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PoliticsNation, Thursday, November 21

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

November 21, 2013
Guest: Jim McDermott; Faith Jenkins; Jeff Gardere

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s Lead, standing up to the bullies and ending the Right Wing`s
ugly history of obstruction. For 100 years, conservatives used the Senate
procedure called the filibuster to block civil rights legislation. And for
the last five years, conservatives have used it to filibuster the first
black President of the United States. And try to deny and destroy this
President`s agenda.

But now that Republican strategy is in shambles. This afternoon
Democrats took the bold step of changing Senate rules scaling back the
filibuster that Republicans have unfairly used to block the president`s
nominees. Majority rule will be the rule of the Senate for virtually all
the president`s nominees. It`s a move to undo five years of GOP delay and
obstruction. A huge moment for the president and his agenda.


think, is an indication that a majority of senators believe as I believe,
that enough is enough. The American people`s business is far too important
to keep falling prey day after day to Washington politics. And if there
are differences in the Senate, then debate should be had had, people should
vote their conscience, they should vote on behalf of their constituents,
but they should vote. That`s what they are there to do. And ultimately if
you`ve got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be
able to pass.


SHARPTON: What a concept. That a majority should be able to get
things done. It`s called democracy. And that`s what right wingers have
been undermining for decades often in the ugliest way possible. In 1938,
southern senators filibustered a law to make lynching a federal crime. In
1957 South Carolina senator Strom Thurman set the filibuster record talking
for 24 hours straight against civil rights legislation. And when it came
to the civil rights act of `64, Thurman led southern senators who spent 60
days blocking it.

It wasn`t right then. And it`s not right now. It has to be said that
both parties have used and misused the filibuster. But in the age of
Obama, the Republicans have made a mockery of our democracy. They`ve
turned a useful procedure that turned majority rule into a battering ram to
deny the results of a presidential election.

Take a look at these numbers. In all of U.S. history under all
previous presidents, a total of 86 presidential nominees have been
filibustered. But during the past five years, Republicans have blocked 82
of President Obama`s nominees. That`s nearly the same as all previous
presidents combined. It unfair and it is undemocratic.


OBAMA: In each of these cases it`s not been because they opposed the
person. That there was some assessment that they were unqualified. That
there was some scandal that had been unearthed. It was simply because they
oppose the policies that the American people voted for in the last
election. This isn`t obstruction on substance, on qualifications. It`s
just to gum up the works.


SHARPTON: It`s not about the individual nominees. It`s about
opposing the president. This year alone, Republicans blocked all three of
his nominees to the important D.C. circuit court of appeals. They`ve
filibustered Congressman Mel Watt from a major Housing job, the first
lawmaker to be blocked in 150 years. And they filibustered the president`s
nominee for defense secretary, the first time that`s happened in American

Republicans eventually backed down from that fight, and Chuck Hagel
was confirmed. This GOP obstruction is historic, it`s out of bounds. But
now Harry Reid leading the Senate Democrats has said they will no longer
back up from the Republican bullying.

Joining me now are Krystal Ball and Angela Rye. Thank you for being

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us on, Rev.


SHARPTON: Krystal, let`s put up that chart again. Showing
filibusters against President Obama`s nominees versus all other nominees
from all other presidents in U.S. history combined, doesn`t that show why
this change today was so necessary?

BALL: Yes, it does. I mean, it shows in essence why we can`t have
nice things. Right?


BALL: Maybe we would like to have an emergency brake as the
filibuster was meant to be on things that really go beyond the pail. But
as you point out, it`s not just recent obstruction. We have all this
nostalgia about the filibuster and Senate tradition. But the filibuster
throughout history at times has been used for very ugly things.

SHARPTON: Very vile.

BALL: So as Republicans try to, you know, mount this charge that
Democrats are changing the rules and appeal to the history of the Senate,
it`s important to remind people of that. But absolutely in the Obama era,
Republicans have forced the hand of Harry Reid who did not want to go to
this place. He`s very much a Senate institutional. Throughout the
president`s first term, he resisted calls for change.

SHARPTON: And many of us, Angela, have wanted to see the procedure
maintained for a lot of reasons. I believe in doing procedures that are
necessary to make sure that we don`t have tyranny by the majority, as some
say. But this has become just downright abusive and is based purely on
let`s stop this president.

For example, Republicans claim president Obama was trying to pack the
D.C. circuit court of appeals. But the facts don`t back them up. Only one
Obama nominee has been confirmed to four nominees for Bush and eight
nominees for Reagan. So how would he be stacking the court when he`s only
had one nominee that was approved and he was putting in nominations for
empty seats? The seats need to be filled, Angela.

RYE: They absolutely need to be filled, but, Rev., on a larger scale
we need to be celebrating the fact that today a substantial advancement was
made. We can RIPs and filibuster abuse and we can now bask in RNR which is
the Reid rule and not rest and relaxation. We still have a major fight

SHARPTON: Re-rule. Not rest and relaxation. Don`t send the wrong
signals out here.

RYE: I know. And we know that you definitely don`t rest, Rev. But
to that point, we now have a fair fight. We now our on a little bit more
of a level playing field. We know the constitution calls for majority
rules. The kids we learn that majority rules and that is how a democracy
absolutely should work. That is not how they`ve been operating. The
filibuster, as Krystal mentioned, was to be used for extreme circumstances
that we`ve even seen filibusters this time, folks who are using the senate
floor to protest things just because they did not like them. But these are
more than qualified folks you have mentioned, Judge Wilkins who was a
person that fought very hard for the African-American museum for the
Smithsonian. You have Congressman Watt who has been more than 20 years
knowing financial services, knows this material like the back of his hand.
There`s no reason why he shouldn`t be confirmed to head the federal housing
finance agency.

These things have to be put in their proper context and they have to
be within their proper place. The CBC is standing with the (INAUDIBLE) and
so many others in saying it`s time to move forward. You can no longer
protest the president just because he doesn`t look like the rest of those
presidents before. And you can`t shut down 82 of his nominees through the
filibuster process.

SHARPTON: When there`s only been 85 done in history. And I mean, to
make it real simple, Krystal. It`s a yes or no vote. I mean, it`s just
that simple. Now it`s a yes or no vote, 51 yes, it goes. If it`s lower
than 51, it`s no it doesn`t pass. No games in between. And this is only a
nominee. This is not legislation.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: And it`s not even on Supreme Court nominees. So when they
play this game, the Republicans, that the sky is falling, it does not mean
legislation and it does not mean Supreme Court. It means on administrative
and judicial nominees other than the Supreme Court. And it also makes the
Senate function because these filibusters had the senate where it wasn`t
functioning. And the day the president talked about the change was about
fixing that. Look at this.


OBAMA: It`s no secret that the American people have probably never
been more frustrated with Washington. And one of the reasons why that is,
is that, over the past five years, we`ve seen an unprecedented pattern of
obstruction in Congress that`s prevented too much of the American people`s
business from getting done. The gears of government have to work. And the
step that the majority of senators took today I think will help make those
gears work a little bit better.


SHARPTON: Help those gears work a little bit better, Krystal.

BALL: Yes, that`s right. I mean, what we`re basically talking about
here with the president`s nominees is that the president will be able to
actually have his team in place to run the government. I mean, we have
seen instances like Senator Elizabeth Warren who started the consumer
financial protection bureau who was not able to be head of that because of
the threat of a filibuster. You`ve seen things like the national labor
relations board where Republicans refused to allow anyone no matter who
they were just because they came from this president and because they were
to sit on a board that t don`t like, they refused to let them through until
the last filibuster deal.

So, this isn`t just about these particular appointees. It is about
making the government work overall and allowing the president to have a
team in place to get the work of government done.

SHARPTON: Angela, let me throw this at you quickly. The Republicans
are so angry, they say we`re even going to outdo that. Right now, the
change does not include the Supreme Court nominees like I said. But today,
GOP Senator Chuck Grassley said they`ll extend it to that court when
they`re in power. Listen to this.


SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: The silver lining is that there will
come a days when roles are reversed. When that happens, our side will
likely nominate and confirm lower court and Supreme Court nominees with 51


SHARPTON: Now, let me get this right. They don`t like what the
Democrats did today in yes or no vote, but when we get we`re going to even
extend it to the Supreme Court. How`s that for not liking what y`all are
doing? We`re going to do it worse.

RYE: Well, it`s awful, and I don`t even know that he believes the
words that came out of his mouth. It really is something where he has to
say that to just avoid a tea party challenge, Rev. That`s the day and age
we`re living in.

SHARPTON: Krystal Ball, Angela Rye, thank you for your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And be sure to catch Krystal on "the Cycle" 3:00 p.m.
eastern here on MSNBC.

Coming up, here they go again. A secret GOP memo revealed their plan
to attack Obamacare. But a little thing called facts has them worried.

Plus, what happens when the president fights back? He`s a dictator
destroying your republic? Yes. It`s a "Politics Nation" class trip to the
bubble tonight.

And for the first time since his arrest, George Zimmerman`s estranged
wife is breaking her silence in an amazing and wide ranging interview. She
talks about doubting George`s innocence in the Trayvon Martin killing and
living in fear with someone she calls a ticking time bomb.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It certainly seems like something snapped in his

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And made him behave like what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like a monster.


SHARPTON: What do you think about any of these stories? E-mail me.
"Reply Al" is ahead.


SHARPTON: Coming up, the extraordinary words from George Zimmerman`s
estranged wife. On a ticking time bomb, on living in fear, and on doubting
his innocence. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: There they go again. Fresh off of their epic overreach on
Obamacare, the GOP is at it again. You remember their big plan, the one
where they were all smiles shutting down the government? This was going to
show President Obama. Yes. How`d that work out for them? Well guess
what. Today they`re at it again. A secret GOP memo obtained by "The New
York Times" reveals their plan, mapping out waves of attacks over
Obamacare. The big talking points, attacking increases in health care
costs, and why exchanges may not be secure.

And Congressman Darrell Issa is going on tour. Yes, it`s the
misinformation tour. Holding pointless hearings around the country trying
to highlight problems with the law. Well, guess what, folks. Here`s the
reality. Just like the shutdown, they`re misreading the public again.
Yes, there are problems. But look at these numbers, 58 percent of
Americans don`t want to repeal it. They might want changes, but they want
to keep the law. Last I checked, that`s a majority.

And more people are signing up for the exchanges every day, 56 percent
found them easy to use. Again, a majority. But not in Republican fantasy
land. They`re going all in again. They just can`t help themselves. The
definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting
different results.

Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington.
Thanks for coming on the show tonight.

Congressman, the Republicans are planning to attack. How will
Democrats respond?

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: Well, first of all, the American
people are smarter than the Republicans take them to be. They have been
saying this for three years. And they`ve been this propaganda campaign has
been the most determined propaganda campaign in a long time and it has not


MCDERMOTT: The people have listened to it. They figured out all the
tornadoes and all the hurricanes are not caused by Obamacare. That every
job loss in the country is not because of Obamacare. That things are going
up in cost is not because of Obamacare. They simply recognized the
Republicans for what they are. They want to tear the program apart because
they don`t care about people. Think about Texas where the governor has
said he`s not going to accept Medicaid for over 100,000 people. Almost
200,000 people in Texas. He`s keeping health care away from them because
he wants to bring down the president.

SHARPTON: You know, when you look at facts, they keep talking about
people who will pay more for insurance. But let`s look at the breakdown,
Congressman, 80 percent of Americans will be unaffected, 15 percent are
uninsured so the law can only help them, 2.5 percent will be able to get a
similar plan, and the other 2.5 percent will have to buy a better plan, a
better health care plan. Yes, there are problems. But when you look at
the big picture, this is law is helping a whole lot of people.

MCDERMOTT: One of the fascinating thing is some people complain.
I`ve heard men say why should I have to pay for maternity care? Or women
saying they are 52, why should I pay for maternity care? Well, you could
also, as a man say, why should you pay for prostate exams. Why should you
pay for anything for anybody else that you don`t personally get.

Now, if that`s your thinking, then, you have no concept of the common
good. This program is going to be better for everyone in the long run.
Some may pay a little more, some may pay a little less. I may pay a little
more so my kids can have something or someone else`s kid may have
something. But, that`s in the common good. That`s the way we operate in
this society.

SHARPTON: Yes. You know, but they`re going all out misleading the
public. For example, the Republican national committee chair Reince
Priebus has his own plan for the 2014 election. Watch this.


2014 about Obamacare and, yes, we will tattoo Obamacare on each of their
foreheads. And that will be what 2014 is all about. They want it to be
about Obamacare. But we`ll make it about Obama are.


SHARPTON: He`s going to tattoo Obamacare on their foreheads. What`s
your response to that, Congressman?

MCDERMOTT: Well, I think that`s a pretty cruel thing to say. And
it`s very, very missing the point of Americans understanding. The American
people want health security. It`s the leading cause of bankruptcy for many
American families. And they want someone to do something about it. The
president has done it. And the Republicans in three years have shown no
plan whatsoever. Not one single plan. They only want to get rid of the
president`s plan because had he did it and he knows that the Democrats are
going to get credit for it. It`s very simply power politics. It has
nothing to do with what`s good for people.

SHARPTON: Congressman Jim McDermott, I`m going to have to leave it
there. but always good to have you on. Thanks for your time tonight.

MCDERMOTT: See you again.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama says enough is enough on the
blocking and it`s driving the right wing crazy.

And George Zimmerman`s estranged wife speaks on doubting his innocence
in the Trayvon Martin killing and living in fear.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He became like a pacing lion, very



SHARPTON: Coming up, an amazing interview today with George
Zimmerman`s estranged wife. She`s talking about living with a quote,
ticking time bomb. And her new doubts about his innocence. Wow. That`s


SHARPTON: George Zimmerman`s estranged wife is breaking her silence.
In an amazing wide ranging interview, she revealed to Katie Couric
explosive new details about the man she lived with for six years. It was
raw. It was emotional. And it`s sure to raise all kinds of new questions.
The comments come just days after her husband`s arrest this week. He`s
accused of pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, a claim Zimmerman denies.

I want to bring in clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere and former
prosecutor Faith Jenkins. Thanks for being here.



SHARPTON: Now, Shellie Zimmerman was asked about her doubts. That
she`s had about her husband. I want to play it and then get your reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you believe that George murdered Trayvon

maliciously went out to murder someone that night.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I think when people hear of all these incidents
following the trial, it does cast further doubt on his actions that night.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you feel that way?


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Does it cast further down for you?

ZIMMERMAN: Further doubt, absolutely. It casts a lot of doubt like
you said because like I`ve said, I don`t know the person that I`ve been
married to. So, of course, I`m going to have questions and doubts. But I
wasn`t there that night and I`ve seen the evidence and the jury has seen
the evidence. And they were the ones qualified to make the decision. Not


SHARPTON: Now, Faith, Jeff, first she said no I don`t think he did
the murder but then I do have doubts and he`s not the person I thought he
was. What do you make of this?

JENKINS: Well, first of all, this is the person who stood by George
Zimmerman`s side during this entire ordeal and even the trial and helped
him. He helped his public image. And even going forward with the jurors
knowing that his wife and his wife was standing by his side.

SHARPTON: It was perjury for him.

JENKINS: Exactly. And only after the trial now that she`s getting a
divorce, she wants to continue to publicly distance herself from him. I
think there`s some self retreat that`s involved here. She wants to change
her last name. She wants live her life not being associated with the man
most people believe is guilty of and got away with killing a 17-year-old
teenager. So I think it benefits her to continue to publicly distance
herself. She didn`t go forward with the charges. She talked about the
domestic incidence that happened.


JENKINS: Just a couple of months ago. But she continues to distance
herself. Listen, we all know. I mean, I knew this when this case
happened. When the trial was going on. Zimmerman`s presentation of
himself as this legitimately concerned neighborhood watch guy concerned
about this young man walking into his neighborhood was a complete farce.
This guy was trouble from the very beginning. She knows it. We know it.
And now the public, people who had their doubts about him from the very
beginning they know now, this is not some mild mannered guy who`s just
walking patrolling his neighborhood that night not looking for any trouble.
He was probably the aggressor here based on the actions we continue to see.

SHARPTON: She said, Jeff, this was not the man that I thought I knew
for seven years of marriage.

GARDERE: Wow. And what does that really tell us? It means that not
only did she not know who he really is, but she was aware that he was
completely unpredictable. Listen to her words. I don`t think he
maliciously went out to murder. Well, does that mean that he was a train
wreck waiting to happen and therefore did end up escalating a situation
where someone was killed? She goes on to say they made the decision, the
jury made the decision that he wasn`t guilty. Well, Shellie, what decision
did you make in your mind? Did you think he was guilty? She won`t accept
responsibility and puts it on the jury. So she knew something, and she
feels that the jury let him get away with it, not her.

SHARPTON: Well, let`s play something else she said. Because she said
in the last year and a half saying, she`s now afraid of him. Listen to


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I know you stood by George during the course of
that explosive trial. Did you have your doubts back then?

ZIMMERMAN: I don`t know that I let myself get so deep in thought. I
was kind of drinking the kool-aid, you could say, trying to survive every
day, just immerse in this machinery that`s in George`s case. And so now I
have doubts. Back then, I just couldn`t go there.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you regret at all standing by George

ZIMMERMAN: Part of me does and part of me doesn`t. I do wish that
before the night before when I had left and went to my father`s home that
he had just let me go and didn`t call me back into his life. And that I
didn`t play the role that I did as a supportive wife because my life would
be very different now.


SHARPTON: Your response to that.

GARDERE: Well, again, the words. So telling. I couldn`t allow
myself to get so deep in thought. What are we talking about here? A
defense mechanism called denial. Why couldn`t you go there, Shellie?
Well, because I just couldn`t allow myself to understand or realize the
monster that I was married to. I was drinking the kool-aid. In other
words, I was actively involved in trying to not understand what the truth
is of this person, this fake of a person that I was married to.

JENKINS: I do not believe for one second that this domestic incident
that occurred a couple of months ago was the first incident of violence
that George Zimmerman has displayed towards this woman.

SHARPTON: Well, they said they had a fight the night before he killed


SHARPTON: In argument.

JENKINS: In argument. But I`m talking about more than that. And in
2005, the prior domestic incident. And so when she says, she played the
role of the supportive wife. I mean, those words really speaks to me.
Because she knew she was playing a role then. And I don`t think that she`s
still telling everything that she knows about what George told her about
what happened that night. And I also don`t believe she`s telling
everything about their relationship. And the volatileness of that

GARDERE: The bottom-line is, for her to acknowledge that she was a
party to the mirage that they put out there that they were happily married,
that he was a stable individual. For her to acknowledge that would destroy
her ego. And so therefore she`s skating along this saying, yes, I thought
something was wrong with him, but I just really couldn`t accept that. It
would be too much for her to be able to live knowing that she was a party
to this atrocity.

SHARPTON: But Faith, could it have changed the trial --

GARDERE: Oh, yes.

JENKINS: Absolutely. No one knew that they had had an argument and
she was not staying in the home the night of this incident happened when
George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin. That didn`t come out until

GARDERE: Or the fact she was afraid of him.


SHARPTON: But I want to go somewhere else with this. Go ahead.

JENKINS: So his mind-set at that time, you know, that he was just
going to the store minding his own business, he wasn`t upset about
anything, he wasn`t angry about anything, he wasn`t in some type of
confrontational --

SHARPTON: All right. So, I want you to hear something that she said
about how she`s found out certain things about his character. And I want
to come back to that point. Listen to this.


ZIMMERMAN: I found out that he was lying about a lot of things. And
he became like a pacing lion. Very unpredictable. Like every single day
it was like adrenaline going through my body constantly not knowing what it
was going to be like from day-to-day. I haven`t seen him in a couple
months. But it certainly seems like something snapped in his spirit.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And made him behave like what?

ZIMMERMAN: Like a monster.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That seems as if George is a ticking time bomb.
I mean, given all these incidents, these run-ins, you know repeated
incidents over just this last year. What do you think is going to happen
to him?

ZIMMERMAN: I don`t know. I certainly hope that there are no
casualties. I hope that there`s no violence. But he does seem like a
ticking time bomb. I know I`m certainly afraid.


SHARPTON: What is interesting to me about this, Faith, that the far
right that questioned those of us that said at least investigate this and
prosecute this, something you said no one knew all this about him. Why
didn`t the police know if there had been a real investigation which is what
everybody said. The police didn`t know that him and his wife were not
together that night and he had an attitude and that he was this guy that
was a ticking time bomb? They just let him go.

JENKINS: Well, there are rules of evidence in a trial. And there are
only certain things that you can present in court. We knew about the 2005
domestic violence incident. We knew that there was an incident with a
police officer going ahead into the trial. But the jurors didn`t know
about his background. Because there were rules of evidence. That was not
allowed in court. And even if they had had an argument that night, I still
don`t think that would have been allowed in court. But I`m talking about
Shellie Zimmerman --

SHARPTON: No, that`s not -- again, you notice I didn`t say the jury.
I said the right wingers rallying around here.

GARDERE: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Yes. It may not have been allowed in court, but this was
never told to the public.

GARDERE: That`s right.

SHARPTON: All of us that said let`s have a real investigation, we
were demonizing him. How dare you question him stand your ground. None of
this came out about him when it should have been known. That`s all I`m

GARDERE: Yes. Because it would have reflected upon them and the fact
that they have some of the same attitudes against minorities, believing in
this standing your ground, actually wanting to be in a situation where they
feel they must protect themselves against others. But here are the words
that really surprised me. She says I hope that there are no casualties.

SHARPTON: No violence.

GARDERE: I think the word should have been I hope there were no
further casualties, because Trayvon Martin was a casualty.

SHARPTON: She also said she would like to talk to Trayvon`s mother.
What is that all about?

GARDERE: Guilt. Guilt.

JENKINS: And the ticking time bomb. Listen, this is a bomb that went
off a long time ago. We have a 17-year-old who was killed. So, this whole
ticking time bomb because of these incidents that have happened since the
jury acquitted him, this is not something new. I mean, people want to say,
oh, we didn`t know this about George Zimmerman. This is the real George
Zimmerman. We saw the real George Zimmerman back on the night of February
2012 when he followed and profiled this young man for no valid reason.

SHARPTON: And he has become -- the sample of stand your ground.


SHARPTON: We`re going to keep watching this. An amazing interview.
Jeff Gardere and Faith Jenkins, thank you for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, what happens to the right wing when President
Obama fights obstruction? You`ll see. Get the popcorn out.


SHARPTON: A historic moment in the U.S. Senate today as Democrats
voted to eliminate filibusters from the most -- for most executive and
judicial nominees. President Obama hailed the move as a way to get past
the unprecedented obstruction we`ve seen in Washington. A good move for
democracy. So just guess how the right wing reacted.


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The Republic is being undermined by
people who are supposedly at least decent people. We might disagree, but
they`re at least decent people. No, they`re not.


SHARPTON: Your republic is being undermined because Democrats aren`t
letting Republicans block the president`s qualified nominees? And here`s
how they reacted over at FOX.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: At one point he said well, the American business is
far too important for the rules. How far do you take that? You could
ignore the house and have a military coup.


SHARPTON: This is a change in Senate rules, not a military coup. But
I guess it wouldn`t be FOX without a little fear mongering. And that was
nothing compared to what we heard from the leader of the Republican Party.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Not interested in democracy at
all. Total statist authoritarianism. If they want to nominate the bad
communist, there`s no stopping them now. So if Obama wants to nominate,
oh, I don`t know, Bashar Assad to the ninth circuit court of appeals,
there`s no stopping him. He gets to play dictator. That`s something he`s
always wanted. He is -- I saw him. He is ecstatic.


SHARPTON: No, President Obama`s not playing dictator now. He`s just
doing what the American people elected and re-elected him to do and the
right just can`t take it.

Joining me now are Ari Melber and Goldie Taylor. Thank you both for
being here.



SHARPTON: Goldie, why do they always take these attacks to the

TAYLOR: You know, it`s kind of laughable to me. None of these people
were talking about, you know, changing the rules or the lack of democracy
about changing the rules at the eleventh hour when they were changing the
rules in the House floor to allow for a government shutdown. And so,
there`s a bit of hypocrisy going on here. Not just a bit I should say,
there`s a lot of hypocrisy going on here.


TAYLOR: And so this president, you know, Harry Reid in particular --
found a way that was available to him under the law to make certain that
some of the president`s nominees could go forward and fill some very
critical seats especially there in the D.C. Circuit. And so, I just think
that this was the right thing to do. But you`ve watched Republicans pull
stunt after stunt. Every one of them, mind you, within the bounds of the
law. But stunt after stunt in advancing this kind of obstructionism. And
so when the rules are changed against them, suddenly, you know, all our
democracy is at stake.

SHARPTON: Ari, you know, it`s not enough Ari for Rush Limbaugh, the
Republican leader, to attack the president. He also attacks his nominees.
Listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: There`s a reason his nominees were filibustered. They`re
all extreme leftists who are unqualified. They don`t know that they would
not be good for the country. And that`s why they were filibustered.

SHARPTON: They`re extremists? They`re leftists? I mean, they`re
nominees the GOP filibuster weren`t extreme leftist. This wasn`t about
alley ideology but blocking the president`s agenda. I mean, look at the
background of these nominees. But why does the right wing go after the
president`s nominees and his cabinet members, Ari?

MELBER: I don`t think they can deal with the facts here. The
American Bar Association which is non-partisan has set each of these people
up for the D.C. circuit is highly qualified.


MELBER: A national organization of women said, it is problematic to
be blocking so many female candidates which is what the Republicans were
doing when we actually have an imbalance in gender on the federal courts.
And Rev, the most amazing thing to me here is, if you only heard the sound
bites you played, you would think that democracy took a hit today.
Democracy if by that we mean a majority vote was advanced today.

SHARPTON: That`s a no vote.

MELBER: Right. Yesterday, all these people were being prevented a
vote. Today they`re getting votes. That is breaking a blockade that has
stopped a lot of this president`s nominees. And the last data point people
have to keep in mind and you and others have reported on this, the increase
in blockage of nominees from last president to this one. Wasn`t double.
Wasn`t triple. Was six fold for executive nominees.


MELBER: They were trying to prevent this president from governing and
today, the Senate made a change to stop that attack on democracy.

SHARPTON: You know, what? The combined number of what they`ve
blocked from this president almost equals to combine numbers for every
president in the history of the country.

TAYLOR: Exactly.

MELBER: Exactly.

SHARPTON: You know, it is amazing Goldie, that lawmakers themselves
are picking up the language that President Obama is a dictator. Listen to
what Senator Rand Paul back in January.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: In this bill we will nullify anything
the president does that smacks his legislation. I`m afraid that President
Obama may have this king complex sort of developing and we`re going to make
sure that it doesn`t happen.


SHARPTON: You know, why can`t they just say I agree with him and I`m
going to fight against this particular legislation or this particular
nominee instead of calling him a king and promising to nullify his
executive actions.

TAYLOR: Well, that`s just another way of calling him uppity to be
frank about it. You know, this is grand irony here that they want to call
Senator Reid a bully or call the president a king. What they really mean
is these people don`t belong in office. That because they don`t agree with
our ideology, or our so-called principles, then you know, certainly they
must be socialists, they must communists and they must not believe in
democracy. And so that`s really what this is about.

But let`s be clear. If the president nominated bread and water to the
D.C. circuit, the GOP wouldn`t eat today. They wouldn`t have water today.
And so I just think at the end of the day, this is really about them being
upset. That their obstructionism has been stopped in its tracks. Frankly,
we have had, you know, this president has had as many filibusters in his
two terms of presidency as we have in the entire history of this country in
terms of filibusters. And so, there`s something going on here. And I am
so glad that Harry Reid stepped up today and used his so-called nuclear
option to turn it back to its head.

SHARPTON: You know, Ari, it reminds me of an interview I did with the
Republican congressman back in September. Here`s what he said when we were
talking about defunding ObamaCare.


SHARPTON: We thought we lived in a democracy with a balance of powers
between three branches of government. Come on, congressman. That`s not
what this country is supposed to be about.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hey, Al, just to remind you. This is not a
democracy, this is a republic.


SHARPTON: I mean, we do live in a democratic republic. But we are,
you know, are they really comfortable -- why are they comfortable saying
that? We don`t live in a democracy. It`s a democratic republic.

MELBER: Well, you know, you can get into the constitutional history
of why Republicans is an important form of government. But the point
you`re making and the point I think most reasonable people agree with is,
let`s have the vote. The truth is there aren`t many socialist members of
Congress. I think Bernie Sanders talked about being affiliated with that
view. And I think the last time I checked he`s the only one in the Senate
which advices in consent. So, if you did -- charges, the president hasn`t
nominated any, they might not get 51 votes. But we have votes in this
country and we have votes in the Senate. And today, we advanced on that.
I think it`s a good thing.

SHARPTON: Ari Melber and Goldie Taylor, thank you both for your time

MELBER: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And catch Ari on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3 p.m. Eastern
right here on MSNBC.

The Scottsboro Boys 80 years later. Justice delivered today. The
story is coming up.


SHARPTON: It`s one of the most notorious cases in American history.
The crime against the Scottsboro Boys. Today, after those nine young black
men were falsely convicted of rape, the record is set straight. Stay with


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, justice for the Scottsboro Boys. Three
black men from Alabama were pardoned today for being falsely convicted of
raping two white women on board a train 82 years ago. Haywood Patterson,
Charles Weems, and James Wright were the last of a group of nine young
black men. First tried and charged of rape in April of 1931. The trial
was marred with injustice. An all white jury, a rushed trial, and even
attempted lynchings. The Scottsboro case laid a led to two landmarks
Supreme Court`s rulings about the inclusion of blacks on juries.

And the need for adequate legal representation. The last of the nine
died in 1989. But the record is now justifiably clear. It`s a good thing
that the record is clear. It would have been better that before they
passed they would have known that they were vindicated. But I was glad to
see for their families, their children, grandchildren, their names cleared.
It reminded me when Martin Luther King said, truth crush to earth shall
rise again. It doesn`t matter because he says no lie can live forever.

And one program note. Tomorrow night we debut my documentary on the
epidemic of gun violence in this country 50 years after President Kennedy
was killed after a sniper`s bullets. "50 Years of Guns" airs this Friday
at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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