Going into her second day of hero worship toward Texas House Democrats for subverting our democracy, MSNBC’s ReidOut host Joy Reid hilariously claimed on Tuesday that the possibility Texas legislators could be arrested was akin to the Fugitive Slave Act and proposed U.S. Senate Democrats refuse to pass an infrastructure package until Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) kill the filibuster.
Reid began the show as though she were going to be singing President Biden’s praises after his divisive voting rights speech, saying he made “the moral case for protecting the right to vote” and had to follow Lyndon Johnson in “put[ting] the moral weight of the office of the presidency behind expanding voting rights.”
However, she quickly changed her tune by saying “Biden didn't offer much in the way of a plan,” but Texas Democrats were one group that had done so by “continued their fight against Republican voter suppression efforts in their state after more than 50 elected Democrats left Texas last night to block the passage of new voter suppression laws.”
Reid would then bring up the filibuster and her support for axing it, which was ironic considering the actions of Texas House Democrats was, in essence, a filibuster of the GOP-led legislature’s election integrity measures.
Welcoming in one of those legislators in Chris Turner, Reid compared their possible arrests to the law that required the return of slaves to their enslavers, regardless of whether they were found in a free or slave state (click “expand”):
REID: First, I have to talk to you about this threat to have you all arrested when you return to Texas and supposedly to track you down like the Fugitive Slave Act is still in force now. What do you make of that, those threats?
TURNER: Well, good evening, Joy. Great to be with you. They're empty threats. As you stated, the governor — the state of Texas doesn't have jurisdiction outside the state of Texas. But moreover, Governor Abbott is just — is just simply empty bluster. He does not have any authority to come after us. You know, Governor Abbott has had a problem lately understanding the separation of powers. He's the executive branch. We're the legislative branch. He tried — he has tried to defund the legislative branch by vetoing our appropriations and now he's threatening to arrest lawmakers, neither of which he has the constitutional authority to do. The Texas House of Representatives does have a rule that allows the speaker and the — and the remaining members there to compel a quorum. That is within their right. They — they authorized warrants, they did not issue warrants and so that's — but the reality is, it's a civil matter, it's not a criminal matter —
TURNER: — because our members have committed no crime. Fundamentally, what we're doing is working for our constituents and fighting for democracy. That’s what we’re doing.
Reid continued to show her disgust with her fellow Washington D.C. lefties, adding that Turner and his colleagues were an example of Democrats who knew “how to fight” and “[took] the risks that, you know, I think that the base of the Democratic Party wants to see taken all around the country.”
After proposing Congress use “the powers of compulsion” to pass the For the People Act in the same way they used federal funds to force some states to lower speed limits, Reid careened off the edge by suggesting that Democrats hold up another major template of their agenda — infrastructure — until Manchin and Sinema eliminate the filibuster (click “expand”):
REID: You have maybe ten senators who want to keep the filibuster. They seem to be clinging to that more than they are to democracy. They don't seem to have any urgency. They don't have the urgency you just described. Why would you go along voting for their infrastructure bill? Manchin really wants that. Why don't some of you senators say, “well, you don't get our votes on the precious infrastructure bill that you need for your politics if you don't give up the filibuster?” Or why not say, you know, there's got to be something Kyrsten Sinema wants other than to be on TV and mock, you know, the — her — her own base. Why don't you say to her, “you want my vote on this? You don't get it. You don't get your 50. You don't get your special stuff unless we get what we want.” Why — I don't understand why senators are not using the leverage they have over the recalcitrant ten or however many of them there are to say, “you don't get your way unless we get help on voting rights.” It's more important than anything else.
SENATOR ALEX PADILLA (D-CA): Right., Look, I may be new to the Senate, but I ain't new to politics, so don't think that conversations along those lines may not be happening as we speak. But the point I'm trying to make here is with the presence of these heroes from Texas, it is making a difference and so the last go-around, it moved at least one or two. This go-around, hopefully it's another two, whether it's the substance of the John Lewis Voting Rights act, which is already supported bipartisan [sic] or HR-1/S-1 or maybe the rules for the filibuster itself. It is making an impact.
Fast-forward to the end of the segment and an incensed Reid ironically floated the idea that Black votes threaten to abandon the Democratic Party “if they won't even fight for the same voters and fight for them to keep their rights.”
Be careful what you wish for, Joy!
Going to break, Reid gave Turner a message she wanted to share with his colleagues: “Texas State Representative Chris Turner, please convey to all of your colleagues how grateful the country is for you fighting for our democracy. Thank you very much.”
Ah, yes. Texas Democrats taking Miller Lites on a maskless private jet to Washington D.C. is just like storming the beaches of Normandy, going building to building in the Battle of Fallujah, and surviving the cold winter of 1777 in Valley Forge.
Reid’s latest segment divorced from reality and demand that America’s roads and bridges remain in a decrepit state was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Lincoln and Sandals. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant MSNBC transcript from July 13, click here.