Guests: Adam Green, Ed Rendell, Elijah Cummings, John Feehery, Todd Webster, Jonathan Alter, Joan Walsh
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from Minneapolis.
These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
OK, they won. But now the righties think—well, they think the president‘s compromise is weak-kneed and running scared. Mitch McConnell just doubled down on the mission to politically take out president.
My blistering commentary coming up on that and reaction from the PCCC in just a moment. What is the next play?
“The Tan Man” just said President Obama is in denial.
Mr. President, Speaker Boehner is getting ready to make your life a living hell. Why are you inviting him over for dinner at the White House when they keep talking about defeat?
Elijah Cummings responds. The congressman, tonight, here in “The Battleground” story.
And some folks are accusing me of drumming up all this talk about impeachment? Timeout, folks. A top Democrat in the House is the one making this prediction. I just happen to agree with him on the whole thing.
These folks aren‘t going to stop at anything. We‘ll hammer it out and get “Rapid Fire Response.”
But this is the story that has me fired up first tonight. President Obama and the Democrats need to get out of this fetal position that they‘re in and just recognize that the Republicans are out to destroy them, period. And destroy this country if you let them, in my opinion.
Now, the president broke out the olive branches again today after he met with his cabinet. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What‘s going to be critically important over the coming months is creating a better working relationship between this White House and the congressional leadership that‘s coming in. We can‘t afford two years of just squabbling. What we need to do is make sure that everybody‘s pulling together, Democrats and Republicans and Independents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, Mr. President, what is your plan if they filibuster everything again?
Now, as the president was capitulating to the Republicans at the White House today, Mitch McConnell was across town in an ultra-right wing think tank just doubling down on his pledge to make President Obama a one-term president.
Here‘s how they play the game.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL ®, MINORITY LEADER: Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term. But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill, to end the bailouts, cut spending, and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all of those things is put someone in the White House who won‘t veto any of these things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama stands passively mute while Mitch McConnell and the Republicans continue just to walk him like a dog.
Now, Republicans don‘t have any interest in working with this president or improve the lives of the American people because they‘re really only about one thing. Their stated goal is to get power back. That‘s it. It‘s about power.
McConnell is acting like this past Tuesday‘s elections vindicated the Republican strategy of obstruction. Well, Mitch laid his ultimatum down today as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: The White House has a choice. They can change course or they can double down on a vision of government that the American people have roundly rejected.
When the administration agrees with the American people, we will agree with the administration. When it disagrees to the American people, we won‘t.
This has been our posture from the beginning of this administration, and we intend to stick with it. If the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Isn‘t it just amazing how McConnell and Boehner, they just think that they know exactly what the American people want? What did the American people want when President Obama won nine Bush states? What did they want then?
The bottom line is they have just ignored this president. They‘ve ignored the Oval Office and just gone down the road of obstruction.
Now, the Republicans want to pit the Obama agenda against the American people, vilify absolutely everything. They fought the will of the American people, let‘s see, on health care, Wall Street reform, energy policy, and everything else that the Democrats wanted to do when they were in the majority.
Now Republicans act like President Obama, like he didn‘t win all of these states. In fact, you know what? I don‘t even think he won the election.
The tough thing is that President Obama is acting like he did not win the election. That‘s what bothers me. And he‘s buying into all of this same garbage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: And I think that it‘s clear that the voters sent a message, which is they want us to focus on the economy and jobs and moving this country forward. They‘re concerned about making sure that taxpayer money is not wasted, and they want to change the tone here in Washington, where the two parties are coming together and focusing on the people‘s business, as opposed to scorned political points.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Respectfully, please wake up, Mr. President. All the Republicans want to do is score political points, vilify you, and take over power. You will never change the tone in Washington by playing Mr. Nice Guy with these people.
In the meantime, the Republicans keep standing by their principles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: While the media was still groping to defined the 2008 election, Republicans were taking stock by sticking together in principled opposition to policies we viewed as harmful. We made it perfectly clear to the American people where we stood, and we gave voters a real choice on Election Day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How many Americans out there thought filibuster absolutely everything? That‘s just a hell of a political position to take to move people‘s lives forward in this country.
What they did is they filibustered everything and they ran the clock out because they knew the economy wasn‘t going to turn around if Republican governors didn‘t buy on to the stimulus package to create jobs and get the economy going again. After Tuesday, Republicans are even more determined to stand in the way of President Obama‘s agenda.
Listen closely, folks. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, they have absolutely nothing in their soul that brings them to compromising with this president, who represents liberals in this country. The president needs to drop this statesmanlike act—that‘s right—because they are lunatics politically. They are about defeat and destruction.
Now, on my radio show today I asked Senator Bernie Sanders if the president at this hour looks weak. Here‘s his response.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I think it leaves the impression that the president does not want to rally the American people to confront right-wing extremism. And I think it just saps the energy of some of his strongest supporters, who say, you know, I believe that we can in fact protect the middle class. We can do great things with this country. But you‘re not going to do it every single day if you compromise on your principles with John Boehner or Mitch McConnell.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: He is spot on, the senator who is an Independent from Vermont.
Now, there‘s a difference between support and faith. Am I ripping on the president tonight? No, I‘m not. I think I‘m speaking—just like the Republicans know where the American people are, I think I‘m speaking for millions of Americans.
Mr. President, please, please get tough on these people. Please tell them there is absolutely no way that you‘re going to touch this health care reform bill unless “I‘m out of office.” That‘s what liberals want to hear right now.
You have done everything you possibly can to jumpstart this economy, and they have obstructed everything you‘ve tried to do. But when you sit there and say, well, the American people want us to work together, that just—it rings hollow with a lot of liberals that helped you get into the Oval Office.
This isn‘t about their agenda. This isn‘t about you, President Obama.
This is about, I guess, the American people, who are looking for a job.
Now, the president, OK, he‘s doing the statesmanlike thing, he‘s bringing McConnell and he‘s bringing Boehner and the rest of these guys over for dinner so they could figure out what they‘re going do in the lame-duck session of Congress, and this is going to happen on November 18th. And they‘re going to hang around and talk, and then it might morph into a real nice dinner.
Well, you know, that‘s what presidents are supposed to do. But are you going to ask them about unemployment benefits during this lame-duck session? Because there‘s going to be millions more Americans who are going to be off their unemployment benefits.
Are you going to talk about public education? Because just today, in Ohio, the Republican who used to work for Fox News, who‘s now the governor of Ohio, says he wants to privatize education. What does that do to the billions of dollars that you put towards education, Mr. President? Is that going to be on the chopping block?
I mean, this is some serious stuff. This is not about getting along with people that want to butcher the budget and hurt Americans.
Mr. President, you were elected to stand up for all the people. You tried to stand up for Republicans, but that party wouldn‘t let you do it. They blocked you at everything.
And one of the reasons why there wasn‘t the big Democratic turnout out, out there on Tuesday, is because we‘re losing faith. We‘re losing—support and faith are two different things. You can support somebody, but you can also have your faith diminished as to whether this person is going to be tough to get the job done.
We‘ve got a lot to talk about, don‘t we, America? It is us against them. And I don‘t care what any media critiquer says.
There is an ideological fight taking place in this country. We either value the institutions that made this country great, and we want to stand up for them, and we want to give them a fair chance to be successful, or we don‘t. And the Republicans have drawn their line in the sand. The Democrats, I don‘t know if we can draw any lines.
Compromise, capitulation. And you know what? I‘m not changing. I don‘t care if anybody at the White House ever talks to me again about anything.
I know that I am correct on these issues. And I will stand—and I‘ll throw it right back at the Republican leadership. I think I know where the American people are on these strong foundations that they want supported in the budget.
Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks. The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.
My question tonight is: Do you want President Obama to get tougher with the Republicans? Press the number 1 for yes, press the number 2 for no. I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
And let me make this very clear. This isn‘t about whether I like the president. If he‘d listen to my radio show and if he‘d watch this show since I started on this network 20 months ago, you‘d know that I am a staunch supporter of the president. But how long are we going to go just tipping over and over every time Mitch McConnell and John Boehner say this is the way it‘s going to be?
Mr. President, if you want support from the left, you stand right up to them and say this is the way it‘s going to be, and this is our agenda. Now, are you going to work with us or not?
Joining me now is Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Adam, good to have you with us tonight.
You are and have been a very strong critique of this White House. In the quick aftermath of this election, what‘s the scorecard say for liberals the way the White House is handling this communication in front of the American people now that Boehner and McConnell are being very aggressive?
What do you think?
ADAM GREEN, CO-FOUNDER, PROGRESSIVE CHANGE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: Yes.
Let me tell you, Ed, you are not a lone voice on this issue.
In the 48 hours since the election, we have had literally tens of thousands of people go to our Web site, boldprogressives.org, and write to us saying, “What are the Democrats doing? When will they ever fight?” And I think that‘s really the key question.
My challenge to the Democratic leaders, the president, are lay out one circumstance where when the public is clearly on your side on an issue, and the Republicans are clearly obstructing on that issue, that you will fight. Just tell us, when and how will you fight?
But so far, all we‘ve heard are the words “compromise” and “common ground” and have a better working relationship from the White House, while the Republicans are on a rampage just saying, we will defeat this president. It‘s absolutely nuts. We need Democrat who will fight.
SCHULTZ: This is Mitch McConnell at one of these shindigs for the righties talking about “The Drugster.” Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: I mean, let‘s be honest, who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich—
MCCONNELL: -- when you can be with Rush Limbaugh?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Doesn‘t that speak volumes about who these people are?
Here‘s the president today talking about how the dust is going to settle and we‘re all going to get along. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: People are still catching their breath from the election, the dust is still settling. But the one thing I‘m absolutely certain of is that the American people don‘t want us just standing still. And they don‘t want us engaged in gridlock.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: How do you end the gridlock, Adam?
GREEN: Well, I would like to propose a little bit of bipartisanship right here if I could, Ed. I would propose that the president just utter the exact same words that Mitch McConnell said today, that “We will stand in principled opposition to policies that we believe are harmful, and we will offer voters a real choice.”
Or he could repeat the exact same words that Mitch McConnell said yesterday, which is that, “When the other side agrees with the American people on issues like the public option or Wall Street reform, I will be there with them. But when they don‘t, we will confront them.”
Just utter those words. It will be a grand bipartisan statement to say exactly what Mitch McConnell said. That‘s the way that we end the gridlock.
But again, there has been no circumstance laid out by this White House under which they will ever fight, and that is the best way to demobilize their own troops and disempower the public that is rooting for them to really pass and fight for change we can believe in.
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you what, I‘m a fighter. You‘re a fighter. There‘s a lot of liberals in this country who are fighters. And I guess we‘re just going to have to push this White House to stand up.
But right now, in the early aftermath, I think President Obama looks weak. And I‘m losing faith.
Adam, good to have you with us tonight. We‘ll do it again.
Coming up, false prophet Glenn Beck is begging everyone but the geese to join Michele Bachmann‘s conservative caucus. These two psycho-talkers, well, basically, they are made for each other.
Christine O‘Donnell just picked a fight with Karl Rove. She claims she‘s the victim of Republican cannibalism. I love it when they eat their own.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us. We‘re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching tonight.
Well, Republicans laid out their top two priorities. They want to repeal the health care bill and they want to cut spending. But you know what? We don‘t hear anything about jobs in their proposal.
All they do is scream about job creation and unemployment, but they really have no plan of action. It hasn‘t been detailed at all.
Mitch McConnell said his top priority is to defeat President Obama.
Now, hold it right there.
You, as an American tax-paying citizen, is that what you want out of your government in Washington? Instead of a focus on creating jobs, now the party in power in the House, their number one mission is going to be to defeat President Obama.
Boehner is just like McConnell. They‘re in lockstep. See, what they‘re trying to do is say, hey, look, we could hold off on this economy, it‘s going to be bad through 2012, and then we can go out and we can use this high unemployment to try to take back the Senate and the White House and grab the power.
Now, progressives, we need to be worried about this, because a lot of Democratic senators are going to be up for re-election in states that went Republican on Tuesday: Jim Webb in Virginia; Sherrod Brown in Ohio; Bob Casey in Pennsylvania; and there are some others.
Let‘s bring in Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who knows the landscape.
Governor, good to have you with us tonight.
First of all, the money. Do you think in 2012 that the Democrats will be able to meet and surpass this corporate money machine that has spurred upon the American public in this most recent election? What do you think?
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, first of all, I love your message, Ed. We don‘t have to surpass it. We don‘t have to even meet it. We just have to make sure we raise enough money to be competitive.
And we saw that in California, for example. Both of our candidates were outspent badly, but they raised enough money get their message across.
But the only way we‘re going to do that is for progressives to start figuring out that they‘ve got to step up. If we‘re going to take back this country from the corporations that want to just control it and use it, and milk the country—and that‘s not all of our corporations, by any means—but if we want to take back this country from the special interests, everybody‘s going to have start giving a little bit, and they should start now. Not wait until right before the election, start now.
If you want to allocate $25 a month, well, if do you that for the next 20 months, that adds up to a very nice, healthy gift. And we‘ve got start doing it. If we want to take back our country, we‘ve got to participate.
And I hope people are a little angry about what happened on Tuesday. Look, I want to give credit to our base. Our base stepped up and voted very well.
I don‘t know if, Ed, that‘s come through to people yet. The reason we survived in a number of Senate elections and in a number of governor elections, the reason Joe Sestak came this close in Pennsylvania, African-Americans voted more votes in Philadelphia than they did in 2006. And in 2006, I was on the ballot, Santorum and Bush were there, and yet we exceeded.
Latinos voted more. Gay and lesbian voters voted more.
It didn‘t affect congressional elections because they‘re all compacted in urban areas where Democrats win congressional seats overwhelmingly. But in statewide races, it‘s why we did better in the Senate than we did in the Congress.
SCHULTZ: But, Governor, if they obstruct, if they come up with reasons that President Obama is out of touch with the American people, and that his agenda‘s wrong, and they obstruct again, and if we‘re sitting here with almost double-digit unemployment, and we‘re stagnant and jobs are going overseas, we can imagine what it‘s going to be like in 2012. But the thing that frustrates me, Governor, is that we‘re in the locker room right now, and I feel like I have to beg President Obama to go out and get in the game. And I don‘t like that.
RENDELL: You‘re right, Ed. And remember, we still have one great advantage. For the next 20 months, the president of the United States still has the bully pulpit.
What I would advise the president to do—and you are absolutely right, it‘s all about the jobs. All of the exit polls said it wasn‘t about the deficit, it wasn‘t about spending, it‘s about the economy.
I advise the president in two weeks to make an address in which he outlines a jobs program and he does it in two ways.
Number one, he talks about infrastructure. He had a very good infrastructure proposal. He needs to expand it and flesh it out.
Secondly, he has to talk about renewable energy. We can‘t pass cap and trade with the current makeup, but we can, I think, force them to pass a renewable energy bill that makes tax credits permanent, that builds in incentives, that creates national portfolio standards. Even throw in stuff for natural gas, because natural gas is better than fossil fuel in cars.
RENDELL: And put it together and say these are principles that Republicans have talked about for years. Let‘s get together and move this economy forward. Let‘s create jobs as soon as the new Congress gets sworn in.
The Republicans then have two choices. Either do it, go along with it, in which case President Obama looks like a strong leader who‘s driven the economy, or stonewall it and then pay the price.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Governor, I think --
RENDELL: So I think you‘ve (ph) got to grab the initiative.
SCHULTZ: Well, and I think he also should grab the telephone and call you, and you step right in as an adviser.
RENDELL: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us, Governor. You‘ve got answers, and I like them.
RENDELL: And don‘t be depressed. Don‘t be depressed.
SCHULTZ: I‘m not depressed. I just got—I know what these Republicans are up to.
RENDELL: You know the great old saying, Ed.
SCHULTZ: They‘re not going to change. They‘re not going to change.
Good to have you with us, Governor.
RENDELL: You may be right, but for all of us out there, the great old saying is, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
SCHULTZ: I‘m all about it. Good to have you with us, Governor.
RENDELL: See you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Christine O‘Donnell is freaking out. She blames her loss on Karl Rove and the Republican cannibalism. Well, we‘re going to feast on this one in “The Zone” next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Delaware‘s Tea party princess, Christine O‘Donnell, well, she went down by 17 points to her Democratic opponent on Tuesday, but she refuses—refuses to take any responsibility for the defeat.
Here‘s O‘Donnell‘s explanation about why she lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL ®, FMR. DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE: It‘s a symptom of Republican cannibalism. Senator Cornyn says there wasn‘t nothing we could do, we didn‘t have enough money. But if he and Karl Rove had said look, she‘s articulate on the issues—it was verbal support that they could have offered as pundits, so to speak, that they chose not to for whatever reason—sore feelings, whatever.
The only lesson that Karl Rove should be taking away from this is to let the people of the Republican Party decide who is going to be on the ballot. Once they decide, use your influence to get behind them. He could have made a difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: They told Christine O‘Donnell that they didn‘t have enough money?
Christine, if you want to trash Karl Rove, go right ahead but he‘s not the reason you lost this election. And I‘ll put it to you in a way that you can understand, it‘s not Karl Rove, it‘s you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL (R-DE), LOST TO CHRIS COONS: I didn‘t go to Yale.
I‘m you. Evolution is a myth. Why are monkeys still evolving into humans?
Mice have fully functioning human brains.
Where is the constitution of separation of church and state?
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: Thou shall make no establishment.
O‘DONNELL: That‘s in the first amendment.
I dabbled into witchcraft and my first date with a witch was on a satanic altar.
I‘m not a witch. I‘m nothing you‘ve heard. I‘m you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Don‘t you think we have to get her to run for something else? Again? After all if Christine O‘Donnell‘s crazy positions and nutty comments for her to blame her big losses on other people is naive psycho talk.
Coming up, the tan man just said the president is in denial? He can dish it out but we‘ll find out if he can take it. Congressman Elijah Cummings slams him in the battleground coming up.
Psycho talker Michele Bachmann is getting crazier by the minute. Now she‘s got republican leaders in a trance with a big power grab.
Plus, Rod Rooney (ph) thinks that Palin is going to run and the blogs are obsessed with me saying that I‘m obsessed with impeachment. They‘re wrong. A top democrat in the house is the one that predicted it. I just go along with it. You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The “Battleground” story tonight, John Boehner‘s bid for speaker is well under way. He wrote a letter to his colleagues today asking them for support. My message to the middle class, know your enemy and I mean that. In a recent Gallup poll shows 42 percent of voters don‘t have any idea who this guy is, now he‘s on the cover of Time Magazine and will be the third-most powerful man in the country. Everyone needs to know who this man really is and what he stands for. In his letter today, he brought up his humble roots again. It‘s the same old sob story we‘re getting that we got on election night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER ®, OHIO: I spent my whole life chasing the American dream. I put my—myself through school, working every rotten job there was. And every night shift I could find. And I poured my heart and soul into running a small business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: You know upon further review, how many of you get emotional because you put yourself through school? This guy could cry me a river. Look at who he‘s been standing up for in Congress. He voted against the recovery act. He voted against small business lending. He voted against the small business bill in September. And I don‘t care where Boehner came from, I just don‘t thrust this guy and I don‘t think you should trust him either. Two years ago, he shed some tears for the Wall Street bankers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: So I ask all of you, both sides of the aisle, what‘s in the best interest of our country? Not what‘s in the best interest of our party, not with what‘s in the best interest of our own re-election, what‘s in the best interest of our country? Vote yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, it must have been vote no for everything. Joining me now is Congressman Elijah Cummings. Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Good to be with you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You bet. Here we go, investigation talk. Darrell Issa was stirring it up today. Eric Cantor says today that he wants an investigation every week. What do you make of their attitude just a few days after the election?
CUMMINGS: I think it‘s very unfortunate. You know when I watched Mr. Boehner and good friend of mine but you know when I watched him crying, you know, I couldn‘t help but think I wish he could come to my district and see the people who are struggling perhaps the same way he did when he was coming up. Only these people are losing their homes, many of them have lost their jobs and Mr. Boehner at the same time would vote against an extension of unemployment benefits, would vote against a lot of the things that would help people in foreclosure. And I‘m very concerned. I got to tell you—and I know that they are—our republican friends are saying that they want to work with the president and the Democrats, but—and as much as I want to believe that, I have not seen any evidence of it in the past. I really haven‘t. And that‘s a painful thing.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Yesterday I thought the president could not have been more gracious about the outcome. In fact I thought he was too down, he was not—he didn‘t look like he had much fight left in him but it is what it is. So what happens today? Here comes Boehner out on the morning talking heads. He says the president‘s in denial. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: There seems to be some denial on the part of the president and other democrat leaders, the message that was sent by the American people. When you have the most historic election in over 60, 70 years, you would think that the other party would understand that the American people have clearly repudiated the policies that they‘ve put forward in the last two years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUMMINGS: Obviously, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Go ahead.
CUMMINGS: He hasn‘t been looking at the polling numbers. Let‘s say for example with regard to health care. I think 48 percent of the people say, they would like to have it repealed but 47 percent say they like it and they like for it to be expanded. That doesn‘t sound like a mandate to me and you‘ve got almost even folks saying they want to reduce the deficit and saying that they want to spend—see government spend money to create jobs so that they can get through that very kinds of things that Mr. Boehner was just crying about. And the struggle that people go through and I‘m hoping that he‘ll go back and think about what he went through and realize that are there many Americans going through that right now, through no fault of their own.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, I just thought the president yesterday was too nice and that‘s how it was received by Mr. Boehner. It‘s always confrontational. It‘s always the president‘s fault. It‘s always the Democrats‘ fault when they say absolutely no to everything. So, what is this dinner going to be like on November 18th? Where do you want the president to draw the line? What do you need to hear from President Obama in dealing with this attitude?
CUMMINGS: I need to hear the president say, look, if you‘re serious about compromising and working together, you got to at least meet me halfway and it can‘t be your way or the highway. The American people want us to work together and I‘m willing to work. This is what I want him to say, but if you don‘t want to do that, then I‘ve got to stand up for people who are suffering and going through very difficult circumstances right now.
And they—and I‘ll just have to go against you. I mean that‘s what he‘s got to do, I mean, when I meet with people standing in the rain in the election the other day, a lot of these folks were depressed, I‘m talking about Democrats, were depressed because they want more fight. They want more fight from the Democrats, they want more fight from this president.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. I think that we‘re on the same page with this one. I appreciate your time. We‘ll do it again.
CUMMINGS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories.
Now I‘m not making this impeachment stuff up. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told me twice, impeachment will be on the table with these folks. And Mitch McConnell threw down an ultimatum for the president today. A doctored republican agenda or will obstruct?
With us tonight Todd Webster and John Feehery, republican strategist and the president of the Quinn Gillespie Communications. Congratulations. I‘m glad you‘re communicating well, John. Good to have you with us tonight.
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Congratulations on winning all of the seats but I‘m a little at a loss as the arrogance that‘s coming from Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. How do you see it?
FEEHERY: Listen, Ed, this election was a big repudiation of the president‘s agenda. This is not a communications problem from the president. His policies haven‘t worked. Now, I don‘t think that the Republicans—people necessarily love Republicans right now. I get that and I think John Boehner and Mitch McConnell get that but they also understand that the policies that have gone on for last two years are not working with the American people. That‘s what this vote was all about. So I think that what Mitch McConnell and John Boehner saying, hey we‘ve got to change direction and I think that they‘re open and willing to compromise, but they‘re not going to give it all away here on the first date. They‘re going to have.
SCHULTZ: Todd, what do you think?
FEEHERY: Go ahead.
TODD WEBSTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, look, I think the last two elections ‘06 and ‘08, Democrats gained 51 seats and in this last election, Republicans gained 60 seats. It is—the reality is that we‘re looking at 10 percent unemployment. You‘ve got one in seven houses, mortgages are under war so the American people I think are very concerned. What they do want out of Washington is no more of the sideshows and the craziness but they want Democrats and Republicans to work together to try to create more jobs and continue the economic recovery and keep things moving forward. They don‘t want impeachment, they don‘t want the crazy talk.
SCHULTZ: OK, so both of you say we‘ve got to work together. I get all that. But it sounds very dictatorial on the part of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Now, let‘s talk about this talk of impeachment. I‘m not making this stuff up. This is an exchange that I had on this program with Jim Clyburn, the majority whip. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Michele Bachmann talking about subpoenas, investigations, the birthers have been out there from time to time swirling, saying that maybe impeachment is the route to go. Do you think they‘ll go down that road, Jim?
JAMES CLYBURN, HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Yes, I do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It‘s—it‘s that easy, yes. He believes they‘re going in that direction. It‘s not even 48 hours past the election and here‘s Cantor talking about investigations. Here of course, they‘re talking about, well, we‘ll have to make sure that they don‘t destroy any documents. John Feehery, do you think this is what the American people want.
FEEHERY: I think what the American people want is oversight of the government to find out where all the money is going, to find out where the waste is and try to get waste out of government. Jim Clyburn has not been as far as I know in any republican committee meetings. He doesn‘t know what the Republicans are going to do. I can guarantee you, Ed that they‘re not going to impeach this president. That‘s not on their agenda. Their agenda is to put people back to work, cut taxes. That talk is ridiculous.
SCHULTZ: OK. So we‘re not going to hear anything from the birthers? We‘re not going to hear anything from the birthers, we‘re not going to hear anybody saying hey, you‘ve got to go show your birth certificate to Rush Limbaugh, that those days are all over and all the Republicans are about are just creating jobs, right, Todd?
FEEHERY: Ed, the birthers might say what they‘re going to say but that has nothing to do with the republican leadership. They‘re going to move forward on agenda to create jobs.
SCHULTZ: Then why doesn‘t John Boehner—wait a minute, why doesn‘t John Boehner and Mitch McConnell do the same thing Nancy Pelosi did with George Bush four years ago and say, we‘re taking impeachment off the table. Why won‘t he say that, John?
FEHEERY: Because, Ed, you‘re the only person other than Jim Clyburn is talking about impeachment. The whole idea is completely ridiculous.
WEBSTER: Well, no but the 40 percent of the republican electorate in a significant amount of the Tea Party candidates do want to see this guy impeached and do want to look at his birth certificate. But what‘s interesting about Tuesday‘s elections is that the four Tea Party candidates who were on the ballot in a general election all four the lost. Christine O‘Donnell, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck in Colorado, Joe Miller in Alaska. The Tea Party in the general electorate does not work. The one Tea Partier who did win, Rand Paul is actually the scion of a powerful republican family.
SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, we‘ve got to run.
WEBSTER: .and it‘s not as a surprise that the republican win in.
SCHULTZ: All right.
FEEHERY: I guarantee it.
SCHULTZ: But just take it off the table. That‘s all that you‘ve got to do. They won‘t do it.
All right. Well, you‘re a communication‘s guy, I‘m glad that you got it off the table. John Feehery, Todd Webster, great to have you with us.
WEBSTER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, bad crazy Bachmann is making a power grab and it‘s driving Eric Cantor absolutely nuts. Jonathan Alter says, there‘s no way she‘s going to drive the leadership. He‘ll explain why, next on the “Playbook.” Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think? The number to dial tonight is 1-877-ed-msnbc. Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you want President Obama to get tougher with the Republicans? Press one for yes. Press two for no. The number to dial tonight is 1-877-ed-msnbc. We‘ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: And in my “Playbook” tonight, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann just won a third term in Congress here in Minnesota but, you know what? She wants more power. In addition to her Tea Party caucus, she‘s planning to form a constitutional conservative caucus. But the psycho-talker‘s gunning for the fourth-most powerful spot in the Congress as well. The republican conference chairmanship. That means she‘ll be taking on the establishment pick, Jeb Hensarling of Texas who has already been endorsed by Minority Whip Eric Cantor and current Conference Chair Mike Pence. Folks, elections have consequences and Michele Bachmann in a major leadership role, I think, is flat out dangerous. But it might be good for the Democrats.
Joining me now is Jonathan Alter, national affairs columnist for “Newsweek” and MSNBC political analyst.
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Hi, Ed.
SCHULTZ: How do you see this? I mean, she‘s a media darling. Every camera she sees.
ALTER: One way to put it.
SCHULTZ: .she falls in love with and she‘s a verbal bomb thrower.
What do you make of this?
ALTER: Well, it would be Democrats‘ dream come true if she became the head of the republican conference. It‘s not likely, not only does she have the leadership which right now is basking in the adulation of a grateful Republican Party. But even Mike Pence, who represents the more conservative wing of an already very, very conservative republican caucus, even he‘s for Hensarling. So, I wouldn‘t give her much chance. Look, Ed, she‘s a sideshow, a circus sideshow. And she has been, you know, for the last few years and she will continue to be. She has more power now because they‘re a lot new Tea Party folks who are coming in to the Congress and some of them might look to her for some leadership but mostly what she is good for the Democrats because she‘s a pain in the rear for the republican leadership.
SCHULTZ: Well, she can raise money.
SCHULTZ: And it seems like she has a real thirst for leadership.
ALTER: Democrats too by the way. She raised a lot of money for Democrats.
SCHULTZ: Well, that‘s true.
ALTER: Yes. You need people like that in the other party to convince the base that you know these folks are serious right wingers who want to take the country over the cliff. So, she‘s helpful to both parties.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that she‘s kind of like Sarah Palin except she just happens to be in the Congress?
ALTER: Yes. Yes and also she doesn‘t have Sarah Palin‘s, you know, national reach. I mean, I guess she will become popular on the chicken-and-pea-circuit for these right wing dinners, but you know, mostly she‘s a, both a form of entertainment, she‘s another cable blow hard, and in a more serious sense, a reminder that the right wing has moved closer to the center of our politics. They—they haven‘t moved to the center. But they‘re closer to the center of gravity of our national politics and that‘s kind of a frightening thing.
SCHULTZ: Jonathan Alter, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight.
ALTER: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, all signs point to a Palin 2012 run. Sarah, I would love to see you run. Joan Walsh, Salon.com editor in chief, well, she will share her take with us on the barracuda possibly running for president. That‘s next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight, Sarah Palin suffered some huge losses on Tuesday night. Christine O‘Donnell, Sharron Angle, Tom Tancredo, John Raese, they all went down in flames. But Mama Grizzlies who did win are pretty well placed to help Palin out if she decides to run for president in 2012. She‘s going to have Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire in the Senate. Nikki Haley, the governor‘s mansion is down in South Carolina, she got a victory. And out west, she‘ll have the New Mexico governor, Susana Martinez. Well, Palin didn‘t waste any time celebrating her victories with a new video featuring her 2010 winning pictures.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN, POLITICAL NEWS COMMENTATOR: This is our movement. This is our moment. This is our morning in America.
We‘re going to stand up, and we‘re going to speak out. It may take us some renegades going rogue to get us there. It may take folks shaking it up to get there. We‘ve got to do this together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: All right let‘s go to Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief Salon.com. Give us an analysis to this, Joan, what does this all mean? She‘s spiking the ball, isn‘t she?
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM: She sure is. She‘s having a good time. But I didn‘t see any Joe Miller in that montage. I didn‘t see any Christine O‘Donnell. And, you know, from another perspective, Ed, she really did help cost the party of the Senate. Those candidates, those extremists candidates like Sharron Angle, who she backed, lost and otherwise her party would very, very likely be in control of the Senate too. But she doesn‘t seem to care. You know she thinks she‘s running a movement, she‘s out for herself and she‘s got the map—she‘s got the primary and caucus state map down really well. There‘s also in Iowa, she‘s close to the governor there. And even in Nevada, which has an early caucus, I think, you know, she‘s got the Sharron Angle forces on her side, so it may have hurt her party but it all helped her.
SCHULTZ: One thing about Sarah Palin, I get this feeling that if she were to run for the nomination, it would either be widely successful or it would be an embarrassment. What do you think?
WALSH: I‘m going to think about that for a second. I mean, I don‘t think it can be an embarrassment. I really don‘t. I think she‘s endured, she‘s endured so many things that you and I might be embarrassed by. The kinds of things where she shows her ignorance and sophisticates mock her. Nobody seems to care. So you know, I think if she does it and I‘m so not sure she‘s going to do it but if she does it, it will have a movement feeling. The people who love her do not care about her gaffes and it‘s going to be pretty hard for the other boys and I think that they‘re going to all be boys to kind of compete with her star power and her sense that she‘s morally right and that she‘s the leader of a movement and she doesn‘t have to necessarily make the political calculations that more sober Republicans may have to do.
SCHULTZ: Is she running, in your opinion?
WALSH: I‘m starting to think she‘s running, yes. I do. I think it‘s
I think she‘s an egomaniac and I think a little bit to hard for her to pass up that opportunity to just showcase herself in 50 states. And, you know, become even bigger if she were to lose. It doesn‘t hurt her, I don‘t think to lose.
SCHULTZ: Joan Walsh, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
WALSH: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Tonight in our phone survey I asked, do you want President Obama to get tougher with Republicans? Ninety seven percent of you said, yes. Three percent of you said, no. I hope the White House is watching tonight.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. Chris Matthews is right up next with “HARDBALL” here on the place for politics, MSNBC. Cenk will be here tomorrow night. I‘m going deer hunt for a couple of days up in the North Country. Have a great one, folks. We‘ll see you Monday from New York. “HARDBALL” is next.
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United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
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