Yuck: MSNBC Republicans Cheer Impeachment, Hype 2020 as Most Important Election Since 1864

Ever want to see the TV news equivalent of a bitter crazy person shouting into the wind? Well, you’re in luck because that’s what MSNBC’s Deadline: White House is like on a daily basis and Tuesday’s installment didn’t disappoint. 

The assembled guests and faux Republicans bemoaned the lack of passion among elected Democrats and Republicans to impeach President Trump, asserted that the 2020 election will be the most important one since 1864, and engaged in character assassination against House Speaker Paul Ryan.

 

 

When it comes to elections and politics writ large, faux Republicans and diehard Never Trumpers such as the ones below have shown an inability to care about conservative policies, the Republican Party, or seeing anyone but progressive leftists succeed in the Trump era. 

And it showed as former GOP Congressman David Jolly asserted that, no matter what happened in the special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, “only Republicans trust Republicans” but “[i]f you're a Democrat or independent, you don't trust Republicans and you don’t trust Donald Trump and, frankly, it's why Republicans are looking at a very difficult time in November.”

“This could be the worst midterm election in nearly 40 years for Republicans. The fact that these are competitive, and Democrats have overperformed, Republicans have underperformed in every single special election since Donald Trump got elected...You’re looking at a wipeout year,” Jolly gleefully predicted.

Out of the blue, Wallace seemed vexed that Democrats are “hand-wringing about impeachment” and “not run[ning] directly into this headwind as a check against Donald Trump.” Deep breaths, Nicolle.

Former Clinton campaign official Jennifer Palmieri agreed it’s “a mistake to not run” on impeachment because “it's right there in the Constitution, your job is to be a check on the President of the United States” to which Wallace interjected to blast Republicans for not having done so already.

Wallace asked failed McCain/Palin campaign head and newly-minted lefty Steve Schmidt to explain “the impeachment message for Democrats” and Schmidt unloaded (click “expand” to read more):

This is a big moment in the history of the country. I think this is the most significant midterm election in American history and we're heading into a presidential election, which is the most significant since the election of 1864, when the question that was really on the ballot is whether we were going to continue to be one country, whether we would prevail in the Civil War. So, this is a big moment and if the Democratic strategists are sitting around saying, well, we ought to run health care ads here and all this other stuff doesn't matter, right? We don’t need to talk about this stuff. I think they're missing the larger point. The attacks on America's institutions, the assaults on the rule of law, the personal degeneracy of Donald Trump. We look at the meanness, the cruelty, the corruption, the ability to call this out for what it is. I think it's fundamental for the Democratic Party achieving what I think would be a very significant wave and by the way, to say explicitly and directly to Republican, college-educated women, for example, we know that you don't agree with us on every issue. But on these big things, the couple of things that matter most to us as Americans transcend any partisan difference and we must join together in this country to put a check on this. That, to me, is the compelling message.

Schmidt later elaborated by bemoaning Trump for having “exhaust[ed] the electorate” and “wearying democratic constituencies...with the constant madness” plus having “performed some level of Jedi mind trick” in that he lost the popular vote and thus should have had zero incentive to enact his agenda but coopted his base to think he had a mandate.

“He is weaker. The majority of the country opposes this. It is only through the magical thinking of the Trump cult that there is any capacity to believe that a majority supports it. It does not,” the rambling and overwrought Schmidt added.

Jolly jumped in too because panelists largely exist to be yes-men for Wallace (click “expand” for more):

Donald Trump and the Republicans made a fundamental mistake when he got elected, which was to suggest that losing the popular vote created a mandate and they have ruled with a mandate that the American people did not give them and the reality is, in every one of these congressional races, people are saying this was not the government we voted for and so we will see that. Steve is right, this was a moment in American history where Donald Trump won with fewer votes than the other candidate and yet they have continued down this road of republicanism that nobody actually recognizes. Democrats don't recognize it and Republicans don't recognize it.

As for Ryan, Schmidt claimed that he’s not there to “disparage Paul Ryan the man because he's a good,” “moral,” and “decent person,” but then viciously trashed Ryan the person:

[H]is weakness is just extraordinary...The job required hardness, firmness, toughness, standing up to this lawless President. He is supine, he is weak, he's feeble, unlike anybody who has ever held the position of Speaker of the House. This is a constitutional office with immense power, second in line to the presidency. When you see the abdication of responsibility to the country from the Republican leadership, it is galling, it is appalling, and his legacy will be a shameful one because of it.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Deadline: White House on August 7, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House
August 7, 2018
4:18 p.m. Eastern

STEVE SCHMIDT: What we've known for a long time on this question, was there collusion? Of course there was. When the leading officials of the presidential campaign go to a meeting with Russian intelligence operatives for the purpose of receiving dirt on the Democratic Party's nominee for president, they were colluding —

NICOLLE WALLACE: Right

SCHMIDT: — with a hostile foreign intelligence power. What I don't know is does it meet the legal definition of felony conspiracy against the United States? And that's what we're going to find out over the course of the investigation, but I know this for sure. On any of the campaigns that we worked on together and we worked on two presidential campaigns together, and I know for sure whether you're talking about the senior people who we were in opposition against on the Obama campaign, on the John Kerry campaign, people that we know well. Not a single person on any of those campaigns around Barack Obama or John Kerry, if they were called and asked do you want to meet with Russian intelligence operatives, officials, people with ties to the Kremlin to get dirt on George W. Bush or John McCain, the answer would have been hell no, and they would have called the FBI. 

WALLACE: Exactly. That’s what people do.

(....)

WALLACE: It seems to me, David, that people are likely to misread this, and if the Republican ekes it out, saying nothing to see here. That's not the point, that's not the story. This shouldn't be a race that any of us know anything about. This shouldn't be a race that anyone talks about.

DAVID JOLLY: Yeah, it shouldn’t be competitive.

WALLACE: I would say if the Democrat comes within five points, it’s a sign that Republicans are in deep doo-doo. 

JOLLY: I think the — good reference. I think the takeaway from tonight and every other special congressional election is this — only Republicans trust Republicans. If you're a Democrat or independent, you don't trust Republicans and you don’t trust Donald Trump. And, frankly, it's why Republicans are looking at a very difficult time in November. This could be the worst midterm election in nearly 40 years for Republicans. The fact that these are competitive, and Democrats have overperformed, Republicans have underperformed in every single special election since Donald Trump got elected. But we’ve never seen it on a level playing field. Going into November where you have 23 to 24 seats, where Hillary Clinton actually won those congressional districts, but they're representative by a Republican in Congress, you're looking at a wipeout year, because those seats are gone in November. 

WALLACE: Why can't Democrats lose the defensiveness? Why is there this hand-wringing about impeachment? I mean, why not say, if it comes to that, it comes to that? But why not run directly into this headwind as a check against Donald Trump?

JENNIFER PALMIERI: Yeah no, I think it’s a mistake to not run as — I think Democrats should do their job if they're running for Congress and it's right there in the Constitution, your job is to be a check on the President of the United States and —

WALLACE: Listen, to be fair, it's the Republican's job, too. But they’ve made clear they’re not interested in doing that job.

PALMIERI: — right, but they — you know, why are you saying why are Democrats defensive? It’s like that is in their DNA, right? This is — Matt and I shared this cross to bear, that they are almost always on the defensive and kind of get too much wrapped up in their own heads. And, you know, yes, you should run a campaign that's on local issues that people care about. But it is your job if you're running for Congress to hold the President of the United States accountable and they should not be scared of this. And, you know, what's happening in Ohio, Trump came and did a big rally, that used to be the insurance policy and if his rally has proven to hurt the Republican candidate, that spells even worse doom for Republicans in November than we had anticipated prior to this week. 

WALLACE: I'm rustier than you are, but have I — what is the impeachment message for Democrats in the midterms? 

SCHMIDT: This is a big moment in the history of the country. I think this is the most significant midterm election in American history and we're heading into a presidential election, which is the most significant since the election of 1864, when the question that was really on the ballot is whether we were going to continue to be one country, whether we would prevail in the Civil War. So, this is a big moment and if the Democratic strategists are sitting around saying, well, we ought to run health care ads here and all this other stuff doesn't matter, right? We don’t need to talk about this stuff. I think they're missing the larger point. The attacks on America's institutions, the assaults on the rule of law, the personal degeneracy of Donald Trump. We look at the meanness, the cruelty, the corruption, the ability to call this out for what it is. I think it's fundamental for the Democratic Party achieving what I think would be a very significant wave and by the way, to say explicitly and directly to Republican, college-educated women, for example, we know that you don't agree with us on every issue. But on these big things, the couple of things that matter most to us as Americans transcend any partisan difference and we must join together in this country to put a check on this. That, to me, is the compelling message. 

WALLACE: How do you nationalize that, thought? I agree with you, but you look at and if you talk to Democrats privately, they'll say he got elected after Access Hollywood. His voters are numb to that. I don’t buy that because now we've had a year of seeing a president who accepts the support from racists, who sees good people on both sides of the Charlottesville. He's now governed as a year, someone who disparages bleep hole countries, has — I mean, we’ve had a year and a half of this.

SCHMIDT: You can — you can win a fight in two ways. You can bring your opponent to submission, think Germany and Japan after World War II. Or you can break your opponent's will to fight. And to some degree, Trump is exhausting the electorate. He's wearying Democratic constituencies with —

WALLACE: Matt and Jen look like they need a drink.

SCHMIDT: — with the constant madness and what I would say is — what I would say is this on this point. He has performed some level of Jedi mind trick. Here's the deal — he lost by 3 million votes. 

JOLLY: That’s it.

SCHMIDT: He won the popular vote — he lost — he won by 78,000 votes across three straits in a narrow victory. He is weaker. The majority of the country opposes this. It is only through the magical thinking of the Trump cult that there is any capacity to believe that a majority supports it. It does not.

(....)

JOLLY: Donald Trump and the Republicans made a fundamental mistake when he got elected, which was to suggest that losing the popular vote created a mandate and they have ruled with a mandate that the American people did not give them and the reality is, in every one of these congressional races, people are saying this was not the government we voted for and so we will see that. Steve is right, this was a moment in American history where Donald Trump won with fewer votes than the other candidate and yet they have continued down this road of republicanism that nobody actually recognizes.

WALLACE: That’s right.

JOLLY: Democrats don't recognize it and Republicans don't recognize it. 

(....)

WALLACE: It's one part exit interview, two parts Greek tragedy. An extraordinary new profile of Paul Ryan in New York Times Magazine, Mark Leibovich gets precise in his observations and takeaways, like when the House Speaker got a call in the middle of one of their interviews. He said to Mark: “‘The President saw me on Fox & Friends,’” Ryan told me, explaining the interruption. ‘He said he thought I looked good.’ This is among the headiest commendations a Republican could hope to receive in Donald Trump’s Washington. ‘That happens to me a lot,’ Ryan added, referring to his post-TV attaboy.” The panel is back. This was so galling to me. I mean, Mark — Mark is one of the best writers and especially of these sorts of pieces where people are just — he’s like Dr. Melfi. They just say stuff to somebody who’s going to put it in print in the newspaper, but it sure explains a lot. 

SCHMIDT: His — his weakness is just extraordinary and I don't want to sit here and disparage Paul Ryan the man because he's a good guy. He's a moral person. He's a decent person. Take him seriously when he says I want to spend more time with my kids and family, and I didn't want to fundraise, I didn't want to do all these things, I'm not political, I'm a policy guy. The job required hardness, firmness, toughness, standing up to this lawless President. He is supine, he is weak, he's feeble, unlike anybody who has ever held the position of Speaker of the House. This is a constitutional office with immense power, second in line to the presidency. When you see the abdication of responsibility to the country from the Republican leadership, it is galling, it is appalling, and his legacy will be a shameful one because of it.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Congressional 2020 Presidential Push to Impeach Trump Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Deadline: White House David Jolly Nicolle Wallace Steve Schmidt Donald Trump Jennifer Palmieri
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