Martin Bashir | November 27, 2012
>>> having spent their political lives worshipping at the throne of grover norquist , some republicans have now lost faith in their promise to never raise taxes. at the same time democrats are being urged to protect those programs that help the poorest and the weakest among us. even as the president seeks to reach a deal with speaker john boehner . congressman jim moran , who is a democrat from virginia and a member of the progressive caucus joins us now. good afternoon, sir.
>> nice to be with you again.
>> you've called this fiscal crisis totally artificial, your words, but isn't this fundamentally about how we perceive the future? republicans say the only thing that matters is reducing the deficit whereas you maintain that investment in people and infrastructure is just as important to secure the future. is that not right?
>> well, i hate to waste this nation's resources. the greatest waste is our human potential . the millions of people who are unemployed or underemployed, the millions of students who are not getting a decent education. all the opportunities that are not going to be developed through research and innovation, whether it be in technology or at the national institutes of health . this is a very wealthy nation, not just monetarily, but in terms of the resources, particularly the human resources , that we can apply to meeting the problems of the world and making ourselves more prosperous. and the fact is we're going to lose those resources because the only way to tap them is a good public education system. good physical infrastructure , world class innovation. the kind of investment in rench research and development that developed the internet. those were government investments and the fact is we're talking about eliminating them across the board. it's called nondefense domestic discretionary programs. but that really is the seed corn that enables this country to fulfill its potential, and that's probably what is most at stake. it's certainly those constituents don't have a seat at this table. you know, defense does, rightfully so. the wealthy do. even to some extent, you know, social security and medicare.
>> but it's these nondefense domestic programs that i am afraid are most likely to be cut, and i think this country should be fighting for those because that's the way we untap our national potential.
>> in a sign of increasing annoyance, grover norquist attempted to cast a slur upon new york congressman peter king for suggesting that he may rescind his no tax promise. take a listen, sir.
>> everybody who signed the pledge, including peter king who tried to weasel out of it, shame on him as the new york sun said today, i hope his wife understands that commitments last a little longer than two years or something.
>> so, mr. moran, air cording to mr. norquist, if peter king changes his mind in order to help the very people you just described that will thereby help the american economy , then he's more likely to commit adultery? is that what he's saying?
>> his wife should be far more ashamed of peter if he were to let himself be bullied by this guy grover. i mean, grover seems to be a mild-tempered guy but he employs these bullying intimidation tactics. the republican party should say, look, i'm bigging than that, i answer to my quaeconstituents. who are you to tell me how i can best served the needs of this country. grover norquist couldn't get elected to anything, dog catcher even. yet he's out there intimidating all these folks that some of whom really want to do the right thing and now is the time when they have to do the right thing, when they have to be patriots and that's what this is about. are you going to put the interests of your country and your constituents above special interests that grover norquist has and the threat that he holds of pouring millions of dollars into your campaign? if that's the only way you're going to get re-elected, then darn it, it's not worth it, and i think a lot of republicans are coming to that conclusion.
>> there are some encouraging signs. here is democratic senator dick durbin today speaking about the possibility of a deal on the fiscal cliff. take a listen.
>> pick up any of the hill newspapers and look for the full-page ads. basically saying to the left, keep your hands off the entitlements and to the right, keep your hands off of taxes. well, if both sides heed those warnings, nothing will happen.
>> congressman, he's right, isn't he?
>> of course he's right. and, you know, we have this new book about thomas jefferson and this new movie about abraham lincoln and that great robert carroll book about lyndon johnson . these were people whose greatness came from understanding that the art -- that compromise is the art of politics. that sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. you have to take things into your own hands in terms of negotiating, making deals, compromising things that you know have to be done for the greater good. the greater good is to put this country onto a path of stable financial security . this can be done, but we have to be willing to negotiate, to compromise, and to put aside the people like grover norquist and be able to tell our constituents, look, i acted in the greater good. i acted in what i knew had to be done for the long-term best interests of this country and its children and my grandchildren, and that i think is what ultimately what's going to be done, but right now grover norquist is a marginal player. thanks for inviting me tonight, martin.
>> congressman jim moran from virginia. thank you so much.