20-30% of the Population is Authoritarian in Europe and US

44:03
sentences I apologize so I’m a New Deal
44:05
Democrat from Massachusetts just like
44:07
you what do we do about the thirty
44:10
percent of the population that believes
44:12
everything Trump says every conspiracy
44:15
theory they’ve been going like that
44:17
since the Southern Strategy started in
44:19
the 70s and under Reagan in the 80s I
44:22
can give money I can make phone calls
44:25
I believe in swinging left or whatever
44:27
it’s called but no red state person is
44:30
going to listen to
44:31
someone like me I am the elite and they
44:34
hate us 30 just you answered your own
44:37
question in a way we’ve always had 30
percent of the twenty to thirty percent
of the country has always been unfairly
far-right
and I think one of the
troubling things about now is you kind
of mainstream some of that old-fashioned
I’ll call it right-wing extremism that
leaves 70 percent of the country I think
you week there’s a majority to be had
there I guess I’m not worried that there
are a certain number of people who
believe anything you know some of our
opponents think of out of us seventy
percent I think your figure is broadly
right it might even be a little less
than thirty percent and we can make
democracy work on the basis of those
number point is not unanimity we need
majorities to accomplish ends we report
on a study in yes okay wait you can’t
leave them hang on the study and then
your point is the majority has spoken
they want to hear it yeah the pool of
the pool of people who would vote for
far-right parties in Europe hasn’t
changed the percentage for for thirty
years what makes the difference is the
activity at the leadership level
the
kind of Appeals that are being made the
the structure of the electoral system
that sometimes diminishes their
mobilization and activity and other
times brings them to the fore so we need
other voices at the leadership level
both in communities and nationally
46:21
speaking out and that will make a
46:24
difference my concern
46:44
many families you go home at
46:45
Thanksgiving and there’s somebody who
46:47
have had that on in almost as background
46:50
noise for 25 years and there’s a lot of
46:53
misinformation I can talk to people and
46:56
hear their pain and relate on that level
46:59
but if they’ve been hearing something
47:01
for 25 years and believe things that are
47:03
demonstrably untrue to be true my
47:06
question is a is it worth it to try to
47:09
deal with that and be is do you actually
47:12
think that that had an influence on this
47:14
past election yeah well we have a lot on
47:18
this in the book which by the way makes
47:21
a great holiday gift not too early for
47:25
Christmas
47:26
Monica thanks Pete he says it with every
47:29
book one ferocious Shana one for Yom
47:32
Kippur or another one for Sukkot you
47:37
know one we have a very large problem
47:39
when you lose the public square and when
47:41
people cocoon in and get the information
47:44
they want to there is a big problem on
47:47
the right because there’s a deliberate
47:49
attempt to lie and distort and give
47:51
people false facts and large numbers of
47:55
people believe those things three
47:56
there’s a term called motivated
47:58
reasoning where once you believe
48:00
something and you get incontrovertible
48:02
evidence to the contrary you are
48:04
motivated to deny that and believe
48:07
something that’s untrue and dealing with
48:10
that is an enormous problem in the
48:12
country and there’s no clear answer one
48:16
of the things we have to do is recreate
48:18
a public square and hope that if we
48:19
build it they will come
48:21
and we see some of this with public
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media we need to find other ways to do
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it and we need to be relentless in
48:27
fact-checking
48:28
even if some people aren’t going to
48:30
believe it to make sure that a larger
48:32
group of people who don’t pay a lot of
48:33
attention don’t come to believe that for
48:36
example Sciences evenly divided on
48:39
climate change and you they need to
48:43
understand reality and that is our job
48:45
as well
48:50
oh yeah yeah he wants he’s from the
48:57
other side yeah please do you mind
48:59
let could yeah go ahead uh yeah you’re
49:04
loud and clear
49:05
I grew up overseas was born in Nebraska
49:07
raised overseas in a British school
49:10
system and it was much more
49:12
authoritarian much more regimented like
49:16
the military can you hear me
49:18
let him speak please go ahead anyway the
49:21
Queen was in charge of the British
49:23
Empire so as a little kid I sang god
49:25
save the queen every morning rather than
49:26
the Pledge of Allegiance came back here
49:28
every six years to reaffirm my
49:30
citizenship and learn how to talk like
49:32
an American and spell like one and do my
49:35
cursive like one and from overseas the
49:40
the 60s we’re evolving and LA was
49:43
burning and the riots and the drugs and
49:45
sexual revolution and it looked like
49:48
from overseas that our country was just
49:49
starting to go down the toilet well here
49:52
we are 50 years later and divorce rates
49:55
have not gone down children are not much
49:58
more respectful of their parents the
50:01
legal system is under constant attack
50:03
from every source and within and without
50:06
terrorism’s running rampant the
50:08
economy’s in danger so my question is
50:10
we’re not progressing and somehow in the
50:13
midst of all that collapsing over 60
50:16
years Trump won I’m not sure how he did
50:18
I don’t like many of the things he’s
50:21
done or reported to me have done and if
50:24
Muller finds finds out that he’s part of
50:27
the swamp that needs to be drained I
50:29
hope he gets trained but until that
50:31
point whether it takes a year or two
50:33
years I think we should be polite
50:34
citizens and show that we’re mature
50:37
American world citizens and allow the
50:40
rule of law to work because that’s what
50:42
we’re based on hey are you done sir
50:45
thank you very much at first thanks for
50:48
nine hours of prayers for the country we
50:50
needed could I just say really quickly I
50:53
very much agree with something in what
50:57
you said which is we do want to uphold
50:59
our laws and our Constitution but part
51:03
of what that provides for is the
51:06
opportunity to dissent against the
51:08
government that obviously many of the
51:10
people in this room some probably about
51:13
half of the country now feels is under
51:16
some real threat from the president
51:19
because of how he behaves on a whole
51:21
series of issues we try to make the case
51:24
in our book that there is reason to be
51:27
vigilant against a president whose
51:30
habits sometimes resemble those of other
51:33
leaders who have undercut democracy
51:35
itself and we also think that the
51:38
policies Trump is pursuing paradoxically
51:41
are likely to worsen the situation of
51:43
many of the people who voted for him
51:45
particularly for example the repeal of
51:47
the Affordable Care Act but if you want
51:50
to talk to us I’d be happy to extend the
51:52
argument with you or the conversation
51:54
but I appreciate your speaking up thank
51:55
you sir
51:56
thank you we’ll get you afterwards yeah
52:06
how much time we spend in the general
52:09
media on diversion distraction denial
52:16
duplicity and not separating all of that
52:21
activity in great words and pictures
52:24
from do what’s really going on how can
52:28
we help great papers like the Washington
52:31
Post and New York Times which I added to
52:33
subscription because I want people to go
52:35
on to separate in the paper all of the
52:39
four DS there’s a distraction because
52:42
they still want to show it and to dues
52:44
what’s going on so we can look at that
52:47
and not get distracted at about you know
52:50
one thing I will say what each a and I
52:52
did one a on Friday it was actually
52:55
really wonderful exchange and they the
52:57
Week in Review section but we never got
53:01
to for example Tom Price four hundred
53:05
thousand dollars and taxpayer money to
53:07
take
53:09
charter jets and that’s one of the key
53:12
questions here the the kleptocracy this
53:15
sort of abuse of government some of this
53:17
gets drowned out by distraction and I
53:21
think apart what we’re hoping to do with
53:23
the book is to get people focused back
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on these larger questions but there’s a
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natural tendency both in a media looking
53:29
for eyeballs and for subscriptions to go
53:34
to the controversy and one of the things
53:36
that Trump understands in his gut
53:38
whenever the news Titans is to get out
53:41
there and create a new distraction and
53:43
some of what we’re dealing with today is
53:45
positive but let’s face it some of it is
53:47
an attempt to distract away from the
53:49
others Greg quickly he makes it really
53:51
hard because you can’t really not cover
53:54
what he said about Colin Kaepernick and
53:58
Steph Curry and you can’t just let it go
54:01
even though if you could make a very
54:04
good case that what we actually should
54:06
be talking about is the health care bill
54:07
and what the world they’re going to do
54:09
on taxes and we just got to figure out
54:11
how to do a couple of things at the same
54:12
time and not let one drown out the other
54:15
but it’s really hard I’m struck by the
54:18
absence of any discussion about
54:22
corporate power and citizens united in
54:25
this process and I was wondering if you
54:26
could comment on that my colleagues have
54:29
been fighting citizens united they
54:31
survive forever so it’s in the book we
54:33
have a big big chunk on campaign finance
54:36
and citizens united and and the problem
54:40
the problem is it’s it’s less corporate
54:43
power than it’s the power of a handful
54:47
of billionaires who who are looking to
54:50
amuse themselves and and to realize
54:53
their their fantasies about a world they
54:58
would like to create in this country and
55:02
so we have a number of suggestions for
55:04
it I mean it there’s no easy answer
55:05
especially after Merrick garland was not
55:10
allowed a hearing and a vote on the
55:13
court and now it’s going to be tougher
55:15
and tougher but we need a new
55:17
jurisprudence that will get us beyond
55:20
focusing simply on corrupt
55:23
to deal with the broader problems of of
55:27
representation accountability and in our
55:30
government so it’s it’s it’s less that
55:34
their divisions within the corporate
55:37
structure of America as we see very much
55:41
new and old and and and I think we
55:46
talked about but we also talked about
55:47
reforming the corporation in other words
55:49
I think you have a point about I think
55:51
we all agree you have a point about
55:53
corporate power and that’s why we have
55:56
this Charter for social responsibility
55:58
which is about reforming the corporation
56:01
because as long as the corporation is
56:03
focused only only on shareholder value
56:06
and the bottom line this is this is not
56:08
George Romney capitalism you know if you
56:11
go back and look at George Romney this
56:13
was a vision of capitalism that was
56:15
about making your companies successful
56:17
but also being concerned about the
56:19
commonweal in some sense what made the
56:21
company this society that made the
56:23
company’s successful and I don’t wanna
56:25
be nostalgic about that because
56:26
nostalgia never works but there was
56:28
something about that approach to
56:29
capitalism that was different than the
56:32
one that we’ve had recently social media
56:42
and Facebook for example and what seems
56:47
to be coming out is the possibility that
56:53
there are other secret ways of
56:55
influencing people who don’t have any
56:57
idea what’s going on social media more
57:02
broadly is one of the drivers here when
57:05
you have tribal media and it can be
57:07
amplified by social media and lies can
57:09
spread through a number of different
57:11
vehicles and all of us regularly get
57:13
emails from friends and relatives that
57:15
say can you believe this with a link to
57:19
something and just remember if you get
57:21
something that says can you believe this
57:22
don’t believe it but but there’s
57:28
enormous that’s right well it might be a
57:31
cat video that’s different
57:33
but there’s a larger point about
57:35
Facebook a couple of large points the
57:37
first is when Facebook agreed to give
57:39
out this information this was not Mark
57:42
Zuckerberg in a patriotic gesture saying
57:46
we are gonna open up they were pushed to
57:48
do it
57:49
they didn’t say much when they got a
57:51
hundred and fifty million dollars in
57:52
revenue but there’s another element of
57:54
this what those ads did was
57:56
extraordinarily sophisticated in
57:58
targeting particular groups of voters
58:00
and a very large share of the country
58:02
gets its information about politics from
58:04
Facebook somebody not a Russian gave
58:09
them that information at a sophisticated
58:12
level and what we can hope is that the
58:16
Muller investigation will dig down even
58:18
deeper and remember that this wasn’t
58:20
just about a presidential contest there
58:22
was targeting including WikiLeaks that
58:26
hit particular members of Congress and
58:28
then ads including from Paul Ryan’s PAC
58:32
that went after those a lot of people
58:36
here colluded and if we don’t get to the
58:39
bottom of this and if we don’t in sit as
58:41
an action make sure that states are
58:42
protected against problems in the future
58:47
then we will have lost our democracy
58:48
this is that as big a threat to
58:51
democracy as anything I can imagine in
58:54
under semi-normal times the President of
58:58
the United States would make it the
59:01
number one domestic priority to deal
59:04
with with a commission and with an
59:07
effort to see that we protect our
59:10
electoral system I think we’ll take two
59:15
more questions the people are at the
59:16
microphone yeah I’m a Bernie guy I want
59:19
to go back to the primary
59:22
that Bernie V Trump out pulled the
59:26
ever-lovin mess out of Hillary v Trump
59:30
do any of you think that Bernie could
59:33
have beat Trump in the general election
59:36
I’m I got to say I think I’m an agnostic
59:39
on that question I’m not certain here on
59:41
the first of all Hillary did suffer some
59:44
some of the votes against Hillary were
59:46
sexist so that doesn’t hurt Bernie
59:48
so that’s on that side and that Bernie
59:51
clearly carried some of the
59:54
constituencies where Trump made big
59:56
inroads working quite well we got ultra
59:58
ultra left socialists versus ultra ultra
60:02
right not so anybody I mean the device
60:05
not a man surprise I’ll bet there and
60:07
that that’s on the other side of the
60:08
equation other words I think Bernie
60:09
might have had some appeal to some of
60:11
the constituencies that Trump did
60:13
extremely well in I’m wondering what he
60:15
would have lost on the other side that
60:17
Bernie never came in for that very much
60:20
harsh attack from the Clinton campaign
60:22
because they assume they win the primary
60:24
and did not want to alienate Bernie’s
60:26
voters and we’ve never had a trial run
60:28
of what an anti Bernie campaign really
60:31
would have a looked to like so I think
60:32
there’s something on the side that he
60:34
could have won but I don’t think we
60:36
really tested the proposition very well
60:38
in the primary so I as I say I’m
60:40
agnostic on the question I I don’t one I
60:43
don’t think we should let some Bernie
60:44
people like Susan Sarandon off the hook
60:47
people who said Trump would be even
60:50
better than Hillary or there’s no
60:51
difference here have some responsibility
60:54
with what we’re getting now but second
60:58
you cannot look at a Bernie who went
61:01
through a primary process as a kind of
61:03
folk hero even though he lost soundly
61:05
you have to look at what Bernie would
61:07
have looked like after a billion dollars
61:09
coming from Russia the right and others
61:13
would have done to Bernie and you know
61:16
we had a mini scandal with Bernie and
61:18
his wife over the collapse of her
61:20
college he didn’t release his own tax
61:22
returns
61:23
just imagine what they would have made
61:25
out of little things there so never look
61:27
at somebody who didn’t run or didn’t win
61:30
that’s true Abidin as well without
61:31
thinking of what it would have been like
61:33
if they’d been through this meat grinder
61:35
last question thank you for moderating
61:41
thank you for hosting I look forward to
61:43
new location which I’m gonna call
61:46
politics pros and baseball near
61:48
Nationals Park that’s a great name
61:52
okay I want to incorporate baseball into
61:56
it an election is like a baseball game
61:58
you want to have your best pitcher in
62:01
the seventh game and every four years we
62:03
have a seventh game it’s called the
62:06
presidential election is this the best
62:08
two pitchers both parties could have put
62:10
on the mound for their teams do I have
62:13
to go listen to this nonsense oh the
62:15
game with 18 innings and we and it’s a
62:17
draw 1-1 because this pitcher wasn’t
62:20
available that pitcher wasn’t available
62:22
because he pitched yesterday Joe Biden
62:25
was available John Kasich was available
62:30
and if the party’s the Democratic our
62:33
Democratic the Republican Party pulled
62:35
us nonsence again guess what I may see
62:39
it in 2028 but I look forward to seeing
62:42
the first present knighted States from
62:44
neither party thank you we do agree on
62:51
we definitely agree the place is a side
62:53
bet on that just really quickly I be Joe
62:56
Biden obviously did run it would have
62:58
been a fascinating contest if he had run
63:00
against Hillary Clinton as norm said I
63:03
think you could run the same analysis
63:05
and see what would have happened to Joe
63:06
Biden he clearly had some assets that he
63:10
could have brought to the table but if
63:12
you look at Hillary Clinton put aside
63:13
whether people I suspect looking at the
63:16
voting of our area this had fairly
63:18
pro-clinton crowd but whether you’re pro
63:20
or anti Clinton it’s clearly a case that
63:23
she was one of the most qualified
63:24
candidates who was ever on the ballot
63:26
like or or not and that the and on the
63:32
Republican side what I really think
63:34
happened there is you had a tragedy of
63:36
the Commons where all of the other
63:38
Republican candidates were kind of
63:41
hoping either that they would be the
63:44
last person standing against Trump and
63:46
would beat him or in the case of Ted
63:48
Cruz
63:49
that he would eventually lose and then
63:52
Cruz would inherit the Trump support I
63:54
think in the Republican Party they let
63:57
him go through didn’t realize the danger
63:59
they faced until it was too late and
64:01
then he won the Republican nomination so
64:03
I think you can blame that on the
64:05
strategists inside the Republican Party
64:07
cuz I agree with you I like John Kasich
64:09
better than I like Donald Trump but we
64:12
can all agree that max scherzer would
64:13
make a great candidate okay and I think
64:18
we can all agree that you guys were
64:20
fabulous thank you all and we could all
64:29
agree that Debra is fabulous
64:31
[Applause]
64:42
you

President Mike Pence?

Where Donald Trump is undisciplined and entertaining, Mike Pence is very disciplined and boring. But that discipline will not benefit the Americans at large.

Pence: Worse than Trump

It could be argued, superficially, that where Trump is undisciplined and highly entertaining, Pence is somewhat more disciplined and very low-profile, perhaps even boring. The actual news is far worse.

Vice President Pence is a complete nutcase, to put it bluntly. Where Trump adopts extreme positions to stay in the news, Pence’s views are actually built on conviction.

Pence is, admittedly, smoother than Trump. But his folksy Midwestern demeanor masks extreme views. As early as June 2006, when he was a U.S. Representative for Indiana, Pence introduced legislation for “self deportation” as part of immigration reform.

It was one of 90 bills and resolutions he introduced while in Congress, none of which ever passed in 12 years, most of which he served in the majority (thus giving him a powerful perch to craft legislation that passes).

As outwardly smooth a Republican all-star operator as Pence comes across, that is a devastating statistic. It underscores that he is a conservative radical, not a bridge-builder and consensus seeker.

The stereotype of a wolf in a sheep’s clothing captures Pence quite well.

.. Pence also presided over a large outbreak of HIV in his home state of Indiana that stemmed from the ongoing U.S. opioid crisis. Rather than moving speedily to resolve the crisis, he hemmed and hawed publicly over whether an emergency needle-exchange program would conflict with his decades of strident anti-drug policy.

.. Cheney but worse

If Pence were to become U.S. President, it could truly spell the end to many liberties. He is more dangerous than Cheney (as far as U.S. domestic politics are concerned).

On foreign policy, purely by contrast to Trump, he appears to be more predictable and therefore more acceptable to other nations. In reality, he is Cheney-esque, with a fondness for “enhanced interrogation” (= torture) and a fondness for military interventions.

.. Aside from his likely unpredictability abroad, where he would have the least restraint as president, domestically, a Pence Presidency would mean the true arrival of Speaker Paul Ryan’s public disinvestment agenda.

.. The Pence-Ryan agenda, outlined in the 2012 “Ryan Plan” and already hinted at by White House Budget Director (and former House member) Mick Mulvaney, calls for slashing U.S. social welfare programs to ribbons purportedly to balance the budget, even if they have little to no budgetary impact.

.. It is important to realize that Mike Pence and Paul Ryan are not targeting generous, European-style social welfare programs. They do not exist in the United States.

The Midwestern duo consider basic programs as excessive that serve as many people’s last line of defense between scraping by and sheer destitution.

Mike Pence and Paul Ryan would voucherize Medicare that keeps elderly Americans healthy. They would obliterate the food benefits that keep families from starving to death.

They would roll back the Medicaid program that gives poor and disabled Americans healthcare access and pays for elderly Americans’ nursing homes. Social Security privatization would likely follow.

Even the United States’ already severely underfunded budgets for infrastructure repair would be cut to the bone. Pence and Ryan would be a disaster for the long-term future health of the United States, its allies and its economic partners.

Donald Trump broke the conservative media

“If in 96 days Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like [House Speaker] Paul Ryan and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and John McCain and John Kasich and Ted Cruz — if he won’t endorse — and Jeb Bush and everybody else that made promises they’re not keeping,” Hannity exclaimed, later threatening to endorse Ryan’s far-right primary challenger.

.. In fact, throughout the election season, it has appeared that Republicans have fielded more attacks from their supposed friends on the right than their political opponents on the left.

.. “The analogy that I think of is somebody who has a baby alligator in their bathtub and they keep feeding it and taking care of it,” said Charlie Sykes, a popular conservative talk show host in Wisconsin. “And it’s really cute when it’s a baby alligator — until it becomes a grown-up alligator and comes out and starts biting you.”

.. three key forces: Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Matt Drudge.

.. Simultaneously, the conservative news media sought to lock in its audience by characterizing the mainstream press as an industry comprising dishonest liberals — something with which the GOP was more than happy to go along.

.. “What it became, essentially, was they were preaching this is the only place you can get news. This is the only place you can trust. All other media outlets are lying to you. So you need to come to us,”

.. To avoid being called a RINO (Republican in name only), a Republican would have to take a hardline conservative position on nearly every issue. If, say, they were to hold conservative positions on 90% of the issues, the conservative press would focus on the 10% where there was disagreement.

.. only one candidate could be conservative enough to support for president: Cruz.

.. But something went awry. The most aggressive right-wing members of the conservative press — the members who constantly lambasted certain Republicans for not toeing the hard-right line on every issue — got behind perhaps the most unlikely candidate of all: Donald Trump.

.. “We have reached the bizarro-world point where, for all intents and purposes, conservatives are RINOs,” said John Ziegler, a nationally syndicated conservative talk show host who called Andrew Breitbart a friend. “There is no place now for real conservatives. We’ve also reached the point, I say, we’ve left the gravitational pull of the rational Earth, where we are now in a situation where facts don’t matter, truth doesn’t matter, logic doesn’t matter.”

.. “You look at someone who a few cycles might have been derided as a right-wing lunatic, now they aren’t conservative enough,”

.. he believed some conservative pundits were “just drawn to Trump’s style more than policies.”

.. “I think that some of them just like Trump and were willing to cut him some slack on his shifting of positions because he’s a fighter and they like that,”

.. Ratings may have also played a role, according to conservative talkers who refused to jump aboard the Trump train.

.. Hannity in particular has faced criticism from some colleagues in the conservative-media sphere who allege he has been too cozy with Trump. Ziegler, the conservative radio host, said there’s “there’s no question” a “monetary element” drove coverage overall.

.. “Hannity is desperate for every ratings crumb on the Fox News Channel. … It’s all about ratings,” he said. “Hannity is not particularly talented, he’s not a smart guy — he used to just be a Republican talking points talk show host who happened to be in the right place at the right time. So he’s very vulnerable at any time.

.. while there are other outlets that belong to the conservative media apparatus, they lack the influence of the hard right. The National Review or Weekly Standard might earn the eyeballs of elites in Washington, but those in the heartland seem to prefer the style of the more aggressive pro-Trump outlets.

.. That has left conservatives who oppose Trump in a tricky position when trying to get their message to supporters. No longer can Ryan or Cruz turn to Hannity for a softball interview. They can’t work with Breitbart or rely on Drudge to help with their legislative agenda.

These Republicans have effectively been exiled from the conservative news media

.. “We have taught conservatives for many years to trust nothing other than what they hear in conservative media. Yet the conservative media has now proven to be untrustworthy.”

How America Was Lost

And there’s no telling how long that situation may last. If a Democrat wins the White House but the G.O.P. holds the Senate, when if ever do you think Republicans would be willing to confirm anyone the new president nominates?

.. Even if you’re disappointed in what President Obama accomplished, he substantially raised taxes on the rich and dramatically expanded the social safety net; significantly tightened financial regulation; encouraged and oversaw a surge in renewable energy; moved forward on diplomacy with Iran.

 

Any Republican would undo all of that, and move sharply in the opposite direction. If anything, the consensus among the presidential candidates seems to be that George W. Bush didn’t cut taxes on the rich nearly enough, and should have made more use of torture.

.. So why do I say that only one party has gone off the deep end?

One answer is, compare last week’s Democratic debate with Saturday’s Republican debate. Need I say more?

Beyond that, there are huge differences in tactics and attitudes. Democrats never tried to extort concessions by threatening to cut off U.S. borrowing and create a financial crisis; Republicans did. Democrats don’t routinely deny the legitimacy of presidents from the other party; Republicans did it to both Bill Clinton and Mr. Obama. The G.O.P.’s new Supreme Court blockade is, fundamentally, in a direct line of descent from the days when Republicans used to call Mr. Clinton “your president.”

.. Maybe we should all start wearing baseball caps that say, “Make America governable again.”

Paul Ryan as Speaker: A Preview of the Fights He Will Face, in Plain English

Do you promise to shut down the government in December if Democrats fail to give in to all of our demands?

Perhaps the main difference between the Freedom Caucus and other Republican members of the House is their unwillingness to compromise on a range of issues, including the Affordable Care Act, an immigration overhaul and Planned Parenthood funding. Here, they are asking the next speaker to commit to shutting down the government unless Democrats surrender on these issues. The federal government is funded through Dec. 11, which means these negotiations would take place soon after the new speaker is sworn in.

.. Will you make sure that people in our own party won’t finance campaigns against us?

One of the ways the Freedom Caucus would like to make sure they are safe from retribution is to ensure sure that not even staff members of House Republicans are allowed to work or campaign against them in any way.