Howard Dean Declares New GOP Congress ‘Intellectually Challenged’

On Tuesday, the Republican Party officially took control of both houses of Congress, which made it the perfect opportunity for MSNBC to blast the new GOP majority as eager to push dangerous policies on the American people.

During an appearance on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Tuesday night, Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and current MSNBC contributor, eagerly slammed the GOP as “intellectually challenged on that side of the aisle. I wish I could be more nice about it. But that’s like [an] odd group of people.” 

The GOP-bashing segment began with Hayes and Dean playing up how 25 Republicans voted against John Boehner for Speaker of the House. The former Vermont Governor insisted that “it does say something about the people who are so determined to get their own way that they don’t give a damn what the hell happens to the country.” 

Rather than moderate his rhetoric, Dean condemned “these 25 people, basically, are saying we don’t care about the Republican Party. All we care about is the right wing agenda that we’re here to set out and we’re not working with anybody. I think that’s not such a good start.” 

As the segment continued, Hayes claimed that despite the GOP’s overwhelming victory during the 2014 midterms, he kept "marveling over the kind of disconnect between what people voted for in the fall, and what this agenda is going to look like.”

The MSNBC host proceeded to attack the GOP for daring to institute its  economic philosophy into the Senate rules: 

Buried in the House rules that are going to be voted on tomorrow is a procedural change to change a routine way in which different accounts of Social Security, there’s Social Security disability insurance, there’s Social Security for seniors, right, in which those accounts are moved around without a vote. And basically, it’s opening up a procedural opportunity for Republicans to attack disability insurance.

Conveniently, Howard Dean used Hayes’ opening as an opportunity to slam conservative economic policy even more:

They’re about to use the rules to use something called dynamic scoring. This is supply economics at its worst. What’s led to the enormous Bush Democrat -- deficits, the enormous Reagan deficits. It’s phony economics. 

Hayes concluded the anti-GOP segment by attacking the GOP as having a failed economic philosophy:

One of the most fascinating things to watch is, are we going to see government spending go up again, because one of the kinds of myths of Washington is Republicans are for balanced or for lower government spending...It’s never been proven to be the case, historically.

See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes 

January 6, 2015

CHRIS HAYES: Joining me now, former governor of Vermont, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, Dr. Howard Dean. He’s also an MSNBC contributor. So, if you look at it numerically, you think, eh you lost 25 votes. But, historically, this just doesn’t just happen. Everyone falls in line. They vote for the speaker. Plus, I thought this was really interesting, there were three freshmen Republicans today they show up on their first day, they’re just elected, and they vote against the speaker. I mean, that -- you know, that takes some guts.

HOWARD DEAN: That would be charitable. It takes some guts. You know, they’re intellectually challenged on that side of the aisle. I wish I could be more nice about it. But that’s like [an] odd group of people.

HAYES: Or their principle, right? I mean, so let me give the best- case scenario here. This is all tactical, right? You’re -- basically, you’re showing up, day one, look, we’re not going along to get along. Like, you’re sending this message. You’re going to have to deal with us. You’re going to have to listen to us. The tail is going to wag the dog again. And maybe from a negotiating standpoint, that’s a good opening bid.

DEAN: Three people, freshmen, voting against the speaker is not going to have any big effect about what goes on. But it does say something about the people who are so determined to get their own way that they don’t give a damn what the hell happens to the country. I mean, the idea was and this is what the Republican line is, that we’re all going to try to work together now that we’re in charge. That’s what they need to do. If they don’t do that, they have no shot in 2016, no matter who they nominate.
            
HAYES: Right.

DEAN: So, these 25 people, basically, are saying we don’t care about the Republican Party. All we care about is the right wing agenda that we’re here to set out and we’re not working with anybody. I think that’s not such a good start.

HAYES: There was this --

DEAN: And it doesn’t help them any because nobody is going to pay any attention to them.

HAYES: Well, and you now have Boehner apparently was going around sort of threatening his retribution for people that voted against him, which also makes sense.

DEAN: I’ll tell you, Chris what the real problem for Boehner is, the real problem for Boehner is if they keep doing that, he’s going to have to go get 25 Democrat votes and move his entire legislative program to the left in order to do that. That’s what these guys are doing when they’re voting against him.

HAYES: That is the big question. The open question I think in this Congress is there’s two ways this goes. One is everyone works in lockstep in the House and the Senate, right? They move through a Republican agenda. They pass this stuff that the president then has to veto.

DEAN: There’s certainly going to be some of that.

HAYES: Right. But then the big question is, do you end up in a situation where he’s facing such revolt all the time that on must-pass legislation, he has to go get Nancy Pelosi.

DEAN: We’ve already seen that, too. The only way he kept the government open the last couple of votes, big votes with the last Congress, was to actually go and get about 125 Democrats and let 80 of his own people walk. That is not conducive to long life as a speaker.

HAYES: Right. We see the number tick up. He survived again. There was something today that was a little bit buried that I think is just fascinating. I keep marveling over the kind of disconnect between what people voted for in the fall, and what this agenda is going to look like. Buried in the House rules that are going to be voted on tomorrow is a procedural change to change a routine way in which different accounts of Social Security, there’s Social Security disability insurance, there’s Social Security for seniors, right, in which those accounts are moved around without a vote. And basically, it’s opening up a procedural opportunity for Republicans to attack disability insurance.

DEAN: This is incredibly complicated. What they did basically is make it harder for them to make the allocation.

HAYES: Right.

DEAN: Because they can’t move money around by a vote without the Senate and the president and so forth and so on. You’re going to see a lot of this stuff. There’s a much more dangerous one coming. They’re about to use the rules to use something called dynamic scoring. This is supply economics at its worst. What’s led to the enormous Bush Democrat -- deficits, the enormous Reagan deficits. It’s phony economics. What they do is they spend, this is a typical Republican thing. They cut taxes, they spend money and the budget balance gets worse. And dynamic scoring means they can invent growth down the road.

HAYES: They can say because we cut taxes.

DEAN: And spend the money now. And that’s going to be -- this is a bad change that you talked about because it’s going to hurt people on disability.

HAYES: Right, they’re coming after it.

DEAN: What they’re really going to do is wreck the finances of the nation, which would be the fourth time Republican administrations have tried to do this. And that’s really dangerous.

HAYES: I think one of the most fascinating things to watch is, are we going to see government spending go up again, because one of the kinds of myths of Washington is Republicans are for balanced or for lower government spending. 

DEAN: They’re not.

HAYES: It’s never been proven to be the case, historically.

DEAN: Well that’s why the Tea Party exists in part because George W. Bush created this enormous deficit.

HAYES: And they were the effective after 2010 and the 2011 Budget Control Act.

DEAN: Right.        

HAYES: Restraining it and I think that`s all out the window. Howard Dean, always a pleasure. Glad you`re here.

DEAN: Thanks, Chris.

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