MSNBC FREAKS Over ‘Jim Crow’ GOP Engaging in a ‘Cover Up’; ‘Very Scary’ Time in America

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In the moments after Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announced late Thursday that he would not support witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, MSNBC rhetorically curled up in the fetal position over the “Jim Crow” and “submissive” GOP engaging in a “cover-up” and “an extraordinary act of self-abasement” that’s left America in “a very scary moment.”

There have been many instances in which the liberal media (specifically CNN and MSNBC) suffered meltdowns for the years since election night 2016. But January 30, 2020 will go down as yet another chapter and was it ever the sight to behold.

 

 

Most unhinged was New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, who took the crazy train right off the cliff by claiming Thursday night was “really a capstone in a just total collapse of faith in American institutions” and that those who support Trump’s removal must ensure “myself and everybody on my block and everybody in my family to a poll.”

With the train already having burst into flames, she doused it in gasoline with her Jim Crow nonsense and fear about the future. Williams proceeded to praise the fear-mongering by suggesting she “spoke for metric tons of our viewers” (click “expand”)

GAY: And, you know, I have to say as somebody who grew up with a father who grew up in the Jim Crow south and in Jim Crow Detroit, a lot of what this has looked like from the Republican side, the kind of imagining and the farcical nature of this, the lack of good faith argument sounds very familiar to me and it's — it’s actually quite scary. I think we're at a very scary moment. 

WILLIAMS: I think you just spoke for metric tons of our viewers watching tonight after the day we've been through. Jonathan Lemire, your take. 

Rewinding 27 minutes prior to when Alexander’s decision went public, former Senator-turned-MSNBC analyst Claire McCaskill reacted by audibly groaning after co-host Rachel Maddow informed viewers. 

After Lyin’ Brian Williams read excerpts of Alexander’s statement, Maddow screeched that Alexander had stated his agreement with House managers about Trump’s conduct, but “I don't want to hear any more about it, and we shouldn't do anything about it.”

“I will be shocked if most senators have the guts to even put in their statement that what the President did was wrong. I think they're going to pretend that what the President did was just hunky dory,” McCaskill later added.

The next segment was where the fun began and included Gay’s bizarre comments referenced above.

Before Gay, former RNC chair-turned-MSNBC “Republican” Michael Steele fretted that “now the U.S. Senate and every member of Congress has to tell the American people under what scenario do you think a president of the United States can be impeached, otherwise just scratch that out of the Constitution and move on.”

The AP’s Jonathan Lemire reiterated after gay what’s long been a tiresome utterance, which was that Thursday served as “further evidence that this is — this is President Trump's Republican Party now completely.”

 

 

The next segment yielded more negative energy with liberal Republican and Bulwark editor Charlie Sykes, who arrived with a softball question via Williams about “the dynamic that is...the era of submissive officeholders.”

The vengeful faux conservative stated that his term would have been “an extraordinary act of self-abasement on the part of Republican senators, who could have finessed this in a very different way” which will come with “a tremendous price tag” for having participated in the Ukraine “cover-up.”

After Sykes warned that GOPers “are prepared to...torch their reputations and their legacies,” Williams questioned the courage of Republicans who served in the military (yes, the serial-lying journalist did that) and Sykes offered more insults and a pie-in-the-sky forecast for November (click “expand”):

WILLIAMS: It’s funny. It does take courage to run for any elective office but certainly a U.S. Senate seat in this environment. You are putting yourself out there to the voters. You're saying that anything in my past I'm aware may come up. Some of them are combat veterans who don't scare easily and have faced down Russians and Iraqis, but when it comes to facing down Donald Trump, that's where you get the pullback. 

SYKES: You do and the obvious explanation is a lack of courage. They're afraid of the Trump cult. They're afraid what it will do to their careers, whether they will be excommunicated from the conservative movement...[W]hat does surprise me is the — you know, Mitch McConnell's willingness or his intention to force a lot of these swing senators like Martha McSally and Cory Gardner into voting to shut down the witnesses....[T]his will offend an innate sense of fairness on the part of a lot of Americans. I think people are going to be a lot more angry on this vote on the witnesses than I think folks in Washington really understand, and it really does put the Senate in play....I think that there is a very good chance for the Democrats to take the Senate because I think you could blow seats in Arizona, in Colorado, in Iowa, in North Carolina, maybe even put Georgia into play...[W]hen you basically say several days after this bombshell from John Bolton, yeah, we don't want to hear it. We don't want to know. We don't want you to hear it or know it, that sounds like they're participating in a cover-up. I think they’ll pay a price. 

To see the relevant MSNBC transcript from January 30, click “expand.”

MSNBC Senate Impeachment Trial
January 30, 2020
11:02 p.m. Eastern

CLAIRE MCCASKILL: He is probably almost in his pajamas by now, so I honestly — I don't know that for a fact. 

RACHEL MADDOW: I — I can only think of Lamar Alexander in his pajamas now. 

[CROSS-TALK]

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Wow.

MCCASKILL: But, you know, it's interesting to me that it's not out yet. 

MADDOW: Well, I mean, it's up to him. 

MCCASKILL: Oh, we just got it. 

WILLIAMS: What did we get? 

MADDOW: You just got it without me? 

MCCASKILL: No. You got it. 

MADDOW: I did? 

WILLIAMS: Talk to us, control room. 

MADDOW: Senator Lamar Alexander says he will issue a statement within the hour. No, I think this is it. I think that's all we've got. 

MCCASKILL: Oh, okay. 

MADDOW: The statement is, according to the control room, he is not going to vote for evidence. 

MCCASKILL: There you go. 

MADDOW: Did he say specifically witnesses? 

WILLIAMS No need for more. 

MADDOW: No need for more evidence, according to Senator Lamar Alexander. [MCCASKILL GROANS] So that means that the remaining — I mean, you never know, but the likely candidates, if there are going to be enough witnesses to make this an open question are Senator Murkowski. 

WILLIAMS: Yep. 

MADDOW: And Senator Romney. That would get you to three. If there are additional senators who might be yeses, then it's a clear yes, and then we move on to that portion of the trial. If there are only three. If it is Murkowski, Collins and Romney, then the vote, if all Democrats stick together on this issue, would be 50-50, and then that would put us in the position that we were just discussing earlier in which the Supreme Court's chief justice has to decide whether or not that 50-50 tie results in the measure failing or whether he would like to be a tie-breaking vote so that it passes. 

(....)

11:07 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: This statement contains some interesting wording. Quoting from Lamar Alexander, “the question, then, is not whether the president did it but whether the United States senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did.”

MADDOW: About what he did. 

WILLIAMS: Yeah. He goes into detail here. “There is no need for more evidence to prove that the President asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He said this on television October 3, 2019.” If there is a baby-splitting here, it is, ‘hey, House managers, good job. It looks — you're right on the merits. I just don't think it's a role for us.’

MADDOW: That’s amazing. I mean, that's Senator Alexander saying —

WILLIAMS: The face you're making speaks —

MADDOW: — he definitely did it, and I don't want to hear any more about it, and we shouldn't do anything about it. 

WILLIAMS: Yeah. 

MADDOW: I don't want to hear any — I don't want to hear the evidence of that further proves this case because I believe he's guilty of what he has been charged with in the House. 

MAYA WILEY: But let the voters decide without the information from the witness with the direct evidence. 

MADDOW: Because he's convinced but he doesn't want the American people to hear the witness that can prove it because they should make the decision without having the benefit of the information that would prove it. 

MCCASKILL: And if he were sitting here, he would probably say they're going to get the information because the book's coming out in three weeks, right? 

CHUCK ROSENBERG: There's another point, though. The mere fact that Lamar Alexander believes the case has been proved and he doesn't need any more doesn't mean there aren't other senators who could use some more information, right? So he's voting because he, himself, doesn't need anything else, but isn't there a broader concept? Isn't there a broader principle here? 

MADDOW: I will also say when we think about — I mean Rob Portman, you know, I'm not going to bet the farm on Rob Portman.

MCCASKILL: Oh my God.

MADDOW: But one of the interesting things we have learned over the course of this investigation, such as it is, is that Rob Portman stood up for Ukraine and stood up for the Ukraine aid that had been appropriated by Congress against the Trump administration messing with it, weighed in to say, we've seen — we’ve the evidence it. Weighed in to say, hey, what's going on with this aid? This needs to be fixed. You shouldn't be messing with this. I need an explanation about it. This is wrong, what you're doing. Portman's office is one of those that explicitly confronted the Trump White House about the fact that they were messing with Ukraine. He cares about this issue. He has been brave on this issue in terms of standing up to the Trump administration on it until now and so this is something that materially he knows is important and he's been willing to fight for until it's become a test of whether or not you love Donald Trump in public and to drop what is his plainly heartfelt belief in the importance of this as a national security matter in order — because the politics around it changed is something that is a matter of his record as well. 

(....)

11:17 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: Senator McCaskill, one question before we have to take a break. What's in my mind is what's the chance this becomes the Alexander template to give cover to others on your way to a “no” vote, give wording that gives the House managers and the strength of the case credit while saying, sadly this just falls short for me? 

MCCASKILL: Well, ironically with this President, I think it would be brave for most of the senators to put out a statement like this because this isn't, oh, gosh, this was a perfect call. 

MADDOW: Mm-hmm. 

MCCASKILL: Alexander — Lamar is not saying, you know, gosh, we should all be proud of our President for, you know, going after corruption and wanting burden-sharing in Ukraine. Lamar is saying in his statement, the President did something wrong. He did it exactly what the House managers said, and they proved it with overwhelming evidence. Now, that's an ad and so now what he's basically saying is, you shouldn't vote for this guy because he did this, but I want the voters to decide rather than senators. I will be shocked if most senators have the guts to even put in their statement that what the President did was wrong. I think they're going to pretend that what the President did was just hunky dory. 

(....)

11:28 p.m. Eastern

MICHAEL STEELE: I think we now see at least a little bit of the floor and maybe the mid-level on the bar of exactly what a high crime and misdemeanor is or isn't. So you go from Clinton where you have some form of, you know, perjury, and everybody went, no, you can do that. You don't get impeached for perjury, so then you come to Trump, and you go, how about if I get a foreign government to interfere in our elections and I, you know, hold up a lot of money to do that? No, you can do that too. You can do that too. So now the U.S. Senate and every member of Congress has to tell the American people under what scenario do you think a president of the United States can be impeached, otherwise just scratch that out of the Constitution and move on because this is a scenario we're going to see over and over again where they make excuses for the behavior of the president and given the argument that Dershowitz has made, that door is wide open in terms of what a president now, under at least the arguments Trump's team made, can get away with. 

WILLIAMS: I just want to live long enough to hear McConnell hear to say somebody, go with whatever your flow is. Mara — Mara Gay, your reaction to what we just witnessed in the last 60 minutes? 

MARA GAY: You know, actually I think Michael, it’s — it’s even larger than that. I think for the majority of Americans who have watched this process unfold and are living in reality — and Lamar Alexander did actually acknowledge that reality, which is that the president did do something wrong, and that is important. We shouldn't just gloss that over, but I think for that majority of Americans, what we're witnessing tonight is really a capstone in a just total collapse of faith in American institutions. I think if you're an American who believes the evidence that the House managers laid out, you have to be thinking to yourself tonight, I need to get myself and everybody on my block and everybody in my family to a poll very quickly because otherwise, this President is not going to be held accountable and, you know, I have to say as somebody who grew up with a father who grew up in the Jim Crow south and in Jim Crow Detroit, a lot of what this has looked like from the Republican side, the kind of imagining and the farcical nature of this, the lack of good faith argument sounds very familiar to me and it's — it’s actually quite scary. I think we're at a very scary moment. 

WILLIAMS: I think you just spoke for metric tons of our viewers watching tonight after the day we've been through. Jonathan Lemire, your take. 

JONATHAN LEMIRE: Well, I think that it's not just further evidence that Mitch McConnell has a firm grip on his caucus, and this was not going to go that way, but it also is further evidence that this is — this is President Trump's Republican Party now completely. It has been handed over to him in every way. He is now the first President who will go through an impeachment without witnesses, that Lamar Alexander, yes, he's close to Mitch McConnell, but part of the calculation is also what comes next for him. He's retiring. He's still got to earn a living. He still wants to be able to not suffer a backlash from this President, or I'm sure he also wants to have a profitable future that may be denied him were he to really break with a president right now who has an 80, 85, 89 percent approval rating within his own party. You know, Susan Collins was allowed to vote this way because she needed the cover for her election, because Mitch McConnell wants to keep his majority even more than perhaps President Trump — he wants President Trump to keep the White House and Mitt Romney is sort of his own creation. He's sort of a unique situation there in Utah with his own constituency. So we certainly anticipate there's some chatter tonight that he's on the verge of saying he will be saying yes to witnesses as well, and that has been sort of expected all along, but this is — think about what happens next for the President. Assume this goes as we assume, there's not some 11th hour shock. He will be acquitted perhaps as soon as tomorrow, no later than Saturday. He gets to give on Sunday a victory lap interview on the Super Bowl pregame show, which is one of the most watched events of the year. He gets to deliver his State of the Union on Tuesday staring down the Democrats in the chamber saying I survived impeachment and as the election campaign heats up, he goes in in as strong a position as he could hope. 

(....)

11:44 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: An important guest right now, Charlie Sykes is back with us tonight. He picked up on Trumpism early by listening to his talk radio callers in Wisconsin. He was, as a result, among the first authors to publish books about what he saw as the unfolding dynamic of our times. Charlie called his book appropriately How the Right Lost Its Mind. Charlie, talk about the dynamic that is in the backdrop of every conversation we're having here in this room, the era of submissive office holders. 

CHARLIE SYKES: No, it's interesting that you would use that phrase because I would describe what's going to happen over the next 48 hours as an extraordinary act of self-abasement on the part of Republican senators, who could have finessed this in a very different way and, you know, Mitch McConnell really is now betting the United States Senate on Trump and Trumpism and I think that he's going to pay a tremendous price tag for that because what you have is a United States Senate that is now looking at Donald Trump and in the last few days they've pivoted to saying, yes, he did everything he was accused of doing. He abused his power. He tried to coerce Ukraine into digging up dirt on his opponent, and we don't care. We're really okay with it and we're going to go along with the cover-up by refusing to have witnesses. That is just not a good look, but it's certainly an indication of how absolutely thoroughly Trumpified the Republican Party is and how far a lot of these senators are prepared to go to, I would say, torch their reputations and their legacies by going along with this. 

WILLIAMS: It’s funny. It does take courage to run for any elective office but certainly a U.S. Senate seat in this environment. You are putting yourself out there to the voters. You're saying that anything in my past I'm aware may come up. Some of them are combat veterans who don't scare easily and have faced down Russians and Iraqis, but when it comes to facing down Donald Trump, that's where you get the pullback. 

SYKES: You do and the obvious explanation is a lack of courage. They're afraid of the Trump cult. They're afraid what it will do to their careers, whether they will be excommunicated from the conservative movement, but also, Brian, at some point fear doesn't explain what's happening right now because these things are choices. To choose a dishonorable route is a choice. I also understand the U.S. Senate is a clique and there's personal loyalties, but, again, this is something that — you know, I'm watching the behavior of some of the senators, you know, who frankly look like they are taking their talking points from a Twitter feed and you wonder, you know, don't they have a little bit of pride, or have some of them actually gotten to the point where they believe this? Have they really created their own bubble talking to one another where they actually believe what they are saying? And that's one of the big questions of, you know, how deep this loyalty to Trump goes and quite frankly, what does surprise me is the — you know, Mitch McConnell's willingness or his intention to force a lot of these swing senators like Martha McSally and Cory Gardner into voting to shut down the witnesses, but I will tell you that I think Mitch McConnell is a very savvy operator, but I think he underestimates the backlash to this vote. I think that there's something — that this will offend an innate sense of fairness on the part of a lot of Americans. I think people are going to be a lot more angry on this vote on the witnesses than I think folks in Washington really understand, and it really does put the Senate in play. I mean really for the first time tonight, I think that there is a very good chance for the Democrats to take the Senate because I think you could blow seats in Arizona, in Colorado, in Iowa, in North Carolina, maybe even put Georgia into play because it's one thing to say, okay, the President did it, but we're not going to remove him. But when you basically say several days after this bombshell from John Bolton, yeah, we don't want to hear it. We don't want to know. We don't want you to hear it or know it, that sounds like they're participating in a cover-up. I think they’ll pay a price. 

WILLIAMS: Though you can pre-order John Bolton's book on Amazon. We just can't apparently hear his testimony before the Senate. Charlie Sykes, this is why we invited you on. Some powerful words. We'll keep talking to you as this goes on. Charlie Sykes, our special guest tonight. 

NB Daily 2020 Congressional 2020 Presidential Congress Trump Impeachment MSNBC The 11th Hour with Brian Williams Video Brian Williams Rachel Maddow Michael Steele Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Claire McCaskill Lamar Alexander Charlie Sykes
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