On Thursday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow relished the current disarray among D.C. Republicans over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
Maddow prefaced the segment with the same warning that runs before MSNBC’s popular prison shows: “Due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised.”
“Okay, now you have been warned,” said Maddow. “Now, here’s Dana Bash on CNN.”
She then played a clip of Bash saying the now-infamous quote of a House Republican aide saying that Texas state Rep. Wendy Davis (D) has “more balls than Ted Cruz.”
“That is the way that Republicans in Washington are talking about each other now,” Maddow said, which is ironic considering that back in 2009, when the future of Democratic health care reform was in doubt, Republicans were full of hubris.
“If we can stop him on this,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) at the time, “it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
“The Republicans and the conservatives did not get that Waterloo,” Maddow said. “Health reform passed. It became law. It got ruled constitutional by the United States Supreme Court and it’s now going into effect.”
“And now the political effect of health reform does turn out to be the aforementioned Waterloo,” she continued, “but the side that is breaking apart is not President Obama’s side. It is the other side.”
As pragmatic Republicans try to find a graceful way to allow Obamacare to progress unimpeded, the tea party caucus is trying to engineer a government shutdown rather than let the law go into effect. As a result, the two sides are hurling furious invective at each other.
When Cruz was confronted by reporters with the Wendy Davis remark, he responded, “I’ve always been impressed with the courage of anonymous congressional aides.”
Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin tweeted on Thursday that Senate Republicans “are good at getting Facebook likes, and townhalls, and not much else. Do something.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) pushed back in an interview that the shutdown supporters are “mostly new and don’t have the experience” in Congress that he does, and therefore don’t understand how these things work. He invoked the catastrophic government shutdowns engineered by then House Speaker Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) in 1995, which backfired spectacularly on the Republicans and paved the way for a second term for Pres. Bill Clinton.
“I can tell you,” McCain said, “in the United States Senate, we will not repeal or defund Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational.”
“Again, there are no Democrats in these fights,” Maddow observed. “There are no liberals in these fights. This is all Republicans and conservatives going after each other and it has been amazing to watch.”
Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC: