumer financial protection bureau, i think literally, they said, they also want to throw in there, getting rid of net neutrality.
because, hey, why not? anybody want a pony? it's everything they can think of. and unless democrats agree to do all of those things, the economy gets it! democrats are asking for nothing. republicans are demanding these things or they kill the economy. republicans have been in control of one-half of one branch of the federal government since they won control of the house back in 2010. and in that time, with that little bit of control, they have brought this country to the brink of default once, causing the first credit downgrade in the history of the republican. and now they are threatening to do it again, unless the president enacts everything they want. let's say you have decided that your teenager is mature enough and responsibility enough to be trusted to drive the family car. so you're driving, you pull over to the side of the road, and you say, okay, jr. let's trade places. here's the keys. you drive, you've earned it. and your kid says, sweet! and you switch places, your kid grabs the wheel, and then speeds towards the nearest cliff
saying, i swear i will kill us both, i swear i will drive this car over this cliff unless you raise my allowance! and you talk him down somehow or maybe you wrestle the wheel from his hands or something, but you save yourself. then you decide you're going to try it again. and the next time you hand him the keys and you switch seats and you let him drive, he aims the car at the nearest brick wall and guns it and says, i swear i will drive this car right into this brick wall unless you extend my curfew. i will do it! i will kill us both. then he reaches over and unlatches both of your seat belts, still steering towards -- do it! what would be the logical response from you as a parent, if that was your experience with your teenager driving the family car? would you hand him the keys again? today, congressional democrats raised the prospect, as they did two years ago, that president obama has the power under the constitution to raise the debt ceiling all by himself. to take this away from congress,
to just raise the debt ceiling, citing the fourth section of the 14th amendment of the constitution, which says that the validity of the public debt of the united states shall not be questioned. when house democrats brought this up a couple of years ago, president obama said he did not want to do it. he said, congress should be able to handle it. congress cannot handle it. should he, could he, just take the keys away from this child? the great steve kornacki joins us next. stay with us. ♪ honey, we need to talk. we do? i took the trash out. i know. and thank you so much for that. i think we should get a medicare supplement insurance plan. right now? [ male announcer ] whether you're new to medicare or not, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. it's up to you to pay the difference. so think about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans,
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this autumn, the congress has faced the unhappy task of raising the debt ceiling to over $2 trillion. with only a few days left before that deadline, congress must realize that by failing to act, they're entering very dangerous troy. never before in our history has the federal government failed to honor its financial obligations. to fail to do so now would be an outrage. and the congress must understand this and bear full responsibility. >> i have to say, no congress before this one has ever, ever, in history, been irresponsible enough to threaten default. to threaten an economic
shutdown, to suggest america not pay its bills, just to try to blackmail a president into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with the budget. i mean, this is the united states of america. we're not a deadbeat nation. and that's why i will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the united states of america. >> president obama speaking today at a community college in maryland. ronald reagan saying the same thing in 1985. joining us, steve kornacki, host of "up with steve kornacki" and he's also a senior writer with salon. fighting over the debt ceiling is not a brand-new phenomenon in american politics, but were these fights less scary in the
past than they are now? >> yeah, i would separate fighting over the debt ceiling is one thing. the tradition is really posturing over the debt ceiling. and i think there's a big difference. you look at reagan in 1985. another example when there were budget deadlines and budget negotiations that were playing out in the capitol and the debt ceiling kind of got thrown in as part of it. there have been times where you could say there were negotiations over the debt ceiling, there have been a lot of times when the debt ceiling came up for renewal and the opposition party, this is both parties, democrats and republicans, would use that to -- you know, it sounds like this horrible thing to people, look, the governing party is going to raise the debt ceiling, they've run up so much debt. we've had that vote from obama in 2007, raising the debt ceiling, that sort of thing. it was never, it wasn't officially symbolic, but it was symbolic. there was no suspense in any of those votes. in 2011, we entered uncharted territory, where we walked up to a line that we had never even gotten too before. we didn't cross a line, we've come as close as we've ever come, but that was new territory there, and now -- >> and that was enough to harm
the country materially. >> that was enough to -- right. you had the credit rating reduced in the wake of that. the demands and sort of negotiations in 2011 were all sort of fiscal related. foul we're taking it a step further here, where you have this laundry list from republicans that came out today, which is totally unrelated to the budget, totally unrelated to the deficit and taxes. just a laundry list of republican demands, which takes it to an even further level. >> so when we start talking about things that have never happened before, things for which there is no historical precedent, in 2011, when we did get so close to the brink that the country was done harm, nancy pelosi specifically and some other house democrats suggested that president obama could essentially take it out of the hands of congress, saying the debt ceiling is not a constitutionally defined thing, it's a statutorily created thing, that the president could go around. he could under the 14th amendment and the powers that he has as president, just say, this isn't congress' job anymore. i'm doing it. and the president rejected that idea.
was that ever prescribed in previous times when we worried about debt ceiling? did that ever come up? >> i think it only came up as a practical matter like, wow, the president should think about doing this in 2011. and it's been -- it's been proposed a few times since then, anticipating the next great showdown. the case that the white house -- i think the white house still is not there, where nancy pelosi is today. and i think what they would say on that is, look, there are catastrophic outcomes of a debt ceiling default. if that ever happened, the effect on the economy would be catastrophic. but if a president invoked the 14th amendment after there was basically a default, after that deadline passed, there would be profound uncertainty. there would be court challenges, maybe republicans saying, we have to impeach him because of this. so the economic impact of that uncertainty, i think they're afraid of that as well. so it's probably less bad than an actual default, but they are really hoping right now, and there is still reason. this is not to say that congress is healthy and functioning, but there still is reason to think that after all of the dancing that john boehner and the republicans will have to do over
the next few weeks, that you will get to a point where john boehner is able to put some kind of debt ceiling bill on the floor. he would have to break the hastert rule in the end, where a lot of republicans would vote against it. there is still a case to be made where we could get to that point. it will be messy. all sorts of dancing, pretending going on. we might be able to get there. >> when you look at the history of these standoffs in the past, there is no prescription from history about how to take this off the table, about how to make this not happen. we have never actually been so seriously threatened by it. >> here is a perfect example. look at ronald reagan, republicans in the senate. republican controlled in the senate. you have the leader, he used his moral authority and political power to do that. the leaders of today's republican party, john boehner, mitch mcconnell, they're scared of their jobs, boehner is scared of his job in the house, mcconnell scared for his seat in kentucky. they're not going to stand up and deliver the message to rank-and-file and base they will be dubbed traitors.
>> those guys are scared of it enough, that they don't sit in crowded rooms anymore. they don't know what is going to happen. the idea they could sort of issue hard truths to their sides. it's good we are a long way from that. steve, always great to have you here. appreciate it. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] if your kid can recognize your sneeze from a crowd... [ sneezes ] you're probably muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. zyrtec®. love the air.
>> last year a big landmark thing happened at the oscars. an oscar was awarded to a movie made in iran. that had never happened before. very exciting. iranians were psyched, must have been, right? unless they worked at iran's state-run media in which case they were not allowed to be psyched. when state-run media reported on the iranian movie getting the oscar first time ever, iranian state-run media changed the acceptance speech given by the
filmmaker they changed his speech to add in a shout out to the iranian nuclear program. this is what the filmmaker actually said at the oscars. he said -- i proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment. that's what he said. in iran they edited his speech. so instead of saying this, they tuned up the transcript a little and added this reference to all of the tensions and hostility of recent months between iran and the west over iran's nuclear program. they add a shout out to the iranian nuclear program which the filmmaker never said and dropped the end part about iranians despising hostility. god bless the state-run media in iran. their jobs just suck. i mean think about it. you have to censor the guy who ought to be a national hero for winning the country's first oscar and saying something nice and uncontroversial bout your country.
can't have that. make them say something about the nuclear program. use silver sharpees and glitter pens to add in sleeves to first lady michelle obama's dress, the night she was presenting the oscar for best picture. on the right, the first lady as she appeared in real life form, sleeveless silvery gown, bare arms and all. on the left, the iranian media translation. they added sleeves to her. that happened earlier this year. then earlier this month, this tweet appeared from the new president of iran. he said this, i want to wish all jews, especially iranian jews, a blessed rosh hashanah, the president he replaced used every public occasion to deny the holocaust. an unexpected nice rosh hashanah thing. then the state run media denied he said that. he couldn't tweet that.
he didn't have a twitter account, he didn't have a tweeter account. let's not split hairs. altering the oscar speech, photo shopping michelle obama's arms, the rosh hashanah tweeter, now they're back at it again. on the heels of the iranian president's maybe happy new year's wish to the jewish people, yesterday, the new iranian president gave an interview and said, basically, yes, i acknowledge that the holocaust happened. he described the holocaust as a crime that the nazis committed towards the jews. he called it reprehensible, condemnable, and proceeded to repeat comments in meetings with news media executives and reporters later in the day. that is a huge deal. given his predecessor's career of denying the holocaust. a big deal unless you work for the news agency.
in which case it never happened. see the "exclusive" there, fars reporting exclusively that cnn fabricated the iranian president's remarks about the holocaust and came up with a color-coded transcript system to explain what they meant. see, red means the president's words were completely altered. yellow means they were partially altered. and the underlined parts are the worst parts of the fabrications. so the most damning combo they want you to look for is red and underlined. holocaust would be red and underlined. also, whatever criminality they committed against the jews we condemn. he definitely never said that. altered. fabricated. president didn't acknowledge nothing like that. cnn made it all up. translation was wrong. indeed, the iranian president did speak in farsi in the interview. there was an interpreter. but you know what that interpreter was provided by the iranian government.