The Fix Live

Apr 19, 2013

The Fix's Chris Cillizza discussed the latest in political news.

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An amazing and frightening week in the country. Let's talk about it.

Despite the fact that the Boston bombers were supposed to be here legally, what impact do you think this attack will have (if any) on the immigration debate?

Well, Chuck Grassley made mention in the immigration hearing of the situation in Boston.

Not sure how much more of that we will see. But, I bet there will be some.

Always hard in situations that are a) this fluid and b) this low information. The truth is we don't know all that much -- still -- yet.

With all the tragedy this week, what has been the most inspiring story you have heard/seen? Give us something good to focus on, cause we surely need it.

This one:

Tazo CALM tea. What's in your mug this morning?

Grande mocha. Though I think we could all use a little calming tea.

Thoughts on the complex duality of social media during times like these? Is it doing more harm than good?

Am writing something for thw Fix later today on the lessons I've learned from this week. One of them is that twitter should be used as a sort of rumor mill -- something that may turn out to be true but may also be totally false. People using something they've read on Twitter as FACT are doing it wrong.

That said, Twitter helped me see images and stories of this week in Boston that I would never have seen otherwise.

When was the last time you can remember a week this packed with big news stories?

I can't think of one. I just wish a few of these stories -- Texas fertilizer, Boston, ricin -- were more positive.

Thoughts on the stunning amount of misinformation and lack of fact-checking done by some major media organizations (cough - CNN - cough)?

Look, as a reporter I think it's always a "there but for the grace of God go I" situation when other journalists get things wrong.

What we have seen this week is that the rush to be first, which has become all encompassing in the ultra competitive news world in which we live, has detrimental effects on judgment at times.


Trying to puzzle out why Harry Reid decided at the last minute to support the background check amendment, even though he knew it was a dead duck. Conscience or something else?

He did it so that he preserved his ability to bring it back up at some point. It's a bit of legislative mauevering.

Good explanation here:

If the Republicans are NRA sell-outs who hate children, what are those four Democrats?

Thats the problem with the White House messaging here...

The reality is that if all Dems had been on board, the bill would have had 59 votes (including the four GOPers who voted for it) and if that was the situation it's not that hard to imagine that one other GOPer might be persuaded to get on board.

Without those four Dems though, it wasn't close enough to 60 for a Republican to put their political hide on the line.

The question was: Do you Fix, have any interest in politics outside our borders? The answer was: Everywhere but Canada. Why? What have we ever done to you? Are we dull? Boring? Too nice? Irrelevant? Pawns of the US government? What?

I was kidding! I love our neighbors to the north. The executive producer of my new show on Post TV -- coming soon to a computer near you! -- is Canadian!

You're doing a lot of broadcast journalism these days--do you prefer that to print/digital reporting?

I enjoy both.  I like having the chance to do TV as well as wrie for the blog and for the newspaper. It's a neat opportunity.

Chris, perhaps I just misunderstood your post-mortem on the Senate vote, but it sure sounded like you were saying that it wasn't really fair to blame Senate Republicans for the defeat of the gun control measures. Considering that nearly every Senate Democrat and independent voted for those amendments, and virtually every Republican voted them down, I'd love to hear how you arrived at that curious conclusion. Even if EVERY non-GOP senator had voted for the amendments, instead of a mere 90% of them, the fact that just a handful of GOP senators joined them guaranteed falling short of the Republican-imposed requirement that anything get 60 votes to pass. Sure sounds to me like the Republicans had no intention of ever passing any meaningful bill. So why blame Democrats instead?

See above.

And I don't think blame lies solely with Senate Democrats. I also don't think it lies solely with Senate Republicans.

What a bad week for him! Will he lose?

I think it's sort of a toss up.

Here's what I wrote about his post-trespassing prospects:

All those knee-jerk yahoos at MSNBC who promoted the idea that the Marathon bombers were Tea Partiers instead of -- as usual -- members of the Religion of Peace.

I think this is incredibly misguided.

I think that the coverage on MSNBC and NBC has been absolutely terrific. Cautious, fair and informative.

And, yes, I work for them. But I would say the same of they didn't.

Why has her candidacy been so bad? Even Jersey Democrats aren't fans!

When Cory Booker said he was running for Senate, the chances of beating Chris Christie dropped dramatically.

Christie is very popular -- thanks in large part to his handling of Hurricane Sandy -- and would have been tough to beat even if Booker ran. 

Buono is an unknown who isn't going to come close to Christie in fundraising. This looks like a surprisingly easy win for a Republican in a Democratic state.

If Republicans can't close the gap with Hispanics, where are they (and the two party system) in 20 years?

A minority party nationally. Not a question. Demographics would be destiny. And the GOP leadership knows that. Which is why they are doing everything they can to get immigration reform passed.

I think you missed the point of the previous question. The person (not me) asked why Reid had announced his support of background checks, which he did before the vote. This in light of the fact that the NRA is strong in Nevada and he has a fairly consistent record of support for them, AND the fact that it was clear by the time he made his announcement that the bill would fail. (Why he then voted no is, as you note, about procedure and being able to bring the bill back up later).



Well, there's always the possibility that he changed his mind? Or that he might have decided he isn't running for reelection in 2016 and therefore is less concerned about political ramifications.

Manchin-Toomey supporters saying that the NRA over reach will be the seeds of an eventual defeat. Spin of the disappointed or do you see some eventual political truth?

I honestly don't know.  Certainly in the near term spin of the disappointed.

I wrote on that here:

OK. But I'll be watching you. The Post TV show will, of course, be brilliant.

THANKS!  I am excited for it. My co-host, Jackie Kucinich, is terrific. It is going to be fun.

Reading the Worst Week in Washington feature is one of the highlights of my Sundays. But when I'm away, as I was last Sunday, I often can't find it online. Can you help?

Steve Cohen!

Obviously, he's an adulterous liar with serious judgment issues. His problem is the (R) after his name.

In a district that Mitt Romney won by 18 points in 2012? Not sure I agree.

Was the no vote on guns a prelude to how they will anger their base when it comes to the immigration vote upcoming?

I am writing my Monday newspaper column  on whether the failure of the gun vote makes it more or less likely that immigration can pass....stay tuned.

But keep in mind that while NJ is a blue state for national office, its very much purple on a state level. Property taxes are the #1 issue I hear from my NJ co-workers/friends. So that may explain why so many recent NJ Govs have been GOP (Christie, Whitman, Kean)

Good point.

Assuming the GOP does something on immigration, how far does that go to fixing their problems with hispanic and other minority voters? Won't they still be essentially the party of old, white men?

It is a necessary first step. But not close to a last step.

When I turn on the news, I want to see the news. I want them to report, not speculate. Why is the broadcast media so engaged in speculating? (Note: as I am typing this, they are interviewing their uncle, who is actually calling them, "losers." He says he has no idea why they did this and just said that this country (the U.S.) treats people like human beings.) Let us hope.

I think it's hard to fill hours of live TV with very little new information to go on.  

But, it's important to just keep restating WHAT WE KNOW rather than engaging in theories that have little factual evidence.



I am going to stop the chat after 30 minutes today and urge you to follow the ongoing Boston manhunt and pray for the safety of those in the city.

There are days when politics is unimportant. This is one of those days.

Thanks and we will be back nex Friday at 11 am for the full hour.


In This Chat
Chris Cillizza
Chris Cillizza is the managing editor of PostPolitics and he writes "The Fix," a politics blog for The Washington Post. He also covers the White House for the newspaper and website. Chris has appeared as a guest on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and CNN to talk politics. He lives in Virginia with his wife and sons.
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