Contrary to the hysteria surrounding the health care debate, Senate Republicans didn’t make a real move on repealing the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday. The procedural vote, which was 50-50 until Vice President Mike Pence added his tie-breaker vote, only meant that the Senate would move forward to discuss a measure potentially repealing Obamacare.

“The GOP got together and they voted to discuss health care out in the open. That’s all that happened,” Glenn said Wednesday on radio.

Why would you do that?

“If you build up enough of an event, if you make a circus, everyone will remember the time the circus came to town. They won’t remember exactly what happened because nobody’s paying enough attention to it, everybody has to juggle 400 different things in their life,” Glenn said.


President Trump spoke after the vote, adding to the hoopla.

“This is the best the Republicans can do,” Glenn said of Tuesday’s vote, which was essentially an empty move to make Americans think the GOP was getting something done.

Using the analogy of a new car model, Glenn outlined what the GOP has been doing to the American people when it comes to health care. Republicans promised for seven years to build a new model that would revolutionize the industry, spending the time arguing back and forth. They blamed various people and said they couldn’t get anything done unless they had more power, but now that they have the White House, the Senate and the House, it’s still not enough.

“And they say, ‘We’re going to have a historic day. All in favor of talking about some kind of car that would be great and half the cost, say aye,’” Glenn said. “No car has been built, no car has even been proposed.”

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.

GLENN: Here’s what happened yesterday with health care. The GOP got together, and they voted to discuss health care out in the open. That’s all that happened. Now, why would you have the president speak right after? Why would you fly John McCain back for this historic vote and have him give a stirring speech right after? Because this is the best the Republicans can do.

Now let me explain this. Let’s say that we all went to a company, and we said you guys have to hire us because we’re going to build an amazing car. I mean, we can fix the car industry. You think self-driving cars are great? Wait until you see what we have, and we’re going to be able to make it at half the price. So a company hires us. And all we do is spend seven years arguing about nothing. We first say, you know what — boss, shareholders — we want to make that car, but Ted in accounting keeps stopping us. We need Ted out of accounting. So they fire Ted. And then they’re, like, well, it wasn’t just Ted in accounting. It’s also Bill in product. He is crazy bad. So they fire Bill. And you’re, like, it wasn’t just Ted and Bill. We also need to be on the board of directors. Okay. All right. You’re on the board of directors. Okay. Now we can get something done.

Then everybody in the company watches for something to come out of that factory. No car. No car. Nothing going in. Nothing going out. Maybe it’s like Professor Potts when he bought that car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Yes, I had to throw that reference in. Where nobody went into the barn and then all of a sudden this great, flying car came out. No, it’s nothing like that. Nobody’s been doing anything in the warehouse. Nobody’s been doing anything to build a new car.

So finally, everybody gets so angry that the board of directors comes in and says you know what guys, we’ve had enough. You haven’t built anything. So what do the people who said they were going to build the car do?
They say you know what? You’re exactly right. And this time we’re going to do something. You know what? Call the press because we’re going to show you exactly what we’ve got planned. We’re going to change the world tomorrow. Call the press, and the head of our division is going to give a speech after the press conference. It’s going to be a big day.

So the press comes, everybody’s waiting with bated breath. This is going to be the day we find out all about this car. And they get everybody who has said that they were going to build that car together, and they say, we’re going to have a historic day. All in favor of talking about some kind of car that would be great and half the cost, say aye. Aye. The ayes have it.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have just witnessed a historic event. No car has been built. No car has even been proposed. But what this team of amazing people have just done is they have voted — they’ve opened up the doors, they’ve been talking behind closed doors, they’ve opened up the doors — and now they’re going to talk about talking about passing something that will possibly get that car built. They don’t even know what it looks like. But pay no attention to that. And then the CEO of that division steps to the plate and says you know, all of these people who are standing away at this car being built . . . wait a minute. You got everything you asked for. This people have got to go. Standing in the way of progress of this amazing car that we have absolutely no idea what it will look like, what it will cost, what it even is. We’re just going to vote on talking about a car. That’s all that happened yesterday.

So why would you do that? Why would you do that? Because if you build up enough of an event, if you make a circus, everyone will remember the time the circus came to town. They won’t remember exactly what happened because nobody’s paying enough attention to it. Everybody has to juggle 400 different things in their life.

My wife, I came home last night, and she said “Did they pass a health care bill?” And I said “No, honey, they didn’t.” She said, “They voted it down?” And I said, “No, they voted to talk about it.” She rolled her eyes, and said you’ve got to be kidding. I said “no.”

The average person will think the GOP just did something miraculous. This is a procedure. Those votes happen all the time. This is just a vote to proceed about talking about it. Why was this a global event? This is, like, “Hey, Bill, can you come over to my office in maybe an hour? We have to talk about building that car.” “Sure.”

That’s all it was. So don’t get excited because really, that platform more importantly was a launching pad for two other things that do not help your life. You were interested because you have a very high deductible. You were — by the way, hopefully by the end of the week, we have somebody who’s going to help you on that. You were interested yesterday because you can’t pay the premium. You lost your doctor. You lost the health care you love. You’re on the edge. You care. But that’s not what yesterday was about. That yesterday was about convincing the everyday person that the Republicans actually did something when they did nothing. Two, it was a launching pad for two attacks. John McCain against talk radio. And Donald Trump against Jeff Sessions. Let’s start with talk radio, shall we?

Here’s John McCain.

MCCAIN: The problem solving our system does make possible the fitful progress it produces and the liberty and justice it preserves is a magnificent achievement.

Our system doesn’t depend on our nobility. It accounts for our imperfections and gives us an order to our individual strivings that has helped make ours the most powerful and prosperous society on earth. It is our responsibility to preserve that. And even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than winning. Even when we must give a little to get a little. Even when our efforts managed just three yards and a cloud of dust while critics on both sides denounce us for timidity, for our failure to triumph.

GLENN: Stop for just a second. Before we get any further on this, the three — the three yards and a cloud of dust, by the way, he’s saying we’ve got to compromise. We’ve got to work together. And it’s very noble on what he’s saying. Unfortunately, he has said he won’t — he won’t compromise on a clean repeal bail. He’s not compromising. He’s saying everyone else has to compromise to this level. Not him.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: Everyone else has to compromise to this level. But then he goes on.

MCCAIN: Rely on humility on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other, to learn how to trust each other again. And by so doing better, serve the people who elected us. Stop listening to the bombastic loud mouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them.
[Applause]

GLENN: Wow. So this loud, bombastic loud mouths on radio, television, and Internet. You know what? In some regard — in some ways, I agree with that. In some ways, I agree with that. Unless those voices are not a parabolic dish but an actual mirror of the American people. If that is the message of the American people. But I don’t think a lot of what is happening in the news is a reflection of the American people. But I certainly don’t think that the people in Washington, D.C. are reflecting the people. They’re the ones that created this health care nightmare. They’re the ones who said “We’ve got a crisis.” When most of Americans said we don’t have a crisis. Remember, before this passed, and I know it has been so long. Before this passed, 70 percent were against it. They were, like, we don’t have a problem. They took and used a problem of “Hey, these people don’t have health care. They’ve got to have health care.” Okay. Instead of fixing that, they destroyed the health care we have because they want a single pair system. If I may quote some people think this is a Trojan horse, it’s not a Trojan horse. It’s right there. End quote. They were trying to get to a single pair system so these people in Washington went, and they took and destroyed our health care. Under the guys of being able to help these people. Have they helped those people?

PAT: No.

GLENN: No, they have not. In fact, more people have died per year under the ACA than didn’t. Now, I am not tying that directly because I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. But 80,000 people a year more are dying every year with the ACA. I don’t know what has caused that. But it certainly hasn’t helped, and it has hurt a vast majority of Americans who are now struggling, and they think they have their finger on the pulse of America?
If that is true, John McCain, then why do you have — and I’m not exaggerating — I believe it is one point above or one point below the ratings of cockroaches. Because America loves cockroaches? Because we think cockroaches are a benefit to us?

Believe me. If any of these guys scampered out from underneath our refrigerator, I wouldn’t be surprised, and I can tell you I would spray him with whatever I had or hit him over the head with a broom. They are cockroaches, in many ways. They better listen to somebody and not themselves because they are completely lost in Washington, D.C.