tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 15, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
>> is the constituency that john boehner has been trying to please with this 15-day shutdown essentially satiated that he fought as much as he wanted? thank you all, that is all in for this evening. the rachel maddow show start now. we begin our coverage here almost where we left hit. tonight harry reid and mitch mcconnell are trying to hammer out a bipartisan deal to end the government shutdown and keep the government from blowing past the debt ceiling and defaulting on their national bills. senators reed and mcconnell announced yesterday that they were close to agreement and then the whole thing fell apart in a giant clattering mess. it's been kind of like the movie groundhog day only a little scarier and a lot stranger.
and our story begins here, the speaker of the house, there's no need to adjust your set because this is supposed to be a photo of jim demint. he resigned from the senate back in january and he last served in the senate eight years ago. he might as well based on what happened today the guy who controls the united states house of representatives. john boehner gets to hold the gavel so he controls that but not much more. jim demint no longer holds any office in this country anymore. he now runs a conservative think tank, even though he's no longer in congress, jim demint might as well be the speaker of the house. today we entered day 15 of the government shutdown, just over 24 hours away of defaulting on our national debt, hitting the debt ceiling and running out of money to pay our bills. there are tea party republicans who say they're not worried about the thursday deadline for hitting the debt cells.
china is calling for a deamericanized world because of the quote intensifying domestic political turmoil in the united states. the u.s. was put on notice today from one of the big credit ratings agencies quote, the repeated brinkmanship over the debt rating -- agency is threatening to downgrade america's credit which could cost us billions of dollars in higher interest raiments. those are some of the consequences of letting the u.s. default. it was with that catastrophe getting closer by the hour that senate majority leader mitch mcconnell laid out the frame work for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling temporarily. that was how the nation went to bed last night. the bipartisan plan was taking shape in the senate. the house republicans were set to talk about how to handle it this more. that's where we left the news at
around this time last night. that is not where congress left the news. because late last night, after senators reed and mcconnell announced that they were on the verge of that deal, republican ted cruz went to work. he's been meeting with and delivering pep talks to republicans in the house. telling them not to cave in, not to listen to house republican leadership, not to fear any political consequences and last nights on the news, the senate would be sending over a plan for the house to consider, cruz met with about 20 house republicans at this washington tex-mention joint. according to role call report, the group is a collection of members that have often given -- compromised measures as well as packages crafted by fellow republicans. continuing from roll call quote, the dinner meet wugz held in a private basement room, the group was spotteded by majority whip kevin mccarthy. let's stop there and remember kevin mccarthy's job as the republican whip in the house is to keep republican members in
line, to keep them voting in the right way, the way that leadership wants him to vote. and at the most sensitive possible moment, last night at this tex-mention joint, the republican whip discovers ted cruz not even a member of the house reportedly -- right there in tortilla coast. that tortilla coast summit set the stage for what played out today in washington. because john boehner spent today desperately trying to craft a measure that could get all of those republicans who met with republican ted cruz last night on board. reports trickled out of the -- tinkering with to try to win over the right. over in the senate, both parties gave up talking for a while, gave up to see what boehner could put together. finally, middle of the afternoon, a house vote was scheduled for a republican authored bill to reopen the government and to lift the debt ceiling. boehner set that vote for tonight. that all happened late this afternoon, and the next thing to happen was this.
heritage action announced that it would score that vote, it's the political arm of jim demi demint's heritage foundation. reid has been calling the shutdown a temporary slowdown and we essentially told republicans in congress to keep it going. that left boehner with no choice but to call off the vote, not because he didn't want to pass a bill, not because he didn't want to get this all behind him but because he didn't have the votes. back to senator reid and back to senator mcconnell. there are reports that a deal is imminent. any deal they reach still has to get through the house. john boehner still has to somehow get it done. can he survive getting that done? why should anyone believe he can? he's not been able to do it so far. crashing through the debt ceiling would be -- where does john boehner get the votes to make ur it doesn't happen. joining us right now the robert
cos costa, thanks for being here, robert u appreciate the time. so let's start with the reports we're all hearing about, you know, mcconnell and reid are back to talking again, imminent deal, do we have a basic sense of what the contours of that deal are going to be? >> senate republicans are hoping the house republicans could pass something tonight. but when that plan fell apart, now it goes back to the senate and all the republicans in senate are trying to do is protect sequestratiosequestratiw they're on the ropes and that's all they can possibly get. >> it's generally a deal that the democrats are happy about, given the circumstances. the question then is, a, are we confident that boehner will take this deal that comes out of the senate and actually put it on the floor for a vote in the house? are we confident that will happen? >> i'm not entirely confident of that? they say boehner has two
options, he can accept what the senate brokers tomorrow morning. or heck try to float some kind of six-week extension of simply the debt limit. i think the leadership would like to embrace the senate deal. but as we saw today, the way things are so fragile in the house, boehner may just go for a debt limit extension. >> and do we have any sense of how democrats will respond to is that. >> as much as republicans want to get beyond this impass, as much as republicans are -- boehner starts trying to really tinker with the senate deal, it could be chaos on wednesday and thursday night. >> so it absolutely could. so you're talking about the two choices that boehner sort of e sees himself having right now. this whole issue he's been talking about since he became speaker in 2011, he's auld got to worry about the coup, he's always got to be looking around the corner for the threat to his leader ship. do you think that if he put the deal that was cut by reid and mcconnell on the floor, i think
it's pretty safe to say it would pass, but could he survive something like has a speaker? >> we have seen a lot of political theater from the lead sir ship. they're trying to prove that they're doing everything they can. they're exhausting all possible offers on the table before they accept some kind of deal. that's why tonight's fame your to pass it in the house, on the surface, it's a huge failure for the leadership, but it does show those conservatives on the right that the house can't even come up with an agreement on its own plan, and that's a lesson to them that they have to move toward the senate guiel. >> the dates are floating around out there for if this senate becomes the deal that ends up getting passed in the end and we're able to -- funds the government, the government being open through january 15, we're talking about the next debt ceiling deadline being set for february 7. you look at everything we've just been through the last three weeks, all this dancing around
that boehner has to do, that he still is doing really as we speak right now, is there any sense that we won't go through this all over again in january and early february? >> i think the closer we get to the midterms, there's going to be a reluctance to be another type of showdown. republicans especially in the highways are very interested in the house in having a showdown. let's say it goes into early january of 2014, they want to have a fight on the delay of the individual mandate. obama care is the republican's message ahead of 2014. so don't look for them to relechbt in any way. >> we talked about the announcement from the jim demint, the announcement from heritage that said this is a key vote, if you're a republican in the house, you better be voting against this thing. can you talk about what affect that had on the most conservative members of the house. it's sort of these outside pressure groups or in the case
of cruz as senator coming over and talking to them, what affect that's had on boehner's ability to lead and how that played out today? >> it's easy at first blush to shrug off what happened at tortilla coast meeting with house conservatives. but in the way the republican party functions right now in the house, these are critical events because the leadership has very limited ability, no earmarks to really whip votes, so these outside movement groups like heritage action and movement leaders like senator cruz has been really able to corral votes in the house. they have been, as you said in the introduction, whipping votes in the house. that's something we really have never seen in the american house. >> you know the factions of the republican membership in the house really well. we always hear about there's this really hardcore group of ted cruz republicans in the house and there's secondary layers of that, i guess. if the senate deal the framework or which you're describing goes
to the floor, how many house republicans safely could vote for that? what kind of support do you think it would get? >> it's very fluid, because that block of 50 conservative hard liners they're going to resist it. the question is, does that larger group, i call them the silent majority, 100 to 10 ho40 house republicans who are sort of center right push back against the leadership? that could easily be the case. what does boehner do if his conference is not influenced by him but by that block of 50. >> there's so much sort of craziness in the air today, but the bottom line, do you expect that when this debt default deadline comes later this week, that we will ultimately be in the clear, we will not be having a debt default, are you confident that will at least be the outcome? >> i think speaker boehner from day one says he wants to avoid a default. he said that publicly and
privately, can he bring something to the floor that does do that. i think he has difficulty bringing anything to the floor so we'll have to see. >> robert costa, we thank you very much for joining us tonight t. only clear this inge in this bat system that the republicsen not watvered in its position. [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some financial folks who will talk to them about preparing early for retirement and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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see minority leader nancy pelosi and the rest of her leadership team. one by one, they took turn at the microphone and they all said that the plan republican house leaders were crafting to end the shutdown and avert a default would receive absolutely zero such port from democrats. >> they have to know if it is as it has been described that they'll have to do that with 100% republican votes. >> what's notable here is that the plan that house republicans were working on, the plan that those democratic leaders announced themselves unaltering opposed to. it's a deal the democrats seem ready to support. the main difference is apparently over obama care which takes place in the senate would make relatively small changes to the law, nothing that would seriously underlimine it.
they also weren't target about defunding the law anymore. so why did democrats denounce what they were pla planning to swiftly? it only makes sense when you look at it in the context of the last three we'res, it was a line in the sand that was basically wiped away in the 2010 election. republicans picked up more seats than in any midterm election in almost 75 years. it was back then a sheepish feeling to put it mildly among democrats including the president. >> i'm not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like i did last night. >> that was president obama the day after that shellacking back in november 2010. two years earlier, being elected with the largest share of the vote for any democrat since lbj, now here he was acknowledging just how far public opinion had shifted. i get it, he was telling the country, i was going to change. then the next month after that shellacking but before the new
congress got sworn into office, he made a deal with republicans to extend the bush tax cuts. after losing so badly at the polls, he changed his tune and he cut a deal that also included some new stimulus money. for the most part the left hated it. the polls also showed that the public actually liked it, they liked what they were seeing a real bipartisan deal. so the white house that was take home mess, taagemessage, take a sill tear tone and you get rewarded. the only problem with the plan, bush tax cuts deal in december 2010 was made when democrats had lame duck majorities in the house and the senate. in january 2011, scores of democrats officially left office. a brand-new batch of 63 republican freshman were sworn in, freshman who didn't share the white house's willingness to make deals. this is the backdrop for what became the lowest moment of the
obama presidency. he spent the first seven months of 2011 convinced he could strike a sweeping fiscal deal with that new republican congress. he entered into talks with john boehner as a debt ceiling deadline approached and then he discovered that boehner's caucus were opposed to any deal with obama's name on it. >> comes in the wake of yesterday it's 513-point drop in the dow jones. today the u.s. stock market had finished largely flat. two other big credit rating agencies, moody's and fitch have maintained the aaa rating, though they warned that downgrades were possible in the future a downgrade of course is what the obama administration and congress were hoping to avoid when the president signed a deal to raise the debt ceiling at the very last minute to keep the u.s. from defaulting on its debt. this downgrading of the nation's credit rating is essentially an
indictment of the nation's political process. at roughly 8:20 p.m. eastern time tonight on a night full of confusion as to whether this would happen. s&p went ahead with their downgrade decision. >> it is summer of 201 1rks house republicans claimed the debt cells as leverage and they threatened a default if the president didn't give away the store. took a last-second deal to avoid catastrophe, it's a deal that haunts everyone to this day through what's known as the sequester. markets freaked out in 2011, the credit of the united states was downgraded, the republicans, those dozens of republican freshman who promised never to blink, they walked away from all of that who believed the threat of a shutdown was just standard operating procedure from the -- the line in the sand that had previously prevented debts even hostage taking had to be re-established. >> they have to know if it is as
it has been described that they'll have to do that with 100% republican votes. >> joining us now is congresswoman barbara lee, a democrat of california, a member of the house budget committee. i wonder if we could start with, we talked a little bit about what happened in the summer of 2011 when the president who had been sort of humbled by the 2010 midterms who decided his way back was going to be through compromising and negotiating with republicans and he tried to compromise and negotiate over the debt ceiling with them, he felt that he got burned. i wonder how that experience of watching that all play out and of living through that in 2011 has shape shaped the way you deal with this crisis. >> i did not support that deal, because we saw what was to come. understanding that the tea party republicans once again came here to washington, d.c. to congress to do one thing and that was to dismantle and to decimate government. and we saw that in 2011, we see
that now. this is part of who they are, this is their agenda, this is what they want to do and i think the history that you have recounted tonight, i'm glad you're doing this because people have to remember who the radical extremists are and they are obsessed with denying millions of americans affordable health care. >> and i always thought congresswoman at that moment when that debt ceiling deal, that last second deal that ended up sticking us with the sequester, that was sort of a turning point in the obama presidency, it was after that he went to congress and he had his american jobs acts, he gave his speech in kansas a few months after that. the way he talked about the challenges he was facing in washington to the american people really seemed to change at that moment. is that something that you saw? >> i saw that, but i also have to say that since president obama took office, he has consistently and constantly tried to reach across the aisle, work with republicans to try to
get some bipartisan agreement. when the recovery act came forward, he worked very diligently to try to get them to support it and in fact we put in provisions that i did not want to vote for but because we had worked with the republicans, the president really tried and we did not get one vote for the recovery act. so he's been trying from day one to seek bipartisan agreements. now here we are, very close to a default. i mean, what in the world are these radical individuals who have come to congress trying to do? they're trying to do one thing and that is to dismantle and decimate government and the american people, thank god are realizing this and so hopefully within the next 24 hours, they will come to their senses and speaker boehner will have courage enough to bring the bill forward, what comes from the senate so that we can vote so that we can open the government up, we can make sure that we do not default on our debts, pay our bills and move forward and
try to negotiate a budget that's real for the american people. >> let me ask you a little bit about this deal that seems to be taking shape in the senate right now, in the context of what we're laying out here about sort of stopping the republican party or stopping any opposition party in the future from claiming the debt ceiling, from claiming the government shutdown as leverage. this whole crisis was reprecipitated by republicans looking to gut obama care with these threats. and obama saying there's going to be absolutely no -- the report we're getting and we had robert costa on in the last segment. the report we're getting is that there's probably going to be one small obama care change in the senate deal. it would obama -- subsidies from the federal government for the affordable care act. do you think the fact that anything was changed at all about obama care, if that's the reality and the final zeal.
do you think you've succeeded in re-establishing the tradition of nobody claims the debt ceiling as leverage, or do you think that anything that was -- >> we don't know exactly what's taking place, what will be in the senate agreement. but i can tell you one thing, the american people understand that the radical right wing republicans have held this country hostage, they created this shutdown, people need to go back to work, government services meet to be provided and we must pay our bills and we must not default on our debt. none of these issues should be negotiated. this is a given. we pay our bills and we keep the government open. the rest of the world is looking, watching us and can you imagine what people are thinking? here we are saying that we're going to negotiate or at least the radical tea party extremists want to negotiate on paying our bills and want to negotiate to open up the government. that is unacceptable.
we need to pass what we call a cr, which is a budget bill at a level that i detest really, it's too low with the sequester level, but we need to pass that so we can get to a real budget committee and begin to talk about how we move forward. that's what we need to do. we have compromised quite a bit so we need to put the bill up. we need to ask the speak tore have some courage, i know that there are enough republicans to vote for that bill. we need to do that and move on. >> barbara lee, thank you for joining us tonight. is the democratic party is as united 'we have ever southeastern it, the republican party is as divided as we have ever seen it.
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choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. there are a couple of ways of thinking about the republican party dysfunction that's at the heart of all the suspension now playing out in washington. one is that it's just a phase, that the tea party uprising has temporarily paralyzed the gop. it's also scared the daylights
out of republican office holders who aren't true believers but they bite their tongues and play along with the tea party anyway. maybe it will all pass. the poisonous poll numbers will take a real toll and scare some of the true believers straight. maybe the passions of the base will cool off. the true believers will slowly realize that they can't get everything they want if the party isn't big enough to win national elections, that is the happy ending the republican party establishment is hoping for. it won't happen next week, it won't happen next month, but eventually they hope the gop will evofl back into a relatively healthy, relatively functional political party. but when you watch the increasingly extraordinarily lengths that john boehner has to go through to do things like i investigator a defought. we're sitting here on the eve of a default. what if this isn't just a
passing phase in the history of the republican party. what if we're living through a bigger more fundmental turns point. we think of the democrats and republicans as ageless, eternal entities and they have been the two major parties in the country for 150 years now. about the only thing that the party has kept for all those years is it's name. once upon a time there was no one more in love with the republican party than the south. harry truman integrated the military. when lbj signed the civil rights act in 1964, which through a series of eventings like that that the white house south split off from the democratic party. that series of events also marked the berth of the modern republican party. for generations after the civil war, there was basically no such thing as the republican party in the south. because the gop had been the party of northern liberals, anti-segregation. but when those white southerners
came up for grabs -- together they changed -- they shaped and he defined the modern republican party. and sometimes parties don't even get to keep their names. sometimes they just disappear. mentions the whig party might get you a laugh these days, but it was a real party leading up to the civil war. the whig strong up in the 1830s to fight andrew jackson, they wanted to push for national bank, infrastructure improvements. they wanted the federal government to create a situation that was -- preferred the idea of an agrarian nation. henry clay was one, daniel webster was one, some young congressman named abr abe braha lincoln was one of them. the coalition the party depended on wasn't stable. it became impossible to avoid the issue of slavery. on that issue there was just no
common ground. the wh girkss of the north became the republicans and the whigs of the south became democrats. h r if one thing is clear right now, it's the coalition that defines today's republican party isn't stable, at least not at this moment. republicans have been the party of business for a long time. it's where they raise their money, it's where they recruit a lot of their candidates from. how many times have they invoked job creators these past few years. we're watching the interests of the tea party and the interests of the business community diverge. businesses hate the idea of a default. they can't understand why a quest to defawned obama care is linked to the -- establishment figures like john boehner are stumped about what to do about this. actually i'm stumped too. because i can't see how the
alliance between business money and tea party populism can last. how the american constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism. i guess i'll start with that point about what looks to me about the instability of today's republican coalition, with the business community on one hand and the tea party populace on the other. it's so striking to me how liberal the tea party populace same to care about what business is telling them. >> it's great to see you do history which is so rare on commercial television. i'll give you another analogy, you take it to the 1940s when robert taft -- main street conservatives against the wall street moderates, it was wendell
willingy and tom buoy, but the moderates prevailed. they prevailed up until barry goldwater was able to secure a nomination and he got whomped. and ronald reagan came in as one of those insurgents but governed as a pragmatist. we're seeing a wing that is much more radical than what robert taft represented. and the business community has no place to go. but it's so difficult in our system for a third party to emerge or a party to splinter because it's not likely to me that the business community or there's no moderate wing really of the republican party left, the pragmatic conservatives will go over to the democratic party and i don't think they have the resources at this point to basically win the party back from the more radical wing. so i think this is going to go on for a while and it's possible
we'll see an independent candidate emerge for president in 2016. but i don't see a bunch of candidates running for congress or having any chance of winning. >> i'm glad you appreciate the history because we have got taft, we have got the whig party, this is ratings gold for prime time i'm sure. but i wonder sometimes when i look at what happened today in the house, when i look at john boehner, he clearly wants to get this behind him. he's clearly wanted to get this behind him for a long time. and he would like to be able to get republicans to agree on what he's proposing today. he's undercut completely by an outside group. he's undercut by a member of the senate -- he would have more influence at an outside group. it seems like that's a major source of dysfunction in a major political party. anybody in john boehner's position isn't going to be able to do anything. >> tribal media which have such enormous power, it's talk radio,
it's cable television, it's blogs joined with the new politics of money that's given such enormous power to these outside groups, not the business groups so much but the more radical groups really have put enormous pressure on establishment leaders. in the book you mentioned, we brought it up to date with a new paper back edition have focused more on the outside forces than the inside ones. the unfortunate really is that there aren't going to be any reforms that are going to change this process. what we need is a courter revolution from pragmatic conservatives to begin to put money in to counter the influence of groups like the counter approach to counter the heritage actions and bring their party back, not to be a moderate party or a liberal party, but a straight forward and pretty ardently conservative party instead of a radical one. right now those effortses are
very, very fledgling, we're going to back again in january with friday the 13th part four, and we may begin to activate that. >> what do you think happens with what we're hearing january 15, if this all passes, if this gets resolved this week, january would be the new deadline, february 7 would be the next debt ceiling default. do you think democrats have succeeded here at all changing the nornls of the system so that republicans won't do this again, or do you think we will go through the brinkmanship again and do you think that boehner having gone through what he's going through right now have anything to do -- >> i think what the limbaughs and huckabees and cruzs are going to be saying after all this is our spineless leaders folded. if they had only held on. if they kept the government shut, if they had gone through a default, which really wouldn't do much of anything for the
economy that obama would have cracked and we would have gotten what we wanted. i think that's going to make life more difficult for both mitch mcconnell and john boehner when we get back to this in january. they're not going to be closer to having a party that's chasen, that they have damaged themselves deep low and thdeepl. >> all right, resident scholar at the american enterprise institute, author of the book, "it's even worse than it looks." also tonight our senior whig party analyst, thank you for joining us tonight. still ahead t political event that eventually led to this debt ceiling debacle in the first place. i'll give you a hint, there's a witch involved. [ woman ] too weak.
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particular lly exciting for me because the district is my home district. this hasn't gotten much national attention except for this particularly great campaign ad that went viral last month for one of the least likely candidates to win the race. >> i'm carl sar teen know and i'll never forget that conversation with my dad. >> that's me. >> wait for this. >> i had to tell him that i was a massachusetts liberal. >> and he's proud of it. >> dad's in the tea party. >> damn right. it was bad enough to take on the big banks and corporations and their legislature. >> they weren't paying their fair share in taxes and. >> they wrote the buffer done law. >> it's gone all the way to the supreme court. i was kind of proud of that. >> but here the one that drives him crazy. >> they wanted to go to the congress, they got the nra and the tea party. background checks or banning high capacity magazines. >> there's some things you don't stop fighting for.
also the right to choose, equal pay for women and equal rights for, well, everybody. >> he's been like this for 35 years. >> that's why approve this message and i still love you, dad. >> me too, son. >> state representative -- had next to zero chance of actually winning tonight's democratic primary. his ad which was seen by hundreds of thousands of people on the web alone, put him on the map and gave him some visibility in a severely crowded feel. there were two democrats running against congressman ed markey who won the race to replace john kerry in the senate. he first won it back in 1976. he actually won it with a very catchy campaign ad. it is one of the bluest in the state that's already very blue. making it the deciding election
for thiss congress it seat. state senator catherine clak hardcore declared the winner with 33% of the vote. tonight's democratic nominee, r the nomination. special election held in d congress. the next one when voters go off to the poll in the special wednesday election to pick the new u.s. senator. democrat with national appeal, cory booker or tea party republican, watch this space.
whether even house republican whose in their hearts would like to vote for the bill will decide it is in their political self-interest to vote no any y way. this is stoery that led us to te moment. 26 hours from the default. the story that led us into the shutdown. the story that took us from one pointless, destructive, maddening episode of brinkmanship to another since republicans gained control of the house. the story of why a sophomore republican house member with no leadership, no legislative accomplishments, why he can threaten as he did today, fellow republicans with primary challenges why the fellow republicans will take him seriously. to understand all of this, to make sense of what seems to be an endless string of moments like this, all you have to do is go back to one specific night, three years ago. the evening of september 14th, 2010, in the state of delaware. >> virtually unknown a few weeks ago. this morning she is officially the gop candidate for the senate seat vacated by vice president
joe biden. >> defeated nine-term mike castle in the senate primary. now the sixth tea party candidate to within a primary race this year. >> i really think that day and that race is the root of everything we're living through right now. of the political stalemate that is basically defiend waned wash and promises to do so through the end of barack obama's presidency at least. the delaware senate race explains it all. explains the basic nature of the tea party uprising, an uprising that wasn't just directed at obama and the democrats. an uprising aimed at republicans. because of how the conservative base, how the tea party, chose to explain obama's election in 2008. couldn't tell themselves their ideology had been repudiated. americans had rejected conservatism and embraced the philosophy. they came up with a story that blamed george w. bush and
republicans in wash work who supported him. they're telling, bush betrayed the cause as president. spent too much money. attacked government too little. he bailed out the banks. he had given conservatism a bad name which left votersfrit frit -- desperately searching for a new candidate, obama. it explained obama's victory. how the tea party became something of a purification movement to cleanse the party of the sellouts who helped bush, who spoiled conservative sconse castle, the guy who lost to christine mcdonnell, was the textbook republican, in washington, in politics a lot longer. he was hey hod r he voted for no child left be behind. mike castle was the republican that the tea party rose up to fight.
2 2010 delaware election, a former lieutenant-governor, governor, eight term congressman from the state's lone district. impeccably credentialed, opposed by a gadfly with no name recognition, no money, no experience and incredible, obvious, political baggage. >> i'm not a witch. i'm any nothing you have heard. i'm you. none of us are perfect. but none of us can be happy with what we see all around us. i'll go to washington and do what you'd do. i'm christine o'donnell, and i approve this message. >> that gadfly candidate who had to pay money to tell people she wasn't a witch, she won the primary. o'donnell's victory showed as far as the base was concerned. literally anyone was better than some one like mike cass who'll had experience and money and endorsement of the republican party. >> the last several weeks have been spirited shall we say. and -- the -- the voters in the
republican primary have spoken. i respect that decision. i would tluk thalike to thank t republican party for its support. i had a very nice speech prepared here. hoping i would win this race. >> the primary explained how little tea party cares about winning elections. outside of the gop base, castle was immensely popular in delaware. general election shoo-in. a guaranteed senate seat pickup for the gop. a guaranteed loser, fringe, far right figure in a blue state. this was obvious on primary day. the base picked o'donnell anyway. of course he was crushed in november, and democrats won the senate race they were otherwise going to lose. that whole story how castle was targeted, how castle was beaten, whom castle was beaten by, that story is the ro ssetta stone. if you understand what happened to him. why it happened to him. you understand everything that has gone on in washington since then. why we are in a shutdown the why we are staring down the barrel
of debt default now. the story of mike castle and christine o'donnell sums up the threat that every republican member of congress lives with every day. if they're judged to be conservative, judged to be disloyal to the cause, disloyal to the tribe, if they give an inch of space on their right they could become the tea party's next target. if the tea party targitets you they can beat you with anybody. the lesson of delaware. that lesson that lives in the office of every member of congress. september 14, 2010, we are living with what happened that day. as long as we are, there is no obvious way out of the mess that is washington these days. that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back tomorrow night. remember see my show "up" weekend mornings at 8:00 eastern. now time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. house republicans discover they don't have the votes for any of their crazy idea. and now once again it falls to the united states senate to find
a way out of this mess. high drama over the government shutdown and debt ceiling. >> we made tremendous progress. >> we had a good day. >> i share his optimism. >> we may be on the verge of a deal that could end the government shutdown. >> weep just talked to our members. it's been very clear. >> there are a lot of opinions about what direct tugs ion to g. >> house republicans offering a new plan. >> that add demand to a bipartisan deal. >> sabotaging a good thing -- >> the senate is working on. >> this is very, very damaging. >> they learned nothing. >> reckless, irresponsible. radical. >> playing to the lowest possible comb mmon denominator. >> why? >> the house deal collapsed. >> john boehner does not have the votes. >> is he in control. >> one member said it was a caca sandwich. >> a lot of opinions about what direction to go. >> boehner is still held