MSNBC's Hayes Sees 'Ridiculous Clownish Antics' in GOP, Lauds Brewer for 'Put[ting] Down the Clown Horn'

On Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes compared conservatives to clowns as he praised Republican Governor Jan Brewer for breaking ranks with conservatives and pushing for the implementation of ObamaCare in Arizona.

Reminiscent of the time he recently called various Republicans "jackasses" and used some version of the word "jackass" 11 times in one segment, Hayes on Friday used some form of the word "clown" 10 times in just over four minutes.

After teasing the show, the MSNBC host continued:

But we begin tonight with a trip to the circus. It is Friday after all, and when it comes to the Republican party, there's a lot of incentive for being in the circus, and there's not much incentive for doing the hard work of governing responsibly. Everything about the institutional structure and economic benefits of the conservative movement is slanted toward ridiculous clownish antics.

He added:

It's what we see on right-wing talk radio, it's what gets you a contract with Fox News, in some cases a second contract with Fox News. It's how you land book deal after book deal and how you get to run for President to support those book deals. The people who want to be players in this world have to put on the red nose and floppy shoes, and then they have to go to clown auditions.

As he turned attention to the recent Faith and Freedoms Coalition Road to the Majority conference, he played clips of Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, and former Florida Rep. Allen West, playing audio of a clown horn after each Republican's soundbite.

Hayes responded:

It's all pretty predictable. But that's kind of the point. Clowns are predictable. They're going to squirt you with water when you smell the flower every single time.

The MSNBC host then moved on to praise Governor Brewer for confronting an "incredibly right-wing legislature" in Arizona in pushing to implement ObamaCare in her state, and concluded:

...it was a huge victory for her, but it's a bigger victory for the nearly 300,000 Arizonans who will have access to Medicaid. And it happened because a Republican politician put down the clown horn for a minute and actually did the hard work of governing.

And it prompts the question, if you could get rid of all the money and the TV contracts and the book deals and all the other incentives that make politicians act like clowns, how many Jan Brewers are there underneath the clown makeup?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, June 14, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

CHRIS HAYES: But we begin tonight with a trip to the circus. It is Friday after all, and when it comes to the Republican party, there's a lot of incentive for being in the circus, and there's not much incentive for doing the hard work of governing responsibly.

Everything about the institutional structure and economic benefits of the conservative movement is slanted toward ridiculous clownish antics. It's what we see on right-wing talk radio, it's what gets you a contract with Fox News, in some cases a second contract with Fox News. It's  how you land book deal after book deal and how you get to run for President to support those book deals.

The people who want to be players in this world have to put on the red nose and floppy shoes, and then they have to go to clown auditions.

This week, the clown cattle call took the form of the Faith and Freedoms Coalition Road to the Majority conference. And to the surprise of no one, the invited guests rolled out the clown show's greatest hits.

SENATOR RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Now, with ObamaCare, you have a federal government that can tell you what doctor you're going to be able to see.

(AUDIO OF CLOWN HORN)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): We're looking at the legalization of over 30 million illegal aliens.

(AUDIO OF CLOWN HORN)

FORMER REP. ALLEN WEST (R-FL): See the decimation of the progressive socialist policies that have broken down the family unit.

(AUDIO OF CLOWN HORN)

HAYES: It's all pretty predictable. But that's kind of the point. Clowns are predictable. They're going to squirt you with water when you smell the flower every single time.

It's why Michele Bachmann sees more value in the clown circuit than in Congress, which she is leaving at the end of her term. And it's why former Congressman Allen West was rewarded with a paycheck from Fox News.

Another person you probably think of when it comes to the Republican clown show is this person: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, the one who wagged her finger at Barack Obama, the one who gave the Tea Party flag equal status with the American flag, the one who signed one of the harshest immigration bills in the country. Jan Brewer could use some serious clowning. But, as of today, Jan Brewer hasn't just stepped lightly off the circus train. She did a full-fledged barrel roll off of it. Jan Brewer waged a war with her own party for months over implementing ObamaCare in her state. Jan Brewer wanted the Medicaid expansion that goes along with Medicare and the federal dollars it brings.

And Jan Brewer took absolutely no prisoners to get it. In the wee hours of the morning, Jan Brewer won.

VOICE OF UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER #1: It was just Tuesday that Governor Brewer called a special session telling lawmakers, hey, make a deal. Finally, after six months of wrangling back and forth, a budget has been passed expanding Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of people in the state.

HAYES: Brewer got her way by forcing the incredibly right-wing legislature of Arizona into a box, winning over moderate Republicans and creating a bipartisan coalition to push through the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion.

The Republican House Speaker, Andy Tobin, and the Republican Senate President, Andy Biggs, were at risk of losing their jobs if they tried to obstruct the process, a threat that Brewer actually confirmed. She told an Arizona paper, "The action was never taken because the two Republican leaders 'did the smart thing,' and did not try to stop the bipartisan coalition from bringing the budget for a vote." One Arizona Republican told Politico, "She's probably cost at least a half dozen, maybe more, senators and representatives their political futures to get this done."

And with Republicans still complaining about Brewer's heavy hand, Governor Brewer addressed the media around 1:00 a.m. this morning to say it was all over.

VOICE OF UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER #2: Governor, the Republicans are on the floor calling you a traitor, they're calling you all kinds of names, saying that this is unconstitutional, this is not the way government is done in Arizona. What do you say to that?

VOICE OF UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The puppet master, I think you were called that twice.

GOVERNOR JAN BREWER (R-AZ): Yeah, I heard it a few times. Well, you know, tomorrow they'll probably say, you know, we're sorry, or we just forget it. You know, I mean, in the heat of the moment, people say a lot of things. Certainly I can understand that.

HAYES: That's, you know, in case you didn't notice, that was Jan Brewer being a baller, and she should be because it was a huge victory for her, but it's a bigger victory for the nearly 300,000 Arizonans who will have access to Medicaid. And it happened because a Republican politician put down the clown horn for a minute and actually did the hard work of governing.

And it prompts the question, if you could get rid of all the money and the TV contracts and the book deals and all the other incentives that make politicians act like clowns, how many Jan Brewers are there underneath the clown makeup?