tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC October 20, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PDT
confederacy of hate. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. fight, fight, fight. that's the echo of this week. you hear it in every remark or grunt from the hard angry right. they call themselves the american people as if the majority that voted for president obama are an invading force of others or group of lesser americans. who should be credited with 3/5 of the vote before the civil war.
it's that fight again. i once think of a man standing at the robert lee mansion yelling to keep up the fight. i overheard he meant. he meant the old confederate fight against change. brought back in the 21st century to battle anything marked obama. anything that says this man was elected president of the united states. now in this third battle of bull run, the rebel cry in stars and bars are rejoining the cause. they speak of secession and nullification and all the old language leading up to the war between the states. they cheer openly at ripping apart the political party. this time it's the republicans, to free them from total war. alongside the battlefield where the women and children once watched we saw the limbaughs and ericksons that turned out to cheerlead. like the women who got their name back in the earlier time from general hooker. yes, there's money in war. even this phony war of filibusters and jibes at part police. a confederacy of hate. david corn for mother jones and sam stein with "huffington
post." i kept thinking and watching, gentlemen, i don't know whether just the name or the brand is the right way to do it. the obama brand. they see red when they see this. the people not just from the south or the southwest, because even in new york state there's 10% or 20% joining the tea party. i heard it the other night at new york. they're there. they have an attitude of anger that's almost inexplicable. almost hard to define. yet when they hear obama, that's where they flash to. that's the sound of the guns they rush to. >> we've been involved in the political cultural war for the last five years. and it's not abating. it's getting worse. as obama continues to be president and as he racks up policy wins particularly with obama care it's just driving the other side crazy. now, people like jim demint and heritage action and tea partiers, i'm not sure they're motivated exactly by hate of obama. but they are exploiting that. that is the fuel for their
libertarian ideology, whatever. >> that's the brand. the united states senate which i used to look up to in the country. senator. he gives that up. he says i want to fight the enemy out there. he joined the heritage foundation. nobody in past history could explain it. why would you give up to help legislate unless you're not interested in legislation? >> he's probably making a lot more money. >> could be. >> personal angle here. but these people, you're right. they're not interested in governance or policy. the tea party people, this is one thing i don't think boehner -- >> i think it's the fight itself. >> they want to disrupt. they want to fight and disrupt. they don't want compromises. they don't want deals. they don't want policy wins. they want to fight and destroy. >> sam, respond to this. on the right, the lesson from the government shutdown seems to
be the republican party itself caved. here's rush limbaugh the cheerleader on the hard right this week. let's listen to rush. >> i was pondering if i can ever remember a greater political disaster in my lifetime, if i can ever remember a time when a political party just made a decision not to exist. >> congressman tim huelskamp told "the washington post," we'll be looking for any opportunity. we took a shot at it and we fell short. i think we're waiting around for another battle over obama care. meanwhile, conservative blogger eric erickson said conservatives should pick off so-called moderates in the gop. quote, the last time the major leaders of an american political party tried to compromise their way to power, the party broke apart giving us the republicans. this fight too will break apart the gop. there will be a fundamentally altered party of new faces. never before have the people seemed less dependent on a party apparatus to play in primaries. i'm not sure how you'd answer this, sam, but i'm fascinated with this statement that they
want to break apart the republicans like they once did the wigs over secession. that was particularly the democratic party that came from that. but this idea that our job is to basically take over and alter a major political party, take the party of lincoln and use the name because it's out there and turn it into a right wing thing that's capable of fighting all things modern. >> well, you know, i guess what's remarkable for me is the bubble that this exists in. for rush limbaugh to call it a cave without any context to how bad they were being damaged in the polls. how ineffectual the strategy was and to how much pain it was causing a good chunk of the country is silly. >> let's go to a tea party expert, matt kibbe of freedom works. let's listen to him back. >> grassroots activists have an ability to self-organize, to
fund candidates they're more interested in. going right around the republican national committee and the senatorial committee. that's the new reality. everything's more democratized. republicans should come to terms with that. they want to control things from the top down and if they do that, there will absolutely be a split. but my prediction would be that we take over the republican party and they go the way of the wakes. >> what do you make of that? the only thing i can remember is around vietnam wartime watching the democratic convention as a grad student and thinking, i think the anti-war people want to take over the party in the instance of stopping the war. it had gone on too long in '68. they weren't thinking about changing the party necessarily. these people are interested in a total, what do they call it some alternative they're trying to create using the shape of the republican party. >> the analogy is right but then you have to consider the context which makes matt kibbe's remarks relatively on base, i think. you have a system in the country giving more power and authority
to solitary individual donors. it's taken away the power from the party committees and put it in the individual's hand. essentially one person can say i want to bankroll this one candidate. the second thing is we're living in this time with an incredible libertarian bent. it's a backlash from the bush years and it's being profoundly seen in the republican tent. they were upset with tarp spending, but they were really upset with what happened in iraq. and they thought that the party lost its roots as sort of a quasi isolation. there's a backlash to that. finally, let me add one thing. the internet and social media facilitated a lot of this. candidates can connect with so many more people and voters. that's put fuel to the fire when you look at rand paul who have incredible grassroots mobilization techniques. >> none of us three can read
minds or hearts. when we say somebody is a racist, when you try to suppress the black vote, that's palpable. you may not like them because they're democrats, as nasty as it is. it seems like the big fight we're talking about tonight is the real anger was against bush w., w. bush, for spending all that money and not vetoing. they're far too adventurous, too much iraq, afghanistan, too much more coming. the real fight seems to be with their party establish. as opposed to with obama. the face they put on posters is not mitch mcconnell's face. they put obama's face. >> i disagree slightly. >> explain that. >> i think everything sam said is true. it led to conservative movement including the republican party. i do think the anger they've felt about obama is as equal part of that. they're looking for the republican party to express that anger. >> republicans don't hate obama as much as they do?
>> if you're voting for anything that doesn't stop obama care, then you're supporting obama care. all this is being driven in part by the donors that sam talked about but because the base of the party, the primary voting base has moved so far to the right because of this political cultural backlash against obama. >> thank you, david corn, guys. i think we're on the same page roughly. it's the brand. it's the name. it may not be ethnic although a lot of its i think. coming up, republican kamikaze caucus is back at work insisting if they stand firm next time they'll defund the affordable care act. guess who is leading the charge? mr. ted cruz. plus -- mad money, angry money. many have had it with the tea party and sitting on checkbooks. as one bundler put it, why do i want to fuel a fire that's going to consume us? why gop troubles in virginia may be a sign of things to come countrywide. finally, i was lucky enough to attend a dinner in new york
city last night headlined by steve colbert. >> i am proud to be america's most famous catholic. i'm sure the cardinal is thinking, stephen, pride is a sin. so is envy, so we're even. >> the most famous catholic. interesting. i never heard that one before. this is "hardball," the place for politics. e gulf, bp had two: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing.
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>> so you would do it again? >> i would do anything and i will continue to do anything i can to stop the train wreck that is obama care. >> and in today's wall street journal, jim demint explains this fight is just getting underway. quote, it's worth explaining why my organization, the heritage foundation and other conservatives chose this moment to fight and why we will continue to fight. the reason is simple. to protect the american people from the harmful effects of this law. for anyone who thought the slap in the face chastened any of these guys, not so. we've only just begun. steve mcmahon, gentlemen, you go against each other if you have a different view here. i heard one word from the right, fight. it wasn't so much an issue that obama care is the one on the table right now. it's this sort of -- the cause. it is like the old civil war guys that never forgot the war and kept fighting. we got to win the fight.
we got to win the cause. there's something so gut in this. i don't think it's going away no matter how many treaties they sign. >> you know, within the republican party, every republican does not like obama care. all republican in the congress voted against obama care. this is not a strategic fight within the republican party. it's a tactical fight. and for jim demint to say that the other republicans are part of the surrender caucus, he's doing it for one reason. he wants to raise money off of a tea party that hates obama and this is the best way to do it. >> let's talk about tactics. you go to a bank and take money out, withdrawal, or go with a with a gun and shoot the bank teller to take the money. that's tactics. i think it's a difference between robbing the bank and making a withdrawal. you can still want the money. but there are different ways of getting it are very important. you can oppose capital punishment. you're not going to burn down the prison system. there's all kinds of ways to oppose things. >> almost every republican outside of ted cruz thought shutting down the government was stupid. john boehner warned against it. mitch mcconnell warned against it. you're absolutely right. there's ways to do it. had we kept the focus on the failures of obama care, we'd have more.
>> why were they into going along with this. boehner the last day. mitch mcconnell the last two or three days. why did they sustain this to fight for something and averting for it if they didn't have a belief in that approach? >> because this is where the strategy is. >> they were leading from behind. >> yes, they were. >> i think they had to walk members through it. from boehner's perspective, he didn't have the votes to do anything else until he had the votes. >> let me try something. if he had gotten outside the box and -- i'll come up with cuts, across the board cuts, take them back to where they were at another time. would they have changed their direction, or did it have to be obama? >> it had to be obama care. this had to be the thing. this is what we talked about all august. you know what, they had to walk through the process. it wasn't a good process.
it was a painful process. the leaders said don't do this. the followers wanted to do it. they walked through it. that's how it happened. >> chris is absolutely right. the words you're hearing from them is fight. ted cruz said we will do whatever it takes. he didn't learn a lesson. what he got was exactly what he wanted. he got attention. he's the front-runner in the republican -- >> you're a regular political guy like i was and you are. a regular person. you play within the legality and the generally accepted rules of politics. you don't attack peoples kids, you don't do a lot of weird things, don't use gas in wars. this thing where he said i would do anything, that's what appeals to the extreme right. they want that ruthless anything goes stuff. i would do anything? >> i'm not going to defend ted cruz. >> i don't have to explain it. i think he explained it himself. >> ted cruz does not run the republicans in the senate. mitch mcconnell does. i think mcconnell said we're not going to go down this path again. i think -- >> the voice of reason. >> one indispensable man.
>> we're two to one on -- it was mcconnell. he did what the president couldn't do. >> he saved it. >> he did. >> makes it harder to beat in a general election. >> mitch mcconnell was running things when the government shut down. he was running things for 17 days while it was shut down. mitch mcconnell, he did what president president and everyone else couldn't do, working with harry reid. ultimately, the guys in the house had to decide to surrender. mcconnell didn't make them do that. >> do you have a candidate against him? >> against mitch, no. >> who wins the primary and the general in kentucky? >> i think that the primary is going to weaken mcconnell. he's balancing that through. he need today look tough on obama care. >> will he be re-elected? >> i think he'll lose in the general election. >> your voice weakened. >> i want to put you in a box on that one. i don't think you believe that. i think he gets re-elected because the cojones he showed in standing up to the wacko birds,
i think they are impressed with it. >> he's the one -- for kentucky to get rid of him would be a huge mistake. the other thing about the tea party challenges, if you mount a real challenge, orrin hatch did. >> john mccain. >> if you fight it out, you'll win. if you like robert bennett, the rules are against you -- >> i think it helps to have a personality. >> it does. >> anyway -- >> i will say this. mitch mcconnell did his job this week. it was a good thing for the country. >> mcconnell expressed confidence to the extreme republicans and learned the lesson in the showdown shutdown. there's no politics in the second kick of a mule. there will not be a government shutdown. we fully acquainted our new members what a losing strategy that is. john, i think that's true. but there's more likelihood that come january there could be a shutdown of some length. but i do think your party and the country got a wakeup call about screwing around with the debt ceiling. i think people who watch the finance pages, retired people.
once you're 75 years old, the people watching know this, you can't get another job and make a ton of money. this is it. your kitty, what you've been able to save and build with interest rates, compound interest, you don't want that screwed with. >> john boehner and mitch mcconnell worked this out, there was never going to be a debt default, never going to happen. i said this on the show many amongst months ago. that wasn't going to happen. john boehner wouldn't let it happen. >> what did he tell us? >> he told the 30 members of the moderate caucus, he wouldn't going to let it happen. it got out. >> it's my problem with him, i have a lot of problems with boehner. but my big problem is he knew at the end you pull the plug, for all the days and weeks the economy was getting hurt and the shakiness we showed to the world was not good for us in the long run. if an airplane makes a rough landing, you're not getting on that plane again. he hurt us. yet all the time he knew -- >> i think john boehner had the cards he had, he played them as well as he had.
>> to save his seat. >> he saved the seat. he unified the caucus. >> thanks. have a nice weekend you guys. great guys. i was at last night's al smith dinner where the great steven colbert made the first roman catholic to run for president. >> since he first shattered the stained glass ceiling, america has seen a flood of catholic presidents from john f. kennedy, to jfk, to good old jack kennedy. >> much more when we return. this is "hardball," the place for politics. heart healthy, huh?!
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it turns out that having "hardball" is now covered by obama care. >> time now for the sideshow. last night i had the honor of joining the dinner in new york city. it was the 68th time the event has been held since 1945 and honors the great al smith, who was the first roman catholic to be nominated for president by a major political party. the dinner celebrates politics and religion while it may be buttoned up, the humor isn't. this year was no exception with stephen colbert making a characteristically hilarious keynote speech. >> i love being up here in the white tie section. it's a bit of a gated community. don't get me wrong, you people down there in, let's say, the black tie neighborhood are very nice. i love black ties. some of my best friends are black tied. and as a catholic engaged in the world of politics, i love this dinner has no separation of church and state.
as the journalist theodore white put it, the al smith dinner is a ritual of american politics. so for those keeping track, the american rituals are this dinner and the republicans sacrificing 2014 to ted cruz's ego. it was a pretty republican crowd last night. he went on to recognize the contributions he and his fellow catholics have made to politics over the years. >> this event has an illustrious history. it began in 1945 to honor al smith, a man who fought for government housing, public schools, labor laws to protect women and children, and went on to become the first presidential candidate of a major party who was catholic. and since he first shattered the stained glass ceiling, america has seen a flood of catholic presidents from john kennedy to jfk to good-old jack kennedy. [ laughter ] you could got have found a more perfect keynote speaker tonight
because i am proud to be america's most famous catholic. and i'm sure the cardinal is thinking, stephen, pride is a sin. well, cardinal so is envy, so we're even. [ laughter ] that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. coming up next, your business with jj ramberg. [ male announcer ] pillsbury grands biscuits. delicious, but say i press a few out flat, add some beef, sloppy joe sauce and cheese, fold it all up and boom! delicious unsloppy joes perfect for a school night. pillsbury grands biscuits. make dinner pop.
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