The Ed Show | January 29, 2013
>>> welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for staying with us tonight. president obama has not taken a breather since inauguration a week ago. house of representatives , well, they're on vacation. and yet here is what the national republican congressional committee tweeted today. sign the petition to tell the president to get to work? the job isn't done. house speaker john boehner retweeted the same message. it's time for a brief recap of what president obama has been doing on the job. today, of course, it was the immigration speech in las vegas . and if you look like a man with wind at his back, yeah, i would say there is a pretty good reason. yesterday the president and vice president met with law enforcement around the country in pursuit of common sense gun measures. let's get to work. and president obama has named a new chief of staff. the president has named the team who will do their best to protect consumers from huge financial institutions . the week before the inauguration, president obama unveiled his plan for gun safety , and he signed executive orders to make it more difficult for criminals and mentally ill to get guns. let's get to work. president obama named chuck hagel for defense and john brennan to the cia. president obama had previously named senator kerry as the new secretary of state, which has now been confirmed. and on the first day of this year, the president and vice president secured the fiscal cliff deal. now, folks, those are just the highlights. but congressional republicans think the president should get to work? here is what happened in the house of representatives today.
>> without objection, the house stands adjourned until friday, februa february 1st , 2013 .
>> friday february 1st ? they're cutting out. they're going somewhere , not working. let's bring in bob shrum , contributor of the daily beast . bob, good to have you with us tonight.
>> glad to be here, ed.
>> you bet. this is quite a strategy to jab at the president like this when they have probably taken more time off than anybody in america in the month of january. does this win?
>> no, look. it's a tweet that makes john boehner look like a twit. it's a juvenile move. but there is a method to it. they got to keep their tea party caucus happy. they're losing on issue after issue to the president. so they have to look like they're fighting the president. you were right as you reviewed what went on. i mean, they lost on the fiscal cliff and the top rate tax increases. they backed down on the debt limit. if you listen to paul ryan on "meet the press" last sunday, it's clear they're not going back there. there is movement on immigration reform . you have a bipartisan group of senators. some of them pretty conservative, very conservative working on a background check in terms of gun control . and boehner himself may have to bring a number of bills to the floor of the house where a majority of his caucus is against them. so he has to sound tough, even if it's bluster. he is not the only one, by the way. marco rubio , who has moved toward the president on immigration reform is simultaneously attacking the president on immigration reform .
>> so it's easy to say the republicans are being caught totally off their game by the pace of the obama agenda. fair enough?
>> i think that's true. and when the president gave his inaugural address , there were all these comments about how far left it was orout how far out of the mainstream it was. and there have now been a whole series of polls that confirm that the american people agree with him on almost every single issue that he raised in that inaugural address . you know, nobody has used the word yet, partly because i think karl rove fouled it after 2004 when he proclaimed there was a political realignment in this country. but i think there has been a political realignment . it's an obama realignment. and as i've heard you say before, i think this is now a center left country. the president's right on all these issues. republicans are kind of having a nervous breakdown, don't know what to do about it, so they're playing these kinds of games.
>> well, it is our new theme here on the program. yes, we do say let's get to work. but let's call it what it is. this is a center left country. the issues are very progressive that people are polling very strongly in favor of. and another theme out of the republican party is victimization. i mean, you've got boehner and you got ryan and you got limbaugh. all seem to think that president obama is out to just destroy the gop. what a weak presentation of where they are, i would say.
>> well, first of all, it would be impossible to victimize rush limbaugh . he is the great -- he is the great guy who is going out after people all the time. it would be very hard to feel sorry for him. it's even hard toer to feel sorry for boehner when he cries or says something stupid like the president wants to annihilate the republican party . the president believes in a two- party system . these guys don't. but they're now totally out of step with the country. they're melt do you think because so many of their members are having trouble coming to terms with the fact that this is becoming a majority nonwhite america.
>> you have some sensible republicans who think they need to move toward the center. but they're going to have a very hard time . this immigration bill , you watch some of the republican rhetoric from the opponents that comes out doctoring this fight over immigration reform . it's going to alienate hispanics further.
>> well, really? you think will do that? here is what -- if the president is out to destroy the gop, why did he give credit to the eight senators that were on the platform yesterday saying they have come to a consensus, come to an agreement and they're trod move forward on it? he would have been slamming the righties on that, and he hasn't. he wants them to get to work. he wants them. and if he doesn't do it, he'll step forward with his plan. i think this is a great plan for the republicans to gain favor with a demographic where they are sorely in trouble.
>> it is. except 80% or 85% of the members of the house, and the shouse where the big problem is, 85% of the members come from very republican districts dominated by tea party types. they're afraid to move toward the center on any of these things because they think they'll face a primary. i mean, there is a primary being organized against mitch mcconnell , the senate minority leader in kentucky right now because people think he is too liberal or too moderate. that's laughable. but that's the dilemma of the republican party .
>> and he is not very popular in kentucky from what i hear as of late. bob shrum , great to have you with us tonight. thank you so much.
>>> coming up, only three republican senators voted against john kerry 's confirmation for secretary of state today. we'll tell you who they are and why they should not have voted no. next.
>>> then these workers simply want a chance to tell their story in the workplace. but tonight they're fighting one of the world's biggest companies for their basic civil liberties . we'll explain from mississippi. stay with us. we're right back. [