Moyers & Company

Full Episode: 'The Election is Over -- Now What?'

This episode aired on Nov. 9, 2012

The election is finally over, so what happens next? Long-time New York Times columnist Bob Herbert and Reihan Salam, a conservative blogger at National Review Online's "The Agenda," join Bill to assess and debate how the election revealed changes in American social and political culture. They also discuss what Obama's re-election means for working families and people at the bottom of our economic ladder.

"I think this election really did demonstrate that there's been a dramatic change particularly with regard to social issues and how folks talk about them," Salam tells Bill. "I think that that has proven very sobering for a lot of folks on the right." Salam is the co-author, with Ross Douthat, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.

Herbert says, "I think the Republican Party is accurately defined as a party that looks out for the interests of the very wealthy. The Democratic Party less so, but I think they look out for the interests of the wealthy, too, before they look out for the interests of working Americans." Herbert has been traveling the country for the past two years, reporting for his forthcoming book Wounded Colossus. He is now Distinguished Fellow at the think tank Demos.

Later on the show, Bill gets more insight from veteran journalist James Fallows, including his thoughts on how the election stopped the conservative propaganda machine, the truth behind the economic threat from China, and why he thinks Obama will be a better second-term president.

"[Obama] knows who he's dealing with now. The first two years of the administration, he thought that they were going to be able to make a split-the-loaf deal with the current Republican Party. And they weren't interested in that," Fallows tells Bill. "I think he will have a firmer approach from the get-go... He has shown only growth that I've seen, rather than a regression. And I hope that continues."

Fallows has been writing on economic, foreign, and political affairs for The Atlantic since the 1970s. He is now the magazine's national correspondent and the author of such acclaimed books as Looking at the Sun: The Rise of the New East Asian Economics and Political System; National Defense, winner of the National Book Award; and most recently, China Airborne. Once the chief speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, Fallows also served as editor of U.S. News and World Report.