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The Ed Show for Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

March 19, 2013

Guests: Diana DeGette, David Cay Johnston, Chris Kofinis, Angela Rye, Ryan Grim, Steven Petrow

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to
THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.

Elizabeth Warren takes a stand for working class Americans.

Michele Bachmann has seen the light on infrastructure.

Rush Limbaugh blows a gasket at Republican insiders.

The love gov might be getting off the Appalachian Trail and heading
back to Washington.

And a Southern pastor makes a radical stand for justice.

But tonight, we start with the tenth anniversary of Iraq war.

This is THE ED SHOW -- and as Ed would say -- let`s get to work.


DYSON: It was 10 years ago when the shock-and-awe campaign was
launched against the sovereign nation of Iraq. A decade later, the forces
that are behind one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in American
history are trying to revise that history.

Today, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tweeted, "10 years
ago, the long, difficult work of liberating 25 million Iraqis, all who
played a role in history, deserve our respect and appreciation."

Put aside for the moment the egregious evolution in Rumsfeld`s
justification for war. Let`s take a moment to offer some appreciation to
those who actually deserve our respect. We can start with the 156
lawmakers who voted no on the Iraq war resolution: 23 in the Senate, and
133 in the House. Some of them argued passionately against the war inside
the U.S. Capitol.


SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: I weep for my country. I watch
the events of recent months with the heavy, heavy heat. No more is the
image of America one of strong yet benevolent peace keeper.


DYSON: There were even members of President Bush`s own party who
broke ranks. Former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft wrote an op-
ed in "The Wall Street Journal" called "Don`t attack Saddam."

There were some Republican lawmakers as well.


FORMER REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: I think we`re stirring up a hornet`s
next. And we also have to remember that we have been allies of Saddam
Hussein. I mean, we say we know he has certain things -- well, we do
because we helped provide for them. I mean, we were his ally.


DYSON: It`s good to have tape to counteract revisionist history.

Today is to remember the warnings of U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix.

It`s a day to acknowledge the admonitions of military leaders like
former CENTCOM leader, General Anthony Zinni.

General Eric Shinseki who was forced into retirement when he disagreed
with the Bush-Cheney strategy.

There was Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was met with retaliation when he
said the administration had no case about weapons grade uranium in Iraq.

If we are truly remembering what it was like 10 years ago today, we
can`t forget the millions of voices who opposed this war and attempts made
to marginalize them.

A month before the invasion, between 6 million and 10 million from
around the world took part in protest against this war. But if you were a
public figure, it was not a wise time to speak out against the
administration. County music stars the Dixie Chicks were blacklisted from
commercial radio stations. Actress Janeane Garofalo was called an Iraqi
sympathizer for her position.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saddam must love you and I`m sure --

JANEANE GAROFALO, ACTRESS: Don`t even try and do that inflammatory.
I`m not a Saddam Hussein apologist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel that Saddam Hussein held up a
protest last week and said, isn`t that great news --

GAROFALO: No, I don`t think he said isn`t that great news.


DYSON: Director Michael Moore was booed off the stage of the Academy
Award for denouncing the invasion of Iraq.

So much for these bleeding heart liberals in Hollywood. Let us not
forget the response from around the globe. Just as many protests and
demonstrations were held in countries throughout Europe and Asia, U.N.
Secretary General Kofi Annan said the war was illegal. Nelson Mandela
called it a threat to world peace.

From a faith`s perspective, Pope John Paul II said the war would not
solve the problems of man.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson called on peaceful people everywhere to
march until the war was over. And we remember 10 years ago, let us admire
and respect the opposition of a former president, as well as the words of a
dissent from a future president, it was Illinois State Senator Barack Obama
who said in 2002, "I don`t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb

This is a war that cost the lives of anywhere from 110,000 to 1
million civilians, and nearly 5,000 U.S. and international military
members. Today is not a day to cheer for success. But it is a day to
remember those who fought hard to avoid the war`s tragic consequences.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Tonight`s question: will the architects of the Iraqi war ever admit
they made a mistake? Text A for yes, text B for no to 67622, or go to our
blog at I`ll bring you the results later in the snow.

I`m joined now by Congresswoman Diana DeGette, I`m sorry --


DYSON: Diana DeGette of Colorado. Excuse me, Congresswoman. I`m
getting your name mixed up here.


DYSON: I`m so hyped to get to this point.

Congresswoman, you were one of 133 members of the House to vote
against this war. Take us back to that day and tell us what was going
through your mind?

DEGETTE: Well, you know, for me, I`m elected to Congress and I take
every vote seriously, but the vote to invade a sovereign nation, put our
fighting Americans at risk and go into this country, it has to be taken
very seriously. And I`ve had several of these votes, of course.

But what I look at is, is this country a threat to our national
security? We had the classified briefings with Don Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld
and Cheney and the whole group. And they kept saying we have the weapons
of mass destruction.

There was a pesky little group of us and we kept saying, show us the
evidence. Show us the evidence. They say, don`t worry, we have the

And, you know, I`m not going to vote to send our fighting men and
women into another country and waste all those lives and all those billions
of dollars just based on frankly on Dick Cheney`s assurance. And so, I
voted no, as did some of my colleagues.

It was a tough vote at that time, because, of course, people did not
believe that the White House would lie to them, and so they believed that
Iraq had these weapons, but they didn`t and, frankly, there was never proof
they did.

DYSON: Now, was it the fact there was no proof that they ever did
that led to your vote? Were you contentiously objecting to the rush to
judgment without any empirical proof?

DEGETTE: Right. I mean, you know, al Qaeda was the ones that invaded
our sovereignty, that killed our citizens that took down the World Trade
Center on that terrible day, and I was convinced we had the evidence that
Afghanistan and the Taliban were hiding al Qaeda. I had no trouble voting
to go into Afghanistan.

But when the White House came to us with Iraq, they said, you know,
you just have to trust us. I said, you know what? I`m a member of
Congress. We have to take this vote very seriously and I`m not going vote
to go into this sovereign nation and put our men and women at risk, as well
as the civilians there, as well as our reputation in the world, not to
mention the fact that we`re in the financial problems we`re in this country
right now because we fought that war and the other war off budget for 10

DYSON: Sure.

DEGETTE: So, those were all things that went through our minds and
ultimately, an act to go to war is an act of conscience. And I think
members of Congress have to take that the most seriously of any vote they
make and there wasn`t the evidence. And that`s why I voted no.

DYSON: Well, given the violent downpour of opposition to your
dissent, you take a lot of heat. Did it ever make you question your
judgment? I mean, in the wee hours of the morning, so to speak, did you
ever say, man, maybe I should have gone along? Did you ever question

DEGETTE: Well, I never had a moment of regret. And as, of course,
the troops marched towards Baghdad and they found no chemical weapons, no
nuclear weapons, no weapons of mass destructions, and it became really
clear those weapons did not exist. Of course, I became more and more
comfortable in my belief.

That even if it was the most unpopular that I took, it was the right
thing to do. It was a vote of conscience. And I think probably, the other
people in Congress who voted that way, you know, we looked at the evidence,
the evidence wasn`t there and we weren`t going to make that vote, even if
it costs us our elections.

And frankly, I was just telling a colleague earlier today, I would say
it`s in the top five votes that I`ve taken in my 17 years in Congress.

DYSON: Right.

Well, a new report from Brown University says the total cost of the
war in Iraq, so far, has been $2.2 trillion. The cost could double or even
triple when you take interest payments into account.

Why is it that your Republican colleagues don`t ever talk about this
when they talk about our debt? They never mention this tremendous part of
that debt.

DEGETTE: Well, you know, Michael, one thing that was so frustrating
to a lot of Democrats who consider ourselves to be fiscally responsible is,
of course, you had the Bush tax cuts. Then right after, you had the
attacks on September 11th and you had the war on Afghanistan, which I
supported and almost all of the rest of the members of Congress did,
because those were the people that attacked us.

But then, you had the war in Iraq and both Afghanistan and Iraq were
fought as quote emergencies, which means they weren`t included in the
annual budgets. And all of the deficits that we saw racked up over those
years were around those wars. So, now, when they`re talking about a budget
that cuts student loan programs for G.I. members, people coming back from
Iraq and Afghanistan now, they`re not getting their student loans, because
this was all fought off budget.

I think that`s political malpractice on the part of the Republican
Party. They should have budgeted for this.

DYSON: Well, from a congressional physician of the soul like
Congresswoman Diana DeGette, thank you so very much.

Now, let`s turn --

DEGETTE: So good to be with you.

DYSON: All right.

Let`s turn now to Dr. James Peterson, MSNBC analyst and director of
Africana studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University
and Joan Walsh, editor at large for

Professor Peterson, millions oppose the war, but as you know, and I`m
sure you remember, their voices were significantly marginalized. Give us a
sense, culturally and politically, of how that happened.

JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: I think -- there`s a lot of
context here, Doc. We have to start with the fact that the sort of
American ethos in response to 9/11 was a sort of zealous patriotism, where
people who were seen as not being in line or in sync with the government
and really with a very, very war hawkish administration at that point in
time were seemed to be anti-American.

So in that kind of environment, the voices -- and there were a lot of
voices that were speaking out against this war. But in that environment,
those voices could be muffled and people were being painted or depicted as
being anti-American just because they were pro-peace.

DYSON: Right.

So, Ms. Walsh, we saw what Donald Rumsfeld said on Twitter. We also
recently saw Dick Cheney say he would do it all over again and not
acknowledge any mistakes.

Let`s take a listen.


DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The main fault -- I don`t
spend a lot of time thinking about my faults I guess would be the answer.


DYSON: Yes, no kind of collective political introspection there.
Maybe he`s a legend in his own mind.

But, Joan Walsh, will history let these men off the hook for what they

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: No, these men are going down in history for a
horrible, terrible war. I was going to say a lapse of judgment, but it was
not a lapse of judgment. It was a deliberate act.

They cooked the evidence. They browbeat people. They would Karl Rove
as their political henchmen. That vote to authorize military force was
scheduled on the eve of the 2002 midterm elections deliberately.

But I don`t want to let Democrats off the hook --

PETERSON: Exactly.

WALSH: -- because 29 Senate Democrats voted to authorize the use of
force. Some of them apologized for it later like John Kerry. Some brave
people came out against it as you showed -- Barbara Boxer, Paul Wellstone,
Dick Durbin, we should remember them.

But there is a tendency among Democrats, Michael, that really worries
me. And it`s -- my entire lifetime, to act as though maybe their
patriotism is possibly going to be called into question and they`re always
appeasing these bullies who question their very Americanness and we saw
that over and over after 9/11 and particularly in the run-up to war.

It was a little bit frightening to be against the war as I was. We
weren`t really singled out and ridiculed, but we were right.

DYSON: Right.

WALSH: And they will go down in history as having done the wrong
thing. But we really -- it requires a lot of vigilance to make sure
nothing like that happens again.

DYSON: Well, that`s a good point.

James Peterson, given what the Congresswoman Diana DeGette said
earlier and what Joan Walsh just said -- are we still at risk despite their
bold and creative witness of a march to war of this magnitude or is there
more accountability today that would prevent such a prospect?

PETERSON: We would hope so. I mean, Joan is absolutely right.
There`s bipartisan culpability that dates back to the Clinton
administration, when you think about it. People who have studied this much
more closely than I have, have been talking about some of this stuff today.

I mean, just look at the scorecard and this is where the American
people have to step up and understand what has happened and what we have to
take on in terms of our accountability here, 134,000 Iraqi civilians, you
know, not soldiers, Iraq civilians -- hundreds of thousands, possibly more
than that, 4, 500 of our own soldiers, 18 of soldiers who are veterans come
back home are committing suicide on a daily basis.

When you add the $2 trillion that you talked about a few minutes ago,
we`re talking about an extraordinary cost in human lives and in resources,
and at the end of the day, we didn`t have to do this and it wasn`t
effective. When you look at Iraq now as a nation, it has not progressed in
the ways the folk who said we`re going to go in as liberators said it would
progress. So, I hope the people open their eyes on this occasion to
reflect very, very thoughtfully about what has occurred here and it`s only
really the people of the United States who can step and make sure this
never happens again.

DYSON: Sure. Joan Walsh, but, you know, the justification on the
other side has been, look, Saddam Hussein was a monster. He was evil.
Even though we didn`t get rid of him for the right reason, getting rid of
him was not a bad thing. And if that was the ultimate consequence of the
Iraq war, then so much the better.

What do you say to that kind of twisted logic?

WALSH: I think that there are many monsters, sadly, in the world as
we both know, and we don`t go around invading sovereign countries that did
no wrong to us in order to topple them and we have lots of monsters. We`ve
had lots of monsters who remained our friends, as you also know, Michael.

PETERSON: Exactly.

WALSH: I just think -- I do think we have more oversight now and the
people are more skeptical and that it`s harder. The same people who wanted
us to go to war with Iraq, wanted a war with Iran that we haven`t had yet,
that there`s a lot of skepticism and digging in appeals over. I think
there`s a latent antiwar movement. I think having lived through this. We
will not go through it again very soon.

So, that`s the good news. But it requires vigilance.

DYSON: Sure. Well, people tend to forget that Frankenstein was not
the name of the monster. It was the doctor who created it.

PETERSON: And some of these are monsters of our own making.

DYSON: Well, no doubt about that.

Dr. James Peterson and Joan Walsh, thank you all so very much.

WALSH: Thank you.

DYSON: Remember to answer tonight`s question at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. And on Facebook, I want
to know what you think.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren grills a restaurant owner about
raising the minimum wage. We`ll flip that one, next.


DYSON: Paul Ryan`s radical budget isn`t radical enough for some
Republicans. A new GOP plan is calling for even bigger government cuts.
And the big panel will dissect it, coming up.

And later, find out why gay marriage is causing a North Carolina
pastor to stop performing weddings for straight couples.

Make sure to join Ed Schultz in his new time slot, 5:00 to 7:00
Saturday and Sunday coming soon.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`ll be right back.


DYSON: The minimum wage in this country is not a living wage. But
Republicans use faulty reasoning to ward off an increase. We now have a
new number of what the minimum wage should be and it should chain anyone
who insists that the minimum wage remain the same.

If the minimum wage actually kept pace with worker productivity, it
would be far higher than what anyone is calling for.

Here`s Senator Elizabeth Warren in a recent hearing.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: If we just started in 1960,
not the high water mark for minimum wage, but a good time on minimum wage,
if we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as
workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the
same. And if that were the case, the minimum wage today would be about $22
an hour.


DYSON: Warren was basing this on a recent analysis and asked one of
the experts a simple question.


WARREN: It`s what happened to the other $14.71? It sure didn`t go to
the worker.

`70s, what we have seen is a divergence in the prosperities of different
sections of our population.


DYSON: Now, that sounds familiar, doesn`t it? This income disparity
chart says it all. The same expert explained that if the minimum wage kept
pace with incomes going to the top 1 percent, the minimum wage would have
actually risen to $33 an hour before the Great Recession.

Senator Warren was not calling on the minimum wage to be raised to $22
an hour, though, wasn`t it be great? She was, however, illustrating the
unconscionable disparity between the current minimum wage and the ideal
merit based minimum wage. Just last week, an attempt to raise the minimum
wage to a mere $10.10 an hour was defeated in the House. Republicans were
unanimous in their opposition.

Let`s turn to David Cay Johnston, professor at Syracuse University
College of Law and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Always good to see you, my friend.


DYSON: David, let`s begin with the initial premise. Besides the
almost irresistible question I want to ask you, that is can we pay the
Congress people $10.10 an hour, and see if they can make that and they`d
have a better, you know, understanding like the senator who understood
because his son is gay, that now, it`s all right for gay marriage. Maybe
if they made that kind of money, they`d be sensible.

But with -- in terms of keeping pace with productivity, the minimum
wage would be about $22 an hour today, right?

JOHNSTON: Yes. Now, remember, most of these low paid minimum wage
jobs are not in areas, so we have a lot of productivity. Orchestras can`t
play a Bach any faster now than they could 200 years, and restaurant
workers generally aren`t doing anything any faster than they used to be,
but half of all Americans with a job, 75 million, make essentially $10 an
hour less. They make $26,000 a year or less in wages. And that should be
really of deep concern to us.

DYSON: Yes. That`s pretty low.

It sounds pretty remarkable that so many people make so little money.


DYSON: So, here is part of Senator Warren`s exchange with the
restaurateur who refused to accept that raising the wage to $9 and $10 an
hour would raise his meal prices by only a dime or so. Let`s take a


WARREN: Maybe it`s only 4 cents on $7.19, but if your entrees are
$14.40, we`ll see how fast I can do the math, are you telling me you can`t
raise your prices by eight cents?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, typically, when costs rise, we don`t
actually raise it just four cents. We might go a little higher. That has
an inflationary effect on the economy. So, you may be talking away the
money you just gave that employee through the minimum increase and raise
prices throughout the economy.

WARREN: I have to say, you`ve now switched your argument from what it
was going to do to your business to what it`s going to do to the economy.


DYSON: Very sharp, Senator Warren.

Can a typical business weather a minimum wage increase and why?
Because we`ve heard all this madness on the other side, especially small
business people. Look, we can`t take that because it will put us out of
business. We won`t be able to pay insurance and the like. Is that a real?
Is that a real, reasonable and persuasive argument?

JOHNSTON: No, and in fact, we have a real world experiment that tells
us about this, Michael. In New Jersey, a few years ago, they raised the
minimum wage. They did it across the river in Pennsylvania.

There was an experiment done, or an examination of fast food, and it
turned out that in New Jersey, hiring went up and in Pennsylvania, hiring
went down.

But let me turn this upside down. Why aren`t we talking about the
fact that the total stock market is worth less today than it was in 2000
and yet, the CEOs are getting more and more money.

DYSON: Right.

JOHNSTON: If we just turned this argument on its head, we can see
that you know, the way we are paying people in America at the top and at
the bottom is not related to the issues of productivity and profitability.

DYSON: So, your point is, those CEOs would have to have a steep
decline in wages predicated upon their performance and merit. All right.

JOHNSON: That`s right. You would see their pay fall.

DYSON: Exactly.

We know the current minimum wage is not a living wage but give us a
sense of how bad it is.

JOHNSTON: Oh, one of the things that we`re seeing in our society is
people who are walking to work because they can`t afford bus fare to go to
work. One of my children driving home late from a party saw a man in the
snowstorm in Rochester going to work because there was no bus service
because it was a holiday and gave him a ride to work.

I mean, this is ridiculous. If you were a cook in a home as a like
"Downton Abbey", here in America, in the 1800s, your total compensation was
higher than it would be today as a cook at a McDonald`s.

DYSON: Wow. I hope they give you a tip.


DYSON: Well, that`s pretty -- that`s pretty -- that`s pretty
despairing. I`ll tell you what? Give your child an extra hug for us
because that was a good gesture, indeed.

David Cay Johnston, thank you so very much.

Has Michele Bachmann gotten so radical she`s supporting President
Obama`s policies? I`ll have the details next.

Later, Rush Limbaugh says the Republican Party is being bamboozled by
insiders. The big panel (INAUDIBLE).


DYSON: Welcome back. Republicans have a habit of showing up at the
ribbon cutting for projects they voted against. Congresswoman Michele
Bachmann, for example. After being re-elected by barely one percentage
point, Bachmann is looking for a good photo op. So Bachmann, who opposed
the Recovery Act, the 2010 Democratic Infrastructure Spending Plan and
Obama`s 2011 Jobs Plan is suddenly looking to invest in infrastructure, so
long as it`s in her district.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those pushing to expand I-94 to six lanes all
the way to St. Cloud have an important ally, Michele Bachmann. The sixth
district congresswoman brought a huge entourage to the state capital today
to push that project and another one in Elk River.


DYSON: President Obama and Democrats have consistently proposed
government investments in infrastructure like roads and bridges,
investments that Republicans like Michele Bachmann have consistently
opposed. And the failure to sufficiently invest has consequences. Once
every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers comes out with an
assessment of the nation`s infrastructure.

They grade everything, water, environment, transportation, public
facilities and energy. This year`s report card has some good news and some
bad news. The good news first; America`s grade improved slightly from the
last report card in 2009. The bad news, that only brought us up to a D

The ASCE estimates that to bring our infrastructure up to par, we
would need to invest 3.6 trillion dollars by 2020. That money would create
jobs, boost productivity, repair structurally deficient bridges, roads and
water mains, and stimulate the economy, but it won`t happen unless
Republicans like Michele Bachmann get behind President Obama`s push for
federal infrastructure spending, and not just when it makes for a good
photo op.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The Republicans are just totally
bamboozled right now. And they are entirely lacking in confidence.


DYSON: "The National Review" joins Rush Limbaugh`s attack on the
Republican National Committee. Tea Partiers attack Paul Ryan for being too
liberal. The big panel weighs in on the right wing chaos, next.

And a Methodist pastor is taking a stand for marriage equality.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of our phrases we like to use on Sunday
mornings is "all means all."


DYSON: I`ll tell you about the North Carolina man of God who is
refusing to perform opposite sex marriages until same-sex marriages are


DYSON: Let`s be real, we all know the Ryan budget is bad news. It
would hurt the nation`s seniors and ignore the millions of Americans living
in poverty by slashing food assistance, Medicaid and voucherizing Medicare.
It`s a high price to pay, especially when Mr. Ryan himself agrees with
Speaker of the House John Boehner, this country doesn`t have an immediate
debt crisis.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe we have an immediate debt crisis?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: To borrow a phrase from my friend
Erskine Bowles and the fiscal commission, we are the healthiest looking
horse in the glue factory. We do not have a debt crisis right now, but we
see it coming.


DYSON: Yet despite that admission, some in Ryan`s own party are
attacking his budget because it doesn`t go far enough. Enter Tea Party
Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia. Broun, who brags he was the first guy
to call President Obama a socialist, has been publicly critical of the Ryan


REP. PAUL BROUN (R), GEORGIA: It doesn`t stop spending. In fact, it
continues spending. It continues growth of government. It continues
growing the debt.


DYSON: Today, he went even further. In a "New York Times" op-ed
entitled "Paul Ryan`s Ax Isn`t Sharp Enough," Broun writes, "the latest
budget proposal by Ryan, called `The Path to Prosperity,` is anything but.
It fails to seriously address runaway government spending, the most
pressing problem facing our nation.`

Broun advocates for the elimination of the Education and Energy
Departments. This guy wants to take the federal government out of the
education and toss out a few bloc grants to states to handle everything
from Medicaid to infrastructure. Broun is also a member of the Republican
Study Committee, a group of House conservatives that are proposing a more
aggressive alternative to the Ryan plan, and promising to balance the
budget in just four years.

The Broun op-ed comes just a day after the RNC`s autopsy report
advocating for some serious GOP soul searching in order to win future
elections. Yet that, too, is getting attacked from the right for not
sticking to so-called conservative ideals.


LIMBAUGH: The Republicans are just totally bamboozled right now. And
they are entirely lacking in confidence. They think they got landslided
and they didn`t.

The Republican party lost because it`s not conservative. It didn`t
get its base out.


DYSON: I tell you, it`s always great to see Rush Limbaugh making
illusions to Spike Lee`s Malcolm X. Let`s bring in Ryan Grim of the
"Huffington Post," Angela Rye, political strategist and principle of Impact
Strategies, and Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis.

Welcome so much. I want to get right to this. The dueling budget
proposals, how bad is it when Ryan`s budget proposal is considered not
radical enough? Are we in pretty bad shape there?

RYAN GRIM, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": I don`t know where they think
they`re going with this. Coming out and just -- and saying you want to
raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, you want to raise the
Medicare retirement age to 70, and you want to balance the budget within
four years, with these insanely Draconian cuts -- and first of all, the
math doesn`t add up.

Because in order to balance the budget, they would have to cut so much
spending that it would tank the economy and they would lose revenues. The
way that you balance the budget is to grow the economy and get more
revenue, not by tanking it and giving it away.

DYSON: Right. So -- so in light of what was said here, Chris, these
proposals offered by Broun and the Republican Study Committee would hurt
citizens across the country, of course, including their own constituents.
How far can the Republican party go here? How will they be able to survive
with these kind of not only unpopular proposals, but proposals that make no
fiscal sense.

CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think they can go very far,
right to the bottom. I mean, this is a party right now that`s torn between
a crazy wing and a wrong wing, and not sure who`s going to win, but they`re
really fighting it out.

DYSON: Right.

KOFINIS: And I honestly don`t understand it because there is no
chance that this passes. I mean, there`s no chance this passes and goes
anywhere. There`s no chance the president would sign this. It`s a
political statement. So then you have to ask yourself, what is the
political statement for? It`s to mobilize a disaffected base. And that`s
the part that they seemingly still do not understand.

The reason why they lost this election was not because the Republican
base didn`t come out. They lost because the country`s changing. Until
they figure that out, they`re going to keep opposing things like this and
serving it up on a platter for Democrats.

DYSON: All right. You know, Angela, given the fact that, you know,
the fighting wing and the other wing -- maybe it`s the chicken wing as well
-- the inability to really step up to the plate here -- the RNC report,
look, Rush Limbaugh`s not happy with it. "The National Review" isn`t happy
with it either. So what do Republicans do? How do they figure their way
out of this corner into which they`ve backed themselves?

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: It`s time for them to go in the
church and say to the alter, they need a wake up all call. It`s really
time to have a come to Jesus moment with not only the policies, but who the
messengers are, how you`re getting your messages out. Speaking of the Ryan
Budget, you have a document that essentially says these are the things that
are our priorities and we`ve attached numbers to them. That`s how much
this matters. This is why the American public should pay attention to

No, it`s not going to pass. It`s going to go to the House floor with
other budgets and it`s going to die right there, because the upper chamber
has no interest in Ryan`s priorities. When you look at the GOP Great
Opportunity Plan or whatever it is, you know, it`s not a great opportunity.
There`s no -- Growth and Opportunity Plan, rather -- because at the end of
the day, you have the same tired messages and they`re not ready for a
browner, newer America.

DYSON: Given the fact that they`re not, as Ms. Rye has indicated,
ready for a browner, newer America, what kind of America are they ready
for? Because with this internecine squabbling going on, this horrible
infighting, which is not good for them from a PR perspective and not for
the optics -- what do they do, though, Ryan, to really kind of get
themselves going on a track that makes them at least appealing to millions
of people out there?

GRIM: I think what you have to realize is that there`s no they. Like
there are -- it`s not as if everybody speaking for the national party and
actually really cares that much about the national party. You have -- and
they alluded to it in this report. They said there`s sort of two parties
right now. There`s the national party, which is tanking, and then there`s
the governor`s party, which is doing extremely well. And they are. They
have something like 30 governors.

What they didn`t add is there`s also the House Republican party. They
control the House. And through gerrymandering, if they can keep getting a
whole bunch of super PAC money into these House districts, there`s no
reason that they can`t hold on to this House for a pretty long time, which
means that there are individuals within the party that have nice little

Sure, they don`t have the White House. They might not take back the
Senate for a while. But life is not so bad for them. So they come out
with this RSC budget that`s off the rails. But in their districts, it
works for them and for these -- and then for these Republican governors, it
looks fine to them because they look moderate compared to what the House
Republicans are doing.

DYSON: Angela, given that fact then, say they didn`t want a browner
America, so to speak, what do they do to reach out to those groups that
they`ve done historically bad with recently? African-American people
horribly, Latinos with this flip-flopping on the immigration issue -- what
kind of ways can you imagine a couple things for them to, say, get their
car back on the road, so to speak, and get out of that ditch in which
they`re stuck?

RYE: First, they have to acknowledge that this GOP plan is
opportunistic, at its best. Here we are, November 2012, and there was this
grand plan to, you know, institute voter I.D. laws and voter suppression
laws that were terrible. So since they couldn`t steal the vote, then now
they`re going to try to earn the vote the right way. So I think that first
they have to acknowledge that this is very disingenuous.

Second, I think they really have to start speaking to the issues that
matter. They have to start sounding like people who are accepting of all
Americans of all walks of life with different ideals. Everybody doesn`t
have to be cut from the same cloth and doesn`t have to be this template
model of what a Republican should look like, if they really are serious
about outreach.

DYSON: Given what Angela just said, Chris, the Tea Party has really
commandeered the party at certain significant levels or hijacked it,
depending on how you look at it, or ambushed. How do they stand up to the
Tea Party while -- without losing a serious purchase on the conservative
element here? Conservatives are not identical with the Tea Parties. How
do they make that critical distinction?

KOFINIS: I`m not sure they can. I mean, I think the Tea Party and
the way that they have mobilized themselves scares everyone who is a
current member of Congress to death. Because they`re afraid that if they
go too far to the center, they`re going to be primaried. So this is a
constant threat.

By the way, even if it`s not there, it`s the bogeyman that sits there
waiting to arise. So their problem I think is, until they come to terms
with the fact that they will continue to lose at least national elections -
- yeah, they`ll win on a state by state basis. But until they come to
terms with the fact that they`re not going to win nationally unless they
move more to the center and moderate especially on social issues, I`m not
sure things change.

DYSON: All right, well, we`ll see what happens. Ryan Grim, Angela
Rye and Chris Kofinis, thank you so very much.

RYE: Thank you.

DYSON: Still to come, a North Carolina pastor stands up for equal
rights. We`ll have all the details ahead.


DYSON: Welcome back. There are some exciting changes happening here
at MSNBC. It was announced today Steve Kornacki, who is currently a co-
host on "THE CYCLE," will be the new host of "UP." He`s replacing Chris
Hayes on weekends from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Chris Hayes will be
moving to weekdays at 8:00 pm, replacing THE ED SHOW. And THE ED SHOW with
Ed Schultz will be moving to Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Plus, don`t forget to catch a special re-air of "Hubris, Selling the
Iraq War," narrated by Rachel Maddow, this Friday at 9:00 pm. There will
also be a one-hour wrap up special, "Talking Hubris," hosted by Chris Hayes
at 10:00.

Tonight in our survey, I asked you will the architects of the Iraq War
ever admit that they made a mistake? Five percent say yes; 95 percent say

Coming up, a man of the cloth takes a stand for social justice on
Tobacco Road. That`s next.


DYSON: In tonight`s big finish, a small southern church community is
taking a stand against state law in its own religious traditions. The
congregation is simply asking what would Jesus do about same-sex marriage.
The pastors and lay council at Green Street Church in Winston Salem, North
Carolina, have decided to stop holding marriage ceremonies in the sanctuary
until there`s equality for all members.

Same sex marriage has never been legal in North Carolina. But last
spring, voters made sure they passed an all out Constitutional ban on same-
sex unions. The United Methodist Church doesn`t recognize them either.
This Sunday, the Green Street Church had had enough. The pastor wrote "it
is unconscionable that our denomination denies ministry to some while
making it available to others based on the God given identity of LGBTQ
people. Our United Methodist denomination has failed to lead the way in
this struggle for equality, and will once again have to catch up to the

Green Street Church went public with its decision after Sunday
services, and even invited the local media to ask questions.


who we are as a church. We`re a welcoming community. One of our phrases
we like to use on Sunday mornings is "all means all." So whoever wants to
come here and worship with us is welcome.


DYSON: All means all. The pastor at Green Street Church says the
culture is changing and the polls prove this point. Support for marriage
equality has grown steadily over the last 10 years. But we don`t need a
poll to answer the question, what would Jesus do about marriage equality?
Green Street Church in Winston Salem, North Carolina, believes it has the

I`m joined by Steven Petrow, who writes "Civil Behavior," a column on
LGBT issues "the New York Times." He also lives in North Carolina.

Amendment One was a setback for marriage equality. So how meaningful
is it for Green Street and other churches to take a stand with this
extraordinary display here?

STEVEN PETROW, "NEW YORK TIMES": Michael, it`s great to be with you
tonight. And I spoke to Pastor Kelly Carpenter (ph) this afternoon and I
asked him that question. How important is what happened there? And he
said it`s mind blowing. I think he`s right and I`ll tell you why.

If you look at what`s happening in the march towards marriage equality
across the country, we have Hillary Clinton who came out for it yesterday,
Senator Rob Portman. But generally when you look at North Carolina, we`ve
been -- it`s been a dark state since last year. Nearly two-thirds of the
voters approved this ban on same-sex marriages. And in Forsythe County,
which is where this very church is, a majority of folks there also
prohibited and voted for that amendment.

So when you see what`s happening from this little church in a fairly
small town, it is mind blowing. And I think it`s evidence that we`re going
to see more bright lights in the south and across the nation when it comes
to this continuing wave for same-sex marriage.

DYSON: Sure. It seems to be the little church that could. Steven,
are you seeing culture shift over same sex marriage here? Do you think
something significant, a kind of gender quake or sexual orientation quake
is going on beneath the surface of our common lives together in this

PETROW: You know, I do. And it`s so gratifying to see this little
burst of life come from this little church over the weekend. We also just
saw in Asheville tonight, that that county voted to extend domestic partner
benefits for same sex couples to county employees. But what was really
interesting about this church, 400 congregants, a leadership council of 18,
this minister who grew up in the Methodist Church. His dad was a Methodist
minister. He said he was nurtured in it.

There was no dissent. This vote was unanimous to stop -- to stop
holding opposite sex marriages until same sex couples can marry. When you
see that, it really gives you a lot of confidence and faith in both the
citizenry of North Carolina and really everywhere.

DYSON: Right. The United Methodist Church posted a fairly positive
story about the Green Street Church and even featured the story on its home
page. Do you think religious organizations can pave the way for legal
changes here? The church said, look, the culture is already ahead of the
curve of where the church is, but maybe the church can pave the way for
some legal changes.

PETROW: Well, that`s a great question. And when you look at the role
of churches in the civil rights movement and when you look at the role
really of societal movements, they often leap ahead of the law. And we`re
seeing that right now with -- this is an example. The fact that this can
happen in Winston Salem -- again, it`s the fifth largest city here in North

You know, this is really unprecedented. And you know, among Methodist
churches, you have some others in places like Austin and Chicago and, of
course, California that have -- you know, have enacted similar moves like
this, but not in the deep south, not in North Carolina. So this is really
important what`s happening here.

DYSON: Give me a brief answer. Do you think we`ll see marriage
equality in your lifetime?

PETROW: In North Carolina? Well, you know, I write about manners, so
it`s not a great thing to ask someone his or her age, but I`m hopeful that
it`s coming.

DYSON: All right. Steve Petrow, thank you so very much.

PETROW: Thank you, Michael.

DYSON: That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now. Good evening, Rachel.


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