On Tuesday's edition of "The ReidOut," MSNBC's Joy Reid treated her viewers to something that she does not often do: have a Republican guest on her show. The guest in question was Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), who discussed a variety of topics with Reid, at least when she let him get a word in edgewise.
Despite how Reid wasn't exactly the proper host, with "Joy Reid" trending on Twitter to reflect that, Donalds nevertheless made many cogent points. NewsBusters' Kevin Tober provided a thorough write-up of the segment, with the site's managing editor, Curtis Houck, tweeting several noteworthy clips. Bonchie, over at our sister site of RedState, also highlighted how "Stupidity and Fireworks Follow[ed]" from the segment.
Donalds, who reminded Reid multiple times that he is a finance professional, pointed out that Social Security will be insolvent in a matter of years, educated her on what it is that the Speaker of the House actually does, listed out Republican priorities for the 118th Congress, and sought to explain the dangers of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other woke initiatives before they ran out of time.
Race came up during the segment in ways beyond Reid's obsession with defending CRT. After Donalds had been nominated for Speaker of the House last week, along with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) refused to acknowledge the historic significance of two black men being nominated for the position and instead referred to Donalds as a "prop" and claimed he was "perpetuating white supremacy."
Reid went with a similar narrative. In addition to pointing out that Donalds had served one term and has not been a part of leadership, she also brought up the differences in black House members who are Democrats versus Republicans. "So, do you not believe that the idea was to make a diversity statement by nominating you?" she asked.
"Well, actually, first, that was not the idea. Because I was in the room when the decision was made by people who chose to nominate me," Donalds was clear in telling Reid, who kept harping on how he had not been in leadership, as she also hardly gave him ample time to answer.
The congressman also took issue with Reid's point about him only serving as long as he has. "Am I to be despised for my youth because I served one term?" he asked. "My members know I have the ability to engage other members through the conference. But it's even bigger than that. Listen, we were at an impasse last week in our speakership elections." He went on to acknowledge, "Kevin McCarthy is now Speaker of the House. At the same time, I was working with members on both sides of our conference to make sure that we can get the job done, and we did. That's the only thing that matters."
Joy Reid starts winding down the interview by filibustering Byron Donalds and complaining he was being "unfair" to have previously accused her of saying he's "less black than other folks" and invokes his 2020 election votes, not impeaching Trump, and opposing ballot harvesting. pic.twitter.com/rGzAedyi6P— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 11, 2023
Race came up even more so, though, toward the very end.
"I'm going to go through a few of your voting record items because you've made some statements about me, about what I have said, and saying that I have tried to accuse you of being less black than other folks, which I think is an unfair statement, but that's fine," Reid said. She went on to bring up how Donalds "voted to reject the Arizona and Pennsylvania electors on January 6. Donald Trump himself has implied that the reason that Pennsylvania was illegitimate is because of Philadelphia" and claimed, "That's a statement about African American voters."
Donalds very much took issue, pointing out, "That's not a statement about African American voters!"
When further discussing the 2020 election, January 6, and voting laws in general, Donalds also stood by Florida laws as "the best election laws in the country."
The congressman's wife, Erika Donalds, highlighted not just how Reid refused to let her husband speak but the racism he has faced for daring to be a black Republican who is also married to a white woman.
And…there’s more! ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/2jmxDHxUvL— Erika Donalds (@ErikaDonalds) January 11, 2023
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) also took note of how one of the topics discussed was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) move to kick him, as well as Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), off of committee assignments. Such a decision from McCarthy was seen as a long time coming and a matter of fulfilling promises.
In tweeting about the segment, Swalwell claimed that Donalds "admits" McCarthy removing the members was "purely out of vengeance."
Donalds had referred to harping on McCarthy's decision – again, not a surprising one – as a "sideshow" while attempting to steer Reid in the direction of being receptive to hear what Republicans were prioritizing now that they have taken the majority.
"We're actually going to get to border security; we're going to get to energy policy. We have to go through a debt ceiling; we're gonna figure out a way to cut our spending, curtail our spending because we're living well beyond our means. That is the work of the Republican conference in the next Congress," Donalds told Reid before using the "sideshow" line to refer to this harping of kicking Democratic members off committees.
Punishing the other side in such a way isn't one of those major priorities, though that certainly seemed to be a priority when Democrats were in the majority, given how Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were treated. Democrats were warned this would come back to bite them.
Donalds made sure to remind Reid that Republicans "were very clear in the 117th congress" about how Congress "should not be going down this pathway of saying, 'Oh, that member said this, they gotta be kicked off committees,'" and that "this is the response." He called for returning to the status quo of "you pick your committee people, we'll pick ours, and we'll go from there."
As Donalds explained, McCarthy has reasons to remove Swalwell, Schiff, and Omar from their committees, which hardly makes this "purely out of vengeance," as Swalwell so desperately claimed. In Swalwell's case, he cannot be trusted with classified information, especially since he would not be given a security clearance in the public sector, and he had an affair with a Chinese Spy, which is why he cannot be on the House Intelligence or Homeland Security committees.
Omar has had a history of antisemitic remarks, which her Democratic colleagues have swept under the rug, and thus has no place on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Schiff is also being removed from the Intel committee, given that, as McCarthy aptly and succinctly put it, he has "lied to the American public time and again." Such lies continue to come back and bite him, in that he went so far as to urge Twitter to suspend journalist Paul Sperry from the platform, according to last week's edition of the Twitter Files. Sperry is considering legal action against Schiff.
Several trends showed people were talking about Swalwell, including not just "Swalwell" but "Fang Fang" and "Chinese Spy." Schiff has also been trending, not just with "Schiff," but with "Pencil Neck."
Donalds, being the class act he is, acknowledged that it was Reid's show and allowed her to have the last word. He did vow to come back, though.