Nobody would blame you for pondering this over the last few years, but especially as of late: Where’s the pressure on Democrats to do anything? Day in and day out, it seems as though all the media want to do is shame Republicans into accepting their demands, no matter the issue or the rhetoric they end up resorting to.
So on Monday, a Morning Joe segment certainly didn’t break that mode with MSNBC co-host Joe Scarborough saying his former party has been "just making stuff up,” which then made life easy for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to blame Republicans for their refusal to compromise (read: accept what Democrats want).
Here was Schumer's long-winded answer (click "expand"):
Well, he just makes things up. Donald Trump is the fables president. He just makes things up as they go. And this incompetence is what -- you know, this is what's pushing many voters who voted for Trump, not the hard core, but that, say, 15%, away from him. For the first time they've seen this incompetence, they sort of suspected, but affecting them directly and they know it and it started when Trump denied the crisis all together. It's a hoax. It will go away. Don't worry about it. When he couldn't put a testing regime together. I called on him on March 6th. That's four months ago, to use the DPA and set up a real testing regime. They still haven't done it. It's one of the reasons covid is still raging. It's why these executive orders are laughable. This unemployment insurance one which Kudlow so mauled is not going to be able to be put into place for a month or two, if at all. So here we'll have through September, all these people not getting the money and the $600 -- you know, they have no respect for the American people. That's part of the hard-right philosophy.
Amid Schumer’s filibustering response, he willfully peddled the liberal media's favorite lie that Trump said the coronavirus was a hoax. If these people were actual journalists, they would devote one segment after another deploying their usual snark to make clear this has always been and will continue to be a lie.
Predictably, Schumer also accusing Republicans of having no respect for the American people is laughable when they are simply a pawn in the game of Democratic politics, to be used to attack Trump at every turn.
Instead of challenging Schumer, Scarborough launched into his favorite tirade about Trump and the bloated United States Post Service:
I've just got to talk about something a lot of people are concerned about, and that is the Friday night massacre at the United States Post Office. That's the president seemingly intent on reeking havoc on that institution, to slow down packaging and to possibly impact the election and how many votes can be counted. What can the United States Senate do to make sure the president doesn't undermine the election?
Just as he did earlier in the interview, Scarborough's jab allowed Schumer to rip into Trump and Republicans so as not to disappoint MSNBC's viewers:
If Americans believe after November that the elections weren't fair, where are we headed? That's been the core of the -- that's what men and women have died for, the right to vote in a free and fair election. We've been the hallmark of America. Trump is trying to destroy it. We --- I think it's vital to prevent that from happening and we're using every way we can, including this covid bill, to make sure they don't do it.
As they've shown in their embarrassingly soft interviews with Democrats, the liberal media wouldn’t know a real question if it bit them in the foot or hit them in the face like a fish out of water. Instead, they give their dear friends all the assistance in the world, serving up questions as hard as a pillow and endless rifting on Republicans. Their interviews might as well be a spa day, they are so easy on Democrats. Must be nice.
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Read the full transcript below to learn more.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe
8:27 AM ET
DONALD TRUMP: We have a system where we can do 100% or we can do 75%. They pay 25%. It will depend on the state they'll make an application. We'll look at it and make a decision. It may be they they'll pay nothing in some instances. It will be like the national Guard. The National Guard, sometimes we'll pay all of it depending on the tragedy or whatever it may be, the disaster, and sometimes the state will pay 40%, 10%, 25% or nothing, depending on how it works out.
LARRY KUDLOW: At a minimum, we will put in 300 bucks and the states will continue with their 400 bucks, but I think all they have to do is put up an extra dollar and we'll be able to throw in the extra $100. It should be a total -- it may not be in every case because as you know, we're talking averages. Some states higher, some states lower. But on average, Dana, it will run to about $800.
DANA BASH: But the executive action says -- The executive action says $400 and the state would pay 25% of this. You're talking about some other money that I don't know about.
KUDLOW: Well, you know, we will stand ready to repurpose if states put in a little more, is all it amounts to. Right now that number's going to run around $700. I think they'll get to $800. Some states can get above $800 with our federal help.
BASH: We need a bit of a reality check here. You do agree that the only way any of this could possibly happen is if the states actually ask for it and create a whole new system, and is that what your expectation is?
KUDLOW: Well, look, if that's -- that's like topping it off. State benefits, I mean, we're talking about averages here across the country.
PETER NAVARRO: Well, one of the things I learned here at the white house going through a lot of work on executive orders is what we have the statutory authorities to do. I'm confident that every single one of those orders, which cleared through the office of legal counsel, will stand up. If you look, for example, at the eviction and foreclosure language, in your opener there, you noted the words, shall consider. Well, that's how you have to write it, but everybody knows in that bureaucracy that you damn well should do it and they will.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: It really is -- I know I'm not supposed to laugh at this. I'm not going to say the word. They're just making stuff up. I mean, itt's really -- it is remarkable that at this stage of the Trump administration, an administration that started with people like James Mattis and Gary Cohn in the White House and Mcmaster in the White House, they're now to the point where they're just making things up. Navarro, of course, well, you know, shall consider means you better darn do it. No, it doesn't. What it means is just consider. That's like saying, me saying to my kids, I order you to maybe go to sleep at 11:00 tonight. I insist that you think about doing your homework. It doesn't work. And then Kudlow, he says -- he's just throwing numbers around. Oh, well, maybe we give them more, maybe we give them less, depends on what the state -- no. You wrote an executive order that says you're going to give a certain amount and states are going to give a certain amount and now you're just kinda making things up. Of course, there are only three people out there that will get this reference, which is why I'm going to do it. He sounds like Ron de Kline from the Ruddles. You want the money? I don't know where the money is, but if you want the money, I'll get you the money. I don't know. They're just making things up. And it just goes back to me being just absolutely staggered at how stupid they think the American people are. How stupid they think Republicans are. How stupid they think voters are. On that high note, let's bring in Minority Leader in the United States Senate, Chuck Schumer. Chuck, I've got a question for you, my man, because I'm a simple man. I'm a dumb country lawyer. I don't really understand this Constitution thing. Of course, you know we Republicans all carry around that little constitution in our pocket and then at times we'll pull it out like we're pulling out a shield against left-wing autocracy. That little Constitution we carried around in our coat pockets, it said article I powers were the power to tax and spend. That means that Congress can do what Donald Trump is claiming to do. Not Donald Trump. So, where does Donald Trump get the authority to do any of that stuff?
CHUCK SCHUMER: Well, he just makes things up. Donald Trump is the fables president. He just makes things up as they go. What you saw Kudlow say, which would be laughable if it weren't so sad, $400, $300, $800. He had no idea -- he's ready to go on a show before the American people and had no idea what the actual executive order said. It's a metaphor. The towering and destructive incompetence of this administration is why the coronavirus is raging here where in most European countries, most countries, Asian countries, have gotten a handle on it. Trump has never believed things are on the level -- and just as you said Joe, none the people around him anymore believe things are on the level.
If you believed things were on the level, if you spoke truth to power to the president, you're gone. And this incompetence is what -- you know, this is what's pushing many voters who voted for Trump, not the hard core, but that, say, 15%, away from him. For the first time they've seen this incompetence, they sort of suspected, but affecting them directly and they know it and it started when Trump denied the crisis all together. It's a hoax. It will go away. Don't worry about it. When he couldn't put a testing regime together. I called on him on March 6th. That's four months ago, to use the DPA and set up a real testing regime.
They still haven't done it. It's one of the reasons covid is still raging. It's why these executive orders are laughable. This unemployment insurance one which Kudlow so mauled is not going to be able to be put into place for a month or two, if at all. So here we'll have through September, all these people not getting the money and the $600 -- you know, they have no respect for the American people. That's part of the hard-right philosophy. People, if they have a job, they'll sit back and take the money. That's not what American workers are like. They want a job, they want a permanent long-term job that will give them a decent life and have some pride in work, and so they use that excuse cause they don’t wanna pay money. Here's the most amazing thing, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: You talked about the president surrounding himself with yes men, people that wouldn't cross him. I just got to say, sidebar here, the most remarkable example of that for me recently has been the fact that the intelligence community for quite some time knows that Vladimir Putin has put bounties on the heads of young American troops. In March, inside the White House, they were desperately getting the president to do something, but they were afraid to brief him on it because they knew it would make him angry. So, what is the next step -- you know, what is the next step? Let's go from the relief bill -- hold one second, Senator. Then you can talk about that and let’s get other people in as well. First, we've talked about the relief bill. I've just got to talk about something a lot of people are concerned about, and that is the Friday night massacre at the United States Post Office. That's the president seemingly intent on reeking havoc on that institution, to slow down packaging and to possibly impact the election and how many votes can be counted. What can the United States Senate do to make sure the president doesn't undermine the election?
SCHUMER: The president wants to, he’s wanted to destroy the post office. You know, he gets these little bugs in his head that have nothing to do with reality. No one tells him the truth, and then he tries to go forward. So, he's wanted to hurt the post office, maybe even destroy it, end it, for a long time. Now we have the covid crisis. And like everywhere else, some postal workers have covid. Instead of beefing up the number of people at the post office, the new postmaster general, who has no experience in postal and who is a big contributor to Trump, I called him, by the way, three times because I wanted to talk to him about what he was doing. He would not call me back.
KASIE HUNT: Leader Schumer, it's Kasie Hunt. This is all predicated on you passing a massive covid package. Nice to see you. The president said last night, the Democrats have called. They would like to get together and we say if it's not a waste of time, we'll do it. Do you know what he's talking about?
SCHUMER: Fables from Donald Trump. Fables. That's what he seems to specialize in. I didn't call him. Speaker Pelosi didn't call him. No, we didn't call him. He makes these things up or hears from somebody at one of his fund-raisers or country clubs, oh, the Democrats are calling you, and he acts like it's true. Here's how we left it. On Thursday, I believe it was, we said, we're willing to come down $1 trillion, you come up $1 trillion. When you're ready, come back and talk to us. Here's what I think might happen. This is an optimistic scenario Kasie. The Republicans, you know, are in a pickle. You have 20 of them who don't want any money whatsoever and then you have 10 or 15, some running for re-election who are desperate to get a package. They're all hanging their hats on this executive order. That will solve the problem and we won't have to do anything. It's clear these executive orders are going to be minimal at best. I've called them paltry or three words that I've used which seems to be in the currency, unworkable, narrow and scanty. They're just -- they're all -- they just won't work.
MIKE BARNICLE: Senator, let me interrupt you here for a second and ask you a simple question. Millions of Americans are now on the verge of economic collapse that will take them years to recover from. Mnuchin and mark meadows come up to your office or Speaker Pelosi's office daily to discuss this problem. Have you seen any evidence from them during these negotiations in the past three days that the President of the United States is actively involved on a minute-by-minute basis in these negotiations? In the last 72 hours, has the President of the United States called you personally to see if something can't get done?
SCHUMER: No, I've seen zero, zero evidence that he's involved at all. And he has not called us. I haven't spoken to him -- I spoke to him during the last bill when Mnuchin was there. Meadows wasn't. We got more done. But I haven't spoken to him since.