The Ed Show | January 24, 2013
>>> good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. now is the time for america to get laser focused on how the republicans are trying to steal the next election. this is "the ed show." let's get to work.
>> i think the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout, especially in urban areas .
>> forget policy. if you can't win it, just go ahead and rig it. the gop moves to steal elections. first stop? virginia . david corn and charnelle herring tell us if the dirty move could work. the right still can't handle hillary.
>> she obviously has an enduring media.
>> so the king of the sunday shows bites the hand that feeds him.
>> the president's vision for his second term to annihilate the republican party .
>> richard wolffee on the republican party 's new nerve.
>>> democrats just missed a huge opportunity to change the o'country. larry cohen on harry reiding filibuster cave.
>>> women get overdue recognition to serve in combat. the right wing is freaking out. former marine goldie taylor is here to put them in their place.
>>> thanks for watching. it's time to wake up, america. got to pay attention to this one. the republican attempt to steal the next presidential election , it has hit full throttle. this is the latest poster boy for republican vote rigging . virginia state senator bill carricko. now, today carrico advanced his bill in the republican-led senate to change the way electoral votes are counted in the state . virginia democratic state senator john s. edwards told me on my radio show that democrats were completely blindsided by this move.
>> it was a complete underhanded sneak attack on not only democrats but also the people of virginia because if people had had no prior warning this would happen there, have been no committee discussions on this, no hearings on this, and it runs contrary to the courtesies and traditions of the senate of virginia .
>> they should be no courtesy from the current republican party . they are willing to admit these changes are being made in order to make certain votes count for less. carrico told a virginia nbc affiliate the change is necessary because virginia 's populace, urbanized areas can outvote rural regions such as his, rendering their will irrelevant. urbanized areas ? this sounds like something we've heard before.
>> i think the surprise was some of the turnout. some of the turnout, especially in urban areas , which definitely gave president obama the big margin to win this race.
>> both paul ryan and mitt romney were outspoken about blaming their loss in november on a democratic coalition of women, minorities, and young people in this country. days after the election paul ryan saw a problem with the system.
>> there's always an electoral college strategy in winning these things. and you know what states you need to win to get to 270 electoral votes . and when we watch the -- look at the map here, virginia and ohio coming in, and those ones coming in as tight as they were and then looking like we were going to lose them, that was when it game pretty clear to us we weren't going to win.
>> paying attention now? now republicans have a new electoral strategy. win as many electoral votes as you can, even if you lose by a very large margin. rnc chair reince priebus announced his intention to pursue the virginia model nationally. and it would have quite an effect. this is the result of the 2012 presidential election . barack obama won 332 electoral votes , beating mitt romney 's 206 votes. in the popular vote president obama won 51% to 47%. if every electoral vote is tied to congressional delegations, romney would have defeated president obama by 14 electoral votes , even though president obama still wins the popular vote by 4 percentage points. president obama won these six swing states in the past two elections. he would have lost all of them under the republican scheme to reapportion the votes. republicans are doing this because messing with the democratic process has worked for them in the past. for instance, florida secretary of state kathleen harris was successful in purging eligible voters from the polls in the 2000 election. we all know what happened there. then let's go to ohio , where former secretary of state ken blackwell created a shortage of voting machines in democratic areas to help deliver ohio for bush in 2004 . then something interesting really happened. these dirty tricks stopped working.
>> voter i.d., which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania , done. [ applause ]
>> well, voter i.d. did not deliver pennsylvania or any other state for mitt romney . but the intention was to make it harder for democratic voters to cast a ballot. it fell short. but there was some real voter fraud going on last year.
>> did you vote for romney or obama?
>> wait, i thought you were registering voters a minute ago.
>> i am. but --
>> and who are you registering? all voters?
>> well, i'm actually trying to register people for a particular party.
>> because we're out here in support of romney , actually.
>> and who's paying you for this?
>> oh, the -- let me see. we're working for the county clerk 's office.
>> republicans were forced to break ties with a voter registration firm because the group was breaking the law . then there was the current ohio secretary of state , john huestead, who tried to change the rules for early voting in his state . that didn't work. in other rules the changes to early voting rules caused massive voting problems.
>> the lines for early voting are long, and for many time-consuming. you were in line how long?
>> for an hour and 55 minutes, to be exact.
>> reporter: at the alafaya library on east colonial the line was out the door and down the street. the neighborhood looked like a sea of cars.
>> if i had waited until tuesday, i think that probably would have been more stress and the lines are definitely going to be longer.
>> today the " orlando sentinel " newspaper reported more than 200,000 people in florida did not vote because of the long lines. those lines were engineered by republican governor rick scott , who made last-minute changes to early voting schedules. republicans in florida jammed the ballot with initiative after initiative, creating a very long voting experience. these efforts all fell flat because the american people were wise to the republican tricks. it got a lot of media coverage . which is why the gop now wants to change the laws to reverse the will of the people . republicans realize this is now a center-left nation that is very progressive and on the move. the virginia bill is just the latest admission by the republican party . they need to rig elections because they can't win on the issues. and we must realize tonight, we cannot get politically exhausted. i know the election just ended. but here we go again. and the republicans are not asleep at the wheel . they are driving this ship big-time. the bottom line is this is our democracy. it's not illegal. but it is dirty pool. and it's a rotten way to run the country. and i believe it is connected to race. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, can republicans win fair elections? text a for yes. text b for no to 622639. you can always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. let's talk more about virginia . joining me now is charnelle herring. she is the minority whip of the virginia house of delegates and the chair of the democratic party of virginia . and david corn with us tornths msnbc analyst and d.c. bureau chief for " mother jones " magazine. great to have both of you with us here tonight. charnelle, is this bill going to become a reality in virginia ? is this a slam dunk for the republicans ?
>> thank you, first of all, ed, for having me. and it can become a reality. but virginians are wise to the republican tricks. not only did we have the bill changing the electoral college , but we also had something sprung on the senate that changes the lines for the senate districts, displacing 3 million virginia voters from their representatives. so voters are watching and they're aware of what the republicans are doing, but it is possible that these measures can pass.
>> well, the republicans have the votes to get it done. so what's going to stop it in virginia ?
>> i think it's just got to be the will of the voters for people contacting their legislators and telling them that trickery is not the way that democracy is supposed to work. i find it interesting that senator carrico suggested that his constituents' votes are irrelevant. see, that's the difference between the other side of the aisle. democrats believe that every vote is relevant, every vote should be delivered. and to change electoral college , to change senate district lines under cover of night, although it's during the day, using tricks to do so without even a public discourse is unacceptable and virginians are going to fight back. and i can tell you my side of the aisle's going to fight for every senatorial district and we're going to fight against this effort to change the electoral college .
>> david corn , what do you make of this? reince priebus says he wants to make this a national model.
>> well, ed, it's obviously this is a naked and raw power grab on the part of republicans , who see that they've lost five out of the last six presidential contests according to the popular vote . george bush made it in though losing the popular vote . and they're looking ahead demographically and say they play by the set of rules that we've all become accustomed to because of demographics and other factors they're likely not to win these national contests. now, the good news, there's a little good news in virginia , is that if i understand this right the senate is more or less divided 20-20 there, although the tie would be broken by the lieutenant governor in favor of the republicans --
>> if all the republicans vote for it, then they've got it.
>> there's one republican state senator who's already said she won't vote for this. now, she can be pressured by reince priebus and others in the republican party to change her mind.
>> so i think having a lot of pressure on her and a few other of the maybe -- if there are any moderate or any suburban republicans in the state senate to really be firm in this and make them pay a high price. because as you've said, this is not illegal. they tried to do this in pennsylvania. they're thinking about doing it in wisconsin, michigan, ohio , and florida . and people just have to really keep an eye on this and put as much pressure as they can to say this ain't fair.
>> well, we're not talking about a lot of republicans . i mean, they can go in and cash-whip one or two republicans and can turn heads pretty fast. this is going to be a hard lift for the democrats to protect the electoral college no, doubt. charniele, this is a quote from state senator carrico. "it comes down for me as a state legislator to a fairness issue. i'm making sure the people of my district are represented." that's his quote. how is his district not being represented?
>> that puzzles me. i don't know if he's talking about himself or maybe he just doesn't like that we elected president obama twice now here in virginia . his problem is he cannot accept that the demographics has changed. the republican message of not bringing everybody forward is not resounding with virginians . what they're having a problem with is that they can't realize that their policies are outdated. virginians are moving forward. we're more progressive, as you mentioned earlier, and you know what? people don't like their message of hatred and exclusion. so i'm not sure what he's talking about, but that's not the virginia way. what's happened in the senate is not the virginia way.
>> you know, the way it works now in almost every state is the old law, rule of one person, one vote. everybody in virginia , everybody in hawaii, everybody in california, their vote counts equally when it comes to selecting a president. if you go to this new system they're proposing, people in certain districts will have a greater advantage. their vote will count more.
>> but they're going to be able to do this -- i don't mean to be doom and gloom here, david. but this is like going after unions. you cash-whip legislators to put up right to work legislation. you go after legislators to make sure that they're going to vote properly the right way. and all politics is now national as much as it is local because it's all about the money and citizens united . it all comes together. they've tried voter suppression . they've tried all kinds of stuff. now they're into the electoral college . you do the math we would have been swearing in the other guy.
>> you're right, ed. i still think that in virginia it's not a slam dunk , it can pass. although it will be very, very close and you'll see close contests in these other races. so people have to get on their horses and ride into these battles.
>> all right. charniele herring and david corn , great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts with us on twitter @edshow and on facebook. we want to know what you think. coming up the three amigos, they're back. these senators spent their day trying to advance their right-wing agendas but they failed in embarrassing ways. we'll walk you through