All In   |  October 03, 2013

What do you Republicans want?

Chris Hayes talks with Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, and Sam Seder, host of the daily political talk show, "The Majority Report."

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now with ben domenech and sam seder . all right, ben , why are republicans shutting the government down?

>> because it's the only way they know how to force the president to start a negotiation process with them over the most unpopular aspects of obama care, in their view. by this point, after so many negotiations, these guys are just tired of looking at each other. and that's one of the things that i think is playing into this. i want to speak to a moment about what you were saying earlier about the nih. the nih funding has gone up dramatically over the years, and actually that's because of senate republicans under bill frist , leading the charge to double nih spending over the course of a decade. and in fact, it was a republican measure that would have restored those sequester cuts that was attached to the senate budget earlier this year. it's not quite fair to say that republicans intended to send all these kids kicking and screaming off of the cancer trials --

>> no, i'm not saying that. that's what they've been saying about harry reid for two days. i'm not saying that. in fact, you're right, bill frist was an incredible champion of the nih. that's why we had renee ellmers on. but the fact of the matter is, the sequester, which has become the baseline, which republicans hated but now embrace, is a baseline that mandates cut. let's keep in mind, the number of sequester, the reason the house couldn't pass a appropriations bill on transportation was that their own caucus couldn't carry the votes to do it.

>> i want to get back to the point of whether or not it's fair to blame the republicans for what's happening with the nih. basically what we're hearing from the republicans is basically, you know, we were stuck on traffic, we wanted to drive our car on a busy sidewalk. it's not our fault that people got hit. that's basically the point. the idea that the republicans are using this as a negotiation of legislation that has already been litigated and incredibly irresponsible and reckless. it is equivalent to driving your car on a busy sidewalk and saying, like, you know, my intention was no to hit people. well, the fact of the matter is, any person who knows better, knows that's what's going to happen.

>> ben ?

>> just as with every negotiation that we've seen in the past, just with h.w. bush, when it was democrats shutting down the government and fighting over the debt ceiling in order to extract tax increases from him, we've seen this play out in the past. this is the process that washington goes through --

>> no, that is --

>> i understand these historical anal justice. in fact, government shutdowns, like the one we're having right now, are abnormal, but not extremely freakish, right? i think we've had 17 since the modern budget process was inaugurated. the most actually under ronald reagan and tip o'neill, who of course we all now think of, chris matthews just wrote a book about this, about having this amazing relationship, those were the most shutdowns. but they handled the debt ceiling negotiation in 2011 , the way they're handling it now is genuinely unprecedented. you have people like ted cruz going around saying to cameras, it's not that big a deal if we go through.

>> and historically, the real question is, had a continuing resolution or a budget been brought up at that time and the congress had the opportunity to vote on it, would they have voted to approve it? and the fact is, that bill hits the floor right now. there are enough members of congress to pass the continuing resolution . so you have one man who is afraid of losing his speakership, essentially, saying, it's either my losing the speakership or the government shutting down.

>> what about this idea that boehner should bring the clean cr to the floor for a vote?

>> i don't think that there's any motivation to do that? i think there's more motivation, frankly, after the president's most recent remarks, to persuade the people who are worried about the markets to bring a clean debt ceiling increase forward as opposed to dealing with the cr. i think that the shutdown from the perspective of republicans is actually working out for them a lot better than they expected. which is one of the reasons why i don't think we're likely to see it end anytime soon.

>> that's interesting. you think you could imagine a clean debt ceiling brought to the floor while the government is still shut down and the cr, and the sort of pressure of the shutdown hangs over everyone.

>> the american people are a lot less concerned about bureaucrats staying home and not getting pay than they are about the marketplace --

>> ben , but here's the thing. you can't do this, though. what you just did there is you just articulated the sort of deep conservative thinking about this whole thing. this is that the money that's flowing out of the federal government is going into the pockets of the bureaucrats who aren't getting their pay. but we're also talking about the cancer kids getting turned away from the -- and the women not getting nutritional assistance for their kids.

>> but, see, chris, this is the situation that republicans are actually enjoying now, because from their perspective, they said, you know, democrats stuck to the tile on the senate side to carve out things for the military, why aren't they taking time to carve out things for their kids. it's setting up against their own agenda and that's something i think that republicans like to see happen.

>> we agree that they are relishing and enjoying -- they didn't like the first day of the shutdown, but they have loved days two and three. they love going to the world war ii memorial , love putting on lab coats, love walking around with stethosco stethoscopes. i don't what it's going to be tomorrow --

>> i imagine we'll see some republicans dressed in national guard outfits.

>> this is perfect. this is ben 's point. this is a congressman from arkansas, i believe. so here are the headlines on the wic program , which is nutritional assistance for women and infant children. s there there is a republican congressman from arkansas saying, okay, let's just do funding for wic. it's like, what's the headline today that's bad about the shutdown, and then the next day, here's a mini cr to fix that thing.

>> i think the thing that -- i think republicans are deluding themselves if they think this message is getting across to the american public. i mean, look, the bottom line is, if the story is big enough to force people to dress up as doctors, to dress people -- to dress up in such --

>> as they were actually doctors.

>> i'm sure they pulled it right out of their closet. the stories are big enough to reach the american public. if you look in the local papers across the country over the past couple of days, republicans are getting realmed in editorials, they are getting realmed in stories about missing women , who cannot be found because of cut backs, federal cutbacks, of people to go and search for her. this is happening across the country and republicans are deluding themselves if they think these peaiecemeal pieces are going to mean anything.

>> if we agree that a delay in the mandate just not going to happen, what's the out here?

>> i think that's a question that you have to ask the bulk of boehner's caucus. they have to decide on what the actual victory is. but i do think that they're going to insist on a victory. it depends on the size and the nature of that, that they are going to insist on a policy victory, which is why i think you'll see a continued can kick and see continued holding to this.

>> but why is it -- we did this thing last night about -- well, we did a thing last night about the ryan budget and how close the current sequestration levels are to the ryan budget. and the thing to me is, when i look around, i look at this as a keynesian lefty who wants to see stimulus and thinks the fact that we have all these people unemployed is absolutely a national scandal and we have a huge demand problem. i feel like you guys already won. ben domenech and sam seder , thank you both, gentleman.

>> thank you, chris. our "all in" reporter has written a lot more about the impacts of the shutdown. you can check that out over on our website. a fantastic reporter. you should definitely go check those stories out. and earlier tonight we played a clip of republican annie harris from maryland and mistakenly identified him as congressman tom price . that is my bad. that is "all in" for this evening." rachel maddow show" starts right now.