Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones had a special Christmas message for his old friend, former President Donald Trump, calling him "one of the most evil men who has ever lived" after changing his vaccine message. As the Omicron variant explodes, the CDC now says some Americans with COVID need to isolate for just five days, half the current guidance. Donald Trump`s critics face threats and violence from MAGA mob. Anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu dies at 90 years old.
HAKEEM OLUSEYI, COSMOLOGIST: So, don`t look for aliens falling up, you know, in Cadillac spaceships, right? That`s unlikely to occur. But microorganisms, they`re probably in our own solar system.
TIFFANY CROSS, MSNBC HOST: All right. Wow. Well, my friend I continue to look for intelligent life right here on Earth. So, we will see --
OLUSEYI: You and me both.
CROSS: Exactly. We will see what the Webb telescope produces back. And when we do, you`ll have to come back so we can talk about it. Thank you so much, Hakeem Oluseyi.
OLUSEYI: Thank you, maam.
CROSS: I will see you soon.
And that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN. Don`t panic, but Brace for impact. Family gatherings, record holiday travel, even movie attendance booms as COVID cases spike across the country. What to expect for this final week of 2021?
Plus, Trump goes all-in on the vaccine for now, but is it too little too late for the anti-vax monster he created?
ALEX JONES, RADIO HOST: This is an emergency Christmas Day warning to President Trump. You are either completely ignorant about the so-called vaccine gene therapy that you help ram through with Operation Warp Speed, or you`re one of the most evil men who has ever lived.
HAYES: Then, violent voicemail messages left for U.S. Congresswoman, obscene slogans with the President on a Christmas phone call. How the behavior of the modern Republican has sunk so low.
And Desmond Tutu, remembering a true man of peace this holiday season when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. I hope you had a good holiday weekend. As we are about to enter the third calendar year of the once-in-a-century pandemic, there`s a lot that`s cleared and a few things that remain unclear.
Right now, this is what both sides of the COVID story look like in America 21 months into this. This is a chart showing the weekly rate of cases, just cases of COVID in New York City by vaccination status. And you can see Omicron making itself known there in the last few weeks. That purple line at the top is folks who are unvaccinated, the orange is vaccinated.
So, if you are unvaccinated, you have a very good chance of getting COVID right now. In fact, if you`re vaccinated, you`re also still exposed to be sure, I can tell you anecdotally. But I think it`s gotten a little lost as we`ve covered breakthrough cases that there is still a very, very sizeable difference in risk and exposure in just transmission.
It`s also particularly true of serious illness. COVID, specifically the Omicron variant, is ripping through the Northeast right now -- look at those charts -- like it did when it first arrived in this country. In fact, we don`t have apples-to-apples comparisons because we didn`t have the testing infrastructure back then. These are charts of cases by state. Look at that. The red line being the case number just going straight up just hockey stick stuff. And you can see it over and over, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, one of those vaccinated places in the U.S.
Now, in many of these charts, hospitalizations in orange deaths and gray, they`re also ticking up a tad. But those lines are nothing like the red case lines. And that is because for people who are vaccinated and boosted, it is essentially a cold, maybe a very bad cold, maybe something like the flu which can be serious and awful and knock people out for a period of time.
And that`s true in the data, it`s also true anecdotally. A lot of people I know who`ve gotten it in the last few weeks have described it that way. One thing that just gets clearer and clearer though in all this, and again, this is real-world data, this is not stuff in a lab, just out there on the world, the efficacy of the vaccines in preventing serious illness. I mean, a remarkable, remarkable game-changing tool in battling this virus.
But despite that, the U.S. in green continues to trail other developed countries in vaccinating its people, even though we jumped out to a big head start. Look at the U.S. It`s behind it China, the U.K., Israel, Canada, the entirety of the European Union. There are a bunch of reasons for that, but a huge part of it has been the fact that in a breathtaking act of reckless disregard for human life, the major messengers of the American right have pushed anti-vax messages to people. They`ve just made a decision to do that. And it has cost a lot of people their health and their lives.
Of course, the single biggest voice on the American right has been ex- President Donald Trump, who during his presidency pushed fake COVID treatments like the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine are floating the idea of injecting bleach inside the body.
He`s also been not really very full-throated in his support for vaccines. He got vaccinated. He hasn`t been running around doing a lot of anti-vaxxer conspiracies, but he hasn`t been out there saying you should get vaccinated. Well, he seems to have made a somewhat interesting change in his rhetoric on that part.
Last week, on a speaking tour with disgraced former Fox News and answer to a trivia question Bill O`Reilly, Trump actually touted the vaccine`s efficacy and said he got the booster.
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DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did something that was historic. We saved tens of millions of lives worldwide. We, together, all of us -- not me, we. We got a vaccine done, three vaccines done, and tremendous therapeutics like Regeneron and other things that have saved a lot of lives.
Take credit for it. It`s a great -- what we`ve done is historic. Don`t let them take it away. Don`t take it away from ourselves. You`re playing that - - you`re playing right into their hands when you sort of like, oh, the vaccine. If you don`t want to take it, you shouldn`t be forced to take it. No mandates, but take credit because we saved tens of millions of lives.
BILL O`REILLY, FORMER HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Both the President and I are vaxxed. And did you get the booster?
O`REILLY: I got it too. OK, so --
TRUMP: Don`t, don`t, don`t, don`t. No, no, no, no, that -- there`s a very tiny group over there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You hear the people. They cheer only when he says you shouldn`t be forced to take it. Then they heckle when he says he got the booster and Trump says well, there`s a tiny number. Now, this is a guy, Donald Trump, who got vaccinated in the White House in secret, OK, so this is a change, a noticeable one.
My personal theory is that Donald Trump is going to run for president again. And whatever you say about the guy, he`s fairly canny politically and he understands numbers. I mean, big ones, at least. Now, you can be anti-mandate, but you really cannot be anti-vax in a country where 85 percent of adults have gotten at least one dose.
It`s hard to run as basically an anti-vax, not even if that`s what a big part of the MAGA base wants. But of course, the new pro-vaccine message is not sitting well with the core Trump base. Far-right anti-vaxxer Candace Owens argued Trump is pro-vax because he is, quote, too old to find the obscure anti-vax Websites on the internet, which is an amazing argument in 100 different directions.
The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones issued a far harsher condemnation.
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JONES: This is an emergency Christmas Day warning to President Trump. You are either completely ignorant about the so-called vaccine gene therapy that you help ram through with Operation Warp Speed, or you`re one of the most evil men who has ever lived to push this toxic poison on the public.
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HAYES: Here`s the thing. Sure, some of the base is angry, but if anyone changes their mind about the vaccine because of Donald Trump, decides to go get the shot, it`s obviously a good thing. It`s a good thing for them, it`s good thing for all of us, even if it`s a bit late. In fact, last week, President Biden praised Trump for announcing that he got the booster and his administration for rolling out the vaccine.
Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was glad to see Trump talking about the benefits of vaccination, but warned it might be too little too late.
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DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT: I was stunned by the fact that he`s doing that and he`s getting booed in some places for doing that, which means that, you know, poisoning the well early on about either not being enthusiastic or outright not pushing vaccines and discouraging vaccines, now has the lingering effect.
And even when you come out and say go get vaccinated, some of the people that have been following his every word and what he does are now pushing back and not listening.
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HAYES: But for those who have been vaccinated, the vast majority of adults and those of us who have also been boosted, which is a significant and growing minority, we`ve all reached this very weird what you might call muddling through period of the pandemic. I mean, the crazy transmission of Omicron really is unlike anything we`ve ever seen, it doesn`t feel like a terrifying personal risk like it did last winter before we had the vaccines.
But of course, I`m speaking for myself here, people that I love. There are many people who are immunocompromised, who are otherwise vulnerable to severe illness. Not to mention, there`s a lot of people who need care in hospitals that either are or are going to be squeezed. And there`s a lot of people that work in those hospitals that are basically at their wit`s end.
But then on top of that, when you are dealing with a communicable disease that this contagious, and you`re not doing something dramatic, like locking everyone down, like closing everything and putting people in their in their houses, it`s just going to disrupt a lot of everyday life. And we`re seeing that in Broadway shows being canceled because the cast, the crew all come down with Omicron, and NFL and NBA rosters just decimated by COVID and tons of players being signed and bringing guys out of retirement.
Thousands of flights are canceled. Again, the flights are canceled because just too many airline crews are getting sick. Restaurants and schools across the country closing, again, not as a public health measure but simply because there aren`t enough healthy workers.
The transmissibility of this variant is so high, the numbers are so insane. You know, in some ways, it feels like a massive improvement over the darkest days of the pandemic, but it is very hard to call it normal.
And that is, in some ways the biggest challenge for the Biden administration. In this coming year, I think, specifically both substantively and politically. It`s also the biggest challenge for us collectively as American society, civil society, our institutions. Well, I want to know what the answer to the question what is on the other side here. I think that`s along a lot of people`s minds this holiday season.
Andy Slavitt served as the White House Senior Advisor for the COVID Response for the Biden administration, working to get as many people vaccinated as possible. He`s the author of Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response. And he joins me now.
And Andy, let`s just start on the -- on the vaccination data because it`s - - it continues to be a kind of informational bedrock here through all this, right. So, here`s the New York data, hospitalization data that we`re seeing right now. And you know, we`re just seeing a huge difference between the hospitalizations for folks that are unvaccinated and vaccinated.
You can see that enormous spike there in folks who are unvaccinated. That`s like per capita versus vaccinated. We see this play out over the place. The sort of immunity wall of vaccination against severe illness seems to be holding in this latest wave. Is that your feeling so far as well?
ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR FOR THE COVID RESPONSE: Yes, without question, you know, this time around, if you`re going to get even a get a case of COVID, and you`re vaccinated, you`re very unlikely to have a case where you wind up in the hospital.
Of course, there`s other reasons not to want to have COVID, including missing work, not seeing your family, risking getting long COVID. So, it`s not a good thing. But your protection level if you`ve been vaccinated, is quite high against something serious, where as you -- as you say, if you are unvaccinated, it`s a completely different story.
And if you talk to most people in hospitals today, they`ll say most of the patients they see are almost entirely unvaccinated.
HAYES: So, you`ve got -- I mean, so you`ve got the vaccination still building this wall. But I mean, at the same time, you know, I think the Biden administration understandably incorrect. They saw their job and you were there, right, get as many shots in arms as possible. And there was this period where it ramped up, ramped up and then hit this demand hump, and it hit this cultural hump, and this political hump.
And slowly but surely chipped away, chipped away, we`re still below the European Union, we`re still have Canada and Israel. And what it means is, you know, we`re still -- there`s still 10s of million people aren`t vaccinated, and there`s going to be millions more cases as like, losing 1600 people a day. It still feels like an unacceptable equilibrium, and yet short of like, forcible vaccination, it`s not clear what you do.
SLAVITT: Well, look, you know, we`ve -- despite what people use the words mandate, we have only -- I think, once in our history ever had an actual requirement for a vaccine, and that was a very severe measles outbreak in Philadelphia a couple of decades ago. But what you can do is you can say, look, if you want to be around other people that don`t have the choice to be vaccinated -- or maybe they have the choice to be vaccinated but they`re, you know, compromised, then you should be required to be vaccinated and boosted yourself.
And that`s, I think, what most societies find to be a reasonable answer. If you`re going to go to work, if you`re going to go to hospital, or even go to your favorite bar or crowded restaurant, that it`s OK to say, hey, show us that you`re not contagious or that you`re much less likely to be contagious. And we see that is that`s happened across the U.S. military, is what`s happened in employers around the country. Upwards of 90 percent plus of people get vaccinated.
They`re still -- they`re still a small vocal minority of people that don`t want to, and that`s their right. There`s other things that they can be doing. But you know, those kinds of actions, which I think were -- the Supreme Court is going to look at very shortly, are the kinds of things that I think, help our society move along, reduce the death toll. But more importantly, not just reduce the number of people dying, but a lot of people who are living to live an active life where they can go to work, go to school, see their family.
HAYES: So, there was news today from the CDC of reducing the sort of isolation period for people that are positive and yet asymptomatic from 10 days to five. And this, I think, applies to the second question, which is OK, let`s say you`re dealing in a place where everyone is vaccinated, you still got a lot of Omicron going around, it`s still insanely contagious, and you still get disruption. Like, everyone in the restaurant got sick. Everyone in the school classrooms got sick. The pilots all got sick, right?
This seems like a way of attempting to deal partly with that based on more recent data we have. Do you think it`s a good decision? And do you think it is informed by the -- by the research we have as opposed to a desire to reduce disruption?
SLAVITT: Yes. Well, look, they`re always playing the odds. And they`re always, I think, open to criticism for being either too slow or too fast. And what they`re doing here is they`re saying, if you are after five days no longer symptomatic -- and by the way, if you can`t -- if you can find one, I strongly recommend taking an antigen test, a stay-at-home test. If you`re negative, very low likelihood that you`re going to be contagious.
And so, telling you know, 90 percent of people to stay home for the next five days when they`re not contagious has a real cost to it. But they`re -- but you know, these are -- these are never absolutes. So, these recommendations are going to get criticism from both sides because you`re going to have some people that are still contagious on day six or day seven, who are asymptomatic. I think the number will be just a couple of percent.
And so, you know, in the main, I think they`re smart to say let`s use the data, let`s lean into this. Let`s show people how to not be overly conservative and make people isolate for far longer than most of them at least need to.
HAYES: All right, Andy Slavitt, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
SLAVITT: Good to be here.
HAYES: Over the past four years, we`ve seen an unprecedented rise in threats made against lawmakers with Capitol Police expecting 2021 to end with another historic highs. Tonight, I`ll talk to a congresswoman who`s been on the receiving end of those threats for over two years all because of Donald Trump. Hear the violent voicemail she says there`s no escaping, after this.
HAYES: Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan has been receiving a constant barrage of threatening messages for two years. And she says it began in December of 2019, just after -- months after the death of her husband, Congressman John Dingell. At a rally in Dingle`s home state, then-President Donald Trump attacked the congresswoman over her vote for his impeachment, imply that her husband, the late congressman was looking up from hell.
And that set off the firehose of hatred from Trump supporters who continue to send her several threats each week. Yesterday, Congresswoman Dingell shared a recording of one of those threatening messages the first time. This message is from August of 2021. I should tell you the voicemail is extremely graphic and disturbing. And so, imagine being on the receiving end of these types of threats on a regular basis.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You goddamn old senile (BLEEP). Your as old and ugly as Biden. You ought to get the (BLEEP) off the planet, you (BLEEP) foul (BLEEP). They ought to (BLEEP)try you for treason, (BLEEP). You and every one of your scumbag (BLEEP) friends. I hope your family dies in front of you. I pray to God if they got any children, they die in your face."
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HAYES: And Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, the receiving end of that joins me now. Congresswoman, first of all, I`m sorry that someone did that. And I wonder why you decided to share it?
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Well, Chris, actually, to put this in context, I was doing a segment with my Republican colleague, Fred Upton, about civility and trying to get people to take a deep breath. CNN had asked my staff for some of the messages that we had been receiving. And that was one of many that was played yesterday. Fred made a decision a month ago to play a message that he had received.
You know, my -- the response today has been interesting. A lot of people have reached out and been very supportive. And as we all know, it can also energize other people. But I want people to take a deep breath. I want people to think about what we`re saying to each other, and really start to worry about what`s happening in our communities because it`s not just me. I don`t want to normalize this, but I have become used to it. I worry about my staff.
But this is to help people that are in school boards, that are on city councils, that are trying to help their community. It`s not OK.
HAYES: I mean, you`ve been in politics for a while, obviously. Your late husband, one of the longest-serving members of the U.S. House of Representatives, a legend, of course, and you yourself have served in that seat for many years. You`ve been around the culture of politics. And I think sometimes we can fall prey to a kind of presentism where everything in this moment seems worse than it`s ever been or unprecedented.
So, I`m just curious, from your perspective, as someone who really does have that perspective, is there something new, distinct, and worse now than 20, 30, 40 years ago?
DINGELL: Yes, I think there is. You know, interestingly, in the 90s, when I did my master`s thesis on civility in the Congress, and we have gone through periods throughout the history, but not with the hatred that you see right now, or the venom, or the fear, quite frankly, that you see. And that`s why I hope people will take a deep breath and understand what we`re doing to each other.
And as I say, we`re finding this in our communities. I was brought up to respect each other. And I do remember, people could have very strong disagreements on policy but they treated each other with respect. They respected the individual and would disagree on the policy, not this kind of venom that we are seeing people treat each other the way -- and never have you seen some of the members that are treating each other the way that they are on the House floor. It worries me, it greatly worries me.
HAYES: How much of this is a product of Trump and people trying to be like him? I mean, I think he`s someone that thrives off negative attention. Obviously, he`s someone who sort of enjoys insulting people. I think a lot of people that like him enjoy the thrill, the sort of transgressive thrill of watching that happen. There are members of Congress now who I think of sort of doing an imitation of that. And how much is that -- how much is that a symptom and how much is that a cause do you think?
DINGELL: I fear that it`s a symptom or I think - you know, we`re going through really hard times. You just were -- we were talking about COVID again. It`s been two years of people being isolated, people not having a human connection with each other, people have been worried about the economy. You know, did I -- look there was a time when I agreed with Donald Trump on trade and told people that he could become president and was right, as you all recall.
But I think that this anxiety, this fear, this anger that we are seeing in so many communities is what we do need to fear. We have seen it happen at different times of history in the world. And it`s something we all need to be aware of and be conscious of. It is dividing us. It is -- it is attacking the fundamental roots of our democracy. We have to respect each other. United we stand, divided we fall. And we got to think about those words.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, I hope you had a great holiday and get a little time away for New Year`s as well. Thanks a lot.
DINGELL: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Still to come, remember the larger-than-life human rights champion, Archbishop Desmond Tutu as someone who witnessed the power of his work firsthand. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, famous around the world for helping to bring down South Africa`s apartheid regime, died at the age of 90 yesterday. Seen across the world as South Africa`s moral compass, Tutu was a leading advocate for reconciliation, the fight for freedom and equality, but he`s not a pacifist.
He was though awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in 1984, and spoke about what the award meant for the cause of human rights around the world.
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DESMOND TUTU, ARCHBISHOP: A new hope has been kindled in the breast of the millions who are voiceless, oppressed, dispossessed, tortured by the powerful tyrants lacking elementary human rights, how wonderful, how appropriate.
This award is made today, December the 10th, Human Rights Day. It says more eloquently than anything else, that this is God`s world and he is in charge, that our cause is a just cause. That we will attain human rights in South Africa and everywhere in the world. We shall be free in South Africa and everywhere in the world.
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HAYES: Born in 1931 to a poor family, Tutu joined the ministry as a way to serve his community. He rose to the highest ranks, becoming the first Black Archbishop of Cape Town and use this pulpit to speak out about injustice. And announcing Archbishop Desmond Tutu`s death, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa held the archbishop as "A patriot without equal, leader principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead."
Patrick Gaspard is the former ambassador to South Africa serving under President Obama. He knew Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a friend and mentor, and now serves to the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, and he joins me now.
Patrick, I`m so glad you made some time to talk to us tonight because obviously, the man was an absolute legend, a sort of moral force and icon. But you actually knew the man and got to see up close what he was like and what his influence on South Africa and the world was like.
PATRICK GASPARD, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Well, Chris, thank you for having me on and thank you for pushing this legacy forward. I think sometimes that we have a poor grasp of history. And it`s extraordinary to appreciate that this all happened in our lifetimes, Chris.
You just showed a photograph of Archbishop Tutu standing in New York -- in front of New York City`s city hall with Congressman Bella Abzug. I was at that rally. That was 1985, 1986. I was 18, 19 years old. And that`s when Archbishop Tutu came to the U.S. to call on us to move beyond our policy of constructive engagement with the apartheid regime.
He told all of us and especially our president, Ronald Reagan, that to be neutral meant to be on the side of the oppressors. It was a powerful history lesson then and one that`s still resonant today.
HAYES: You know, one thing that`s striking about the trajectory of Desmond Tutu his life is that he is a kind of moral seer. Obviously, he`s a man of God, he`s a member of the clergy, but he`s -- you know, Mandela was an organizer, he was a revolutionary, he was a politician. He had a lot -- to make a lot of political calculations as he navigated the way through apartheid and into the new South Africa.
Tutu was not really a politician, although he was obviously incredibly politically minded, and was a kind of clear moral force throughout it at several key moments in the trajectory from apartheid to the aftermath to present-day South Africa.
GASPARD: You know, what an incredible journey he was on. You know, what I`d say about Archbishop Tutu? He was in his core inherently a diplomat. He was an ambassador for South Africa in the period of apartheid. He showed the entire world the better face of that nation. And he enabled all of us to imagine what a reconcile future could look like.
And then, once we established true participatory democracy in South Africa in 1994, he was asked to lead the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which really pioneered restorative justice around the world. It`s poorly understood today. But as you said, this is somebody who had a clarity -- a moral clarity and clarity of purpose.
Not only did he lead us to reconciliation in South Africa, but went on gloriously to lead on fights of climate change, lead on fights for the rights of the LGBTQ community, spoke out forcefully on behalf of Palestinians and their plight and crusaded for them, and powerfully, never hesitated to speak truth to power.
I remember when he came here to the United States in 2003, and many of us joined them at a rally at the United Nations when he said that the United States was morally wrong to invade Iraq. Extraordinary figure, extraordinary courage, and I dare say, Chris, that not only will his kind not come again, but as I think about the conversation that you just had with Congresswoman Dingell and the lack of civility that we`re seeing in our politics, there is a usefulness to his extraordinary service, and the lessons that he gave us, it should carry forward in a time when we have a poverty of moral imagination in our politics.
HAYES: Yes. And when you say about him being unflinching in speaking truth to power, that also applies to the ANC, of course, which goes from, you know, revolutionary movement for liberation and multiracial democracy to the ruling party. And he was extremely forthright about his critiques of inequality and corruption, and went after Thabo Mbeki when he was the president.
And again, you know, in the context of having struggled with people, to overthrow this regime, this sense of kind of, you know, you don`t want to betray your comrades and to have the kind of moral courage to just say the truth as you see it when people are in power, I always found an incredible attribute of his.
GASPARD: You know, I had -- I had a conversation about those critiques with Archbishop Tutu when I became a U.S. Ambassador to South Africa. Of course, he was really proud of what we had achieved in the U.S. with the election of Barack Obama.
But I remember Archbishop Tutu holding up his own example to me, and he said, just as I had to turn against those who I had been in the trenches with, when I believed that they betrayed democracy, if at any point, young man, he said to me, you feel as if your party or your colleagues are betraying your principles, you have to find a way to speak out against that as well. So, he never hesitated to bring that kind of strength, truth, and real courage of his conviction.
I want to -- courage is an important word to use about Archbishop Tutu. This is someone who not only spoke out forcefully, but Chris, your viewers have to understand that he literally put his physical body in harm`s way against the machinery of state violence when it was called for to protect the most vulnerable in his society. And he never lost that instinct.
So, you`re right. He spoke out against Thabo Mbeki. He spoke out against Jacob Zuma, against corruption. But it reminded all of us if we`re -- if we`re fighting for justice, if we believe that climate justice is necessary and possible, if we believe in the rights of the most marginalized, that we have to have the courage of those convictions, and we have to be willing to be unpopular.
HAYES: Patrick Gaspard, it`s so wonderful get your thoughts on this great man and his passing. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
GASPARD: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: All right, we got lots more coming up. Don`t go away.
HAYES: Throughout the 25 seasons of the popular talk show The View, there`s been a conservative voice in the panel often sparking debate with the more liberal cohort. That`s sort of the recipe. And over the years, that role has been filled by women like Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Jenny McCarthy, Abby Huntsman. Most recently, Meghan McCain. But since McCain left the show earlier this year, producers have struggled to find a conservative to take her place.
Politico reports the challenge is finding someone who is not a denier of the 2020 election results or who embraced the January 6 riots, or seen as flirting too heavily with fringe conspiracy theories of the MAGA one of the Republican Party. But that kind of person, the much mythologize reasonable Republican doesn`t really exist. As a former show staffer put it, "They are really looking for a unicorn."
Christina Greer is a professor of political science at Fordham University, co-hosts the podcast FAQ NYC. David Jolly is a former Republican congressman from Florida, now the Executive Chairman of the Save America Movement working to create a new political party. And Tara Palmeri is the co-author of Political Playbook where she reported the news about The View`s struggle to find a Republican. And they all join me now.
Tara, I was really interested by your -- by your piece because it`s actually something we`ve encountered before. It`s like, you know, I don`t want to -- I`m not particularly interested in talking to people who, like say the election was stolen or that, you know, vaccines causing infertility, but I like exchanging views with people.
But then, like, if you`re -- if you`re looking for people who don`t think those things, and you want to talk to a conservative, then there`s like the whole pool of never Trumpers. But finding someone in like the -- who`s not never-Trumper but is not on board with like, election conspiracy nonsense. That`s a real thin intersection of sets.
TARA PALMERI, CO-AUTHOR, POLITICAL PLAYBOOK: Right. And I think The View rightly is concerned about spreading misinformation, right? You don`t want to spend the entire time fact-checking your colleagues or your co-hosts.
PALMERI: But at the same time, they need to spar. They need to be -- they need -- the people like to see the women disagree on the talk show hosts, you know, and they want different opinions. And the problem is a lot of these never-Trumpers, they can all agree with the other hosts that Trump is horrible, which is a common talking point on the show.
And I think you saw someone like Ana Navarro really suffer because of that. She`s a regular filling. And you can see her on the TV right now. But she`s not their first pick because she`s seen as getting along too well with the other women. She`s seen us too chummy. And more importantly, she`s never Trump.
And so, that doesn`t really represent a big part of the Republican electorate. Most of them are pro-Trump. So, I think they`re -- they really have a struggle to find someone who can thread the needle between not being a conspiracy theorist but also being pro-Trump.
HAYES: Well, there`s a deeper issue here, David than the casting choices of The View producers in New York City, God bless them, which is about like, just the nature of what the ideological lines are in the party right now. And to Tara`s point, like, yes, you can`t have someone on air who`s like, you know, actually, an Italian satellite was used to change the votes. Like, you can`t do that.
But the odds of that are high if you`ve got a person who`s like, very loved in my world. And therein lies the whole problem.
DAVID JOLLY, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, SAVE AMERICA MOVEMENT: Yes, Chris, I think this whole issue reflects kind of the brand identity where the brand transformation already, if you will, of the Republican Party, right? Until about, you know, five to 10 years ago, the notion of being conservative and a Republican was kind of duplicative. They were conflated.
And so, that type of brand would work for this slot, I suppose, on The View. And look, I`m the last person to be a pining on the panelists for The View. But I think what you`ve identified is right which is today, being a leading Republican, and if that is really the brand that The View needs is a Republican voice, well, that just means that you`re in the gaslighting and trolling and grievance and all the MAGA talking points, which often can be false.
And so look, do they really want to conservative? Do they want somebody that can talk about the nuances of an assault weapons ban and corporate tax cuts? No, they want to Republican because that`s how we identify within our culture.
JOLLY: But to Tara`s point and yours, a Republican today cannot -- you know, they`ve got to be fact-checked every 30 seconds.
HAYES: Well, and this gets to this point that I`m kind of obsessed with right now, Christina, which is like the weird way, the surreal way in which "normal politics and abnormal politics" are sort of, you know, coexisting right now. So, your normal politics is like inflation is too high, and I don`t like the incumbent party because inflation is too high.
And like, that`s fine. That`s fine. That`s just normal politics. People argue that all the time and all kinds of democratic societies across all the -- the other is the election was stolen, Donald Trump was 100 percent the President, or you know, the vaccine is this vast conspiracy. And you want -- to David`s point is like what they want is to have arguments about like, the normal stuff without the abnormal stuff, but it`s a package deal.
CHRISTINA GREER, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: It is Chris. I mean, and I think you left out a key point which is January 6. So much of the Republican talking points right now is January 6 never happened, right? You`re just making a 10 percent of a tea pot, Chris Hayes, every night when you talk about how dangerous January 6 was, right?
GREER: And so, when we think about -- I mean, millions of people, not just women, but millions of people watch The View every single day. So, those are -- those discussions are important because they are in a in a manner that`s accessible to a lot of people working and not working, who rely on them quite honestly for information.
And so, unfortunately right now, as Tara`s brilliant piece laid out, the Republican Party right now has been coopted by so many individuals who believe in such far-fetched -- and I`m going to use the word lies, not just miss misspoken statements -- where it is irresponsible for a show to have a particular type of Republican brand on air.
And I don`t know how they`re going to -- are they going to have someone who says, well, I`m independent and so, I`ll constantly play the devil`s advocate. And that will be the role of I would say, a former Republican whose former Republicans were somewhat sensible.
I mean, we could have intellectual disagreements on policy. Now, we`re having disagreements on facts and reality. And that is -- that`s a dangerous position we`ve been in for quite some time in our politics.
HAYES: There`s also -- Tara, there`s also this -- you know, obviously, again, I`m struggling to sort of contextualize this. You know, there`s this guy that said, Let`s Go Brandon to the President himself on a phone call, who`s doing some -- you know, the President and Jill Biden are doing this sort of like cutesy thing. And he, of course, becomes a kind of Joe the Plumber kind of hero.
And again, like, I don`t get too worked out about people in a free society telling their leaders to go eff off because that`s kind of what a free society comes down to. But the thing that was so striking to me about him is like, as soon as he went on the Steve Bannon podcast, the first -- one of the first things he says, like, I am a supporter of Donald Trump who should still be the president, it was 100 percent stolen from him. And like, ding, ding, ding, that`s it. That`s the key belief that you`re not going to be able to escape.
PALMERI: Right. And he really didn`t seem to embrace that right away. He sort of played it that he was naive, that he didn`t know what Let`s Go Brandon meant, that he was -- he said he wasn`t a Trumper. His story keeps changing, right?
PALMERI: But ultimately, you wouldn`t make that kind of comment on the phone with the President on Christmas Eve if you didn`t feel very strongly, you know, in support of Donald Trump and --
PALMERI: So, I don`t know. I find this whole story very hard to believe. Maybe the truth is now coming out.
HAYES: Well, it`s part of this shtick that I think we saw a little bit of the Tea Party too of like, Oh, me, I`m just -- we`re just folks here. I`m just out at this rally with Glenn Beck. And it`s --
PALMERI: We`re the victims.
HAYES: -- like, no, you`re a -- you`re conservative activist. Like, it`s fine. That`s just what you are, though. I want to talk -- there`s been -- there`s been some very good news about the economy I want to talk to you guys about. So, everyone, stick around. We`re going to be right back.
HAYES: OK, there`s some good news on the Biden economy I want to discuss. I want to bring back in Christina Greer, professor of political science at Fordham University, David Jolly, former Republican Congressman, and Tara Palmeri, co-author of Politico`s Playbook.
There`s this headline the Wall Street Journal had the other day that caught my eye and it`s on a theme that I`ve been thinking a lot about, about the U.S. economy. Booming U.S. economy ripples worldwide. U.S. economic output is set to expand by more than seven percent annualized in the final three months a year, up from about two percent in the previous quarter. That`s according to early output estimates published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
That compares with expected annualized growth about two percent the Eurozone and four percent in China according JPMorgan Chase. And this fix is something that I think is has not been appreciated. The U.S. COVID response as a public health matter has been middling to poor somewhere in there, depending on when you`re looking.
The economic response, in many ways, I mean, between the Cares Act, the second Cares Act, the American Rescue Plan, has been pretty good and particularly compared to other countries in the OACD, Christy, the economy is actually doing quite well. People`s perception of it is pretty bad but when you ask them how they`re doing personally and financially, they say they`re doing pretty well. And I do wonder when that Delta closes in the new year particularly if inflation comes down.
GREER: Chris, I think that`s the question that I`m really struggling with because it`s the framing of this, the perception that so many Americans have -- and you know, this is purely anecdotally, but you know, speaking to friends and colleagues of mine who range the financial spectrum, all of them feel like Joe Biden needs to do more, whether it`s COVID response, whether it`s with the economy, or combination of the two.
When we go to the ballot box in November, we know that Americans vote -- political science literature said this time and time again -- based on pocketbook issues. And it`s not just about how you feel personally, it`s how you feel the economy in your sort of larger collective is doing.
Joe Biden and I would say Democrats writ large, and this goes back to Obama and even Clinton, are very poor at contextualizing all the work that they are doing. If we remember with Brock Obama, literally saving the American economy from falling off the cliff, they named it something where all these mechanisms where people actually got back to work and got money in their pockets, it was the America rediscovering back to work at something, something. No one really knew that it was the Democratic Party that was assisting them.
And I think we`re in that situation yet again where Joe Biden and his financial advisors are doing the work to lift us out of the chasm that Donald Trump and his party have put us in, but the framing of it makes so many Americans feel as though the Biden administration is not doing enough. And they may be doing OK, but their larger neighborhood in their larger society just isn`t feeling the uplift.
HAYES: Well, and I think that -- I mean, look, it was pretty clear. As you know, inflation has gone up quite, quite high, I think for all sorts of structural reasons that don`t have a ton to do with what Joe Biden has done or the Democratic Party has done. It`s gone up across the world. I think it`s also kind of a better problem than mass unemployment, frankly, if you choose between the two.
But people don`t like it. We`ve seen that. Gas prices have started to come down. But I do think -- you know, Jamelle Bouie, wrote a great column in the New York Times, David, where he talked about Reagan`s first two years where the whole point was Reagan was coming in, you know, in the midst of stagflation. He was going to turn things around, and things didn`t really turn around in 81 or 82.
Inflation remained high, unemployment remained high, the recession was persistent. The Republicans got clocked in that in that Midterm. The whole morning in America story doesn`t come for a few years later. And I think so much of the politics of the nation depends on what happens next year, which is a really wide variety of possibilities.
JOLLY: Yes, Chris, you`re right. Look, inflation is a key behavioral indicator, if you will, for voters because all they know is things cost more. And we`re not very rational when -- consumers when it comes to recognizing we have more spending power, more consumer power now that offsets on the price increases. We just know things cost more, and that that upsets voters.
And I think what underlies all of this then, and what inflation is contributing to, is the feeling of instability, which should not be a surprise. I mean, the world economy is coming off a historic shock. And I think most voters do know that we sustain the economy through multiple rounds of stimulus, through fiscal policy that sustain the economy.
And so, even if we feel like OK, things are OK, it is the what if, what`s next, and when do we get our confidence back? When we get there, I think Joe Biden looks very good.
HAYES: Yes, that to me, that`s the biggest question for everything right now. It`s that that word instability, Tara, it`s -- you know, that to me defines the political moment, it defines like so much of the, frankly, like aberrant behavior we see all over the place from people from videos of people screaming at each other on planes, to all this kind of stuff which is it`s been a really wildly disrupted 20 months.
And the big question is like, is 2022, does it feel more normal or more stable or more thriving or more protected from the sheer tumult of the last few years? And I don`t think anyone can answer that question, but I think it does determine a lot about the politics.
PALMERI: Right. And I think a lot of people keep hearing that the stock market is overinflated, and everyone is just waiting for it to drop at some point, you have the inflationary issues. And then on top of that, you have Senator Joe Manchin using the talking point, the fear of inflation and economic fears to tank the president major, you know, policy -- agenda policy. And I think that really sticks.
People say he`s a Democrat, and he`s worried that there`s something happening right now, that this policy could tank the economy or cause rapid inflation. And I think that really undermines the President`s message that everything is all right and that, you know, you -- that the pocketbook issues are not as grave as we sense that they are.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, let me -- let me just jump in to say that the White House argument, that Build Back Better would be -- would reduce inflation in the short term I think is pretty thin. There`s some big news of medium to long term. But the argument that Joe Manchin is making that it would be inflationary is also -- was completely bonkers in my mind. I don`t think there`s any impact one way or the other.
Most of that`s going to matter based on COVID. It`s going to matter on international supply chains. It`s going to matter on Jay Powell on what he does at the Fed. So, all of this is like, it`s a weird thing where there`s this debate over inflation regarding this bill when that`s not actually what the bills -- the bill is about, yet here we are.
Christina Greer, David Jolly, and Tara Palmeri, thank you all. That was great.
GREER: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ayman Mohyeldin in for Rachel. Good evening, Ayman.