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Todd Claims McCarthy, GOP Trying to Out-George Wallace Each Other

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After the House voted to censure and kick Rep. Paul Gosar off his committees, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd on Thursday tried to paint Gosar as representative of the Republican Party as a whole by comparing Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to segregationist George Wallace as he tries to become Speaker.

Former John Boehner and Paul Ryan adviser Michael Steel had just hypothesized that if Republicans do well in next year’s midterms, it might make it easier for them to marginalize their more fringe members when Todd claimed: “that is extraordinarily optimistic.”

Moving away from Gosar, Todd shifted to McCarthy: 

But Michael Steel, you have been watching him up close as long as any of us and in some ways had a better seat than any of us. When he lost the speakership the first time it reminds me, it looks like he’s made the same decision George Wallace made when he didn’t win his first Democratic Primary for governor at Alabama to Big Jim Folsom and if you don’t  know the story, I just tell people go find out the story. McCarthy was never going to get out Freedom Caucus-ed again.

What Todd was referring to were Wallace’s quotes like “You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about n——, and they stomped the floor.”

After Steel more or less repeated himself, Todd asked, “What’s this Congress going to look like in 2023, Michael?”

Unlike so many Republican voices on MSNBC, Steel expressed some hope for the future, while also claiming Democrats overstepped:

I hope better is all I can say. I mean, Paul Gosar did something dangerous and stupid. It is not the first time he has done something dangerous and stupid. He should have been referred to the Ethics Committee, which has the power to expel him from Congress. I don’t think this knee jerk vote from Washington Democrats was smart. I think it set a bad precedent, and it’s going to make it harder, not easier to restore civility and govern in a responsible way going forward. 

Todd then turned to Congressional correspondent Garrett Haake, who just repeated Democratic talking points on the matter, and failed to recall even one example of Democrats protecting and embracing their own bigoted members.

Todd’s hypocrisy did not cease there as he turned to Punchbowl CEO Anna Palmer, “Essentially what Mark Meadows and Marjorie Taylor Greene are arguing about Kevin McCarthy is, it’s time to run the Republican party like the Politburo, the old Politburos, which is everybody votes the same, and if you don’t, you’re out. Is that a, is that governable, I mean, is that, is that a realistic way to go govern?”

If Todd thinks party-line votes are bad, just wait until he sees what progressive activists do to members of their own party. 

This segment was sponsored by T-Mobile.

Here is a transcript for the November 18 show:

MSNBC

MTP Daily

1:10 PM ET

CHUCK TODD: Well, I, that is extraordinarily optimistic. But Michael Steel, you have been watching him up close as long as any of us and in some ways had a better seat than any of us. When he lost the speakership the first time it reminds me, it looks like he’s made the same decision George Wallace made when he didn’t win his first Democratic Primary for governor at Alabama to Big Jim Folsom — and if you don’t  know the story, I just tell people go find out the story — McCarthy was never going to get out Freedom Caucus-ed again.

MICHAEL STEEL: I think that winning the majority is about keeping all the frogs in the wheelbarrow and some of the frogs have gotten pretty ugly, but you still need them in the wheelbarrow, at least until Election Day. 

TODD: Alright, but let me ask you this because you have the quote that I have been quoting to others a whole bunch last week, and I want to make sure I get it right, because I’d like you to talk a bit more about it. You said “if public service is increasingly unappealing, our public servants will be increasingly unappealing.”

STEEL: Absolutely.

TODD: What’s this Congress going to look like in 2023, Michael? 

STEEL: I hope better is all I can say. I mean, Paul Gosar did something dangerous and stupid. It is not the first time he has done something dangerous and stupid. He should have been referred to the Ethics Committee, which has the power to expel him from Congress. I don’t think this knee jerk vote from Washington Democrats was smart. I think it set a bad precedent, and it’s going to make it harder, not easier to restore civility and govern in a responsible way going forward.

TODD: Garrett, have you had heard any quiet — any of that from some House, long time House Democrats about, hey, did they go about this the right way in trying to punish Gosar? 

GARRETT HAAKE: I think in this case, Democrats felt like they had to stick together, and they still have the taste in their mouth of dealing with Marjorie Taylor Greene earlier this year, the impeachment votes. I mean, you can’t take this out of context. January 6th, Democrats just don’t believe they’ve got a partner working in good faith on the other side that would in any circumstance be willing to punish one of their members and so they felt like they had to go it alone. I think that’s the bottom line, the total breakdown of the possibility that the other side might look at any of these issues as seriously as they feel like they are. 

TODD: And Anna, I’m just trying to figure out how governing works. Essentially what Mark Meadows and Marjorie Taylor Greene are both arguing about Kevin McCarthy is, it’s time to run the Republican party like the Politburo, the old Politburos, which is everybody votes the same, and if you don’t, you’re out. Is that a, is that governable, I mean, is that, is that a realistic way to go govern? I know the House kind of is more likely to work that way than the Senate, but this seems to be a tough place to begin. 

(…)

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