msnbc | January 25, 2013
>>> back here at home from last-minute voter i.d. bills to laws limiting voting, republicans pulled out all the stops to try and win the presidency and the wheels haven't stopped turning. reince priebus is backing a plan by republicans in virginia and other battleground states that president obama won in 2012 that would change how those states electoral college votes are allocated. one electoral vote would be awarded to the winner of each congressional district . had that plan been in effect in 2012 , instead of president obama gaining 332 to romney 's 226, romney would have won with 226 electoral votes despite losing the popular vote . joining me now, ed schultz , host of the "ed show." let's take a look at how virginia would have gone if governor romney had take ten. president obama earned all 13 electoral votes . under this plan, romney would have earned 9 to the president's 4. virginia senate could take this up as early as next week. but they are kind of split on this. so what can people in the state of virginia do to keep from going this route?
>> they are just going to have to work over their representatives n senators to make sure it doesn't happen. the delegates in virginia and the senators in that state, i think, are positioned to do this. it's a massive power grab. there is one republican named vogel who is talking about not going down this road. but you've got, you know, a republican governor and a republican lieutenant governor who would break the tie if there was a tie. so this is dangerous stuff. it's not illegal, but it is political dirty pool. and it's a real wake-up call to every grassroots organization in this country that you are going to have to win at the state level to prevent this, to protect the national elections.
>> as we've seen, the incumbents get to draw the map but there 24 states we can use for examples of this when we talk about how nebraska and maine allocate their electoral votes . we use the most recent election, they have the congressional district method. we saw romney won nebraska's electoral. if it works for those two states, why not for others?
>> the dichotomy, they are rural states. they don't have many congressional members to start with. obviously, have two senators. but we need to understand that the republicans aren't doing this because there's a lack of representation. they're doing this because they want to win the executive branch . they are doing this because they don't want a democrat in the white house . and they have realized the power that they have at the local level. and in the era of obstruction, on the heels of 380 filibusters in the senate, it sets the table to go ahead and do whatever you want . i believe it gives them license to say, well, the public is not pushing back on that. harry reid hasn't changed the rules. i mean, i think these two stories parallel one another. it gives a mind-set these law lawmakers can do go what they want and not be held account accountable. this is urban versus rural. in the rural areas , a lot of conservative republicans who are trying to do a power grab and change the landscape of all of this.
>> so let's talk about the senate filibuster. the modest changes that have been made.
>> very modest.
>> it's more of an evolution than a revolution.
>> it's a sad day for liberals. after harry reid had been on record numerous times back in 2010 , actually going to the well of the senate and praising senator amerimerkley and udall that they change the role of the senate. and then last summer saying they need to change the filibuster role, nuclear option , constitutional option and now just caving in. what happened? my theory is, it's the gun debate. harry reid knows he can get 51 votes for the adult weapons ban but he's not going to get 60. so i think that that would really change the landscape in some senatorial elections in rural areas that would be tough on democrats because it would give the republicans a chance to say, see there's a gun grabber. this is what the democratic party is and he doesn't want to to be labeled that way. this is a serious 180 by harry reid . of course, yesterday what we saw was democrats who don't like it came right out and started praising the deal. they didn't bad mouth harry reid . they've closed ranks on this. but i just want to know. i think harry reid needs to step out and tell the american people , what has mitch mcconnell done for us to believe that he's not going to run the 113th as he did the 112th.
>> the democrats could be behind the eight ball when it comes to this. do you cut harry reid slack for that?
>> if you oar the problem here, thomas, is that there have not been honest brokers. and if you don't reel in the honest brokers, mitch has not -- mcconnell has not paid attention to the rules of the senate. statesmanship has left the building. it's all about power and obstruction. they need to learn a lesson. the democrats can't be worried about what's going to happen down the road. you can still be a chamber of deliberation, but you got to be a chamber of decision as well. there's been no decision whatsoever. this is not a good day for the democrats. and it's -- you'll not get climate change . you'll not get more revenue into the treasury through taxation. you'll not get the assault weapons ban . we haven't gotten anything on jobs. so tell me, mr. mcconnell, mr. reid, step out in front of the microphones and tell us what is going to be different. i think the country wants to know.