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'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, 2010

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guest: Chris Hayes

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST, “COUNTDOWN”:  You mean, you think there‘s something other than television in her future?

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST:  Oh, no, no.  I mean, I think it‘s either running

continuing to run for office, as she has done professionally for five years, or it is TV show.


OLBERMANN:  I wouldn‘t want to be the current host of “FOX and Friends,” the female host of “FOX and Friends” right now.  That‘s all I‘m saying.

MADDOW:  You know more about this business than I do.

Thank you very much, Keith.

OLBERMANN:  See you.

MADDOW:  And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.

So, what‘s next?


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER:  We‘re determined to stop the agenda Americans have rejected.

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR ®, MISSISSIPPI:  The policies of the Obama administration were repudiated by the voters.

MARK MECKLER, TEA PARTY PATRIOTS:  The American people have spoken loud and clear, and they‘re not in a flexible mood.  They‘re not in a mood for compromise.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, OHIO:  The Obama/Pelosi agenda is being rejected by the American people.  They want, as I said last night, they want the president to change course.  And I think it‘s changed course we will.


MADDOW:  The unmistakable chorus from the right today of no compromise, no working together, we‘re out to stop Obama, we‘re out to stop the Obama agenda by any means necessary.  This unanimous chorus today shouldn‘t have come as a surprise, because this is what Republicans and conservatives were also saying long before yesterday‘s election results.


BOEHNER:  This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you, Sean, that we will not compromise—

REP. MIKE PENCE ®, INDIANA:  If I haven‘t been clear enough yet, let me say it again: No compromise.



RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST:  Where is there room for any compromise with Marxism or socialism or liberalism?  Where is the compromise with evil?  In the context of right and wrong, how do you compromise with wrong?

REPORTER:  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls next week‘s election the first step in retaking the government.  Over the next two years, he says, quote, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”


MADDOW:  Right?  It is almost getting to o be funny, the way that Republicans keep being as clear as they can possibly be about this.  And yet, nobody seems to be willing to hear it.  Even in the midst of their big win last night, this exchange between NBC‘s Luke Russert and Republican deputy minority whip, Kevin McCarthy, was coffee out the nose funny—in my case, literally, on the set here at MSNBC, it was literally coffee out the nose funny.


LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: What‘s the first thing you think you can compromise on with President Obama and House and Senate Democrats?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY ®, CALIFORNIA:  Well, I think the first thing is: no new taxes.


MADDOW:  To review, the question from Luke Russert was, what are you prepared to compromise on?  And the answer was: no new taxes.  That‘s the answer to the question about compromising.

Compromise technically means both sides giving something, not just what—never mind.

Even as Republicans and conservatives make as emphatically and as consistently and as loudly as they can possibly make it, this point that they have no earthy intention of working constructively to make any policy all under any circumstances with Democrats, that they have no intention of allowing President Obama to pass anything whatsoever even if it was their idea, no matter how much Republicans insist upon this no compromise thing, Democrats just can‘t quite seem to hear it.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Now, moving forward, I think the question is going to be: can Democrats and Republicans sit down together and come up with a set of ideas that address those core concerns?  I‘m confident that we can.  I think that there are some areas where it‘s going to be very difficult for us to agree on.  But I think there are going to be a whole bunch of areas where we can agree on.

I don‘t think there‘s anybody in America who thinks that we got an energy policy that works the way it needs to; that, you know, that things that we shouldn‘t be working on energy independence.  And that gives opportunities for Democrats and Republicans to come together.


MADDOW:  Energy reform.  That‘s one thing Democrats and Republicans can sit down and work on together constructively.

You heard President Obama there saying, I don‘t think there‘s anybody in America who thinks that we‘ve got an energy policy that works the way it needs to.

Now, truth be told, our current energy does work well for certain somebodies.  Our current energy policy works awesome for the oil companies.  The energy policy we‘ve got right now is essentially the one that‘s left over from the Bush administration.

You remember the big Dick Cheney secret energy task force thing back in 2005, right, the one with the awe-inspiring subsidies and tax breaks for the oil company?  That, because we have not wholesaled reformed our energy policy, we‘ve still got that one.  That is our energy policy.  And it has worked out great for big oil companies.

Here‘s one tiny window into how well it has worked out.  Remember that whole BP oil disaster in the Gulf, the thing that cost BP roughly $40 billion to clean up?  Even with spending $40 billion to clean it up, BP still just reported a profit of $1.79 billion for the third quarter.  So, in the worst possible quarter of the worst possible year for an oil company with the biggest possible disaster on an oil company‘s books for that quarter, for that year, with the Dick Cheney energy policies still in place, oil companies still make profits so big they make the heavens quake.

One of the key architects of the Dick Cheney energy policy that we‘ve still got was Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas.  Joe Barton of Texas confirmed to “The Hill” newspaper today that he intends to be the Republican Party‘s top man on the energy committee now that Republicans have won control of the House.  And that means if Democrats want to get something done on energy reform, they‘re going to have to do it through the grace of Joe Barton.

Joe Barton has been in Congress since 1985.  Before he was elected to Congress, before he helped Dick Cheney write the—before he helped write the Dick Cheney energy bill, Joe Barton worked for the old oil company ARCO.  ARCO ended up becoming a company you might have heard of named BP.

Joe Barton is the single biggest recipient of oil and gas money in the entire U.S. House of Representatives over the last 20 years.  They‘ve given more money to him than anybody else.  Joe Barton‘s single biggest career contributor is Anadarko Petroleum, part owner of the BP oil well that nearly destroyed the Gulf of Mexico.  Joe Barton is essentially a wholly owned subsidiary of the oil industry.  He‘s a human oil derrick.

There‘s a framed motto in Joe Barton‘s office that reads, quote, “Fear God, tell the truth, make a profit.”  Not kidding—reported in “The Washington Post.”

If Joe Barton is famous for anything nationwide, he is famous for this.


REP. JOE BARTON ®, TEXAS:  I apologize.  I do not want to live in a country where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.  So I apologize.


MADDOW:  Joe Barton apologizing to BP on behalf of himself, because the administration wanted BP to compensate people for their oil spill.

Now that the Republicans have taken control of the House, that guy is who their point man on energy is probably going to be.  And Democrats apparently think they can work with Republicans in the House on reforming our nation‘s energy policy.

And what that means when you get down to it is that they believe they can work with Joe Barton to move America constructively towards a new energy policy because we all agree what was good for the oil companies wasn‘t good for the country.  And so, together Joe Barton and Barack Obama will sit down together and come up with a new more constructive energy policy that maybe isn‘t quite as good for BP but it is good for the American people.  Can we all agree to be able to move forward constructively on that?


I didn‘t know we had a laugh track.

So, maybe energy reform isn‘t the best opportunity for compromise here.  I mean, not with Joe Barton in charge of energy in the new Republican-controlled House.

Is there anything else from last night that gives us the possibility of Democrats and Republicans working together on something?

Well, Latino voters were hugely important in some of last night‘s key races.  In Nevada, Latino voters helped fueled Harry Reid‘s surprise victory over Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.  The percentage of Latinos voting from Harry Reid last night is said to be 68 percent.  Without that kind of support from Latinos in Nevada, we could be talking about Senator Sharron Angle tonight.

When we were in Las Vegas last week, Harry Reid talked to us about keeping promises to Latino voters, told us that one of the things he wanted to do should he be re-elected, should he return as majority leader was to work on immigration reform.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson explained on MSNBC last night that the Latino vote wasn‘t just important in Harry Reid‘s race, it was important in a number of other races, too, like those in California.  Governor Richardson making the explicit pitch last night that although Latino voters care about a lot of different things, maybe immigration reform is something that Democrats and Republicans could now work on together.


GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO:  Now, I think President Obama and the Democrats have to produce some time next year comprehensive immigration reform in a bipartisan way.


MADDOW:  Imminently reasonable proposal, right?  I mean, comprehensive immigration reform was a cause of George W. Bush as Republican president.  It‘s been a cause of Republicans in the past, including prominent ones like John McCain, Lindsey Graham.  So, OK, maybe we could work together on immigration form.  Maybe Republicans will want to get something constructive done.

Today, “The Washington Independent” reports that as a result of the Republicans taking control of the House last night, immigration legislation will be in the hands of Congressman Steve King of Ohio, who will chair the immigration subcommittee.

That means if Democrats want to get something done on immigration reform, they‘re going to have to do it by the grace of Republican Congressman Steve King.  Yes, that Steve King.


REP. STEVE KING ®, OHIO:  When I get down there and sit on that border, what I do is I come to this conclusion: we can‘t shut that off unless we build a fence and a wall.  I want to put a fence in, but I want to put the wall in, and I designed one.

And it would sit—and it would look like this, only this would be flush with the desert floor.  And then you‘d bring in precast concrete 10 feet wide, 13 ½ feet tall.  They would construct itself to be a 12-foot finished wall just like that, Mr. Speaker.

Drop these panels in together in this fashion, just take a crane and drop them in.

Now, you can also deconstructive it the same way.  You can still, you can it take back down.  If somehow they got their—they got their economy working and they got their laws working in Mexico, we could pull this back out as easy as we put it in.

I also say we need to do a few other things on top of that wall, and one of them be to put a little bit of wire on here to provide an disincentive for people to climb to over the top, or put a ladder there.

We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that wouldn‘t kill somebody but it would simply be a discouragement for them to fooling around with it.  We do that with livestock all the time.


MADDOW:  In addition to self-designing a 13-foot high concrete wall along the border with an electrified thing across the top, Steve King is also a proponent of enforcing the immigration laws based on telltale grooming and illegal alien shoes.


KING:  It‘s not wrong to use race or other indicators for the sake of identifying people that are violating the law.  What kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accent they have, the type of grooming that they might have.


MADDOW:  How do you part your hair?

Imagine constructive practical discussion on immigration reform with this member of Congress.


KING:  The circumstance by which I would support an amnesty plan, and that is this: if for every time we give amnesty to an illegal immigrant, we will just deport a liberal.  I would make that trade all day long.

Those that supported the amnesty bill will be marked with a scarlet letter A for amnesty and they will be held accountable by the voters in the ballot box.


MADDOW:  Steve King, that‘s who Democrats, I guess, think they can work with to get immigration reform done now.

The only agenda of congressional Republicans since Barack Obama has been president has been to stop her, to obstruct anything and everything they can.  They have voted against their own policies.  They have voted against stuffs they themselves have introduced.  They have voted against their own ideas.

They have done everything they can to obstruct everything that they can because they know that anything good for the country in terms of policy converts to political capital for the president.  They‘re not going to help the president attain political capital, so they are going to try to stop any policy accomplishment whatsoever.  That is what they did for the last two years, and it paid off big-time for them last night.

The Beltway common wisdom right now is, well, Republicans have some responsibility for governing right now.  So, they‘ll stop being so obstructive.  What the Republicans control now, or at least of January is one house of Congress.  The Democrats controlling the Senate, Barack Obama and the White House, there‘s really no risk at all that anything that passes the House is going to become law.

Republicans still have no responsibility for governing the country.  They could take some of that responsibility if they wanted to—but put yourself in their shoes.  Why would they?

They still have all the same incentives, if not more, to keep doing what has worked for them so far, which is to stop everything.

So, everybody that tells you that there‘s going to be some constructive, practical, bipartisan way forward now, there are some policies on which Democrats and Republicans will be able to work together and the Republicans want to get something down—ask them to be specific about what they mean.

If you hear they‘re going to be able to move forward together on energy, ask them what they think—I‘m sorry BP, Joe Barton is going to green light in the House in terms of energy policy.

If someone tells you there‘s going to be some constructive moving forward on immigration, ask them what Steve King and his cardboard box, fake electrified wall is going to agree to with Barack Obama on immigration.

In theory, sure, let‘s kumbayah, let‘s all just come together.  In practice—



MADDOW:  Election 2010 -- not over.  Yes, politics Christmas (INAUDIBLE) multi-ball.  On the Senate side, it was only late this afternoon that NBC News declared incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet the apparent winner in Colorado over Tea Party Republican Ken Buck.  So the Democrats retain that seat.

In Alaska, write-in votes, most of which are presumed to be for Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski, but who know?  Write in votes have a 7-point lead over Tea Party Republican Joe Miller.  He is the actual named Republican nominee.  Scott McAdams, the Democrat in that race, is a distant third.  Alaska‘s lieutenant-governor saying today that they will begin counting the write-in votes a week from today, which actually is early for them in terms of their schedule.

In Washington State, Democratic incumbent Patty Murray in the lead over Republican Dino Rossi with about two-thirds of all votes counted.  That is not done yet, though.

On the House side, in Arizona‘s seventh district, Congressman Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the progressive caucus, has a three-point lead with 99 percent of all precincts reporting.  Mr. Grijalva has claimed victory in the race, but the “Associated Press,” which NBC relies on for the House races, the “Associated Press” has still not called that race out of an apparent abundance of caution.

The same situation next door in Arizona‘s eighth district, just next door.  The Democratic incumbent Gabrielle Giffords in the lead with all precincts reporting, but again, the “A.P.” has yet to pull the trigger in that race.

Remember that crazy Tea Party special election in New York 23 earlier this year?  With all the national Tea Partiers hating on the Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, and then she got out and she endorsed the Democrat and the Democrat won that race?  Well, that Democrat Bill Owens, held on to that seat last night, which I‘m sure the right wing blogs still think as some sort of black is white, up is down victory for the conservative movement.

In Georgia second, even though some media outlets called the race early for the Republican in the race, the incumbent Democrat, Sanford Bishop, actually appears to have won by about 5,000 votes.

Some of the most interesting still undecided races from yesterday‘s elections are for the governor‘s seats.  This afternoon, NBC News declaring Peter Shumlin the winner in Vermont, Vermont‘s first Democratic governor in eight years.

What‘s interesting about that is that even though Peter Shumlin, the Democrat, won, he did not get 50 percent of the vote.  Under Vermont state rules, that means, technically, the legislature picks who wins the race.  And now, the Republican in this race has conceded, so there‘s no real drama here, but still.

In Minnesota, Democrat Mark Dayton holds a slight lead over Republican Tom Emmer, that race is headed for an automatic recount which makes Minnesota the new Minnesota this year.

In Illinois, Democrat Pat Quinn with another small lead over Republican Bill Brady.  Mr. Brady has not conceded yet, nor is he dismissing the idea of pursuing a recount.

It‘s still anyone‘s guess who will win the governor‘s race in Oregon.  “The Washington Post” reporting that Democrat John Kitzhaber is chipping away at Republican Chris Dudley‘s slight lead in the race.  Local media is describing the race as tightening.

And there is all sorts of confusion about what‘s going on in the Connecticut governor‘s race.  Republican Tom Foley has an apparent lead of more than 9,000 votes over the Democrat Dan Malloy, with 89 percent of precincts reporting.  But the secretary of state says the final results will show that the Democrat Dan Malloy has beaten Mr. Foley by over 3,000 votes.  That said, because the secretary of state has not disclosed those votes, that race will stay uncalled for the immediate future.

It‘s not over.  It‘s so totally not over.  And we are joined now to understand the not over-ness of it all by Mark Murray.  He‘s the deputy political director of NBC News.

Mark Murray, thanks very much for your time.


MADDOW:  So, what‘s going on in this Connecticut governor‘s race?

MURRAY:  It‘s crazy.  The secretary of state says that Dan Malloy, the Democrat, has a 3,000-vote lead.  Of course, our own vote screens that we‘ve been saying say that there‘s 11 percent of the vote that‘s still outstanding, and the Republican Tom Foley is ahead.

Now, a lot of the disputed vote is actually in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which is a Democratic-leaning area.  And the Democrats I‘ve spoken with in this race think that their candidate, Dan Malloy, is going to win.  But it‘s not over, and the Republican has yet to concede.  And that‘s why we‘re where we are right now.

MADDOW:  Am I right that in Bridgeport, there were some issues with ballot shortages and wanting to keep polling places open later?

MURRAY:  Exactly, that they decided to extend by two hours the voting in Bridgeport.  The secretary of state, though, who said Malloy has the unofficial lead and as the unofficial winner, says that‘s not even computed about those ballots in Bridgeport that went beyond those two hours for that extension.

So, we‘ll find out what the bottom of this is.  I look forward in our own vote screens when the 11 percent come in and who‘s ahead.  But again, Democrats feel pretty confident about this race.

MADDOW:  Mark, in terms of the overall balance of the Senate—regardless of what happens in Alaska, it looks like it‘s not going to be Scott McAdams up there.  Michael Bennet has won in Colorado.  Patty Murray is in the lead in Washington state.

What are we looking at in terms of the final balance of power, and how confident do you feel about that Patty Murray race?

MURRAY:  Well, first, it looks like Democrats will be plus 53.  Republicans ended up getting—they gained six seats.  So, Democrats will be at 53, of course, it‘s 51 plus those two independents, Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders.

As far as what‘s going on in Washington state, Patty Murray tonight was able to increase her lead.  The big story has to do, revolving around the vote from King County.  That is Seattle.  And it appears that Patty Murray is increasing her lead.  Democrats think that there‘s a lot of votes still to be counted in King County.

The Dino Rossi camp thinks there‘s not that much.  But all signs point to Patty Murray being able to hold on to this lead.

As Democrats across the country saw last night, it‘s much better to be ahead than behind.

MADDOW:  Do you have any idea when that Murray/Rossi race is going to be decided?

MURRAY:  From both campaigns I was speaking with, they thought it would go into next week.  Of course, the new votes just came in, just a few hours ago, show that Murray increased her lead.  It will be interesting to see what our Decision desk, they are taking a very well-deserved break after a very, very long day, what they decide to see once they crunch the numbers with the new vote that‘s out from King County.

MADDOW:  Mark Murray, NBC News deputy political director—thanks for sticking around late for us tonight after a very long night last night.  Mark, really appreciate it.

MURRAY:  Any time.

MADDOW:  All right.  Coming up next: the script here says pot, puppy mills, Sharia law, UFOs and dead people.  I really hope that is not all one story.


MADDOW:  In California last night, voters rejected Proposition 19, which would have effectively legalized pot in that state.  The measure lost by eight points.

California voters also rejected Proposition 23.  That was the bill backed by the out of state oil companies to try to block California‘s environmental laws.

That said, Californians approved another corporate backed proposition that had been deemed Proposition 23‘s evil twin.  It was Prop 26.  It will make it all but impossible for the legislature to assess fees on businesses to pay for the kind of stuff that those fees pay for at the state level, stuff like health laws and environmental laws.  Big business are very excited about that.

Also in California, I feel I should tell you that Democratic State Senator Jenny Oropeza was voted back into the state Senate.  That is news, because Senator Oropeza died last month.  If the results stand, voters will fill her seat through a special election now.

In Colorado, voters rejected an attempt to define a zygote as a person.  The Personhood Amendment was an anti-abortion thing.  These were the folks who said you should vote for the fertilized egg is person measure because President Obama is secretly the angel of death.  They weren‘t kidding.

Colorado voters also rejected a proposed commission to talk to aliens, as in extra extraterrestrials arriving on UFOs.  Voters said, na-no, na-no (ph), to that.

Colorado said no to three separate scorched earth anti-tax ballot questions that would have essentially strangled all of the revenue of state government.

Voters in Massachusetts said no to the same kind of very radical anti-tax measure in that state.  In Iowa, anti-gay activists from outside the state spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a successful campaign to oust three of Iowa‘s Supreme Court justices.  They‘re justices who joined the court‘s unanimous decision in favor of same-sex marriage rights last year. 

The anti-gay groups who crusaded against the judges say they want the Iowa campaign to be seen as a political threat against judges around the country who dare rule in favor of gay rights. 

That said, Lexington, Kentucky elected its first ever openly-gay mayor yesterday.  In Rhode Island, David Cicilline last night was elected to the fourth openly gay member of Congress. 

In South Carolina, Republican Tim Scott is the first African-American in that state since Reconstruction.  He is also the African-American Republican in Congress from anywhere since the year 2003. 

Also, South Carolina‘s new Republican Governor Nikki Haley is now the second Indian American governor in the country.  You will be relieved to know that in Oklahoma, the people there are safe now from Sharia law. 

This seriously was up for a vote and, seriously, it didn‘t pass.  It‘s a measure that preemptively bans Oklahoma‘s courts from considering Sharia law when it makes its rulings, just in case you know they‘re ever tempted to do so.  The Sharia in Oklahoma.  

It also bans Oklahoma courts from considering anything foreign at all in its rulings, which is going to be a real problem the next time a judge in Oklahoma wants to reference say “an eye for an eye” or the Ten Commandments or habeas corpus.  That totally sounds foreign. 

The State of Rhode Island narrowly avoided being renamed “The State of Rhode Island” last night, after voters rejected that proposed name change.  The state will still officially be known as the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  The state thought about it, they deliberated and decided they‘re keeping the “plantations” bit in the name of the state. 

Two last quick notes for you.  First, in Missouri, voters approved restrictions on dog breeders in an effort to crack down on the state‘s massive, massive puppy mills.  Score one for puppies. 

And in Kansas, in the hometown - the home county of Carrie Nation, one of my least favorite American historical figures of all time, the self-righteous, self-promoting, ballot-wielding saloon destroyer and prohibition champion of the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

Kansas voters approved the measure allowing people to buy individual alcoholic drinks, like most Americans do in bars.  Buy the drink one at a time.  That‘s a first.  Carrie Nation is rolling over in her grave, I‘m sure.


MADDOW:  Do you remember that guy who said he had a higher security clearance than the president? 


ALLEN WEST (R-FL), CONGRESSMAN-ELECT:  I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.


MADDOW:  Remember that guy, Allen West?  Yes, he won.  He won his House race in Florida last night.  So now, it is Congressman-elect Allen West, and we‘re all left to find out what he will allow the president to know that he knows. 

Also, remember Dan Quayle‘s son running in Arizona? 


BEN QUAYLE (R-AZ), CONGRESSMAN-ELECT:  Barack Obama is the worst president in history.  What‘s happened to America?  I love Arizona.  I was raised right.  Somebody has to go to Washington and knock the hell out of the place. 


MADDOW:  Washington, prepare to have a two double-hockey sticks knocked out of you, because he‘s now Congressman-elect Ben Quayle, believe it or not. 

Do you remember “the Muslims are coming for us” lady from North Carolina who Anderson Cooper just destroyed when she appeared on his show? 


RENEE ELLMERS (R-NC), CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT:  I guess what I could ask you is, are you anti-religion?  Are you anti-Christian? 

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, “AC 360”:  That‘s like the lowest response I‘ve ever heard from a candidate, I‘ve got to tell you. 

ELLMERS:  Really? 


MADDOW:  Really?  America, meet Congresswoman-elect “Muslims are coming for us.”  That is, of course, assuming that Renee Ellmers‘ narrow victory holds up against a possible recount in North Carolina. 

Do you remember when Jan Brewer, post SB 1070, gave the most amazing debate performance of definitely this entire year, but probably many years? 


GOV. JAN BREWER (R-AZ):  It‘s great to be here with Larry, Barry and Terry.  And thank you all for watching us tonight.  I have done so much, and I just cannot believe that we have changed everything since I have become your governor in the last 600 days. 

Arizona has been brought back from its abyss.  We have cut the budget, we have balanced the budget, and we are moving forward.  We have done everything that we could possibly do.  We have - did what was right for Arizona. 


MADDOW:  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer handily re-elected last night to the seat she took over from Janet Napolitano in January of last year, elected after she did that on television. 

Those are some of the more amazing results of last night‘s elections.  But in fact, some of the most amazing candidates, whose campaign stylings we so appreciated over the last year or so, did not prevail, like for instance, our good friend Art Robinson, whose interview on this show sucked the meaning from language and broke portions of the space-time continuum. 

Art Robinson, who believes that low-level radiation is good for you and that nuclear ray should be sprinkled in the ocean - he failed in his bid to unseat Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio last night by roughly nine points despite tons of outside money spent on his behalf by a hedge fund guy in Long Island. 

Also, Jim Russell, the Republican candidate from New York State, who wrote for a white supremacist fake academic journal, quote, “Parents need to be reminded that they have a natural obligation to instill in their children an acceptance of appropriate ethnic boundaries for socialization and marriage.”

The white supremacist guy lost by more than 20 points in his race.  Of course, there‘s also Tom Tancredo who wanted to reinstitute Jim Crow-era literacy tests for voting.  He also says he wants to bomb Mecca.  He lost the race for governor in Colorado by a nice healthy margin.

Also, John Raese, the man who called Dr. Steven Chu, our nation‘s energy secretary, “Dr. Chow Mien.”  Mr. Raese is presumably on his way back to Florida where he lives despite the fact that he was running for Senate in West Virginia. 

Christine O‘Donnell and Sharron Angle also both lost last night.  But over the hours of work, they saved us by being supernaturally remarkable at all times. 


CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL ®, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE IN DELAWARE:  I‘ve already seen some Hillary Clinton ads.  I don‘t know about you.  I have.  I have.  So I mean, there‘s a lot of Democrats who don‘t want this. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What do you mean - what do you mean Second Amendment remedies?  Second Amendment remedies - anything? 

SHARRON ANGLE ®, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE IN NEVADA:  We‘re looking at how we can best benefit from the media. 

CHRIS COONS (D-DE), SENATOR-ELECT:  One of those indispensable principles is the separation of church and state. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, with that, we appreciate that.  Let‘s move on so we can get to all the panelists and cover a number of areas.  (INAUDIBLE) question, please. 

C. O‘DONNELL:  Where in the Constitution does it say separation of church and state? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The separation of church and state arises out of the Constitution. 

ANGLE:  No, it doesn‘t. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The founding fathers didn‘t believe in the separation of church and state? 

ANGLE:  Actually, it‘s -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The establishment clause of the First Amendment? 

ANGLE:  Actually, Thomas Jefferson has been misquoted like I have been misquoted out of context. 


MADDOW:  Good-bye Sharron Angle.  Good bye Christine O‘Donnell.  We will enjoy your TV shows sometime in the very near future, I‘m sure. 

Also, you know, Rich Ayotte, the Nazi re-enactor guy - he lost - he lost big to incumbent Ohio congresswoman Marcy Kaptur by 18 points.  That said, we did get kind of a mixed message on the whole Nazi re-enactment thing, because one of the Nazi re-enactor guy‘s key supporters did prevail. 

This guy made two separate donations to the Nazi re-enactor‘s campaign and didn‘t ask for the money back after the Nazi dress-up pictures surfaced.  Then, the weekend before the election, this guy showed up at a campaign rally in support of the Nazi re-enactor guy. 

That guy, the big-time no-regrets supporter of the Nazi dress-up candidate will be our new speaker of the House.  So yes, kind of a mixed message on the whole “wearing a Nazi uniform for fun on the weekend” thing. 

On the Democratic side, there were definitely some who lost their seats who will be missed by progressives for totally opposite reasons, progressive heroes who will not be coming back in January, including Patrick Murphy, the Iraq War veteran, who successfully got the “Don‘t Ask, Don‘t Tell” repeal through the House. 

Russ Feingold, of course, the three-term senator from Wisconsin, also lost his re-election bid.  Tom Perriello, who fought a gutsy, no-apologies actual capital-D Democratic campaign in a tough district and earned a lot of progressive respect for it. 

Also, of course, Alan Grayson, liberal firebrand forever. 


REP. ALAN GRAYSON (R-FL):  Here it is.  The Republican‘s health care plan for America - don‘t get sick.  That‘s right, don‘t get sick.  If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do.  If you get sick, America the Republican health care plan is this - die quickly. 


MADDOW:  While the loss of those pugnacious Democrats is lamented today on the left, the bigger story in the Democratic process is that - it‘s the conservative Democrats, the blue dog Democrats who were absolutely decimated in last night‘s elections. 

Of the progressive caucus which has more than 80 members or the liberals, progressive caucus, more than 80 members, four of them were knocked out either in the primaries or last night‘s elections. 

For the blue dog coalition, for the conservatives, they‘ve got 53 members.  Twenty-four of them lost re-election bids this year.  Nearly half of the blue dog caucus is now gone, including two of their co-chairs.  That is the story of this year‘s elections on the Democratic side and in Democratic politics. 

Joining us now is Washington, D.C. editor of “The Nation Magazine” and MSNBC contributor, Chris Hayes.  Chris, it is nice to see you.  Thanks for joining us. 

CHRIS HAYES, WASHINGTON, D.C. EDITOR, “THE NATION”:  It‘s great to see you, too.  Great job last night, Rachel.

MADDOW:  So it‘s those darn liberals, right?  That‘s the Democrats‘ problem this year? 

HAYES:  Yes.  I mean, look, I think it‘s - I‘ve been looking through the exit polling data and trying to work out, you know, with an open mind looking at the data, you know, what was the problem for these Democrats that lost? 

And it‘s actually really hard to come up with a coherent narrative.  I mean, the race that I was sort of monitoring last night - I was down the Fifth District of Virginia with Tom Perriello, you mentioned. 

You know, he ran a race in a district that McCain won.  For two years, he was very boldly progressive, unapologetic.  He lost by a narrow margin. 

Miles away in Virginia Beach, Glenn Nye, in Virginia‘s Second District did every blue dog trick in the book.  He distanced himself from the president.  He voted against cap-and-trade.  He voted against health care.  And he got blown out of the water. 

So you know, at the end of the day, it‘s very unclear whether distancing yourself from the president, sort of issuing these press releases about how you don‘t like Obama-care actually ended up redounding to your benefit on Election Day. 

MADDOW:  And there were so - that result, the lack of clarity of that result, when you stack that up against the number of people who said that Democrats would have to inoculate themselves from Republican attacks by voting no on health care is phenomenal. 

I mean, as far as I can tell, we‘ve got 34 Democrats who voted against health reform in the House, and half of them have now lost their seats.  But we‘re still hearing all day long that if Democrats had only all have done that, if they had all been against health reform, they would have been fine.  I feel like the narrative is just completely unrelated to the facts. 

HAYES:  No, it‘s totally wrong.  I mean, look - I mean, you can look at - if you look at the Democrats who voted in sort of marginal seats, who voted against health care, and the ones who voted for health care, the ones who voted for health care did a very little bit amount better. 

But we‘re talking like really at the margins here.  And I think the whole sort of misconception from the beginning, I think for the blue dog caucus, was the notion that they weren‘t already associated with the national party and Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi to begin with. 

There‘s a failure to understand the degree to which the House of Representatives is viewed as a parliamentary body by voters that elections can be successfully nationalized by outside interests, and that the details of “Oh, I didn‘t vote for health care,” “I didn‘t vote for cap-and-trade is just going to come out in the wash of an election.  You are bound to them from the beginning, so you might as well just vote your conscience or sort of try to get the best legislation can you get. 

MADDOW:  If you are a member of Congress and somebody says to you, “You‘d better vote no on this Democratic thing, because Republicans are going to use it against you,” ask yourself, “Are Republicans going to leave me alone or praise me if I take this advice?”

HAYES:  Right.  Yes.  Exactly. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

HAYES:  And go talk.  Everyone should give Glenn Nye a call, and ask him about those who ran against him in his district. 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

HAYES:  Because frankly, they didn‘t go easy on him.  I even am brought back to a particularly preposterous moment in our politics, which was after Scott Brown won, and the House had already voted once for the health care bill. 

There were these rumblings from the caucus among the marginal districts that they didn‘t want to vote again, as if one vote for the health care bill would be fine, but the second vote would be the thing that killed them. 

I mean, if, now, standing here the day after Election Day, you realize this kind of granular conception of how these votes are registering with the public is just completely, completely un-based in any sort of empirical data. 

MADDOW:  Briefly, in terms of the Democrats that are going back now, the progressive caucus is essentially intact, the blue dog caucus has been essentially blown away.  That said, the beltway press is writing about the half sized blue dog caucus now, as really wanting to flex their muscles in this next couple years ahead.  What do you think happens in terms of the balance of power among liberal and conservative Democrats? 

HAYES:  Oh, there‘s no question it shifts to the liberals and that center of gravity of the caucus moves to the left.  And the fact of the matter is, you know, in the majority, you can be a swing vote in this kind of quasi-parliamentary sense in which you‘re sort of a third party. 

In the minority, no one cares.  I mean, the Republicans don‘t need blue dog votes.  No one needs blue dog votes.  And it‘s truly delusional if the blue dogs think that John Boehner is going to be knocking down their door for anything.  He does not care.  They are dead to him. 

MADDOW:  Chris Hayes, Washington editor of “The Nation” magazine, blunt and true as always.  Thank you, Chris. 

HAYES:  Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW:  Still ahead on “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL,” Lawrence O‘Donnell has Michael Moore on the show.  That should be great. 

Coming up on this show, the Scott Brown effect as previously mentioned by Chris Hayes.  The Scott Brown effect is not when former male models raise money by telling gullible conservative activists around the country that they are running against a certain commie pinko cable news host. 

The Scott Brown effect is when a long-shot Republican ousts an incumbent Democrat in a traditionally liberal stronghold like Massachusetts.  And then after that, the opposite of all hell breaks loose.  The Scott Brown effect, next. 


MADDOW:  When Scott Brown won the special election for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, that January surprise marked the first time maybe ever that Republicans could lift their single malt whiskeys and cheer the idea that, as Massachusetts goes, so goes the nation. 


SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R-MA):  In this next election season that‘s about to begin, well, let them take a look at what happened to Massachusetts. 


Because what happened here - what happened here in Massachusetts can happen all over America. 



MADDOW:  It could happen all over America.  And, yes, it could happen and it did happen all over America as we saw last night.  It just didn‘t happen there.  It happened almost everywhere, except for Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts voters re-elected the state‘s Democratic and widely-thought to be in big trouble governor, Deval Patrick.  It re-elected him by a healthy outside-the-spread seven-point margin. 

Attorney General Martha Coakley, last seen losing to Mr. Brown in that special election for the Senate, she managed to get herself re-elected by a lot.  In fact, all the statewide officials in Massachusetts are Democrats, thanks to last night‘s elections - all of them. 

And then, there‘s the state‘s 10th Congressional seat, an open spot in the district that Scott Brown carried by 20 points just two months ago - 20 points.  Surely, the Scott Brown effect would elect a Republican to that open seat.  It‘s an open seat.  It‘s Scott Brown territory. 

No.  Meet the new Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts‘s 10th District, Bill Keating.  Not to mention, Congressman Barney Frank.  Republican fascination with the possibility of unseating Congressman Frank got to a point where you can‘t talk about it before 10:00 p.m., even on cable. 

Barney Frank is going down in a wave, people.  This country is unsafe for liberals as of November 2nd.  Well, as of the start of the 112th Congress, Congressman Barney Frank will be Congressman Barney Frank again, still.  He will go back to Washington along with Massachusetts‘ other nine other representatives who are also all Democrats.  Plus, Democrat John Kerry in the Senate and whatever‘s left of Scott Brown and his wonderful effect, I guess. 

So yes, Tuesday was a big night for Republicans.  Lots of blue states got much, much redder.  It‘s just that Massachusetts was not one of them.  Massachusetts liberals and Democrats and centrists, for the first time ever, say, “Thank you, Scott Brown.”


MADDOW:  My friend, Steve Bennett at “Washington Monthly” has a knack for making news into pictures.  Steve first brought us the bikini graph, showing the progress of the recession with monthly job numbers under the last Republican president and those under the current Democratic president going quite the different direction. 

Now, Steve has provided us a clear picture of what everyone has been trying to explain about the midterm election results, but which is much easier to show, which is, what do the results mean in context?  Was what happened last night a big deal?  Was it “dog bites man” or was it “man bites dog”?  Were last night‘s results historic? 

Those questions are the subject of amazing amounts of spin and hyperbole, but they are also empirical.  There are questions that have factual answers. 

Here‘s historically what‘s happened in midterm elections since we‘ve had roughly the Congress we‘ve got with roughly the parties we‘ve got.  The color of the bar represents the party of the president.  And as you can see, almost all the bars go down.  Midterms basically always go against the president‘s party. 

When the president‘s running, people vote for him and his party.  Then, in the next election, they swing back and vote against that party in the midterms almost always.  The last bar there on the right is last night‘s election results in the house, give or take the few races still to be decided, lots of losses for the Democrats that make historical sense.  

Here‘s the same thing in the Senate.  Again, almost all the bars go down.  The president‘s party almost always loses seats in the midterm elections, losses there for the Democrats as well last night, but losses that make historical sense and, frankly, that weren‘t as bad as they could have been, given that we‘re just coming out of the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. 

Everyone today is trying to find the biggest possible adjective to describe the Republican win in one House of Congress last night.  And they did, in fact, win one House of Congress last night.  Congratulations to them. 

Here‘s that result in historical context.  What happened last night is more normal than not normal.  But small adjectives are less exciting in punditry than big adjectives, so don‘t expect to see a lot of this from the exclamation point machine that is my beloved news analysis business. 

In January, when the new Congress is sworn in, we will end a two-year period of Democrats controlling the House and Senate and White House.  That‘s an unusual thing to get in our tripartite democracy.  Since the end of World War II, that‘s only held true for 26 years. 

For all the other years, for 40 out of the last 66 years, we‘ve had government that‘s divided among the parties which is what we will go back to in January, which is, again, more normal than not normal.  Hard to put an exclamation point on that, I know.  Hard to be honest about it and put an exclamation point on it.  But expect the beltway media to do it anyway, OK?  OK. 

Now, it‘s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL.”  Good evening, Lawrence.



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