THE ED SHOW
September 30, 2013
Guests: Rep. Jim Clyburn, Katrina Van Heuvel, Clarence Page, Eugene
Robinson, Michael Eric Dyson
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Today, you saw Harry Reid stand his ground. There
will be no defunding of Obamacare. There will be any provisions to delay.
And John Boehner is clearly exhausting absolutely every option he has to
satisfy a split caucus in some regards, but a caucus that has voted 43, 42
times to defund Obamacare. I think that this is a serious generational
move for the Republican Party. And they`re going to have to make a
decision tonight as to whether they want to continue to fund this
government or not.
Let`s go to -- Martin (ph), I want to ask you, the options of the President
right now. I mean, if you ever had an opportunity to be determined this
would be at the moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is Ed. But I think also, it`s worth
remembering that this reform of health care is not just something that he
swore as a policy and philosophically. It comes from his personal life
because of what happened within his own family.
SCHULTZ: And here is the President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where people and the President I believe is coming to -
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Of all the
responsibilities the Constitution endows to Congress, two should be fairly
simple. Pass a budget and pay America`s bills. But if the United States
Congress does not fulfill its responsibility to pass a budget today, much
of the United States government will be forced to shut down tomorrow. And
I want to be very clear about what that shutdown would mean, what will
remain open and what will not.
With regard to operations that will continue, if you`re on Social Security,
you will keep receiving your checks. If you`re on Medicare, your doctor
will still see you. Everyone`s mail will still be delivered, and
government operations related to national security or public safety will go
Our troops will continue to serve with skill, honor and courage. Air
traffic controllers, prison guards, those who are with border control --
Border Patrol will remain on their posts, but their paychecks will be
delayed until the government reopens.
NASA will shut down almost entirely, but Mission Control will remain open
to support the astronauts serving on the space station.
I also want to be very clear about what would change. Office buildings
would close. Paychecks would be delayed. Vital services that seniors and
veterans, women and children, businesses and our economy depend on would be
hamstrung. Business owners would see delays in raising capital, seeking
infrastructure permits or rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.
Veterans, who`ve sacrificed for their country, will find their support
Tourists will find every one of America`s national parks and monuments,
from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, immediately
closed. And of course the communities and small businesses that rely on
these national treasures for their livelihoods will be out of customers and
out of luck.
And in keeping with the broad ramifications of a shutdown, I think it`s
important that everybody understand the federal government is America`s
largest employer. More than 2 million civilian workers and 1.4 million
active duty military serve in all --
In the event of a government shutdown, hundreds of thousands of these
dedicated public servants who stay on the job will do so without pay. And
several hundred thousand more will be immediately and indefinitely
furloughed without pay. What -- Of course, will not be furloughed are the
bills that they have to pay, their mortgages, their tuition payments, their
car notes. These Americans are our neighbors. Their kids go to our
schools. They worship where we do. They serve their country with pride.
They are the customers of every business in this country. And they would
be hurt greatly, and as a consequence all of us will be hurt greatly,
should Congress choose to shut the people`s government down.
So a shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people, right
away. Past shutdowns have disrupted the economy significantly. This one
would too. It would throw a wrench into the gears of our economy at a time
when those gears have gained some traction.
Five years ago right now, our economy was in meltdown. Today our
businesses have created 7.5 million new jobs over the past three and a half
years. The housing market is healing and our deficits are falling fast.
The idea of putting the American people`s hard-earned progress at risk is
the height of irresponsibility, and it doesn`t have to happen. Let me
repeat this. It does not have to happen.
All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the
Senate has already done, and that`s the simple act of funding our
government without making extraneous and controversial demands in the
process, the same way other Congresses have for more than 200 years.
Unfortunately, right now House Republicans continue to tie funding of the
government to ideological demands like limiting a woman`s access to
contraception or delaying the Affordable Care Act, all to save face after
making some impossible promises to the extreme Right Wing of their party.
So let me be clear about this. An important part of the Affordable Care
Act takes effect tomorrow, no matter what Congress decides to do today.
The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in
place. You can`t shut it down. This is a law that passed both houses of
Congress, a law that bears my signature, a law that the Supreme Court
upheld as constitutional, a law that voters chose not to repeal last
November, a law that is already providing benefits to millions of Americans
in the form of young people staying on their parent`s plan `till they`re
26, seniors getting cheaper prescription drugs, making sure that insurance
companies aren`t imposing lifetime limits when you already have health
insurance, providing rebates for consumers when insurance companies are
spending too much money on overhead instead of health care. Those things
are already happening.
Starting tomorrow, tens of millions of Americans will be able to visit
healthcare.gov to shop for affordable health care coverage. So Americans
who`ve lived for years in some cases with the fear that one illness could
send them into bankruptcy, Americans who`ve been priced out of the market
just because they`ve been sick once, they`ll finally be able to afford
coverage, quality coverage, many of them for the first time in their lives.
Some of them may be sick as we speak. And this is their best opportunity
to get some security and some relief. Tens of thousands of Americans die
every single year because they don`t have access to affordable health care.
Despite this, Republicans have said that if we`d lock these Americans out
of affordable health care for one more year, if we sacrifice the health
care of millions of Americans, then they`ll fund the government for a
couple of more months. Does anybody truly believe that we won`t have this
fight again in a couple of more months? Even at Christmas?
So here`s the bottom line. I`m always willing to work with anyone of
either party to make sure the Affordable Care Act works better, to make
sure our government works better. I am always willing to work with anyone
to grow our economy faster or to create new jobs faster, to get our fiscal
house in order for the long run. I`ve demonstrated this time and time
again, oftentimes to the consternation of my own party.
But one faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of
government doesn`t get to shut down the entire government just to refight
the results of an election. Keeping the people`s government open is not a
concession to meet. Keeping vital services running and hundreds of
thousands of Americans on the job is not something you give to the other
side. It`s our basic responsibility. It`s something that we`re doing for
our military and our businesses and our economy and all the hard-working
people out there, the person working for the Agricultural Department out in
some rural community who`s out there helping some farmers make sure that
they`re making some modest profit for all the hard work they`re putting in.
They`re the person working for HUD who`s helping somebody buy a house for
the first time. They`re somebody in a VA office who`s counseling one of
our vets who`s got PTSD.
That`s who we`re here to serve. That`s why we`re supposed to be carrying
out these responsibilities. That`s why we should be avoiding these kinds
of constant brinksmanship. It`s something that we do in the ordinary
process of this extraordinary system of government that we have.
You don`t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you`re
supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there`s a law there that you
The American people sent us here to govern. They sent us here to make sure
that we`re doing everything we can to make their lives a little bit better,
to create new jobs, to restore economic security, to rebuild the prospects
of upward mobility. That`s what they expect.
And they understand that there are differences between the parties. And
we`re going to be having some tough fights around those differences. And I
respect the fact that the other parties are not supposed to agree with me
100 percent of the time just like I don`t agree with them.
But they do also expect that you don`t bring the entire government to a
halt or the entire economy to a halt just because of those differences.
And that`s what they deserve. They`ve worked too hard for too long to
recover from previous crises just to have folks here in Washington
manufacture yet another one that they have to dig themselves out of.
So Congress needs to keep our government open. It needs to pay our bills
on time, and never, ever threaten the full faith and credit of the United
States of America. And time is running out.
My hope and expectation is that in the 11th hour once again that Congress
will choose to do the right thing and that the House of Representatives in
particular will choose the right thing.
Thank you very much.
SCHULTZ: President Obama`s speaking live in the Briefing Room at the White
House. It is the 11th hour we were headed towards a shut down.
President Obama standing his ground quickly explaining to the American
people exactly what the effect of a shut down would be, how many people
would be affected, how this country would be running at the time, and a
detailing basically the damage that would take place.
For more on this let me bring in Jim Clyburn, Congressman from South
Congressman good to have you with us tonight, I know that you have said on
my radio show that you think that this is all about the President and
obstructing him and tarnishing this president and his legacy I want your
reaction to what the President just said and how we just took this first 12
minutes of this hour to explain. What will happen if we have a shut down?
REP. JIM CLYBURN, (D) SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, first of all thank you so much
for having me.
You know, I think that American people watching the President in this
statement got a glimpse of exactly what`s going on here.
We are in free fall when it comes to doing the -- people`s business. For
some strange reason, the Republicans seem hell-bent on taking this country
to the brink and their President is laying out once again, how unnecessary
it is for us to be doing this.
The President has accepted the number that the Republicans put for. It was
not the number that we wanted. The Democrats had a budget bill of 1058 and
they didn`t like that. They came with a bit number of 988, the President
accepted that, the Senate agreed to it and we have said on the House side
they will vote for that. That`s a compromise.
Now, to say that that`s not enough that the President must give up on his
landmark program of health care didn`t make the whole lot of sense and it
ought not be in this debate. That the President ought to be negotiating on
the full faith and credit of the United States of America does not make
We compromise over policies, over budgets and that`s what we`ve done and
we`d agreed to that number. The American people know that we have done
that and I think that the Speaker Boehner, now has the ball in his court,
and then he -- to seat down send us a clean continue resolution will
brought on that and they will take the time during the six-week period to
try to negotiate our differences over sequestration and whatever else maybe
out there that the American people will have us talk about.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, the President for the first time at least it was
first time that I`ve seen him talk about fighting the results of an
How much is this all about tarnishing the President`s legacy, tarnishing
CLYBURN: Well, I think it`s all about that. You know, these people --
SCHULTZ: So it`s all about Obama?
CLYBURN: ..at to the development narrative --
SCHULTZ: It --
CLYBURN: -- for years and years. And now they have decided this
president is now a legitimate president. This president is not qualified
to be a president. And now, they`re trying to do everything they possible
can to say that this president is not capable of being president.
So I think in one other reason they are driving us to the brink, so they
can look back in years to come and say that one time that the country did
not meet his obligations under the full faith and credit of the county was
when we had a Barack Obama as President of the United States.
I think that that`s what this is issue is all about and I really believe
that they ought to stop playing politics. We play that last fall. We play
that in 2008. And the President won the election 2008, and the President
got reelected in 2012, and now he`s trying to govern and it`s time for them
to accept the results of those two elections and move forward on behalf of
the American people.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what do you think John Boehner is going to do now?
CLYBURN: Well, I think there are going to bring a bill to the floor
tonight that I believe will be a six-week bill. But from what I`m hearing
they once again are going to lower it up with extraneous stuff that will be
different from the extraneous stuff that they sent the last time.
CLYBURN: And once again, I believe the Senate is going to reject that.
So if they bring that kind of a bill to the floor, the American people said
no, that they are really proposing to shut down the government, because the
President just told them that he has accepted their number, but he is not
going to accept all of this extraneous stuff that they had put on this
continuing resolutions and that would be effectively shutting the
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman James Clyburn South Carolina, great to
have you with us tonight and I appreciate your time
CLYBURN: Well, thank you so much for having me.
SCHULTZ: Now let me turn the NBC News you bet (ph). Let me turn now to
NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kelly O`Donnell.
Kelly the President very determined he`s standing his ground. He`s not
going to make anymore changes. He`s telling the House you got to do what
the Senate has done, put it into historical perspective of how many years,
that`s the way it`s worked.
What`s the latest now in the shut down? What can we expect the Republicans
KELLY O`DONNELL, NBC CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it will be
an eventful night, Ed. There will be vote expected but it will not be in
the form the President just said is so critical to prevent a government
What the House wants to do is to provide for keeping the government open,
but with those conditions of delaying the individual mandate, and then also
a move that hasn`t gotten as much attention but is a critical part of the
political messaging that`s going on. And that would be to end the
subsidies that the government would provide when members of Congress and
their staff and they extended it to the White House and the President when
they would be buying their own as employees health care, that the
government would no longer provide the subsidy to do that.
The reason they say, is that politically they want to argue that if the
Senate says no to that that would be keeping the government open but having
this provision, then basically the political argument going forward from
conservatives would be that Senate Democrats want to protect their own
perks. That`s the atmosphere that we have here that, I today had a chance
to talk to Grover Norquist who is outside the Capitol with some members of
Congress from the Republican side who were talking about that piece of the
legislation that`s expected to be voted on tonight. And he said, Senate
Democrats are not thinking about what it`s going to look like in the TV ads
run against them when they are held to public account by the votes that
they take, by turning out things that he says, reasonable people in the
country want to see.
And by that they`re saying, why have members of Congress and their staff
get a benefit that the public doesn`t get?
So that`s the kind of deep in the weeds negotiating and political wrangling
that`s going on here. But it`s going to be a very late night. Ed.
SCHULTZ: OK, Kelly O`Donnell NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent, I
appreciate it. Thank you so much.
And one thing that I think is the backdrop of all of this that the
conservatives have tried to get in the minds of the American people and in
some respects in his work is that we are all confused about Obamacare that
none of us understand to any of it. Oh, it`s very easy to understand and
it`s very easy to navigate through to get more understanding.
This is the website folks, healthcare.gov. If you go to this website you
will find out how easy it is to read, how easy it is to navigate all the
information, all the basic questions, and all the direction you need to
take to get involve, to get health care.
This is a great guide if I may say for any of you out there who feel so
confused by all of these Right Wing commercials that are just permeating
through your television screen and also in the sound culture of the country
with the Right Wing talkers of America.
And oh, by the way, there`s even a 1-800 number where you can actually call
somebody and ask some questions. And that number would be 1-800-318-2596,
that`s 1-800-318-2596. It`s right there at healthcare.gov. It`s not so
Now, if you are a Glenn Beck disciple and you hate President Obama, then
the website would be healthcare.gov/damnass.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re all united behind this plan.
OBAMA: Congress needs to put an end to governing from crises to crises.
JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSE SPEAKER: I`m sorry but that doesn`t work that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why should we let him off the hook?
BOEHNER: It`s time for the senate to listen to the American people.
SCHULTZ: They play for power and not to people.
BOEHNER: Just like the House has listened to the American people.
SCHULTZ: That`s their world and it`s not the real America.
OBAMA: Republicans in the House have been more concerned with appeasing
and extreme faction of their party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. I don`t think that`s would the American people
OBAMA: The work in the pass of budget that creates new jobs or strengthens
the middle class.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why should we let him off the book?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m just going to get
-- it`s chilling to me. It seems almost spite (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to Ed Show. President Obama is about to become the
second Democratic president in row to have a Republican speaker of the
house, shut down the government.
Back in 1995, President Clinton had just helped America dig its way out of
a Bush for recession when Newt Gingrich shut down the government.
On Sunday, President Clinton compared tonight`s looming shut down to the
one he face back in `95.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Keep in mind there was two different things, number one is the
economy was growing and the debts that was going down.
We didn`t give away the store and they didn`t ask us to give away the
store. With today it was more like we got to out here on this ledge,
please give us some face-saving way to walk back. And we didn`t stop
negotiating with them when we passed a balance budget bill for example,
there`s no opportunity for that in this forum. We don`t have enough time.
They don`t want -- they`re mad because they don`t want to negotiate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Clinton is exactly right. No matter what you hear from
the Right Wing media, it`s not up to President Obama to negotiate anything.
It`s a law.
Everything is riding on this guy`s shoulders, John Boehner. It`s down to
one man. The man who has never stood up to the Tea Party in his own
caucus, who has really has to do something that he`s never really have the
character to do before and that`s lead.
He`s in a leadership position, but he`s one hell of a follower.
Joining me now for our Rapid Response Panel Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The
Nation, and also, with us tonight Clarence Page. Katrina?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, OWNER OF MAGAZINE THE NATION: Yes.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of the President`s position right now? I
thought he came out gave the lay of the land. This is what`s going to
happen preparing the country for a shut down and explaining that it`s
simply doesn`t have to happen. Is this the reaction that you expected from
HEUVEL: I thought it was important, Ed, that he spoke about how this would
have real impact on real people. I thought it was very interesting that he
spoke of how the Republicans are essentially trying to repeal the 2012
election by trying to repeal through sabotage the signature landmark piece
of legislation. And I think in saying that he is ready to compromise.
You expose, Ed, where too much of the media still does which is false
equivalent. Next time I hear that this is grid lock or partisan standoff,
give me a break. This is about ferocious end fighting between the
"traditionalists, the nihilists and extremists" of the Republican Party
ready to a politics of sabotage in tantrum, ready to take down the
government and put people`s lives in harms way through their politics.
So I think he spoke well. He spoke clearly but the fight is on and if
history -- if journalism is the first draft of history, we need some real
journalism to tell the real story in these next important days.
SCHULTZ: Well, let`s take a look back at what John Boehner said about a
government shutdown back in April of 2011. Here`s what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: Republicans have no interest in shutting down the government.
Shutting down the government I think is irresponsible and I think it will
end up costing the American taxpayers more money than they`re already
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, put that in some type of
order for us. That was Boehner back then, where is he now? He`s been held
hostage by the Tea Partiers. How else do we read it Clarence?
CLARENCE PAGE, EDITORIAL WRITER OF CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Well, you can
certainly there in that contrast with his current position what Katrina was
talking about. Look, the Republicans right now are divided between what
Ronald Reagan used to call the right and the far right. The far right is
folks like Ted Cruz and others who think that this time is different but
they can`t show, you know, different from the 1995 shutdown or even the
2011 brinkmanship over the budget but there is no difference here really.
We can see all along the Republicans have been pushing hard for a shutdown
because they have no other political leverage to try to block Obamacare.
And everything indicates that they`re taking -- they`re the ones who have
to take the blame for this but they`re trying to say that it`s Democrats
who want a shutdown which makes no sense at all.
SCHULTZ: Katrina, how damaging would it be to the Progressive Movement if
the Democrats were to move right now?
HEUVEL: Well, I mean I think what you need to do is a version of what Bill
Clinton did in `95 which is fuse the battle with strong vision for what the
Democratic Progressive Party stands for. I mean Bill Clinton had that M2
E2 Medicare. He wasn`t going to allow Republican Party to ravage savage
Medicare, Medicaid education and the environment. I think the Democratic
Party needs to do more than just be more responsible steward of dismantling
government. It needs to step forward and say, we are for jobs, for our
justice, for homes, for housing.
And I think to do that well --
HEUVEL: -- so I think it`s the fight is on but one thing that is
striking to me is I think the underlying so much of this, Ed, is not just
not a personal attack on the President but a fear that Obamacare as it`s
woven into the fabric of people`s lives as it improves the conditions of
people`s lives will become so successful. And the Republicans are fearful
of any measure of a government program like Social Security and Medicare
becoming part of our country`s landscape.
SCHULTZ: I totally agree. I mean, I think this is a tide that`s coming in
that`s never going to go out. And it will be high tide for the Democrats
for a long time and smooth sailing. I mean, I think this is going to
change a lot of people`s lives. And the narrative, Clarence, is out there
that the President needs to negotiate. When do we -- What are your
thoughts on that? When do we re-negotiate laws?
PAGE: Well, that been negotiated. I think I mean -- I asked Katrina while
it remembers when Barack Obama (inaudible) from the time he became
President was negotiating a way from a single payer system, away from a
public option toward what we have now. He`s been negotiating all along.
That is still like he said today he`s ready to negotiate again but it is
obviously a non-negotiable position to call and undo what Congress has
already voted in and what Supreme Court has approved which is Obamacare.
But like I said before, the Republicans have no leverage other than to take
us all to the brink. And this didn`t have to happen remember. Republicans
could have participated in the debate of our health care. They say they
too want coverage for everybody but they didn`t do it, they didn`t engage
constructively and then they still don`t have any kind of a viable
alternative except just to block what there is delay it for a year.
HEUVEL: And I think it`s important to remember, this is about people`s
lives, of course we look at the brinksmanship in Washington, but remember
from meals, on wheels, to head start, you know, millions of people`s lives
are in the balance and I think the Republicans are so cruel to step back
and ignore that.
SCHULTZ: Cruel is the right word. Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Clarence Page,
great to have you with us on the Ed Show. Thanks so much.
Up next I`m taking your questions Ask Ed Live is just ahead. Stay with us.
You`re watching MSNBC`s the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. We love this segment, love hearing
from you viewers and your questions in our Ask Ed Live segment tonight.
Our first question comes from James Mills (ph). With the Tea Party having
so much power over the GOP, are common sense Republicans becoming extinct?
Well, James (ph) let me just say if there are any common sense Republicans
out there they`ve got their head suck at a hole somewhere and they
certainly don`t want to stick it out right now because they would lose
their job, they`d be primaried.
This is what happens when you mix hate with obstruction. We now, as I see
it, are in a crisis of democracy in this country. We are at a standstill.
We have two parties and we have one party within another party that will do
anything they possibly can to destroy this president, to destroy him in the
record books, to destroy him and stop this country anyway they possibly
can. It`s a sad moment for America but that`s that is the way it is. They
want to run the country their way, not our way, not by the voice of the
Our next question is from Chaz Hope. Why is the GOP hell-bent on
destroying our country? Well, in their world they think were screwed up.
In their world picking on the poor and picking on people who are less
fortunate that`s standard operating procedure, the deregulation and all the
benefits to the wealthiest Americans. That`s the country they want to
have, and they will do anything they can to get it.
Lots more coming up at the Ed Show. Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Time now for the Trenders. The Ed Show social media nation has
decided and we are reporting. Here are today`s top Trenders voted on by
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Time goes in, times goes out. Never
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number 3 Trender, Billy wing.
O`REILLY: All of the ideas come to me in a middle of the night, and one
night I just woke up and I`m killing Jesus. What does that mean? And I
believe because I`m a Catholic that comes from the Holy Spirit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish to God that somebody would do something to block
out the voices in my head for five minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O`Reilly channels a higher power for his new book.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You believe the Holy Spirit directed you to write
O`REILLY: Yes, I believe that. I`m not the chosen one. I`m just one of
many who had been given gifts. I don`t understand what you`re trying to
get out but.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number 2 Trender, Texas whiff.
BRIAN CURTIS: This news in hard to keep under wraps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wendy Davis has a big announcement.
MARC FEIN: Democrat Wendy Davis has decided to run for Texas governor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a star. She`s an instant folk hero. Anybody
can stand on their feet for 13 hours wearing pink Sneakers gets to be that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many people are wondering Wendy Davis for governor.
WENDY DAVIS: Yeah, we`ve been hearing that. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And today`s top Trender, ballot battle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The integrity of our election process is vital to our
KIMBERLY VAN SCOY: Fight continues over North Carolina`s new voter ID
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Voter ID has become a part of our everyday life.
SCHULTZ: An estimated 300,000 registered voters in North Carolina do not
have an accepted form of government ID.
ERIC HOLDER, US ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Justice Department will file suit
against the state of North Carolina to challenge portions of that state`s
highly restrictive new voting law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Justice Department tackles voting rights in the Tar
HOLDER: This new law would shrink rather than expand access to the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a direct correlation between the voter
suppression laws that we see going on the books now and the attempt to tap
down on the African-American vote.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These voting changes were adopted with both the
purpose, and intent, and the effect of restricting the franchise and
discriminating on the basis of race.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My job is to protect the ballot box.
HOLDER: This is an intentional step to break the system that was working.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Joining me now is Eugene Robinson, Columnist for the Washington
Post and an MSNBC Political Analyst. Eugene, this is a step up for the
Obama Administration, the Justice Department trying to go down and make a
wrong a right in North Carolina. Is this a big turn to the midterms?
EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: You know, I think this is a
big deal or you will recall that the Supreme Court struck down part of the
Voting Rights Act, but most of it remains in effect and Attorney General
Holder is using other provisions to challenge a law that is clearly
designed to limit voting by African-Americans and Latinos, the voting by
It`s a suite of provisions, of new provisions not just voter ID but
curtailing early voting and ending same day registration. Other things
that put together are clearly designed to keep so many black and brown
folks from voting in North Carolina and it is just obvious and it`s being
challenged on their basis.
SCHULTZ: Are there other states that we can expect this to happen as well
because there have been numerous states out there that have had voting laws
put in when it comes to IDs and when it comes to hours and eligibility and
such stuff as that. I mean, is this going to be what the next year is
going to be like? Do you think that North Carolina is going to be the only
state that the Justice Department goes after?
ROBINSON: No, the Justice Department is already on the case and in terms
of Texas and its voter restrictions. And Attorney General Holder has made
clear that he would like civil rights to be his legacy, as first black
Attorney General. And first, he believes that it is unconscionable for the
first African-American Attorney General to preside over at a time when
states successfully roll back the expansion of the franchise and roll back
the access to the ballot box that was hard-won by African-Americans during
the Civil Right Movement.
So I think absolutely, you`re going to see more of these kinds of
challenges. And the establishment of the principle that, yes, part of the
voting rights access is out and Congress probably won`t fix it the way it
ought to be fixed but the rest of --
ROBINSON: -- it has enforced and he`s going to use it.
SCHULTZ: Gene Robinson, we`ve seen the news within the last hour, the
President has come out and gave a statement on what is unfolding over on
the legislative side. It looks like we`re headed for a shutdown or maybe
there`s a miracle between now and midnight tonight.
What do you see John Boehner`s options at this point dealing with the Tea
Partiers, are we headed for a shutdown?
ROBINSON: Well, you know, if it weren`t for bad luck, John Boehner
wouldn`t have no luck at all. I mean and, you know, in a sense he got
himself in this mess by encouraging or allowing the extreme Right Wingers
to believe that they could get the impossible out of a steal. It was never
in the cards that President Obama was going to gut Obamacare and it was
never in the cards that Democrats were going to allow it to be defunded, or
allow it to be delayed. A one-year delay would never work as it would be
taking effect or the mandate would be taking effect just in time for next
year`s election. This is not going to work. It`s not going to not going
to happen and I think the President was very clear on that. I don`t see
the miracle and I see the shutdown --
ROBINSON: -- coming tonight, and it`s going to have a real impact on
SCHULTZ: Jim Clyburn said earlier in this broadcast it`s all about
tarnishing the President, do you agree with that?
ROBINSON: Oh, I think that`s a huge part of it, yes. I mean if, you --
SCHULTZ: Yes, I do too.
ROBINSON: -- know, let`s be honest, part of it is what I would consider
crazy ideology. But --
ROBINSON: -- a lot of it is tarnishing the President. They just can`t
over the fact that he is President and that he has these accomplishments.
SCHULTZ: OK. Eugene Robinson, great to have you on the Ed Show, thank you
SCHULTZ: Coming up, failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum is
shooting for the stars in tonight`s Pretenders. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in Pretender`s tonight Ricky goes to Hollywood. The best
supporting actor of the Republican primary is taking on the movie business.
In an interview Rick Santorum said the new role as a Christian film studio
executive gave him insight into his failing party. He says, "It`s all
about telling a story. One of the reasons that GOP has done so terrible is
because we`re not really good at telling stories." Well, we beg to differ.
Get your popcorn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM: One of the things I will talk about that the new president
has talked about before said, "I think the dangers of coming to
Accept this horribly created in the sense of rape, but nevertheless gift in
a very broken way but gift of human life and accept what God is giving to
There is no such thing as global warming.
President Obama once said, He wants everybody in America to go to college.
What a snob.
And I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say that we`re going to
decide who are people and who are not.
You are black by the color of you skin. You are not, you know, homosexual
necessarily by obviously by the color of your skin.
I don`t want to make black people`s lives better by given them somebody
I don`t used the term black very often, I used the term African-American.
Just wish me a little bit more time, just spread me a few more places.
(END OF VIDEP CLIP)
SCHULTZ: See, the Republicans are great at telling stories. The problem
is no one`s falling for it. If Rick Santorum believes he`s got the key to
a Republican blockbuster. He can keep on pretending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I respect the fact that the other parties not suppose to agree with
me 100 perfect of time just like I don`t agree with them. But they do also
expect that we don`t bring the entire government to a halt or the entire
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And this is the story for the folks who take a shower after work.
The folks that President Obama has always stuck up for.
That was the President within the last hour calling out Republicans on
their reckless threats to shut down the government for the fist time in 17
years. And right now, there was no compromise on the horizon. It is a
bunch of Tea Party psychos over on the House side that are making John
Boehner`s life miserable and putting him in an untenable position and then
there`s a bunch of minions who are following because they don`t want to be
But you know what? I do believe that this has been their mission all
along. They want to make this President look dysfunctional. This is what
you get when you combine hate and obstruction and roll it into one, you
have a government that has stalled and now you`ve got Americans who are
going to be hurt.
For more on this let`s bring in Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC Political Analyst
and Professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Dyson, good to have you with
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you, sir.
SCHULTZ: This has been a rough day at the office and it will be a tough
one tomorrow. I don`t think that there is any compromise in sight and I
think we need to talk about how long this shutdown could actually last. I
mean, it looks to me like Boehner is going to have no deal in sight. Your
thoughts, Dr. Dyson, on what has unfolded this afternoon.
DYSON: I think you`re absolutely right, Ed. I think there`s no end in
sight, unfortunately. And in times like this, the President looks so
reasonable doesn`t he? He looks like a man who is doing his job which is
to represent the best interest of the American people. And supposedly, the
Congress is charged with the same thing. He begins a statement that is
President Obama by speaking about what they`re supposed to do.
One of the things they`re supposed to do is to pay the bills. We`re not
talking about a future spending. We`re not speaking about what will come
on down the line. We`re talking about what we`ve already done. And this
kind of opportunistic terrorism on the part of the Right Wing, I think will
backfire on them. I don`t believe that President Obama will look like the
person at risk here and at stake because 10 percent, I mean American public
believes that the Congress is doing their job that`s only worth of 10
percent approval rating. Only 10 percent of Americans --
DYSON: -- believe they`re doing a good job. Ed, I just believe in my
heart and given to all the indexes out here that the Republicans are going
to take heat for this. And they didn`t learn anything under President
Clinton and they`re not learning anything under President Obama.
SCHULTZ: I want to play John Boehner and Eric Cantor`s statement from this
afternoon. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: We`re going to move here in the next several hours to take the
Senate Bill, add to it a one year delay of the individual mandate on the
American people and get rid of the exception for the members of Congress.
It`s a matter of fairness for all Americans.
ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: The House is going to a position
today, reflecting one very fundamental principle that our country stands
for. No special treatment for anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Dr. Dyson, it`s very clear that they want to obstruct as much as
they can to buy more time so they can win the blame game. They think that
they can win over the opinion of the American people and then blaming
President Obama. Is it going to work?
DYSON: I don`t think so. Look, they are trying to buy time. They`re
trying to buy enough time to be able to say, "Look, the people will be so
upset at both sides that they won`t make a difference. They`ll have a
moral equivalence between both sides." But I just don`t think it`s going
President Obama has taken the lead here. By asserting what`s going on,
he`s using his bully pulpit in a fine fashion and he`s got to keep making
that statement, compromise comes when we`re willing to come to the table as
equal partners in a debate to try to hash out our differences. It does not
come with negotiating with rhetorical terrorist which is what they are up
to right now and I think that as long as he holds to his guns and as long
as he holds out, the American people will respect the fact that President
Obama puts their interest above the narrow sectarian interest of the far
SCHULTZ: So if you can`t make the American people think that this is not a
legitimate President, is this how you legislatively treat him?
DYSON: Yes, this is what they`re trying to do but I don`t think it will
work. He has proved to be the better of them to get the better of them and
I think he`ll get the better of them this time as well.
SCHULTZ: All right, Michael Eric Dyson, good to have you with us tonight.
That`s the --
DYSON: Thank you, sir.
SCHULTZ: -- Ed Show, I`m Ed Schultz.
Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now. It`s going to
be a long night at the office. Reverend, your own -- I would like to get
your thoughts on how you think the President played it today.
REV. AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Well, so far, he`s -- in my
opinion, playing it well. The country is how -- the question is how the
country is going to be in terms of all of us within a few hours. And
that`s what we`re going to talk about tonight on Politics Nation. So
you`re right, it`s going to be a long night at the office, I`m here at DC,
Ed. And thanks a lot.
SCHULTZ: You bet, Rev.
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