Hardball | November 28, 2012
>>> an election in which republicans overwhelmingly lost african-americans, latinos and women generally you think a picture like this, look at it, would be something republicans would want to try to avoid. yet these are the faces of the house committee chairman, men, selected by the republican party . i guess there's a little diversity there. white man with brown hair , white man with blond hair , old white guy, young white guy. do the republican party people in charge of the house, for example d they learn anything from the 2012 election results? not the big promotion that came before. look who's laughing, joan walsh , editor-at-large at salon. her new book "what's matter with white people ," appropriate for tonight's discussion. tom davis is what we used to call moderate republican . former congressman from virginia. he's like the kind of people i grew up with in pennsylvania who were republicans , like bill scrand, tom ridge . joan, looking at that survey picture, a graphic we should look at again, all those dozens of committee chairs -- you can actually call them chairmen in that case. you don't have to get confused. the top three leader, speaker marks joert leader, majority whip all men, white guys. i guess that's to be assumed in some cases. in this republican case, i must say, what is going on here?
>> it's almost like they're defiant, chris, like they're saying, you know, we're not going to listen to the election results. we're not going to change a darn thing we're doing. we think we're doing just fine. we got here, this is the club, this is the way we're going to keep it. where were the women they were pushing out during the war on women debate? kathy morris rogers, who worked for them, defended them, and defended in my mind, terrible policies. where are these people now. i want to flip something around and point out the house democratic caucus leadership is incredibly diverse. it's that diverse leadership that's going to be defending the benefits of white seniors, most of whom voted for mitt romney . there are so many ironies here. but it's the democratic party , the face --
>> you're saying the last vestige of support for keeping all the entitlements which help older people are the young, healthy --
>> healthy, diverse --
>> -- black, members of congress --
>> -- women .
>> yes. that's ironically what our economy will look like in worker bees and retirement bees.
>> now and --
>> you're playing defense here tonight. don't join us as a commentary. what's the story about your party. i see it -- i get increasingly aware, as you watch this show develop over the last 18 years in different forms, i get increasingly aware there's all white people at the table. a sunday show, for example, you get a sense, there's something wrong with this picture. do republicans have that sensitivity? talmage is --
>> she mentioned rogers, the number four people --
>> what do they do?
>> they hold conferences every week. they run the retreats.
>> run the retreats?
>> john boehner --
>> you're getting in deeper and deeper.
>> they run the caucus meetings every week. she runs the caucus, decides which speakers come in. vice chair of the caucus, lynn jenkins , virginia fox --
>> what's a more important position, chairman and vice chairman of the caucus or speaker of the house --
>> or committee chair.
>> any of the committees.
>> caucus chairman trumps the committee chairmanship. i've been both. i've been in the leadership and i've been a committee chair. look, you only had one woman in contentious for committee chairmanman ship, candace miller. they're knife fights. when the caucus was allowed to speak, they elected -- they selected the woman. unfortunately, you know --
>> a bloomberg article points out uncomfortable optics, the white republican house is going to present. quote, the visuals will be striking when the house debates whether to overhaul the country's tax code and consider ways to keep the costs in social security and medicare under control. white males of the republican party will be arguing to reduce benefits while women and minority will make a case for keeping the safety net where it is. the irony is men and women have the same political power , historically. all live longer than men. in the old folks home there's one guy there --
>> very popular guy.
>> his ears are enormous. all these women are there because they tend to live longer and they have an interest in social security and medicare more than men do.
>> and we're also poorer. at the middle of our lives and end of our lives, we're poorer, so we rely on safety net programs and we need them. women have been much more -- going back to the reagan election of 1980 that's when you saw the gender gap because the social safety net was being threatened and women do vote. it's not only or mainly abortion, choice or contraception. it's economic issues. those come in to play, too. so i think this is -- we have today, another data point, where stuart stevens in washington post brags romney won the votes of people who make over $50,000. as though people who make less than $50,000, a, don't matter as much and, b, didn't make up, you know, a majority or don't make up a majority of the country. there's a tin ear when it comes to issues of race and gender, but also class. that i don't think -- you know, we heard some good things in the days after --
>> it's the we/they thing. by the way, reagan -- it's we people are employed compared to those people aren't employed. lets me read this from matt dowd. what's happened with republicans is they are -- what's happened is -- here it is. let's watch. here it is.
>> what's happening with the republicans is they are -- the republican party is a mad men party in a modern family mesh and it doesn't fit anymore.
>> "a mad men" party, 1960s in a "modern family" environment.
>> they're bringing analog to digital campaigns. voter turnout has changed dramatically as the under class, minorities are starting to vote at this point. and it's changed the whole electorate --
>> look at your state, tom. northern virginia , who has a lot of single women . they come to work in washington. some get married, some don't. they stay there. they work all their lives in washington but necessity live across the river. they vote democrat generally, right?
>> yeah, particularly those who are in toward the city.
>> what's that about? how are you going to get them back?
>> single women across the country have been voting more and more democratic. married women tend to vote more republicans . i think you get them back with policy, optics are important. republicans understand that. it's a long -- there's no silver bullet for it.
>> you should have run condoleezza rice years ago. senator for cal kl could have been condi rice .
>> i want to give you free advice. i don't think you should refer to the underclass. that's a dated word. that's not who we're talking about here. you know, we're talking about a lot of --
>> economically they have less. i'll use a more politically correct term. no offense meant, obviously.
>> it's a more accurate term, you know, when we talk about people who make less than $50,000, a lot of those -- those are middle class people, too. some are working poor --
>> that's not where the voter turnout came, if you know your voter stats. it's people making less than that, pulled out of the apartments, groups. it's not the middle class , it's the lower middle class who not traditionally even participated.
>> that's right. necessity didn't used to participate. they participate more now. that's a wonderful thing for our country. they deserve to participate.
>> it's not $50,000 class. that's my point.
>> thanks, tom.
>> he's a good guy.
>> susan, i mean -- he's a good guy, joan. anyway, thank you, joan walsh . i'm trying to help him out here. he came on the show. he was nice enough to do that. you'll always be here. it's a home game for you. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. governor of getting it done. you know how to dance... with a deadline. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. this is awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is, business pro. yes, it is. go national. go like a pro.
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