On Monday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes accused Republicans of "pandering" to an "increasingly self-lathering conservative base" in trying to defund ObamaCare, as he predicted that doing so would spell an "unmitigated disaster politically" for Republicans.
Hayes mocked Republicans as uncaring as he referred to millions of people who might be affected by ObamaCare by rhetorically asking, "Though really who cares about them?"
He concluded that the "'defund ObamaCare' train" would be in a "collision" with "political reality and millions of sick and anxious people."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, August 19, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:
CHRIS HAYES: Okay, here's everything you need to understand what's going on in the Republican party right now. In 2012, the Republicans got their butts handed to them, the sort of electoral drubbing that occasions a lot of thumb-sucking, think pieces and self-reflection about what went wrong. And the basic consensus coming out of that was the party needed to do better with emerging demographic groups; Latinos, young people, those groups that are making up a larger and larger share of the electorate.
It's all pretty straightforward. But here's the problem. Each second that ticks by, and every day that passes, puts us further from the memory of 2012 and one day closer towards the midterms and one day closer to the beginning of the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, which means, as I speak to you, as the moments flutter by, the incentives are slowly shifting so that your average Republican politician, concerned chiefly with his or her political future, cannot help but conclude that the smart logical rational thing to do is to pander by any means necessary to the increasingly self-lathering conservative base. And what the base wants is what they already want: death to ObamaCare.
No matter how many people have to politely explain to them that ship has sailed, no matter how many Republican party elites and donors and others warn them that threatening a shutdown or a default over defunding ObamaCare will be an unmitigated disaster politically, not to mention for millions of people, though really who cares about them? They want it. They want it. And the loudest voices they listen to want it.
And so today we have the Heritage Foundation unveiling its nine-city tour intended to drum up support for defunding the President's signature piece of legislation. But, more importantly, there's the Internet meme.
The right-wing institution launching a stop ObamaCare Instagram campaign. The Heritage Foundation's president and former U.S. Senator, Jim DeMint. Entrants include a forlorn-looking Darrell Issa holding up a blank sign and grumpy cat.
Heritage adding its own meme to the mix. This gun totin' image from the movie RIPD. That's Rest in Peace Department. We had to Google it. In case you didn't catch it in the theaters, you are not alone. It was one of the summer's biggest Box Office flops.
Meanwhile, a former Republican operative now says his own medical struggles have changed his views on the legislation. Clint Murphy, who worked on John McCain's 2008 campaign, has battled cancer and other issues including sleep apnea.
And those experiences have prompted him to turn from ObamaCare adversary to supporter: "When you say you're against it, you're saying you don't want people like me to have health insurance."
But, of course, here's the rub. Clint Murphy isn't going to get the hearing with the relatively small committed group of dead enders, who the Ted Cruz's of the world need to cultivate support with to be plausible 2016 GOP nominees.
And the "defund ObamaCare" train rolls on faster and faster gathering speed with every passing moment, headed towards a collision with political reality and millions of sick and anxious people.
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center