THE ED SHOW
October 22, 2013
Guest: Matt Cartwright, James Peterson, Ruth Conniff, Eugene Robinson, Dr.
Donna Gentile O`Donnell, Nina Turner
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R) TEXAS: Terrific to be back in America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you Ted.
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: That`s their world, that`s not the real
CRUZ: He`ll praise the House.
SCHULTZ: That isn`t the world you and I grew up in. That isn`t the
world you want your kids to live in. That isn`t the world that you want
your grand kids to have.
CRUZ: It is really great to be back in America.
Holy cow, people in Texas actually like what this guy is doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s up (inaudible) awfully windy. It`s Texas
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ted Cruz will meet with the honors of small
businesses in Fort Worth less than 24 hours after the country`s biggest
business leader criticized him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President of the US Chamber of Commerce had
some harsh words.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing Cruz couldn`t work on is learning how to
sit down and shut up.
CRUZ: You guys, you know, when you got me where it -- right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Urgency to fix the
HealthCare.gov website is growing. The White House knows it`s against the
clock and faces growing criticism about ObamaCare from conservative cry
babies. ObamaCare`s most outward and awkward opponent, Senator Ted Cruz,
gave a speech to a Tea Party crowd in his hometown at Houston Monday night.
During the speech, he highlighted the website`s rough roll out in a manner
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: You know the Nigerian e-mail scammers? They`ve been a lot less
active lately because they`ve all been hired to run the Obamacare website.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Wow, enough of the Nigerian nightmare already. The joke was
clearly Cruz`s attempt to brush up criticism for his own failed effort to
defund ObamaCare. The law is getting stronger support from the public
despite technical issues with website enrollment. A new Washington post
ABC News Poll shows opinions about ObamaCare continue to be divided along
partisan lines. That`s predictable. But there`s a slide uptake and
support from 42 percent in September to 49 percent in October. President
Obama acknowledged ObamaCare`s roll out as been rocky but defended it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There`s no
sugar coating it. The website has been too slow, people have been getting
stuck during the application process, and I think it`s fair to say that
nobody`s more frustrated by that than I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Ted Cruz`s preschool level cracks didn`t stop with the
Nigerian comment. He twitted the picture of a welcome home cake he
received from his supporters. The green eggs and ham-themed cake pays Tea
Party homage to Cruz`s 21-hour floor speech where we argued Americans did
not like green eggs and ham and they did not like ObamaCare either. Guess
what, Theodor Geisel, Dr. Seuss wouldn`t have dug you Brother Cruz, at all.
Here`s what Cruz went on to say at his homecoming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: It was unfortunate that many Senate Republicans made the
decision not to stand united with the House Republicans. But I`ll tell
you, I`m hopeful with the little bit of time and reflection that Senate
Republicans will decide to come together again. I would love to see
Republican unity see all of a stand together against this train wreck that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Senator Cruz is strongly mistaken if he thinks people will
stand with the Republican Party. Americans do not like it when the
government shuts itself down. They don`t like it when political grid lock
cause the country $24 billion, $24 billion. They don`t like hundreds of
thousands of federal workers losing their wages.
New polling numbers show Americans are extremely unhappy with the way
the federal government works or fails to work. The ABC News Washington
Polls post shows Americans` approval of Congress is at a 40-year low.
These wounds the Congress are self-inflicted. It`s a result of budget bank
brinkmanship. Blame for the shutdown has been focused on the Republican
Party which is at least it -- at its least popular level in data since
On the flip side, President Obama`s favorability is hardly in stellar
shape, but it appears mostly unharmed. His approval is essentially the
same now as it was a month ago before the shutdown and the furloughed
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think, tonight`s
question. Should Democrats remind Americans that every Republican is just
like Ted Cruz? Text A for Yes, text B for No to 67622 or go to our blog at
ed.msnbc.com. I`ll bring you the results later in the show.
Congressman Matthew Cartwright from Pennsylvania joins me now.
Congressman, do Republicans care that their image is in such disastrous
REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT (D) PENNSYLVANIA: Oh, I think they do. I think
they have to cringe when they hear things like what you quoted Senator Cruz
saying at the top of the show. I mean, jokes about Nigerian scammers. You
know, I wonder how much off the cost that really was and how calculated it
was to appeal to Senator Cruz` base. Many at home believe that the
President is from Africa, but yeah, in answer your question, I think that
Republicans really have to be recoiling. The mainstream, you know, I call
them Country Club Republicans.
The Senator -- the road-type Republicans, they must be at their wit`s
ends when they try to think about how to deal with Senator Cruz but you get
this, you know, you see this happening when a law like the Affordable Care
Act becomes pretty obvious that it`s going to take root, that it`s going to
work, that it`s going to be a part of the American legal structure.
It`s the further and further Right Wing fringes that continue to
attack it as the other attacks melt away.
DYSON: Sure. Well with all due respect to you as a political figure
and other politicians, we know that many politicians are poll-driven,
number-crunching kind of empirical verifiers of whether they`re up or down.
So why isn`t it the fact that the poll numbers that are steadily sinking
aren`t impressing the Republicans with the fact that the American public
just doesn`t like what they`re doing?
CARTWRIGHT: Oh, I think a lot of them are paying attention to it. In
fact, we saw during the shut down a lot of their -- the centrist
Republicans were actually coming out and saying in public that they would
be for a clean CR opening up to government again with no strings attached
but you hear that, you know, the continual reign of quotations from the
Right Wing or, you know, I have one here, Michael Eric, that I want to read
speaking of Senator Cruz.
CARTWRIGHT: "Never in the history of the world has any measure have
been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery,
to enslave workers and to prevent any possibility of employers providing
work for the people." I mean that kind of over the top, over blown
rhetoric we`ve seen but that wasn`t from Senator Cruz. That was from
Republican Congressman John Taber in 1935 and he was talking about Social
Security at that time.
DYSON: Wow, the parallels are pretty frightening there as Dr. King
would say. Well, what is it about the whistle politics that you refer to
earlier in regards to Ted Cruz about the Nigerians who were now on the pay
roll basically trying to work on the website? Why is it that they continue
to exploit the implicit racial passions that are deeply embedded in this
country as oppose to playing to the higher road where we can all come
CARTWRIGHT: Well, I don`t know that they`re doing that, Michael Eric
but I will say that I suspect it and whether they`re doing it on purpose,
it does appeal to the people who think that way. There are, you know, a
lot of fairly backward people that are a part of the base of people like
Senator Cruz and comments like that just are right up their ally.
DYSON: Yeah. Well, we`re going to talk to, you know, I`ll talk about
a judge later on, a Republican who you might have heard about, who said
look, "Enough is enough." You know, are there going to be other
Republicans joining him who`ll say, "Look, this is too extreme. I`m here
as a Republican. I want to stand behind principles that can be morally
defensible," but this kind of stuff that they`re doing is playing to a base
constituency in their party which really goes against the best interest
even of the Republican Party, much less to say, the entire nation.
CARTWRIGHT: Well, as I say, I think I see it as kind of the last
great gas of the Right Wing against the Affordable Care Act. It started to
be expected, you know, that the moderates fall away from the attack, you
know, after 44 times repealing it, they got tired of that.
CARTWRIGHT: They were bound to. The rest of us are already are.
CARTWRIGHT: But the Right Wingers stay at it and that what`s going on
DYSON: Well, do you think that the moderates are going to -- be able
to gain any ground in terms of trying to regain the authority within their
own party? I just don`t believe that John Boehner cottons (ph) too well to
the Right Wing of this party even though he defers to them with regular
CARTWRIGHT: Well, I see a great irony here. Somebody like Senator
Cruz or our folks who are in blood red districts who can go on with
nonsense like this, they`re not in trouble. They`re not going to be in
trouble. The people who are going to be in trouble are the ones who are
guilty by association and we`re talking about the moderate Republicans who
are in closer districts who stand a reasonable chance of losing because of
their association with the Republican Party and what it got up to with this
ridiculous shutdown we just went through.
DYSON: Right. Well, look, finally tell us behind the scenes what`s
really going on with some of these moderate Republicans that you know who
are really, you know, just turned off but what they`re, you know, Right
Wing buggers are doing. You were there behind the scenes. Tell us, is
there really a groundswell for, you know, kind of, some kind of some party
go between moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans, people move this
CARTWRIGHT: Well I, you know, Michael Eric I want you to know I get
along with all of my brother and sister and members of Congress and most of
them are great company, nice people to be with, it`s just that when they`re
-- some of their hard line Right Wingers get up to a microphone, you kind
of just have to put your hands over your ears when you hear the things that
CARTWRIGHT: But yes, there are a lot of moderate Republicans that I
think really want to save their party. It sounds like Senator McConnell is
desperately trying to save the party. And I think the Speaker of the House
is really at his wit`s ends and has been for some time would have a deal
with the situation.
DYSON: No doubt, well all I can say is God bless you up there my
friend. Congressman Matt Cartwright, thanks so much for you`re time
CARTWRIGHT: It`s my pleasure.
DYSON: Remember to answers tonight`s questions there at the bottom of
the screen and share you`re thoughts on Twitter at the Ed Show and on
Facebook. I want to know what you think. Coming up a Fox conspiracy
theory that will take youR breath away. Plus a Texas judge does the Texas
to step away from the Republican party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time now for the Trenders. In the social media
world this is where you can find us. The Ed social media nation has
decided and we`re reporting. Here are today`s top trenders voted on by
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number three trender. Kimye`s love lockdown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: E! Online is reporting that the pair got engaged
in front of family and friends on Monday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it love at first sight?
KANYE WEST: Oh, yes, definitely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kanye puts a ring on her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kanye popped the question at AT&T Park, it wasn`t
some corny, cheesy scoreboard proposal. Kanye actually rented the park out
for the occasion.
WEST: She`s my joy and she brought my new joy into the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kim tears (ph) out and posted this photo on
Instagram of the 15-carat diamond (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number two Trender, buy for painting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This story is just perfect unlike every little
like frightening bedtime story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The five things, the fall down was a setup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama made his big ObamaCare speech.
Did you see this going on in background right towards the end of speech?
He`s OK, she tweeted that she`s all right. She also said she`s pregnant,
she had diabetes, please don`t tell me this was a staged event. He caught
her always before, he caught her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now you are a good contributor (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top Trender, Republican rejection.
CARLO R. KEY, JUDGE: I have tried to live a life of principles,
shaped by mi familia, my community, and my country. I can no longer be a
member of the Republican Party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forget it, I`m out of here.
KEY: And now running for re-election as a Democratic candidate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Texas judge rules against running on the GOP
KEY: Rational Republican believes in giving away to ideological
character assassination. I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans
Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their
economic stance. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political
party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of
federal workers. My principles that led me to the Democratic order, I can
only hope that more people with principle will follow me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Let`s turn to Professor James Peterson, Director of Africana
Studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University and an
Professor Peterson, before I get to Judge Key, I have to ask a
question about Kanye West. He`s been getting a lot of heat recently
because of his interview on the BBC and on Jimmy Kimmel, even though he
maybe misdirected in some areas, I think he is essentially right, and I
think he`s essentially brave, tell us just to very briefly about why it`s
important that he brings up the kind of subjects that he does aside from
getting married to Kim Kardashian.
JAMES PETERSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it is music he
raised a lot of important issues, I love to see him be a little bit more
self-reflect, I mean critical, admonish (ph) issues on gender, misogyny, in
the zone music.
I disagree with his most recent comments about classism completely
PETERSON: Although I love the fact that a hip hop artist is raising
that issue and the stories about the merchandise with his -- with the
confederate flag and majority (ph) also. Again, you know, it seems to me
that Kanye West is really good at raising issues, I think I would challenge
him to be a little bit more constructive in his music and engage some of
these issues, a little bit more a long term of it all.
The important conversation though and he`s always been the center of
controversy around issues of race and class and gender.
DYSON: Yeezus, Yeezus, Yeezus. Look, back to judge is Judge Key`s
decision a sign of things that come from the Republican Party will the
rational Republicans begin the distance themselves from the lunatic fringe?
PETERSON: I think so in some interesting ways. So I think the
moderate Republicans particularly in the Senate are really just done with
Senator Cruz a lot of reporting out about the kind of internal
conversations. We saw last week some of them come out against the Heritage
Foundation which is an interesting move in and of itself.
And so, I think will see this play out in different ways. We have to
also understand that Judge Key, you know, he was getting ready to engage in
a primary by someone who is a little bit to the right of him, but also
someone who is -- connects to the law enforcement and Judge Key has made
some interesting decisions against certain tactics specifically here the
use of certain test for intoxication. He`s been against certain law
So I think he saw the writing on the wall in some ways, but I also
take his explanation at face value as well which is the party has kind of
left him particularly in the rhetoric, you know, even if we can`t get
comprehensive immigration reform done, a state like Texas is sort of
engaged in that kind of demographics of destiny, right? It`s getting
browner. He understands that he is also getting more progressive and
getting younger, and I think in that environment, he`s a young man, so I
think his under 40.
PETERSON: So, I mean, I think in that environment, the Democratic
Party seems to be more appealing to him politically.
DYSON: Well, isn`t it interesting that the Republicans are leaving a
lot of dough so to speak on the plate? They`re leaving a lot of votes in a
vote-rich potential constituency that would be conservative morally, that
whose ideas, think about it, as a Latino, he`s probably, you know, if he`s
Catholic, and conservative with moral values that would line up nicely with
the Republican point if you just don`t insult me as I enter your bigger
What is it about the Republicans that they have inability to take
advantage of the natural moral constituency that they might have available
to not only Latino but African-Americans who are culturally conservative?
PETERSON: It`s right, I think sometimes, the politics of the Tea
Party sort of caucus within the Republican Party seems to me to defy logic
along the lines of just plain politics.
If you just look at the numbers, look at demographics, clearly the
Latino-voting population votes overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party.
But the thing that that suggests there is no room or no space among
conservative and in the political spectrum for hundreds of thousands if not
millions of Latinos in this country.
This doesn`t seem to me that make sense and they`re unwilling it seems
to check their messages of hate write it with their too many stories over
the last 18 months, not just around immigration reform but about race,
What we see Republican political leaders, you know, making comments
that are just, you know, they`re just sort of retrograde racist, sexist
type of comments. And we`ve seen them push for some policies that match
that kind of rhetoric and I think, you know, the American people,
millennials, people of color, just have little to no tolerance for that.
DYSON: Well, you mention something earlier about Judge Key that he
was running again somebody who potentially is to his right. And as a
result of that this is a true political calculation along with his own, you
know, if you will innate feelings about the situation. But to what degree
can we count upon those kind of political calculations in the future to
create a broader Republican Party where they`re able to bring in people,
maybe bring a Judge Key back in.
Do you think a guy like him will never have space within Republican
Party and can the Republican Party take the challenge and say, "Hey let`s
grow a bit to include people like him."
PETERSON: Well you see, here`s the chart the Republican Party is in.
You know, they`re in favor of things like Citizens United and the kind of
unchecked money and politics and some Democrats are in favor in this as
well. But the way it impacts the Republican Party is it`s stratified and
it`s empowered and embolden, the Tea Party Congress and just billionaire
extremists who want to promote certain kinds of retrograde ideologies.
So, I think in that environment you can continue to see this kind of
pealing off. I would caution our viewers to also understand that anytime
you can have someone switch from being a Republican to a Democrat you have
to also think about what`s the Democratic Party looking like and why are
political options more broadly construed and more nuance than that.
But it seems to me that someone like this judge here is making up in
poor and this is --but also a calculated decision that is just in response
to what we`ve seen on the Right. It`s not just the government shutdown.
It`s not just the war against women. It`s not just the fact that the
demographics of this country are changing and at least one political party
doesn`t want to acknowledge it. It`s also that nasty rhetoric that I think
Americans are just totally, you know, they`re done with it, because what we
want is we want government to work. We want government to function. And
it seems right now the Republican Party is dysfunctional.
DYSON: Well, do you think, you know, let`s put this straight a bit.
We`re always talking about the way in which Republicans can exploit a vote-
rich population through natural conservatism, identifying with them morally
speaking that is, but what about the flip side of that argument? Should
Democrats be more intentional about taking advantage of Republicans who
might be willing to switch because they`re outdone, or they`re just
finished with what`s going on in Republican Party? Should we be more
evangelical in our outreach to those moderate Republicans?
PETERSON: I, you know, I don`t think so, doc (ph). I tend to think
that the -- we spend a lot of time talking about the Republican Party, the
media does, because the fragmentation of it at this moment and the kind of
over popularity of the Tea Party, but I really believe in the Democratic
Party has got to come to terms with its own left flank that the Democratic
Party is got to actually meet the needs and desires of millennials and this
coalition, this diverse coalition of single women and young voters and
people have called that reelected President Obama as really got a look at
certain issues that are -- that have been left on the table issues around
drawn strikes, issues about not negotiating for some kind of oxymoronic
grand bargain and really holding the line with earned benefits and the
social safety net, issues with violence in our inner cities, issues around
I think there`s a list of issues the Democratic Party means to embrace
and engage in some substance of ways to actually match its own demographics
right now, to match the people that are voting Democrat and voting
Democratic right now.
So, they got a lot of work but they have to do on their own before
they need to recruit anymore Republicans.
DYSON: All right, well stated. Professor James Peterson thanks for
PETERSON: Thanks, doc (ph).
DYSON: Coming up, Republicans wage war on ObamaCare enrollment.
Plus, fuzzy mutt (ph) lands the Governor of Maine in tonight`s Pretenders.
But next, I`m taking your questions Ask MED Live. I`m just ahead.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show, we love and I do mean love
hearing from our viewers. Tonight in Ask MED Live our question is from
Steve Ericson. I`m a professor, I love doing this part, right? Why do so
many Americans accept a school shooting every 11 school days on average so
It`s a great question, Steve. Look, I think first of all Americans
have this impression of a false dichotomy of a false choice and division
between freedom on the one hand and equality on the other hand. So, we
think that there`s a tremendous tension between the ability to do
everything we`re suppose to be able to do, that the Constitution engages
us, that allows us to do, right? The second amendment and which is of
course the ability if you will to, you know, bare arms and I think that
some people think it`s the second commandment not the second amendment and
the reality is that we are in America are almost ironically attached to our
guns as a symbol of our freedom in this country. So, we think any attempts
to be equal, that is to say let`s balance out our concern for ownership of
guns with the possession of freedom and those who are in right mind and
mentally not deranged to be able to own that gun.
So, the reason we have guns in our schools is because we`re attached
to them. The reason we have guns in our schools because the gun lobby in
this country thinks that they are so -- it`s so necessary to defend even
the teachers owning guns as if a teacher having a gun would be the response
to a child bringing a gun to school. How about employing education? How
about decreasing violence? How about not being intently engaged with the
notion of violence that says that American manhood is proved by how many
guns we own, how many people we can murder, our video games testify to that
and I`m not against video games, I think video games are great, I think rap
music is great. I`m not attacking popular culture, I`m saying however our
-- almost erotic addiction to violence means that we are somehow against a
notion of being culpable and responsible at the same time.
So, if we accept this as the price of freedom and I tell you that`s a
false sense of freedom. You know, philosophers talk about freedom from and
freedom to. Freedom from imprisoning conditions that would ultimately
ensnare us in narrow provincial (ph) views of American society and freedom
to, the positive sense of freedom, the freedom to be able to exercise our
citizenship as Americans in this country who protect our young and
I don`t think that in order for us to be able to enjoy the right to
own guns we should be willing to pay what the price of the blood of our
children on every school room and every school door in this country
potentially. So, I ask America please be more sane and rationale about
this policy. This is why the President must gird up his law (ph) again to
make this a serious if you will bone of contention for his legacy as a --
an Obama presidency should not simply be about health care which is great,
not simply about our expanding the borders of opportunity for most of
America which is remarkable but also to protect our vulnerable children.
Stick around the Rapid Response panel is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You probably heard that HealthCare.gov, the new website where
people can apply from health insurance and browse and buy affordable plans
in most states hasn`t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Yes, that`s an understatement. Welcome back to the Ed Show.
President Obama has admitted the ObamaCare roll out could have gone
smoother. Thankfully the website will be fixed and people will still have
plenty of time to sign up for ObamaCare.
But of course, Republicans are blowing these glitches way out of
proportion. Some are even coming up of some hilarious conspiracy theories
case in point, the quitter from Alaska Sarah Palin. Palin wrote a column
where she theorized the shaky ObamaCare roll out was a plot by the
President aimed at pushing us to a single payer system.
I wish. Clearly the half term governor is delusional. A single payer
would be nice. Meanwhile, the chattering class is taking the ObamaCare
trash talking to a whole another level.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLE WALLACE: Obama to continue to speak about the actions of his
administration as a guy with a great feet but no responsibility is totally
off putting. And it does not have a whiff of leadership in this.
RON FOURNIER, NATIONAL JOURNAL: And if I could on credibility just
like on Katrina when the big prow (ph) that President Bush had was
diminishing the significance of what was happening saying, "Hey, way to go
brownie." You heard the President yesterday talking about glitches and
kinks. This is bigger than glitches and kinks.
WALLACE: Yes, I mean on the one difference is Katrina was a storm .
FOURNIER: He`s got to be on it.
WALLACE: . the health care law was of Obama`s creation so .
FOURNIER: True. True.
WALLACE: . I`m not defending my White House is handling Katrina. But
it was a natural disaster. This was a disaster .
FOURNIER: Maybe I .
WALLACE: . of Obama`s creation and imagination.
FOURNIER: Maybe Iraq war is a better analogy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: Boy, the parallels and analogies are flying everywhere.
President Obama`s health care law will provide 30 million Americans health
care. There`s no doubt it will save lives. Government negligence into
handling of Katrina caused American lives. The battle were (ph) of choice
in Iraq was held in over 4,000 American soldiers being killed.
Comparing these two horrible chapters in American history to a law
that will save lives is simply unconscionable. Joining me now is our Rapid
Response Panel Ruth Conniff of the Progressive Magazine, Eugene Robinson of
the Washington Post, and Dr. Donna Gentile O`Donnell.
Gene, is it fair to compare Iraq and Katrina to ObamaCare?
EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST: No, of course not. And you said it
bashed the Iraq people died, Katrina people died, ObamaCare, people are
going to live. Otherwise might have died. It is unconscionable.
You know, I do my wife Internet chat on Tuesday`s and get a chat today
and somebody came at me with this conspiracy theory about this is all to
set up a single payer. And I suggest that of the gentleman and his family
try a bit less caffeine and a bit less Fox News.
DYSON: You`re right. Ruth, look, what`s the endgame here? Because
if the Republicans keep, if you will, chipping away at ObamaCare, do they
really have a hope that they will be able to repeal the law? That doesn`t
seem to be a good strategy. But do you think they`re trying to enroll
public confidence and therefore discourage people from enrolling in the
RUTH CONNIFF, THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Yeah, they`ve been out to get
this program for a long time and we now know that they are having meetings
with the Koch Brother s and Tea Party groups in January when the President
was being inaugurated to get out there talking points that this health care
law had sailed before it ever got off the ground.
So this is just the same talking points and they`ve been determined to
try to attack the health care plan from the very beginning. And then they
were so busy shutting down the government and costing people billions of
dollars and nearly wrecking the international economy that they`ve gotten
up to a slow start on this attack about how the roll out is a disaster.
The roll out has some problems, there`s no doubt about it. But, you
know, like you said on your intro, "I wish it were a plot to bring about
single payer." The part of the problem here is the US health care system
is very complex and the Affordable Care Act maintains this network of
private health care providers. And that is much more complicated and much
more expensive than if we had a single payer program, if we had Medicare
for all and all this talk about socialism and all this attacks on the idea
of universal health care don`t line up with where the public really is. 88
percent of people in the recent Harris poll said they were overwhelmingly
in favor of Medicare, the very popular program, it works really well, it`s
less expensive, it`s more efficient, and people have the choice of any
doctor or hospital they want.
So, you know, I don`t think this is going to fly. I think the
problems of the Republicans is the reality of more people being able to get
health care is actually going to be popular and it is going to work.
DYSON: Well, Dr. O`Donnell, given that fact what Ruth just indicated.
Do you think the fact is that, you know, I don`t know, six months from now,
a year from now people will look back on this and go, "Oh my God. What
were we worried about? What was all the consternation about?" because now
people are being enrolled, lives are being saved, people enjoy it, even
those who were against it to begin with now have been used to it and as a
result of it see what the advantages are.
DR. DONNA GENTILE O`DONNELL, HEALTH POLICY EXPERT: I think it`s very
likely that the bulk of the folks that are enrolling will find tremendous
benefit and those benefits will be revealed over time. One of the things I
find so striking is that when, you know, when Lyndon Johnson was taking
members of Congress by the lapels and pushing Medicare and Medicaid through
to socialize medicine characterization was being used back then. Probably
and it was a tremendous disinformation campaign that was conducted
regarding Medicare and Medicaid in that time period.
The thing that makes this so different is that we`re in a 24/7 news
cycle, we`ve got social media that just bangs away at all kinds of
information and disinformation and absolutely has been noted there has been
a concentrated effort by the Republican Party, by the conservatives, by the
Tea Party to undermine every aspect of this resulting in what we saw last
I mean the thing that I don`t get about this is you have people
talking about how they love America, but they don`t seem to much care about
Americans. You know, they love democracy, they want to build and extend
democracy, but we`ve got anarchist operating in a capacity in which they
are part of a democratic body that passed this bill in both Houses signed
by this President and upheld by the Supreme Court.
So I just don`t understand how anyone who is part of the anarchy
against ObamaCare can justify these behaviors.
DYSON: Gene, in the light of what Donna just indicated. Do you think
we need more than the President out there on the front lines so to speak to
be more visible? Do you think, you know, Harry Reid, or do you think, you
know, within the Congress Nancy Pelosi and others ought to be more, you
know, if you will, bullish about insisting, "Look, this is something that
works. This is what`s been signed in to law. Let`s also collect with the
defendant." Do you think we need more of that bully poop hitting from all
of those figures?
ROBINSON: Well, I think more voices are better than fewer voices.
And, you know, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid certainly held the line on the
Affordable Care Act during the recent brinksmanship over the budget and the
debt ceiling and I`m sure they will step up and have something to say.
But, you know, this sort of Republican desperation to try to stop ObamaCare
before it came into effect.
You know, they are on to something there because the fact is that once
it comes into force, and once it effect in people have obtained insurance
through and it`s changed their lives and help their lives, it`s not going
away. And so even if there`s a Republican President or Republican
Congress, they`ll name it something else as President Obama says, "Once
this starts working they sure won`t call it ObamaCare." But .
DYSON: Right. Right.
ROBINSON: . whatever they call it it`s going to be around and that
will be a tremendous accomplishment.
DYSON: Well, Ruth, in light of that, what can ordinary citizens do to
make sure that their voices so to speak are registered, that their support
for this particular piece of legislation can bolster the efforts of these
CONNIFF: You know, I mean, I think people are supportive of the idea
of extending health insurance and we don`t have to support this legislation
anymore because it`s the law of the land and it`s going to happen. And
it`s going to make things better, there`s going to be lower cost, more
transparency, kids can stay on their parent`s health insurance until their
adults. But the truth is I think people should still push for national
health care. And I think we should make Sarah Palin right, I think that we
should look at our health care system and say, "You know what? We can do
better than this and we can even do better than the Affordable Care Act."
And in those 26 states, where Republican governors have decided not to
allow Medicaid expansion, we have 8 million people who are too poor to
qualify for the Affordable Care Act and can`t be covered. They need to
push hard and we need to push hard on their behalf. And I think, you know,
we can do better than this as a country. It`s alive if the American
healthcare system is better than the rest of the developed world, in fact
we spent a third of every healthcare dollar on administration, they`re
inefficient and we have a lot of uninsured people, this is a step in the
right direction. But I actually think people just spent their time pushing
for national healthcare.
DYSON: All right then, Ruth Conniff, Eugene Robinson, and Donna
Gentile O`Donnell thank you so very much.
And coming up, voter suppression deep in the heart of Texas, sounds
like those cowboys could use a lesson on how to treat a woman.
DYSON: In Pretenders tonight, Republican Governor Paul "Vaseline"
LePage of Maine. The sourly (ph) Governor of Maine seems to forget Mitt
Romney`s 47 percent comments cause them the election.
LaPage told conservative women`s group nearly half the people in the
Maine don`t work.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GOV. PAUL LEPAGE, (R) MAINE: About 47percent of able bodied people in
the state of Maine don`t work.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many percent? What?
LAPAGE: About 47 percent.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
DYSON: Hello, anybody home? Governor LePage clearly isn`t aware of
his states in labor department. If he bothered to check the facts he`d
find that 65 percent of people in Maine are employed or actively seeking
work. He`d also know that 35 percent of Mainers are retired, caring for
family members, or pursuing education. The actual unemployment rate in
Maine is roughly 7 percent.
Mitt Romney was never won this trial for accuracy either. Perhaps
that`s why he lost the election. If Paul LePage thinks taking a page out
of Mitt Romney`s failed play book is going to win him any votes, he can
keep on pretending.
DYSON: Welcome back to the Ed Show. This is the story for the folks
who take a shower after work. Voter suppression blooms in Texas.
Immediately after the Supreme Court gutted the voting rights act, lawmakers
in Texas expedited the suppression measures that came into affect this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will have to show this, a photo ID. Now if
you do not have a driver`s license. There are several other forms of ID
you can use including a passport or a Texas ID card. If you don`t have any
of them you can go to a driver`s license office and get a free certificate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: When will we learn? Even so-called certificate IDs with no
purported financial tag are by no means free qualifying for the elections
certificate requires documentation that`s costly to obtain or even to
replace. As of last week only 41 certificates have been issued in the
entire state or an estimated 1.4 million voters like photo identification.
ID laws that historically slash senior citizens, minorities, and low-
income voices target women as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s see your name on the voter registration
roll is not the same as your drivers license. Some examples would be, if
you have a nickname on the registration roll and your full name is on the
photo ID or maybe you were recently married and you`re new last name does
not match your maiden name which is on the roll.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DYSON: This enfranchisement comes conveniently for the lone star
state, as state Senator Wendy Davis` gubernatorial candidacy kicks off.
Women are her natural base and therefore a metro target for the GOP.
Joining me now Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.
Senator Turner, can you argue and I know some people will think this as
ludicrous and just -- we`re just out of our minds, but can you argue that
republicans only want white men a means to vote?
STATE SEN. NINA TURNER, (D) OHIO: I mean, Dr. Dyson, they`re
certainly taking a page out of the book of where there`s country was
centuries ago, you know, we are a nation of progress but they are trying to
take us back this extremist. And that fact that they are creating laws
that in many, many ways a suppress, oppress, and regress access to the
ballot box is not only shameful, it`s immoral and it`s against Democracy.
And I got, you know, Wendy Davis, state Senator Wendy Davis, my sister
senator I guess they fear her just that much. But this is wrong and it has
a negative ripple effect for all of this country not just Texas in this
varied law that they have passed right now.
You know, remember a district court rule that that law was
unconstitutional, but because the US Supreme Court gutted portions of the
voting rights act, here we are. We have not lost our minds Dr. Dyson. The
GOP extremists have lost their ever loving mind.
DYSON: To be sure. But look take a moment to platform this
particular issue. A lot of people think, well, a wait a minute. It`s a
piece of ID. What`s so hard about that? You live in America, get an ID,
you want a license for a car. You got to go get it.
S, tell us why this is such a disproportionately negative law for
women and other minorities especially when it comes to access to the means
by which identification is distributed and also because of the differential
between urban and suburban and rural and that kind of thing?
TURNER: I`m so -- I mean getting a license for a car or having a
passport so that you can leave the country, those are not fundamental
rights, but access to the ballot box that is a fundamental right.
One woman, one man, one vote and the reason why we should all be
concerned about this because in this great democracy of ours, the one place
that we all can be equal regardless of our gender, our ethnicity, our
sexual orientation, our religion is the ballot box. And the fact that
folks would use their political power to try to take it away is wrong all
day long and we must put a stop to it.
And I will tell you Dr. Dyson that the author Nellie Smith and her
article policymic.com, the quote that she has from sister Susan B. Anthony
(ph) I want women to take this with them when she said, "No self respect in
women should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her sex".
She said this in the late 1800 and my God it is as if she is speaking in
the 21st century.
Our democracy works when all people can participate in it. We are
better together and that is why we cannot stand idly by and let the extreme
GOP try to take away the right to vote for everybody who does not fit the
category of people who they believe should have the right to vote.
DYSON: What its like there on the ground? I mean, are women being
organize, are people joining particular constituency groups that would
allow them to articulate their values, their vision, their understanding of
this particularly heinous law or this suggestion that somehow the gender
character of this identification laws, you know, is going to get by and
people are not just going to be too dumb to identify.
So, what`s being done on the ground to really kind of rally the
TURNER: Oh, not at all Dr. Dyson. I mean here he has no fear (ph) or
lack a women scorn and women are coming together. And I believe that men
who respect a women are coming together to say that this is wrong.
We must do this for our -- we must stand up against this kind of stuff
for our four mothers who fought very hard and for future generations of
young women who deserve better than what they are getting now.
I can tell you organization is like Emily`s List and the Democracy
Alliance and other groups are legal women voters. People are getting
together to educate folks about how important it is to maintain the
integrity of our democracy through the right to vote. And that folks who
want to put laws in place like this, they don`t even deserve to serve in
elected office. They are rigging the system and it is wrong and we must
stand up and not relent. We are better together.
Women do not need permission slips to be able to exercise their right
to vote. I mean Dr. Dyson on one hand is our health care.
TURNER: And now, they`re trying to block us from voting.
DYSON: All right. We`ll give them a pink slip as well. Ohio State
Senator Nina Turner, thanks for your time tonight
That`s the Ed Show.
It`s Michael Eric Dyson, that`s me in for Ed Schultz, he maybe a
rejected stone, but now he`s the rock of Gibraltar.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
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