Interview with Senator Sherrod Brown

By Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel Maddow Show - July 13, 2011

Guests: Sen. Sherrod Brown, Jay Fahy


RACHEL MADDOW, HOST:  Good evening, Lawrence.  Thanks very much.

And thanks to you at home for staying with us this next half hour.


"The Best New Thing in the World Today" coming up at the end of the show, I will warn you, has a little more soccer in it.  I know, American audience"”soccer, I know, I"m American too, I"m just warning you.

The Women"s World Cup match this past Sunday, U.S. versus Brazil ended with this spectacular, beautiful cross and goal that even people who hate soccer, or even people who are indifferent to it have to admit was a beautiful thing.  So, more of that happened today.  And that will be coming up on "The Best New Thing in the World."  That is fair warning.

But you know what?  It got me thinking, every goal counts the same in soccer, right?  Every goal is a point.  Every goal is the same thing whether it"s pretty or not.  And earlier in that amazing game on Sunday, just as important to the final score, what counted just as much as this beautiful pass!  Oh, my God, it"s most beautiful thing I"ve seen in my life.

What counted just as much as that goal was one of the ugliest goals of all time"”it was an own goal.  Own goal.  Ugh!  Brazil, scoring a point.

Look at that, yellow in yellow.  Oh, that" their own goal.  Brazil scoring a point against themselves, putting the ball into their own net.

Aww!  This is something that happens from time to time, in soccer there have been other notable, really embarrassing own goals in history.  Oh, off his own face.

Even if you are rooting against the team that is scoring against itself, whoops, it is just"”you watch this"”oh, God"”there"s something that taps into our human empathy.  Look, oh!  When we somebody score an unforced error against themselves like that.

I mean, oh, my God!  Own goals.  It"s painful.  You watch these things, you feel the pain of the people having these things happen to them.  It"s painful.

I mean, look at this one.  Watch this one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  On this vote, the yeas are 243, the nays 193, one recorded as present.  Two-thirds not being in affirmative, the rules are not suspended on the bill and the bill is not passed.


MADDOW:  John Boehner, John Boehner, another own goal.  Again, again he does this.

Last night, House Republicans brought their own bill to the floor for a vote only to see it defeated by themselves.  It was a bill to eliminate energy efficiency regulations for light bulbs, and it lost.  That is not supposed - that is not how it"s supposed to work when you are the majority party in the House and the minority party has almost no power.

You control the floor.  You control what gets voted on.  You control when it gets voted on.

Your own party"s stuff you are supposed to be able to pass"”and if you can"t pass something, you certainly don"t bring it up.  Why would you?

But with John Boehner in charge in the House of Representatives, the Republicans keep kicking the ball into their own net over and over and over again.  Back in February, you may remember, in a span of 24 hours, Speaker Boehner brought a Republican U.S. out of the U.N.-type bill on to the House floor.  It was defeated.

He brought a Republican Patriot Act extension bill to the House floor, it was defeated.  Then he was forced to pull a trade bill he supported from the floor because it was clear that it, too, would be defeated, all in the span of about 24 hours.

Last month, John Boehner had to pull a Democratic Libya bill from the floor at the last second because"”oops, oh, jeez, forgot to count the votes, looks like this one might pass, and Republicans did not want it to pass.  And now this, a Republican-sponsored light bulb bill that John Boehner brought to the floor goes down to defeat.

This is what they call a messaging bill, a populist, pointless, never going to affect the law, let"s just bank this purely for the political ads, messaging bill about opposing light bulb tyranny or something.  Republicans have a nearly 50-seat majority in the House.  It is their own bill, they get to determine what comes up and under what rules they are supposed to count the votes before they do anything to make sure that what they want to pass will pass or don"t bring it up.

But under John Boehner -- 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, my goodness!


MADDOW:  Oh!  Under John Boehner"s leadership in the House of Representatives, stuff like this just happens, and it happens all the time.  This is the House speaker who forgot to swear in two of his new members of Congress on the first day he was in charge of the House.

This is the House speaker who allowed two different members of his caucus to give a rebuttal to President Obama"s State of the Union Address and they didn"t agree with each other.  This is the House speaker who made a big self important photo-op out of reading the Constitution on the floor of the House to start the legislative year, and then he left some parts of the Constitution out and had to do them later.

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