Dylan Ratigan Condemns 'Arizona's Anti-immigration Law,' Calls for Mob Rule to Overhaul System
You have to hand it to Dylan Ratigan.
The MSNBC bloviator melded immigration reform, the military industrial complex, and congressional gridlock into a scatter-brained diatribe at the top of his eponymous program on Thursday.
In the wake of President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform earlier in the day, Ratigan railed against "Arizona's latest anti-immigration law" and praised Obama for "doing a good job, and a better job than almost any politician I've seen in a long time, in drawing our nation's attention to the major broken systems in this country."
The former CNBC anchor who fancies himself a financial guru also babbled about a "War on Drugs that feeds money into the military complex but does nothing to defeat drug use or, for that matter, protect the border."
Then, interviewing Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Ratigan excoriated a Senate full of "weasels" that perpetuates an "utterly frozen process that allows the special interests to destroy our country and freeze our government."
Not surprisingly, Becerra, a strident supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, concurred with the unhinged talk show host: "Dylan, I don't know if I could have said it better."
While claiming to criticize both sides of the aisle, Ratigan continued to cheerlead for the Democratic president, asking Becerra, "How do we – how do I in the media, how do you in the Congress – help this president try to lead us?"
Without missing a beat, Becerra suggested dismantling one of America's most treasured safeguards against tyranny – the Senate's super-majority threshold for closing debate – and replacing it with what the Founding Fathers derided as "mob rule."
"Dylan all we have to do is get the public to tell the Senate to let us go back to majority rule," proposed Becerra.
Ratigan proved it is possible to misrepresent a popular state law, posit outlandish conspiracy theories about the military, and undermine the foundation of republican government over the course of a five minute rant.
The transcript of the relevant portions of the program can be found below:
DYLAN RATIGAN: A problem, of course, made more pressing by the controversy over Arizona's latest anti-immigration law. The government expected to file a lawsuit, in fact, against that law in the coming days. First the president drew our attention to health care. All of our attention, whether we like it or not, remains on our financial system, corrupt and destroying our country as it is. And now immigration. While short on true fixes, at least Obama is doing a good job, and a better job that almost any politician I've seen in a long time, in drawing our nation's attention to the major broken systems in this country. So when and if will we actually see reform? Will our lawmakers actually step up and do better on this effort when it comes to immigration, or will we just get another example of nothing more than "reform in name only" that perpetuates the most profitable aspects of illegal immigration, in this case cheap labor, and of course a War on Drugs that feeds money into the military complex but does nothing to defeat drug use or, for that matter, protect the border. Joining us now, California Congressman Xavier Becerra, an outspoken advocate for immigration reform. He's also Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, excuse me. You have to be pleased with the president at least drawing everybody's attention to this, and approaching honesty by acknowledging the mess, not only in immigration in this country, but in Washington and its total denial and inability to lead us to a solution. Do you agree with him?--Alex Fitzsimmons is a News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.
Rep. XAVIER BECERRA (D-Calif.): Dylan I do agree with him, and it takes courage to say those things to the American public because right now the public is so very frustrated.
RATIGAN: How do we – how do I in the media, how do you in the Congress – help this president try to lead us? How do we come together in a way that resolves this in a way that is closer to fair than not?
BECERRA: We shouldn't let anyone kick the can down the road, as the president said. Everyone should be held accountable. In Congress, we need to see not just Democrats, we're ready to go to work on this, but Republicans as well. And we know they're out there. They were there three years ago. We know that there are some votes in the Senate that would want to do something but right now we need to see some courage on the Republican side in the Senate. Unfortunately right now, the Senate has become the graveyard for good ideas because Republicans are holding hostage any vote that doesn't get to 60 in a house of 100. So you have to have the super-majority vote, and it makes it very difficult, if not impossible to get good ideas into law.
RATIGAN: Should we throw out all the senators in November and start over?
BECERRA: Well there's some very good senators who are trying to do some things here, so no no.
RATIGAN: How do we tell the difference, how to we figure out who the weasels are? Don't tell me it's the Democrats and the Republicans because I've been doing this long enough to know there are just as many weasely Democrats as there are Republicans. The trick is trying to tell which is which within the party.
BECERRA: Dylan all we have to do is get the public to tell the Senate to let us go back to majority rule. In November, we're going to operate on majority rule. Whatever individual wins more votes than the other, that person becomes the next congressman or the next senator. But in the Senate, you can have a majority and still not pass a bill to the president's desk. So majority rule and we get a lot done.
RATIGAN: So you would argue that the very same corrupt system that is bankrupting California, the need for a super-majority to do anything, and obviously nobody gets it, so special interests just continue to torch that state. And now the Senate has a duplication of that same utterly frozen process that allows the special interests to destroy our country and freeze our government. Is that basically what we're dealing with here?
BECERRA: Dylan, I don't know if I could have said it better. Take a look at the Wall Street reform bill. The Senate is making it almost impossible for us to get there. There are more than 58 votes for a bill and we still can't get it to the president's desk. Hopefully soon the senators allow this bill to go the president and stop holding it hostage.