662: Where There Is a Will
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That guy says his brother was coming home every month, and then you know, that stopped. He wasn't getting any leave. And my brother didn't come home for almost two months. And he drove my mother grazie. And she decided that she should it. Get my brother back home, you know, any very difficult due to deal with anything during the war because everybody's stereo and crazy, but she decided that she needs to speak to the chief of staff, and she started calling and they the staff is like the head of the army the day day head genera- for the entire army. Yeah. That guy explained her strategy was simple. Just call. The guy's office talk to whoever answered and she would Doke for don't get enough. And she would have something that you could say offended her or may they're angry, and then she asks to speak with debt person superior. She did the same thing with that person. And then that person superior and so on and on and on and on Indian key, founder says speaking to the head generally know, a the fatty Thanh who's one of his most famous. Kind of war heroes. And he said to this in the generate a time. I know that you fighting a war, and I really don't want to waste any of your time. So I really make it simple. My son didn't get to leave from the army for the past two months. I give you twenty four hours to sending back home. If you know what's good for you Huby back, you know, before tomorrow evening, wait, if you know, it's good for you. Yeah. And the guy says I just want to understand MRs scared. Are you reddening me? And she says, yes, I am reading you. And then, you know, I didn't want to put it in the subtext because I know that you busy. So if you know what's good for you. And I you send my son. And he says to MRs Kurt do you know who I am? And he said, yeah. Yeah. You day the war hero. And he said to if you know anything about me is in you know, that I'm not easily scared. So why am I said? Yeah. But I don't think you had many chance to fight with elderly holocaust survivors were five foot tall and weigh eighty two pounds. And I wanna tell you something, and I make it very simple and very quick, you know, after you quit the army, you either go to politics, or, you know, go to the flea market in both cases, you're going to be very exposed in both cases every time. They'll be TV camera around or journalist you have this utterly lady. Sitting in the first roll shouting at you accusing you of any bad things that you might have made a maybe of some bad things that you've never made because I'm a very good liar. And you really don't want that. So and. That stage he hung up the phone interface. The next after noon at cars, brother arrived home. So they put them out of his ranks. Don't get on a helicopter. He had no idea. What was going on nor did anybody else? Use him some family member died or something at guard says and he got his break. He came to shower stepped for sixteen hours, my mother, SOS it. He was okay. And it day after that he went back to LeBron. I should say we cannot confirm the details of this story. Gooding the dialogue between et cars. Mom, and Rafael Eitan this happened over thirty years ago. Icons dead. We got that cars mom. She said share whatever at car says. But there are many stories of that cars, mom doing things like this. There was a time. She threatened a mugger so effectively that he abandoned the idea of mugging or in the middle of the mugging. There's your showdown with the president of Poland that end when the president of Poland finally gave her the passport she demanded as somebody who had been born in Poland that cars the same way in certain situations. So it doesn't threaten that's not who he is just reasons people to death. Case in point a couple of years ago, he and his wife, Sarah, and their then eight year old son web, traveling and they left a backpack on an airplane in the backpack was at cars, ipad, which had all of his sons games on it. You know, if it's months on these games working his way up the levels of the games. Now that was gone that was really messed up about it. And the parent knows what I'm talking about. And the call the airline the airline says no problem when you get to the airport for the return flight, go to awesome found it'll be there. So comes a day the runaway home they get to the airport. This is in Rome. They can't find the lost and found time is getting short. They've got a plane to catch finally a guy at the car rental. Super nice guy offers to take them to it. He's name was Massimo, and he took us to the lost and found place. Whereas it was this really really nasty woman. And I said to you know, you have our bag, and we suppose to take it, and we're gonna fly really really soon. Do I can actually see it and a pointed to the bag, you know, because it was behind her. And she says she needs a letter from the airline saying he was on the same flight as the backpack. I go doesn't have this letter. She said, sir. I'm not going to give you the bag without letter. I'm sorry. But I go to Israel. I never get to see the bag. And she said, you know, that your problem. Somebody who knows that Carl just say wrong live, something deep and powerful kicks in inside him. My wife said to me. Okay. Let's go. So we won't meet deflect and said, no just a moment. And they sit through the woman. Look don't give me the back. But just do this kind of thing these deep, you know, the the outside pocket of it. And see if there are crackers in it with a Hebrew writing on the package of records. And she said, why would you wanna do that? I said I just ask you to do it. And she went to and said, he their curriculum. So sit too so we both agreed that this is my bag. She says. Yeah, this is your bag. So I said to sued you, please give it to me. He said, no, sir. I won't give it to you. Unless you give me this letter. And I said, but you understand my son is he and his game is are you a parent. And she said, yes, I'm at Barron and said to her so think about it like, you know, issue son a head game. He really wanted to and you had to go and confront with the person who'd say, yeah, I know this game is yours, but your son is never going to get it. Just. Because of some kind of technicality. I mean, you're Italian, you know, beat down in, you know, be warranty. Nice leaning give me the bag and she said, no, sir. I'm not going to give you the bag. And you're wasting your time you better go to your flight because you're gonna miss your flight. And let's go she's going to give it to you. And I sit where but don't you understand like, you know, as a human being, you know, will be one day where you die and you look back at your life, and you think about this day. And when you think about this day, you think about this father came with a child, and basically technically you could solve all the problems, but you chose to kind of stick with some kind of technicality. Would that be a nice dying fort to leave the word with? She was beginning to say, sir. I'm not going to give you an, but as she was about to say that Massey. More the guy know from the car renter jumped over the counter. Picked up the bag and she said to him what are you doing? And he said to I can't take it anymore jumped back over the counter, and he gave me the bag and she said to him if you don't get the bag back I'm gonna call airport security and they're going to arrest you, and so I said to him look too good solution. Take the big and Mustang was said to me look at me do as a say run. Is as happened so often that Carswell sheera? Whereas someday somebody's it's going to go nuts on echo or something heard situation when my wife just system just shut up shut up shut up. Now. Don't talk about anymore. Shut up, you know. And and I always listen to my wife, but you know, when it starts I can still be. But at the same time, I think I'm I'm this Essel know just keep arguing doesn't move on. And I really think that you know, that this has to do is we something very kind of prime lose it when I was. Child. You know, my parents were both local survivor Z kind of raised me say, you know, people people are good. But sometimes, you know, they don't get the good, you know. So you have to kind of terrorism things you time, maybe slaps them around. And then then phase Antezana the good. And then they're gonna listen and everything's going to work. Danta program at somebody else who can't help himself. He see something needs to fix an east care of needs to make it right? And then sheer force of will he makes things. Boldly radically. Though is it Harare. If you can't stop yourself WBZ, Chicago. It's this American life. I'm regardless stay with us. Glenn? Loudspeaker? So we start today with the guy who want to overstate this. And it sounds really big when you say this out loud. But I really think it might be the truth a guy who with sheer force of will outta. We changed our politics and created the political world we live in today. Logs at a second man who helped him Zoe chase tells the tale. It's probably helpful in telling this story to remember I second with politics was like before today now different from formal in quaint things used to sound, ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States. This is President Reagan walking onto the south lawn. It's nineteen Eighty-three April. But apparently a cold day one of the lawmakers looking very Soviet and his big coat and for collar. I wonder what extend to all of you, very warm. Welcome. Something ought to be warm Reagan's in the seventies all Brown suit with the Brown tie. But especially fitting that so many of us from so many different backgrounds. Young and old the working in the retired democrat and Republican should come together for the signing of this landmark legislation social security legislation. Major bipartisan compromise involving raising taxes and cutting spending two things that only go together when it's bipartisan compromise, and now as a special treat, I would like to ask two of our leaders from congress first step forward for a few words speaker of the house of representatives the honorable tip O'Neill. Mr President, Mr vice president, my distinguished colleagues and government. This isn't a happy day, a special treat, the democratic leader the friendship between Ronald Reagan and tip O'Neill, one of the most famous friendships in American politics these days, it's regularly tried it out like a feeble to demonstrate with the good old days where like back when things worked. If you knew anything about speaker of the house tip O'Neill, you know, he was a bipartisan Schmoozer a big money guy took up a lot of space in the room. He invite members from both parties to poker nights and DC using congress for decades. And by the time, he was speaker. He was a living legend type we got along. I had tip and his wife over for dinner. This is Reagan talking to William F, Buckley. Then one day I picked up the paper and rid where he had made a statement about me that was. Pretty harsh and I called him. And I said tip. I thought we had a relationship here where we could do business together. Now, I read in the paper that you said any interrupted me and said, what will buddy that's just politics. He should after six o'clock. We're buddies. We're friends. I did take it that every once in a while when we had a meeting I would visibly set. My watch six o'clock. To be fair O'Neill had been known to call Regan, real Evans or Scrooge truth is their relationship was complicated. They disagreed profoundly about a lot of stuff. But that's the point. It's why people tell each other the story the two were able to come together and talk compromise and pass legislation. Anyway, here we are today. The MS thirteen lover Nancy Pelosi people are mean about each other now in public all the time in particular the president. And of course, people fight back. This is congresswoman Maxine Waters, his not a role model for our children. He is a liar. He's a conman Maxine Waters, a very low q individual never see and Connor lamb lamb this sham right lamb, the sham lamb the sham. Never caught on. You know what I'm talking about? It's different now. I wanna lay out for you one theory of the case as to how we got from there to here we've always had two parties. But we didn't always have two teams like me do now red versus blue versus them each side routinely. Demonize the other side is unamerican you sign up for one issue the wall. The Muller investigation, Colin Kaepernick climate change. You basically sign up for all of them wasn't always Suzy euro sunlight, it's become you could explain what happened in different ways. But I'm gonna argue it was the work of these two guys that got us to this point two guys one quarterbacking the other. And so without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the first of the two men who created the modern world from Fox News from Republican primaries. Gone by former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Hope I can convey this in a way that you can really feel. If we lose we will be able to look our children, and our grandchildren the face and say, we did every thing we could to save this country. Was a weird nerdy kid growing up people close to him say, he always pictured himself as a historical figure someone who had been the course of American history. Someone who and -ticipant at stories like the one I'm telling you now from his teenage years he thought this way he ran for congress twice in west Georgia lost. And then finally wanna see in the house in nineteen seventy eight with a seventeen seventy eight attitude. There was a revolution on and the country's very existence was at stake. We're fighting a war. Gingrich said back then were for power raise hell, raise hell, all the time. His goal was to retake the house of representatives at the time and impossible dream Republicans had been in the minority for twenty four years people called it the permanent Democratic Congress once Newt finally got there he discovered as heat suspected was a police full of losers with Stockholm syndrome was chummy loosely guys and suits and ties smoking cigars playing poker together. And generally getting along hanging out talking to each other, also, depending on your perspective. It was a corrupt cesspool of bribes and giveaways, definitely hard. Gingrich side Republicans didn't have much power, but they'd go along to get along and occasionally do some deals and most of them had stopped imagining. It could be any other way. And learned most of this story from the great political reporter, Steve Kornacki. He just published a book about this time called the red and the blue the nineteen nineties and the birth of political tribalism. He's also that excited guy at the big board on MSNBC during elections. He explained that Newt arrived in congress determined to turn the police upside down, you didn't want everyone getting along Republicans were never gonna take the majority that way you wanted to fight and the weapon he used was the media his arrival in the house coincides with a historic moment in the house. And that is the first television camera is placed in the chamber in nineteen seventy nine his first year there, and it's it's C-SPAN C-SPAN may not sound exciting to you. But a it's still awesome. And be it's a major change. Now anyone can see for themselves. What's going on in congress? If they want to and people in congress can speak to anyone on the outside. Newton gets it right away. The rest of the house does not there's a lot of opposition to it. Because this is. Club here. But once the cameras there most members, they just kind of ignore it, and they leave at the end of business day, and they go, and they they do whatever it is. They do after business hours to Newt Gingrich here it is. I want people to notice this around the country. I got I noti- now. Yeah, it's Twitter. The gentleman from Georgia. Mr. Gingrich is recognized for sixty minutes. Thank you speaking. I'm gonna pick up Mr. Walker left off in the document entitled what's the matter with the democratic foreign policy by Mr. Frank, re Gorski, okay, not Twitter. Exactly. He's prophecy. Oreo pedantic not a lot of flare somehow someday this country has got to learn to live with revolution. In the third world. It's endemic. It's Ed he starts claiming there's this rule in the house that any at the close of business and any day any member can claim the floor for any reason they want for pretty much any amount of time. They want and called special orders in Gingrich starts claiming these these special order speeches, ten o'clock at night, eleven o'clock at night. It's an empty chamber colleagues are asleep. They're drinking. They're out. They're not they're they're not listening to this. They're never even going to hear about this most of them. But Gingrich knows there are people all across America who got these new cable boxes in their house who are like scanning the dial and seeing what's out there. And some of them are going to pause when they see him in what they're hearing is he's not giving a dry. I speech about. And now if I can direct your attention to subsection three of the agriculture funding. He's giving these grand. Grand speeches about American politics in American identity and the corrupt democrat machine often Gingrich or one of his few allies was explaining how the Democrats were fringy communist radicals, like the whole party, everyone in the party, this more or less, a socialist. It was sort of his version of all Democrats want open borders, but less punchy since communism doesn't strike them. As an independent inexorable force feeding onto tunnel, Terry and personalities and concepts McGovern. Democrats don't fear. It trash America. Indict the president and give the benefit of every doubt to Marxist regimes. That's the standard formula. It is. He is producing what you would now recognize as a cable news show on the floor of the house and he's performing for the camera and he's giving his monologue. He's giving his monologue on the decay of the Democratic Party of the decay of American culture, the promise of a Republican party embraces opportunity responsibility. And all these things and there's an audience it starts to tune in. And. And he knows it. He he gets that. He gets the potential of that before anybody else. Newt believe there was a Republican majority out there because just a decade earlier Richard Nixon had trounced the democratic candidate for president. He wouldn't forty nine out of the fifty states. Clearly, there was an appetite for Republican rule, but Republicans were still a minority in the house people somehow weren't thinking of their Republican votes into one Republican ticket. Would he needed to do was paint? All the Democrats more clearly as the enemy to the voters, and he do that by associating all of them with the candidate who lost to Nixon George McGovern George McGovern would sort of the Bernie Sanders of his day. So lefty, even freaked out a lot of Democrats and seventy two the counterculture antiwar candidate. If Republicans were able in nineteen seventy-two to score that epoch of a landslide running against the Democratic Party of George McGovern in the activists behind him. Newt Gingrich believed that's the key to the Republican party winning everything if you Nash. Nationalize politics, and you make voters everywhere in the country. See in whatever democrat is in their backyard, who's running for whatever office, it is congress or sheriff or state legislature or dogcatcher if you get the voters to see that democrat as no different from George McGovern in the folks around him while you know, how those voters are going to react they're going to go, and they're gonna vote Republican. And so his idea was to make voters across the country judge politics based on what they saw coming out of Washington based on what they saw coming out of the national media based on what they saw on C span were over and over again, Newt brought up McGovern in the late sixties and early seventies. It became a truism with the entire American left from bomb throwers in Chicago to eastern writers to progressive pinstripe supporters of Eugene McCarthy and McGovern the southeast Asia would be fine. Once the US left attacking congressman by congressman. I name congressman Harkin on June. Twenty-sixth nineteen Seventy-nine told the house that the Sandinistas new. More about nurturing democracy than America did quote should the United States feel impelled to meddle once again. Nicaragua. The result this speechifying metoo speaker of the house furious. Remember speaker, the affable muppet tip O'Neill, Newt Gingrich and a couple of the other guys. Gingrich acolytes are talking smack about specific congressman questioning their patriotism on the public record. And they aren't even there to respond that was not done. It was against the gentlemanly code of the house as speaker tip O'Neill controls, the cameras, and he orders them to pan out and show, the empty room that Gingrich and his buddies are addressing Bob Walker Republican from Pennsylvania happens to be speaking, right, then and he takes great umbrage when this happens. But I do want to take note of something. That's evidently happening right now, which is a change of procedure here. Tip o'neill. This will make the guys look petty talking to no one watching it. It's. It's like a surreal Becket play a tiny man at the bottom of the screen gestures wildly from podium as we speaking to a big crowd. But he's surrounded by empty chairs. It is my understanding that as I deliver this special water the evening. Other cameras are panning this chamber demonstrating that there is no one here in the chamber to listen to these remarks that is evidently that the work of a change in the in the pattern of rules around here. It is one more example of how this body is run the kind of arrogance of power that the members are given that kind of of change with absolutely no warning. I see the gentleman from California. Mr Coelho was standing in the back of the chamber just a moment ago. Mr Coelho has talked in recent weeks about shutting off these special waters and not allowing them to even be seen in the countryside. And he stands in the back of the chamber now smiling, I have to I have to feel that perhaps he is getting worried that some of the things that are being said in this. Chamber in these special orders are in fact, influencing people out across the country to think that this body is something less than what the American people think it ought to be lots of C span watchers today understand congressman or putting on a performance. There is always someone in the audience, but it was new back. Then this all sets up a wild showdown between Newt in the speaker tip O'Neill a few days later. Gingrich gets time on the floor. Okay. I have delighted to yield artist English speaker if he wishes to continue this the speaker of the house tip O'Neill 'Skin Grece t- yield. So he can say something does knowing the speaker is gonna yell at him. This time the chambers packed with congressman and reporters both. Here's tip O'Neill, my personal opinion is this you deliberately stood him at well before an empty house and challenge these people, and you challenge their Americanism and its lowest thing that I've ever seen in my thirty two years in congress, Mr Speaker if I may reclaim. My time as insults. Go in the US house circa nineteen Eighty-four this is big. So big Trent Lott Republican from Mississippi standing near the speaker says I move we take the speaker's words down a mood. We take the speaker's words them. This means that would tip O'Neill just said to Gingrich is so offensive so toxic that he wants the wrongness of it officially acknowledged perhaps even struck from the historical record as though it had never been said for five full minutes. Everyone shuffles around clutching their pearls about Newt about the speakers behavior. How do we preserve the dignity of the house? The clerk reads out the offending speech once again, so that the chair can decide what to do about it, my personal opinion is that you deliberately stood in that well before an empty house and challenge these people and you challenge their Americanism. And it is the lowest thing that I have ever seen in my thirty two years in congress. Feels that type of characters ation should not be using too big. This is like saying that was out of line. Don't do that again that was very bad. But it doesn't actually reach the words from this record still. It was an epic showdown. Speaker of the house tip O'Neill being scolded in front of America. Maybe it's hard to understand what a coup this is for younger congressman, but think of him as a producer a producer of his newly formed experimental cable news show on C span. Help expertly produced. This moment was everyone's in the room. The speaker of the house basically promotes Gingrich's late night program. Then this bigger gets called out in front of the whole country. And he looks era Ghent in new Gingrich's at the center of the room like a conductor pointing from one guy to the next guy doing out time as the speaker gets red in the face and yells over the room. Gentleman missed the wave. Gentleman. Missed wocka expressive. Remember that? Boyd a parliamentary inquiry in the stories covered on the nightly news. This is a turning point for Newt Gingrich. He's now the pied piper. And other Republicans star rallying to his causes not long after this episode tip O'Neill retires, and he's replaced by speaker Jim rates Newt season opening to take right down thinks it'll rally the Republicans in the house. It's a battle. They can win right is with cocky and dismissive of the minority party with none of the HALE, buddy. Tip O'Neill warmth. It'll be a branding exercise for the new aggressive Republican party was selling. Here's what happens. He weeds a story in the Washington Post about the new speaker getting fifty cents on the dollar for every one of his books, he selling it's more of a pamphlet than a book, actually. But it's a way to give the congressman back door donations the people buying it. We're like the local Teamsters in his district and supporters rallies. You talk to the papers about this compares, right? Mussalini makes speeches think of it. As though he's standing on his tip toes shouting over the heads of congress to the American people. Draining the swamp that's his intention in again. It's just the idea that here's this clubby elite arrogant institution that the corrupt democrat machine is is powering. And and they are so disdainful of you everyday Americans that this is how they behave. And so Gingrich is calling for an ethics investigation against an ethics committee investigation on that house speaker is like shooting, the general you're not supposed to the code of the houses, you don't do this new striking at the top of the food chain. It's brazen. I wanna see here tactical as Gingrich's attack on bright was from one perspective. This was an attack on corrupt Lisi Democrats that was long overdue. It felt idealistic for everyone. Sick of being pushed around in the minority. Gingrich promised new system that was less corrupt more transparent more accountable. To the voters. Not just like we're putting on a play that were two parties. But it's PM we drop the mask and make it work Democrats freaked out when this happened, but Republicans were getting into it. It's not like Gingrich launched campaign in the entire public and party signs of letter in that shit, but they they didn't pull aside and say stop, and I think even a couple years earlier with tip O'Neill that would have happened. Newt gets his ethics investigation into the speakers behavior. Right defends himself petulantly on the house floor is true. I think. People on my staff were eager to sell these. I've got except some very badly wrong. But the rule doesn't say. It's kinda yes, I had a private E mail server, but it wasn't that big a deal, you know, by now, how that goes over after an investigation the most powerful man in the house who serve for thirty four years is forced to resign rate gives a speech on the house floor that reminded me of Jeff flake retiring from the Senate last year, and it is reversely hurtful society. Vilification becomes unaccepted form of political debate negative campaigning becomes a full time occupation. When members of each party become self appointed vigilantes hearing out personal vendettas against members of the and he frames it in terms of, you know, something wrong is happening in this institution. That's not what this institutions posed to be over. Then you know, when I came here congressmens word was congressmens word and that mattered for something, you know, when I came here we in question each other's honor. I mean, it's all subtext all this. He's not using his name, obviously. But the subtext of this is Newt Gingrich harsh personal acts on one another's motives and one another's character drown out. Why of logic serious debate on part of Asians? Surely, that's where the. Jim Wright painted his resignation as a sacrifice on the altar of civility. He seemed to think is resignation would be so dramatic. It would put an end to the wars. Gingrich started in the house, obviously, the opposite is true. Republicans in congress are galvanized by rights fall tactics to get the wars that Gingrich dreams of are starting to materialize. New becomes the second. Most powerful Republican in the house, and he starts making himself into a franchise in the mid eighties. He starts running. This is Asian called go pack, basically, a candidate training organization and fundraising tool. That's where he develops these audiotapes little by mail, cassette tapes that teach potential candidates how to do Newt's divisive brand of politics. John banners? Talked about driving around listening to tapes like this in the car, I want to repeat it. But I'll just tell you. I have said this now for six months and every audience I say two nods. Yes. And understands you cannot maintain civilization. With twelve year olds having babies fifteen year olds shooting each other seventeen year olds dying of aids and eighteen year olds getting diploma. They can't read, and I stopped audiences and say now if you disagree with that, and you think you can maintain a civilization with those things going on the rest of what I'm gonna say rela you're not I don't waste your time. You're not. On one team or the other. So that's a lot Gingrich's almost at the height of his power. He has an army of Republicans falling in line using the same language that they're going into battle his media attention, but at the same old entrenched Democratic Congress Republicans keep winning these big presidential victories. But the houses stuck with that permanent Republican minority. That's where the second guy comes into this story the guy that made Newt Gingrich's dreams. Finally, come true. And no, I don't mean Democratic President Bill Clinton there. You could certainly argue that that is why gets his wish but something happens before that someone this is a man who I think has had an astonishing impact in America. He is in many ways the quintessential American, here's Newt Gingrich. Introducing him at training event for public in candidates and ninety five one of the reasons I believe in the end will win is the person is about to talk to you. We now have a media giant who stands a stride the entire society. Join me in welcoming a man who is creating the twenty-first century. Rush limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh was the perfect tool for Newt's mission. You knew had basically the same views, but Russia's outrageous and exciting you meet his listeners feel like they were part of a righteous underground, the only people who are still saying in a world, gone crazy and stupid. Thank you. Thank you very much. Nice to be with all of you extremists tonight. It's nice to be with like minded souls who want to starve our children and get our old folk sick and dying in the gutter. It's so nice to be with so many of you can just look out there. I see in so many hearts and faces the desire to poison the water in the air GM net great to be together here tonight. Russia's communications ambitions were just as high as news political ones. He never wanted to be in politics and just wanted to make the greatest radio show ever. Tied behind my back just to make it fair. It's the Rush Limbaugh program from New York in our flagship stations at the standard for political talk radio. And of course, we. Have it right here? Widely imitated rush was funny. Did you know that the White House drug test is multiple choice? He could also be cruel. He said things like if you don't wanna get aids don't have gay sex. He was heavily anti political correctness. Hinge acting almost as Newt's defacto interpreter. He's used up his message brush doesn't sound like a nerdy. Professor Gingrich talked about saving America from liberal politicians. But Limbaugh sharpened the versus them. Democrats were about this Republicans were about that this is from Russia's TV show or I only Baird big trouble. She's been nominated as Torney general. But as you all know, she hired illegal aliens to take care of her kids. Now, she only makes six hundred sixty thousand dollars. As Cokie Roberts have ABC says she had the best line that kind of money should get higher. Mary poppins. What does she? Now. I have a couple of points about this. I wanna make that I don't think anybody else's made except me other places in case you haven't heard it. You should hear it because brilliant points Bill Clinton's nominee for Torney general. So we Baird hired undocumented immigrant as a nanny for kids didn't pay social security taxes at the time. I was eleven I remember it. Well, choose the only other Zoe I'd ever heard of. So I was thrilled. So he paid the money back after she was nominated and neither Senate Democrats or Republicans saw it as big deal at first, but new Gingrich. This is that's the nerve of politics that Newt Gingrich is just conditioned to look for. And it's God. Could it be any bigger, right? You've got a democratic president coming in. And he for attorney general the top law enforcement officer in the country. He's nominating. A woman who just sort of, you know, blatantly flouted social security taxes, it just that populous nerve of they get away with things you don't they live lives of privilege. You can't imagine. They Lord it over you. They don't have. To worry about the things you worry about it. Touched all of those nerve Gingrich guide at immediately. He's railing against this Limbaugh guided immediately, he's railing against this. And what happens is the senators who are in the comedian in don't feel this this immediately. They start feeling it. 'cause they're phone's ringing off the hook. You know, they're they're Democrats who start saying after a couple of days their office of calls are like ninety two one against Zoe Baird confirmation. I mean, this is why spread and then they feel the pressure. They pressure that Gingrich and Limbaugh have stoked and and it kills the nomination. When Newt needed to communicate something to voters. He now had a direct line to millions of them listening to rush every afternoon. One after night we have in the middle of a big fight here. And I called rush Limbaugh's program director. And I said, here's exactly what's going on. He turned on C span. He could see what was going on. It was an issue. They cared about. And rush went straight in talking about. And he's got somewhere between four and fourteen million people, but it's a lot and they're intense an hour later, I had members what the floor saying what did you do? Because literally in some places their phones are so jammed. They couldn't use them. That's from a documentary. Rush Limbaugh, America. It describes how Newt would just fax talking points out to talk show hosts around the country. It was like he was calling in airstrikes by what to read to you. Now, a paragraph from a letter that Newt Gingrich sent to all Republican members knew it wasn't just starting the pot with divisive politics. He did have a policy vision got people to unite under it going into the nineteen ninety four midterm elections. Hundreds of Republican candidates signed onto this thing. The contract with America for a moment. They were all literally on the same page with Newt Gingrich the contract promise to fix everything they thought had gone wrong after forty years of one party control of the house their anti-corruption measures targeted at the congress itself. Plus a slate of ten proposals to balance the budget cut welfare tougher sentencing, lower taxes, basically, a limited government law and order agenda there in the contract in full in an ad in TV guide because. Everyone read TV guide and they'd open it up several times a week. And with that, Newt Gingrich, of course, got his majority like he'd always dreamed and became speaker of the house in nineteen ninety five he moved into the office held by Jim raid and tip O'Neill before him. Here's democrat Dick Gephardt handing over the gavel with resignation but with resolve I hereby end forty years of democratic rule of this house. Gingrich pledges to work across the aisle as they always do do for the first time Republicans don't have to. It's an epic hugely significant victory, though, is news stream many people called it. The Limbaugh congress. How does it feel to be part of a majority? That's right. It wasn't just the majority gotten people seem to be signing onto their vision of the country that it was split into two clear camps. Democrats were immoral welfare-state loving, politically, correct, feminists, Republicans were responsible balanced budget, promoting normal regular Americans one of the questions. I was asked as the as the reporters were peppering me was do you think Newt will moderators stance now that he's the speaker of the house, and I said that or not? From the moment. Gingrich becomes speaker things. Get pretty red versus blue one Republican. I talked to this week quoted to me from memory indignant, something ABC news anchor Peter Jennings said on the air when Republicans finally took the house installed Gingrich's speaker Jennings said the voters had a temper tantrum the nation can't be run by an angry two year old. This Republicans point was it wasn't just Rush Limbaugh who is stoking the fires of partisan warfare. It was the mainstream media would he'd call the liberal media. It was a new day in congress speaker in the president kingdom in Clinton. They did not hang out the politics that follow our personal and vicious as I'm sure, you know, it's a storm of whitewater, Hillary care government shutdown Vince, Foster impeachment proceedings seems like the two sides couldn't stand each other. When Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal office building in Oklahoma City Clinton gives a speech blaming in part talk radio for spreading hate. It. Was gridlock, politics, depending how you saw it. It was struck Shiism for its own sake were obstructionism in defensive bigger ideas. That were finally part of the conversation. People signed up for red for signed up for blue politics team sports, new compromises in other words, leave arrived at today. The whole reason I wanted to remind myself of Newt and that time where these pass midterm elections. They felt like the extreme sports version of Newt's game plan. Just like he worked really hard to make every democrat into George McGovern. The campaign that the Republicans ran tried to make every democrat into a caravan loving, caviar. Hating Nancy Pelosi nude himself was on FOX of bunch and his Lieutenant what honor this is so exciting. I have been watching Trump rallies from the very first one. Rush Limbaugh was the opener for Trump's last rally before the mid term of this talking to people backstage and somebody said that the president and all of us have labeled by some Democrats to the media divisive. Device. The Democrats never even accept that. They want the two thousand six. There's this one moment where I think neutralize maybe he'd gone too far and pushing people apart Stephen gillen reported the story years leader in his book, the pact was Toby nineteen Ninety-seven. Newt was speaker Clinton was president. They wanted to cement their legacies is great men of history. They decided to tackle two of the most daunting issues out there, Medicare and social security fix them once and for all they'd be safe for generations to come the federal budget for once it was about to run a surplus now is the time because they've fought so publicly they met in secret to avoid reporters. Gingrich entered the White House through a side door if the partisans in either of their parties, they were working together the deal would fall apart zealots on both teams would punish you for working with the other side. The deal never happens. Four months after the agreed to work together. The Monica Lewinsky story broke a few months after that Gingrich was pushed out of the house. He had to deal with ethics charges like the speaker he'd gone after ten years earlier, and he was really unpopular by that the political environment he'd willed into creation. It's spit him out can't work anymore with these cannibals. He said as he left but look at him now. Can't stay away. Jerry chase producers program. Thanks, Steve Kornacki, book gave us the idea for the story. His book is called the red and the blue the nineteen s and the birth of political tribalism coming up now, I would say that one of our co workers got the idea to the store you're going to hear in a minute. He would say he had no choice about that. Or for that matter about anything ever in his life. And he'd say you don't have a choice either with Alli means by that. And he is not kidding in a minute. Chicago public radio when our program continues support for this American life comes from rocket mortgage by Quicken Loans. Introducing they're all new rate shield approval. If you're in the market to my home, Quicken Loans will lock your rate for up to ninety days while you shop. It's this type of idea that has made them America's largest mortgage lender. To get started go to rocketmortgage dot com slash. 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In this world, we've arrived at two of our program to life is a one sided coin. So the entire premise of show today is where there's a will which supposes that we all have a will that we all have the ability to decide something and take action in the world. But it turns out that there are people who take issue with that premise one of them is one of our co workers here at the radio show, David Kessler bomb in presents. This minority report. Let me say up front I realized the ridiculous late night college dorm room nature of what I'm about to say. But here it is. I do not see how free will can exist by free will. I mean when you're staring at the menu, and you pick the salad over the burger or any other choice, you make bigger small who you marry whether you keep listening to me for another minute free. Will is the idea that you really get to pick. I'm saying, you don't I don't see how free will can exist. I'm someone embarrassed to be saying this for a while. I couldn't even talk with my wife about it. It's been on my mind because I was wondering if I should talk about it on the show today. And we'd be making the kids lunches for the next day. There'd be a gap in the conversation at open my mouth. But I just couldn't do it. I don't know why I'm thinking about this. Now, I think the last time I did was in high school, but I just moved on. It seems inescapable though years ago. I went to grad school in physics. And I think if you haven't had the experience of actually doing something like that it's easy to be like oh science. There's lots of stuff. They don't know. But the truth is we know a lot about how the world is put together, please, excuse electric quality of this. But briefly they're only four basic forces in the world, gravity electromagnetism and two others the strong force and the weak force the first hold atomic nuclei together the second crudely. Speaking powers, the sun. Our understanding of these forces has been tested and explore it again. And again in one case that sticks with name measured and confirmed to an astounding twelve decimal places these four forces explain how Adams stick together every bit of matter moves, and yes, even the bits of matter that make up us and our brains. We are just collections of atoms. I don't see how those atoms. Can truly have any will when you think you are deciding I'm going to wear this shirt today. You can't really have decided otherwise we are subject to the forces of nature, not one of them. It turns out there is this one friend of our family. Hey, stew who also does not see how free will can exist. Talking to him on the phone asking. If you knew any serious minded credential people could talk to input on the radio as it happened. He was staring at his book shelve, they had a whole collection their books by a bunch of dead philosophers thinkers, various sorts, and then one book by someone who seemed perfect Robert suppo-, sqi suppose, professor at Stanford genius grant recipient. He's a neuroscientist who also spent thirty three summer staring at babboons just last year published this big book it was on my friends shelf called behave. So I read it, and there's something curious about it. He seemed to be making the argument that there is no free will. But he never quite came out. And said the words free will don't even appear until page. Five hundred eighty the first fifteen chapters are all about research into what drives human behavior different parts of the brain hormones genetics. How we respond to sensory cues? Was he just voiding coming out and saying it like I've been? So you asked this question can there be free will? But I don't think you directly come out and say what you think. So so so what what do you think? I think I was basically trying to be polite there and sort of good house guest in actuality. I don't think there is room for the slightest. Bit of free will out there, supposedly said, this wasn't fact the entire reason he had written the book he was trying to lead people slowly on a gentle path this uncomfortable idea. I was reading it, right? Asked him. Why he doesn't believe we have free will as a neuroscientist? He thinks about it this way, take any action a movement of your eyebrow. Something you say just trace that thing back behind anything like that are just the muscles that move. So let's simplify it a muscle did something meaning a newer on in your motor cortex commanded your muscle to do that. That neuron fired only because it got inputs from Tina other neurons milliseconds before and those neurons only fired because they got inputs milliseconds before and back and back and back show me one Noorani anywhere in this pathway that from out of nowhere decided to say something that activated in ways that are not explained by the laws of the physical universe and high on and channels and all that sort of stuff show me one Noor on that has some cellular semblance of free will. And there is no such neuro. Your emotions consciousness same argument at the bottom just cells and chemicals acting like they wouldn't alab there's nothing more or less than the mechanics. I mean, if your book could actually just been two sentences to cut to the chase, you know. Not that he didn't enjoy the other chapters. What does it actually mean not to have free? Will do you think of it? As like if you rewind the clock. It would unfold the same way. Basically, it's got to mean that I should say there is some debate about whether no free will means that if you went back in time and let your life unfold again, you would make all the same decisions. Exactly the same way. The reason there's some debate is that way down at the subatomic level. There does seem to be a little wellspring of randomness quantum mechanics is all about probabilities like when a radioactive atom breaks apart. The exact moment happens seems random it's unclear how often this apparent subatomic randomness escapes into the larger world, but it could be that. If you rewound the film of life it for it again, you might get a different movie. But it wouldn't be because of free will it would just be subatomic randomness messing with the plot. A friend of mine had this experience where you kinda got to test this out his brain was artifice rolling back the clock, and he got to see it's machine lake nature. He was ice skating any fell than his head which gave him some temporary amnesia when he was on the stretcher he asked what had happened. His wife said you fell in your head and he made this joke. That's not how you wanna leave the ice. But then he kept asking what had happened making the same joke. Like, oh, I found the ice. I know good joke to make here. After he said, it was like opening up, the hard drive of his mind and seeing inside. He's fine. That by the way. For me. It is the one scientific like fact about the world that I am just not okay. With like, I'm fine with the big bang, and that all of existence came from a tiny point like that doesn't faze me anymore. But I am not okay. With the idea that I don't have free will like that seems like I can't give that up. You know, if I give up giving up everything, I know, it's really really hard. But I feel like I'm deciding to say what I say right now. I feel pretty confident about that. When I think I'm making a decision. What am I actually doing? There's just a whole bunch of neuronal Fulcher, some sort of rube Goldberg sort of stretch of things teeter this way or that. And as a result bounce something else in another direction. So while it feels like we could choose this. Or maybe that the truth is some set of events mechanically led to our final decision. We just aren't aware of it. Suppose key brought up this famous experiment. Sit somebody down at a room and ask them to name their favorite detergent, and who knows what they're gonna come up with do the same thing. And there's a picture of the ocean and the room on the wall, and they're now significantly more likely to say tied tides, my favorite detergent and ask them why. And they will give you some fa- Kochta rational explanation about what tied does to. They're like strawberry stains on their shirts suppose. He says when we think we are making a decision, it is basically just some more complicated version of that you were looking at the menu the room was slightly warm. Your shoes were wet from the rain late above the table was just so and so you pick the salad the mom who yells at the army general couldn't have done it any other way, Newt Gingrich when he got to congress same thing. Speaking of which did we all just go and vote choose representatives. If you believe what I'm saying, no one, really. Have decided to choose differently. And look I'm not saying don't vote you should vote. Do good things be kind give to charity. I'm just saying. It's weird. We are machines that don't know it, but don't wanna deal with it. For suppose game this idea that we don't have free will truly profound and should change the way we think about lots of things for instance, all those decisions you've made because you're a good person. All the things you're proud of don't be so proud anyone else starting with your Adams in the same place would have done the same thing. When people do bad things, he says, you shouldn't hate them. Probably also says we should try to rethink the entire Justice system. Which of course, is a weird thing to say since there is no trying. I mean, it's just such a crazy making idea, you know. Yup. Are you okay with it not on the slightest? If I stop and think about it. I get slightly panicked. There's no way to get out of like an extension morass. If you start really thinking about this stuff. How often do you find yourself thinking about it? Oh, I don't know. Maybe. Four or five times an hour. And this is all I think about these days. It's amazing to me that scientists don't talk about this more. I think I went my entire graduate career testing the fundamental laws of nature without ever coming up. Hi, how are you? How's the exam midterm? This is Melissa Franklin professor of physics at Harvard and for years, she was my professor I talked to her for the show when I was grappling with the possibility that we might be alone in the universe. So she seemed like a logical choice for this question. Like, this is how you think about it too. Right. That we can't possibly have free will. I think that there's no evidence that we have free will. I mean, I guess it's possible it seems it seems unlikely I mean, there's. You know, it seems like we have free will. That's the thing. Right. Yeah. So is asking one of my colleagues today. Do you believe in free will and he says, absolutely? And I said, do you think our brains are made up of neurons and Exxon's and things he said, yes. They said, so how does how do you reconcile those two things. He said if it walks like free will and quacks like free fi will. Like our word is wrong. No, the point is that operationally we appear to have free will. But it's wrong. Yeah. It is wrong. But it seems like we do. So by not just go with the flow that idea. Choose at lunch when this conversation happened and immediately another colleague jumped in to argue the other side, and the other was just saying, you know. Your. Without saying it it the word. It is. You're not it's one of these things when you start to talk about things that you don't want to think about that you sort of hope that magic comes in some way. So one of them was saying, well, the could be some complex thing that comes in that, you know, actually gives us free will and the other person was saying you're talking about magic or God. And just just say that loud magic. Melissa is actually okay with the idea of not having free. Well, maybe the problem of Justice sheen is not a nice, not a nice way of thinking that. I mean, a human is not Justice sheen. I mean, a human is an amazing. Yeah. I love I I love the machine that is my wife and my two little machines adorable. But when I think about it. That's what they are. They're so cute though. I go back and forth on what to do with this information. Sometimes I feel like Robert supposedly does that. This is something deeply profound. We are machines that are smart enough to figure that out to realize we probably can't have free will. And so we should think about what that means for how we organize our society. How we treat other people. But there's another part of me, the feels like maybe it changes nothing at all. Which is weird to know that we are all living with this allusion of free will. But somehow doesn't matter. I've come to think of my daily existence is kind of like being in a movie where I'm just along for the ride I making choices all day long. But machine that is me couldn't really have chosen anything else. It gives me a weird lightness when I think about it that way. And if I'm being honest, it also feels kind of cool knowing this thing that no one wants to face up to watching us all run around is. It's not true. When you pick a song to listen to when you decide to try a second date when you go left instead of right when I say something stupid instead of just sitting and thinking for a moment when I pick what picture to draw my son's lunch bag. Aren't really choices? But I'm good at living with contradictions. It's in the machinery. David kestler. Bam. Stay. If you will. What show is produced today by David Kestler, people put our show together and could Zoe TAY Sean co Jared Floyd they may grave Michelle Harris Jeffey wad, set lane, Dan, Martin Mckee Niks, Nelson, Catherine may Mondo and semi Elissa ship. Christopher Ceuta and Diane. Woo. Senior producers Brian read them, Susan Britton special. Thanks today to rob long do Greenberg Sean Carroll, Jimmy Rica's, Charlie shop, Stephen Talbot. And thanks to the frontline documentary. The long March of Newt Gingrich our website this American life dot org. We listened to our archive of over six hundred for absolutely free as American life is public radio stations by PR X, the public radio exchange for for this American life comes from Lago. Nita's Barron company. Burs a finals, and they say mystery and romance. And of course, committed to the pub- in public radio. Find out more want you at Luggy nita's dot com. And from the new one, Mike bigly is one man show on Broadway. That I worked on with him is about not wanting to be a parent, and then stuff happens jam-packed with jokes and also people cry this American life listeners can get a special discount on tickets at the new one dot com slash American life. Co-founder mystery amount of Tia, Tori, we've got thirty seconds left in the program. What should we do? Just shut up shut up shut up now. Don't talk about anymore. Shut up. I'm IRA glass back next week with more stories this American life.