Monday, January 20, 1997 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: House ethics committee investigates Gingrich
1997-01-20

Interview with Jeffrey Klein, Editor Mother Jones magazine

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Klein discusses movement of Gingrich hearings to a time when attention would be distracted. Klein reviews Republican talking points to divert moral issue of Gingrich’s wrongdoing to tax issue. Democrats accepted Republican framing of issues: unprecedented, harsh penalty reflects Republican anti-statism ideal that loser pays trial fees. Gingrich continuing strategy shifts basis for "renewing America" from his personal beliefs to divine wisdom. Democrats ignored "American narrative" of egalitarian justice, the moral underpinnings of the rule of law, and the social danger of the Speaker of the House violating these basic tenets of American society. Democrats, unlike Republicans, failed to unite on message and allowed Republicans to focus on surreptitiously recorded conversations used by Congressman McDermott (D WA). Congressman Boehner (R OH) wanted Gingrich to use personal, not campaign, funds when paying the fine to avoid political controversy. Failure to recognize the need to reform political environment endangers Democrats. Clinton encouraged investigation wrapped up because hearings scheduled on his campaign finances. Republicans want to weaken Clinton to weaken presidential prospects of Gore. Nonpartisan solution needed to solve influence of money on political process.

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Jeffrey Klein, Editor Mother Jones magazine

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