updated 3/24/2010 10:58:29 AM ET 2010-03-24T14:58:29

Guest: Tom Harkin, John Barrasso, Chris Van Hollen, Jesse Jackson, Bob

Shrum, Joan Walsh, John Feehery, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Bernie Sanders

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW

tonight from New York.

These stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight. 

Universal health care is the law of the land.  But while the

presidents and Democrats are making history, the Republican Party is

becoming even more extreme.  More on that in just a moment. 

And new numbers show the “party of yes” is making big gains on the

“party of no.”  The man in charge of holding the House, Congressman Chris

Van Hollen, will join me in just a moment to talk strategy. 

And President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just pulled off a

remarkable achievement.  Doris Kearns Goodwin will be here to rate the role

of Obama.  And Nancy Pelosi, is she LBJ in a skirt? 

And one other question I will pose tonight.  With all the hate speech

that‘s going on, why do Democrats even go on Fox News?  They don‘t tell the


But first, here‘s the hot story tonight, of course, that‘s got the

country fired up. 

Listen to this very closely.  It sounds great. 

Universal health care is now the law of the land.  President Obama

signed the Senate health care bill today into law. 

I think Vice President Joe Biden, he stole the show.  He put it

exactly the way it is. 






SCHULTZ:  The president saying yes, yes, I know. 

This is a big deal.  For the first time, health care is your right. 

And I have been so moved by this story for the last year.  I‘ve been

all over the country.  I‘ve done countless town hall meetings over the last

two years.  And I‘ve seen desperation in the eyes of a lot of people that

I‘ve met. 

The hunger for change has been inspiring to see.  And this is why the

president of the United States is where he is.  He‘s the president on

changes that go into effect this year. 



offering tax credits to about four million small businessmen and women to

help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees. 


This year tens of thousands of uninsured Americans with pre-existing

conditions, the parents of children who have a pre-existing condition, will

finally be able to purchase the coverage they need.  That happens this


This year insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people‘s

coverage when they get sick.  They won‘t be able to place lifetime limits

or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care they can receive. 


This year all new insurance plans will be required to offer free

preventive care.  And this year young adults will be able to stay on their

parents‘ policies until they‘re 26 years old.  That happens this year. 


SCHULTZ:  Now, all those good things happening this year.  In the next

three months, all of that‘s going to be law. 

He has delivered on the promise of change.  Of course it‘s change. 

That never happened under the Republicans. 

That doesn‘t mean the lies are going to stop.  Take a listen to GOP

Chair Michael Steele. 


MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN:  You‘re not really going to get the

impacts of this bill for four years. 


SCHULTZ:  Did you catch that?  Let me show that again. 


STEELE:  You‘re not really going to get the impacts of this bill for

four years. 


SCHULTZ:  So the president, today, when he said small business tax

credits, I guess Obama was lying.  And you students who are under 26 or

working kids under 26, I guess the president‘s lying when he says you can

be extended on your parent‘s coverage until you‘re 26. 

Now, is Michael Steele—is he just mistaken or is he lying?  I mean,

we have got to cut to the chase on this, folks. 

It takes the Republicans exactly four seconds to tell a lie to the

American people.  They make it easy to consume.  That‘s about the level of

their news consumption ability, especially—they have to talk to people

like that, though. 

I mean, how else do you talk to the Tea Partiers?  That‘s all they can

consume—government takeover.  That takes about three seconds. 

People pick up on a talking point and they spread it like wildfire. 

And that‘s the level of their news consumption.  Their followers believe

this stuff.  Anything they say, I mean, they‘re right on it. 

And on the heels of the health care lies, we‘ve got a new Harris Poll. 

And I‘m making a big point about this, because the more they say this

garbage, this is how it gets picked up—scary Republican attitudes about

President Obama. 

Sixty-seven percent of Republicans believe that Obama is a socialist. 

OK.  Now, what if he is?  Is that against the law? 

What if he is a socialist?  Does that mean he‘s un-American? 

Forty-five percent of Republicans believe that President Obama was not

born in the United States.  Fifty-seven percent think he‘s a Muslim. 

Twenty-four percent say that, well, you know, he may be the anti-Christ. 

Thirty-eight percent of Republicans say that Obama is doing many of the

things that Hitler did. 

These are now beliefs.  And, of course, the Republicans, they love

polls.  Oh, they can‘t live without a poll, you know.  Whatever that poll

says, that‘s the way it is. 

That‘s what Republicans think of our president.  This has to be a low

point in American history as much as it is a high point of what happened


Every single one of these things that I just mentioned and put up on

the screen for you, I want you to know that they are 100 percent false. 

The conservative media and the Republican Party, they have lied to the

American people and they‘ve done it long enough. 

Conservative leaders, I believe, bear the responsibility to set their

base straight on the facts.  Just because they‘ve lost a health care

debate, just because the Democrats have more votes than them, doesn‘t give

them the license to go out and make up stuff. 

Oh, he‘s not an American.  He wasn‘t born here.  He‘s a socialist. 

He‘s doing stuff Hitler was doing.  I mean, and you connect that kind of

conversation with the fact that they want to change the textbooks in the

state of Texas and rewrite history so it fits their ideology. 

This is an intellectual civil war taking place in this country right

now.  The facts are the facts. 

The health care fight has ignited passions that we haven‘t seen in

this country for a long time.  With such a historic division, it really is

amazing that President Obama was able to achieve health care reform. 

The Senate Republicans are trying to do the best they possibly can to

torpedo the reconciliation bill.  Harry Reid wants to pass this by this

weekend.  Once the Senate finishes its work, this will only be better. 

Tell me what you think, folks, in our telephone survey tonight.  The

number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight is: Now that health care reform has passed, do you

feel hope or fear for this country.  Press 1 for hope, press 2 for fear. 

And I‘ll bring you the results later on in the program. 

It was a jam-packed room today.  I would have loved to been there.  A

lot of Americans would have loved to have been there. 

But the people who have really earned the right to be there—there

were no gimmes today in that room—one of them was Senator Tom Harkin

from Iowa, chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, who has spent his life

working on health care reform, who is one of the most unselfish people I‘ve

ever met in my life.  And I revere him as a friend.

And on behalf of this audience and myself, Senator Harkin, good job,

my man. 

SEN. TOM HARKIN (D), IOWA:  Ed, thank you so much.  And thanks for

hanging in there and really getting the facts out to people. 

More and more, that‘s what we have to do, just get the facts out.  Now

that this is the law of the land, no more will there be sort of a

speculation.  We have the law.  Now people know what they have. 

SCHULTZ:  And they‘re going to know more. 

Now, obviously, the Republicans are out there saying that this doesn‘t

kick in for four years.  But here‘s another thing.  They‘re throwing out

this number that it‘s going to cost a trillion dollars. 

Senator, I read the bill, and I also read an executive summary from a

lobbying firm that went to an insurance industry agent.  And I can tell you

that the biggest piece of change for this bill is going to be $4.8 billion

that comes from the pharmaceutical companies in year number two. 

Am I right or am I wrong on that? 

HARKIN:  You‘re absolutely right on that, Ed.  Absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  So, $4.8 billion of money that the pharmaceutical industry

has never given to this effort of health care reform is going to happen

under Barack Obama‘s watch. 

Why aren‘t the Republicans saying that?  Why aren‘t the Democrats

calling them on it? 

HARKIN:  Well, look, Ed, there‘s just so much noise out there and so

much misinformation, it‘s hard to know which one to attack.  I think the

best thing for us is to tell the truth to the American people. 

The bill is now the law of the land, and we have got to fight to make

sure we keep it.  I think the Republicans are doing a disservice by talking

about repealing it, but quite frankly, I think politically that‘s not going

to help them in the polls this November. 

I‘d like to have that debate with my opponent, Ed.  You know, my

opponent would say, well, you know, they‘re going to repeal this bill.  I

could say, wait a minute—to my constituents, I‘d say, look, right now

you have a guarantee.  It‘s in law right now that if your child gets sick,

if your child has a pre-existing condition, you can still get health

insurance for that child.  They want to take that away from you. 

Right now under the law, the law right now says that if you get sick,

insurance companies can‘t cut you off.  They want to take that away from


Right now, as you said earlier, Ed, your child can stay on your health

insurance policy until they‘re age 26.  Not 18, 26.  They want to take that

away from you. 

I think once the American people know what they have as a right,

they‘re not going to want the Republicans to take it away from them. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, will the Senate business get done this week?  Will

you hit the deadline? 

HARKIN:  Yes, sir, we‘re going to get her done.  We‘re going to keep

rolling.  We may be in all night tonight and all night Wednesday night and

all night Thursday night.  But I predict that we‘re going to have it done

before the weekend. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Harkin, great to have you with us tonight.  I

appreciate your time. 

HARKIN:  Ed, I‘ve got to tell you, it was so exciting being there

today.  I remember when I was down there when the Americans With

Disabilities Act was signed.  This is equally as exciting because this now

covers all the American people.  It‘s something we‘ve been trying to do for

a hundred years, and we finally got it done. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, great to have you on.  Appreciate your time


HARKIN:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  A hundred years is an awful long time.  There‘s no doubt

about that.  And I thought it was fantastic the president brought that 11-

year-old boy in there today.  Imagine the memory he‘s going to have for a


And I want everybody to know that watches this program, I don‘t hate

anybody.  I don‘t hate the Republicans.  I don‘t hate the Tea Partiers. 

I just don‘t understand them right now.  I don‘t understand the

position that they‘re taking.  And there is really a narrative that‘s

taking place out there in this country right now that I think is dangerous. 

You know, you don‘t have to make all the threats.  You don‘t have to spit

on representatives.  You don‘t have to throw out the N-word.  You don‘t

have to throw bricks through windows. 

All you have to do is go vote.  That‘s all you‘ve got to do.  You just

have to go vote. 

Now for the other side of the story, let me bring in Republican

Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming. 

Senator, good to have you with us. 

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO ®, WYOMING:  Great to be with you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Some of the antics that have been taking place, do you think

it‘s the position of the Republican Party to absolutely state unequivocally

that you don‘t align yourselves with the kind of slurs that have been

thrown out there and some of the activities that have taken place? 

BARRASSO:  Well, I agree with you there.  But I do believe that this

bill is one that‘s going to be bad for patients, I believe it‘s going to be

bad for our providers, our doctors and our nurses.  And it‘s going to be

bad for payers, the American taxpayers that are going to have to take this

and the large bill that they‘re going to be asked to be paying through

Medicare cuts, as well as through increases in taxes. 

SCHULTZ:  Will the middle class be taxed in this bill?  Yes or no? 

BARRASSO:  I believe that they will through medical devices, drugs,

when they go to the drugstore.  I think they‘re going to see taxes across

the board.  And I think that‘s what the American people and I am certainly

concerned about, which is why, Ed, it seems that over half of the people of

the country strongly oppose this bill, where only one in four support it. 

And specifically the seniors, Ed. 

I mean, I was at hospital this weekend in Wyoming.  And we have

somebody on Medicare, and said, “If they‘re going to cut Medicare, they

ought to use the money to save Medicare, not to start a whole new

government program.” 

And that‘s the first amendment on the reconciliation bill on the floor

of the Senate right now that we‘re bringing, I‘ve co-sponsored.  It said if

you‘re going to take money from Medicare, use it to save Medicare, not to

start a new government program. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, let‘s get back to the taxes.  You said that you

believe that they‘re going to go up.  Income—

BARRASSO:  Oh, I believe they are. 

SCHULTZ:  Income taxes on the middle class will not go up.  That‘s a

fact.  Sales taxes will not go up that will affect the middle class at all. 

If medical devices are used, yes, they are going to cost three percent

more.  That‘s what‘s going to go up.  But the middle class is not getting


I know.  I‘ve read the bill, Senator.  And I‘m asking you for an

honest answer tonight. 

Tell our audience that the middle class is not going to have their

taxes go up, because that is the case, my friend. 

BARRASSO:  The middle class of America who uses health care services

are going to see, through a result of these taxes, they‘re going to be

passed right on to the consumers who are going to be using health care

services in the country.  People get it, Ed.  They understand that, and

that‘s why people are so vehemently opposed to this. 

They know that ultimately, the cost of their care is going to go up. 

Their insurance premiums are going to go up.  And they‘re concerned that

the quality of their care is going to go down. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, good to have you with us tonight.  I‘ve always

appreciated our exchange.  And I think we gentlemanly agree to disagree. 

BARRASSO:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you with us. 

BARRASSO:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, righties rarely go after their own, but a

conservative is accusing Sean Hannity‘s charity of cooking the books.  Sean

and I talked about this face to face last Friday night.  I‘ll tell you all

about it in the “Playbook.”

And Mr. Bipartisan threw in the towel on that “Country first” slogan

of his.  He‘s saying we won‘t see any cooperation from the Republicans on

anything for the rest of the year. 

All that, plus more on Biden‘s F-bomb. 

And “The Beckster” lands in the zone. 

And I want to know why Democrats even go on Fox News the way they lie. 

We‘re right back on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

Stay with us.



OBAMA:  Yes, this has been a difficult two years.  There will be

difficult days ahead.  But let us always remember the lesson of this day

and the lesson of history that we, as a people, do not shrink from a

challenge, we overcome it.  We don‘t shrink from our responsibilities, we

embrace it.  We don‘t fear the future, we shape the future. 

That‘s what we do.  That‘s who we are.  That makes us the United

States of America. 


SCHULTZ:  President Obama on a roll, speaking to staffers after

signing the health care reform bill into law today.  He praised the

Democrats for not shrinking from their responsibility to bring change. 

He got health care done without a single Republican vote.  And history

is going to remember that. 

But this was still a tough vote for the House Democrats.  And the

president told them that on Saturday, that good policy is good politics,

and that voters would respect them for standing up for what they believe


Well, a new poll—since the Republicans love polls—a new poll out

tonight suggests that the president was spot on. 

“USA Today”/Gallup Poll, people after reform passed the House, 49

percent of the people say it was a good thing, while 40 percent said it was

a bad thing. 

Joining me now is Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen.  He‘s the

chairman of the DCCC and assistant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Congressman, congratulations. 

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND:  Ed, it‘s great to be with you on

this historic day. 

SCHULTZ:  It certainly is. 

And you were up in that room.  And it had to be quite a feeling to see

that unfold and to have this actually happen.  But, of course, the

Republicans are saying it‘s Armageddon, and John McCain says there will be

no cooperation. 

What‘s the memo say on your desk to the people who are running for

office on the Democratic ticket? 

VAN HOLLEN:  Well, two things are going to happen immediately. 

First of all, the American people are going to see right away that

they were misled and that they were fed a bunch of fear-mongering scare

tactics, because the president just signed the bill, and I don‘t see any

death panels popping up.  Do you? 

And the world is still here and it‘s not Armageddon.  So they have a

huge credibility gap on the other side because their story is one that has

been fed by the insurance industry, that has spent millions and millions

and dollars to try and kill this bill.  So they‘ve got a big problem in

terms of having not told the truth. 

On the other side, as Senator Harkin was talking about earlier, the

American people are going to begin to see the benefits of this bill.  So,

if the Republican mantra is going to be repeal this bill, you know, turn

back the clock, allow the insurance companies to continue to discriminate

against kids based on pre-existing conditions, let‘s take away the money

from seniors, make my day.  Because it‘s the same story that they‘re

telling in other areas. 

They want to turn back the clock to the Bush economic policies, and

they like the status quo.  They like business as usual. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, the activities around the Capitol the last few

days, people getting arrested, bricks through a window, one of your

colleagues being spit on, the N-word being tossed around, just the tone of

the crowd, the hateful attitude that‘s out there, I will take it so far as

to say this is really fueled by Fox News, in my opinion.  It‘s fueled by

the right-wing talkers of America. 

Let me ask you, why do Democrats even go on Fox?  I mean, they just

stir these people up.  I mean, why don‘t the Democrats—and I‘m asking

you a serious question here—why send any of your candidates over to be

interviewed by anybody on Fox when they wanted to kill this health care

reform bill, it‘s everything negative about President Obama? 

You‘re not going—I mean, you know, in college football, Alabama—

football in Alabama is the way of life.  At Notre Dame it‘s a religion. 

They don‘t like each other.  You‘re not going to convince somebody from the

Irish to go root for Alabama.  Vice versa. 

So why do the Democrats even go on Fox News?  It frustrates the hell

out of progressives when you do. 

VAN HOLLEN:  Well, Ed, look, no one‘s under any illusions that they‘re

going to change Fox News, that they‘re going to change the orientation of

the channel.  But the fact of the matter is there are many people who watch

Fox News who are fair-minded people, and the hope is that maybe you can

break through and get a kernel of truth through the airwaves and

communicate with people. 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s a theory.  That‘s a theory, that you think fair-

minded people watch them. 

I mean, look at the activity of—I mean, they stir this stuff up. 

Beck feeds on this stuff.  Limbaugh said on his program yesterday we‘ve got

to get rid of these bastards.  That‘s what he said, speaking of you and

other Democrats. 

I mean, you‘ve got the majority.  You have got enough media out there. 

You don‘t need them. 

VAN HOLLEN:  Look, Ed, nobody is going on Rush Limbaugh‘s show.  No

one is going on Glenn Beck‘s show.  But there are certain shows where there

are people who haven‘t totally made up their mind that watch Fox News.  And

there‘s an effort to try and communicate with them. 

But let me just go to your point with respect to the words of


What we saw in the last couple days here was a very ugly face in terms

of the expressions of violence, of the words that were thrown around.  But

what was even worse than the fact that it was happening outside the Capitol

was that certain members of Congress who should have known better and

should be leading by example exhibited similar behaviors inside the

chamber.  When we had a member—

SCHULTZ:  Oh, but they apologized for that, Chris.  I mean, the

Republicans apologized for it.  They didn‘t mean to say that. 

VAN HOLLEN:  No.  Right.  Right.  And that‘s why within a couple

hours, as you may have heard, that same member who said “Baby killer”

started a Facebook page to raise money, to raise cash off his statement. 

And this is what we‘re dealing with.  We‘re dealing with people who

are pretending to apologize and turning around and using these words to

include—to continue to incite people and to raise money. 

And so what we have to do is show the American people, decent-minded

American people, that this has become in many ways the new face of the

Republican Party.  That‘s what we‘re dealing with.

SCHULTZ:  It is the new face.  It is their face. 


VAN HOLLEN:  This is the new face of the Republican Party.  That‘s

what you get when you incite people like this and encourage that kind of



Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  And thanks for saying

that, because a lot of Americans believe that.  Thanks so much. 

VAN HOLLEN:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Chris Van Hollen, head of the DCCC from Maryland. 

Coming up, a New York politician must have borrowed “The Beckster‘s”

playbook.  This guy went so psycho, he compared passing the health care

bill to 9/11.  That‘s right.  It puts him in the zone.

We‘re right back.


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, losing the health care fight

has made the righties crazier than ever.  Now, they‘re out in full force

hollering about Armageddon and the destruction of America. 

Of course, Beckster is leading the chase, and of course he‘s the

number one psycho out there.  He threw out some horrific comparisons on his

TV show last night. 


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  They say this bill is historic, that yesterday

was a historic day.  Oh, you‘re damn right it was.  But you know other days

that were historic?  Let me show you some other historic days in the world. 

Here it is.  How about Pearl Harbor?  That was an historic day. 

How about this one?  This was the St. Valentine‘s Massacre, when the

mob stepped in and cleaned things up.  That was a historic day. 

This is Neville Chamberlain.  There will be great peace in our time

because I have looked into his eyes.  That was historic. 


SCHULTZ:  I get all the entertainment part.  The scary part, it‘s not

just the Beckster of the world that is saying all of this stuff.  New York

millionaire Carl Paladino is hoping to run for governor as a Tea Party

governor, as a Tea Party candidate this year.  Here‘s what he said about

the health care bill this morning. 



that bill was passed, will be remembered just as 9/11 was remembered in



SCHULTZ:  Well, Carl, you fit right in with the psychos and the Tea

Party, that is for sure.  Comparing landmark health care reform that will

save lives to one of the darkest, deadliest days in American history, is

Psycho Talk.

Coming up, speaking of psycho, how psycho is it that 24 percent of

Republicans think that Obama is the anti-Christ?  The Reverend Jesse

Jackson will take on the spinners and the vandals in just a moment. 

And the Drugster said that if health care passes he‘d pack up and move

to Costa Rica.  Well, there‘s a lot of you out there that are taking him up

and holding him to all of that.  I have a contribution in the playbook

coming up. 

All that, plus I‘ll tell you a story about how I confronted Sean

Hannity at the talkers convention last Friday night and asked him about his

charity.  Is he cooking the books?  I‘ll tell you.  Stay with us.  You‘re

watching THE ED SHOW, on MSNBC.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Thanks for watching tonight. 

There is honest debate and then there is hate.  At the Tea Party protests

outside the Capitol this weekend, individuals hurled the “N” word at

Congressman John Lewis and heckled Congressman Barney Frank for being gay. 

Across the country, Democrats who voted for health care reform have had

their offices vandalized. 

The glass doors were kicked out or shot out at the office of Arizona

Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords.  A brick was thrown through the office of

U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York.  And Republicans are

trying to paint this as some kind of principled opposition in America. 

There‘s nothing principled about throwing a brick through a window or

using intimidation and slurs to make your point. 

Joining me now is Reverend Jesse Jackson, the president of the Rainbow

Push Coalition.  He confronted the Tea Partiers face to face on Capital

Hill on Sunday.  Reverend, good to have you with us. 


JACKSON:  What do they say to you?  What did you say to them? 

JACKSON:  They were hurling these invectives and booing and all that. 

I look beyond that.  They have been whipped into a fear frenzy.  Many of

those who were standing there who were howling the names will be the first

beneficiaries of preexisting condition medical support.  Many of them there

are on Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid. 

So the irony is that those who have been whipped into a frenzy will be

the first beneficiaries of this bill. 

SCHULTZ:  Did you ask them what they were mad about? 

JACKSON:  Well, they were saying they‘re losing their freedom, losing

their liberty.  One group I talked to was from West Virginia, the state

that received the most federal aid.  Yet they‘re fighting against the

government that sustains them. 

I did not feel angry.  I felt more a pain for them, because the

leaders who were leading them in this way, they have health care.  I mean,

those—as I watched those guys hit the floor arguing on Sunday afternoon,

each of them and their families have comprehensive health care. 

It reminded me so much of the 1960s, where Americans were killed

trying to have access to a hotel or motel or library.  We were killed

trying to get the right to vote.  But in the end, hope out-distanced fear. 

We‘re a better nation tonight because of this ‘64 bill, because of the

right to vote, and because we now have a comprehensive movement toward a

comprehensive health care bill. 

SCHULTZ:  What should be the response of the Democratic party?  Stay

focused?  Don‘t pay attention to it?  Should they return verbal fire and

call them out on it? 

JACKSON:  No, they should go to the districts where the congressman

voted against Democrats and ask those who want preexisting health care to

come step up.  Those who want more Medicare, Medicaid, to step up.  They

should go with a healing hand of hope, not a hurtful hand of hate and


SCHULTZ:  Reverend Jackson, great to have you with us tonight.  We‘ll

do it again.  Thanks so much.

JACKSON:  Thank you, sir.

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s turn now to Bob Shrum, Democratic strategist and

professor at New York University.  Bob, does the Republican party have a

responsibility to calm the waters a little bit, with all the rhetoric

that‘s floating around? 

BOB SHRUM, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY:  Sure, but they‘re not going to. 

Look, they have tolerated, embraced and incited this.  They have,

themselves—you‘ve heard Republican members of Congress, Republican

senators, those guys who were standing out there on the so-called beach,

that balcony, waving at the demonstrators, saying “kill the bill.”

This is a part of their strategy.  They have decided that Barack Obama

can‘t win on a big issue.  He did.  They have decided that they are going

to tie themselves to the Tea Partiers and try to win that way. 

You know, Ed, this is perfectly appropriate for a Republican party, a

modern Republican party, that‘s driven out all the moderates and was born

in the southern strategy.  We all know what the southern strategy was

about.  Ronald Reagan opened his campaign for president in 1980 in

Philadelphia, Mississippi, where those civil rights workers were killed. 

Newt Gingrich, the other day, said passing health care is the biggest

mistake Democrats are going to make since they passed civil rights and lost

the south.  Is he seriously saying that John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and

this country should not have stood up and fought for civil rights and

passed those civil rights bills?  It‘s disgusting. 

SCHULTZ:  This is Republican response after the bill was signed today. 


SEN JON KYL ®, MINORITY WHIP:  Over time, this legislation will have

the same effect that similar legislation has had in the European countries

that Senator Gregg spoke of.  That is when you promise more and more people

the benefits or the subsidies, the cost of the government will increase to

the point that eventually rationing of health care will result. 

SEN. JOHN CORNYN ®, TEXAS:  The president intends to take a victory

lap on this bill.  He‘s going to take a victory lap on a bill that the

American people don‘t want, because they know we can‘t afford it, because

it will raise their premiums, cut Medicare and raise taxes on the middle



SCHULTZ:  They just flat-out lie. 

SHRUM:  Yeah.  Unfortunately, every poll that‘s out today shows the

American people do want this.  Every country in Europe spends less on

health care than we do, in terms of its gross domestic product.  Every

country in Europe—major country in Europe—has a life expectancy as

good or better than ours.  And health care there is a fundamental right. 

We have finally moved in that direction.  This whole thing, from

beginning to end, has been a campaign of lies.  Mitch McConnell, the Senate

Republican leader, said the other day, look, from the start, we wanted to

have a unified opposition to this bill.  He didn‘t even know what was in

the bill. 

SCHULTZ:  Now McCain is saying there will be no cooperation.  So this

is the way it‘s going to be all the way to the midterms.  Bob Shrum, great

to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

Now I want to get some rapid fire response from our panel on these

three stories tonight.  A quarter of Republicans, 25 percent, think that

President Obama may be the anti-Christ.  And that‘s one of the frightening

numbers from the new poll. 

John McCain says that there won‘t be any bipartisanship because the

Democrats passed health care reform. 

And 14 states officially filed suit against the federal government,

claiming the insurance mandate is unconstitutional. 

With us tonight, Salon.com editor Joan Walsh and Republican strategist

John Feehery. 

John, I‘ll start with you first.  Let‘s talk about the lawsuits.  Do

they have merit, in your opinion?  Or is this just political theater and

postures before the midterm? 


constitutional lawyer, but I decided to go a different route in my career. 

So I don‘t know if they have constitutional muster.  So I do think they are

serious efforts.  I think the idea of an individual mandate is a camel‘s

nose under the tent, in the sense of telling people they have to do a

certain thing. 

I guarantee you that that individual mandate will prove to be the most

unpopular part of this legislation, especially when people find out about

100,000 IRS agents are going to be hired to go root out all these people

who aren‘t getting their money and paying their individual mandate and this

money to the insurance companies.  This will prove to be the most unpopular

part of this legislation, mark my words. 

SCHULTZ:  Joan, what about the lawsuits? 

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM:  I don‘t think they‘re going to work.  I have

to say to John Feehery, if that turns out to be the most really unpopular

part of the bill, then we can thank and blame Republicans, because it came

straight from Mitt Romney.  More than that, the individual mandate came

straight from the Heritage Foundation.  It was perceived four—five years

ago as preventing people from free-loading.  It was a Republican principle

because you didn‘t want to be extending health care and insurance to people

who were going to free-load off the system. 

That‘s what it does.  It‘s about individual responsibility.  It‘s

about the private sector.  Things that Republicans like John used to like,

before Barack Obama.  So we win the argument either way. 

SCHULTZ:  John, 57 percent of Republicans think President Obama‘s a

Muslim.  Worse than that, 25 percent think he‘s the anti-Christ.  What is

going on here?  John Feehery? 

FEEHERY:  You‘re asking me?  Sorry.  I thought you were asking Joan. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you believe these numbers? 

FEEHERY:  I think probably about 20 percent of the American people

believe that the Pope is the anti-Christ, too.  You know, I think that—I

was looking—doing some research.  A lot of people thought that George

Bush—a lot of Democrats thought George Bush was Hitler.  They thought

George Bush was the anti-Christ.  A lot of websites were dedicated to that. 

I think the biggest tragedy in all of this is the decline in civility

in our discourse.  I really believe—

SCHULTZ:  Do you think the Republicans are feeding it? 

FEEHERY:  You know what, I think that a lot of this is organic.  I

don‘t think Republicans are saying Barack Obama is the anti-Christ.  I

don‘t think Republican leaders are saying Barack Obama is Hitler. 

SCHULTZ:  They‘re not distancing themselves from it. 

FEEHERY:  They should.  They will.  I don‘t think that Republicans

think that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ. 

SCHULTZ:  All right, Joan, what about bipartisanship?  John McCain

says there won‘t be any.  I mean, whatever happened to country first? 

WALSH:  We—whatever happened to country first?  We have not had

bipartisanship, Ed and John, since Barack Obama was sworn in as president. 

He crafted a stimulus bill that was a compromise.  Liberals wanted a

trillion dollars.  Liberals didn‘t want the tax cuts.  He settled for 780

billion—got to get my math right.  And a third of that was tax cuts,

which liberals oppose. 

That was to reach out to Republicans.  And what happened?  John

Boehner said he opposed the bill before the bill was even out.  He got no

House GOP votes.  And he got three, really only two, Senate GOP votes.  So

they made this decision a long time ago. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks for the rapid fire tonight.

Coming up, it took President Obama only 15 months to fundamentally

change health care in America.  The only one calling him inexperienced now

is Sarah Palin.  I‘ll ask presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin what

this means for his legacy, and what‘s around the corner for Nancy Pelosi. 

That‘s next in the playbook.


SCHULTZ:  In my playbook tonight, President Obama made history today

when he signed the health care bill.  This could be the defining moment of

his presidency.  At the top of the show, we showed you how Vice President

Joe Biden chose to express the magnitude of the moment with some R-rated

language.  Well, three years ago, then-candidate Obama kept it family

friendly, but he was already staking his reputation on passing health care



OBAMA:  I will judge my first term as president based on the fact on

whether we have delivered the kind of health care that every American

deserves and that our system can afford. 


SCHULTZ:  For more on how the health care bill could affect President

Obama‘s place in history, let me bring in one of the best, presidential

historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Doris, great to have you with us tonight. 

It‘s 100 years—it‘s 50 years.  We‘re hearing a lot of numbers thrown

out.  How big is it when you put it into perspective of really an

accomplishment within 15, 16 months? 


mean, when you think about the fact that what this legislation does is to

extend social and economic justice to millions of Americans by establishing

health care as a right and not a privilege—when those kind of things

happen, they‘re remembered by history.  We remember Social Security.  We

remember Medicare.  We remember the three great civil rights laws. 

And the fact that Obama has gotten this through in the first year of

his presidency, something he wanted to do to make his presidency worthy of

creating things that would stand the test of time—he‘s not only going to

affect his legacy, it‘s going to affect his leadership from here on in. 

And I think that‘s the important psychological dimension to this as well. 

SCHULTZ:  There‘s a lot of years left for him as president.  I mean,

this is early on.  How does it, you know, work and weave its way through

history with so many years left? 

GOODWIN:  The interesting thing is that LBJ said after he got the

Civil Rights Act ending segregation through in 1964, he felt that huge

fulfillment that came from knowing he had done something historic, and it

made him only want more rather than less.  So he was told, now you have to

let the country resolve itself.  Don‘t go for anything more.  He said, no,

I‘m going for voting rights.  That‘s the next most importing thing to do. 

So he goes for voting rights.  He goes for Medicare.  He goes for Head

Start.  He had a huge majority. He had an easier time than Obama has.  I

think something happens inside a leader when they say that being risky,

taking a bold stance, and now having this partnership with these leaders in

Congress—he may not get it bipartisan, but he has a Democratic party

that is probably more united now than it‘s been for quite a while. 

SCHULTZ:  This is an excerpt of an interview coming up on “Nightline”

with Nancy Pelosi and Diane Sawyer.  I want your take on this. 


DIANE SAWYER, “NIGHTLINE”:  Pretty amazing things being said.  “The

Economist” said that you were arguably the most powerful woman in American

history.  A Brown University professor has said you are certainly the most

powerful Speaker in 100 years. 

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  Sounds good.  I don‘t take

it personally, except I take it as a compliment for all women, because as

the first woman speaker, I certainly wanted to demonstrate that we could

get a job done that has eluded others. 


SCHULTZ:  What‘s your response to that? 

GOODWIN:  Well, you know, I think the interesting thing is she was

criticized so much during this process.  Obama was criticized for giving

too much leeway to her and to the Senate early on.  Yet, by giving the

congress a stake in this legislation, once they had to come through in the

end, they were engaged.  They embraced it.  She brought it home. 

And by being able to bring that compromise on the abortion, and let

the women supporters not kill her for doing that, that was an extraordinary

negotiating skill.  LBJ, again—going back to my old friend—used to

say, “if you want them to be with you on the landing, they have to be with

you on the takeoff.”  They were with him on the takeoff, and they sure

brought the landing home to him. 

SCHULTZ:  Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, great to have

you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

GOODWIN:  You‘re welcome, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Another page in the playbook.  Last Friday, I told you about

a conservative blogger that had accused Sean Hannity of Fox of cooking the

books on his charity.  He was accused of using tens of thousands of dollars

of his charity‘s money on private planes for himself and his family.  The

great American Hannity has now personally told me, at a cocktail party the

other night at the talkers convention, he hasn‘t taken a dime.  I‘ll have

more on this story as it develops. 

Coming up, 67 percent of Republicans believe President Obama is

socialist.  My next guest, well, might have a thing or two to say about

that.  America‘s only socialist senator, the Great Bernie Sanders from

Vermont, is next on THE ED SHOW.


SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight, the health care battle is not over yet. 

The Senate still has to pass a reconciliation bill containing fixes to the

legislation that President Obama signed today.  And Republicans will use

every parliamentary tactic they can think of in a last-ditch attempt to

derail the bill.  The Senate started debating the bill this afternoon.  A

final vote could take place this weekend. 

For a look at what we can expect between now and then, let‘s go to

independent Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders.  Senator, good to have you

with us. 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT:  Good to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  What‘s this week going to be like? 

SANDERS:  Well, all I can tell you is I‘m scheduled to be in the chair

at 2:00 this morning.  So it looks like it‘s going to be a pretty tough

week with 24-hour sessions.  The Republicans, obviously, are continuing

their obstructionist role.  No, no, no, don‘t go forward. 

At the end of the day, I think we‘re going to pass reconciliation and

improve the bill that was passed and signed by the president today. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you believe the letter Senator Reid has got with 52

signatures?  Is that solid in your opinion. 

SANDERS:  Yes, I do. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  What do you make of these most recent polls that 67

percent of Republicans think President Obama is a socialist? 

SANDERS:  Well, you know, it‘s funny that you ask me that, Ed, because

literally yesterday I had the ambassador from Denmark in the state of

Vermont.  Let me tell you a little bit about Danish socialism.  In Denmark,

everybody has health care, everybody, without any out of pocket expenses. 

They‘re spending 50 percent of what we spend per capita.  Their outcomes

are better. 

In Denmark, everybody can go to college.  You know what the tuition

there is, Ed?  You know what the costs are?  It is zero. 

In Denmark, Democratic socialists—although it‘s now run—the

government is run by a center right party.  Everybody in the country gets

six weeks off paid vacation. 

In Denmark, when you have a baby, you get a year off with full pay. 

So I think the more that people learn about what goes on in Scandinavia and

other European countries, I think the more sympathetic they may be. 

Having said that, do I think Barack Obama is a socialist?  Of course

not.  What he is trying to do is gradually, slowly, incrementally take us

to where most other countries in the industrialized world are, in terms of

guaranteeing health care to all of their people as a right. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator, since you have a 2:00 a.m. schedule, I‘ll let you

go tonight.  Let them save your energy for the middle of the night.  Do me

a favor, let them have it.  Great to have you with us.  Thanks so much. 

Tonight in our telephone poll survey, I asked you now that health care

reform has passed, do you feel hope or fear for this country?  Ninety four

percent of you responded saying hope; six percent fear. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  For more information on THE ED

SHOW, go to Ed.MSNBC.com or check out my radio website, WeGotEd.com.  We

have a schedule of town halls coming out.  I have a book coming out June


Hardball with Chris Matthews starts right now, on the place for

politics, MSNBC.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night right here. 




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