Maddow, O’Donnell Lose It Over VA Results: ‘Tonight’s History Is Being Written by Movie Writers’

After being relatively well-behaved, MSNBC eventually burst out gloating over the Democratic Party’s tidal wave victories in Virginia as pundits Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell celebrated and particularly over the “stunning” victory of transgender House of Delegates candidate Danica Roem that they deemed a night in which “history is being written by movie writers.”

O’Donnell was later assisted in the triumphant debriefing by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who encouraged Democrats to put “some referendums on the ballot on guns, on reproductive health, on a lot of other issues, so, I think is a good omen for Democrats in 2018.”

 

 

The Last Word host teased an appearance later in the show by Roem in swooning how she “defeated a candidate who proudly called himself and has been in that seat for 25 years, proudly called himself Virginia's homophobe in chief, so you can't ask for a more stunning flip of a seat.” 

Maddow replied by arguing that “it's important for the country to have our first ever elected state legislator who is openly transgender,” but on a broader level “an achievement for American civil rights that will stand no matter — despite the rest of the circumstances of that election.”

She continued, barely able to contain her excitement, describing Roem as an example of when “history is written with the caps lock key on”:

But for Danica Roem to have beaten Bob Marshall, the guy who authored the Virginia bathroom transban, the guy who called himself Virginia's homophobe in chief, the guy who has ridden prestigious against the LGBT community to a 25-year career. For Danica Roem to beat him, it shows you that sometimes history is written with the caps lock key on, right? It tells you that, sometimes, history is not subtle about these achievements and she is going to go down in history tonight for this victory, but she is going to a big, big change for Virginia just because she is the one that showed to Bob Marshall the door and not by a small margin either. It looks like she beat him by double-digits. 

Out of nowhere, O’Donnell then upped the rhetoric to borderline-thrill-up-the-leg levels:

O’DONNELL: Yeah, no it feels like tonight’s history is being written by movie writers. It is so dramatic. 

MADDOW: Unsubtle movie writers. 

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Maddow finally left for the night and so O’Donnell decided to take viewers down memory lane by asking to “remember where you were, what you were feeling, what you were thinking at this hour a year ago” with it being “[o]n the one-year anniversary of the man who came in second place with voters first place with the electoral college, thereby plunging the White House into the most unpopular first year of presidency in the history of polling.” 

With that unpleasant feeling in the minds of his Resistance viewers, O’Donnell proclaimed how “that man and his party have been sharply rebuked by voters in elections around the country. Donald Trump's record high disapproval rating as President seems to have translated tonight into a massive disapproval of candidates who have the word ‘Republican’ near their names.”

Later in the hour, Kristof seemed to getting ahead of himself by looking ahead to 2018 and suggesting Democrats should put referendums on “reproductive health” and gun control on ballots for voters:

I mean, if the Democrats had lost, I think it would have been a really bad sign as this Obama won twice, Clinton won, but the scale of the victory for the Democrats I think is a good omen for them for the House in 2018 and, boy, if I were Democrats, I think they should be thinking about putting some referendums on the ballot on guns, on reproductive health, on a lot of other issues, so I think is a good omen for Democrats in 2018. 

After Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam’s victory speech, O’Donnell gushed: 

He closed that speech with another very direct rebuke on Trump and Trumpism, saying that the diverse society of Virginia and that the diverse society of this country is what makes this country great. Words that could never be spoken by Donald Trump or a follower of Trumpism[.]

He continued by touting Northam’s pro-gun control stances as someone being “not an easy political position to take” and thus ignoring the fact that Virginia has two pro-gun control Democratic Senators and outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe was as well.

O’Donnell praised Kristof as someone who’s “writ[ten] a lot about ammunition control, weapons control, and gun control as a public health issue” and Kristof replied with a wistful tone about gun control being on the verge of big gains: 

You know, there is some indication that the politics on guns are beginning to change. I would say that, though, that I think that one's better not framing it as gun control but gun safety. And, but, you know, over time demographically, so the number of guns in America is continuing to grow. Well over 300 million now, but the number of proportion of households who have guns is steadily dropping and so there are fewer people who are really passionate about these issues and even among gunowners, more than 90 percent favor universal background checks and so I do think — and on referendums around the country, we've seen voters approve stricter gun laws. So I do think that's what happening in Virginia is emblematic of a broader shift that offers some hope of advances on toward a more sane gun policy. More likely at the state level than at the federal level. 

The talk about Democratic victories being movie-like dreams were brought to you by The Last Word advertisers AT&T, Febreze, Ford, and Match.com

Here’s the relevant transcript from November 7's MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell:

MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
November 7, 2017
10:06 p.m. Eastern

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: We're going to be joined by one of the new House of Delegates-elect. The first transgendered member of a state legislature and she, Rachel, defeated a candidate who proudly called himself and has been in that seat for 25 years, proudly called himself Virginia's homophobe in chief, so you can't ask for a more stunning flip of a seat. 

RACHEL MADDOW: Yeah, it's one thing — and it's important for the country to have our first ever elected state legislator who is openly transgender. That is an achievement for American civil rights that will stand no matter — despite the rest of the circumstances of that election. But for Danica Roem to have beaten Bob Marshall, the guy who authored the Virginia bathroom transban, the guy who called himself Virginia's homophobe in chief, the guy who has ridden prestigious against the LGBT community to a 25-year career. For Danica Roem to beat him, it shows you that sometimes history is written with the caps lock key on, right? It tells you that, sometimes, history is not subtle about these achievements and she is going to go down in history tonight for this victory, but she is going to a big, big change for Virginia just because she is the one that showed to Bob Marshall the door and not by a small margin either.

O’DONNELL: Yeah.

MADDOW: It looks like she beat him by double-digits. 

O’DONNELL: Yeah, no it feels like tonight’s history is being written by movie writers. It is so dramatic. 

MADDOW: Unsubtle movie writers. 

O’DONNELL: Rachel, thank you very much for sticking with us for a few minutes. 

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence. Appreciate it. 

O’DONNELL: Really appreciate it. Well, here we are. Do you remember where you were, what you were feeling, what you were thinking at this hour a year ago? On the one-year anniversary of the man who came in second place with voters first place with the electoral college, thereby plunging the White House into the most unpopular first year of presidency in the history of polling, that man and his party have been sharply rebuked by voters in elections around the country. Donald Trump's record high disapproval rating as President seems to have translated tonight into a massive disapproval of candidates who have the word “Republican” near their names.


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Campaigns & Elections Guns Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Sexuality Abortion Birth Control Transgender MSNBC The Last Word Virginia Video Government & Press Lawrence O'Donnell Rachel Maddow Nicholas Kristof Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture