Daniels, MSNBC Panel LOSE THEIR MINDS Bashing Trump Supporters, Fearing for America

Let this serve as an example of how some liberal elites on Broadway, in Hollywood, in the media, and in the political world despise your way of life, who you vote for, the God you worship, and you yourselves as backward, irredeemable, and racist. On Monday’s Deadline: White House, liberal actor Jeff Daniels joined the MSNBC panel to bash their fellow Americans in the name of decency and love and fear for the country’s future.

Daniels was in the midst of his year-long Broadway run as Atticus Finch in an Aaron Sorkin-conceived production of To Kill a Mockingbird which, according to Daniels and the panel, was meant to shame Trump supporters and white America.

 

 

“The show is a stunning reminder that our hearts can be moved and our minds opened by a simple story about one man doing the right thing and conducting himself as though all of our children are watching. To Kill a Mockingbird, on Broadway now, is as important now as it was when it was written and is important during this moment of turmoil as ever,” host Nicolle Wallace ominously warned.

Asked why he took the role, Daniels replied that he becomes Atticus to “pin the ears back of basically white America” by giving them “a wake-up call” that argues portions of humanity are beyond compassion and decency with the play’s setting in Jim Crow-era town as the backdrop. 

Wallace replied by comparing Trump supporters to a fictional town filled with KKK members as “it's the reminder at this time in our politics children are watching.” Eye roll.

Daniels agreed and bashed his fellow Michiganders (even though he’s been in New York) as racist, rotten human beings for not supporting Hillary Clinton while slamming Atticus Finch as “an apologist” and “enabler” of racism (click “expand”):

[A]fter the election, I was surprised some of the people. I said, “can you believe this election?” They go, “yeah, isn't it great?” And you're going “whoa.” My wife's on Facebook, and these — “we got another Trumper.” You know. You didn't see it coming. Atticus goes through this. “I know these people. They're good people. There’s — there’s — and there are reasons why.” He's an apologist, an enabler. I think there are people in the Midwest, between the coasts, who don't pretend — who don’t know anything about this, who don’t care about this, don't have time for this, who have to make a decision now. You have to decide whether, like Atticus, you believe that there is still compassion, decency, civility, respect for others, do unto others, remember that? Do unto others. All that stuff you guys believe in and you still voted not for Hillary or for Trump, where are you now? Cause your kids are looking up at you going, but he lies and I think there are a lot of people in the Midwest who are going — it might be enough for them. We'll find out if the big gamble is to go all the way November 2020, which I agree, and lose, it's the end of democracy. 

Unbelievably, Wallace found it pertinent to read aloud a text from James Comey when she told him that Daniels was going to be on the show (click “expand”) 

He said: “The whole family went in early January. We were so excited to see it that Patrice,” that’s his wife, “fell on the sidewalk, broke her clavicle, and refused to go to the hospital. She held her arm in place all during the show. It's the perfect play for our time. It reminds us that people can be deeply biased and flawed but the truth is a real thing and our heroes in the long run are always those who stood up for it. The thousand little cowards melt away. There will be no play about the virtue of this the Republican party and its passion for truth.” I mean, he’s seeing the same parallel. I think anyone who's been in the arena — political arena in another movement can't escape the parallels of the cowardice, the mob, which is very much a theme.

Leaving the panel nearly speechless, Daniels went on a long rant comparing the “mob” in the town to those who attend Trump rallies, asserting that “aside from, ‘yeah, I don't want to pay taxes,’” Trump supporters are most concerned with racism and promoting whiteness.

Daniels also added that “democracy is at stake” due to the behavior of Trump and his supporters (click “expand”):

This is about — this is about the Republican party — or a wing of it going “this is our last chance to save the party.” And if we don't, it's the end of the Republican party and the only way they can do that was to tap the race button and say “go ahead, it's okay.” And he did, and they did. That was the only card they had left to play and they played it and they aren't going to go quietly....Courage is standing up and being a true patriot like we used to have way back in 1776 and all of that. We need someone — who are the heroes going to be? Is it going to be the Daniels Ellsberg Pentagon Papers guy? Who's that gonna — who’s that guy at the Justice Department that’s going “here, The Washington Post, here's the unredacted, go.” I'm waiting for that guy. We need people like that and to look at Congress with their politics, going, well, if I do this, I can't do that. You are all worthless to me right now. You are all worth — I need people to stand up and be heroic. Who are you? Because democracy is at stake.

Not to be left out, former Republican David Jolly decided not to actually think about why those in his former party were fed up with business as usual and sided with Trump, but instead questioned their motives and played God by questioning their souls (click “expand”):

JOLLY: First of all, you're right about the mob. I — I attended one Trump rally for professional reasons, and a couple of your points resonate, 10,000 people in the arena, less than five people of color. The amount of anger in that room was palpable ever before Trump showed and as I said to family members later, these are people that you go to church with, that you see in your community that you would never think would go to this forum and express such anger, but here’s — here's my question for you. You argue the case in the courtroom eight times a week. Does part of you, Jeff, or even Atticus, see that little glimmer you hope the verdict comes back differently one of these times? 

DANIELS: You hope to appeal to the better angel in them, the white Christian jurors — farmer jurors that are sitting there, that are faceless but there they are. You hope that there is good in that and I think that's when Atticus gets the punch in the face that, you know, Atticus, there may not be goodness in everyone.

How ghoulish.

After the break, MoveOn.org’s Karine Jean-Pierre thanked Daniels for decrying the GOP as racist, implying that criticism of the Obama presidency was not rooted in policy such as the economy but racism.

Daniels replied:

Why can't we have that conversation? Here's what you get. “This doesn't — that doesn’t effect me. It doesn't really effect me. Border walls, where is that, Texas? I mean, that's not in Michigan, doesn't matter. I’m just don't try making more money, I get my taxes done. I need jobs. Where are my manufacturing jobs? Yeah, I know, white, black, I don't care. It doesn’t matter. But at the end of the day, this really should be a white country, it really should because we read the data that says in 2045, the white race is going be the minority, so we have to move now.”

After a bizarre tangent about racism through the lens of climate change, being allies with China and Putin, and seizing oil in the North Pole, Daniels boasted that Sorkin ensured that Finch was seen as a bit of a racist himself by priding himself on taking the Robinson case and not doing enough to stand up to Bob Ewell and the KKK.

Yikes.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Deadline: White House on May 20, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House
May 20, 2019
4:39 p.m. Eastern

[SCENE FROM TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD]

NICOLLE WALLACE: That was Jeff Daniels in his Tony-nominated performance as Atticus finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. The show is a stunning reminder that our hearts can be moved and our minds opened by a simple story about one man doing the right thing and conducting himself as though all of our children are watching. To Kill a Mockingbird, on Broadway now, is as important now as it was when it was written and is important during this moment of turmoil as ever. To Kill a Mockingbird has been nominated for 9 Tony’s and just recently broke the record for the highest grossing American play in history. Jeff Daniels, who stars in it, is here with us. Now, you’ve been warned by John. It’s good to be here. Thank you so much for coming. 

JEFF DANIELS: I'm happy to be here. Very happy to be here

WALLACE: How do you guys know each other? 

JOHN HEILEMANN: He's a masochist. Or sadist. 

WALLACE: Well, speaking of that, you have not missed a single performance. 

DANIELS: No. I — we are in our seventh month of a year-long run and eight shows a week. No, not yet. I've been sick twice. 

WALLACE: And you've done it anyway. 

DANIELS: Yeah, the line is what do you do when you get the flu on Broadway? Eight shows a week. You just do it. You just do it.

WALLACE: Why are you doing the show? 

DANIELS: It's Atticus Finch. Aaron Sorkin wrote the play based on the play based on the book and Harper Lee — Pulitzer Prize — beloved book, revered. He is one of the iconic heroes in America, happens to be fictional, but still, you can put -- people put him up there with Washington and Lincoln and all of that, you get to play him. You get to become him and every night, you walk out there and we pin the ears back of basically white America. 

WALLACE: Talk about that. 

DANIELS: White liberal America comes in and they go, we had no idea it was that tough and it's a slap in the face. It's a wake-up call. It's also a decision. Atticus has to go through a change different than the book. We made him more of the protagonist who has a change and his change is to David’s point earlier — or to Mayor Pete's point earlier. The people on the other side, they don't have bad intentions, not all of them. Atticus Finch believes that there's good in everyone. You just have to care enough to look for it and that's being challenged now. 

WALLACE: That's being challenged. I get to come back and talk to you after, and I confess it was me sobbing in the fourth row 

DANIELS: There was some weeping.

WALLACE: — at the scene when Scout — when Atticus is at the jail and protecting — the KKK comes — they come for him and it's Scout that recognizes one of her hooded neighbors —

DANIELS: Mr. Cunningham.

WALLACE: — Mr. Cunningham and I just started sobbing. I mean, our children are watching this moment. Atticus’s children are played by extraordinary actors in the play and it's the reminder at this time in our politics children are watching. 

DANIELS: Children are watching and I live in Michigan and after the election, I was surprised some of the people. I said, “can you believe this election?” They go, “yeah, isn't it great?” And you're going “whoa.” My wife's on Facebook, and these — “we got another Trumper.” You know. You didn't see it coming. Atticus goes through this. “I know these people. They're good people. There’s — there’s — and there are reasons why.” He's an apologist, an enabler. I think there are people in the Midwest, between the coasts, who don't pretend — who don’t know anything about this, who don’t care about this, don't have time for this, who have to make a decision now. You have to decide whether, like Atticus, you believe that there is still compassion, decency, civility, respect for others, do unto others, remember that? Do unto others. All that stuff you guys believe in and you still voted not for Hillary or for Trump, where are you now? Cause your kids are looking up at you going, but he lies and I think there are a lot of people in the Midwest who are going — it might be enough for them. We'll find out if the big gamble is to go all the way November 2020, which I agree, and lose, it's the end of democracy.

WALLACE: One of the people who came to see To Kill a Mockingbird, I think, in January was former FBI director Jim Comey 

DANIELS: Yes.

WALLACE: — who’s sort of the tip of the spear in this fight between the President and his own Justice Department and FBI. I texted him today. I know that he came to see the play. 

DANIELS: He did.

WALLACE: And asked him what it means in this moment and he wrote me this. Do we have it? I'll read it off my phone here. First, he said — he said: “The whole family went in early January. We were so excited to see it that Patrice,” that’s his wife, “fell on the sidewalk, broke her clavicle, and refused to go to the hospital. She held her arm in place all during the show. It's the perfect play for our time. It reminds us that people can be deeply biased and flawed but the truth is a real thing and our heroes in the long run are always those who stood up for it. The thousand little cowards melt away. There will be no play about the virtue of this the Republican party and its passion for truth.” I mean, he’s seeing the same parallel. I think anyone who's been in the arena — political arena in another movement can't escape the parallels of the cowardice, the mob, which is very much a theme.

DANIELS: And Sorkin writes to that, I think it’s Sorkin who put it in where Atticus talks about, you know, a mob acts on emotion absent facts, absent respect for others — absent contemplation and mostly absent responsibility. What they get is anonymity. A conscience, can be exhausting. It’ll keep you up at night. A mob is a place where people go to take a break from their conscience. You lay that line out every night and you could hear them go, “oh,”

WALLACE: No, you know, they go “ahhh” —

DANIELS: Yeah, yeah.

WALLACE: — when I was sitting there. Is that's what's happening? 

DANIELS: And that’s what — that’s what — that's what I see when I look at Trump's rallies. That’s when I see the lies spewing at these people and people going I got to believe in something and he said he'd bring my manufacturing job back and she didn't, and I'm all in. But at the end of the day, aside from, yeah, I don't want to pay taxes, it's race. It's race. This is about — this is about the Republican party — or a wing of it going “this is our last chance to save the party.” And if we don't, it's the end of the Republican party and the only way they can do that was to tap the race button and say “go ahead, it's okay.” And he did, and they did. That was the only card they had left to play and they played it and they aren't going to go quietly and that's why you look at the cowardice of the 15 or so Republicans in the Senate who are still quiet. And I'm not talking about Bob Corker and Jeff Flake and who’s the other one who went out the back door —

WALLACE: That’s about it. Sasse. Yeah.

DANIELS: — that’s not courage. That's not courage, that's making sure you have a job somewhere after politics. Courage is standing up and being a true patriot like we used to have way back in 1776 and all of that. We need someone — who are the heroes going to be? Is it going to be the Daniels Ellsberg Pentagon Papers guy? Who's that gonna — who’s that guy at the Justice Department that’s going “here, The Washington Post, here's the unredacted, go.” I'm waiting for that guy. 

WALLACE: We're all waiting for that guy. 

DANIELS: We need people like that and to look at Congress with their politics, going, well, if I do this, I can't do that. You are all worthless to me right now. You are all worth — I need people to stand up and be heroic. Who are you? Because democracy is at stake.

WALLACE: Wow. 

DAVID JOLLY: I got — can I ask a question?

WALLACE: Yeah.

DANIELS: You sure can. The answer is it's true. It happened and — I don’t know.

WALLACE: Wow.

JOLLY: First of all, you're right about the mob. I — I attended one Trump rally for professional reasons, and a couple of your points resonate, 10,000 people in the arena, less than five people of color. The amount of anger in that room was palpable ever before Trump showed and as I said to family members later, these are people that you go to church with, that you see in your community that you would never think would go to this forum and express such anger, but here’s — here's my question for you. You argue the case in the courtroom eight times a week. Does part of you, Jeff, or even Atticus, see that little glimmer you hope the verdict comes back differently one of these times? 

DANIELS: You hope to appeal to the better angel in them, the white Christian jurors — farmer jurors that are sitting there, that are faceless but there they are. You hope that there is good in that and I think that's when Atticus gets the punch in the face that, you know, Atticus, there may not be goodness in everyone. 

WALLACE: And that's the most dramatic scene where she — or one of them where — where the witnesses you're hoping they have that moment. 

DANIELS: Mayella.

WALLACE: — goes the other way. That's the bunch in the gut.

DANIELS: — where the father is — and then the daughter gets on like she’s a puppet of the father and she’s more of a racist than the father. 

WALLACE: Than anybody.

DANIELS: Generational.

(....)

4:52 p.m. Eastern

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: I want to go back to race a second because I think it's great as a white guy that you are saying there is a part of the Republican Party that is indeed have gone far and beyond and have become very, very racist because when people like me say it, we are told that's not what’s happening. It’s about the economy. That's what it was for folks that went from Obama to Trump, for folks voted for Trump —

DANIELS: And it is. 

JEAN-PIERRE:  — and that's part of it. There’s this conversation that we avoid happening, and it is the race conversation and I really want to explore it more because you do live in Michigan and you said you heard from your neighbors and they mentioned, you know, they voted for Trump and you were really surprised by that. And so why do people run away from that? Why do — why can't we not have that conversation, you being on Broadway right now. 

DANIELS: Why can't we have that conversation? Here's what you get. “This doesn't — that doesn’t effect me. It doesn't really effect me. Border walls, where is that, Texas? I mean, that's not in Michigan, doesn't matter. I’m just don't try making more money, I get my taxes done. I need jobs. Where are my manufacturing jobs? Yeah, I know, white, black, I don't care. It doesn’t matter. But at the end of the day, this really should be a white country, it really should because we read the data that says in 2045, the white race is going be the minority, so we have to move now.”

WALLACE: Do you think they're scared by that? 

DANIELS: Yes. I think it is part of a whole bigger thing, Karine. I think this is about get the government, get the power, put your arm around Putin, look at China, and go “we're the new allies and we’re going after the North Pole” because Mike Pompeo says you can save money if the climate change happens and there's shipping lanes. Save 20 days on shipping. Save money. Let it melt. Who is going to control that? Who is getting oil under the North Pole? That's the next World War. And let's get the position. Let’s the government, which I know has nothing to do with race, but race is part of that, then so be it because we are not going to give up power and that's what this is about and it's a shame because that's not who we are, who we are supposed to be.

HEILEMANN: So, I’ve a craft question and I got a politics question. Here’s the craft question, right? So, you talked about, like, you get to play Atticus Finch, that’s a big deal, the iconic character — 

DANIELS: Yeah.

HEILEMANN: — in the American story. 

DANIELS: Yeah.

HEILEMANN: You get to work with Aaron Sorkin who you love

DANIELS: Yeah.

HEILEMANN: — as a writer. And you're one of the few actors who can do that. You're used to that cadence. It’s fast. It’s a challenge, right?

DANIELS: Uh-huh. 

HEILEMANN: We also have a moment, the Trump moment, right? So you got a historic play, you got a moment in time, you got a great writer, right? What are the things that get added to the play to make it meet this moment, like this is not — there's no explicit in vocation of Trump or semi-explicit. It seems like a period piece if you're not paying attention closely, but I know you did some stuff to tweak this to make it meet this moment. What did you do? 

DANIELS: The thing we did was that even Atticus was guilty of minor racism when he took the Tom Robinson case. In the play, Calpurnia, the black maid, he tells her “I took the Tom Robinson case.” She goes good, he leaves, and he says “you're welcome” and she calls him on it later. 

WALLACE: She becomes the hero in this version of the story. 

DANIELS: Yeah. Yeah and it — Atticus has to learn that it's not okay just to sit on your porch and let Bob Ewell come by and go “are you going to the lynching Thursday, you missed the last one. Is that your car? Hate to see it torched.” You know, that reality. Atticus just stays away. Now he’s to get involved and what are you going to do? You can’t just wait for better angels, so what are you going to do? As Scout says at the end of the play, it is not just doing the right thing, sometimes it’s trying to do the right thing. And then she says all rise. And Atticus says “you rest now, son, because I'll be doing the fighting from here on.” He’s going to become an activist to change this, much like a guy like Frank Johnson did, who was a federal judge in Alabama who could have been Atticus growing up, who was the judge sitting on the bench and handled Rosa Parks, George Wallace, and put KKK guys in jail. 

WALLACE: Do you see any Atticus Finchs on the political landscape? 

DANIELS: Not yet, no, no. 

HEILEMANN: This is going to be my second question, right? Part of the reason why you're — I mean, you've done Hollywood and been a New Yorker, but you’re also — you live in Michigan, looking at all of these Democrats. Is there maybe not an Atticus, but when you look at these Democrats, you think about who can inspire, who has the performance skills. Do you see any Democrats and say I am watching that guy? 

DANIELS: I am watching intelligence. I’m — if politics, you know more than I, is an 180 degree swing. I think that's part of the eight years of Obama. Let's go for the whitest guy we can. I mean, I think there's an element out there in the middle of the country. The other thing, what was the question? 

HEILEMANN: Who are you watching? 

DANIELS: Who are you watching? Oh, So to go away from the toddler in chief, let's go to Kamala Harris. Let’s go to somebody with a brain in their head. Let’s go with someone who has some intelligence that doesn't tweet all day, Mayor Pete. I'm looking at intelligence. Now, is — I love Joe Biden. Is he the guy can stand up and punch him in the face and win? That's for you guys to decide.

NB Daily Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Race Issues Racial Preferences Racism MSNBC Deadline: White House David Jolly Nicolle Wallace Jeff Daniels
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links