The Morning Now: 7/16/13

Sen. Chuck  Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) walk to Reid's office after Senate joint caucus meeting, on July 15, 2013 in...
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) walk to Reid's office after Senate joint caucus meeting, on July 15, 2013 in...
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Have you ever wondered what Jeff Garlin impersonating Eugene Robinson would sound like? Here you go. Better still, Alex has the real deal joining her in the studio today, perhaps she will ask him to do his best Jeff Garlin? Tune in to find out. Also on the show:

Joy Reid, Managing Editor, Contributor (@thereidreport)

Jacob Weisberg, Chairman, Slate (@jacobwe)

Ari Melber, msnbc Host, “The Cycle” (@arimelber)

Jonathan Alter, msnbc Political Analyst/ Author “The Center Holds” (@jonathanalter)

Jennifer Senior, Contributing Editor, New York Magazine (@jenseniorny)

First up, the reactions to and implications of the Zimmerman verdict continue to reverberate throughout the country. It has become something of a political rorschach test, with everyone taking away from it whatever best supports their political agenda. Rush Limbaugh managed to reduce the trial to just another round in the ongoing battle between left and right in America, as if somehow Zimmerman’s acquittal was a victory for the conservative movement:

The progressives, the liberals out there are having a little temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way. But really, folks, how often are they on the losing end of anything anymore? They’re getting gay marriage, they got Obamacare, they’ve got Obama…This verdict is not part of a string of defeats for the left. It is an interruption in a string of victory after victory.

Yet at the same time, there is a continued refusal on the right to acknowledge that race played any role in the verdict. In fact, the mere acknowledgment of the existence of racism in America, and  that it did play at least some role in the the Zimmerman case, has continually been derided as liberals’ “injecting race” into the case. As long as these attitudes persist, is it even possible to have a dialogue about race in America? What role does race have in the justice system?

As of this morning, there is still chance for the Senate to reach an agreement on the filibuster that would avoid the so-called “nuclear option.” Given the way the 2014 Senate race is shaping up, Harry might want to hold off on pulling that trigger. In a column yesterday, Nate Silver predicted a toss up for Senate control in the next election, writing “”Our best guess is that Republicans will end up with somewhere between 50 and 51 Senate seats after 2014, putting them right on the threshold of a majority.” Could the nuclear option blow up in Harry’s face? Alex will have all the latest on this developing story.

Elliot Spitzer’s surprise run for New York City Comptroller has shined a spotlight on what would otherwise be a relatively obscure election of little national interest. His Democratic rival, Scott Stringer, has described the disgraced former Governor’s entrance to the race as “the circus coming to town,” lamenting that the real issues that are important to New Yorkers are being overshadowed. Stringer will join Alex in the studio to discuss the race and his vision for the city.

“Frankly, the fact that you’re such a gentleman, and such a good and kind person I think helps to reinforce that spirit of service. On behalf of all of us we are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you and we can’t thank you enough.” These were Obama’s words about George H.W. Bush in a ceremony held yesterday to honor the 41st President. What will be his legacy?

It all happens at noon EDT.

The Morning Now: 7/16/13