tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 23, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
black people all over the world, the king family are like royalty. and now death has cast its long shadow over this beloved family once again. she was just 56 years old. the entire shabazz family is in the hearts and the prayers of our family tonight. that's tonight's "reidout." "all in with chris hayes" starts now. tonight on "all in" -- >> proud boys. >> proud boys, stand back and stand by. >> new subpoenas handed down to the proud boys and other militia groups involved in january 6th. tonight what they mean to the investigation and the through line from the fringe to the mainstream republican movement. plus, a big victory in virginia. the people behind the deadly charlottesville rally found liable for millions of dollars in damages. then michelle goldberg on
the danger of political despair and john podesta on joe biden's battle against rising gas prices. >> it will take time but you should see the price of gas drop when you fill up your tank. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. you know, this week we mark 58 years since the assassination of president john f. kennedy. as his motorcade drove through dealey plaza in dallas, texas. yesterday this was the scene. a small crowd gathered. this red pickup truck drove in circles, proclaiming trump won 2020, along with a bunch of qanon slogans. now, we've mentioned this group before. it's a small group. they're a splinter faction from the fringes of the far-right qanon movement. three weeks ago hundreds of members of this cult, for lack of a better word, assembled at
dealey plaza awaiting the return of john f. kennedy and his son, jfk jr. who died in a plane crash tragically in 1999. they believe the kennedys are not actually dead and will reveal themselves in order to help reinstate donald trump as president. now, it was supposed to happen at 12:29 on november 2nd. obviously that did not happen. but a hard-core group remains in dealey plaza waiting for something to happen. the leader promised something big yesterday. you could look at all of this and be forgiven for thinking the country is going through a bit of a psychotic episode. look, all kinds of people with all kinds of politics in all kinds of places believe all kinds of banana things. probably i do. so i don't necessarily want to single this group out. the reason they're noteworthy is because their peculiarities and beliefs are associated with the
right adjacent to the bigger lie being pushed by the leader of the entire republican party. that's worth noting that as berserk as the country's politics seem right now, and they really do, there's also a case to be made that it has always been like this. we've always had wild fringe elements of political parties and cults and conspiracy theories. in fact john f. kennedy was supposed to deliver a speech in dallas on november 22nd, 1963, where he planned to speak out against misinformation and conspiracies. he was supposed to say ignorance and misinformation can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country's security. there will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternative. those voices are inevitable. but today other voices are heard in the land, voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality. doctrines wholly unrelated to
reality. kennedy never got a chance to give that speech, of course, he was murdered before he reached the venue where he planned to deliver it. and 5,000 copies of this flier were handed out by the far right in dallas in the days leading up to kennedy's 1963 visit. you can see it there. wanted for treason, it proclaims. punishment of treason, of course, being death. the rhetoric here is more oriented around the concerns of the moment, cold war and communism and some of the modern incarnations of the right. but still it all sounds pretty familiar. he is turning the sovereignty of the u.s. over to the communist controlled united nations. how about this one, hes ha given support and encouragement to the communist inspired racial riots. he has consistently appointed anti-christians to federal office. this is pretty standard john birch society stuff. of course the far right faction of the time.
and for the most paranoid military of the right this is how it sounded. they have been with us for decades upon decades. you can draw a straight line from those people handing out those fliers who were handing them out in 1963 saying wanted for treason, you can draw a straight line from that to the modern version, say the person of alex jones. the conspiracy theorist who claims among many other completely crazy things that the massacre at sandy hook was a false flag, it was staged. a group of powerful elites of plotting to take over the world and if you get him on the topic of united nations, he sounds like those guys handing out those fliers. he was pushing that the election was stolen ahead of january 6. here he is on january 5th. >> we have only begun to resist the globalists. we have only begun our fight
against our tyranny. they have tried to steal this election in front of everyone. as i told them 20 years ago, i tell them again. i don't know how this is going to end. but if they want a fight, they better believe they have got one. >> globalists, the globalists, the globalist conspiracy, the tyranny of foreigners. jones is the ultimate personification of that famous essay by richard hossteter written in the time of that flier, the wanted for treason flier and president kennedy's visit to dallas. american politics has often been an arena for angry minds. in recent years we've seen angry minds at work mainly behind extremely right-wingers. but whined this is a style of mind that is not necessarily new. i call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration and
conspiratorial theories i have in mind. while alex jones has been found libel in a court for the lies he told about sandy hook, he was also a person who was coordinating by his own admission with then president donald trump's team. a person who had the ear of the most powerful person in the world who was attempting a coup to keep himself in power. trump was mobilizing precisely those forces led by alex jones who was there on january 6, fomenting the big lie, whipping up the crowd. and as you probably heard alex jones was subpoenaed by the january 6 yesterday. today the committee issued other subpoenas and with the people who handed out those flyers. the subpoenas went to three far militia or paramilitary groups who the committee says were involved in the planning of the riot on january 6. they are the proud boys international and its chairman, the oath keepers and its president, elmer stewart rhodes,
and the first amendment tritorian and its president, robert patrick lewis. we'll have more on those subpoenas later. the thing that makes this different, pause i think you can see the continuities here. the country has been around a while, things have been pretty nuts for a long time. it's not the presence of people like alex jones or the group that passed out those fliers in dallas, it's the fact that one of our two parties is captured by that faction. the beliefs of those extreme fringes are the politics of the man who was president of the united states who put their conspiracies into motion in his final days in office to attempt the most serious and grave assault on our democracy probably since the civil war. that sequence of events has now been documented in several books. it's going to be documented in the final report of the committee. there have been huge new scoops
in "betrayal." he said trump showed a total lack of concern for his vice president's safety that day. despite the fact the rioters were chanting "hang mike pence" and pence had to spend hours hiding from the mob. there are photos of pence hiding, but pence would not give permission to push them. karl wrote that donald trump once asked his investigator to investigate if smart thermostats were used to hack into georgia's voting machines. jonathan karl is the author of "betrayal" and he joins me now. jonathan, great to have you. i want to start on that last point because it sort of perfectly fits here. the idea of the president of the united states saying, hey, i found this piece of internet conspiracy theory made its way to me. i want you to go check out if
they were using the smart thermostats to hack the georgia voting machines. in bodies of the universe of information that the most powerful man in the world was consuming and believing, and it comes across in your book. >> consuming, believing and asking the top people in the national security apparatus of the federal government to act on this. i too read richard hofstetter as a high school student. the paranoia has been out there, the conspiracies have been out there. you can go to the far reaches of the internet and look up the qanon things. but the significant thing here is trump asked the top intelligence official in the u.s. government, john radcliff, to look into this and look into other conspiracy theories. and his chief of staff, mark meadows, if it wasn't looking at wireless thermostats made in china used in georgia, it was
military satellites used to switch votes or server farms in germany. these were all things that were pursued at the highest levels. meadows himself you see in emails and documents released by the department of justice asking top doj officials to investigate. i also learned that this crazy italian gate, italy-gate conspiracy was january 2nd. meadows had chris miller meet with the lieutenant general who was in charge of the defense intelligence agency and the chief of staff of the pentagon. an emergency saturday meeting to talk about getting to the bottom of this italy conspiracy. nuts, but it's at the highest levels of government. >> so this was -- again, these were the kinds of things that you could -- again, there's long continuity, like fluoride is being used by the communists to brain wash americans into sun
kants. decades and decades in the making. an italian satellite changing votes. but you've got meadows convening an emergency meeting of the dod and pushing the department of justice to put the weight of the u.s. government behind it. >> there was a scene in "betrayal" where the president himself is asking the director of national intelligence to look into this stuff. and he explains, look, the director of national intelligence, we don't investigate, that's the fbi that investigates. that's not our thing. he said well, can you please ask the fbi director, he probably didn't say please, but asked him to ask the fbi director to look into this. there's a reason he's asking john radcliff to do this because he's not on speaking terms with chris wray who he wanted to fire. wray is saying, look, it's not really my thing. trump says but you're the dni,
you're the head of all the intelligence agencies and the fbi is one of those agencies, senator? just unbelievable. and he does actually call the fbi and ask them if they have looked into this -- this was a crazy conspiracy theory regarding anterum county in michigan, their voting machines being controlled out of europe. i mean totally nuts stuff. you expect it to be out there, but not to be something that the president of the united states is asking the top intelligence official in the u.s. government to act on. >> and we should note, again this comes across in your account and in others, obsessively. these are not passing idle fancies. >> no. >> in the days after the election, the obsession of everyone in the president's circle is on substantiating the lie that the election was stolen and essentially all resources are devoted towards that end. >> all resources, all means necessary. and he tries to motivate -- to activate the entire u.s.
government to this effort. it's the pentagon, it's the justice department. he was blocked -- the justice department refused to go along with this, first under bill barr and then under jeffrey rosen. and even in january, you have the scene where he's talking to jeffrey clark, the head of the environmental division with no experience in any of this whatsoever to take over as the acting attorney general so he can finally have somebody to use the resources of the justice department to seize voting machines. you know, fortunately there were people all along the way that said no. in that case all of the other senior officials in the justice department threatened to resign if clark was made acting attorney general. but he was willing to do anything and everything to overturn the election. >> and there's a connection, i should note, between his ability to get what he wanted out of the mechanisms of the u.s. government, whether it's
pressuring raffensperger. he can't get it out of doj or the people he try to bully. what he does is go down to the podium and the associated figures we'll talk about next giving him a last shot at what he was unable to secure before that. jonathan karl's who's new book "betrayal" is out now. thank you very much, jonathan. >> thank you, chris. zoe tillman is a senior legal reporter at buzzfeed news where she has been covering the january 6th committee's investigation. her latest piece is entitled "say congressional subpoena is the latest in a long line of legal entanglements for the proud boys." we played that sound of chris wallace asking him to denounce the proud boys and him saying stand back and stand by. they were present there in
washington in the run-up to january 6th. there are multiple members who have been indicted. now we've got the congressional subpoenas. walk me through what these new subpoenas are and their significance. >> what the subpoenas show is that the committee is focused not just on the high level political actors around trump, but also at probing the various actors and groups, particularly extremist groups that were involved not just in being there on january 6th but organizing quite a ways in advance to be on the ground, to be in washington, and trying to understand what they were planning to do, what their goal was in being here. you know, of the hundreds of people who have been arrested and charged in connection with the riot, many have said i didn't plan on any violence. i didn't plan on coming here to make trouble. but what prosecutors have alleged is for members of the oath keepers and members of the proud boys, that may in fact
have been exactly what they were planning to do when they came to washington on january 6th. >> here's a bit from the subpoena to the proud boys, including harry enrique otario. on december 19, 2020, a stop the steal protest was announced. this message was posted. we will not wear our black and yellow. we will be incognito and press across d.c. in smaller teams. we might dress in all black for the occasion. pulling at this thread that there was coordination and planning for something on that day among at least this group and others. >> right. there have been indictments against several leaders of the proud boys organization, although not tario who had been arrested in previous activity in washington that he's pleaded guilty to and is in jail serving a five-month sentence for. he has not been charged in
connection with january 6th but several leaders have been accused of using various messaging platforms in advance of january 6 to arrange to bring various paramilitary gear, discussing strategy, talking about the need to stay out of trouble the night before because january 6 was going to be the big day. and they have claimed as a defense that they were not planning for violence, that they for the most part are not accused of violence. but i think what's troubled judges who have kept some of these defendants in jail pending trial is the extent of prior communication, the extent of prior coordination among members and among leadership of these known extremist groups that have ties to donald trump, that have ties to roger stone, that have ties to alex jones. it's continuing to connect the threads among a relatively small
group of people that the committee is also interested in. >> when we say ties to roger stone, like literally providing his security in the days leading up to this. this is not some connect-the-dots sort of string and thumb tack of the board. they were giving him security. we should also note that one of the -- >> in photographs next to him, behind him, in front of him. >> it's well documented. one of the things too is just the rhetoric which has been documented, calling to a traitor's death. this extremely violent heated rhetoric. again, it's not per se against the law. it depends on the context but in the context of a committee trying to get to the bottom of what led to a violent attack on the capitol seems relevant. >> and i imagine the committee is interested in the oath keepers for several reasons, one of which is several defendants
charged in the conspiracy have admitted that they were involved in stashing guns in a hotel in virginia with the idea being that they were going to be available to their members if something went down. you know, what exactly they were expecting to happen, what their plan was isn't quite clear yet. that hasn't come out in the proceedings. but we've had several defendants pleading guilty and saying this was part of the plan. we brought guns to this hotel. there is surveillance footage of the rifle case being wheeled out in a hotel cart. so it's not just what were they planning to do, it's that some of these groups were bringing firearms to the region to be prepared for something. and what, i imagine the committee would really like to know. >> zoe tillman who's been fantastic work tracking this. thank you very much, zoe. >> thanks, chris. coming up, the verdict that could help bankrupt the modern
supremacist movement. a charlottesville jury found the organizers of the unite the right rally liable for tens of millions of dollars in damages. i'll talk to one of the people behind that lawsuit, after this. e behind that lawsuit, after this. walter, twelve o' clock. get em boy! [cows mooing] that is incredible. it's the multi-flex tailgate. it can be a step, it can even become a workspace. i meant the cat. what's so great about him? he doesn't have a workspace. the chevy silverado with the available multi-flex tailgate. find new adventures. find new roads. chevrolet. >> are you ready to start a great career? the chevy silverado with the av>> safelite is now hiring.e. >> you will love your job. >> there's room to grow... >> ...and lots of opportunities. >> so, what are you waiting for? >> apply now... >> ...and make a difference. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ >> man, i love that song! get help managing your money for the life -- and years -- ahead. with fidelity income planning, we'll look at what you've saved,
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to criminal justice reform, which is having a negative impact on communities of color. - i never in a million years thought that my son, let alone any six-year-old, would be gunned down in the streets of san francisco and not get any justice. - chesa's failure has resulted in increase in crime against asian americans. - the da's office is in complete turmoil at this point. - for chesa boudin to intervene in so many cases is both bad management and dangerous for the city of san francisco. - we are for criminal justice reform. chesa's not it. recall chesa boudin now. back in august of 2017, a mob of far-right protesters and neo-nazis descended upon charlottesville, virginia, for a two-day rally known as "unite the right." on that first night they carried
tiki torches and chanted things like "jews will not replace us." on the second day a man plowed his car into a group of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old heather heyer. today a jury concluded that nine counterprotesters are entitled to financial compensation from those very same white supremacists. substantial compensation, awarding them more than $25 million in damages. the jury failed to reach a decision on two claims about whether the defendants had engaged in a race-based violent conspiracy which is illegal under a federal law known as the ku klux klan act. amy spitalnek is the director of the organization that represented the plaintiffs and funded the lawsuit and she joins me now. amy, first, i guess, your reaction to what was sort of a split verdict, although all the claims that were found, were found in the plaintiffs' favor.
what was your reaction today? >> look, at the end of the day this is an overwhelming victory for our plaintiffs. the jury sent a very clear message that violent hate won't go unanswered. there will be accountability and there will be consequences. they found the defendants liable for civil conspiracy, for racial, religious, ethnic harassment violence and james spiel responsible for intentional infliction of emotional stress. our plaintiffs have fought the last four years tirelessly for the some semblance of accountability. i think it's more crucial in a moment we've seen such little accountability to get such a resounding large win against these extremists. >> it is 2021 and this is four years in the making. tell me about the origin of this lawsuit, how it came about and
how we have gotten to this day. >> absolutely. look, four years is a long time and it's been a long, hard road for our plaintiffs and our team but we are so incredibly proud of this outcome. in 2017 when unite the right happened, it was very clear from elite social media chats and other evidence that came out in the immediate aftermath that what happened wasn't an accident, but rather it had to have been planned carefully, meticulously in advance. that was of course the premise of this lawsuit. and so within two months of unite the right, our plaintiffs filed this case alleging a racially motivated conspiracy to attack people based on their race, their religion and their willingness to defend the rights of their neighbors. we have an incredible legal team led by karen dunn, robbie kaplan and so many others. our plaintiffs, nine charlottesville community members who were grievously injured, some during the torch
march on friday night, and many during the violence on saturday including and especially the car attack where so many of our plaintiffs were very significantly injured. and so the idea here is a simple one. that if there is racist, anti-semitic violence, there needs to be accountability. that was all the more important when the doj led by then attorney general jeff sessions seemed unlikely to pursue these sorts of cases with any enthusiasm. and so we were incredibly proud to support the plaintiffs in bringing this case in october 2017 and it took four years nearly to the day to get this to trial for a number of reasons, including discovery challenges with some of the defendants, covid, a global pandemic. but we got here and certainly the verdict today sends a resounding clear message about this sort of accountability. >> it sounds like there will be material ramifications for the defendants as well.
these are individuals who i think entirely comprehensively did not have counsel, they represented themselves. i think that was a financial decision largely. and they have substantial damages that they now have to pay, right? >> that's right. so actually a number of the defendants did have representation, but a few did not, including fairly notorious white supremacist leaders, richard spencer and chris cantwell. but even before this trial, we saw major financial impacts, operational impacts on these defendants. our plaintiffs won five-figure financial sanctions against certain defendants for flouting court orders. richard spencer talked about how this case has financially devastated him. a number of defendants talked about how this case dismantled some of their hate groups. so even before trial we've seen the impact civil litigation like this can have. now with these multimillion dollar judgments, it will send a
very clear signal of course to the defendants, these are not just compensatory damages but punitive damages meant to help deter them from doing something like this moving forward. but it also sends a clear message to other extremists looking on that if they're part of the racist, anti-semitic, violent hate there will be consequences. >> all right, your group secured a big victory today. thank you for making some time with us. >> thank you so much, chris. coming up, will president biden's big announcement today bring relief to rising gas prices while easing his political pressure? these are questions john podesta used to face. he's here to share his experience with me, next. is ex perience with me, next
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if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency. the big part of the reason americans are facing high gas prices is because oil-producing countries and large companies
have not ramped up the supply of oil quickly enough to meet the demand. and the smaller supply means higher prices globally, globally for oil. so today i'm announcing that the largest-ever release from the u.s. strategic petroleum reserve to help provide the supply we need as we recover from this pandemic. >> the past half century the price of gas when it's high has bedevilled presidents of both parties. it's a price that makes a big difference in people's weekly expenses and it's the single price most prominently displayed in our day-to-day lives. it's quite salient to voters. that salience colors voters' overall perception of both the economy and the job the incumbent president is doing. but the maddening truth is for said incumbent president, there's not a whole lot any president can do about it. it's why today's announcement by president biden about his plan to release the petroleum from
the strategic reserve to help combat high prices is the tried and true method to attempt to do something about a problem that political leaders do not have much control over. so i want to turn to someone who has decades of experience with this, john podesta, former chief of staff for former president bill clinton, council to barack obama and is co-founder of the advocacy group climate power. he joins me now. john, this is one of those great issues if you're out of power, whether republican or democrat, and you've got someone in the other party in office in the white house and gas prices were higher. this was the case back in the summer of 2008. back in the summer of 2000 it was a big deal. what does it look like from inside a white house if you're dealing with this knowing that there isn't a ton that you can do about affecting the price? >> well, you know, chris, first of all, let me say and it may
seem strange given the lead-in to this segment, happy thanksgiving. but i think that the president has limited tools, but he has some tools. and i think the president today demonstrated not only in releasing the u.s. strategic petroleum reserve but being able to coordinate that release with releases from china, from india, from south korea, from japan, from the uk, that the consuming nations can do something to at least stabilize the price and hopefully put it in somewhat a downward trajectory. it's not going to have a massive impact, but i think it can have the effect of leveling off price and pushing prices down over the long term. at the end of the day what the president really can do is get the u.s. off its oil addiction so that we're not held hostage to the whims of saudi arabia, of russia, of the major oil
companies like exxon and chevron, who are reporting record profits, you know, more than $6 billion in the last quarter for exxon, more than -- nearly $6 billion for chevron and yet they're gouging consumers at the pump. so i think the president can send a strong signal that he means business. he sent the letter to the ftc asking them to look for any activity that indicated that they were trying to use means that were perhaps beyond the law to kind of jack of prices and lina khan, the chair, will do a good job looking at that. but you're right in your lead-in. there's only so much a president can do because these are prices set at the global level and that's why we need to get off the addiction. >> yeah. they're set at the global level and, again, this is in some ways
the weirdest, the strangest global economic environment in many years. it's just never come out of a once in a century pandemic and the lockdowns and the supply and demand mismatch. but to your point about oil, there's a weird political aspect to this. biden must tackle two somewhat conflicting agendas simultaneously. he must address rising energy prices. he can't be seen as being pro oil in promoting domestic output. i think that sort of gets it. the bigger issue here is that we don't want to be dependent on carbon-intensive sources of energy that are exacerbating climate change. we have to get off them. but the political pressure in the moment in any given moment is always cheaper and easier access to precisely those fuels. >> look, i don't think there's a dilemma here. i think joe biden ran and got elected to protect the middle class, in the short term and in the long term.
so in the short term i think he's trying to increase supply so that prices will stabilize and come down. in the long time he's proposed build back better, which has now passed the house, it's pending in the senate. it is critical that it pass to both deal with the climate crisis, but also deal with the long-term energy dependency. if it does pass, analysts have predicted that it will reduce energy bills in households, working class, middle class households by $500 a year. so i think he's got, you know, to do two things at once really. he's got to address the pain points that people are feeling right now, but he's got to get us on a better path. and the big investments that he's put into the build back better bill to promote clean energy, to promote electric vehicles, to promote clean
buildings and clean power are the long-term solution to our being essentially at the whimsy and mercy of saudi arabia. >> john podesta, always a pleasure to talk to you. thank you very much, sir. have a good thanksgiving. >> good to see you, chris. happy thanksgiving. we've covered at length the multi-faceted attacks on american democracy. i know it seems bleak out there. coming up the case against political despair, or as i call it, the bad feeling. don't go anywhere. ba d feel ing. don't go anywhere. o) urteen , subaru and our retailers have been sharing the love with those who need it most. now subaru is the largest automotive donor to make-a-wish and meals on wheels. and the largest corporate donor to the aspca and national park foundation. get a new subaru during the share the love event and subaru will donate two hundred and fifty dollars to charity.
we've all lived with those two inevitabilities, death and taxes, and now there's a real chance we'll have to live with rising prices for a long time to come. >> the reagan administration is trying to fight inflation. >> the health of the nation's economy is a constant certain, especially with the unemployment
rate approaching 11%. >> that was a brief survey of the economic landscape back in the first two years of ronald reagan's presidency. average inflation rate topped 10% in 1981. unemployment reached 10.8% by the end of 1982. high interest rates made conditions even worse. this is not how things were supposed to go in the early 1980s. reagan was elected on a wave of optimism and the former movie star was going to turn around the stagnant jimmy carter economy with a new vision of economic conservatism and tax cuts. by the second year in office reagan's approval ratings sank from the high 60s to the low 40s. democrats managed to mobilize opposition to the economy and win 26 house seats in the 1982 midterms. but then things started to turn around. the economy recovered. inflation and unemployment were on the decline, productivity was up. reagan's approval rating rebounded in 1984, just in time for him to win the highest,
biggest, electoral college landslide in american history. all of which is to say the conditions in the early years of a presidency, no matter how dire, don't reflect their electoral prospects when it comes time for re-election. president bill clinton faced a rocky start to his presidency, inheriting the recession of the early 1990s, failing to pass his signature health care legislation. democrats got clocked in the 1994 midterms. but as with reagan, conditions improved and clinton won handily in 1996. you look back to the early obama years. like reagan, president obama was elected on a platform of change and recovery, but he also, like joe biden, has inherited a
brutal set of crises. there was the tumultuous push to pass the affordable care act that also dented his popularity. democrats once again got clocked in the midterms only for obama to win re-election two years later. so it may be obvious when i bring this up now. we've got high inflation, supply chain issues that have putter president biden's approval ratings, the price of gas as well. democrats are worried, bracing for a blow in the midterms, many sounding the alarm about 2024. i would just say a little perspective is worthwhile here. a lot can happen in three years. a lot can happen in one year. biden is down now. if the usual pattern is any indication, he'll recover. in the same way the decline was largely out of his hands, we'll have to remember the upswing was as well. and so while many, like myself, might feel a sense of profound political anxiety, it is as important as ever at this most poirlous time to hold on to whatever historical analogies we can finds. next i'll talk to michelle goldberg about what to do about all of this. goldbe rg about what to do about
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♪♪ for the past, oh, i would say five years or so i have had this creeping sense of existential dread when it comes to the state of american politics. i have been calling that the bad feeling. i think it is a result of the tension between the normal dynamic goes of a competitive two-party democracy and the growing anti-democratic tendencies of one of those two parties. in a functioning two-party system you expect power to shift back and forth between the two sides. one party is not going to win all the time in all of the places in the country. they're going to share power. right now though one of those two parties is controlled by a faction that is quite explicitly and aggressively radicalizing against democracy itself, increasingly flirting with violence as a means to power. that radicalization has not seemingly had any real negative effect on the party's electoral prospects. the fact that republican glenn
youngkin with win in virginia months after an angry mob stormed the capitol in nearby d.c. is proof of that. that's fine as far as it goes. that's normal. but the normal back and forth of politics seems perilous in ooh way it has not before. because if one side inr wins they can't be trusted with power. we can't take for granted they will creed it again. michelle goldberg is an opinion columnist in "the new york times." i spoke to her about "the problem of political despair." i liked the column. why did you want to write it? >> part of it is just what you do as a writer if something is bothering you, something is tore meanting you. you try to analyze it and articulate it, partly as a way to get it out of your head and on to the page, but also as what to speak to people. if you have been doing it long enough, you get a sense if something is
eating at you it is probably eating other people, too. the column and the response to it suggests other people feel the same way. >> i want to read one of the things you say here. you say, one redeeming feature of trump's presidency in retrospect was it was possible to look forward to the date when americans could finish it. covid too once seemed like we could put it behind us when we were vaccinated. now we are pasted and it is no longer possible. dystopia no longer has an expiration date. there was a window in the spring where it felt like we are back to normal, we are going to get to my brother's wedding, we are vaccinated, you can do stuff. the combination of the fact the economy is still very weird and also delta, it just had a huge sucking back into the quick sand feeling. >> right. and then that turn sort of empowered the republican party, which is why we are looking at, you know, just sort of months after january 6th, months after
an attempted coup attempt that the voters are going to return these people to power. you know, a party that if anything has grown only more radicalized since donald trump left office. what's so deeply horrifying isn't that republicans would take power when they have public sentiment behind them. right. i do find it upsetting that, as you said, their sort of anti-democratic term doesn't appear to have cost them electorally. but it is normal in the system when sentiment is behind you, you get to win elections. >> right. >> what is frightening is when you get to win the elections, you fix the elections going forward. that's what happens in awe authoritarian systems around the world, and i think it is what we are increasingly seeing at the state level here and at the national level we will see if the republicans have the oval office again. >> right. that is exactly it. it is that every back and forth, every sort of, you know, the normal kind of cycles and
pendulums of american politics, which, you know, we have talked about on the show. like the party in power loses in the mid terms. if gas prices are high, they're angry at the incumbent. all of those are flirt with handing power to a party that has proven itself to be not trustworthy in wielding it, like in a fundamental sense. so it feels like something in the contract has been ripped here, even as we go through normal politics. >> right. and we're heading to a point where republicans will take power, but then if, you know, opinion turns again, you said the nature of public opinion in this country is kind of thermostatic. if public opinion turns again it won't matter because of the way gerrymandering is being used to cement republican control of the house. you have states that are basically 50/50, democrat/republican states that will give 60%, 70%, 80% of congressional seats to republicans. you have a supreme court that
has struck down anti-gerrymandering laws or that has ruled, you know, that kind of -- that the constitution doesn't allow them to rule on gerrymandering. a court that does that because of the workings of a, you know, kind of minority presidential system, right, democrats being seven out of the last eight elections the popular vote and still republicans get control of the supreme court. you have these institutions in american life reinforcing themselves and it is like a boa constrictor squeezing the life out of of public democracy. >> i guess the question is what is the antidote. one thing i think is true is it is different than post-2009, there's a lot of differences. one of them is i think that was a little bit of, you know, people were fighting, liberals particularly, people on the left, people who opposed bush, who opposed the iraq war were fighting so hard.
barack obama got elected. it felt like a historic moment because it was. i'm going to take a step back from politics. this feels different why and what do you see as the antidote? >> well, i think it feels different because it is not that people are stepping back out of a sense of relief, right. i think the people who are pulling back, the progressives who are -- look, they're still very engaged but i think plenty of people find this so poisonous that in order to preserve their own sanity they sort of have to take a step back, sort of, you know, total political involvement that was with the aim of getting trump out of office, that people threw themselves into for four years is not sustainable. so i think in order for people to get involved once again, there needs to be people in the party who say that, you know, if you fight for this democracy it can be saved. and in order to do that, you need to have some sort of path to voting reform legislation. you need to have some sort of path for democracy legislation. >> yeah, i think that's very
well said. i'll be here night in, night out, bad feeling or not. just if you are here too, michelle goldberg will be in the pages of "the new york times" twice a week if i'm not mistaken. >> that's right. >> michelle, thank you so much. >> thank you. that is "all in" for this tuesday night. we will be back tomorrow night. rachel maddow starts right now. good evening. >> thank you very much, my friend. thank at home for joining us this hour. hillary clinton will be joining us live tonight. it will be my first chance to interview her since before the 2020 election. i have a lot of stuff stored up to ask her. i also have to tell you i just ripped through the political thriller she just wrote with the great author, louise penny. they co-wrote a political thriller. it is hillary clinton's first novel. i read their book so fast it was like somebody was timing me to get through it.