In case anyone was wondering, MSNBC’s weekend programming is no less unhinged than its weekday counterpart. If you need proof of this, look no farther than MSNBC’s backbencher Sunday evening host of The Mehdi Hasan Show, Mehdi Hasan.
Instead of simply disagreeing with Manchin, Hasan, like most leftists, questioned his motives and even pulled out the race card. Accusing the Senator of helping the Republican Party reinstate Jim Crow. Talking to guest Adam Serwer of The Atlantic, Hasan asked: “Adam, how much of what the modern GOP is doing and what Joe Manchin is helping them to do about Jim Crow 2.0, about preserving racism, and white dominance, white supremacy in this country?”
So now Democrat Joe Manchin is a white supremacist too? Is there anyone to the right of Karl Marx who MSNBC doesn’t think is a white supremacist?
As if this segment wasn’t bigoted enough, Hasan decided to double down later in the show by telling Israeli political consultant George Birnbaum that Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank, in addition to other allegations of inhumane behavior.
Birnbaum was too polite to address Hasan’s blatant anti-Israel hate, although he did “take exception” to the allegations. Hasan didn’t mention the inhumane behavior of Hamas and their violence towards Israel. I wonder why? Regardless of the reason, making unsubstantiated allegations against America’s number one ally, and the only democracy in the Middle East is unacceptable.
The Mehdi Hasan Show
MEHDI HASAN: Adam, how much of what the modern GOP is doing and what Joe Manchin is helping them to do about Jim Crow 2.0, about preserving racism, and white dominance, white supremacy in this country?
ADAM SERWER (THE ATLANTIC): Well, so, I — Senator Manchin is probably — has in mind memories of reauthorizations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which I might add, you know, that stopped being — that started being controversial fairly recently. Obviously, the Roberts Court gutted a big section of the Voting Rights Act. But, in the 1860s when the Republicans were trying to reconstruct the federal government after the Civil War, put the country back together, they realized that the South did not want to accept black suffrage. Um, and so they didn’t say, “well we’re not going to do black suffrage unless the Democrats go along. It’s bipartisan.” You know, they just did it, they did it because they understood that it was essential to American democracy to make sure that the newly emancipated could vote. Now, what happened in the 1960s is because the parties were polarized —
SERWER: — ideologically and regionally. You had Democrats, you had Republicans who were willing to cross the aisle to pass the Voting Rights Act to give votes for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. They were willing to do that —
SERWER: — right up until the Bush administration. But they’re not willing to do that anymore. And what Manchin is saying is essentially if the Republicans don’t want Democratic constituencies to be able to vote, “well that’s the end of the story,” because he’s not going to help Democrats do anything about it. And he’s probably not the only one. I mean, the truth is, he’s probably taking the fire for more liberal Democrats in bluer states—
SERWER: who don’t want to come out and say it, but the truth is that that’s what they’re saying. We’re giving Republicans a veto over whether or not our own constituencies —
SERWER: — have an unfettered right to vote.
HASAN: 100% agree with you on the last point there. I’m guessing there’s another four, five, six senators in the Democratic caucus who want to keep the filibuster for some misguided, bipartisanship dreaming reason. Adam, today is five months to the day since the insurrection. You rightly say the modern GOP supports the goals, if not the tactics, the violence of the insurrectionists. Why are so many Democrats who still believe in bipartisanship — Sinema, Manchin, those unnamed senators you and I know are out there — why are they so unable to see that obvious point that’s in front of their noses?
SERWER: I — you know, I wouldn’t begin to speculate. but I will point out that, you know, on the day of January 6th, a lot of Republicans were embarrassed. You know, they condemned what happened with the rioters as terrorism. You know, they forcefully condemned the actions of the rioters. But since then, saying that the election was stolen or at least being silent when other people say the election is stolen has become the price of good standing in the Republican Party. If you are a Republican and you say the election was, in fact, not stolen, that Joe Biden rightfully won, then you risk getting yourself purged, especially if you’re from — you’re — you have a position of leadership like Liz Cheney, who was recently removed from that position a few weeks ago, because she insisted that it was not true, that — that — that the election was stolen. But even people like Liz Cheney are not opposing these laws in the states, these state laws that Republicans are passing in an effort to restrict the voting rights of Democratic constituencies so they can maintain their hold —
SERWER: — on power with the minority of the vote. They’re not opposing that. They might oppose the capitol riot.
SERWER: They’re not opposed to the idea that Republicans should reshape election law in order to better ensure that Republicans win, which is what they see is the larger problem, not this — not the issue of the capitol riot which is simply a symptom.
HASAN: I’m so glad you mentioned Liz Cheney because when I read Joe Manchin’s op-ed this morning and he said “well, what about the seven Republican Senators who voted to convict? Why can’t we get them on board? They’re not enemies of democracy.” The fact that I thought about Liz Cheney in the House who voted to impeach Donald Trump but is totally fine, as you say, with voter suppression bills as she said in a recent Axios interview, I think it was. Adam, in your excellent piece, and I urge everyone to read it. You say, “the same racial and religious polarization that is fueling the Republican turn against democracy has also turned the Democratic Party into an institution that is potentially incapable of confronting the problem.” You basically say the Democrats diverse coalition as opposed to the Republicans white base means they can’t get everybody behind, you know one cause. That’s a pretty big challenge for the Democrats isn’t it? This Manchin declaration today for example, big setback for Biden, Schumer and co. What can be done, if anything?
SERWER: Yeah, I mean, look. The Democrats have a ideologically, racially, religiously diverse coalition. They have conservatives, they have liberals, they have moderates, they have Christians, they have Muslims, they have Jews. And the Republican Party is largely, by identity, a white Christian party. It’s not entirely that way. Obviously, we saw them win over, you know, a larger number of Latino voters, than Trump did the first time around. But what that means is the party with a more ideologically and racially diverse constituency doesn’t have the same unity of action that a party that is as homogeneous as the Republican Party is. We’ve seen this over and over. We’ve actually seen the parties be reversed but be in the same position back when the Democratic Party was the party of segregation and white identity and Republican Party was the party of the black vote. You saw similar problems, which is that the broader your constituency, you may be able to carry a majority but you’re not going to have the same ability to get everybody on the same page you will if your party is smaller and more ideologically and culturally cohesive.
HASAN: Sadly, I think you’re right about that. Adam Serwer, we’ll have to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us on the show tonight.
SERWER: Thanks for having me.
MEHDI HASAN: Whatever Israeli government is formed this week, Gazians will continue to live under siege. East Jerusalem — East Jerusalemites will continue to be evicted from their homes, West Bankers will continue to have to put up with illegal Israeli settlements. You accept, George, that, for Palestinians, it really makes no difference if the Israeli leader is your new boss, Naftali Bennett or your old boss Benjamin Netanyahu?
GEORGE BIRNBAUM: Well, I — I would take exception with some of your characterizations. But, uh, I think that if — if you have a government that is made up of such a broad ideology, and this government will be made up, that there should be hope for both Jews and Palestinians that there can be a change in the status quo and however you characterize that status quo, an improvement in everyone’s lives is really what we need to have.
HASAN: The problem with improving the status quo and improving people‘s lives is you also won’t tell us if Palestinians can have a state in independence.
BIRNBAUM: Listen, I worked for Prime Minister Netanyahu. I worked for Prime Minister Sharon. You know, I think a two state solution is inevitable. That is my personal opinion. I’m not talking as an official position for Naftali Bennett. I think that’s an inevitability. I just think it’s going to take the right type of leadership on both sides to get there. And I’m — again, I’m hopeful that a broad coalition may help lead to that. I think, again, I would like to see
BIRNBAUM: — every Jew and every Arab be able to look at their children and know they’re going to grow up in peace.
HASAN: Let’s see what happens, George Birnbaum. Thank you so much for joining us on the show today.