« Pod Save America

“Fight like hell.”

2018-06-28

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retires, Trump and McConnell look to fill the seat before the midterms, and Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins a major upset in the New York primary. Then Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto joins Jon and Dan to talk about the Supreme Court fight and her recent trip to a detention center on the border. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
The presenting sponsor pod? Save America is Ziprecruiter Ziprecruiter. Do you feel like you're spending more and more time at work? Lately, you know, yes! Well! well a twenty. Sixteen study found that the average number of weeks Americans work per year has increased from forty three in nineteen. Eighty to forty six point: eight, it's almost sixteen to concentration of wealth plus lack of benefits and job security for Americans, plus, the decree of unions and Supreme Court now. Gotta unions has led to shift in power. That means individuals have to run fast. Even faster on the hamster wheel, just to get a little water little food in the bucking bull. You know that an entire extra month and guess what that means a lot more time with all your favorite coworkers and employees. I'll list mine
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with this weather, we're having Ziprecruiter dot com, slash cricket, the smartest way to hire welcome to POD save America, I'm John Fabbro, I'm Dan Pfeiffer in studio. We have Dan Pfeiffer here, in LOS Angeles here in la we're, gonna be doing a book event tonight. Yes, we are from what's the name of the book. John. The name of the book is yes, we still can yes, gotta get that out of the way early makes covering everything I'm going to forget it. I've been reading it. I just stayed up late last night, almost finishing it later in the I will talk to Nevada. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto about upcoming Supreme Court fight as well as her recent visit to the border to observe the humanitarian crisis caused by Donald Trump Fun stuff lot of fun topic. We're all light pod today speak
We have the border or reminder that this Saturday June 30th there will be rallies and marches in DC and all over the country to protest, Trump's immigration policy, Tommy love it and I will be at the one in LA with our friend id Barkin and others. Please join or find one near you, you can go to Moveon DOT, Org and put in your zip code and you'll find march or rally near you there, all over the country so come join and here's some good news hysteria new podcast from cricket media launches today. By the time you listen to this. It will probably be out so go check it out and subscribe if you haven't already. This is uh yes, hosted by Aaron Ryan with the road instead of co hosts, including the wonderful Alyssa Master, Monaco Blair, Amani Grace Park here in deal, making gaily NZ way from window fantastic, podcast and in your book is out. It is out Yes, we still can.
Get some exciting news. Yesterday we heard that, thanks to the wonderful community of friends of the pod, Yes, we still can will debut at number one on the New York Times non fiction, but is amazing, that's very exciting. It's sort of a bitter sweet thing, because I got the news right as we. I was sort of processing the terrible news about justice. Kennedy's decision that we're going to talk about in this pod, but that got me thinking and per usual- I had an idea, but that idea came from Alyssa Semester: Monaco best friend of the pod overall life coach and she had the suggestions. I was trying to think about how to think about my book and continuing to promote it in a world where so much of what we care about is at risk. Now that Justice Kennedy has retired and Mitch Mcconnell is going to try to jam through some sort of. Horrible human being to take that role, and so what we're going to do is for the next two weeks, a portion of proceeds. Yes, we still, can we don't
but in a row, because the thing but perhaps most at risk more at risk than any time in my life and politics is women's right to choose, overall is doing amazing work most nationally at the state level to push back on these efforts to restrict women's reproductive freedom, and so I would like to see if we can do this. In two weeks we can get to five thousand books then we will donate my portion of the process is to never off? We do that so, hopefully, with this will be a way in which we can. We make a small bit of difference, as we think about the book in the context of what's happening in the country. Right now has very good of you in a very good idea for Melissa, so everyone go by. Yes, we still can all right, let's right into the news. I The June has been the worst month of the Trump presidency, and I think yes may have been the worst day of the worst month yeah. I agree with that. A punch Is it government Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a concert
who still voted with liberal justices on issues like abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action, other civil rights issues announced on Wednesday that he'll be retiring from the Supreme Court this summer in Donald Trump, shortly afterwards announced that he intends to replace him before the mid term elections. Senate Democrats only have forty nine votes, which is not enough to block the nation Dan on a scale of one Two, oh We just lost Michigan. Where does this fall worse than Hillary lost Michigan. Because we could live. We could have lived in a world where Donald Trump was president and he was a
national embarrassment to do terrible things, but he did not change the balance of the court because he replaced even though the sea was stolen. He he got to replace a conservative justice who was already one of the four and a five four nine balance of the court. For so many things we care about, but Kennedy the most important justice resigned under Trump, and now the balance of the court will shift or will likely shift in a really terrible direction for decades, and it is. This is the worst thing by far that it happens to the rest of because we care about our trucks, residency yeah, I mean to me, maybe the worst.
Thing about? This is looking at the ages of some of the potential replacement justices and some of them are in their 40s, some of them. I mean, I think, last night at a rally Trump said, I'm going to nominate someone who can serve for forty years, which means he is thinking about one of the people in their 40s. I forgot until I looked yesterday to that fucking Gorsuch is fifty. I mean this. Is it's a long long time we're going to live with us? We should mention here that Kennedy's retirement comes after a particularly awful week of Supreme Court decision already with him on the court that this was the good court right like we're going to talk about the issues where the Kennedy retirement really is going to make a big impact But there are some issues where it's not going to make a huge impact because he was already on the conservative Majority Donald Trump. Muslim Ban was upheld There was a ruling that may destroy public employee unions, an reduce their membership by one Slash three: their teachers, government employees, firefighters, police officers,
There was a ruling that said crisis. Pregnancy centers do not have to provide women information about contraceptive services or abortion there's a ruling that upheld gerrymandered, Texas districts that deluded the power of black and hispanic voters which came after month ruling that Ohio is allowed to purge people from voting lists if they haven't voted recently. In all of these decisions, think all of these decisions were five. Four, with Kennedy in the Majority so looks like that Stone Supreme Court seat has already paid off big time. Yeah I mean it is the someone said this on Twitter, it's the greatest theft of political theft in history and with the greatest consequences, because these consequences will last, as you mentioned decades, because this would have been a five four court, the other direction if Merrick Garland had been approved and then, if Kennedy had decided to re, We would have reverted back to where we were just status quo, basically, which is not awesome as you just laid out, but on some of the things we care most deeply about that five. Four,
Majority that is really been around for decades, because neither Obama nor Bush nor Clinton change the ideological balance of the court. Verbal justices, to replace or dresses in the corner, conservative choice, conservative justices, and so this is the first time how to shift, and so the consequences of the garland, the stolen seat by Mitch, Mcconnell will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Chris Murphy tweeted yesterday, even before the committee announcement- let's call it like it is: the Supreme Court is turning itself into a political arm of the Republican Party. There's a lot of truth. To that I mean that there was a time when a democratic president could appoint a justice, and a republican president could appoint a justice, and you didn't know for sure how that justice would rule and in some examples you have just as on the court still in the court that
were appointed by presidents of a different part of different political persuasion and they end up being a surprise. It doesn't seem like that's the case anymore now. Everyone knows what everyone is going to do. An I had the opportunity to work on these senior center, my or nomination, both in as part of the team that was helping President Obama get a list of nominees and think about who was who would make the best justice and who would be? I was not as a non. I was not really figure out the legal part of this, but I was helping understand the confirmation politics with various people, and you don't ask the questions right. You don't pass a litmus test questions. I suspect, in this case on the republican side, where all the sort of normal norms have been blown up. They those questions, and it like in this, I'm sure we'll talk about this. We go forward, but the court could have reached this place of incredible beyond the pale polarization when the court ruled five. Four in Bush versus Gore, essentially handing the presidency to George W Bush
but it bounced back in the sense that Democrats did not. They did not try to tear the court down after that. They thought that. That was entertaining they wanted. The consequences of the country in the world were horrendous, but we needed the court to continue to play it's important role as a third branch of government and I know it's hard to see how that happens before we have taken the process of appointing justices and done it with the most cynical political hatchery in history, mankind yeah I mean it's awful right now is depending on who gets. Nominated? It seems very likely that John Roberts is the swing vote on the court now and look John Roberts famously was a vote to uphold the affordable care act. He has been. You know pretty much, probably a couple clicks to the right of Anthony Kennedy on just about everything else, but that is the swing vote on the court.
And a John Roberts would not be appointed by Donald Trump. At this point, right, John trump Trump is making sure I mean the list is out of the people he promised. He would pick from a list of. However many justices an you can look through all those justice in their records. They are all in the mold. Of course it's for real problem, yeah they're, all ideologue in this is the thing is actually about. This is this is the only sort of normal thing that trumped us right, but it's an easy one. Yeah he'd like Trump is going to pick the same person that Marco Rubio JEB, Bush or John Kasich would have picked. Because it's like why not like the end of the I saw some you know takes on twitter like is he going to Giuliani? Your sessions are Jeanine Pirro or what you know all the ins like he doesn't have to do that with us. What he wants to do is to placate the conservatives. Because there's a bargain in this whole fucking thing where it's like turn away when you steal an election and collude with Putin and crazy, on twitter in jail toddlers, but you give us some because of cream court justices in exchange yeah. That is, that is the deal. Tax, cuts,
justice is all we want, and we will. We will cover up or enable anything. You want and don't embarrass us with the pic. I do remember, because Obama wasn't attorney was President Harvard LAW Review in a law professor that was just a community. How is community organizing really stepped? game and we read all the briefs of the people like the books he would get were like stacks of binders have taken, had read all the arguments to understand the judicial. Approach of people. Thinking appointing now we know, Donald Trump is not doing that right. I mean he? Basically, I think he's probably has them will come in make some like run place for a little bit to see how healthy they are checks, their checks there in the age on their id. It is like Mitch Mcconnell cool with you great. You got to see you want to see how they look on tv that they do. They look the part exactly, which course such look the part right. So, let's talk about what is at stake with this nomination as soon as it was announced, Jeff Toobin. The analyst CNN tweet it out abortion
illegal in twenty states in eighteen months, so that was a gut punch, yeah to say the least. Dylan Matthews involved sort of peace accord without Kennedy is substantially more likely to overturn ROE V Wade and allows states, and maybe the federal government. To to ban most or all abortions reject challenges to capital punishment in solitary confinement. Rule in favor of religious challenges, to anti discrimination law and perhaps, in an extreme case reversed some past Supreme Court rulings on gay rights. Kennedy was also more moderate in the areas of voting rights, criminal, justice reform. You know he helped protect? Some of the environmental decisions like the Clean AIR Act, clean water- the endangered species ACT so of those areas seem to be at risk. They miss any I'm sure there are things that will be destroyed, that we had even having occured to us yet that they will suck up so that it is possible yeah. The abortion issue is perhaps the most frightening and I mean
let's talk about this at one of our shows, but there are only, I believe, seventeen states right now they have laws protecting abortions and the rest. Have bigger laws where, if ROE V Wade overturned. Abortion will immediately be illegal in those states. Some people think some legal analysts think you know it. Be threatened by as soon as someone's on the court and there's a challenge, someone who's in there and there's a challenge they could overturn ROE V Wade. Others think Roberts, something other people will just chip away at ROE, V, wade with many different cases and slowly just keep restricting abortion rights either way it seems pretty fucking awful yeah. This has been the thing that has kept everyone up at night,
for a long time, which is like so many of these other things. They can be sort of fixed in law, and here is something that has been essentially five four for, as since the original decision, and which I think was not five four, but in the time since then, people they have since the 80s at least it's been a five four majority in favor of keeping upholding ROE V Wade, and that is what is held together all this time and we've always been one justice away, and we've just been fortunate that that did not happen when Bush was president and it all comes back to Mitch Fucking Mcconnell, because, if I've been able to, as he should have been for Phil the Scully, a seat that we would be in a better place today. Would we be in the same place we were before now? This is very scary. It's very scary for a lot of women like a list of a saying on Twitter, her direct message answer being blown up by women asking what this means, because they're very worried. Like it is worth noting that there are many states in this country which even
in a world where ROE V Wade still stands you have the right to an abortion, but they have restricted access to abortion, to a point where it's almost impossible and that's where we are now and so now we're in danger of something much worse. That has just dramatic consequences for so many people yeah, especially poor women, women of color, like people who are in who live in these states, a lot of very deep red states that have already threatened abortion rights that have rolled back reproductive rights, and I think the threat to reproductive rights, even before candidate was probably greater than at anytime in decades, in many, it's around the country, and now it's very, very scary. Let's talk about the reaction in Congress, Mcconnell said he wants to vote this fall and that he next time we need to be treated fairly. He actually had the gall to tweet that or say that
this is despite his insistence in two thousand and sixteen about how it's unfair to consider a Scotus nominee in an election year, because voters should have a say in who gets to be on that bench. Did Is Mitch Mcconnell give a flying fuck if we think he's the most shameless hypocrite to ever walk the halls of the Senate. He wallows in his shamelessness. He fucking love, it is so like yesterday we still have everyone just what a hypocrite Mitch Mcconnell is yeah, no kidding yeah. He doesn't fucking care if you think he's a hypocrite, that's the whole point. He gets stronger with every tweet that calls him a hypocrite Mcconnell? This is not to his credit, is to the opposite of credit who is Blaine, I don't know, but he has no illusions about who he is right, He knows he is the super villain here. He is trying to be he's. Not he's not Ryan. I don't reporter asked me this. The other day like. Why do you guys hate Brian, so much I'm not Mitch. Mcconnell is much like. Why does Paul Ryan get Moreshet and I'm like because
Mcconnell just wallows and what a supervillain he is. He loves that he doesn't care. He doesn't pretend to be anything else, power, hungry, maniac, who's, trying to whip. That's who he is he'll tell you that, Paul Ryan's like no I'm. Oh, I care about poverty. I'm a sunny conservative in the mold of Jack Kemp. This is like an. I think that Mitch Mcconnell watches him with friends bridge for the night king. Uh, ok, so that's Mitch, Mcconnell, he is playing, he knows power is, and he uses power. What can Democrats do Most Senate Democrats have said that Mcconnell to delay the vote until after the election? So that's good. Some of the Red State Democrats- like Joe Donnelly and Joe Manchin have said, they'd like to meet with the nominee first. What did you say, the democrat reaction so far and like what what's our play, I think I think it's
work for everyone be aware. The Democrats have very little leverage here is Mitch. Mcconnell wants to jam this person through and he can get fifty republican senators. For them it doesn't matter what Joe Mansion does it doesn't matter? What Chuck Schumer does he can just do it because not having the majority in the Senate is devastating. That's right, and we know this is the exact opposite of Mitchell. Final didn't want to have a hearing for Merrick Garland, so he could- and there was nothing that Harry Reid could do to make him do it, I don't have an objection to Democrats being willing to meet with the nominee if Trump nominate. Someone like, I think, that's fine. I don't think that matters. I think they should all on principle vote against them. I think they should raise holy hell about this I think they should walk out of hearings. I think someone should go to the Senate floor and stay there until they collapse. We everything we can possibly do to draw attention to this fight, draw attention to the stakes here,
What matters so that at least the republican senators who vote to confirm this justice the voters will know what they have voted to do. That's right. Every exactly! Every voter should know that every republican senator will be responsible for voting to outlaw abortion in the United States that's. What the vote will be, and you can't get. I mean you can see already Susan Collins, ostensibly pro choice can. Senator has voted that way. In the past, LISA Murkowski from Alaska same thing, they've been interviewed yesterday. They are basically the only hope here to the extent that there is hope and they said you know, Susan Collins said I consider ROE V Wade settled precedent. I want a Supreme Court justice that recognizes settled precedent and so I'll be looking at that you know because you said it's going to be a very high bar for Maine. This is important to me, blah blah blah, so not that we should. All of our bets on these two, but they are at least right now
I've decided that they're definitely going to vote for this person. Yet so that's where all the pressure should be and I think much pressure as we can bring to bear on like for your your. If the first thing we have to do is make sure that all the Democrats on board saying now and if Donnelly and high camp and all these people, for whatever or appearance reasons. Whatever else want to go through, the motions of saying yes will meet with the person yes will consider. The person will give them a fair hearing, so they can go, tell voters that they were whatever whether I agree with that strategy or not leave that aside. As long is at the end of the day there telling trucks right now. We're going to be there is an ovo 'cause get all forty nine Democrats. As knows, then, you need because King Collins, because they they have two defections. That was it so then it's a question of how much pressure can be brought to bear on those two senators. I think right, I think that's exactly right and there is a
Principle here and this we are in this place because of a stolen Supreme court seat. So if you vote to confirm. Right wing ideologue X, that Trump will nominate you, are giving bipartisan cover to this historic political theft, and you are, you are ok, but we cannot do that and I think that is incredibly critical and it's going to be hard in painful, is going to be pressure on all of the red State senators who are up this time. The coke brothers already said they're going to spend millions of millions of dollars on this. There will be ads and we have to be tough. I think stuff is still even in these red states, the right politics, because people are going to be devastated progressive. You need to turn out in the swing left individual chapters in West Virginia in Indiana in North Dakota. They will feel betrayed if Democrats put their imprimatur.
Prove all on this nominee, and so I think we have to do that it may we can all do that and still end up with I'm getting this person through. That is very possible, maybe even likely, because counting on his account only summer cascade, we've we've been down this path It hasn't worked every time, but if Joe Donnelly or Joe Mansion, whoever else any I'm not take this too, but any two republic red centers come out in the next week or so and say they would be or come out right after the nominee and say. Therefore it takes all the pressure off them and that's a huge mistake and by the way outline abortion completely is like a twenty percent position in this country. You can get into red states and find people who have mixed feelings on this, who might want some restrictions on abortion, but the idea that ROE V Wade would be completely overturned, opening up to completely eliminate ing reproductive
right. That is a position that is a very minority position in this country, even in some of these states, where a lot of these red state senators. Well, it's worth remembering it's one thing to say: they're going to outlaw abortion, there's other things that you were going to criminalize abortion We're going to have abortions will be put in jail in this country. Even Donald Trump in the campaign had to walk the walk that back, so even our biggest right wing troll felt uncomfortable in that position. And so one we have the moral side of the argument, because it's the right thing to do. We also have the high side of the political argument and we have to make that and if we fold right away, I really worry about what that's going to be. Not just in those states for those red States enters but across the country, because it's going to be the people have been marching in airports at the women's March everywhere else. The march for life are going to feel betrayed, they feel betrayed and they think well what the fuck differences make with republican or Democrat. They may stop knocking doors. They may stop making phone calls. They may not turn out to vote.
Then we're not going to take the house back either, and I was going to say if you're, a red state Democrat. The other thing you have to think about is like. Do you want volunteers in your race? Do you want the people who are registered Democrats who are hardcore activists in your state to come out to vote because you're going to need them. You think you need swing. Voters, you're, going to need the base two in a big way, an what someone does in a red state is going to affect what happens in a blue state. We don't live like right. In the internet age. Everyone knows what happens, and so, like Democrats, betraying our principles in a red state is going to affect turn out in a blue state. I saw someone online. Oh Stauffer Spear said that, right now there should be a Democrat in Maine who announces a twenty twenty challenge to Susan Collins. You know like there's going to be like it can't be just like please and to these senators, like we gotta, put real pressure on them like Susan Collins has to be scared that she might lose her job. Lisa Murkowski should be scared that she might lose her job
That's so! If you're in Maine in Alaska, you know people in Alaska. Again we went as with ACA, it works for a ca. It might be hard on this one, but you need to pressure them. Let's have a look. What else Democrats can do tactics wise? I thought, there's a piece in boxes written before this announcement, but said the Democrats could shut down the Senate by refusing to participate in roll call vote, since the Senate can't do anything with the majority of its members participating in a vote. I think, like you said like we should try everything I wonder Mitch Mcconnell runs the Senate. He makes the rules. He has all the I wonder that even if democrats try to shut down the Senate, if he can't just you know, change a rule and keep going yeah, I mean you and I both work incentive for long time. We really can learn the rules of the Senate over there. So what really know, but I don't think if you want to send another yeah, but I want the emotional MR got all those. Unfortunately, so I think he probably can ginger's it's worth remembering that when Obama was president the rules were originally need, sixty votes for all nominees. We change that
tool for executive nominees because we literally couldn't get our cabinet through no CIA director, our labor secretary or EPA administrator, were being blocked in just in a world where you only have fifty some senators. You can't you can't run a government, then the rules changed for judges, but they left it for Supreme Court. Justices Mitch, Mcconnell change that rule to get Neil Gorsuch because he could not get sixty votes for it and so much more accountable change. Any role they will help him accumulate or maintained power says they have a way of thinking about how Democrats what Democrats can do 'cause this look. This is dark and it is painful and we sound dark and paint here and we are. This is not we're not putting them we're not acting here.
But there are things we can do, and so I think that this is like what you do in the short term, the medium term and the long term to deal with this massive problems. So short term is blow up the phone lines at the Senate. Yeah show up at offices: do it in Maine? Do it in Arizona, do it and Alaska, but also do it everywhere in that's. Even if Democrats, you think you're going to be with you show them that you care that there with you right, like Chris Murphy, said all the right things. People should be outside Chris Murphy's off the planning Chris Murphy right. So that's short term in part. It's just the more noise we make, the more the public will be aware, but what's at stake here. So even if, as we said, if Republicans get this through, the public will know the horrible thing. Just right, otherwise, they're just going to sneak it through in between Trump tweets and stories about Russia and was going to conclude. That's a good point like we did well when via coverage was saturated with the fight over the affordable care act. The fight over the tax bill, and
The media coverage is saturated with Donald Trump's tweets and Russia, and you know all these fights that he picks with everyone It's messier, an voters turn out and people don't care as much like make this a fight that people cover day in and day out for the next couple of months, so that short term. Here's, the medium term thing, which is we have an opportunity all across this country. This fall to win governor's mansions in state legislatures, because what we have to do is put in place progressive governing majorities in as many states as possible who can pass laws that protect in in those states from what the Supreme Court does not gonna solve all the problems, but we need this. We can still make progress of policy and do the best we can. If we have the people there, don't republicans have been chipping away at a woman's right to choose four years bite wings that legislators when it covers up and passing onerous horrendous misogynistic '
we can do the opposite. Yeah Taniel on Twitter had a great thread about this. He said We can elect governors will veto abortion restrictions in gerrymander's state lawmakers who and labor and reproductive rights. Secretaries of state who replace aggressive purges with voting rights agenda, use the example like this whole Voting rights purging case was in Ohio. So that's it's horrible right, but right now is Secretary of State race in Ohio and if a Democrat wins that Democrat, purging anyone from the Ohio voter rolls and so that Supreme Court ruling won't matter that much in that state, Diese district attorneys, who refrained from cruel punishments like penalty, Missouri on the ballot there's going to be a right to work referendum. If you didn't like the Public Union ruling in floor there's a voter's rights, restoration amendment, the Supreme Court Fuckedup up the Medicaid expansion for the affordable care act. Well, now it's going to be on the ballot in Idaho, because people got the signatures and they're going to try to expand Medicaid in Idaho, so you're right there is. The Congress is awful nothing could ever coming out of this Congress. We're going to put
change that in November, but we also want to change all these other offices from DS to secretary state all these, like it really really matters, and then so, my long term thing yeah Democrats should make it a core part of our platform for statehood for in Puerto Rico, yeah like one. That is the moral right thing to do, because these are american citizens who are under represented and our government. They have no say in what happens in Washington and they were being affected mean in particular, Puerto Rico, in the wake of the hurricane, but did the right thing to do, but also we should be pushing for it. We could take decades to solve that problem, but we should start now yeah. So, let's talk about like This motivates in November turn out, because there's a lot lot of hot takes flying around about this yesterday. I think people- and this was before Mcconnell and Trump announced they wanted to get this nominee through before the midterms like. Oh, this is also
huge gift to Republican that's going to motivate republican voters like never before, I think there's a case for that. If the hearing was going to be after the midterm elections, but if they already and through. I don't know that this motivates the republican base as much as that. What motivates Democrats I'd should sure, as hell hope it motivates the out of Democrats. It has this, you need, no,
No better example like we have been arguing for a year and a half now that two thousand and eighteen is the most important election in american history. It is even more important now because of what is at stake here, and it is not just that this issue may be resolved in the worst way possible before the election. It's also that it is a reminder of how fragile the things we care about our and when we lose elections. Everything is at risk, and not just for two years or four years or six years, but maybe for forty years, and so if we cannot use the theft of a Supreme Court seat, the potential criminalization of abortion, the gutting of unions, voter suppression, laws, everything that has happened in the last week in hippie could happen going forward. Because of this because of the change in the spring court
turn out the progressive majority in this country. Then we have failed in a horrible way. That's exactly right and look, let's be very clear. Why we're in this situation right now and why Mcconnell was able to steal a Supreme court seat this because of the two thousand and fourteen mid term elections as Rockline wrote a piece about this So when the votes were counted weeks later, turn out was thirty six point three percent in the twenty fourteen midterms the lowest had been in seventy two years and Republicans as a result, picked up nine Senate seats. They took control of the Senate for the first time since two thousand and six and it mattered because four hundred and some days later, Scalia died, Mcconnell was able to steal the seat, and that was so anyone who thinks that a mid term doesn't matter or the showing doesn't matter that elections don't matter they funcking matter, because that election, two thousand and fourteen which didn't seem to a lot of people like a very big deal, potentially change the course of this country for generations because of what happened.
Look. This is really tough 'cause. I worry Democrats do everything they can to fight this, but I also know in the back of our heads that there are forty nine votes and they're not going to death. Be able to stop it, and I am worried that if we can't stop, if Democrats can't stop in the Senate, then everyone who's been excited and motivated since Trump won on our side is going to think funk. These Democrats, they couldn't do anything. I'm not might not. Even I might as well just stay home and not and, let me tell you voting in this November voting this november- is we've said this before now. It's really fucking true literally the most important election of our lifetime ever more than a presidential election? At this point, this is like the last call, for because here's how the Supreme Court thing shakes out Kennedys replaced by a conservative, the next two seats that are possibly a Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is eighty five years old
and after her, the next Just Justice euro than briers, like eighty two liberals on the court and then you've got the neck conservative, that we have that we could possibly replace to change the balance of the court. You got Clarence Thomas at seven thousand and seventy one, and if we get. You know, get a democratic president in two thousand and twenty. Hopefully, then, bacon hold out, or at least we have the Senate. Then we have the Possibility of replacing Ginsburg and then maybe Thomas with liberal justices, and if we get to replace Thomas with the liberal justice, then we're back to a file format. This is all by the way like a two thousand and thirty percent chance of happening, but we at least have to act like that's. What we're shooting for here is to hope that the next conservative retirement, which is probably Clarence Thomas, that we have a demo president in place that we haven't lost any more justices and we can return it to five four. It seems like it's. Really far off, and it's really fucking hard and it's like a low chance of it happening, but we have to work That's what we're going for right now and we have to have the Senate because
alright. Let's say that President Tommy Vietor is sworn in Tommy. I was going to love it. That would be a it says it's better. The president I mean these were sworn in in January of two thousand twenty one. The next day, Clarence Thomas announced he's retiring for whatever reason it Mitch Mcconnell the Senate leader. He will not put just to throw yeah. He would that would like. I'm sorry to everyone is crying about the loss of norms, but we are now in a situation where a president not nominated Supreme Court Justice, unless a member of his party controls the Senate yeah that is where we are. That is thanks to Mitch Mcconnell Republican Party. We can decry the law civility and norms and institutions in this country. It is Sad. I agree with that, but that's where we fucking are, and so we play that game to the right. I think You know what norms are great. People's lives are at stake. At this point, we were people who believed in norms we were institutionalized and
worked for Barack Obama and I believed it then and I want to believe it now, but you know the Republican Party like so Crazy liberals have radicalized, you know, republican voters like that republican parties like radicalized meat, because it is all a game, is a game to take power, an use that power, that's where they are the Republicans in Washington republican politicians. We have another conversation about voters in this country, but the people who are in Washington republican parties in Washington is all about taking and keeping and using power at any expense norms. Institutions be damned and the reason this is hard as they care about two things. In only two things I mean obviously owning the libs is the main and they come to work every day, but other than that. What it is, the balance of the courts and tax cuts for rich people- and this is
get some workers on all the crazy trump schitt they'll. Let it go because of the courts and tax cuts and they will have a black stain on their soul for the rest of time. For that, but they're not enthusiastic about it. They do what market rubianes they send. Like said and for whatever reason or power rangers, look sad as he's doing it, but here they this is where the entire. This is why the tax cut bill passes. The entire machinery of the Republican Party in the conservative wing did it establish a wing unites with the White Nationalist Breitbart white identity, politics weighing to push through this stuff and we're gonna have to fight, and I like this is why the takes a
This are so bad is maybe it'll help Republicans, maybe help Democrats we get to decide that right right, that is up to democratic elected officials in democratic voters. To like we have a set of facts. Now a Supreme court seat is open. There's going to be a fight for it and The balance of the court said steak. What are we going to information or we're going to be sad and hinder the king table or going to fight like fucking hell for it and be rewarded by voters who will turn out in mass to throw these people out of fucking power and that's what it like? Don't listen to the pundits just It happened. We are masters of our fate here, that's right, but the Americans brought you by humble humble. Are you tired overpaying for uncomfortable contact, lenses the vision of an eagle but sure I am 'cause. I wear them
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last time, Crowley faced a primary challenge, Ocasio Cortez wasn't even old enough to vote Dan. What happened? Why do you I think everyone has tried to draw national lessons from this and it's too early to know anything. Here's what happened! The do. You need to say that people irresponsibly drew huge national conclusions from one race. This is something that a lot of people don't know, but you know ended those conclusions match those peoples specific political. The preference on all sides. It's like this is, I think people need to understand, understand how put a coupon of your works. If you have a take quota yeah it like a dozen takes by noon, and so you just got thrown out there like here's, what happened? The better can who ran a better race who is a better fit for her district, ideologically and and with our in in issue wise won the race. That's right, maybe will say something more about aunt, I stablishment forever within the party beyond this district. It very well May
We will know that we haven't seen that yet in the primaries to date, we may see it in the ones to come but someone who is undoubtedly going to be a star in the party yeah ran it incredible race so we'll we'll see what all of that means and I think there are models for like the lesson people can learn from her race yeah and they may apply differently from district to district or state to state, but being a really good off any candidate who campaigned actually for what you believe in is a model applies, whether you're in a in sure that Hillary won by ten or a district that Trump won by ten yeah and I would say that her if you've seen her video. Her video was outstanding and What she does in that video is it's not just a bio spot and then Really compelling by us by 'cause she's got incredibly compelling biography. But she was also very clear on the issues.
She's a democratic socialist, but basically what she talked about in the video was very simple: bold, progressive policy solutions, Medicare for all federal jobs, guarantee criminal justice reform and it wasn't like it was an interesting mix of talking what issues in a very like morally clear way without taking off some laundry list of proposals, it was like a few very big ideas and I do think I don't have a ton evidence for this, but I do think that isn't very compelling to people. Obviously, the district was a good fit for her, but I think it's just compelling in a broad sense too, yeah. I mean there is a recent model of this, which is very similar to how Bernie Sanders ran right and for whatever grievances or tension still exists in twenty. Sixteen from the twenty sixteen primary. We would
fools as a party not to look at how Bernie Sanders ran his race, and it's not just that. He did very well it's that he built a movement and he got people fired up the campaign. For me he made that campaign feel like a class, and he did that by making a moral argument right around simple policy issues he that he did not talk like a post aretas talking points, he did not try to split the difference and try to explain why climate change the porn by talking to the number of green jobs in the district. He talked about saving the planet right in so and she and okay. Your card has the same yes and what I mean to the best quote. When someone interview her after she found out, she won and they sell what he said, but people You said some of your positions are pretty radical and she said: there's nothing radical about moral clarity in twenty eighteen yeah. It's like put that in a fucking bumper sticker, and I think so some of the lessons that Democrats can learn. One is, I think it's like don't be. If we say this all the time, don't be afraid, don't run afraid to be bold and become
and who you are and what you believe in and don't try to trim your sails because you're worried about some. What? If I can pull says we talk about bold, simple, is, I would also say, organizing over money. Joe Crowley, had so much money and raised. An incredible amount of money in this race. She had there's no money she spent like one hundred thousand dollars, I think but what she did have because she's an organizer is an incredible organizing network and she went out and she found voters and also she found voters hadn't voted before, and she said this that people told me you have to go to the people who order in the last three primaries in this district, and I said, that's crazy to go out and find new voters and she did it 'cause. They voted for Crowley if they've only primaries any other lessons well. I think those are all exactly right in that she just ran a really great race and I would size a couple things much of Crowley yeah. She is he's a good human being. Yes, like maybe he maybe just his any progress at his. It's not like. She was running against a centrist, yeah he's pretty progressive yeah and if he did he clearly,
complacent in this not showing up to the debate was a huge mistake, but he's been a good democratic member of Congress and a good guy, and he could not have been classier in his defeat and he's an excellent musician early engine but guitar and born to run more to run for her, which I think dedicated to her. He probably had no idea he was gonna lose and he handled it, but a great human being. I think that's worth noting, as some people have mentioned to me, when I tweeted about this yesterday and some of our listeners said you guys never talked about this race on the pod. Did you miss something? And maybe perhaps yeah. I think that's why I notice there's a few that goes in the sort of the periphery and there's so many races going on. I'm sorry for free- and I notice it in the last couple weeks- 'cause people started saying is it possible to Crowley might lose, and so I was looking at it. They intercepted some great reporting on that they were there. First and I did. I had seen the video a week or two before the race- and I was like this is a fucking, great video. I also think there's something I tweeted about this, but
The media, especially DC media, tends to equate being further to the left with being angrier and more strident, and so you know they think I was the party being taken over by people who are just angry and hate trump and stuff. Like she was inspiring galvanizing, optimistic hopeful during this campaign and some people, correct him and said she was also angry too. That's right. I think there is a difference between being angry on behalf of people and angry because of justice in the world and being angry only at your opponent and just or at Donald Trump, and just slinging the best, you know sick burn. You can find against your opponent that someone gave you for a debate or something versus having a passion and anger about sort of Quality Inn, the injustices. You see, and I think that lad
type of anger and passion is galvanizing and that's an optimistic too. In a way. It's optimistic. You know some people, don't the people who've been mentioned to me that we had not met as Ray said. Does that indicate some sort of pro establishment bias on your part and then my answer. That is, I don't know. Maybe you know, I think in this case. Like you, I tuned into this one very late and I've spent most of my energy and time. With my daughter, but I can, when I can hold her My phone on the other hand, the races I've been looking out of the ones that are were Democrats, are taking republican seats or trying to hold teeth against Republicans, as opposed to safe districts- but I do think it is worth paying attention to these primary challenges, because they could mean all kinds of things that could mean something very about Joe Crowley verse about this issue. That could also mean thing that we sort of know to be true, and it's a question of when not if we
get a new generation of leadership for taking the congressional wing of the party right. I mean it like the statistics, need it. We need young, but there are a lot of like really young great members who come in the last few years, who are making names for themselves, but there are a lot of really great young candidates out there who are doing it. Some of them are doing challenging Republicans like better or work in some of it are doing or doing it by challenging democrats- and you see a similar thing here in California, with Kevin Deleone, challenging Dianne Feinstein of Kevin Daily Number win that which I think is very challenging, based on how the primary, when he would be a very exciting new figure in congress- and I see that see. Anything happening in the race we just on Tuesday yeah. No, I think I think this is about her and not about Joe Crowley too, like I like Joe Crowley, but I found myself very happy that you want, because I was like that as someone who should be in Congress. That's right, because that energy that message, that kind of inspiration that she's offering this party could use a lot of that. That's right. Come back, we will have Nevada, Senator Catherine Cortez Mass
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people are just sending me dollars for escape rooms with Spencer, but I have to reject them. I would Joe sorry been deposited refund. That's how easy it is. You know the point is we're using the cash app. You got another good story, another good story about John Lovitz usage of the cash app. I pay Juliet back for something that she picked up for Maine I paid Spencer with thirty three dollars and one cent for something I don't remember what it was even for tell it again what a story because because they were not using other apps anymore downloading ridiculous. On the part today, we have Senator Katherine Cortez, Mass SO of Nevada, Senator how today, I'm doing great. How are you were pretty good, pretty good? Let's talk, at the office news from yesterday two years ago, when Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to an open Supreme court seat, Republicans refused to even hold hearings to consider him trump now opportunity to nominate another justice. How are you
You planning to approach this nomination process. Do you think Democrats should approach this with the same attitude? Republicans, took when the last seat opened up well First of all, it's hypocritical right. I mean, of course, if the public and leadership and Mitch Mcconnell were going to be true to their word. Then they would say: let's wait till after this election will have new members in Congress. This is a lifetime appointment and they should be able to weigh in, but we know that's not going to happen. We also know that they're in leadership, so they literally and Mitch can set this hearing. If you wanted to next week and so to me, that's the hypocrisy of what I have seen with the republican leadership, but I also know- and I think you both know this Connells legacy is stacking. The federal bench, including the United States Supreme Court, with these conservative right wing, judges and he's going to continue down this path and he's got control of the agenda. Is there in leadership and he get.
Do to so, and the only really one of the ways that we need to put a stop to this is take back control of the Senate or the house senator to ask you about what you feel is at stake here with this see Jeffrey Toobin. I tweeted yesterday that he believed that abortion would be legal in twenty states within eighteen months do with that. And how are you thinking about this nomination yourself, oh. I absolutely agree. I think a woman's right to choose is absolutely on the line. Right now I mean you know in Nevada. Think about this. In the Nevada. In the 70s we had women who codified, ROE V Wade by initiative petition, so we have thought to protect it. Now. We have a governor's race where the Repub in candidate who is a trump supporter is talking about taking away a woman's right to choose and evil to me in this day and age that we are still trying to women's access to health care and take away their choices, but that's what
continue to see with republic, and we know that it is happening with this administration and Republican Congress. We see it all time. I bump up against it all the time where these, until amendments where they want to continue to take away a woman's right to choose, about her health care and so yes, I think this is on the line I think, along with that, discrimination and protections in place for LGBT queue um, whether it is in the in the workforce or in housing, gender crimination all of the things that we have fought for in those protections we have put in place over the last three thousand and forty years, everybody should be concerned about those being rolled back we were just talking about you know. Obviously, Democrats only have forty nine seats, but a lot of Democrats in a lot of democratic voters. Have been saying you know the Senate's got to fight this Democrats in the Senate have to fight this
What is the strategy here? What is the plan to fight this nomination Why? I think you're going to see that this fight full on that we are not only going to be united, but we're going to galvanized the base similar to what we did when they tried to repeal the healthcare. I think You know we are in the minority, but it's good that we have forty, nine demo That means we only need one or two Republicans to support us and come our way. We were to do that when we fought back the repeal of the CARE act. I think this issue, particularly when we're talking about a woman's right to choose and health care. I know there are some of my republican colleagues who will stand up. And fight against, taking away the right to choose, so I This is an effort to really galvanizer base be vocal, get out and talk like we did against the affordable care act and make sure that the country understands: what's at stake for
for senators, I think we're going to use every tool procedure that we can to fight this. Continue to shine a light on it from the Judiciary Committee along each individual senators, you will know that has the opportunity to talk. To these nominees question these nominees and highlight concerns if we have those with with the nominee who's ultimately chosen do. I hear and you some confidence that your colleagues from the states that Trump won who may be up for reelection this fall will stand with the rest of the Senate Democrats in opposition to this nomination. I cannot guarantee what they're going to do in the future. I can only tell you what they've done in the past and they have what I have watched over the course of at least the year and a half that I've been here. There are some on the other side of the aisle who have stood up for women's rights and healthcare and women's right to choose, senator we've watched in horror as more and more stories have come from the border, where Trump's
zero tolerance, immigration policy resulted in thousands of children being separated from their families. You went down to Texas this week. Did you go and what answers were you looking for? Well, you know, first of all, the answers I'm we're seeking is because I could not get a straight answer from these federal agencies, no data, no information about where the children are weather. Why are they separating the families? Are they still separating the families? How come they cannot reunite these family and the conditions that they're being detained in. So I down to Brownsville in Mcallen Texas. I wanted to see from beginning to, and I wanted to see the central sing center that the border patrol has when they first bring these parents in the families in to process them, and then I from there to the Isabel detention facility will are after they are made to plead either guilty or not guilty to a criminal charge and separated from their children than the adults are sent to this detention facility. I also
tried to get into one of the facilities where they actually take the children to care for them. Is called CASA, Residente and could not get in I. To see these tender age children because I've not seen anything having to do with the young children where they are where the girls are. I want to see the conditions, but there was refused entry What reasons did they give you for? Not being late inside first Let me just say it was a locked entry, so you literally had to buzz to be to try to get in glass door. So I could see right into the reception area and they could see me, but they were going to open the door to. Let me in buzz. Does the time United States Senator from Nevada? and I would like to talk to the manager somebody in charge here, because I would see the the chill the conditions are held in, and I have a few questions because I'm not getting answers from or any of the federal agencies, so they said- we can't let you in but will we'll send somebody out to talk with you and then, if few. Later they sent out a doctor,
who runs a facility allegedly- and he said I can't- Do an and handed me a piece of paper which did the communications director's name as well as the phone number of the individual who works for this private company sw key and said you Call this individual. I cannot say anything and I stood there trying to question the doctor that well, how long have you even watered here? What are you saying and he kept saying- I cannot talk to you. I cannot talk to you and then he back inside a number and a name on a sticky post it back out and said, oh and by the way, here's another person. You should call- and I said well, who is this person 'cause? It didn't say, even affiliated with or their title. He said I don't know. I just know I can't talk to you Here's this information, so we called that number and, of course that's somebody with Hhs, dictating that members of Congress are not allowed in and we have to give them two weeks notice before we could get in and my question too
this individuals, or what are you telling me that you have to do a background check on members of Congress? I have the security possible. And you're telling me. I have to do some sort of background before I can go in and see these children. Oh no. We don't say that we just we are limiting trying to coordinate all of the visits, so we're going to give you dates when members of Congress can go and to tell you which facilities you can go to and by the way you can't go to this facility. That's in southern Texas. You can go the one in New York, I mean it was just outrageous if we lived in a world with a functioning majority in Congress, this would be the sort of issue that will be the subject of oversight, Overstay would mean more than one They are showing up at a facility. There would be hearing in subpoenas and you. The power of Congress to demand answers from this administration, I hesitate to ask this question because I'm afraid the answer is going to support me but do you see any indication that some of your republican colleagues are willing to use that
authority to try to get some answers, so we can learn more about these children and try to, or the administration to reunite them with their parents sooner rather than later. Not at all. In fact, we been demanding hearings and can't get them. So that's why Jeff Merkley Senator Merkley organized a shadow hearing yesterday that we all attended because only the Democrats were willing to really focus and figure out how we address this issue and force this administration to stop zero tolerance, reunite the parents and show the impact it's having long term, not on just the parents, but these children and how traumatic it is, it's outrageous to me you're, absolutely right, I think under any other administration. This would be an outcry by Congress as well wanting answers and to stop. Policy of separating families, but you No, this is this administration. This is a dog whistle for their base. I mean this is his political, that's how he uses. The
families in these children for some sort of political gain, and it is inhumane. It's outrageous. I mean you know, opportunity when I was at the detention facility to eat with some of these mothers or six mothers that I sat down with every single one of them came country seeking asylum because they were being persecuted, meaning they came their children because of death, threats or being raped or extorted, and when enter the mall. Why don't you go to the police and seek help from the police? They said the police are part of the problem. You can't go to the police because there they are part of the gangs- are there part of the criminality, that's going on and they won't help. You and so these mother said. The only thing we knew is if A child's life was on the line or my life. We just knew we had to run an. I said: why did you come to America?
every single one of them said because we know that in America there is the opportunity that you have a helping hand you welcome and there's the opportunity to be safe? I can't tell you how heartbreaking it was because when I talk to these women in one of them. Her name was Anna, was telling me how she cry What over three thousand miles rough terrain, dangerous terrain with a five year old, they I've been separated and when she not here. And she thought oh, my gosh- I finally made it- she saw the border patrol. She waved them down, I'm going to be safe. What do they do? They bring her hand, they arrest her, they lock her up and then take away her child and don't tell her away they're doing this. And this is the first time she and her child have ever been separated. She has no idea where her child is, she hasn't had contact and these women and along with all of them that are in this jail, are not given information. They were asking me
it's going on in the outside. Do you know where our children are? Do you know how we can what's going to happen next? They had no idea, I mean you know, You walk into this Isabel detention facility where these parents are being held. It is it looks like a prison. I mean if walked into a state prison. I know them very well in Nevada's attorney general prior attorney general there. It look like A prison that you would see in a state a facility in a state, and I Just do not understand why how this is going to be a deterrent and why we would treat people that are seeking asylum, the laws that we have created to help people who are victims, why we would want to turn them into criminals and and then go further and separate them their children. Every single one of these women had children that were tender age under the age of twelve senator. Do you think the uproar over this issue. The family separation policy has changed the politics around immigration. I'm wondering how you think Democrats should be talking,
right immigration in this election, obviously you're in a state where- heroes in his trying to defeat Dean Heller. So we have another Democrat in the Senate. You are very large population in Nevada, how do you think Democrats should talk about this issue in the fall I by coming out and being outraged like we are about the family separation, because you know I was just in my home state and there were so many people that came up to me that were so upset what was happening, because they can imagine something like that if that were ever to happen to them in their children what they would do and how they would feel there were so many people that came forward and said I want to be involved. I don't know how to what to do, but please tell me let me know how I can be active, because this just is outrageous me- and this is not what our country is about, and that was whether you're democrat or republican or independent. I think it ask those party lines in that sense from the people that I talk to and so
So this is the issue that I think many of us should be, talking about because it is about what's in the best interest of these children, it is about reuniting these families and keeping them together. That's the focus here we gets lost in all this conversation. Is we forget? our laws in this country are child. Welfare laws allows that we pass are always looking out for the best interests of children and they, I don't care whether there can children or children from foreign countries are from Honduras or Guatemala El Salvador, we always lookout for the best interest of children. Senator Cortez Masto. Thank you so much for joining us today and thank you for going down the border, so we can all hear what's been going on down there. We appreciate you stopping by Thank you Dan and John. Thank you so much enjoy the show. Thank you keep up the good work. Thank you again to Senator Cortez Masto for joining us today. Next week, holiday schedule, John and Tom, and I will be doing our usual recording Monday night for a Tuesday pod and then
Dan, and I will be recording a mailbag, podcast on Tuesday that will go out on Thursday July fifth because of the fourth weekend so We will send out, email and on social media, not an email will send most people emails. Where are my the 90s anyway, we will page all of you. We will tweet for questions on Facebook and everything else, so we can answer some of your questions on Tuesday and yeah and then otherwise will see you on Monday talk to everyone next week, bye.
Transcript generated on 2019-10-28.