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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 10/14/21

Guests: Adam Schiff, Tim Kaine, Ryan Grim, Josh Edelson, Jane McAlevey


Last night, there was a rally in Virginia organized by a right-wing radio host in support of Glenn Youngkin, the Republican running for governor in that state. Organizers of a rally for the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia had attendees pledge allegiance to a flag that is from the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot. Mother Jones reports Sen. Kyrsten Sinema hasn`t held a single public town hall since being elected in 2018. More than 10 000 employees of the tractor company John Deere are now on strike across 14 plants in five states demanding higher wages as the company is expected to report record profits.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Hey, professional caring Laura Ingraham, should Kyrie Irving shut up and dribble or not? Being a contrarian does not make you intellectual. It does not make you a hero. It most certainly does not make you anything near the greatest. In fact, it makes you and those using you as an anti-vaxx celebrity pawn the absolute worst.

That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. Steve Bannon will face the full force of the law.

STEVE BANNON, RADIO HOST: We did tell you today is not just a rally. The President is going to give you his opening argument. I think Eastman is up there actually throwing down.

HAYES: What we know about today`s announcement of criminal contempt proceedings with Congressman Adam Schiff. Plus, Donald Trump raises the stakes in Virginia.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope Glenn gets in there and he`ll straighten out Virginia.

HAYES: And Republicans connect the insurrection to the next election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s carrying an American flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6th.

HAYES: Plus, Senator Kyrsten Sinema`s European fund-raising vacation. And as workers go out on strike in Iowa and more strikes planned, a look at what`s fueling this historic moment for workers` rights in America. When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Last night, there was a rally in Virginia organized by a right-wing radio host in support of the Republican running for governor in that state. And what happened over the course of that evening demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no way to divorce the Republican Party from the authoritarian cult that has seized it.

It does not matter what anyone wants the party to be or what they might pretend that it is. The party is now the vessel for Donald Trump`s authoritarian aspirations and they are now metaphorically reloading the gun for another attempt on American democracy.

So, last night, several hundred people gathered at a restaurant in Richmond, Virginia for this rally. It was broadcast on the right-wing network Real America`s Voice. And they were there to drum up enthusiasm ahead of Virginia`s elections next month when Republican Glenn Youngkin will take on the Democrat former governor Terry McAuliffe.

And this event perfectly embodied the wink-wink-nudge-nudge relationship between the so-called mainstream Republican Party and the authoritarian coup aspirants. Glenn Youngkin is running in a state that Joe Biden won by 10 points. If he wants to beat Terry McAuliffe, he has to win over some Biden voters, which means probably not be the best idea for Youngkin to run on a platform of yes, I support the violent interruption of the peaceful transfer of power to install Donald Trump as president against the will of the people.

But of course, that notion is all that the most popular figure in the Republican Party cares about. I mean, he said it again just yesterday releasing this statement, "If we don`t solve the presidential election fraud of 2020, Republicans will not be voting in 2022 or 2024." And so Glenn Youngkin has tried to pull this trick off where he needs to distance himself from the ugly authoritarian movement that`s at the heart of his party but while also harnessing the energy from those same folks.

And this downright surreal scene last night is what that looks like in practice. Glen Youngkin did not show up to the event. One of his running mates, a candidate for lieutenant governor left early with no explanation. But the former president called into this Richmond restaurant live stream as he regularly does on right-wing TV and predictably delivered a rant about, guess what, the election being stolen.


TRUMP: We won in 2016. We won in 2020, the most corrupt election in the history of our country, probably one of the most corrupt anywhere. But we`re going to win it again. We`re going to take it all back.


HAYES: Imagine getting harangued about the corrupt election over your chicken dinner. Again, this is Donald Trump`s singular focus. This is the issue that he wants to define, the Republican Party in American politics, are we a democracy or are we a Trump dictatorship? He very clearly wants to polarize the Republican Party and our politics along those lines. He`s not like being shy about this.

But I want to show you the moment from this rally that was even crazier and honestly more chilling. It came at the very beginning of the events, Pledge of Allegiance. You know, most political events, a lot of political events begin with one. I know it looks like just a normal pledge but take a listen to how they introduced this particular flag.


MARTHA BONETA, EMCEE, TAKE BACK VIRGINIA RALLY: I also want to invite Kim from Chesapeake. She`s carrying an American flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6th.



HAYES: What`s that now? To be clear, that is a flag that was at the Insurrection on January 6. I mean, let`s give them the benefit of the doubt a little bit. They`re making a fine description that was at the rally that took place the morning of the sixth where Donald Trump whipped up the crowd and encouraged them to march to storm the Capitol. But I mean, honestly, we don`t really know the chain of custody of the flag on that day. It`s an insurrection flag.

Today, Youngkin distance himself from what happened at the rally saying he had no role in the event and "it is weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to January 6. As I have said many times before the violence that occurred on January 6 was sickening and wrong.

Now, a bunch of people, historians and observers on Twitter and elsewhere pointed out a really unnerving and jarring historical echo here. In 1923, Adolf Hitler carried out his own successful attempted coup. You probably know about this. It`s called the Beer Hall Putsch. It began at a beer hall in Munich and then Hitler led a mob about 2000 Nazis in a march through the city as he tried to seize power. And it ended in a clash with police that left several people dead.

And Hitler, he and a bunch of his confederates got away but then arrested, tried for his actions, convicted of high treason. He served less than a year in prison, but that`s when he wrote the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf.

Hitler and the Nazis after the Beer Hall Putsch created a mythos around that failed coup. And a flag that was present that day, the so-called blood flag stained from the violence became a totemic relic for the Nazi Party. Hitler used it to consecrate new Nazi flags.

Now, of course, the people at the Virginia rally yesterday are not Nazis, clearly. But when you hear this story, you look at them pledging allegiance to a flag used on the day of the insurrection of the Capitol, a day when the Trump mob tried to destroy more than 200 years of American democracy and people died, it does not give you a great feeling in the pit of your stomach.

And of course, to top it all off, the headliner of the event last night was none other than Trump`s two-shirted strategic genius Steve Bannon, a man with obvious contempt for American liberal democracy who very clearly wants to destroy it. That`s aside from the fact that he was facing charges for defrauding Trump`s own supporters in a scheme to help build the wall on the southern border only to be saved by Donald Trump`s pardon on its final days in office.

We also know Steve Bannon was involved in Donald Trump`s insurrection plot. He spoke to trump the week before and encouraged him to focus on the date of January 6. He was present at a meeting the day before the insurrection held to try to persuade members of Congress to block the certifications of electoral votes.

He has been quoted as saying on January 5th, and I quote him here, "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow." The select committee investigating January 6th is trying to learn more which is why they quite reasonably subpoenaed Steve Bannon at the end of last month. But Bannon is defying the subpoena citing nonsensically Donald Trump`s claim of executive privilege, a claim the Biden White House has formally rejected. Keep in mind, Bannon didn`t work for the White House. He`s just a guy with two shirts.

Today, the committee announced that they are moving forward with proceedings to refer Bannon for criminal contempt and will convene for a meeting Tuesday evening to vote on adopting a contempt report.

Congressman Adam Schiff is a member of the January 6 committee. He`s chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He led the prosecution of Trump`s first impeachment. He`s just published a memoir called Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy And Still Could which includes harrowing details from inside the Capitol during the insurrection. And Congressman Schiff, thanks for joining us tonight.

First, let`s start on the Bannon question. You and other members of the committee said we`re not playing around here. It sounds like of the four who subpoenaed, three have been engaging through council, Bannon just saying no screw you. What happens next?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, we`ll take up this report on Tuesday night we`ll vote it out to the House. The House will then vote to hold him in criminal contempt. And once that takes place, the Speaker will send that to the Justice Department. And then, the statue says that they have a duty to present it to the grand jury.

So he will be prosecuted. That`s our expectation. And I think the reason why Bannon feels he can get away with this is for four years, that`s exactly what the Trump administration people did. When Bannon came into the committee room during the Russia investigation, he came with a list of only 25 questions he would answer, and they were written out for him by the White House.

He got away with it, he scammed and ripped off Trump`s own supporters and got pardoned for it. He apparently feels he`s above the law, but he`s about to find out otherwise.

HAYES: What is the timeline here? I mean, it sounds like what you -- what I hear in your voice is you understand that rapidity here is of the essence.


SCHIFF: I do. I mean, look, after they stonewalled and played rope-a-dope in the courts for two years before we got to hear McGahn`s testimony, it`s pretty clear we need to move swiftly. Now, we didn`t have something during the last administration that we have now. We didn`t have a Justice Department that was interested in justice or the rule of law.

We had an attorney general in Bill Barr that was interested in turning the DOJ into Donald Trump`s criminal defense law firm. But now we have an independent Justice Department with an attorney general who doesn`t believe anyone should be above the law. So, it`s a very different expectation. And I think when people start to get prosecuted for ignoring lawful process, it will send a message and a proper one that people need to cooperate when they`re compelled to testify.

HAYES: Let me -- let me play a little bit of sound from Bannon that day. I think I as I had been sort of tracking all this, I knew he was kind of around and I knew that he was -- you know, he`s always got some weird side content podcasting hustle where he`s like, you know, talking into a microphone, so, I knew that was happening.

But I didn`t realize how much he had been hyping up January 6. This is him actually the morning of January 6. Listen to the last thing he says. I don`t know if you`ve seen this tape before but listen to the last thing he says here. Take a listen.


BANNON: We did tell you. Today is just not a rally. The president`s going to give you his opening argument. I think Eastman is up there actually throwing down and maybe we can go if I get in my ear, whether he`s still up there, we`ll try to go live to him. At 1:00, that starts. There`s going to be some pretty controversial -- pretty controversial things going on.

HAYES: At 1:00, that starts some pretty controversial -- pretty controversial things going on. He sure seems like he knew what was coming.

SCHIFF: Well, it really sounds that way. And one of the things that we made reference to -- in seeking his testimony and compelling it, was other statements about all hell breaking loose. These were statements that were reportedly made by him the day before the insurrection. So, he`s clearly someone that has information relevant to our investigation. And we`re going to -- we`re going to get to the bottom of it.

HAYES: The three other individuals who were in that first round of subpoenas, they include Mark Meadows, former chief of staff, Kash Patel who is an advisor and a staffer actually on your committee, to Devin Nunes at one point went over to DOD, and Dan Scavino who`s the social media director. They`ve all been granted a delay according to our own Sahil Kapur, short postponements.

My understanding is there are open lines of communication with their lawyers about meeting the obligations of these subpoenas. Is that fair to say?

SCHIFF: You know, I can`t comment much beyond the fact that we are engaging with the attorneys for these potential -- or these witnesses, but I can`t, you know, point to the situation for example with Jeffrey Clark who we were engaging with his attorneys to try to seek his voluntary testimony, but those negotiations led nowhere, and he has now been subpoenaed and compelled to appear.

We`re not going to wait long. If people are just trying to delay and obfuscate, we`re going to move quickly to subpoenas. And as we`re showing with Bannon, we`re going to move quickly to criminal prosecution referrals when we need to.

I don`t know if you got a chance to see the opening monologue tonight as you were -- you were getting wired up there, but I played some sound of a pledge of allegiance at that rally for the Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Glenn Youngkin in which the flag was brought out and noted that this was the flag present on January 6 at the "peaceful rally." I just wonder, what goes through your mind? What`s your reaction to seeing that brought out as sort of object of reverence in a republican rally that the president calls into for a current Republican candidate?

SCHIFF: Well, a shock on the one hand, but on the other hand, it`s just as you say, the Republican Party has turned into an autocratic cult of the former president. It is no longer wedded to even the idea of democracy. This is something that I write about in the book when I describe insurrectionists wearing suits and ties. Those people at that rally wearing suits and ties are trying to achieve the overturning of an election and the people`s will by other means. They`re going around the country stripping independent elections officials of their duties, replacing them with partisan boards or Trump acolytes.

And the whole -- the whole lesson they apparently learned from January 6th and the aftermath is their mistake was they didn`t have people in place as secretary of state in Georgia that when the president called and asked them to find 11,780 votes, were willing to do it. And now, they`re determined to find people who will do that. And that to me is the most grave danger we face.

HAYES: There`s a passage in your book I wanted to ask you about it. It leaps out -- it`s a description of some of -- there`s a quite a bit in the book about what happened that day. And this is a passage you talking to some Republican members as there`s an awareness that the perimeter had been violated, the Capitol had people within it that you all had to shelter somewhere. You can`t let them see you, a Republican member said to me.


He`s right, another Republican member said. I know these people. I can talk to them. I can talk my way through them. You`re in a whole different category. At first, I was oddly touched by these GOP members and their evident concern. But by then, I had been receiving death threats for years and that feeling soon gave way to another. If these Republican members hadn`t joined the president in falsely attacking me for four years, I wouldn`t need to be worried about my security, none of us would.

Do you think they understood at the moment -- I mean, among many things, what this reveals to me is the people in that building in that moment across ideological and partisan lines did understand what was happening.

SCHIFF: Well, they absolutely understood what was happening. And you know, they were scared. I walked out with a Republican who had ripped a wooden post out of the floor with a hand sanitizer on it to use as a club to defend himself. He`d been in Congress all of 72 hours. So, they understood what was taking place.

But what we have seen over the last four years time after time after time is every time Donald Trump brings about some new outrage, some new terrible development in the country, initially the reaction is OK, that`s the last straw, we`ve got to stand up to him. But it so quickly falls away. Just as we witnessed with Kevin McCarthy blaming trump on the day of the insurrection, and then going down to Mar-a-Lago shortly thereafter and begging forgiveness, it seems as if there is nothing that this former president can do that will cause at least the Republican leadership as it exists today to stand up to him and defend the democracy.

And you know, one of the terrible epiphanies for me in the last four years was I respected, even admired some of my Republican colleagues because I believed that they believed what they were saying. But we`ve now learned that they don`t believe it. It`s all about power. It`s all about maintaining their position. And they`re willing to tear at the foundation of our democracy if they can attain it.

HAYES: Congressman Adam Schiff whose new memoir Midnight In Washington is out now. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.

SCHIFF: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: That governor`s race in Virginia we were just talking about, the one where organizers of a rally for the Republican candidate had attendees pledge allegiance to a flag from January 6, that raise -- that raises the most important political test of the moment. It`s coming up very soon and we`re going to talk about why the stakes are so high after this.



HAYES: The most important real-world tests of politics in this moment which are very unstable and uncertain amidst the Delta Variant hopefully receding, President Joe Biden`s poll numbers which have come down but may be stabilized, the incredibly difficult high stakes legislating Democrats are attempting, is that in just over two weeks on November 2nd, polls will close in Virginia and the gubernatorial race will be over, and voters will weigh in. We`ll sort of get a test to where things are.

Right now, the race is quite close. The Democratic candidate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe leads by just two and a half points in the polling average there. Republican Challenger Glenn Youngkin meanwhile is trying to have his cake and needed too. He`s courting the trump vote that is essentially the modern Republican base but also trying not to be too aggressively pro-insurrection.

And at that rally to fire up Republican voters organized by Bannon in his two shirts that Donald Trump called into and attendees pledged allegiance to the insurrection flag from January 6. McAuliffe was quick to call out that rally reposting the video and writing, this is not who we are as Virginians. Tonight`s Donald Trump rally for Glenn Younkin celebrating the insurrection against our country was unconscionable, pledging allegiance to a flag that was at the deadly riot. Just watch.

Youngkin did not attend the rally. And asked about it today, he told reporters I wasn`t involved, so I don`t know. But if that is the case, then we shouldn`t pledge allegiance to that flag, adding there`s no place for violence in America today.

The stakes here for the Democratic agenda are enormously high because, let me tell you, a Republican victory would reverberate through the Democratic caucus. It would give a very bad signal where things are just a year out from the 2022 midterms. No one knows that better than the former Democratic Governor of Virginia, Senator Tim Kaine.

Senator, it`s good to have you on. You know this state well. You were a mayor of Richmond, governor of the state, now a senator. Where do you see the race right now?

SEN. TIM KAINE(D-VA): Chris, I think it`s close. I do feel like we have the edge especially with first time we`ve ever had a governor`s race with 45 days of early voting in person or by mail, no excuse needed. But it`s close and it kind of follows a little bit of a trend. Presidential years, we turn out, and you know, 68, 70 percent voting, and then the next year is a governor`s race, and often the turnout drops off significantly.

So, my colleagues and I, you know Senator Warner and Governor Northam. We`re crisscrossing the state with Congressman Scott and others to make sure everybody knows just how important it is. This is a real definer for Virginia`s direction. And as you say, it`s going to be interpreted very, very closely in terms of what it means for the entire country.

HAYES: The Republican Party has had a bunch of things they`ve tried to make this race about. The one thing they really focused on is school and schooling, parental control of school curriculum. It was first about critical race theory or whatever caricature of it they posses. It`s also about a law that McAuliffe had vetoed that would give parents essentially direct control over school curriculum and particularly books that appear in their libraries.

This is a quote from a Republican official. There`s just so much focus on the schools and it`s visceral, Former Chair of the Republican Party of Virginia. It`s not like, oh, I`m against the death ceiling. This is like you`re destroying our children`s education, and look angry people vote. What do you think of that?

KAINE: Well, I don`t think that many people are angry in Virginia about education, Chris. I mean, Terry McAuliffe is -- has a record. And the record was some of the biggest increases in funding for schools. Virginia schools are ranked among the best in the nation whether you look at either K-12 schools or our university system which is superb.

And Glenn Younkins had nothing to do with that. Terry McAuliffe`s fingerprints are all over Virginia`s school success. The other reason parents aren`t angry is they get to vote for school board members. If they don`t like what`s going on in a local city or county, then they can put somebody else in. And nobody is getting in their way of doing that.


But Virginia is been on a roll educationally. When I was born, Virginia was one of the worst states for education in the country. You couldn`t sit next to a kid if their skin color was different. And women couldn`t go to many of our universities. Now, we`re one of the best states for education in the country.

How dare a newbie like Glenn Youngkin can come in and promise he`ll turn it topsy-turvy. I think that`s the last thing that most Virginians want.

HAYES: McAuliffe who of course was a national political figure before he became the governor recently weighed in on my colleague Andrea Mitchell`s show about the infrastructure bill stuff that you guys are negotiating.

There is of course the bipartisan bill that was negotiated and passed by the Senate. It`s currently being held in the House as they try to work out the full deal. McAuliffe is calling for that to be passed. Here`s what he said to say.


TERRY MCAULIFFE (D-VA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Let`s get everybody the room. Lock the door, what do you need, what do you need, and let`s get this thing done. I`ll tell you why, $7 billion for roads in Virginia in the infrastructure bill. You know, all these folks up here, you know, they love to go out and do their press conferences. Do your job. Vote and get this done.


HAYES: And your fellow senator from Virginia, Mark Warner, made a bit of news today saying we should vote on that independent of the negotiations on Build Back Better. Of course, progressives say, if you do that, the rest of the agenda is never going to get passed. What do you think?

KAINE: Well, Chris, look, I think the infrastructure bill needs to get Joe Biden`s desk very quickly. It`s going to do great not just for Virginia, but it`s going to do good for every zip code in this country. I understand members of the House want some assurances that the Senate will pass a reconciliation bill at a reasonable level. We ought to be able to give them that assurance ASAP.

There`s no reason for Dems to be coy right now. My belief is this. If the Senate Democrats say to the House we will do a reconciliation bill, at this general level, with these general programs, the House will say great. You can work out the, you know, I-dotting and T-crossing. We`ll send this bill to the President`s desk.

And so, we do need to get it to his desk ASAP. And I asked my Senate Democrats. Let`s do what Terry McAuliffe said and let`s make plain to the House, here`s what we want to do in the reconciliation bill to help American families, and we can get both of them done.

We will get both of them done. I`m confident of that. But I agree with Terry that time is of the essence. Let`s do it quicker to help more people.

HAYES: All right, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, thank you very much.

KAINE: Absolutely, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, the United States senator who wants to do anything apparently but her job, from wine tasting to fundraising. What exactly is Senator Kyrsten Sinema doing with her time? After this.



HAYES: Since Kyrsten Sinema was first sworn in as a senator in January of 2019, she has been exceedingly busy. In March of 2019, she ran an ironman triathlon in New Zealand which she trained for running half marathons in her home state of Arizona. Then, two months later, she ran a marathon in California with a fast enough time to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Now, this is, let`s be clear, exceedingly impressive. Now, this June, unfortunately, she broke her right foot while running a marathon in Washington State. But it`s not just running that keeps her busy. She is teaching two classes this fall at Arizona state university, including one titled developing grants and fundraising. Last summer, she worked a two- week stint as a paid intern at the California winery.

None of these activities are inherently bad at all. In fact, they all sound great, time-intensive but great, rewarding, awesome. Many politicians are active athletes. Many others teach college classes. But Senator Sinema appears to be doing all these things instead of doing her job.

As Mother Jones points out, she hasn`t held a single public town hall since being elected in 2018. Public events of any sort are a rarity just as they were during her Senate campaign. She does not hold press conferences. Constituents have been arrested this year for demonstrating outside her office.

This year, Sinema missed a key vote to establish a bipartisan January 6 commission saying only she had a personal family matter. Her most significant vote to date was in March when she used her whole body to give a thumbs down to the inclusion of a $15.00 minimum wage in the coronavirus relief package.

Now, she`s one of two key Democratic Senators holding up the entire Biden agenda. But instead of sticking around to hammer on a deal, she has left the country for a fundraising trip in Europe. Her spokesman said Sinema has continued to speak with President Biden and her Senate colleagues adding, "phones in fact work everywhere."

I mean, sure, true. Still, it`s pretty weird behavior for a U.S. Senator. I mean, just here`s an example of what you could be doing. Look at say her colleague Chris Murphy. Chris Murphy is spending his recess doing his annual walk across the entire state of Connecticut meeting with people and talking to constituents across the political spectrum and all walks of life and listening their concerns because he represents them. That`s a thing you can do with your recess, one idea.

Now, on top of all this, Reuters is reporting that in an online meeting Sinema told fellow Democrats in the House of representatives this week, she will not vote for a multi-trillion dollar package that is a top priority for President Joe Biden before Congress approves $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

So, my question for Senator Sinema is this. What are you doing here? If you don`t meet with your constituents and you spend all your time doing everything except talking to them, legislating, all while holding up your party`s entire agenda, maybe you know, you don`t want to be United State senator. Maybe it`s not the job for you.


Ryan Grim is the Washington D.C. Bureau Chief for the Intercept. He has reported extensively on Senator Sinema as well as on dark money efforts to kill the Build Back Better Bill that contains the bulk of President Biden`s agenda.

I want to start here, Ryan, by just putting to the side like, there`s obviously an ideological issue here. Progressives are very frustrated with her. It`s unclear what she wants. But just putting that`s aside, like, this is strange the way that she is generally conducting herself as a U.S. senator is quite anomalous just across the political spectrum, even compared to someone like Joe Manchin.

RYAN GRIM, WASHINGTON D.C. BUREAU CHIEF, THE INTERCEPT: I`ve been covering congress since I guess what, 2006 and so you know, I`ve watched all sorts of negotiations unfold, immigration fights, the bailout, the affordable care act, Wall Street reform, debt ceiling, and now you know, this bipartisan infrastructure bill and this reconciliation package and all sorts of super committees and other gangs of six seven and eight in between there.

Nobody has ever seen anything like this. And so, you know, there`s an impulse out there to say look, stop trying to overanalyze Kyrsten Sinema. It`s quite simple. She raises a ton of corporate money and she`s doing the bidding of her corporate donors. No, you know, that analytical framework doesn`t work because so many other politicians who take so much corporate money aren`t behaving this way.

HAYES: Yes, correct.

GRIM: You need more. You need more.

HAYES: That is -- that is a great point. I mean, I`ve been saying that to people also. Like, yes, clearly that`s part of it. And we should say that, you know, there was this leaked e-mail where no labels, the director of no labels praised her work for heroic efforts on the infrastructure bill. It is also the case I will note, that when you don`t talk to actual constituents which she appears not to, then you do only hear from donors which is really a problem,

But even the lack of -- like, you know, we were talking about this -- Chuck Grassley was at the Trump rally, right? And you know, if you look at him, he`s in the background glad-handing. He`s like, you know, taking pictures and shaking people`s hands. It`s like that`s what politicians do. And you talk to people in Arizona. They`re like, we never see her, we can`t talk to her, she doesn`t come to the local Chamber of Commerce, she doesn`t come to like the, you know, the Yuma town hall like ribbon-cutting, like nowhere.

GRIM: There have been a few videos that have leaked over the last year of fundraisers that she`s held with, national -- you know, the national corporate group, not the Arizona ones but like, you know, the biggest lobbies that represent, you know, the major industries. And she`s very normal in those videos, you know, just having a very casual back and forth, obsequious almost, telling them, you know, reach out to my staff, I want to do anything that I can do to be helpful.

It`s true -- you know representative -- legislating and lawmaking, you see like, oh, that is -- that is how a representative, you know, works on behalf of constituents. And you`re like, that does -- I don`t see that anywhere else except in this occasional leaked video.

HAYES: The other thing. I had -- I just asked the staff before -- with our producers before I came on here. Like, she`s teaching two courses. Two, really? That`s like the full teaching load. That`s a lot.

GRIM: It is a lot when the grading comes in. And you know, there`s been -- there`s been a lot of reporting that, you know, her sched -- her personal schedule comes first. You know, whatever meetings are scheduled around Senate business, you know, if she has something else to do train, you know, teach a course, I assume the internship at the winery did not overlap -- you know, she was during recess -- then she`s going to take that.

And in fact, the angriest that she has been all year long was when the Republicans blocked a time agreement that would have allowed her to pass her bipartisan infrastructure bill on the Senate floor faster. It would have shaved several days off of the time it took to pass it. And she got up on the on the Senate floor and betrayed the only flash of emotion I`ve seen her show in the last year and really -- and furiously objected to what Republicans were doing.

You know, she had -- you know, she had been liking a bunch of wine tweets and she had this -- she had this retreat that was scheduled and it got in the way of that -- of that retreat, and she was absolutely furious at that -- at that unfolding.

And -- but to your point, the bipartisan infrastructure deal that she did strike, like, that that`s the most legislating she has done. Like, that was a significant accomplishment in the sense that it got more than 60 votes, it got -- it got through the Senate. And she has spent the rest of the time imperiling that achievement while going around Arizona touting it as this significant accomplishment.

HAYES: Well, we`re going to see. I mean, the rubber is about to hit the road on this. I feel like the squeeze is on, the window is sort of closing. We`re going to see where this all ends up. Ryan Grim, that was great. Thank you very much.

GRIM: You got it.

HAYES: Ahead, people are quitting their jobs in record numbers and 10,000 union members hit the picket line. Why this isn`t a sign of economic weakness but a growing worker power after this.



HAYES: You`ve probably heard there is a labor shortage in America and you might have seen this statistic that a record 2.9 percent of the U.S. for workforce or about 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in the month of August alone. Think of that. Three percent of the entire workforce quitting in one month.

Now, I`ve heard some people frame this as a bad thing for the economy and for President Biden. And to some level which is true in the short term, labor shortage is not great for businesses that are trying to hire to keep up their productive capacity. But take a step back here and look at the big picture. This is what worker power looks like. People deciding that they`re not going to settle for the bare minimum in terms of wages and working conditions which is why it should come as no surprise that workers in the front line food and hotel industries are quitting at a rate double the national average citing among other things poor pay, harassment from customers, a lack of proper training.


HAYES: Americans my generation and younger have never lived through a world in which workers have been particularly empowered in relations to their bosses and to capital. And it seems like we could be approaching one of those periods now. The American labor force is using this moment to its advantage.

As of today, more than 10 000 employees of the tractor company John Deere are now on strike across 14 plants in five states demanding higher wages as the company is expected to report record profits. The international alliance of theatrical stage employees that`s the guild representing the production crews who make the movies and TV shows you watch possible is set to go on strike next Monday if its demands are not met.

More than 24 000 nurses and other health care workers have voted to authorize a strike against industry giant Kaiser Permanente citing poor conditions exacerbated by the pandemic. Those three strikes alone, just those three would account for roughly 90 000 workers in this country walking off the job in the span of a few weeks.

But that`s not all. Employees of the serial giant Kellogg`s have been on strike for over a week now. You may have seen this truly amazing photograph of a lone striker holding down the line amid torrential rain.

Nurses and hospital workers are striking in Buffalo, New York, and Worcester, Massachusetts with the Massachusetts nurses strike now the longest in the state`s history. Coal miners in Alabama have been on strike since April which is in addition to the successful strike by employees from snack companies Frito-Lay and Nabisco that happened this summer.

It really does feel like a kind of a sea change moment in American politics or at least something we haven`t quite seen before recently. I often cite this graph here as an example of the waning power of labor in this country. The bar represents the number of strikes in each given year since the post- World War II period.

You can see there were hundreds of major strikes a year in the 1950s through the 1970s, and then Ronald Reagan gets elected in 1980 on the back of a revitalized conservative movement. He breaks the air traffic controller strike quite famously, uses the newfound power and popularity and absolutely decimate collective bargaining in this country. And there you see it, worker action takes a nosedive.

I don`t know if the labor movement will ever reach the heights the 1950s again when good high-paying union jobs built the American middle class. But it does seem pretty clear this country is now at a inflection point. Something has been disrupted. We are seeing mass collective action in a way we have not in generations. We`re going to try to get to the bottom of why next.



HAYES: Eight years ago in 1941, nearly half of the 800-plus animators for the Walt Disney Company went on strike over inequities and pay and privileges. And because the strike involve Disney animators, they produce some of the most incredible picket sign art in history, as seen here in a PBS documentary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly half of the studio`s art department had walked out. And it wasn`t just the low-wage workers. Some of Disney`s most trusted animators were also on the picket line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The streets full of strikers, not only from Disney, but from other studios, parading back and forth with signs. And this wonderful, idyllic utopian place is in shambles.


HAYES: That strike lasted for five weeks, was ultimately settled in the animators favor. Today, animators are part of a union known as the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. It`s been around since 1893. It represents all the people who work behind the scenes in Hollywood, on production crews, and in television. These are all the people who make basically all the content you watch possible.

And unless they are able to get a contract agreement with Hollywood, by this Monday, approximately 60,000 of them will go on strike. It would become one of several strikes happening right now alongside John Deere and Kellogg and could potentially soon be joined by Kaiser Permanente as health care workers. it can mark potentially the biggest upsurge of labor action in generation. It`s all leaving people to wonder what exactly is going on right now?

I have two amazing people here to talk about that. Josh Edelson is a labor reporter for Bloomberg News and Business Week. Jane McAlevey is a labor organizer and the strike correspondent for the Nation Magazine. She`s author of A Collective Bargain: Unions Organizing and the Fight for Democracy.

Josh, let me just start with you. From your reporting perspective, the answer is this why now question.

JOSH EDELSON, LABOR REPORTER, BLOOMBERG NEWS AND BUSINESS WEEK: So, there are obviously some differences in these strikes and potential strain happening different sectors, places from Kellogg to Kaiser to smaller employers like Harvard. But there are some recurring themes and I think some important trends that are now colliding into each other.

One is companies in many sectors right now are finding it harder to replace workers. And one of the ways that U.S. law and business structure and economics have changed to make strikes harder to pull off, is by making it easier for companies to replace workers who go on strike. So, that`s an important thing about this moment.

Second, is living through the pandemic and working through the pandemic has been radicalizing for a lot of people in a lot of different sorts of jobs. Workers have shouldered new risks for their families as well as themselves by working. They have received political and public attention and support that they didn`t before. And many have felt like for all their sacrifices, their companies then we`re not doing what they should be doing to keep them safe and to reward them.

And third, in many cases, union members in the U.S. have given up things that they had in their contracts the last time around or the time before that, where they`ve seen their working conditions get worse in waves recently. And so, some of these fights are about trying to undo sacrifices from the past or trying to prevent new concessions. So, these are in many cases defensive as well as offensive fights.


HAYES: Jane, you`ve been a practitioner and organizer for decades. What do you see here happening? What`s your -- what`s your answer to the why now question?

JANE MCALEVEY, STRIKE CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: Yes, I think a couple of things. One is, I agree with everything that Josh just said. But I also think -- I actually think it began before the pandemic. I think in 2018, we saw the beginning of a serious like, we don`t want to take this anymore. There were huge walkouts and strikes by teachers, Arizona, in West Virginia, across the country, in blue states and in red states. Then there was the Marriot strike.

So, we had a round of private sector, huge strike against the Marriott Corporation. People said immigrant, low-wage workers couldn`t take on the world`s largest hotel Corporation, which Marriott is. And the Unite Here, the union Unite Here, check them on and did it right with like largely low wage immigrant workers in a -- in an economy where it was easier to replace them. And they pulled off an incredibly impressive strike.

And then we went into 2019 pre-pandemic with the LA teachers walking out, you know, 34,000 of them, then the Oakland teachers went, and then the pandemic hit. So, I think -- I think they`re frustrated --

HAYES: There were something happening before.

MCALEVEY: That`s right. 2018 on that graph you showed, I mean, it was -- it was a small bar.

GUTFELD: Right, but it does go up, yes.

MCALEVEY: But does go up in 2018 for the first time in 30 years. So, I think workers were already frustrated, angry, and in the way that Josh was talking about, angry about a lot of givebacks. Like, a lot of ask for sacrifice at the same time that we`re producing in the pandemic now a new billionaire in this country every 80 hours. That`s the statistic.

HAYES: Josh, you mentioned the sort of replacement question, right? And it`s striking to me, you`ve got these two things going side by side, but I think they`re related. Like, the August quit rate is literally off the charts, three percent. Three out of 100 workers quit in August. No one has ever seen anything like it, and then you get the strikes happening. It does seem, Josh, that that there`s something happening in terms of just the -- just the balance of power between the bosses and working people about how easy it is to replace it.

EDELSON: One of the things that has come through and talking to people in what our thought of is very different sectors of the economy, is the sense of betrayal, that it was we`re all in here together up until the point that you need (AUDIO GAP) that you think is important, as important as they thought the thing they needed from you was.

And it`s this classic question of exit or voice. Do you go off somewhere else or can you band together and change something where you are. And there are a lot of forces conspiring against people being in collective action. But we`re seeing some people stand up to that now.

HAYES; Well, that`s an interesting point, right? So, people, the kind of individual -- I`m not doing -- I`m not taking it anymore, take that -- take this job and shove it, sort of, and then there`s collective action through a strike. But you need some vessel for that. And we`ve also seen some really interesting things like the great reporting on the delivery -- folks that do delivery here in New York, who are just completely bottom up, like banding together and creating some protections themselves, because they don`t really have choices, but they also want a union.

MCALEVEY: That`s right. And there`s actually a lot of collective action like that. Like, independent drivers, Uber drivers, Lyft drivers, people pushing back against deliver through in Europe. I mean, I`m doing a lot of work in Europe. There was a huge -- the biggest strike in Germany in decades. It just happened in Berlin with workers -- 30,000 workers striking in Berlin, hospital workers, just saying we`re not going to take it anymore.

So what`s interesting is, we have a great minority of workers, sadly, who are represented by unions. But I think to your point, there are a lot of people who are watching unionized workers going on strike and winning. And that`s the motivating factor, I think.

When people see people going on strike and winning and not being punished, it actually emboldened more people to do it. And it`s a way to show American workers writ large, hey, there`s something you can do when you act collectively. You can win more.

HAYES: Yes, I also wonder too. I`m thinking about this. There`s a psychological effect of the -- of the pandemic that kind of like life is too short feeling. I mean, honestly, I think a lot of people is like -- but also look at these numbers, right? 1952, 2.7 million workers out on strike. In 2020, which is during the pandemic, 27,000, right? So, that`s a -- that`s a factor of 1000.

MCALEVEY: Yes, a lot of zeros.

HAYES: But what -- I think people -- it`s like -- we think of the World War II period, the period afterwards as this period of kind of national unity and they -- but it was intense, intense period of labor strike and shortages in goods and kind of high inflation. There`s some similarities there.

MCALEVEY: There are. And there`s also similarities, I think, to the 33, 34 period, right? Meaning, 1933, 1934. There was a lot of sort of individual misery. I talked about in the new book, I make comparisons between what the average auto -- what work looked like in an auto factory in 1933 in 1934 was not different than today`s Amazon factories.

And it would take a lot of illegal strikes across the country during 33 and 34 to get the right to collect a bargain and then really unleash another wave of strikes in 1936.

HAYES: Josh Edelson, Jane McAlevey, that was great. Thank you both.

That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.