Daily Show Employs Hostage Negotiator to Teach Us How to Talk to Republicans

Sometimes trying to debate a conservative Republican is like talking to a brick wall — they're predictable, intransigent, and unwilling to see another's perspective. In response to this issue, The Daily Show brought in an actual former FBI hostage negotiator to teach Jason Jones how to converse with Republicans. Though not completely successful, the result is, at least, hilarious. 

It is pretty ridiculous that the House GOP has taken our country to this point. The only way to truly end this culture of crisis they have created is to vote them out, and DFA members stand at the ready. Here is the shut down by the numbers: 


Outraged by the government shutdown, that's how many phone calls DFA members have pledged  o make to voters in 2014 to defeat Republicans and take back the House of Representatives from Tea Party extremists. And the number is surging with each day the shutdown continues.


That's how many DFA and Daily Kos supporters have signed on to a petition  asking 21 moderate House Republicans to buck John Boehner and sign a "discharge petition" that would force a vote to end the shutdown -- and could prevent the impending debt ceiling disaster.


That's how many Republicans could lose their seats because of the shutdown, according to Sam Wang, a Princeton professor called "one of the best poll aggregators out there" by Paul Krugman. Wang's analysis of recent polling shows that the GOP would lose the House "if the election were held today."

We can take back the House in 2014 -- so this never happens again. Please contribute $5 today to our DFA Dialer program so our members can follow through on making 3 million calls into the districts that matter the most. 

Republicans made this mess, gambling on our future to force an ideological point that the majority of Americans continue to reject. Let's make sure they learn a lesson.

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Dear GOP, We Don’t Feel Sorry for Your “Tough Votes”

Over the last few days, we’ve heard a lot of complaining about how “tough” a vote on a clean CR would be for ultra-conservative House Republicans. At Obama’s Oct. 8 press conference, one reporter said:

“You mentioned yourself that this is a tough vote for all these House Republicans. You're asking them to take a very tough vote for the debt ceiling. Usually, people in both parties want to have some cover…”

And it is a “tough” vote; with constituents so vehemently anti-Obamacare that a possible default appears a veritable Godsend in exchange for its repeal, it may be difficult to convince them of the logic of maintaining a working government. But does anyone spouting this nonsense ever think about why this is such a tough vote? Does it strike these congressmen as strange that their constituents are so alarmed, so illogical, and so deeply immovable in their convictions?

Because here’s the truth, Republicans: you created this monster.

Republicans and Fox News have been working steadily over the past few years to mold the GOP base into exactly what it has become. Is it surprising that they fear and loathe Obamacare when Republicans have repeatedly informed these same voters that Obamacare institutes death panels; kills jobs; pays for abortions (with taxpayer money!); abuses private information (to discriminate against conservatives!); causes skyrocketing premiums; and ultimately represents the end of America as we know it?! Is it surprising that these voters, seeing none of the same alarmist rhetoric employed to describe a default on America’s debt, have drawn the conclusion that Obamacare is much, much worse?

And have congressmen complaining about this “tough vote” acknowledged that the reason their districts are so rabidly conservative is that in 2012 they enthusiastically gerrymandered into irrelevance anyone who didn’t subscribe to Obamacare myths? They’ve created their own conservative dystopias where facts don’t matter and the majority of voters are scared and suspicious of (almost everything, but mostly) Obama, “socialism” and the “liberal elite.” So are Republicans really so conflicted now that it’s now “tough” to make logical decisions, or is that just an excuse?

Because either way, this is exactly what they wanted, and they got it. So, GOP: good luck dealing with it.  And no, you don’t get “cover” (i.e. “political goodies”) for creating this problem yourselves. Now stop misinforming your voters, vote on a clean CR, and get back to work.

Show Republicans we're tired of excuses. Tell them to sign the discharge petition and reopen the government.  

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Bob Schieffer to Sen. Cornyn: "Isn't There Something Wrong" With That?

On Sunday's Face of the Nation, host Bob Schieffer interviewed Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX). Predictably, Cornyn repeated the GOP rhetoric that blames Obama and Democrats for refusing to negotiate. Schieffer asked Cornyn multiple times to explain why Republicans refused to employ normal legislative mechanisms to change policy and instead have resorted to saying, "I'm going to throw a brick through your window unless you give me $20." 

At 1:10, Schieffer delivers his best line: "Senator, isn’t there something wrong when you say I won’t fund the government unless i can attach my personal wish list to the legislation every time we vote? I’d love to see the government find a cure for cancer, but I don’t think you can say I’m not going to pass and pass any funds for the rest of the government until [the National Institutes of Health] finds a cure for cancer. I mean, isn’t that just kind of the same thing here?"

Exactly. The GOP needs to accept that it sometimes doesn't get its way — and that shutting down the government is a dangerously irresponsible reaction. It's important for the media to call out the GOP on how ridiculous and illogical their talking points really are instead of pretending that this debacle is the result of "partisan gridlock." Make sure the GOP understands that the shutdown was a bad political move — pledge to volunteer to defeat Republicans for every day they keep the government shut down.  

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Anderson Cooper to Raul Labrador: You're Getting Real Questions Here

This gem of a clip begins with a metaphor from Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID): Democrats asking Republicans to sign a clean CR is like CNN asking Cooper to sign a contract first and negotiate the terms later. Cooper shoots back: "But it's not really that way because Congress hasn't passed my contract and the Supreme Court hasn't accepted my contract as valid."

Labrador goes for another angle: Romney was lost the election because he was "known as the godfather of Obamacare." Cooper clarifies: "So basically your argument is you're nullifying two presidential elections and you're nullifying the vote of Congress because you don't like it."

Labrador insists that the clean CR wouldn't garner enough votes. Cooper says, "Why not just try?" "Why should we?" Labrador asks. "Because that's how things work," Cooper says. "Your job is to vote on things."

The grand finale comes at 3:30, when Labrador accuses Cooper of "having a stake" in this, to which Cooper responds with the best sound byte of the clip: "This is the way it works in journalism. When you're not on Fox News, you get contentious interviews. When you're not on MSNBC and a liberal, you get contentious interviews. My job is to ask you questions that are different than you think... That's what a journalist does!"

There are enough votes  for a clean CR — 21 Republicans have joined 199 Democrats to surpass the 217 vote majority necessary to pass it. One of two things must occur for the vote to happen: John Boehner changes his mind or Republicans sign onto the discharge petition. Tell Republicans to sign the discharge petition and end this shutdown.  

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