tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 12, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT
good, do you want to run the iraqi stock exchange? do you remember soldiers in iraq having to salvage hillbilly armor? do you remember when cher had something called operation helmet because they didn't get arth to getting bullet proof helmets before the war. so cher had to do it. seriously, cher? because the government didn't. in the bush/cheney years, american's approval rating dropped by 20%, 30%, 40%, and that was people who like us. there was the start of two of the longest wars in american history. both of which were started by the bush administration, one of which was started under false pretenlss and both were raging when they left. it was the drowning of a great american city in hurricane katrina. remember mission accomplished? remember 9/11, torture, armstrong williams remember the presidential adviser caught shoplifting repeatedly from target. remember that guy?
remember the vice president of the united states shooting a guy in the face. there's a reason george w. bush left office in january 2009 with the lowest approval rating for an outgoing president since galt started asking that question back in the 1930s. and frankly, the vice president, dick cheney, would have killed to get numbers that high. his approval rating was 13% when he left office. part of the headwind that john mccain had running in 2008, trying to run as a republican after george w. bush and dick janney was george w. bush and dick cheney. the country was happy to see them go for understandable reasons. four years after the bush/cheney administration, the new republican party nominee, mitt romney, has made precisely zero public appearanced with george w. bush or dick cheney. this is still the most interesting thing in american politics. the reconstruction of the
republican party post-george w. bush and post-dick cheney is as yet incomplete and still the most interesting thing to watch. hot is the new republican party going to be after that? what is the new republican party leadership going to be after them? all of this has led to some very awkward moments on the campaign trail this year for the republican party's new nominee. the first president bush is much more highly regarded than his son is. but he is a little older and a little unpredictable in public now. previously, that has manifested as some unexpected crying jags at public speeches and things. nothing that would harm his image, but there's an element of unpredictability to him in public. in his photo-op with mitt romney, it manifested in this very, very awkward moment. >> i haven't met with president george w. bush, we speak from time to time.
>> we have to get that. >> now you see why. >> we speak all the time. >> at that point, george w. bush had not endorsed mitt romney, which may be ideally not discussed in front of a room full of reporters. two months after that very, very awkward moment, the younger one, the less popular one, george w. bush did finally endorse mitt romney. this is how it went. quote, i'm for mitt romney, bush told abc news this morning as the doors of an elevator closed on him. that was it. that was the george w. bush mitt romney endorsement. there was no follow-up event, no joint appearance, no press release from the mitt romney campaign. no press release. they press released an
endorsement from christine o'donnell, the i am not a witch lady. they did not press release the george w. bush endorsement. from the immediate past president of the united states which again was delivered from the closer doors of an elevator with no cameras around. they have not appeared together. they do not want americans to look at mitt romney republican presidential nominee and think about the bush/cheney years for obvious reasons, but then this spring, somebody at camp cheney apparently called up the romney campaign folks and told them that vice president dick cheney was going to do them the favor of doing a romney fund-raiser. can you imagine the romney folks getting that call? oh, great. that's awesome. super kind of you. are you sure? the romney campaign did not say no to the cheneys' offer. it's really going to happen, in fact, it's going to happen tomorrow foster friess is going to be in attendance. remember, the millionaire who said women should use
contraception by helding it between their knees. romney's base is going to be there. people who described this as a beef company executive, as a president of a private equity firm with large oil investments, as a banker who is one of dick cheney's closest friends and fishing buddies. also, dick cheney's oldest daughter liz who would be my choice for romney's vice presidential running meat. the biggest story is dick cheney himself who will be here in person at the teton pines country club and hosting him afterwards at mr. cheney's multimillion dollar fund-raiser dinner at his home. if you think the wealthy donors complaining about there being no vip infence at the hamptons fund-raiser this weekend, i need you to look at the acrobatic lengths they're going to right
now to explain why he's doing a fund-raiser with dick cheney. they're trying to explain that mitt romney and dick cheney are doing a fund-raiser tomorrow together, but mitt romney and dick cheney should otherwise never thought of as never having anything to do with each other. this is comical. i am a fan of a washington post as a newspaper of national regard, but they ought to be embarrassed for the news piece they wrote on this subject today. romney advisers fed to the washington post and the washington post then deutally rote down what they said. which is that romney and cheney, we swear, they don't even recognize each other. they walk past each other on the street and it's like, i don't even know you. they don't even talk. from the post, people who know both romney and cheney, who were
talking to the washington post for, i don't don't what reason, say they have contrasting leadership styles where cheney comes off as sharp tongued, romney projects a sunny optimism. really, washington post? is that what the people who know mitt romney and dick cheney told you to say? there's more reporting. where cheney's beliefs and policies are rooted in conservative ideology, romney's tend to be driven by analytical problem sauving. this is crack washington post reporting. emphasis on the word crack, based on what they were told by romney sources. trust us, he has nothing to do with dick cheney. pay no attention to the fund-raiser tomorrow. my favorite is from vin weber of minnesota. mr. weber incests with a straight face to the washington post who dutifully wrote it down, quote, this does not look to me like bush/cheney redux. what evidence does mr. weber
have that the romney campaign is not a repeat of bush and cheney. he told the washington post, at the broader advisory level, everyone who was around cheney and bush are around romney. wait, back to the talking points. i don't see a lot of overlap there. so they have nothing to do with each other, they're not even advised by the same people except for all of the same people who are advising them. aside from that, please pay no attention to the connection between these two people or any attention to the fund-raiser tomorrow. the washington post even tries to do some of the awkward spinning themselves without just writing down what advisers told them to say. this is in the washington post, not a quote, the washington post explaining to you the reader while there's no connection between the horrible bush/cheney years and this sunny, optimistic romney guy, the washington post said many cheney allies who shaped policy in the bush years have no roles in the romney campaign.
they specifically highlight condoleezza rice and stephen hadley, who were both national security advisers. they have no roles in the romney campaign, although the post then has to note, stephen hadley did endorse romney in april and condoleezza rice has been speaking at donor retreats. also, it should be noted that many political operatives are lower ranking policy officials from the george w. bush administration are deeply enmeshed in the romney campaign including the senior adviser, foreign adviser, economic policy adviser and the chief strategists 1 running the whole campaign. other than that, be assured that mitt romney is definitely his own man. he brings his own approach. there's no reezing to say dick and cheney when you talk about what romney is doing tomorrow in some old guy's house. isn't obamacare awful? the washington post helpfully
closed out this objective piece of journalism by quoting a friend of milt romney's who said there's no reason to think that dick cheney and romney have any relationship, quote, except they're in the same party. well done, washington post. tomorrow, that party will be a party at dick cheney's house will mitt romney will be raising money, hoping nobody covers it and people only talk about how different these guys are, even though for example on the issue of foreign policy, mitt romney's advisers are the bush/cheney foreign policy team and on and on. the mess that mitt romney is trapped in is the great meta story of american politics in this decade. how does the republican party remake itself after the disaster of the bush/cheney years. what happens in the legacy of catastrophe which was the last time republicans were in charge of the white house. if you're a rising republican, it's awkward and difficult to
ask people to look back to previous republican leadership, to previous republican politicians, to previous republicans in the white house because there's. dick cheney and george w. bush throwing a black bag over your head and extraditing you to a secret torchen position to experience a torture position. on the eve of the dick cheney fund-raiser, the first appearance of this year's republican nominee with either george w. bush or dick cheney, they picked dick cheney, not george bush, and the romney campaign has decided to try to draw everybody's attention away from this. they have tried to draw everyone's attention away, while they're doing this thing tomorrow, they're feeding a story from the washington post telling everybody to ignore, instead of telling everybody to look at that era of the recent republican past, the romney campaign has decided to direct everyone's attention to a different period in republican history.
as of last night, they have debuted at the romney online swag store a new item of historical commemorative rugale yeah. it's this pin showing the romney guy currently running for president sitting with his dad who was also running for president in 1968. and by doing this, they have accidentally perfectly dove tailed the romney campaign with the unusually disciplined democratic talking point of the week, which is why won't mitt romney be like his dad? why won't mitt romney release his tax returns like his father did when he ran? hey, everybody, look at romney's dad's run for president. he was comparatively responsible and decent. what's wrong with that guy's son? why won't he be like this dad? that's the democratic party talking point of the week, which the romney campaign has stepped on like a rake by putting out these mitt and his dad buttons this week. somebody was smart to tell them to distract with the look-back
with the fund-raiser tomorrow, but the way they did it is probably not the way they should have done it. joining us now is steve cornacky, co host of the cycle. thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> is there a republican era in modern history other than the exalted ronald reagan, which is a given, that it would make sense for the republicans to harkin back. they have a problem harkining back to romney dad and a big problem harkining back to bush/cheney. is there safer territory? >> there's two invented things you're dealing with. one is the invented reagan legacy, which they like to fall back on. a guy who would never raise taxes, but the second 1 is how they came to terms with the bush years. and it's basically what they decided to do is engage in a retroactive accountability campaign that cacked in about 2009. they said, oh, by the way, we were offended by the way this
guy governors and the way he governed sold out conservatism as we understand it and set the groundwork for obama to be elected in 2008. the 0 to this, the response is to be even more absolutist, totally pure, and totally a washington, d.c. outsider. that's what gave rise to the tea party movement, the federal reserver taking hold of the republican party. romney, you look at his father, the picture with him with george w. bush, sr., you take a look at him as a secret conservative, a secret guy who is smarter than maybe he sounds, but he's demanding purity, and mitt romney, every time his moderate instincts have come up against those demands, those demands have won out. you look ahead to his presidency, the question of foreign policy, and oh, he's going to be much different than dick cheney, much different than george w. bush, but the neocon vision, that prevails in the
republican party. listen to what he's out there talking about. tight alignment with the israeli right, absolute belidgeerance on erain. >> he has made no public appearancess to this point with bush or cheney, to make his first public appearance with not bush but cheney, you think it's because he's been defined by the republican party as a liberal? >> defined and then let's never talk about it again. it gave rise to the tea party and then it's george w. who? he did get this from his father. his father decided i'm really going to be quiet about bill clinton, and i would say that he decided the same thing about obama. >> why don't we get george w. bush loyalists? they worked on a lot of the economics and a lot of the paulies, why aren't george w.
bush loyalists saying the guy you should be aligned with is george w. bush, not cheney? >> they recognize the poison. there's a recognition, you're not going to hear too many people on the republican side saying let's bring back the cheney days. they're also not going to say let's bring back the w. days. this is political poison right now. there's a team of political scientists who looked at presidential approval ratings for the last 60 years and tied it to economic conditions in the country, and found for the first three years of his presidency, and it probably extends into this year too, his numbers have been higher than they should be given the economy, given the economy, he should be in the low 40s. what they suggested that is a result of is people remember the bush years. the memory is so strong, the association is so strong with what happened in 2008 and the meltdown, that obama is getting a benefit of the doubt that no president in 60 years has gotten. republicans do understand that and it's why you don't hear them talking about bush, and yeah,
there will be this cheney event, but there's not going to be dick cheney night at the convention this summer. >> how does he handle the cheney overture? i can't say definitively that the offer for the -- the offer for the fund-raiser came from cheney and not from the romney campaign, i should say. it's hard for me to imagine that the romney campaign would go out of their way to try to evoke dick cheney in this way. how do they handle this ongoing legacy? the reason i singled out the washington post, i don't mean to pick on them, but the white wash they have run today by people saying, yes, there is a joint event, but pay no mind to the connection between the two people. they have nothing to do with each other, their advisers that they overlap with, we don't even understand what that means. i wonder if that's the romney campaign's best strategy. hoping for reporters who will run trash like that. >> there's that, and i have seen this a few times. a conclusion or a calculations,
a few days out of the campaign cycle, they say we're going to take it on the chin. when romney was telegraphing he was going to move to the middle on immigration earlier this year, eventually he was going to indorse this marco rubio version of the dream act, and obama stole his thunder. there was a scission, iobama, i have to take it on which chin i agree with you, but i would guess it's an overture from the cheney side. you want to downplay it as much as you can and you don't want to doit after tomorrow. >> steve, host of "the cycle," steve, great to have you here. >> you remember yesterday when i said there was going to be a big, important decision out of miss mitoday? that happened today. we had a producer there when it happened. we have the details next. somebody didn't book with travelocity, with 24/7 customer support to help move them
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as much as we tend to think of the presidential election as a national race, it is of course won state by state. the map of states considered to be up for grabs, the map of swing states for 2012 looks more or less the same now as it looked in 2008. i mean, give or take a michigan or a new mexico, these are the states that both campaigns think might be winnable by either side. so these are the states where they're fighting it out and where they plan to keep fighting it out. president obama's re-election campaign expect to be outspend by conservative super pacs and quite possibly even by the romney campaign itself.
president obama has been saying his campaign is likely to be the first ever by a sitting president to be outspent by the other side, ever. but where democrats are spending the money they do have on ads, they're saying they are pleased by the impact their ads are having. specifically the leading super pac on the obama side has been running ads in swing states about mitt romney's record at bain capital, about how mr. romney made all his many, many, many, many, many personal millions of dollars and whether the way he made those millions for himself was good or bad for the company and good or bad for the companies where he was the financeier getting rich. they state that the ads appear to be worth several points in the polls. that's hair argument for making more money to run more ads in the swing states. his record in the private sector which the republicans thought
would be his greatest asset, democrats are now choosing that as their target. when they're not running ads on their business career, you know what the other thing is they're hitting him on? the obama campaign is running this ad now in eight swing states. eight states, and it's not about bain capital. look. >> every woman who believes decisions aboutory bodies and our health care should be our own is troubled mitt romney supports overturning roe v. wade. romney backed a law that outlaws all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. >> i'll cut off funding to planned parenthood. >> they started airing that in eight battleground states. that's a big buy for a campaign that needs to choose its battles and spending very carefully right now. democrats may be right to bet on that one. judging from the response from karl rove's not totally coordinated with anybody super pac, they released this as a
rejoinder. >> some people say there's a war on women. we agree. it's a war being waged in our economy under president obama, the number of women living in poverty has skyrocketed. >> war on women, you say? i rubber your glue. also, let's talk about the economy instes. that's what we're prepared to talk about. but as democrats go on the offense on this, on the national level, and republicans at the national level try to muddy the water and change the subject, what's happening at the state level is that republicans are on the precipice of achieving a goal they have sought since roe v. wade, a complete ban on abortion in an american state. they're this close. a federal judge today in jackson, mississippi, agreed to let the state's only remaining abortion clinic stay open. this is a story we have been following closely. mississippi did not lose its last abortion clinic today although they could have. thanks to this judge's reprieve. how good is the reprove good for?
the judge did not say, but he did extend his own temporariry straining order from last week on a new mississippi law that would make it impossible for the last abortion clinic in the state to continue to operate there legally. attorneys for the state of mississippi had asked the judge to ignore the open admission by republican elected officials in mississippi that they meant for the new law to end abortion in the state by closing the state's last clinic. the judge said he had not seen that kind of thing before. other states had tried to regulate clinics out of business, but they had not been so frank about it. for now, the judge said he needed more time to read through the new rules. the judge is reading the rules and we don't know how the stay lasts, but for now, miss mis's only clinic will stay open. one of the show's perus producers was there covering the story. after the hearing, she spoke to the clinic owner. she runs the only abortion
clinic left in the state of mississippi. she said if the court lets this law get implementing or if her clinic finds a way to imply with the impossible regulations, she thinks republicans are just going to try again. >> if we meet this law, next year, they'll have an even more creative way of attempting to shut us down. i think most of the people in mississippi like most of the people in the country are probably pro choice. they're just silent and it's time they realized what's at stake here. this is a major war against women, but mississippi, you just see it a little clearer. >> a major war against women, which clinic's owner says, but mississippi's last abortion clinic stayed open for today, for now. mississippi is not a swing state. it's not a state the obama campaign has any hope of winning, but as we teeter on the edge of the first american state banning abortion despite roe v. wade, the obama came pain may
republican controlled house of representatives was hard at work on their laser focused agenda of jobs, jobs -- just kidding. with the republics in the house of representatives actually working on naturally is contraception. blocking access to contraception through health insurance because you know, jobs, jobs, jobs.
the governor of maine, paul lepage, was elected as part of the great red tide of the republican mega wave election of twenltd 10. in any other year it's hard to imagine this particular man being elected to a job title that starts with go-and ends with-ovenor where ehao waw elected with over a third of the vote, and now the great state of maine has a governor who says things like this. >> the only thing i have heard is you take plastic and put it in the microwave and heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. and so, i mean, in the worst case, some women might have little beards, but we don't want to do that. >> the women, they may have little beards, but paul lepage does not care. congratulations, maine. this is the guy you picked to be
in charge. the crusading republican who prioritized as soon as he was relected scrapping the child labor laws in your state. this was governor paul lepage's contribution this weekend to the national discourse about the skourlt upholding health care reform. >> the new gestapo. he says, as in the nazi secret police. from the holocaust. just like that said the republican governor of maine, this health reform thing. after being criticized for those remarks for obvious reasons, this week the governor released a statement saying, quote, clearly what has happened is the use of the world gestapo has clouded my mesening. words like gestapo had a way of doing that. as you might expect the
governor's statement about the clouding did not make this any better. >> ask you about your comments from saturday? >> no, you can't. >> i just did. >> and i'm not going to answer you. >> you're not going to say anything. people are upset about it. >> talk to this lady. >> she said you guys were not commenting. >> will you apologize? >> to who? >> to the people who are upset? >> who are upset? >> a group of jewish people in southern maine? >> it was never intended to offend anyone. and if someone is offended, then they ought to be god damn man at the federal government. >> is that an apology? >> you know, even if you don't refer to hitler's third reich in your message about health reform, republicans broadly have a more pedestrian problem when it comes to the signal legislative achievement of the obama administration. and that is that voters are starting to like it.
look at this, the latest polling on health reform. after the supreme court ruled that the law was constitutional. washington post and abc finding that support for the health reform law now equals opposition to the health reform law. that's a big change because look, this is the same poll from april from before the supreme court upheld the law when a majority, a clear majority opposed the law. after the supreme court ruling, that majority opposing the law is gone. i think that's in part because people like winners. people like things that win. and honestly, they like being able to buy insurance and go to the doctor. ever since health reform passed, people have frankly liked the component parts of it, the elements of the policy that are scribed to them, no lifetime caps on your insurance and keeping your kids on your insurance and preventative care, they have liked the component parts of the policy, whey they didn't like before and are starting to like now is an idea of health reform as a law.
today in house, republicans voted to repeal the suddenly more popular health reform law again. house republicans today made their 33rd totally symbolic, practically pointless vote on fake repealing health reform. they have voted to fake repeal the law 32 times already. not one of those votes has ever had any effect, and none of them ever will. so of course after doing it 32 times, to no effect, today they did it again. we know how many times they have voted to symbolically repeal health reform because the republican leadership publishes a list. their list says, look, we have done it 32 times already. here's a list of all the times we have done it. what do they say their plan is after doing it a 33rd time today? at the end of the list, they say, what can be done? quote, house republicans will continue to dismantle obama care through more votes and hearings. they're not actually dismanting anything. they're just having more votes and hearings that have no practical effect.
here's the question, now that voters are starting to like this law, a lot more than they used to, do the republicans keep doing this 33 more times? because meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, democrats are adjusting to the new political ground on which they're standing. democrats are adjusting to the fact that people are starting to like this law now. greg sergeant at the washington post reporting that democrats are planning on using the pointless symbolic anti-health reform votes from republicans in campaign ads against those house republicans, even in bright red states. democrats think they're winning here. they think the ground is shifting in their direction. joining me is peter welch. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> as republicans continue to do the symbolic votes on repealing health reform, more americans are starting to like this law. right after the supreme court confirmed the constitutionality of it, we talked about a window opening up in which the administration and democrats could again try to sell the
american people on the idea of health reform. do you think that window exists? is that window open? >> it's getting open. what you're seeing as you say, 33 times of fake repeal, is that there is lost in the hearts of republicans to beat this issue. they want to do it, but there's no passion to provide any alternative. one of the challenges they face aside from doing these pointless exercises is that what they're trying to repeal is what governor romney passed in massachusetts. and you know what, it's very popular in massachusetts. so you've gault this upside down situation where what governor romney could trumpet as a contribution to health care and a success in his administration, he's running from, even as americans are starting to say, you know, this is pretty good. we keep our kids on health care until age 26, pre-existing conditions, we can still get health care. if you're a senior on health cay, you can get free preventative health care. and another thing that happened
is the insurance companies that have been ripping us off, if they are getting more than 20% of your premium dollar going into fat ceo salaries, that has to be rebated to the rate payers. that has been a tremendous success in arresting costs in health care. so i think this is time for democrats to stand their ground and every time republicans do this pointless thing, they hit number 34, they're going to maybe hit 50 before we're out of it, that's going to be something we can use and ask the american people whether this is a serious problem or a run for political cover. >> it was the senate campaign arm of the democratic party today that floated this idea that republicans in the house took this vote today who might be trying to run for the senate this november, people who might be trying to move over to the other part of congress, those will be the republicans against whom this vote could pop up in an attack political ad from the democratic side. do you think it's possible even in redd states, some of the 33 symbolic votes against health
reform would resonate against republicans who took the votes? >> if we can stand the ground and say this is what we did, this is why we did it, and we defend it, and then we contrast that with this do-nothing approach the republicans are taking, repealing something repeatedly. people know that's not a policy, and when we start putting the question to our republican colleagues, where is your plan a? where is your plan to provide coverage for folks, kids until age 26, and to provide preventative care and to claw back these excessive fees? so people want us fundamentally to get things done. the folks who are not just idealogically blinded on either side but have as a goal that america make some progress, that we revive our economy, that yes, we have personal responsibility, but we understand that we're all in it together, they want us to get things done. and when there's one side that's trying, making an effort, trying to improve things that need to be corrected and there's another side that says, you know what, we have done it 33 times, let's
go for a 34th, people get it. that's beyond gridlock. that's just obstructionism. >> your state of vermont has taken an aggressively progressive position on health reform, vermont has talked about pursuing single payer at the state level. on the other side of the idealogical number line, i guess, you have texas with governor perry there saying that his state is going to opt out of medicaid even to the extent it's going to cost them money, put them at odds federally, put them at odds with the federal government, potentially, in legal breach of what their responsibilities are. do you think we're entering into a position where the red states and blue states are going to diverge fundamentally on what it's like to live there. whether or not you have health care based on whether or not your governor is a republican or democrat. >> vermont is different than texas, so there's a decision, and the decision in vermont,
when we embraced the effort, that was bipartisan. why wewere able to move ahead is a lot of the republicans were arguing, we have to get the cost down. democrats taditionally argue we have to have insurance for everyone. the only way we're going to have sustainable access for all americans is to have lower cost health care and we do that by having belter delivery, best practices, things that improve the delivery of the health care system. so that's the approach that vermont is taking, many states are taking, governor perry is headed in a different direction. i'll take the vermont approach. >> thank you very much for your time tonight, sir. nice to see you. >> thank you. all right, i promise, good news. nothing but good news for the rest of the show. seriously. we'll be right back.
minutes. it just counts as news. earlier today, you may have heard that mitt romney appeared at the annual convention of the naacp in houston, texas, and he was booed loudly during his speech when he said he would end obama care when he was president. mr. romney seemed sort of startled by the booing at the time. he diverted from his prepared remarks. just a short time ago, at a fund-raiser in hamilton, montana, we had word he has responded to the booing, that reception he got. according to the pool report, he said this about the reception at the naacp today. he said, quote, remind them of this. if they want more stuff from the government, tell them to go vote for the other guy, more free stuff. but don't forget, nothing is really free. they want more free stuff from the government, tell them to vote for the other guy. mr. romney talking about
its own ranks by hiring extra firefighters for the wildfire season. and those the firefighters working incredibly dangerous jobs, under conditions that can be life threatening every day, do not have health insurance. as temporary employees, these heroes have been considered ineligible for health coverage from the forest service. that's about to change. when president obama went to colorado springs last week to see the wildfire response there, he met with firefighters who told him about the health insurance problem for temporary firefighters. "the denver post" reports that when the president returned to washington, d.c. the following day, he told his cabinet he wanted to find a way to fix that problem, and now the president is fixing that problem. he is ordering the relevant federal officials to offer these seasonal firefighter the option of buying into health insurance, of the same kind that other federal workers get. how often do we get news like that? real-world problem, seems like it should be fixed, person in charge hearse about problem, problem gets fixed, in a way that is kind of as simple as it
ought to have been, given what the problem was. that just happened. simple as that. good news! and more good news. it happened on another problem that was driving a lot of people nuts for understandable reasons. a recent supreme court ruling that has infuriated a lot of people has just kind of been fixed, simply and easily in the way you expect it ought to have been fixed. it's good news. we've got that next.
on the same day that the supreme court ruled on health reform this year, they also ruled on what was called the stolen valor case. it was a case about the first amendment and lying. congress had passed a law saying it's a crime to say you've earned a military honor that you have not earned. the supreme court, 6-3 said actually it can't be a crime. it may be contemptible, they used that word, contemptible, to lie about having a military honor you don't have.
they also used the word "pathetic," but it can't be a crime, because the first amendment protects even contemptible and pathetic speech. and it's true. if you only had the right to say things that don't upset people, things that don't want people want to shut you up, you don't have the first amendment right to free speech. and it is a truly horrible thing to say you won an award you didn't win. like the guy who said he won the medal of honor even though he's never served in the military. so how can you abide that? justice kennedy had an idea. he said, the facts of this indicate indicate that the dynamics of free speech, of counter-speech, of refutation can overcome the lie. he suggested that a government-created database could list congressional medal of honor winners. were a database assemble through
the internet, it would be very easy to verify and expose false claims. right. how do you stop the harm caused by a liar? not by trying to ban him from lying, but by exposing him as a liar. nobody would getting away by lawing that they had a distinguished service cross or a medal of honor if everybody could easily check whether or not that was true. and so now two weeks after the court ruled, the pentagon has announced that they will build a database of major military awards that people can check. the military times has been doing this anyway unofficially as a labor of love for years, thanks mostly to one devoted archivist named doug sterner. but now prompted by doug sterner's private example and the stolen valor case, in a supreme court ruling that said, hey, this would solve the problem, the defense department is finally going to do it, officially. and that feeling you're having right now is the venn diagram overlap between i'm so glad they're doing this and i can't believe they didn't do this before. that sweet spot is called, good news, our country is fixing a problem that needs fixing in a
way that makes sense to fix it. and between that and the seasonal firefighters finally getting health insurance, that means we've got two of those stories in one news day today, which i think officially makes today a good day and should officially make tonight a good night. and manhattan marvel. new yorkers are treated to a rare solar sight. good morning, i'm lynn berry, those stories and more are straight ahead. this is first look on msnbc.
and this morning we begin with a deja vu debate. two weeks after the u.s. supreme court ruled it constitutional, the house of representatives voted again to repeal the affordable health care act. while the democratic-led senate will not debate or vote on the repeal, the house insisted on making the election-year point. nbc's steve handelsman has more. >> reporter: it's a vote on health care that will not change the law. but republicans want to show their resolve to kill what they call obama care. >> this bill is making our economy worse, driving up the cost of health care and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers. >> reporter: democrats warned against repeal. >> it closes a door to wellness that is now just being opened to over 30 million americans. >> reporter: house republican