SORE WINNERS: MSNBC Spends Night Lashing Out at Republicans

Despite Tuesday night showing a Democratic sweep in the Georgia Senate runoff election, the mood on MSNBC was anything but joyous. Instead, various hosts and panelists threw a pity party for fellow leftists, bemoaning supposed Republican voter suppression efforts and insisting Republicans should be shamed from political life as un-American racists who won’t win another presidential election.

Feigning concern for the GOP’s future, MSNBC political analyst and Lincoln Project senior advisor Michael Steele griped in the 10:30 p.m. Eastern half-hour that the Democrats would win because Republicans “allowed it to happen this way” and that they should think on their sins.

Deadline: White House host and fellow faux Republican Nicolle Wallace spent much of the evening in a state of demoralization instead of euphoria, bemoaning “[t]he information stream has been so poisoned” by views contrary to hers and that false claims about the election being stolen will make Joe Biden’s unity pledge harder to achieve.

Even though the 11:00 p.m. Eastern hour continued to show victories for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, MSNBC exploded with bouts of dismay.

ReidOut host Joy Reid repeatedly warned of Republican voter suppression efforts and trotted out the false claim that Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) stole the 2018 gubernatorial race from Stacey Abrams (click “expand”):

I mean, look, if you’ve paid attention to Georgia politics over the last, you know, many years really going back to the Stacey Abrams race, Georgia is not a state that tends to make it easy to vote to say the least. There have been voter purges. There have been questions over signature matching. There were massive purges conducted by the exact same secretary of state who’s getting praised for standing up to Donald Trump like a sort of intervention on that maybe illegal call and by the governor, Brian Kemp, who got in — he was the former secretary of state and was basically his own referee. So, it doesn’t surprise me there would be delays and issues that then come right back down to majority black counties because suppressing black and non-white votes is kind of the business of Republicans in Georgia I hate to say.

But I think you’ve seen there’s been a push-pull because of that. Because of the suppression and because of the historic nature of Raphael Warnock, quite frankly, both of them are historic candidates. The — he would — I don’t know if he would be the first Jewish senator, but he could be, in terms of Ossoff, but in terms of Raphael Warnock, he’s a historic figure who’s also a known figure who’s also seated in the middle of a vicious attack on the black church and black faith, right? And then you have Ossoff who worked for John Lewis whose ghost appears to have be having some direction, you know, on the aspect of what we’re seeing here. So, the whole thing, it’s sort of poetic, right, it’s going to come down to delays in majority black counties. That’s how Georgia was — how Georgia politics is kind of built.

Wallace picked up on her previous gripe, lamenting without evidence that the right writ large will see Ossoff and Warnock as illegitimate senators and anyone was “delusional” if they disagreed with her.

“Trump allies are already hedging their bets and beginning the delegitimization of them. And it’s a bleak little footnote to what is shaping up to be a night Democrats should feel very deeply optimistic about. But it is the new reality and it’s the new normal…But the playbook and the damage and the lies and the efforts to delegitimize these candidates are already underway,” she added.

Even though Democrats have won states like Arizona and Georgia, Maddow and Reid continued teeing off on these alleged Republican voter suppression efforts. They also warned that those evil, conniving GOPers will find new ways to prevent racial minorities from voting because they see them as less-than-human (click “expand”):

REID: I think what you’re going to see next, unfortunately, and the history of the people who are governing that state right now, and you’re going to see it around the country, the idea we’re going to have commissions to talk about voter fraud and it’s all focused on these non-white or plural — where there’s pluralities of non-white voters, places like Fulton County, places like Detroit, places like Milwaukee. You’re going to probably see epic attempts at new ways to make it almost impossible for black and brown people to vote. The hurdles are going to get higher — legislatively higher because we don’t even have the full Voting Rights Act to protect the vote. It’s the same thing that happened when Barack Obama got elected against all odds as the first black president. The minute that the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act you saw Republicans go right after, immediately after black and brown voters, and you’re going to see it again. I fear that the next legislative session in Georgia will be the same people who are getting lots of hand claps from the media for doing the right thing with Donald Trump enacting vicious voter suppression laws in places like Georgia.

(….)

MADDOW: [Republicans have] been trying to make it more difficult to vote the entire time that I’ve been alive and before. But they can turn — whether or not they believe what these fantasies that trump is spilling — spinning about the lizard people and the pedophiles taking his election from him, they can use that manufactured crisis for their own purposes and you’ll see at the federal level, you’ll see it everywhere that Republicans have power. Whether or not they endorse the craziness for the President, they will use what he has stirred up along those lines to enact voter suppressive policies wherever they can, and that’s — that’s the political science benefit of being ruthless in terms of always staying on offense.

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(….)

REID: Exactly. And black voters and brown voters, voters of color hear them. I think they almost feel they’re speaking in a vacuum, but non-white voters, Latino voters, indigenous voters, Asian-Americans voters, black voters have now heard the Republican party essentially say that no election in which non-white voters make the difference in terms of pushing an election in one direction, that is fundamentally illegitimate, that only Republicans can be elected legitimately as Jemele Bouie wrote in this piece today. They’re essentially saying your votes are invalid on their face because you are not white voters, your votes never count and that we will do everything including break the Constitution to make them not count. What do they think that these voters are going to hear down the road as more and more and more voters of color turn 18 and start to vote?

Amidst Maddow and Reid’s back-and-forth, Wallace chimed in with more venom for Republicans, boasting that Republican challenges to Biden’s Electoral College victory was ironic because the Electoral College “is the only scenario that Republicans ever win the White House, ever, ever, ever, so you want to trash the electoral vote, go ahead because the other scenario is that you’ll lose forever.”

Even though it was making a point that brings her tremendous joy, Wallace seemed agitated in lecturing Republicans that they’ll never win another presidential election:

The idea they’re going to trash and lift their leg and desecrate what we do tomorrow, which is really ceremonial. It’s — it’s — it’s part of the process that isn’t supposed to be political, isn’t supposed to be the kind of crisis that renders all four of us anchoring hours and hours of coverage tomorrow, but it is because they’re Republicans. And if they succeed in trashing that, they will never win another presidential election again ever. Because the only other scenario is the popular vote.

Taken all together, let this be yet another reminder that, even when they get what they want, liberals and progressives will always be fundamentally unhappy people.

This hatred for any and all contrary views was made possible by (and thus supported by) advertisers such as Chase, One-A-Day, and Subaru. Follow the links to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant MSNBC transcript from January 5, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Georgia Runoffs: Fight for the Senate
January 5, 2020
10:31 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Michael Steele, Donald Trump is going to speak to a rally tomorrow in Washington in the morning. If this does not go the Republicans’ way, what does he have left in his bag to — to pull out, what does he have left to tell the crowd?

MICHAEL STEELE: Ah, the blaming will begin. Ah, he will blame the secretary of state. He will blame the governor. He will blame political operatives on the ground that didn’t adhere to his wishes earlier in the process to, you know, flip the vote in Georgia. He will discount and largely ignore any — any — hand he may have had, rhetorically or otherwise, in sort of stemming the tide of the vote, the Republican vote, in a state, as I said on election night, that the Republican Party should win. This should not be close. This should not be a conversation for us at this point. In fact, Brian, we should be going for beers right about now because the evening would have been over and the reality of it is, it’s not, because of what this President has done to the Republican Party and I’ll say it one more time so every Republican will understand. This happened the way this happened because you’ve allowed it to happen this way. And instead of holding the line on the principles that have defined the party that base and Republicans and center right voters around the country and certainly in a state like Georgia could lean into, you gave them a reason to lean away.

WILLIAMS: Hmmm.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Historically it takes your breath away. Robert Gibbs, I want to follow up on that point in the context of what President-Elect Biden will inherit regardless of which way these races go tonight. The information stream has been so poisoned by what Michael Steele just described. And it’s President-Elect Biden who has publicly declared his intention to govern for all Americans, including the ones that didn’t vote for him. It seems to me that that task continues to get harder. There’s reporting that’s broken tonight, Donald Trump is now rapidly responding to The New York Times reporting that Vice President Pence told him that there was nothing —

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ROBERT GIBBS: Right.

WALLACE: — in his ceremonial role tomorrow that he could do to change the result. His war on democracy is ongoing. We’re just getting around to calling it what it is, which is a coup attempt.

(….)

11:09 p.m. Eastern

RACHEL MADDOW: I mean, look, if you’ve paid attention to Georgia politics over the last, you know, many years really going back to the Stacey Abrams race, Georgia is not a state that tends to make it easy to vote to say the least. There have been voter purges. There have been questions over signature matching. There were massive purges conducted by the exact same secretary of state who’s getting praised for standing up to Donald Trump like a sort of intervention on that maybe illegal call and by the governor, Brian Kemp, who got in — he was the former secretary of state and was basically his own referee. So, it doesn’t surprise me there would be delays and issues that then come right back down to majority black counties because suppressing black and non-white votes is kind of the business of Republicans in Georgia I hate to say. But I think you’ve seen there’s been a push-pull because of that. Because of the suppression and because of the historic nature of Raphael Warnock, quite frankly, both of them are historic candidates. The — he would — I don’t know if he would be the first Jewish senator, but he could be, in terms of Ossoff, but in terms of Raphael Warnock, he’s a historic figure who’s also a known figure who’s also seated in the middle of a vicious attack on the black church and black faith, right? And then you have Ossoff who worked for John Lewis whose ghost appears to have be having some direction, you know, on the aspect of what we’re seeing here. So, the whole thing, it’s sort of poetic, right, it’s going to come down to delays in majority black counties. That’s how Georgia was — how Georgia politics is kind of built.

WALLACE: And the other thing I would add, Rachel, is that the Republicans can see a lot of the same things that Steve Kornacki can see, and tonight a lot of the Twitter flags are on not just Trump tweets. He’s got plenty of flags himself, but on people calling the race and already assigning blame. And that’s going on on Drudge and that’s going on in right-wing circles and Donald Trump is already trotting out allegations of fraud, so this conversation about disinformation and delegitimizing the kinds of figures that are historic for the very reasons that Joy is articulating is already underway. And anyone who thinks this isn’t the new playbook from Donald Trump’s Republican Party is delusional. The disinformation has started. The races haven’t been called. We don’t know for sure how they’re going to end. We don’t know who’s going to win, but Republicans, Trump allies are already hedging their bets and beginning the delegitimization of them. And it’s a bleak little footnote to what is shaping up to be a night Democrats should feel very deeply optimistic about. But it is the new reality and it’s the new normal. And I think you’ll start to hear a lot of questions from Trump and his allies, if they haven’t started already by tomorrow morning. And it’s just a remind that this — all of these actions have a tale in Trump’s efforts to claim fraud when there was none. This was the most secure election in American history, so said the life-long Republican in charge of securing it. There was no fraud. There was no legal case. There were 60 cases. Trump lost all of them. But the playbook and the damage and the lies and the efforts to delegitimize these candidates are already under way.

MADDOW: And —

REID: And can I just add to that very quickly?

MADDOW: No, Joy, you go.

REID: I’m sorry, that — that — I think what you’re going to see next, unfortunately, and the history of the people who are governing that state right now, and you’re going to see it around the country, the idea we’re going to have commissions to talk about voter fraud and it’s all focused on these non-white or plural — where there’s pluralities of non-white voters, places like Fulton County, places like Detroit, places like Milwaukee. You’re going to probably see epic attempts at new ways to make it almost impossible for black and brown people to vote. The hurdles are going to get higher — legislatively higher because we don’t even have the full Voting Rights Act to protect the vote. It’s the same thing that happened when Barack Obama got elected against all odds as the first black president. The minute that the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act you saw Republicans go right after, immediately after black and brown voters, and you’re going to see it again. I fear that the next legislative session in Georgia will be the same people who are getting lots of hand claps from the media for doing the right thing with Donald Trump enacting vicious voter suppression laws in places like Georgia.

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MADDOW: I was going to say that exact same thing, which is that I mean part of the political benefit of always staying on offense, ruthlessly staying on offense even when you don’t have the facts on your side is that you force other people to accommodate you, to sort of make space for you. And so, you know, if you’re Ted Cruz sitting there in the United States Senate thinking about yourself as a potential future president, you know, Donald Trump says I didn’t lose the election. The election was stolen from me, and Ted Cruz decides that he’s going to run with that. And how’s he going to run with it? He’s going to run with it in a way that uses that manufactured crisis in a way will benefit himself and his party in future ways. And so what Ted Cruz says is I’m going to object to the seating of the electors because we need a commission to study all these accusations of fraud. Well, what is that commission going to conclude? If you take those false allegations of fraud seriously, you’re going to come up with some conclusion that voting needs to be made more difficult. And of course that serves the Republican Party’s interests. They’ve been trying to make it more difficult to vote the entire time that I’ve been alive and before. But they can turn — whether or not they believe what these fantasies that trump is spilling — spinning about the lizard people and the pedophiles taking his election from him, they can use that manufactured crisis for their own purposes and you’ll see at the federal level, you’ll see it everywhere that Republicans have power. Whether or not they endorse the craziness for the President, they will use what he has stirred up along those lines to enact voter suppressive policies wherever they can, and that’s — that’s the political science benefit of being ruthless in terms of always staying on offense.

WALLACE: Let — let me add one more thing, Rachel. That is also the consternation in some conservative circles about the attack on what’s happening tomorrow. The attack tomorrow is an attack on the very way of voting that is the only scenario that Republicans ever win the White House, ever, ever, ever. So you want to trash the electoral vote —

MADDOW: Or the Electoral College.

WALLACE: — go ahead because the other scenario is that you’ll lose forever. So you know, at some level, maybe there’s something Machiavellian in helping them. The idea they’re going to trash and lift their leg and desecrate what we do tomorrow, which is really ceremonial. It’s — it’s — it’s part of the process that isn’t supposed to be political, isn’t supposed to be the kind of crisis that renders all four of us anchoring hours and hours of coverage tomorrow, but it is because they’re Republicans

REID: Yeah.

WALLACE: And if they succeed in trashing that, they will never win another presidential election again ever. Because the only other scenario is the popular vote.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: I — I — I —

REID: Exactly. And black voters and brown voters, voters of color hear them. I think they almost feel they’re speaking in a vacuum, but non-white voters, Latino voters, indigenous voters, Asian-Americans voters, black voters have now heard the Republican party essentially say that no election in which non-white voters make the difference in terms of pushing an election in one direction, that is fundamentally illegitimate, that only Republicans can be elected legitimately as Jemele Bouie wrote in this piece today. They’re essentially saying your votes are invalid on their face because you are not white voters, your votes never count and that we will do everything including break the Constitution to make them not count. What do they think that these voters are going to hear down the road as more and more and more voters of color turn 18 and start to vote? How do you think they’re going to feel about that? They’re condemning themselves as Nicolle just said, they’re condemning themselves to a position they can only enact minority rule through things like the Electoral College, and guess what Democrats are going to do when they have a power in a big enough majority? They’re going to get rid of it. The Republicans in the end will be responsible for the end of the Electoral College, if it ends.

MADDOW: The jujitsu move by the Democrats tomorrow would be like the surprise —

WALLACE: Right.

MADDOW: — non-defense —

WALLACE: Go ahead.

REID: Yeah.

MADDOW: — against the objections and be like, oh —

REID: Oh, do it.

MADDOW: — you’re right.

WALLACE: Knock yourselves out.

MADDOW: Exactly, knock yourselves out.

REID: Get rid of the E.C.

MADDOW: Joe Biden — Joe Biden will be the next president, but you’re right this Electoral College thing? Phew! Got to go.

REID: Got to go.

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