Morning Joe | January 29, 2013
>>> welcome back to " morning joe ." a live look at the washington on a beautiful washington day. live from washington , we have tom daschle , a senior policy advisor at the government affairs firm d.a.l. piper. and his new book, fundamentals of american government . with us, former governor of vermont, chairman of the democratic national committee , howard dean . sam stein and katty kay are still with us. senator daschle , let's talk with you. i'm surprised how many senators we talk to these days just don't like their jobs. so many are leaving seats they could stay in forever. saxby chambliss and jay rockefeller made the decision as well. you go up and ask them why, they just don't feel like they're getting anything done anymore and they don't like it. what's change so radically over the past 10, 15 years?
>> joe, i think a lot of things have changed . the climate within the senate . you have a lot more radical eleme element brought about in part by redistricting, the primary process, the amount of money that goes into campaigns. you've seen a polarization in part because of the media. mostly in large measure because senators don't have the capacity to work together like they did before. there's far less opportunity for socializing and comity that comes with an institution so dependent upon it like the senate . people come to the senate wantiwant wanting to make a big difference. that's less and less the case today. people don't feel they can contribute like they want to like you saw this morning on immigration. they want to see more of that.
>> they sure do. i used to see you and trent lott on me"meet the press" and you would scratch and snarl and attack each other and say the most horrible things. then, like two professional lawyers walk out of there and be friends. trent lott still considers you a good friend. at what point in the senate did you stop being able to disagree with somebody without being disagreeable?
>> we installed a hotline, joe. i think that really made a difference. we called each other when we had a temper tantrum and picked up the phone. we knew if that phone was ringing, it was him on the other line. that made a big difference. we created a communication agreement that allowed us to get through tough times, 9/11, the anthrax attack in my office and decision to go to war in afghanistan and iraq and that drew us together. you don't have the same element of crazies like you do today but as you look at the challenges we face, you could call them that.
>> listening to senator daschle talk about socialization part of the problem in the senate and fund-raising part of the problem in the senate . you look back at recent history last 25, 30, 40 years, this country faced larger problems than today, war in vietnam , the end of the nixon presidency yet people got along in the congress much less the senate .
>> this reflects what's going on with the american people . there was a culture war that started in my generation when i came of age in the '60s. what you've seen since 1994 is the rear guard action to stop it. it failed. i think president obama 's re-election was the essentially the end of the culture war . there'll be more battles and the dem graphics and the fact young people , our boomer children have adopted our values, those wars are over, the rear guard in the senate , washington is always the last place to feel what's going on and why you feel this bitterness.
>> governor, it's the end of the culture war and you won?
>> that's right. i'm not saying there will not be any more battles, there will be. a whole generation has been skipped. i was thinking about this last night, i teach at yale. 40 year-olds won't really have power in this country, sort of go from our generation to the younger generation because of the internet. just talking about a 23-year-old girl in rwanda, her foreign aide is better than the isds.
>> and there's a terrible generation that will rise up against this.
>> they already have. i think this is what you're seeing in the senate and house right now.
>> senator daschle , if you parachuted into the united states senate today, newly elected senator, would you recognize the place from the places you group in politically?
>> i think you would. i think that obviously the institution itself is still very much intact. we had a discussion of our rules in the last couple of weeks. i think you're going to see the institution continue to evolve. but the basic components are still there, principles are still there. the founding fathers came up with a unique way for everyone to have a role, small states and large states and to contribute. those principles are still there. i'm act which encouraged. howard is right, demographics are changing politics and as they change on immigration, they will change on climate and a number of areas i think the american people will demand senators and congressman find common ground a lot more effectively. we're beginning to see that in the first three weeks of this session.
>> let me say also senator and governor dean, the demographics will also change the debt debate. as steve rattner said, we're stealing from the next generation . i can tell you my 25-year-old son and a lot of his friends that even come from more progressive backgrounds are a bit more libertarian, a bit more skeptical of their government because they see the government today stealing from them. so we will have cross currents here. certainly, the demographics are break weigh from a republican party stuck in 1994 , but the economics certainly tend to go the other way.
>> that's exactly right. these young people are more conservative than the average democrat in my generation because of what they've gone through. you are going to look for a serious, i think serious attempt to deal with the deficit by this younger generation . they do not believe in what's going on in terms of the spending.
>> pot smoking journalists are the exception. and we bring in sam stein to be represent that demographic. sam ?
>> i'm so high right now, i can barely ask the question.
>> work through it.
>> senator daschle , you write about in your book the dysfunction in the senate because of the an busts filibuster. but i didn't read necessarily an endorsement of fill butter reform. do you support the idea of a talk filibuster or 40-vote threshold to uphold the filibuster and if not, why not in the.
>> the of the thanks for the plug. two things. one, i don't think you really need a lot of reform. if you go back to the way the rules were original little applied, 191917 to 1967 , we had 45 clotures. in the last congress, we had 113. that says all you need to know about the direction it's taken. if we didn't dual and triple and quadruple track, that is to set aside bills as filibusters came up and if we required everybody to hold the floor while they were filibustering, those two fundamental things which is what we did prior to the 1970s , we won't have many of the problems we have today. senator reid and senator mcconnell did a very good job in moving the senate in the right direction. if we would use those two principles, we would basically accomplish what we set out to do.
>> senator tom daschle , the author of the u.s. senate fundamentals of american government , you can read an excerpt on our blog at mo joep company msnbc.com. go to your local bookstore and buy it today or you can get it on amazon.com, one of those new fangled web sites that will sam stein tells me about. thank you so much, senator.
>> what's a website?
>> thank you.
>> howard, stick around, if you will. we've got pulitzer price winning author dave barry coming up. and inside the reagan presidency through the eyes of his closest advisors. you're watching " morning joe ," brewed by starbucks.