Rachel Maddow and Joe Biden Urge Progressives to Get Energized

Sep 16 2010 Published by under Featured News

Vice President Joe Biden gave one of his best interviews since he has been in the White House on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program, where he expressed why progressives need to get energized about this election, “Our progressive base, you have, you should not stay home. It, you better get energized. Because the consequences are serious for the outcome of the things we care most about.”

Here is the video from MSNBC:

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Biden explained in clear terms what is at stake for the Democrats this November, “So, I think they’re gonna– I think– we’re gonna take it very, very seriously. It’s a big mistake not to take it seriously, number one. Now, number two, what I’m doing, I’ve been in to over 80 congressional, and Senate, and gubernatorial races. And one of the reasons I want to be on your show is to tell the progressives out there, you know, get in gear, man. First of all, there’s a great deal at stake. I’ve been around the Senate a long time. We fought to regulate tobacco. We fought for hate crime laws. We fought to make sure that kids get insured. We fought for all the things that we finally got done in one year.”

The Vice President explained to progressives why this election is so important, “And they’re all at risk. If they take over the House and the Senate, don’t kid yourself, they’ve made it really clear. Pete Sessions said they’re– excuse me, Congressman Sessions, when asked what would they do if they took over the House, he said we’d have the exact same agenda. And look there– there’s a lot at stake here. And– and our progressive base, you have– you should not stay home. It– you better get energized. Because the consequences are serious for the outcome of the things we care most about.”

Biden is sure to raise some progressive anger by daring to mention that this administration has actually accomplished passage of real live legislation, “And I didn’t mention half the stuff we’ve gotten done. You know, look, it’s– I think when Barack got– and look, this– this is one exceptional public figure. I mean, Barack Obama, this guy is amazing. But think about it. I think there was– he– he did so well, won so big, I think a lot of people thought, “Well, man, it’s just gonna like fall out of the sky. What he brought out of the sky, down to earth, were really significant progressive goals that have been met. More to do. More to do. And so, I think it’s time for our base to say, “Hey, man, take a look. This opposition is for real.”

Blue Collar Biden also hit GOP on their hypocrisy on the social safety net, “And as you’ve even said on your show that Biden seems to be swinging a lot out there. Now, I’m– I– I’m ready for this fight. And what I do when I go into these districts where these Congressmen, Republican Congressmen vote against this health care. I say, “Look, the choice is clear. I want Republican So-and-so, Congressman So-and-so, explain to the people in his district, who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, because of the financial chicanery of Wall Street. Because of this– this Ponzi scheme they had masquerading as a policy. Tell them why they should not get unemployment insurance. Every district they say, “Oh, no, no. We’re not– we’re not against unemployment insurance. We’re not against it. We’re not against making sure that there’s COBRA or that they have health care. We’re not against it.” When you press them, they’re not against it.”

Even though most progressives are allergic to discussions about tax cuts, Biden explained why the issue of the Bush tax cuts is critical to the middle class, “Here you have Mitch McConnell offering– talk– talking about the deficit. Offering a tax bill that the Washington Post said today, if it were to be passed, tax cuts for the very wealthy and, if it were to be passed, would create a hole in the deficit bigger than the Recovery Act and the health care bill combined. Let me put this in perspective. We want a middle class tax cut. If you’re making $50,000 a year and you’re a family of four, you get $2,100.”

He continued, “That’s the difference between being able to have meat a couple times a week. Being able to pay your utility bill. Making sure you keep your– $2,100 matters. You know where 50 percent of the tax cut for the top bracket go? And that’s $350 billion? The people whose average income is $8.3 million a year. And they’re gonna get a $350,000 tax break. What are they gonna do with that? That they couldn’t do already? But yet, somebody, a family of four, making $100,000, they have two kids in school. They get a $4,100 tax break. It matters to them. It matters. I want this fight. I want this fight. “

This was one of the best interviews that Biden has ever done, and the credit in no small part goes to Maddow, she asked questions that allowed the Vice President to go into depth, but she did not let him wonder off topic as he is prone to occasionally do. After reading this transcript and watching this video, if Democrats still don’t get why it is important to go out and vote this November, then they truly are completely clueless.

I know that the media narrative has been that Democrats are not going to vote this November because they are angry at Obama. This is a nice story line, but it is not true at all. The answer for Democratic apathy is that the victories in 2006 and 2008 have left many Democrats stuffed and satisfied. Nothing makes a base hungrier than losing. Democrats are not angry. They have grown lazy and complacent. This is not uncommon. In fact, it is predictable. Political parties and their supporters in both parties usually grow disinterested after winning.

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