Rachel Maddow

  • Aired:  03/29/12
  •  | Views: 45,770

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow details what changes the government can make to help citizens feel connected to the men and women in uniform. (7:51)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT, THE HOST OF MSNBC THE RACHEL MADDOW BOOK, HER NEW BOOK CALLED

DRIFT, THE UNMOORING OF AMERICAN MILITARY POWER.

WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM,

RACHEL MADDOW.

(APPLAUSE) OH MY GOD.

YOU-- WAIT, YOU HAVE A COPY OF YOUR OWN BOOK.

YOU HAVE NOT READ IT?

>> I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO MEM ORIZE SIGNIFICANT PORTIONS SO I CAN JUST-- .

>> Jon: THE BOOK IS CALLED DRIFT, THE UNMOORING OF AMERICAN MILITARY POWER.

YOU KNOW, A LOT OF TELEVISION HOSTS, A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS INDUSTRY WRITE BOOKS.

WE TRY AND DO THEM AS CHEAPLY AND EASILY AND AS SUPERFICIALLY AS WE CAN.

YOU APPEAR TO HAVE INVESTED A GREAT DEAL OF RESEARCH IN THIS.

>> YEAH, I JUST TREATED IT LIKE A SECOND JOB.

>> Jon: IT'S MAKING EVERYBODY LOOK BAD IS WHAT I AM SAYING.

I DON'T THINK ANY OF US PRAERBT THAT, IN ANY WAY,

SHAPE OR FORM.

>> I'M SORRY.

>> Jon: WHAT MAKES YOU DECIDE I WANT TO DIVE INTO THIS MILITARY INDUSTRIAL

COMPLEX WHICH NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO STOP.

AND YOU DO IT AT THE END SU HAVE PRESCRIPTION, ACTUAL PRESCRIPTION OF WHAT PEOPLE MAY DO.

>> I FELT LIKE, WHEN I GOT THE BOOK CONTRACT I HAD A RADIO SHOW.

I WAS JUST ABOUT TO GET A TV SHOW.

AND THIS WAS, I WAS REPORTING A LOT ON THE WARS.

AND WHAT WAS GOING ON.

BUT I FELT LIKE HI THIS THING I WANTED TO GET OFF MY CHEST, THIS THING WANTED TO

SAY, AN ARGUMENT I WANTED TO MAKE THAT I DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO MAKE IN A SHORT FORM WAY.

THAT I NEEDED TO LAY OUT A BUNCH OF EVIDENCE AND SAY WHAT I THOUGHT.

AND I DON'T THINK THERE IS A WAY TO HAVE DONE IT EXCEPT IN A BOOK.

AND SO I HATE WRITING.

IT MAKES ME CRAZY.

I'M REALLY SLOW AT IT I DON'T THINK I'M VERY GOOD IT

ALTHOUGH I'M HAPPY WITH THE WAY THE BOOK TURNED OUT,

PLEASE READ IT.

>> Jon: I WAS GOING TO JUMP IN, THAT IS NOT THE HARD SELL.

>> I DIDN'T WANT TO WRITE A BACK AND THEN LOOK FOR A TOPIC.

HAD THIS TOPIC I COULDN'T DO ANY OTHER WAY INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

AND SO IT'S ABOUT-- .

>> Jon: SO ARE YOU DOING THIS OR ARE YOU TALKING AND THEN SENDING IT, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

>> I'M A NOTE SCRIBBLERS,

LIKE I'M WRITING-- I HAND WRITE IT AND REWRITE IT TYPING.

YOU KNOW, I JUST, WE FEEL LIKE WE'RE A COUNTRY THAT,

WE DIDN'T FEEL LIKE WE WENT TO WAR AS A COUNTRY.

WE FEEL LAKE A COUNTRY THAT SENT THE MILITARY TO THE WAR,

AND THE MILITARY FOUGHT THE WARS AND WE WEREN'T INVESTED AND DIDN'T SACRIFICE AND

DIDN'T FEEL IT WE STILL FEEL THAT WAY.

AND I THINK WE OUGHT TO FEEL THAT WAY IT OUGHT TO MAKE US WANT TO CHANGE THE WAY WE

ARE AS A COUNTRY AND I DON'T THINK IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DO.

>> Jon: DON'T YOU THINK THAT THAT IS A PURPOSEFUL CREATION BY THE GOVERNMENT,

TO ISOLATE THE MILITARY FROM THE GENERAL POP LAS BECAUSE THEN ARE YOU ABLE TO DO

THINGS WITH THE MILITARY YOU CAN'T-- IF THE SACRIFICE IS SPREAD OUT TO EVERYBODY BY A

DRAFT OR THAT TYPE OF THING,

THE PUSHBACK IS MUCH MORE ENORMOUS FROM THE POPULATION FOR HOW YOU USE THE WARS.

YOU THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THEY DESIGNED PURPOSEFULLY.

>> I THINK INCREMENTALLY THAT IS WHAT WE ACHIEVED IT IS CALLED DRIFT IF PART

BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT PEOPLE TO THINK IT WAS A CONSPIRACY,

THAT SOMEBODY SET OUT TO CHANGE THE COUNTRY.

>> Jon: YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO SELL BOOKS, DO YOU.

ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE WHOLE CONSPIRACY THING HERE.

>> I KNOW.

>> CONSPIRACY IS EASIER TO UNDERSTAND THAN COMPLEXITY,

RIGHT.

BUT IT IS ALL OF THESE REALLY REASONABLE DECISIONS MADE BY POLITICIANS WHO HAD

UNDERSTANDABLE FRUSTRATIONS.

THEY SEE US, NATIONAL SECURITY NEEDS, THEY FEEL LIKE NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED

BUT THE CONGRESS DOESN'T WANT THEM TO.

THEY FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT AROUND THE CONGRESS.

THEY SEE A NATIONAL SECURITY NEED THEY WANT TO ADDRESS BUT THEY DON'T WANT TO

EXPLAIN IT TO THE PUBLIC SO THEY DO IT IN SECRET.

THEY FIGURE OUT A WAY TO DO IT BUT IT LOOKS TOO EXPENSIVE, TELL PEOPLE IT'S FREE.

WE MAKE ALL OF THESE INCREMENTAL CHANGES TO MAKE IT LESS HASSLE TO GET AROUND

THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO GET AROUND TO DO WHAT WE KNOW IS RIGHT.

>> Jon: I LOVE HOW YOU CALL THESE INCREMENTAL CHANGES RATHER THAN LIKE LIES.

THEY HAVE THESE LITTLE LIES THAT THEY TELL AS WE GO ALONG.

IS IT THE KIND OF THING, YOU KNOW, THERE WAS SUCH A DRASTIC CHANGE AFTER THE

VIETNAM AND WATERGATE ERAS IN TERMS OF CURTAILING EXECUTIVE POWER.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: THAT SEAMED TO HAVE LASTED UP UNTIL 189-- THERE IS ABOUT A TENNIER PERIOD

WHERE THEY WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THAT.

IS IT JUST IMPOSSIBLE, THEN TO, BECAUSE A LOT OF THIS,

YOU POST LATE IS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, REALLY OVERSTEPPING.

IS IT IMPOSSIBLE TO REIGN THAT IN AT SOME LEVEL WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT WAGING A WAR?

>> I THINK THAT WE CAN'T EVER EXPECT PRESIDENTS TO GIVE BACK POWER THAT THEY HAVE.

I JUST DON'T THINK HUMAN DOES THAT.

AND I THINK ANYBODY WHO HAS THE PERSONALITY TO BE PRESIDENT ISN'T GOING TO SAY

YOU KNOW WHAT, I HAVE APPROVED TOO MUCH POWER.

WHY DON'T YOU TAKE SOME BACK.

CONGRESS ACTUALLY HAS TO TAKE IT AND AFTER VIETNAM CONGRESS GOT UP ON A ITS

BEHIND LEGS AND ASSERTED ITS CONSTITUTIONAL PREROGATIVE TO DO IT.

>> Jon: CONGRESS IS A CENTER?

CONGRESS IS SOME TYPE OF LABRADOR.

ALL RIGHT.

>> IT'S VERY UNBALANCED, BUT IMPRESSIVE.

>> Jon: HOW ABOUT A SCABBY SCENTS, THERE YOU GO.

BUT THEY HAVE FALLEN BACK DOWN ON TO ALL FOUR AND THEY OUGHT TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE.

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK-- IS IT THE ONLY REASON WE HAVE THE POLITICAL WILL TO DO THAT

AFTER WATERGATE AND VIETNAM,

WAS THE EXTENSIVE AND OBVIOUS DAMAGE THAT THOSE TWO EVENTS CAUSED IF AMERICA,

DO WE NEED SOMETHING THAT EXTREME TO OCCUR BEFORE WE CAN RECENT THAT IN AGAIN,

THAT YOU KNOW, AS YOU SAID,

IT'S SO DIFFICULT AND CONGRESS IS IN MANY WAYS COMPLICITY WITH THIS.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: ISN'T IT SO DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO GIVE THAT POWER BACK.

>> I THINK WE HAVE HAD SOMETHING THAT BIG IN THE LONGEST WAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> FOUGHT SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH AN 8.5 YEAR LONG WAR IN IRAQ AND ONLY 1% OF THE

POPULATION FATING IT, DOING 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 TOURS.

WHILE WE GAVE OURSELVES MULTIPLE TAX CUTS.

WE GAVE OURSELVES A TAX CUT RIGHT BEFORE 9/11.

THEN 9/11 HAPPENED, WE INVADED AFGHANISTAN.

WE DIDN'T GIVE THE TAX CUT BACK AND GAVE ANOTHER TAX CUT RIGHT BEFORE INVADING IRAQ.

WITHOUT DOES THAT.

WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY DOES THAT.

THAT IS NOT A COUNTRY THINKING OF ITSELF AS GOING TO WAR.

(APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT TAX CUTS LIKE EXECUTIVE POWER.

IT IS HARD TO GIVE THEM BACK.

>> BUT I THINK THAT THE FACT THAT REPUBLICANS ARE UP SET ABOUT THIS.

CONSERVATIVES, LIBERALS ARE UP SET ABOUT THIS DEMOCRATS.

IT'S VERY, THIS IS A NONPARTISAN THING.

>> Jon: THE BOOK SHOWED ME T WAS NICE TO SEE, NON-- IT DOESN'T PHRASE THINGS IN

THAT SORT OF STRANGE RIGHT,

LEFT PARADIGM THAT ALWAYS EVERYTHING HAS TO FALL UNDER.

THAT IS A NICE PIECE OF WORK.

>> IT'S NOT A RIGHT LEFT FIGHT.

THERE IS A LOT OF BAD DECISIONS MADE BY PEOPLE OF BOTH PARTIES.

>> Jon: WE'RE REALLY IN VERY POOR HANDS, AREN'T WE.

EVERYBODY SUCKS VERY NICE.

BUT THE THING THAT I REALLY ENJOYED ABOUT IT WAS AT THE END THERE IS A SORT OF, I

WOULD SAY FOUR PAGE KIND OF BULLET POINTED, LIKE 12 PRESCRIPTIONS OF THINGS IT

THAT I THOUGHT REALLY WERE VERY INTERESTING, SEEMED SOMEWHAT ATTAINABLE AND WOULD HAVE SOME EFFECT.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: ON THE WAY THAT WE DO, WAGE THESE THINGS IN TERMS OF REIGNING IN THE POWER.

>> AND WHEN THE U.S.

MILITARY IS THE LARGEST ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD.

SO YOU MAKE EVEN A SMALL DECISION ABOUT THAT ORGANIZATION, IT HAS A REALLY BIG IMPACT.

SO I THINK WE OCCASIONALLY NEED TO GO TO WARP.

I THINK WE NEED A GREAT MILITARY BUT I DON'T THINK WE NEED PRIVATE CONTRACTORS

PEELING POTATOES.

I THINK THE MILITARY CAN DO THAT ITSELF.

I DON'T THINK WE NEED 1800 NUCLEAR WEAPONS, OR A SECRET MILITARY OR CIA.

THERE ARE CHANGES THAT WE'VE MADE RELATIVELY RECENTLY THAT WE COULD DIAL BACK THAT

WOULDN'T BE A HUGE PARTISAN DEAL AND THAT WOULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE TO MAKING US

FEEL CONNECTED ONCE AGAIN TO THE PEOPLE WHO FIGHT IN OUR NAMES.

>> Jon: I KNOW-- GOOD, GREAT.

THE BOOK IS CALLED DRIFT, BY THE WAY, I LOVE THESE.

THE LITTLE ARMY MEN?

I PRETEND THAT MY SON LOVES THEM.

BUT IT'S ME.

>> FINDING THE GUY WITH THE RADIO, THAT WAS ALWAYS FUN TO ME.

>> Jon: THAT IS THE ONE THAT MELTS FIRST.

THE RADIO ALWAYS MELTS FIRST.

DRIFT ON THE BOOK SHELVES NOW, RACHEL MADDOW.

>> THANK YOU.

(APPLAUSE)

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