GEOFF BENNETT: We're going to take a deeper look now at the policy and political divides over the Israel-Hamas war.
On that and more, we turn to the analysis of Brooks and Capehart.
That's New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Jonathan Capehart, associate editor for The Washington Post.
Good to you see both, as always.
DAVID BROOKS: Glad to see you.
GEOFF BENNETT: So, the Biden administration continues to push for a humanitarian pause in Gaza, but Israel has said that they will not stop its it strikes on Hamas.
Jonathan, what's your assessment of the Biden administration calling for this pause to allow aid in and hostages out and Netanyahu's response?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, one, it's the right thing for the president to do.
I mean, he's been clear from the very beginning that the United States stands squarely behind Israel, that Israel has a right to defend itself, and especially after such an horrific attack as was committed - - committed by Hamas.
At the same time, the president also has sent the message, said privately and publicly to the Israeli government, but, remember, you are a democratic nation, and, therefore, you must abide by the rules of war.
Over the past two weeks now or three weeks, over the last three weeks, the humanitarian portion of that conversation has gotten louder, as we have seen the death toll in Gaza rise.
There was a story last week about how the administration privately was urging the prime minister to be more surgical, don't do the ground invasion.
And as we have seen today, the prime minister, Netanyahu, is saying no to the cease-fire.
And I'm not sure what more the president and the United States can do to impress upon the Israeli prime minister that the road they're going down is not sustainable.
GEOFF BENNETT: How do you see it?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I think the Biden administration is doing the right thing.
The long history of terror -- wars against terror organizations suggests the smart thing to do, not only the kind, also the humane thing to do, is to separate the terrorists from the population.
And so I think a series of pauses would be a sign that Israel is at war with Hamas; it's not a war with the population.
And it would say, we're going to take the steps we take, even if it might hurt us militarily, to get the humanitarian relief in, to get people able to move.
So I think that's the first thing.
The second thing the Biden administration is right is that a cease-fire would be a disaster.
And, in my view, it would lead to more bloodshed in the long term.
Hamas has said even this week that they're very proud of October 7, they would do 100 October 7's, they would do a million October 7's if it would lead to the extermination of Israel.
And so when you have got a terror group that just wants to destroy you and is going to keep attacking, then your only mission is to take out that terror group.
And then the third thing which the administration is thinking about is what comes after.
And so that's a very tricky situation, but somehow it can't be the U.S. side, it can't be Israel then, obviously, but, somehow, somebody has to organize probably an Arab-led intervention force to administer Gaza.
And that force has to do counterterrorism, which is going to be calling upon a lot of it, because we don't want Israel to be doing counterterrorism in Gaza after this.
And so these are all different ways you can separate the population from Hamas.
And that's what -- that has to be the strategy here.
GEOFF BENNETT: In the meantime, the House passed its own Israel aid bill this past week, $14.3 billion.
That doesn't include aid for other foreign requests that the administration has, including assistance for Ukraine.
And this bill, Jonathan, as you well know, it's dead on arrival in the Senate.
President Biden has said that, if it ever reached his desk, he would veto it.
What do you make of this divide on the Republican side over foreign aid?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: I just -- it makes me wonder if Speaker Johnson is serious.
Is he serious?
Well, is he -- does he realize he's a constitutional officer and, now that he is speaker of the House, he has greater responsibilities?
And that is to the nation's national security and its defense.
Or is he going to continue to operate like a backbencher, whose sole job -- and a backbencher from an extremely safe district?
So, his only job is to throw bombs and to introduce legislation that will go nowhere.
Great for a backbencher, not great for a speaker.
And so if you're the Republican speaker of the House, and you send a bill to the Senate, where even the Senate Republican -- the Republican Senate minority leader says no, and there are a bunch of Republican senators who agree with that minority leader, but you send it anyway, what's your goal?
What's your objective, especially with the government shutdown looming in a couple of weeks?
I just don't understand.
I don't think he's taking this seriously.
And I hope he starts taking the job seriously sooner, rather than later.
GEOFF BENNETT: What's your view of Speaker Johnson's first full week in office and this debate over foreign aid?
DAVID BROOKS: I think he's -- I think, from what I can read, that he's doing the right thing.
And I will start with going back in history.
Franklin Roosevelt thought we had to go to war with the Nazis.
And the country was not there yet.
So he did a whole series of feints and maneuvers to maneuver the country to the spot where they thought, yes, we do need to go to war with the Nazis.
Now, comparing FDR to Mike Johnson is like comparing the Philadelphia Eagles to peewee football, so I'm not making that comparison.
But he has said that he supports aid to Ukraine, that he knows how important it is.
He's had private meetings with Lindsey Graham, for example.
And Graham has walked away thinking, this guy's a serious internationalist.
And so I interpret the gestures as, I'm giving this to my caucus, I'm giving that to my caucus, and we're going to take a series of steps, probably with Israeli aid first, but then it seems like Ukraine, our Southern border, somewhere down the line.
And I'm hopeful that all those three packages of aid will eventually get over the finish line.
GEOFF BENNETT: This assistance, though, is already delayed because of this drawn-out speaker battle, and now it's turning into a partisan fight and an intraparty fight.
What kind of precedent does that set?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, it looks terrible.
I mean, you look at the headlines, we really are, as so many have said, in one of the most perilous moments in our history.
The Hezbollah could attack.
Iran could get sucked in.
I mean, if you read the run-up to World War I, you can't figure out, like, how did the world stumble into this war that nobody wanted?
Well, we're not too far off.
And so, when you look at -- when you consider the downsides of what could possibly happen in the months and years ahead, the idea that we're stumbling and fighting over this stuff is going to look insane.
GEOFF BENNETT: What do you make of that, the stumbling and the potential unintended consequences of it?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yes.
I mean, that concerns me.
And, also, I don't know, I hesitate to put too much trust in -- excuse me -- in Speaker Johnson's maneuvering his caucus into giving aid to Israel and then giving aid to Ukraine, when we still -- when he still has an even bigger challenge, and that's getting a continuing resolution passed so that the government doesn't shut down on November 17.
He still has that one-person motion to vacate hanging over his head.
And he's talking about either a continuing resolution through January, which some of his caucus say no way.
Then there's this laddered - - laddered shutdown or laddered C.R., which looks great on paper, but makes no sense in practice.
And even folks in his caucus are like, what does that even -- what does that even mean?
How is that going to work?
So, look, I want the guy to be successful.
I want the speaker to be successful, because, if he's successful, that means the government won't shut down, Israel gets its aid, Ukraine gets its aid, Taiwan gets its aid, America gets back into the business of being a stable leader in the world, as opposed to what we are now.
GEOFF BENNETT: Well, meantime, in the upper chamber, it appears Republicans have had it with Senator Tommy Tuberville's nine-month blockade of military promotions.
He's getting pushback locally in Alabama, but then, on the Senate floor, it was really extraordinary.
Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, he's a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
He said that Tuberville's blockade will be remembered as a -- quote -- "national security suicide mission."
You see the full quote there on your screen.
David, it also raises questions about whether the Senate confirmation process is broken and whether the Senate as an institution, I mean, that one person could wield so much power and gum up the works here.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
So, as a big PBS fan, I used to watch Tommy the -- or Thomas the Tank Engine.
(LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: And there's a phrase in Thomas the Tank Engine that is, it isn't wrong, we just don't do it.
And that's the kind of unofficial norm that every institution needs to survive and thrive.
We don't have rules about everything, but there are certain things we do around here.
And all those norms have been -- not all, but most have been eviscerated in the U.S. Senate.
I think back even Ted Cruz came to office, and he was in the Senate, I don't know, weeks, and he was already tearing the place down.
And so, if Tuberville is able to tear the place down on his own, that leads me to believe we are no longer in a place where we can allow single senators to block everything.
And that was the norm.
That was sort of the unofficial way of doing business, but only because people were basically responsible with it.
Now, if you can turn into a stick of diamond and make the whole Senate not work, and hence make the military not work, then we're not at a spot where we should have rules that allow one senator to stop everything.
GEOFF BENNETT: Is it time for a rules change?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yes.
Yes, absolutely, there's time for a rules change.
And can I just say that Senator Tuberville, for him -- I don't know if you have shown the clip earlier in the show, but CNN's Manu Raju asked him about his holds on these promotions and the fact that the Marine commandant had a heart attack because he's not just the Marine commandant, but he's doing the job under him as well, two super full-time jobs.
And Senator Tuberville, former football coach, not member of the military, not a retired reservist or anything like that, said, well, he's got people who work under him.
He's already working long hours.
So what's the big deal?
I had to do the same thing.
I'm sorry, but coaching a football team, even if it's college football, is not the same as leading troops in battle.
It's not the same as sending men and women overseas to protect other countries and protect our national security and freedom.
And the idea that that guy can stand in the way of people, professionals, real people doing real jobs, not that football isn't real, but lives are not on the line in the way that the Marine commandant is, it's just -- it's offensive.
I want to say morally repugnant, but I think I may have gone overboard.
But you get what I mean.
(LAUGHTER) GEOFF BENNETT: Well, what is striking, David, despite all the pressure, Tuberville is entirely unmoved.
He says he's not changing a thing.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, it's a rare person who could be hated by his entire workplace and still keep going.
(LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: But he seems willing.
I think the big philosophical difference is, most of these senators, they think America has a role in the world.
And Tuberville may think that in the abstract, but if he's putting a minor issue ahead of that, then he doesn't really believe that.
And that idea that America has a role in the world, and if it doesn't play that role, the jungle will grow back, that is really - - that -- the movement away from that idea is the undercurrent of all of this, and that some people believe it does, and an increasing share of the Republican Party simply does not believe in America has a role in the world.
GEOFF BENNETT: David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart, have a great weekend.
DAVID BROOKS: Thank you.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Thanks, Geoff.