Monday's All In show on MSNBC put on display a classic example of how when the liberal news network includes a commentator who comes from a right-leaning or at least Republican history, it's not to provide actual balance for the more liberal anchors or commentators. Instead, it is too often to bolster the liberal commentary or provide little pushback against it.
Host Chris Hayes served up an opportunity for MSNBC political analyst and Republican guest Steve Schmidt to inform viewers of the right-leaning arguments against ObamaCare and in favor of replacing it -- but instead, the former John McCain campaign strategist and Bush administration official used the time to trash talk about his fellow Republicans being like "lemmings" who are genetically programmed to commit mass suicide over a cliff. He went on to tag the current Republican reform plans as "not logical."
Hayes set up his final question by recalling that Democratic legislators knew why they were voting for ObamaCare, and were willing to risk electoral defeat as long as they accomplished their goals:
So here's the $64,000 question for me: I covered the ACA and I knew -- I talked to Democratic legislators who knew that they were voting for something that was at the time not popular, and could cost them reelection. And they basically did it because they believed in the project. You know, for all the flaws, they basically thought, "Look, this country needs to expand coverage and get toward something of universal health care -- I'm willing to do it for that purpose."
He then asked:
What is your understanding of why Republicans are doing this? What's the core motivation here to do something that they know is politically unpopular?
Instead of trying to give a serious answer, Schmidt began by hyperbolically attacking his fellow Republicans:
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I think it's that same genetic impulse that pulls the lemmings over the cliff one after the other. It's not logical -- it's difficult to understand. I mean, when you look a the Democratic side -- and you're exactly right about this -- this was the work of generations inside the Democratic party trying to have a national health insurance plan. And many Democrats who voted for this laid down their political careers because that's what they believed the right thing to do was -- and they understood the consequences going in.
I think that you could go one by one through the Republicans -- I don't think any of them could tell you what's actually in the legislation. I don't think they can go particularly deep on it. And that's because I don't think anybody's gone particularly deep on it. I think there's a particular lack of understanding. I mean, how can anybody -- House side, Senate side -- vote to reorganize a sixth of the American economy without having a CBO score, without knowing what the cost is? How is that conservative? It's positively radical.