MSNBC contributor Joy Reid – in her infinite liberal wisdom – has the Republican Party all figured out. In a sneering tirade against conservatives on Wednesday’s PoliticsNation, Reid broke the entire party into five separate groups: the “angry” Tea Party, the evangelicals that “want to litigate social issues only,” the “economic conservatives” who want to “get rid of Social Security and Medicare,” those who focus “on ripping away programs for the poor,” and the “Wall Street guys who really run the party.”
Reid, of course, didn’t just reserve her criticism for views she disagrees with. She also claimed the only thing these ‘groups’ agreed on was “despising Barack Obama.” Doubtless we can trust Reid, managing editor of NBC’s left-leaning website TheGrio.com, as a trusted source on all things conservative.
Reid began the segment by mocking Tea Party conservatives like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, asking if they were part of “the new cast of Saturday Night Live.” She then chirped that these leaders “are all so much fun to listen to.” I wonder what Reid considers more fun: an investigation into the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, or the IRS’s deplorable targeting of conservative groups during a presidential election year?
Now, certainly, Reid wasn’t the only left-wing guest blasting Republicans on Al Sharpton’s program. Ryan Grim, reporter for the Huffington Post, mocked the Tea Party as “the crazy caucus” in an answer to one of Sharpton’s questions:
SHARPTON: So you’ve got the new class of tea partiers, with the same kind of far right rhetoric. Ryan, are they going to be able to paint these pictures and get the same kind of response that Bachmann and the 2010 partiers got, tea partiers got?
GRIM: Well, I mean, there's going to be – I mean, there’s a vacuum now in the crazy caucus. Everyone in it has kind of stepped up a level of seniority. So there's going to be – and I'm serious, you're going to see some jockeying for positioning within that far right.
As liberals continue to focus their time and attention on belittling the conservative movement, no doubt that movement will continue to grow as more Americans grow frustrated with the direction of our country. And despite Reid and Grim’s claims, leaders in the movement like Rubio and Cruz will continue to promote conservative ideas which have the dangerous possibility – to liberals – of catching on like wildfire with voters, particularly young voters disillusioned with an Obama administration that didn’t pan out like expected.
Note: Reid also rehashed the false liberal narrative that Tea Partiers carried around “Obama-Hitler” signs at conservative rallies. This narrative was debunked by NewsBusters in 2009, when Seton Motley found that the signs were actually the product of a perpetual Democratic presidential candidate and left-leaning conspiracy theorist, Lyndon LaRouche.
See the relevant transcript below:
6:18 p.m. Eastern
AL SHARPTON: Joy, are Bachmann's – are the people that follow her paranoid? I mean, extreme politics basically the norm now [unintelligible] for the GOP?
JOY REID: Yes, it’s funny because when you were showing that list of everyone that’s gone [in the Tea Party], I was thinking: is that the new cast of Saturday Night Live? They are all so much fun to listen to. I mean, basically, Michele Bachmann wasn’t the leader of it, but she sort of tried to glom on to this angry movement that suddenly decided it didn’t like bailouts any more once Bush was gone and Barack Obama was president, and decided that it suddenly didn't like government spending and government spending on social programs – that a lot of them receive because they’re on Medicare – because Barack Obama was there.
So this anti-Obama movement whose real motivation isn’t small government, it’s just they don’t like Barack Obama. And when that momentum took the Republican Party by storm in 2010, it was the answer they've been waiting for to the grassroots Obama movement and Michele Bachmann rode the wave. And she rode it for a while, but the problem is her district – that wave has sort of crested and now people are really not that into it. The district is less conservative so she faced some tough times.
SHARPTON: She was pretty close the last election.
REID: She came very close, I mean she had to really sort of beg her way back in – in her last re-election effort, she had a tough time. And this time she now has got the ethics issues, the FBI looking into her. But you know what, if you look at where her Tea Party forefathers have gone, I guess her next route is a bid on Fox News.
SHARPTON [laughing]: Well Ryan, let’s look at a bigger picture, though. There's a new class of Tea Partiers. Watch this. [Plays videos of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and others.]
SHARPTON: So you’ve got the new class of Tea Partiers, with the same kind of far right rhetoric. Ryan, are they going to be able to paint these pictures and get the same kind of response that Bachmann and the 2010 Partiers got, Tea Partiers got?
RYAN GRIM: Well, I mean, there's going to be – I mean, there’s a vacuum now in the crazy caucus. Everyone in it has kind of stepped up a level of seniority. So there's going to be – and I'm serious, you're going to see some jockeying for positioning within that far right. People are looking – there's a lot more room on TV now, there’s a lot more room on the far right blogs for me to say stuff and get myself out there, and may be develop that national following that will then funnel money into my district which they can then spread around and then that can help the power within the movement even more. Where Bachmann went wrong was running for president and failing. People in home districts don't like it when people don't seem happy representing them. Like – you know, take Chris Dodd, for instance. When he basically moved to Iowa to run for president, his popularity back in Connecticut sunk. Now, I'm not comparing Chris Dodd to Michele Bachmann by any stretch of the imagination.
SHARPTON: Yeah, be careful, Ryan.
GRIM: But voters don't like it when you step too far out. So I think that's what ultimately did her in along with all the other insanity.
SHARPTON: When you look at the whole movement of the Tea Party. It seemed like, as I was saying to Karen and to the governor last block, that they were more focused on demonizing the president than really any kind of change, even change to the right that you or I may disagree with. It was just stop President Obama. Repeal ObamaCare. They didn't have a health plan of their own.
SHARPTON: Repeal ObamaCare. President Obama say the sky’s blue, it's orange sky day. And I think that kind of runs its course – since 2010, they [the Tea Party] dropped 24 points in the polls. A lot of it is because I think it was just over and over and over, they were just the anti-Obama people.
REID: Yeah, they don’t have a positive agenda. And they’re just not positive. Look, people who are just always angry and yelling and dressing in period costumes and marching around with Obama-Hitler signs. That can run its course. It's great theater for awhile, but then at some point you have to have an agenda. And, look, the reality is the Tea Party masks the fact that there is a huge rift in the Republican Party. They were able to unite around disliking and despising Barack Obama.
But when you look beneath the surface, there are some real differences between them. You have the evangelical group that says: no, we want to litigate social issues only. That's why you end up with a Todd Akin. You’ve got the economic conservatives, who are well-off themselves, who are like: get rid of Social Security and Medicare. That's our agenda. You’ve got people who are just focused on ripping away programs for the poor. So they've all got their own sort of agendas. And then you’ve got the Wall Street guys who really run the party who are saying: no, no, we're going to give you Mitt Romney. And all of that gets masked because they all know that they only agree on one thing: we don't like Barack Obama. So that kind of helped them up to now. Can they carry that forward to 2014 and 2016? I think it's doubtful and you're just going to see the rifts start to reopen.