'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Past transcripts by month
Guests: Steve Benen, Forrest Wilder
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening, Lawrence. Thank you.
And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour.
One way to know things are bad in the U.S. economy is when a drop of
520 points on the Dow makes you say oh, is that today`s news or am I
looking at an old headline? Didn`t just happen the other day?
Today, the Dow, in fact, dropped 520 points, the ninth worst point
drop in the history of the Dow. Any minor hesitant joy experienced when
the market went up 430 points yesterday was wiped away and then some today.
Today`s stock market plunge as opposed to the stock market plunge two days
ago or the one six days ago.
Today`s stock market was results of fears about Europe, fears about
France specifically. About whether France is line to get their credit
downgraded, except theirs wouldn`t be because of political stuntmen playing
games with the nation`s full faith and credit like ours was, their
downgrade would be for worst reasons.
And the worries are not just about France but also about Spain and
about Italy, too.
Broadly speaking, what happened in the market today was not about the
United States. It was about the European economic mess. Their turmoil, of
course, affects us because we all live in this big unhappy global economy
right now. But also because one of the big questions in this big unhappy
global economy right now is: can America be a life ring to the rest of the
world? Can our recovery be strong enough to help a world in trouble?
So far, the answer to that question has been no.
What`s weighing down our entire economy is that we are just not
growing enough. We do not have enough jobs. America has a jobs problem,
and the whole world can tell. And even though jobs have been off the
agenda in Washington, as Republicans have said no, no, no, we can only talk
about the debt and the deficit, the emergency right now, short-term, is
This is the imperative right now, something that takes people who are
not working right now and makes them go to work because they are getting
paid to do a job. That is what is needed.
And for that I have an idea. Actually, Michele Bachmann has an idea.
But it sounds to me like a great idea.
Michele Bachmann has an idea to create 1,500 new jobs in the city of
Big Lake, Minnesota, by providing funding for something called the Big Lake
Rail Park, a project she notes that will enhance economic development and
job opportunities in this rural Minnesota community. There`s 1,500 jobs
right there at the Big Lake Rail Park.
We know Michele Bachmann wants these jobs because of the intrepid Sam
Stein at "The Huffington Post." Sam Stein filed a Freedom of Information
Act request to find out if while presidential candidate Michele Bachmann
was denouncing the stimulus as -- in her words -- "an orgy of spending,"
while she was doing that in public, she`s also asking for stimulus funding
for her district at the same time. Because, really, regardless of what she
was saying publicly for political effect, she actually knows this is the
way that government can create jobs.
Was she saying something in public that contradicted what she was
doing in private? Yes, she`s doing that over and over again. Sam Stein
was able to dig up at least 16 separate occasions where Michele Bachmann
was publicly denouncing the futility, even the job-killing nature of the
stimulus act while privately telling the Obama administration that stimulus
programs would create jobs and please, could she have some of that good
job-creating federal money for her district.
And again, this is not a personal thing, this is not the kind of
personal hypocrisy of denouncing Medicaid as a program, like Michele
Bachmann has done, while personally benefiting from Medicaid dollars at her
family`s business. It`s not the same thing as denouncing farm subsidies,
which Michele Bachmann has done while personally benefiting from farm
subsidies, which she has also done. That`s a whole different kind of
hypocrisy. That`s frankly about the politician as the person, that`s a
But this is the kind of hypocrisy proves a policy point, which is that
Republicans know that there are some things government can do to create
jobs. They know that. And so, whatever hypocrisy political points you can
score against an individual politician on this sort of thing, that`s sort
of beside the point when the country is in the trouble that we are in right
Look at the Dow today, down another 520 points. We are in an economic
pickle right now, we are in really big trouble and, frankly, we need to do
This demonstrative hypocrisy from politicians like Michele Bachmann --
sure, it`s interesting if you`re interested in Michele Bachmann as a person
or as a candidate. But more than that, it could be constructive for the
whole country. This could actually save the country right now.
Steve Benen writing at "Washington Monthly," he`s the man to be
credited with this proposal, we`ll be talking about this with Steve about
this in just a moment. But, essentially, the idea is this, it`s genius --
right now, we are at risk of a double-dip recession, right? The recovery
is sputtering. Things going on globally in the economy are really, really
hurting us. There`s both an urgent, urgent need to create jobs quickly, to
put jumper cables on the dead battery of this economy.
And Republicans are saying they will not let that happen. They don`t
want government action to stimulate the economy. There`s nothing
government can do to create jobs. That`s what they say.
So, in Steve Benen`s words, "Here`s the pitch: have the White House
take the several hundred letters Republican lawmakers have sent to the
executive branch from 2009 asking for public investments to create jobs and
let President Obama announce he will gladly fund all the Republicans`
request that have not yet been filled."
So, Michele Bachmann, we know that you say you hate the stimulus. We
know that you hate the idea of government doing anything like the stimulus
act to create jobs. But remember when you wrote to the Transportation
Department back in September 2009 asking for stimulus money to help the
city of St. Cloud construct and widen a 1.2 mile segment of roadway there -
- remember when you asked for that government money because you said it
would create 680 jobs?
I have an answer for you, Michele Bachmann. The answer, approved.
Yes. The answer is yes. There`s 680 new jobs for your district, 680 new
jobs for our country, congratulations.
Remember when you asked for stimulus funds to reconstruct the Trunk
Highway 36 Bridge over the St. Croix River, a project that you said would
directly produce 1,407 new jobs per year? The answer? Approved, yes.
There`s 1,400 new jobs for your district and therefore for our country.
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions in Alabama -- remember when you wrote
to the Energy Department in February 2009 asking for federal funds to help
build a commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the state of Alabama,
a project you said would provide 750 jobs through the region of its
proposed rural site?
Senator Jeff Sessions, the answer is yes, approved. Enjoy your 750
new jobs. The country needs them.
Republican Congressman Jerry Moran of Kansas, remember when you wrote
to the Energy Department in July 2009. You asked for stimulus money for a
company in your district that`s working on lead-acid batteries, a project
you said will create 320 direct manufacturing jobs and more than 1,000
Congressman Jerry Moran, the answer is yes, let`s do it. Approved.
Don`t tell me that we can`t fund economic stimulus right now. Don`t
tell me that the government cannot do anything to create jobs right now
because Republicans will object to that. These are things that Republicans
asked for, because they know it works. They themselves made the argument
that it would work. They put numerical figures on the number of jobs these
things would create. They are asking and the answer should be yes.
And the answer should be yes for anybody who can benefit from projects
like this in the same way that these Republican members of Congress know
they can benefit.
So, when Michele Bachmann writes to the Obama administration asking
for money through the Cops Hiring Recovery Program, she is darn right that
it would be good for Cold Spring, Minnesota, to do that. That program
would specifically fund police jobs in Cold Spring, Minnesota, which would
be good for Cold Spring, Minnesota. That would also be good for the
individual cops, it would add jobs to the economy, it would have an overall
economic benefit for that community, for that state, and therefore, for the
That is true in Cold Spring, Minnesota. That`s the reason Michele
Bachmann asked for it. It`s true in Cold Spring, Minnesota and it is true
in every other community around the country that has benefited from the
line item in the Recovery Act that was for hiring cops.
Reinstate that across the country. Do not tell me Republicans would
object to that, Republicans have asked for that, even if they did only ask
They say that politics is the art of the possible, right? The Beltway
has been saying for more than a year that any political action to save the
economy is pretty much impossible because Republicans just will not allow
it. But we as a country have been through four huge shocks that frankly
should have changed everybody`s perception about what is politically
possible right now.
Over the last two weeks, we learned that the recession that we are
trying to crawl out of now was even worse than we originally thought it
was. We came within a whisker of defaulting on our debt for the first time
in our history because of the Republican Party`s flirtation with that sort
of catastrophic default. We had our credit rating downgraded for the first
And now, thanks to all of these factors and more the market looks like
this every other day or so.
We have endured all of these dramatic shocks to our economic psyche in
just the last two weeks. Anybody who tells you about what`s possible and
impossible in Washington, if their list of what`s impossible is the same
now as it was before all of these shocks, stop listening to that person.
We haven`t had just a wake-up call. We`ve had a wake-up call followed
by an alarm clock, followed by somebody throwing a bucket of water on us,
followed by a burglar entering the bedroom and grabbing us by the neck. We
And even if nobody is willing to say the word "infrastructure" or
"stimulus" or even "|investment" because Republicans are supposedly opposed
to those things, Republicans are supposedly opposed to any government
action to create jobs -- why can`t you just use the Republicans patent
hypocrisy against them? This is the list of Republicans who have made
requests for the government to create jobs in their state or districts by
funding specific projects.
We put this list together more than a year ago when all the
Republicans were saying they were against the stimulus but they were busy
asking for stimulus money to create jobs. We posted this list from our
previous cover age on our Web site tonight, as a reference.
We also posted Sam Stein`s new details on Michele Bachmann`s funding
request, as well as the reporting done on this subject by the Center of
Public Integrity and by Think Progress.
All this stuff is out there. It could be used, just add up the things
that Republicans have said will create jobs if the government would just
spend money on it and just start there.
You don`t have to call it a jobs program, you don`t have to call it
stimulus if you don`t want to, just start there. All their bridges and
road building projects that would create jobs, approve it.
Yes, every program they lobby for that is a national program that will
create jobs and help the economy, approve it -- even if they are only
asking for it for their own district, approve it for the country. If they
know it would work in their districts, that means it would work in other
Say yes -- just start there. Don`t call it a stimulus. Don`t call it
anything. If you call it anything, they`ll say they are against the thing.
Just start creating jobs and use what they asked for as the reason to
do it. If the Republican opposition is the problem, this is the way around
Joining us now is the genius who came up to this plan, Steve Benen,
contributing writer to "Washington Monthly."
Steve, it`s great to see you. Thank you so much for doing this, my
STEVE BENEN, WASHINGTON MONTHLY: It`s good to see you. Thank you,
MADDOW: The idea here is that this could maybe work as long as -- as
long as you don`t call it a jobs program -- as long as you don`t call it a
second stimulus, or infrastructure investment.
If the White House and Democrats were going to do this and the idea
was to avoid Republican opposition, should they call it something else or
do it in a piecemeal way as if it isn`t a program?
BENEN: I think at this point their rhetoric is almost irrelevant.
You know, you can call it a stimulus. But at this point, Republicans
consider that were a punch line. You can call it investment, but they
consider it code for whatever it is they consider it code for.
And so, at this point, the rhetoric, the sales pitch, it doesn`t make
a different because Republicans are just so strongly against any kind of
government spending at all. But that`s all the more reason for pursuing an
idea like this. If this is a list that Republicans came up with saying
these are things they believe will create jobs in their own communities,
their own districts, their own states, then at a minimum, if Democrats want
to make these investments and create jobs, start here.
Now, one might say, well, at that point, you might look at job
opportunities in blue districts and blue states. But fine, we can get to
that later. If we just want to get -- inject capital into the system,
create jobs right away, we want to create demand in this economy -- we can
start with the list Republicans came up with and make an immediate
MADDOW: It does feel a little weird, `m self conscious about singling
out Michele Bachmann`s request because even though she`s a presidential
candidate, she really has been a very fringe figure in Congress. For
example, she has never had a piece of legislation pass in her time in
But do you think Michele Bachmann is actually useful here politically?
Are her requests and is her candidacy useful for the politics here?
BENEN: Perhaps. I mean, when you look at Michele Bachmann and the
context of Congress, she is not necessarily unique. As you noted in the
earlier segment, she is one of many who have requested public funds, when
it comes to privately in their capacity as members of Congress -- but then
publicly rail against public spending.
So, to a certain extent, she`s not unique. But at the same time, she
is uniquely brazen. She is someone who, for example, one of my favorite
examples that Sam Stein came up with, was that she requested funding from
the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, for her district despite the
fact she doesn`t believe the EPA should even exist, and she actually wants
to eliminate the agency altogether.
And so, given all of that, you know, trying to communicate to
Republicans the importance of these kinds of projects, Democrats are in a
position to say, well, even Michele Bachmann believes that all this public
spending can create jobs and help the economy, then other Republicans can
certainly go along because she`s to their right.
MADDOW: And there`s not very many people in the caucus about whom you
can say that. But you`re right about her.
Of all the stuff that could be done to help fix the economy, to create
jobs in the short-term, infrastructure is actually one of the things that
Republicans speak most kindly about. Is this one of those things where
Democrats are a little afraid of their own shadow here, there might
actually be some room to move on infrastructure if they target what they
are trying to do specifically enough?
BENEN: Well, maybe. You know, one would like to think that this is
an area for common ground. Traditionally, Democrats and Republicans have
agreed infrastructure spending is good for the economy, it`s good for
innovation. This is something that everyone can kind of agree on
But I know you`ve talk about in the show before, we`re in an
environment where now Republicans are against the ideas that they are for.
You look back at the deficit commission or cap and trade or individual
mandate in health care -- these were all Republican ideas. Democrats
figured, well, if they embrace the Republican ideas, then they`d be able to
build on that in terms of common ground.
But then Republicans decided that they are against their own ideas,
which at that point raises the question of whether common ground is
possible at all.
I mean, Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, two years ago, was in
his district and endorsed a high-speed rail program which is very
lucrative, create a lot of job -- and he was there, there for the ribbon-
cutting ceremony. Now, he`s against it. At that point, what are you going
to do with a member of Congress who is against his own ideas?
MADDOW: You can flummox them by saying, yes -- I suppose, which I
think is the basic idea here.
Steve Benen, contributing writer to "The Washington Monthly." Steve,
as you know, I read your blog every day and I really appreciate you coming
on the show tonight. I know it`s not the easiest thing for you to do, so
BENEN: Thank you for having me.
MADDOW: All right. You know, here comes the presidential campaign of
Texas Governor Rick Perry and because here comes the presidential campaign
of Rick Perry, here comes the really important reporting out of Texas about
Rick Perry. Please stay tuned for that.
MADDOW: The most interesting thing in presidential politics right now
is Governor Rick Perry of Texas. The first presidential nominating process
is, of course, the Iowa caucuses, which were held in January last time
around. They are set for February this time around.
And the Iowa caucuses are designed to capitalize, literally to
capitalize -- to make money, sorry, Iowa politics in order to capitalize to
make money off the candidate`s early attention to Iowa, also hold the Ames,
Iowa, straw poll -- a fake, very unscientific poll that they encourage
candidates to spend a ton of money try to win, to supposedly give those
candidates momentum heading into the caucuses, to supposedly give the
momentum heading into the rest of the primaries.
It`s a racket, frankly, particularly the straw poll, but even the
whole idea of Iowa`s outside influence and whether or not their caucus is
all that important. It`s not that important most years, just ask President
Huckabee who won the Iowa Republican caucuses last time around or President
Romney, who won the straw poll last time around.
In Republican politics, Iowa doesn`t matter that much anymore, but the
beltway thinks it does. And so, the Beltway is all excited about the straw
poll this weekend. And like a snake eating its own tails, the Beltway`s
interest gives it whatever interest it does have, which justifies the
Beltway interest which -- and so on and so on.
But this year, there is a problem in Iowa coverage, which is that the
front runner for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney, is not doing any
campaigning for the straw poll. He`s not really trying to win it, which
means him losing the straw poll wouldn`t really mean anything because he
didn`t try to win it, and him winning the straw poll wouldn`t really mean
anything either since he`s the frontrunner anywhere.
Also, to the extent that the Republican race right now is about who
can beat Mitt Romney, about who has any chance of being the nominee other
than him, well, Texas Governor Rick Perry just screwed up Iowa coverage for
this weekend, too.
Governor Rick Perry is not technically running for president yet, and
he`s not one of the candidates in the straw poll. But, nationally, he is
polling second to Mitt Romney in some polls. That was true last month in
polling from Gallup and it`s true this month in a brand new poll from
When nearly every other candidate in the race will be working for a
good showing at the straw poll on Saturday, and some hope that they could
win Iowa and some coverage thereof -- Rick Perry has chosen the day of the
straw poll as the day he`ll start his unofficial campaign with speeches and
appearances that day in South Carolina and in New Hampshire, and then
another round of "I`m running for president" events on Sunday, the
following day, in Iowa.
It has seemed like Rick Perry was about to get into this race for
awhile now -- why is he finally doing it? Why is he finally getting in?
Part of it maybe the opportunity to stick it to all the other wannabe
Romney challengers who really need good news coverage of their campaigns in
Iowa in order to become contenders -- news coverage that Rick Perry has a
opportunity to block frankly by jumping in this weekend and stealing all
But the other that may have cleared Rick Perry`s campaign for take off
here is that it is only this week that Rick Perry has successfully put
behind him his big stadium prayer event in Texas. This past Saturday in
Houston, Governor Perry, less than half-filled Reliant Stadium for a prayer
rally, a Christians only prayer rally event, to ask God to take over
projects like fixing the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: I`m all too aware of government`s
limitations when it comes to fixing things that are spiritual in nature.
That`s where prayer comes in, and we need it more than ever. With the
economy in trouble, communities in crisis, and people adrift in a sea of
moral relativism, we need God`s help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Governor Perry invited governors in the country to come to
his stadium prayer event in Houston. In the end, only Sam Brownback of
Kansas showed up in person. But the political risk here for Governor Perry
was not about attendance at his event. It was not even about seeming
overtly to mix the roles of church and state -- whatever you think about
that issue, that frankly is a constitutional conflation that Republican
candidates have been long-delighted to commit.
Now, the risk for Texas Governor Rick Perry stadium prayer event this
past week, the risk for his presidential campaign was not that he held a
stadium prayer event. It was that the particular stadium prayer event he
held was with these guys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
C. PETER WAGNER, ONE-TIME "THE RESPONSE" ENDORSER: Japan, has a
nation, is one of the nations of the world which has consciously, openly
invited national demonization. The sun goddess visits him in person and
has sexual intercourse with the emperor.
BRYAN FISCHER, AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION: Permits, in my judgment,
should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of
America, not one.
MIKE BICKLE, "THE RESPONSE" ENDORSER: The harlot of Babylon is
preparing the nations to receive the antichrist. The harlot of Babylon
will be a religion of affirmation, toleration, no absolutes, a counterfeit
WAGNER: So the emperor becomes one flesh with the sun goddess, and
that`s an invitation for the sun goddess to continue to demonize the whole
nation. Since the night that that ended the present emperor slept with the
sun goddess, the stock market in Japan has gone down, never come up since.
BICKLE: I believe that one of the main pastors as a forerunner to the
harlot movement, it`s not the harlot movement yet, is Oprah. She is
winsome, she is kind, she is reasonable, she is utterly deceived -- utterly
deceived. A classy woman, a cool woman, a charming woman, but has a spirit
of deception, and she`s one of the clear pastors, forerunners, to the
JOHN HAGEE, "THE RESPONSE" ENDORSER: God sent a hunter. A hunter is
someone with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. How did it
happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God
said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to
the land of Israel.
FISCHER: Hitler discovered he could not get straight soldiers to be
savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders but that
homosexual soldiers basically had no limits in the savagery and brutality
they were willing to inflict on whoever Hitler sent them after. So, he
surrounded himself, virtually all the storm troopers, the brown shirts,
were male homosexuals.
JOHN BENEFIEL, "THE RESPONSE" ENDORSER: You know, there`s a statue in
New York harbor called the Statute of Liberty. You know where we got it
from? French Freemasons. Listen, folks, that is an idol, a demonic idol
right there in the middle of New York harbor.
FISCHER: Counterfeit religions, alternative religions to Christianity
have no First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.
CINDY JACOBS, "THE RESPONSE" ENDORSER: What happens when a nation
makes a decision that is against God`s principles? Well, often what
happens is the nature itself will begin to talk to us. For instance,
violent storms, flooding.
HAGEE: I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was
offensive to God and they are -- were recipients of the judgment of god for
that. The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not
carried nationally, that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the
Monday that Katrina came.
JACOBS: The blackbirds fell to the ground in Beebe, Arkansas; well,
the governor of Arkansas`s name is Beebe, and, also, there was something
put out of Arkansas called Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell by a former governor; this
was proposed by Bill Clinton. And so, could there be a connection?
It could be, because we have said it`s OK for people to commit these
kind of acts to be recognized, you know, in our military for the first time
in our history. There is a potential that there is something that actually
happened in the land where 100,000 drum fish died and also where these
birds just fell out of the air.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: Those are some of the religious figures with whom Rick Perry
did his stadium prayer event this past weekend.
And while many of their statements and views seem eyebrow raising for
being associated with this supposedly mainstream presidential campaign, I
think it`s worth taking seriously where there are all these eyebrow raising
statements with all these people associated with the Rick Perry event.
These are not just one-off comments by these individual pastors where
they had a moment where they said something that sounded strange. A lot of
these pastors allied with Rick Perry, they say things that do maybe sound
strange, but they are saying things that also sound a lot like each other.
There are some patterns among these folks, for example.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
WAGNER: There is a spirit called a harlot.
BICKLE: The harlot Babylon.
WAGNER: She has fornication.
BICKLE: The harlot Babylon will be a religion of affirmation,
toleration, no absolutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Libertas is also called the freedom goddess.
BICKLE: She is winsome, she is kind, she is reasonable, she is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: False goddess.
BICKLE: Utterly deceived.
WAGNER: Sun goddess. The goddess of liberty, Japan, as a nation, is
one of the nations of the world which has consciously, openly invited
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We practice idolatry in America in ways we don`t
JACOBS: What happens when a nation makes a decision that is against
WAGNER: The stock market in Japan has gone down.
JACOBS: Violent storms, flooding.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: If you are noticing an argumentative pattern here, there`s a
reason for that. According to this month`s extensively reported cover
story in "The Texas Observer," the reason you`re hearing thematic
similarities from all these pastors from the Rick Perry event is because
many of them are part of a little-known, very specific religious and
political movement that has a name. It`s called the New Apostolic
The main idea of the New Apostolic Reformation theology is that they
are modern day prophets and apostles. They believe they have a direct line
C. Peter Wagner, the sort of founder of this movement, wrote in 2006
book that the first age of the apostles occurred just after Jesus was
resurrected a couple thousand years ago. The second apostolic age started,
in his words, around the year 2001. And the new apostles for the second
apostolic age are, of course, C. Peter Wagner and the other people who are
in this movement.
Unlike rapture-ready evangelicals who think the end of the world is
upon us now and it`s time to get ready and fast, the New Apostolic
Reformation guys believe that the only way the world can end is if they
clear the way for it. And the way that they`re going to clear the way for
it is by infiltrating and taking over politics and government, taking over
what they describe actually as the "Seven Mountains" of society.
The seven are family, religion, arts and entertainment, media,
education, business, and government. They want to take over all of those
things. They are making plans it take over all of those things, and that
will clear the way for rapture, bingo.
"The Texas Observer" identified more than half a dozen New Apostolic
Reformationists who have also been listed as organizers or endorsers of
Rick Perry stadium prayer event this past weekend, including Mike Bickle,
who you heard earlier thinks Oprah is the forerunner to the antichrist, the
harlot movement thing. He`s listed as a national endorser of the response
event. John Benefiel who you heard thinks the Statue of Liberty is a
demonic idol. He`s also listed as a national endorser.
Cindy Jacobs who you heard say that she thinks "don`t ask, don`t tell"
caused birds to fall out of the sky in Arkansas. She`s listed as a
national endorser as well. And C. Peter Wagner himself is the Japan stock
market never recovered from the sex with the sun goddess thing, he used to
be listed as the national endorser. But the night before the event, we
could no longer find him on the Web site anymore.
Rick Perry did not just do a prayer event in Texas that was a no
nonsense Christians allowed. Rick Perry did a prayer event that involved a
specific Christian political movement, a movement that has political goals
and wants a political vehicle and that seems to want a Rick Perry
presidential candidacy to be their political vehicle.
The "Texas Observer" begins its story about these new, self-styled
apostles with the story about a visit two of them paid to Governor Perry in
Austin in 2009. Quote, "The pastors told Perry of God`s grand plan for
Texas. A chain of powerful prophecies had proclaimed that Texas was `The
Prophet State` anointed by God to lead the United States into revival and
Godly government. And the governor would have a special role."
The New Apostolic Reformation movement appears to have chosen Rick
Perry as their candidate, as their vehicle for their political goal, which
is, of course, you know, world domination, blah, blah, blah.
Rick Perry is announcing the presidential start of his campaign this
weekend in New Hampshire and South Carolina and in Iowa, after hosting a
stadium prayer event with all of these folks and frankly getting away with
no one in the Beltway media reporting on who those folks are or why they
just did the stadium prayer event with Rick Perry.
Forrest Wilder wrote the "Texas Observer" cover story on this. He
joins us next.
MADDOW: It was billed as a, quote, "major announcement" from the Jon
Huntsman for president campaign this week. And this morning we finally
found out what it was -- Jon Huntsman just got the endorsement of Bush --
not that one -- no, not that one either. Nope, actually, no, not that one.
It was -- do we have -- this one. Jeb Bush, Jr.
The promised major announcement from the Jon Huntsman for president
campaign this week turns out to be an endorsement from Jon huntsman by
George W. Bush`s nephew who has never held public office.
If you have been wondering why there was excitement this year about
Rick Perry joining the presidential race, Jon Huntsman, I`m sorry, but
that`s why. If you have been wondering about emotions other than
excitement about Rick Perry joining the presidential race -- that story is
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: As an elected leader, I`m all too aware of government`s
limitations when it comes to fixing things that are spiritual in nature.
That`s where prayer comes in, and we need it more than ever. With the
economy in trouble, communities in crisis and people adrift in a sea of
moral relativism, we need God`s help. That`s why I`m calling on Americans
to pray and fast like Jesus did and as God called the Israelites to do in
the Book of Joel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That, of course, as Texas Governor Rick Perry inviting
America to join him in solving things like the economy at his prayer event
at Reliant Stadium in Houston this past weekend. The event hosted in
conjunction with a number of leaders of a religious and political movement
who see themselves as the second group of humans picked to be Jesus`
apostles -- after the ones you might be more familiar with from the Bible.
The New Apostolic Reformation has embraced Rick Perry as part of their
own goal to frankly take over government in order to take over the world.
They and their connection to Rick Perry`s presidential aspirations are the
subject of "Texas Monthly`s" cover story this month. The author of that
piece if Forrest Wilder. He`s staff writer for the "Texas Observer" and he
joins us tonight for the interview.
Forrest Wilder, thanks very much for making time for us. I really
FORREST WILDER, TEXAS OBSERVER: Great to be here.
MADDOW: What is the relationship between this New Apostolic
Reformation movement that you`ve been writing about and what everyone else
in national politics describes as Rick Perry`s religious right base?
WILDER: Well, Rick Perry, in putting on the response, selected a very
particular group of people to help him organize it, to promote it, to
endorse it. And this group of people known as the New Apostolic
Reformation movement, as you discussed.
And they are really kind of at the outer peripheral or sort of
bleeding edge of American Christianity. And so, it`s interesting that he
picked them. I mean, he could have gone more moderate. He could have put
on an event that had Joel Osteen`s more moderate evangelicals.
But the fact he picked the apostles and prophets crowd, as well as
some Christians and others kind of a margin I think says a lot about, one,
his political strategy as he goes into the presidential primary, but also
maybe a bit about where he`s coming from as a person and as a politician.
MADDOW: I -- my general -- my general feeling about faith and
politics is that nobody`s theology is of political interest unless they are
trying to legislate faith. And there`s two part of that, if their faith
and the way they practice their faith leads them to having interest or
pursuing policies, that`s of interest.
But also if their faith is using their candidacy in accomplishing
theological goals, I think of the New Apostolic Reformation movement from
your writing and from others, as a political movement, as a goal that -- as
a group that has political goals. Do you see it that way and what are
their political goals?
WILDER: Absolutely, and, in fact, at the response, a lot of the
coverage of it said it was essentially apolitical. When they are talking
about revival, which was a major theme of the response, they are not just
talking about a spiritual revival, they are also talking about a political
revival. Just as one kind of small example, there`s an anti-abortion
prayer that was read several times at the response, also sung in the form
of a song, which ended God end abortion and send revival to America.
It is not that there`s a 12-point agenda that they`ve handed out or
anything like that, it`s just that the basis -- the theological basis for
the new apostolic affirmation movement, is as you pointed out, taking
control of the seven mountains -- government, media, family, arts and
entertainment, so on and so forth. A particular group of Christians taking
control of the seven mountains in order to bring about Godly government and
the eventually return of Jesus. And so, these things are the political and
the spiritual religious aspects are totally tied up with each other and
really can`t be totally disentangled.
MADDOW: It is clear these folks seem to be politically ambitious,
even if it is for theological reasons. It does seem that they also picked
Rick Perry by allying themselves like this with him.
But is it clear that Rick Perry has chosen them back, that he embraces
their world view in important ways, that he would see becoming president as
something that had theological consequences?
WILDER: You know, I don`t know if we know entirely what his
relationship is with them to what extent he may share their believes, but
the fact again that he picked them to organize this event says at least
that he`s comfortable with them being on a stage with him. I mean, he very
literally elevated this set of individuals and organizations and this
movement to the national stage.
And he, you know, surely he`s a savvy politician. He knew the
significance of that for himself going into this campaign, but and also
folks involved in this movement and leadership who believe that there may
actually believe prophecies that they as prophets and apostles have
received from God that talk about Texas` role in this spiritual and
political revival and the role that Perry may play as a literal instrument,
instrument of God. You know?
And there was a moment at the response, right before he gave his
speech, which he embraced a woman named Alice Patterson (ph). This was a
figure who believes, for example, the Democratic Party is controlled by
Jezebel. So, does Rick Perry believe the Democratic Party is controlled by
Jezebel? You know, I don`t know. But it`s certainly something that is
interesting to explore a little bit further.
MADDOW: I will call him and I will ask him, and you will be the
40,000th person to know if I get an answer for him.
Forrest Wilder, staff writer for "The Texas Observer," thank you for
your reporting and thanks for joining us to talk about it tonight. I
really appreciate it.
WILDER: Thank you.
MADDOW: We will be right back.
MADDOW: Depending on what time zone you were in, did you not know all
the results from yesterday`s recall election in Wisconsin until very late
last night or very early today. It was a nail biter, down to the wire, a
cliffhanger and a whole bunch of other metaphors that basically mean if you
were like me, you did not get to sleep until way past your bedtime last
Six incumbent Republicans faced recall election in a backlash against
those Republicans who supported Republican Governor Scott Walker stripping
of union rights in Wisconsin. Two Democrats did unseat the Republicans
they targeted yesterday. Jennifer Shilling beat Republican incumbent Dan
Kapanke, 55 to 45. And Jessica King defeated incumbent Randy Hopper, 51 to
Jessica King`s victory rally which you can see here captured the
spirit of a lot of happy Democrats in the state last night. They were
pumped up. They recalled two Republican senators from office, thus
reducing the Republican majority in Wisconsin Senate down to one.
That said, had Democrats prevailed in just one more race, they
wouldn`t have just narrowed the Republicans majority, Democrats would have
been in control of the state senate. They didn`t get that.
So, bottom line: Republicans were delighted they didn`t lose control
of the state senate. Democrats were disappointed they did not win that.
But Democrats are happy they picked off two senators and they`re happy the
margin in the Senate is at least down for now, down to one Republican vote.
But also Democrats say today they are happy with what last night`s
numbers might mean for a planned effort next year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Recall Walker! Recall Walker! Recall Walker!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Recall Walker they are saying, Republican Governor Scott
Walker. Folks celebrating at Jessica King`s victory rally did not wait a
day to turn their next focus to their next target, to Governor Walker, show
the Democratic Party in Wisconsin confirmed today that he`d like to begin
the process of recalling the governor, quote, "as soon as feasible."
The governor can`t be recalled until he`s been in office a full year,
that requirement will be met this coming January. In other to force a
vote, organizers would then have 60 days to collect more than half million
signatures, which is a ton of signatures.
If Democrats decide to try it and if they get the signatures, and they
force a recall election against Scott Walker, how vulnerable would Scott
Walker be after just one year on the job?
Well, Nate Silver at "The New York Times" crunched the numbers today
and found that Scott Walker is more vulnerable than you might expect.
Here`s what we know: Scott Walker was elected governor last year with
52 percent of the vote statewide. But in the six districts in which
Republicans were challenged last night, Governor Walker did even better
than that. That`s part of why those were uphill races for Democrats last
night. Statewide, Walker you`ll recall got 52 percent. But in those six
districts from last night, he didn`t get 52 percent of the vote, he got
almost 56 percent.
So, while the whole state went for Scott Walker in 2010. These six
districts from last night, really, really went for Scott Walker.
Now, here`s the bad news for the governor going-forward. In those six
elections last night, only one of the Republican senators did as well or
better than Scott Walker did last year. What does that mean? How does
that predict Governor Walker might fare in a recall election if there is
If you extrapolate from last night`s results statistically, if
Wisconsin votes in the same pattern they voted in last night, in a
hypothetical recall of Scott Walker. Well, I`ll just quote Nate Silver
from "The New York Times" here.
"What that means is that if you want to use Tuesday`s results as a
proxy for a recall vote on Mr. Walker, that would be point toward a recall
vote that would be too close to call. Democrats would have gotten 49.4
percent of the vote, Democrats 50.6 percent, according to this method."
Democrats are disappointed, of course, that they didn`t take the
Wisconsin Senate last night. The Democrats are also excited about what
they did do in Republican territory, whittling the Republican Senate
majority down to one seat. And if most of what counts as Republican
territory is now less Republican in Wisconsin than it used to be, then
Republican Governor Scott Walker is still a national news story. And a
recall effort against him will be two.
And Wisconsin will be still the pulsing, throbbing heart of the
Republican Party and its long ignored but not apocryphal base.
MADDOW: "The Best New Thing in the World" returns tomorrow. It
involves espionage and cutoff shorts and deep thoughts. I promise. That
does it for us tonight.
"The Best New Thing in the World" in the next five seconds will be
"THE ED SHOW," where Ed Schultz`s truly stellar coverage of the political
situation in Wisconsin continues. Please stay tuned for that. And have a
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