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On Wednesday at All Things Considered from NPR News. And Mary Louise Kelley .
And I know the chain cleaning up Washington with a campaign rallying cry for Democrats. He promised to go after corruption in the trunk administration and they vow that their first piece of legislation will aim to strengthen integrity in government NPR’s Peter Overby reports .
It’s Congress’s duty to keep watch on the executive branch. Here’s House Democratic leader anti Pelosi at a press conference this afternoon .
I mean I think people have put my 2 putting an end to unchecked GOP control of Washington restoring again the checks and balances and decisions by our founders.
Balances lead to oversight investigations Republicans are working to discredit the probes before they start and Fox News , Jason Kaye said former Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee was talking about the new Democratic House.
Are you kidding me. They’re going to be an investigator machines people like Adam Schiff going to spend all day , every day trying to pepper the White House . The documents information .
Schiff is ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee , Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave reporters a political analysis of oversight.
The whole issue presidential harassment is interesting. I remember when we tried it in the late ’90s he was referring to the impeachment of president Clinton . We impeached president Clinton his numbers went off an hour down and we underperformed in the national election .
At a White House press conference today president Trump embraced that analysis. He was asked what he’d do if the White House was quote hit by a blizzard of subpoenas .
If that happens , then we’re going to do the same thing and government comes to a halt. And I would blame them .
Later on he suggested having the Republican-controlled Senate investigate the investigators.
Take a look at us now we can look at them and will go back and forth and it’ll probably be very good for me. Politically , I could see being extremely good fellow villagers . I think I’m better at that game then they are actually , it’s an idea that policy scarf debt . I don’t think you’ll have any scatter shot freelancing in terms of this .
One possibility is a probe of the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions , but before the House Democrats investigate the administration their first order of business in January , will be a bill to fix some other problems leading the charge as Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes.
It’s 3 very basic things that I think the public wants to see , make it easy now hard about America serve with ethics and integrity and don’t get tangled up in the money.
By the money he means political cash this election money came at campaigned for more places in larger volumes than ever before. Super PACs and political nonprofit were prominent but at the same time . Small donors showered record sums on many of the Democratic candidates , the reform bill would promote more small dollar have any other provisions of the bill would restore protections in the Voting Rights Act and close loopholes and ethics laws said the midterms offer a launching pad for the bill .
What happened yesterday is the people gave our democracy is putting back , we found our footing. Now we’ve got to begin their march to the kind of democracy that people want to see .
He predicted the bill will pass the House quickly , but making it a law will require Senate action and a presidential signature. It was to be years away , Peter over be in this Washington .
Well , like the 2016 elections last night’s midterm results have again exposed divides in American society , for example in suburban house races across the country. Voters rejected the Republican Party but in Senate races in more conservative states . It was the Republican Party that prevailed to probe these divides and what they mean . We have invited NPR senior editor and correspondent run out going to stop by the studio had run hello Mary Lou , I got to say you look remarkably well rested for a guy who was up to 3 think no polls and results congratulations an illusion . Speaking of illusions . We are used to looking at election results on these maps . You know the the big red and blue illuminated across the country , but you’ve got a theory . I gather that these of divisions are not quite what they seem explained .
Not because they are halls states great big boxes of red or blue , as though everyone in that state , the same way it would make more sense if we’re going to do this kind of having to get a little more gradual and look at metropolitan areas the urban inner city in the suburban populations together and contrast that to the outer rims of the exurbs , and to the rural and small town parts of each day. That’s really where the red blue divide is more visible , if you will , it’s the 21st century update of the classic urban versus rural divide that’s been part of our national life since the very beginning .
I just keep them out map metaphor going. I mean if we’re not a divided red and blue country in quite the same way that that map would seem to indicate where the fault lines . It’s had some .
Even the traditional partisanship of Republicans and Democrats , although that’s where a red and the scheme comes from. It’s not even a simple pearl Trump an anti Trump divide . It’s more complicated polarization , some calling it tribalism were organized now by some old categories of political loyalty and by geography conflict that I’ve mentioned , but also by all of our contemporary issues of identity .
Term race. Whether you’re an immigrant , whether you are , what age you are , whether you’re LGBT care all of these things .
That’s right. Race is as important as ever gender is more of a divide than ever and our voting . We have income inequality educational inequality opportunity and equality . All of these elements of our identities as groups and as individuals add up to what some people call diversity and that pushback to valuing diversity is sometimes summed up in the word nationalism .
You’re making me think at this moment in the press conference that the president just held today , actually there was this flashpoint. He was asked a question by a reporter for PBS here . Michelle , I can actually play a little bit of that .
On the campaign trail. You call yourself a nationalized some people thought it as emboldening white now .
Analysts now the Barclay what you’ve heard of the you’re racist there’s some people that they and now the Republican Party is seen as supporting my either of your rhetoric and what do you make of that I don’t believe I just well I don’t know why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African Americans.
France. What do you make of that if it was good question by the president and the president took the question as an accusation as though he had been called a racist and threw it back at the reporter saying it had to be a racist question to even raise this question . And of course throughout his campaign in a number of the states that tilted slightly to the Republicans in statewide races in places he had one in 2016 , he had some success , bringing out his characteristic rallies and really stoking the crowd with a number of dog whistles . If you want to call them that , or even car horns . If you want to call them that that many people regarded as emphasizing is in position to the diversity issues . I was just mentioned .
I mean the question this leaves me wish is this tribalism there divides. No question , but what does all that mean when it comes to governing , particularly now that we’re going to Washington , which is no longer under the control of a single pretty .
Indeed , those things can be a challenge to the kind of leaders who want to bridge them work if you will , compose them and they can also be an opportunity for political figures who see them as a means to power.
Housing NPR senior editor and correspondent. Thanks so much . Thank you , Mary Lou .
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