tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC November 5, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
affordable care act. but then there's a lot who don't know how to legislate or offer amendments. i do think you need to have that symbolic vote so nobody from the right said i stood tonight on "all in." >> two-thirds of people who are eligible to vote just didn't vote. >> republicans regain the senate and they're already about to have their first big fight. >> it's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. >> as the president promises executive action on immigration. >> before the end of the year, we're going to take whatever lawful actions that i can take, that i believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system. >> plus, we'll look at how all politics are now national and why obstruction works for the republican party. then, the race results you might
have missed last night. and why vermont's wild gubernatorial race still hasn't been resolved. >> um. i am a revolutionary nonviolent socialist. >> i consider myself what is known as a light worker. >> you are uncivilized. >> "all in" starts right now. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. if you thought last night was ugly, wait for the battle looming next between president obama and the republican majority. it was a historic midterm election for republicans yesterday. they picked up at least seven senate seats taking control of that chamber and at least 14 house seats, giving them their largest majority in the house since 1928. add 24 gubernatorial races, three statehouses picked up republicans, and you've got yourself a wave. but less than 24 hours after those victories, the capital is already gearing up for the next
big fight and that will be over immigration. resumptive new senate majority leader mitch mcconnell warned the president explicitly away from taking any executive action on immigration as the president has already promised he will do. >> i think the president choosing to do a lot of things unilaterally on immigration would be a big mistake. it's an issue that most of my members want to address legislatively. and it's like waving a red flag in front of a bull to say, if you guys don't do what i want, i'm going to do it on my own. >> in june of this year, president obama promised to take executive action on immigration by the end of the summer to provide some kind of a legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants in the
wake of the house stonewalling comprehensive immigration reform. four months later he delayed that action under pressure from democratic senators in what they thought were tight races. senators like mark pryor from arkansas who lost last night to tom cotton by 17 points and kay hagan who lost her seat in an upset in north carolina to thom tillis. given last night's blood bath and mcconnell's warning shot today, it was easy to assume the president would back off. lots of commentators last night drew that conclusion and immigration reform or at least executive action would finally officially be declared dead. but here's what's happened today. the president came out stunning 75-minute press conference and he did exactly the opposite of what everyone expected, promising to, several times, absolutely act by the end of the year. >> before the end of the year, we're going to take whatever lawful actions that i can take that i believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system. what i won't do is just wait. i think it's fair to say that i've shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a
bipartisan basis as much as possible. i have no doubt that there will be some republicans who are angered or frustrated by any executive action that i may take. those are folks, i just have to say, who are also deeply opposed to immigration reform in any form. >> joining me a democrat from cal who just won re-election last night. chairman of the house caucus. congratulations on your win last night. not a guaranteed thing given what happened to some of your colleagues. >> thanks, chris. >> here's what republicans will say, i don't think it's ridiculous or implausible. they'll say we blocked comprehensive immigration reform. americans went to the polls and they gave us 14 new seats in the
house of representatives and now you're going to go do executive action in the wake of one of the worst midterm losses in recent memory, at least since 2010. isn't that a big thumb in the eye of the electorate? >> chris, no, that is a system in government doesn't work right and everyone agrees the immigration system is broken doesn't mean you stop wanting to make it work better. everyone wants government to work smarter and better. the president has been saying this for quite some time. two years ago he did what he could to make the broken system work better when he did the executive action for the dreamer, the young men and women who are going off to college and working hard knowing no country other than this as h homeland. what he's doing is moving forward hoping congress will act. the best way to undo executive action or make it unnecessary is for congress to finally get work and republicans have been blocking immigration reform for
quite some time. all they have to do now is they've got majorities in the house and senate, is to do something. >> when the president went out there today for this press conference, did you know what he was going to say or were you in suspense? had it can communicated to back channels to members such as yourself, look, we promised this, we'll deliver, i don't care what the election results were, or were you flipping on your television to see what he would say? >> i lost chris. >> actually, i think, congressman, can you hear me? >> i can hear you now. i heard your question. and i did not have a chance to speak to the president beforehand. but i had spoken to him shortly before he decided to hold off until the end of the year and he was very clear then. he was emphatic. he was extremely direct in saying i'm going to act because the system is broken, i'm going to try to make it work as good as i can. he didn't say what he would do, but he was very clear.
i'm pleased he'll move forward. this stuff about doing something is like waving a red flag to a bull, over the last several years, chris, we've seen a lot of bull in the congress. it's time to, you know, stop the bull and let's get some things done in congress and maybe then the president doesn't have to use his executive authority to try to make these laws work better, that in a broken immigration system. but i'm glad he's doing it. i hope he goes long does as much as he can because it's time for us to finally make the economy work better, make our security work better and make you are immigration system better for all the families that are working very hard hoping to make this a better place to live. >> congressman javier becerra, thank you very much. joining me is michael steele, here's what struck me with the bull quote today, mcconnell said it's like waving a red cape in front of a bull. my thought was, yes, that's what you do before you kill the bull. he was almost tipping his hand. he was saying that i'm terrified that you, matador president, will successfully get my caucus members so messed up they'll charge at you. >> i was asking myself, so who is the bull.
which bull are you talking about here? look, i think the president doing this, to be honest, and this is not really coming from a partisan place. this is coming from an american place. >> my bs detector just went woop, woop. >> i say that seriously. the leadership between the president both parties on friday presents the president with an opportunity to schmooze those guys in a way to say, look, fellas, you got a bill, the senate's already passed it. i understand speaker boehner in the house you got some members who are a little bit upset about that bill. let's work on that bill. it is that sweet spot. it gets us off of the trajectory of the president doing something that is going to blow up this whole arrangement before it even begins. >> so i understand that argument and there's no question that if he does it, there will be recriminations and it will get very nasty very quickly. i still think that is like i and in some ways preferable i can
explain in a second. but the president tries to schmooze john boehner. here's what i am thinking to myself, we didn't bring this up for a vote, right? we blocked this, what, 68 votes in the senate, bipartisan bill. everyone after mitt romney was defeated said we got to pass this thing, no, you're wrong. we're not going to vote for it. i just got 15 new caucus members. what exactly is my incentive to listen to you, mr. president? >> because guess what happens in about three or four days? presidential campaigns begin to organize and the nominee is going to be grown out of that within the gop. so going into that cycle, the last thing -- and you can go through the list of potential nominees, they'll tell you privately and publicly, they do not want this issue on the
table. >> is that true? >> yes. >> people say that. >> yes, they do not want this issue on the table. what they want the leadership to do is get it behind us. >> so then if that's true, and i'm talking about political here, then isn't my move as the president or the democratic party who is looking towards 2016 to say, okay, let's do it. let's take the executive step, right? and incite the crazy backlash that will produce from the base because all that will do is alienate the republican base, it will make the democratic party the champion of those voters and you'll have this huge clarifying fight. >> but it's not a clarifying fight. i see your point, but at the end of the day, it's not a clarifying point because what happens is it polarizes. because you even have democrats, okay, whether they're moderates or whether they're centrists, whatever their view, i get the progressive position who do not want that to happen. >> who will chafe at executive
action. >> you know who will chafe the most, hillary clinton. she doesn't want a reporter coming to her face madam secretary, how do you want to dance on this one? >> right. so another political question, which is how much this white house cares about that. >> well -- >> i mean, i'm serious, right? because i have to say i was somewhat surprised by the president's sort of forthrightness on this thing. he could have been cagey, look, we'll have -- there's all sorts of ways. he was clear. i think he said it four times in the 75 minutes. we're going to do this. >> he drew a red line in the sand four or five times, too and he didn't cross it. so that doesn't mean anything to me at this point. what will mean something to me is what comes out of this initial meeting. the president, i think, did the smart political thing and that was extend the invitation to the leadership, come on down, to 1600, let's sit down and talk what's on your agenda.
yeah, tell me what's on your agenda and i'll tell you a little bit about what's on mine. >> here's the hilarious thing. i'm going to predict. >> i think i'm going to agree with your prediction, but go ahead. >> we have this big wave election. we can interpret, people who interpret it and say it was about obama care, the president's foreign policy, it was about too much government, et cetera. but i think -- it was so funny to hear him say i think this is a marriage to work together to get the corporate tax rate down. whether you think it's too high. it's the highest on the books of the countries but not in ekt of the rates that it's paid. but the mandate was delivered by people last night is to cut corporate tax rates or to pass a new trade deal is just preposterous. you can already see that's where the conversation in washington is happening. >> no, the conversation in washington is really going to center on two pieces and mitch
mcconnell touched on both. he threw in the corporate tax rate because that appeals to some people. at the end of the day, the xl pipeline and immigration. that's the sweet point for whatever this relationship becomes, it's going to become whatever it is out of that. and if they get that -- >> that's fascinating. >> if they get one or both of those right, then you're looking at about a six to eight month window where some of these other things like the corporate tax rate, maybe you throw a little bit of a bone on minimum wage. >> right. >> that sets off negotiations. you're talking about a group of people that have never negotiated with each other in good faith. you have to re-establish that. you have your view and i have mine. >> right, right. >> so that right here show us what that was all about then. now you've got a new environment. 52-plus republicans in the senate.
you got googobs in the house. >> historic. >> official term googob i got two years left here. am i going to spend the last two like i spent the past six or cut some type of a deal so i can put something on the mantel because it's legacy, history, all those things. >> there's a lot there. i think that there's an argument that if you were to pick this fight on immigration, let jaups talk politics, if you were to pick this fight and barack obama is the guy that tried to give legal status to these millions of people and the republicans lost their mind and came after him for it. that was the fight from a political standpoint i think you can make an argument politically that that would be a political legacy that would solidify the attachment to democratic voters and latino base. >> i agree with that on paper. the problem is -- >> oh, please.
>> in practical application, too many pieces to spin off. >> michael steele. >> you got it. >> a lot of talk on this day after from the president and mitch mcconnell on finding common ground, working together, even getting together for a drink. >> i would enjoy having some kentucky bourbon with mitch mcconnell. >> that sounds delicious. by the way, it is a reported fact that mr. mcconnell likes his bourbon in a manhattan. in that he was 100% correct. i'll tell you why that is never going to happen. alright guys. the usual. double wings, extra ranch. we need to do something different. callahan's? ehh, i mean get away, like, away away. road trip? double wings, extra ranch. feels good to mix it up. the all-new, fuel-efficient volkswagen golf tdi clean diesel. up to 594 miles of adventure in every tank. but when we start worrying about tomorrow, we miss out on the things that matter today.
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washington can work and bipartisan can succeed. but that kind of thinking completely ignores what has happened in washington over the course of the last few years and what unfolded yesterday. just to refresh, after republicans took over the house in the 2010 midterms we saw the least productive congress ever followed by the current congress which is on track to be even less productive. not just because republicans controlled the house and democrats controlled the senate. there are major bills that passed the senate with bipartisan support and could have passed the house the very next day. most notably as i was just talking about, comprehensive immigration reform which passed the senate, which in the environment we live is amazing, and the employment discrimination act which they passed by two-thirds to one-third. instead of choosing to pass these broadly popular pieces of legislation and sign up at a bill signing ceremony and take the credit, john boehner made a
calculation, the best thing to do was to do nothing. he did not allow comprehensive immigration reform to come to an end in the house because he thought doing so would alienate his base and give the president his big political victory. let's not forget boehner and the republicans shut down the government little more than a year ago. last night after all this, the american people gave john boehner and the republicans at least four members of the house making the gop caucus its largest since 1928 according to nbc news projections. after watching all this unfold why in god's name would speaker boehner have any incentive to do anything other than what he's been doing? or senator mcconnell? this is the new logic of obstruction. in the era we live in now, it's in the interests of political parties not to work together. it's in their electoral interests and we saw that borne out last night. joining me is thomas schallel,
the author of "the stronghold" and "whistling past dixie." >> it's essentially correct. we keep hearing all the time, i have a quote in the new book about david broder saying if republicans don't prove that they can govern when they're in the minority they'll never be given the reins of power in the house. he wrote that in 1992. two years later newt gingrich is running the house and there was plenty of obstruction in the '90s even though clinton and the republicans in congress were able to get things done. the modus operandi right now is never to support the other party, to vote against the other party. and that's a lesson that was learned very hard way by people like hillary clinton and john kerry who voted for the iraq war. didn't get any credit for that vote and took a lot of blame. the republicans know this better than the democrats. if you vote with the president and things go right, for the most part they're not going to
go down, voters won't go down through the roll call and say that republican senator, that republican house member, he did paurt the president, no, the president will get the lion's share of the credit. that's true for either party in the white house. but if things go wrong the president will turn and say, hillary clinton she voted for the war. >> right. mcconnell has been a kind of entrepreneur in this space in understanding the political of this era, i'm separating the political logic from the moral logic which i thing is odious, because there are millions of people whose lives are on the line and deserve full dignity, but separating that out for a moment, mcconnell said we work very hard to keep our fingerprints off any bill because we didn't want anyone to think as soon as they heard bipartisan it was okay, there was no depate. we wanted to heighten the contradiction at all times. i wanted to see why the logic shifts from that two days ago to new logic today. >> look at all the stories we've
read in the last two years about republicans in the house or senators in the minority are putting up another bill or trying to attach a rider to some piece of legislation to repeal obama care. why are they doing that? they know even as they pass it through the house many times, it won't get past senator harry reid. even if they abduct him and put him in a van down by the river and push it through the senate somehow, it won't pass president obama's desk. so why are they doing that? it signals very strongly that they don't want to do things. john boehner said very clearly we should be judged not by the laws that we pass but the laws that we block. there's a philosophical reason for that and an asymmetry between the two party. the republican, whatever you thing about them, they're not making bad strategic choices. they want the government to be smaller and move slower. the presidency from the time of hamilton's conceit in the federalist papers to more common
political writers this is the energy of office that breaks the equilibrium in politics, it's still hard to break that even with the presidency. but what you really want to do with the congress is stop, stall, dilute, block and maybe even repeal. and the republicans, the moderate republican party is perfectly situated to do that. >> finally, give us a sense of the historic nature of this 250 votes in the house. because i think people, the 20th century was so defined by a democratic congress by a new deal basically through the '94 election, we look like we might be entering era where the norm is a big house republican majority. >> not only that, we have a big house republican majority in the senate, chris. i looked at when the republicans took over the senate in the start of the eisenhower administration, the start of the reagan administration and in 2002 after the switch.
they went from senators in the republican caucus who formerly served in the house, from 20% in the '50s to 32%, one out of three under president reagan to now 50%, cory gardner coming in. the house is a birthplace and cauldron of republican politics. >> that's where you learn your politics. look where ted cruz went for support. we shouldn't be surprised that we see a house style politics in the saucer that's supposed to cool the cup moving forward. we'll have a very house-like senate majority. >> thomas schaller, thank you very much. some of the races i put into the -- what's the technical term, hot mess category went underreported. never fear, we'll fell you in next. power plant in the country to combine solar and natural gas at the same location. during the day, we generate as much electricity as we can using solar. at night and when it's cloudy, we use more natural gas. this ensures we can produce clean electricity whenever our customers need it. ♪
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so many races, so many results that it was easy to miss the more colorful things in the midterms. we didn't spend time on the new york 11th congressional district considered to be one of the best opportunities for a democratic pickup. why? because a republican representing that district was this guy. >> congressman michael grimm who represents staten island and part of brooklyn was also
indicted on 20 counts of fraud later this year related to his previous career as a health food restaurateur. but then democrats nominated a guy named dominic recchia to oppose grimm. and he didn't actually distinguish himself on the campaign trail. last night michael grimm broke dominic recchia in half like a little boy by a comfortable 13 points. he took a victory lap, basking in the adoration of his fellow staten islanders before he goes back to face barack obama and a criminal trial set to begin december 1st. >> you stand by me against all the odds. you stood by me when i needed you most. know this. i will never, ever forget, and i never stop working hard. >> "new york post" reported the congressman's body man feeling the celebratory mood told the crowd all members of team grimm,
meet me at the bar for f-ing shots. a republican congressman who nobody expected to lose and in fact did. a guy you probably didn't hear about. congressman steve southerland, two-term representative for a district in the panhandle distinguished himself in the house as perhaps the most outspoken and aggressive opponent of food stamps, introducing a measure to cut people from the program if they can't find work. >> god created adam, placed him in the garden to work it. work is not a penalty. work is a blessing. and what we have done in this country is wrong. we have -- we have failed in introducing the blessing of work to able-bodied people who have the ability, who are mentally, physically, psychologically able to work and we have robbed them of knowing a better life that they helped create for themselves and their family. >> adam and eve, not adam and food stamps.
he was targeted by tom colicio who poured millions into the race. last night he was unseated by his democratic opponent gwynn gramm. but the most interesting midterm result comes from our always quirky, always eccentric friends to the north, vermont. incumbent democratic governor peter shumland failed to get the majority he needed for re-election, but due to a wrinkle in the constitution, the race will now be decided by the state's legislature. and we here at "all in" hope they pick one of the more colorful characters we saw at the debates. >> i'm a revolutionary nonviolent socialist. >> i consider myself what is known as a light worker. >> my name is scott milne, third generation born in vermont -- take that back, i was born in brooklyn. >> second of all, i would reinstate all the rest area on the state highway that peter
shumland has removed. >> close all the bases, stop all the factories that build all that equipment and ship it off to -- um, the zionist regime so that it can defend itself against the gigantic gazan military. >> i want you to go out and protest motor boats on lake champlain, your kids could get killed swimming in lake champlain. i want you to protest the fighter jets because they're dual capable to carry nuclear bombs and we have to stop nuclear proliferation. >> thank you very much. >> sadly turned out the legislature had to choose among the top three finishers who you see there and that ruled out the lady in the hat. [ inhales ] [ male announcer ] at cvs health, we took a deep breath... [ inhales, exhales ] [ male announcer ] and made the decision to quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies.
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fairly defiant speech. i noticed that people on twitter simultaneously joked maybe now she'll tell us who she voted for. a reference to one of the more ridiculous moments. >> did you vote for president obama in 2008 and 2012? >> so you're not going to answer. >> the president is not on the ballot. >> a tactic taken by a ton of democratic senate candidates which was to distance themselves as much as possible from the president. >> i'm not barack obama. i disagree with him on guns, coal and the epa. >> the administration's policies are simply wrong. >> so i disagree with obama plenty and, yes, i've been disappointed in him. and i'm not going to sugarcoat that. >> if he wants to come up, i'm not really interested in campaigning. i'd like him to see why his policies are wrong. >> i'll make sure president obama gets the message.
>> i think it's fair to say that given the results last night, that was not a particularly effective tactic. i was discussing this with mark murray last night. we were saying that the situation faced by democratic political candidates was like the classic thought experiment called the prisoner's dilemma. here's the basic idea. two guys have robbed the bang and they're put in separate interrogation rooms. if you talk and the other guy doesn't, you go free. they say the same thing to the second suspect, if you talk you get to go free and the other guy rots in jail. the problem is that each of them has incentive to rat out the other guy, if they both talk, they both go to jail. whereas if they both just shut up and they trust the other person will also shut up, they both walk. this campaign ended up being a
big prisoner's dilemma for a whole bunch of democratic senator candidates. i understand why kay hagan and allison grimes and mark pryor all made the individual rational decision to distance themselves from a president whose approval rating is low. the collective result of all that, of all these democrats acting like barack obama was totally toxic was to reinforce among the voters that barack obama was toxic leading up to an election where they were tied to barack obama whether or not they liked it or not. they all ratted out obama and they all went to jail. and republicans won't let voters forget who the president was and who his party was. tom cotton, the winning republican candidate in arkansas said the president's name 74 times in an october debate. here's just a little bit of what that sounds like. >> barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. barack obama. >> the republican strategy, that was it this election, was to nationalize the campaign around barack obama and the democratic strategy if response was pretty much every man for himself. and it's pretty obvious which of
those strategies worked. joining me to talk about this is our panel, katrina vanden hogan and josh barrow national correspondent for the upshot, "new york times" and msnbc contributor. in retrospect, you can't pull it off. everyone understands you're a democrat, barack obama is a democrat. you got to make a forthright defense of the guy's record. >> i think it goes to the fundamentals dividing the democratic party, but you also saw a map, right, with these are states barack obama lost in 2012, right? no, but you could see it with the coal and the guns and the issues that are really tough for a national democratic party because there are factions within this party. this is not a new problem. there's a democratic wing of the democratic party, there's an establishment wing, a more conservative wing. but to go into states like west virginia and if you speak -- i've always believed this. if you speak with a strong
economic populous message and a consistent one and point, president's not been a great salesman, but point to some of those achievements. >> particularly on obama care. the three states that have had the biggest -- obamacare -- are running from it. >> arkansas. >> a fundamental divide. >> we're in this weird middle position with the economy where things have gotten better but not so much that they've gotten better that you can credibly run on the idea of hey, all this good stuff has happened. . the date the is amazing but median income and personal income is underwhelming. >> that's the thing. people feel like we should have had a better recovery than we did. they're not in a position where they can defend the record well so they're throwing their hands up. there was a time when this strategy worked. the political parties used to be a lot less ideologically
coherent. you used to be a democratic senator from texas and really be very different from a president of your party. but now like if you're electing a democratic senator you're electing someone really to push the president's policies. >> that's right. a parliamentary system in everything except the actually -- >> members we've been talking about democrats who distance themselves from president obama. let's not also forget that the democrats who called in the clintons to help them out, see how that worked out. i don't think the clintons have the magic touch either. >> no. here's the problem. republicans have run four races against president obama, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014. they've lost the two times that barack obama ran a race against them and the two other times when no one ran back to defend barack obama the republicans won. that to me seems like the basic thrust here, right? if you have one side saying barack obama is terrible, he
screwed up everything and the other side saying i sort of agree but go to washington and vote for him anyway. >> there's an interesting story, harry reid and nancy pelosi comes to him and say, you've got to help me with this and he said it's yours. there's a resentment where he hasn't stood with the party and fought the party battles. the president has been somebody who will inculcate fear. they're ready to distance him. i haven't seen hard evidence, but i do think significant components of the rising american electorate, african-americans, young people, single women, they may not have liked the dissing of a president. >> i 100% agree. >> you know. >> i think i agree. >> but the president also put himself in a position for that to happen. barack obama wasn't exactly a fierce advocate of barack obama's agenda, not just a bad salesman but also like seemingly disengaejed.
he wasn't a cheerleader for himself. >> i don't think that's true about the economic record. look, we get the rundown every day. and what is the president doing? he's giving a speech somewhere, and the other thing that's not true about is the immigration reform. >> on the affordable care act. there was a key institution organization building element to that that the president and the head of the party and the party as a whole did not pursue. that is when you have navigators who are signing people up for health care, you could also register the vote under the '93 motor voter law. and the president and the party refused to actually do that. they refused to take that political fight out of fear republicans would come after them for it even though it's already the law to sign people up at a federal agency when they're getting a service. that would have created -- imagine that, you're getting health care and you're registering to vote. what signal is that sending you? >> hold that thought because i want you to stick around and i want to talk about this result out of arkansas which to me epitomizes some of the paradoxes.
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and in the five states where a minimum wage increase was on the ballot last night, voters went five for five to increase it. that will give about 325,000 americans a raise in states where republican candidates prevailed. that should give us new reason to get it done for everybody with a national increase in the minimum wage. >> therein right there lies a bit of a paradox. so the president mentioned this last night and every liberal website -- >> but the minimum wage. five for five, right. the best example is arkansas. voters 65.9% to 34.1% approved a minimum wage increase.
in that same race tom cotton beat mark pryor, a drubbing. the same electorate. you can't say that turnout is the issue. the same people. this is my favorite thing. back in may when the senate took their minimum wage vote, who was absent from that vote but none other than mr. mark pryor who is conspicuously absent from last month's vote in the senate when fellow democrats tried to unsuccessfully advance a rise in the minimum wage. first of all, if you're looking -- if you're saying i want a higher minimum wage and i'm going to vote for mark pryor, that's not going to matter. like, seriously, it's not going to pass. i think the dysfunction, the level of dysfunction in congress has seeped down long enough that people are like i can vote for
mark pryor, although he didn't even campaign on it or if i vote for the minimum wage to raise in arkansas, causally enough people vote for it, that will be raised. this difference between more people vote for a ballot issue when there's a one on one causal relationship, if this thing passes it goes to law and i'm going to send this guy that goes off to do stuff in congress to pass a law? no, that's not going to happen. >> i have a slightly different interpretation of this. this is the walmart state, the low wage employer. but secondly the republican party for several candidates, cotton in arkansas, sullivan i think in alaska, you have rounder in illinois who all backtrack and don't oppose -- some of those even paurt the minimum wage. >> tom cotton said he was going to vote for that initiative in arkansas. >> yes, so this is interesting. this is the republican party moving to the center on the question of ages for working class and poor people, which is interesting as a strategy.
and third, democrats forget that you can't advance a policy for people without a narrative around it. >> that's right. >> you can't separate -- what's the story about the minimum wage? >> i have a third theory. >> yes. >> which is that i think democrats have misread the politics of the minimum wage. they're right, minimum wage increases are popular. if you put them on the ballot, they'll pass. that doesn't mean people care about the issue a lot. >> or that the vast majority of voters care. >> when the president goes out and says it's time to give america a wage, how does that sound to a voter who makes $20 an hour or $30 an hour, someone with a middle income who will not get a wage increase from that? they probably support a minimum wage increase. they probably thing people making $8 an hour deserve more, but that won't directly affect their family's circumstances.
they can vote for a minimum wage increase and then vote for a gov who are candidate who is against it because that's not the issue they care about. >> so you start with improving people's lives. i don't have any big theories. we face a huge structural issue economic problem in this country and we have an embattled, besieged middle class in a globalalized, deunionized, far from full employment economy and what are the structural -- is there a political system even capable of dealing with the structural changes and reforms that need to happen to tackle staggering inequality and all of the economic -- >> that's true. and that underlies a lot of results. i want to talk about something the president said, i think in some ways relate to that that i'm sort of shocked he said right after this. (receptionist) gunderman group.
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swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a free 30-tablet trial. part of what i also think we got to look at is the two-thirds of people who are eligible to vote and just didn't vote. one of the things that i'm very proud of in 2008 and 2012 when i ran for office was he got people involved who hadn't been involved before. we got folks to vote who hadn't voted before. and sustaining that especially in midterm elections has proven difficult. >> the president talking about the two-thirds of people who didn't vote, but he mentioned in the sort of opening part, sort of an aside, throwing shade at
the republicans leak you don't really have mandate or throwing shade at people that didn't vote, why didn't you vote. but this is the fundamental thing, the two electorates, the midterm and then the -- and people look for a different -- you know, one is younger and less white, that's the presidential electorate. one's older and whiter, that's the midterm. this is a great chart. 60 or older, under 30. part of that is what are you giving people in those places like tangibly that's going to happen? although i think -- and this is part of a genre of ponce to losing an election that is thing is very dangerous where you come up with theories other than our poll sis were rejected by the electorate. republicans are the kings of doing this. if we nominated a true conservative, we would have won.
democrats are going to have to run in a midterm election every four years and political engagement is always going to be higher among people who are older, wealthier, we have to find a way to win elections in that environment. you can change turnout at the margins, but that overall dynamic. >> can you structurally -- >> people used to say that about the presidentials and something was unlocked by the campaign campaign in 2008 and 2012 that really did change who showed up to vote. can you do the same -- >> but a formidable coalition but precarious. rising american electorate, we see how precarious it is. young people. what have they confronted in the last two years? now, the fact that the student debt is higher, that they're not getting relief, they don't feel their problems are being addressed, single women have not turned out in the same rate.
african-americans --. they did turn out. >> but the fact that we haven't -- i haven't seen good studies of voter suppression yet. there's more evidence that in some places but just the fact that we're not in this country trying to, as you said, register, make it easier on voting. >> right. that's true. so the democrats could be as in favor of opening access to franchise as republicans -- >> but civil rights struggle. >> but remember what happened after the 2008 election, the obama campaign was immobilized. a decision to shut it down. >> more complicated than that. let me just say. >> but then the second thing is those annoying e-mails from the dnc every day didn't help things. >> well, but third, political organizations have to figure out a way to engage people every day every week. >> it cannot be about electoral cycles. >> i agree with you. but here's the thing that blew my mind. north carolina, 2010, in 2014, 17,000 more people came out. you talk about the movement building, it's very hard. this goes to josh's point. getting people to change behavior is very hard, much
harder than it looks to writers and commentators who like to look at politics. thank you, that is all for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening. >> last night was a ton of fun. >> great job last night. fantastic. >> you too. mutual appreciation. thanks to you at home who i also appreciate for joining us this hour. have a seat. take a deep breath. let it out. okay. let me tell you a story. this man is named tom butt, butt with two ts. if part of your mind is permanently 8 years old like mine is, the fact that his name is tom butt is a constant source of delight when tom butt is in the news. if that is your last name and you choose a life that's going to keep you in t