After a heated debate on last Friday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald squared off again on Monday's "Last Word." They continued their debate about why Democrats lost their majority in the House at the midterm election, and whether the conservative Blue Dog caucus is necessary to uphold that majority.
During Friday's debate, O'Donnell and Greenwald sparred over whether O'Donnell had "blamed the left" for Democratic defeats during MSNBC's coverage of last Tuesday's elections. O'Donnell accused Greenwald of taking him out of context and neglecting to point to any actual quotes of his that might be construed as "blaming the left." The next day, Greenwald wrote a post on his blog, linking to video of O'Donnell discussing the losses of progressives such as Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold.
(O'Donnell also called himself a "socialist" during his "Morning Joe" appearance -- something that Glenn Beck picked up on and used as evidence that radicals embedded in the government and media were "revealing themselves" to the world.)
On Monday, O'Donnell sidestepped the issue of what he may or may not have said on Election Night, telling viewers to go to Greenwald's post. He instead pressed Greenwald to explain how Democrats could win Congressional majority without the help of Blue Dogs.
The two went back-and-forth, with Greenwald saying that the Blue Dogs had watered down policies that would have been more effective and more popular without them. Democrats' reliance on Blue Dogs, he said, was "a major reason why they failed...and why they lost the election."
Greenwald also said that, while voters might be turned off by the word "liberal," they are supportive of liberal policies, and so more liberal Democrats could have won in places where Blue Dogs ran.
O'Donnell countered that the Blue Dogs were the only group of Democrats who could ensure a majority. "When you lose the Blue Dogs, you lose the majority," he said. He also said that, in contrast to earlier generations of Democrats, the most recent Congress had passed health care reform with the assistance of the Blue Dogs.
Greenwald responded that Blue Dogs had watered down the health and financial reform bills, making them less popular with voters.