Martin Bashir | November 07, 2012
>>> the best is yet to come. these are the words of the 44th president of the united states , following his imemphatic victory last night. the family is departing from chicago on air force one, bound for the white house , a place they'll call home for another four years. the president put together the most diverse coalition in history, winning a sweep of battleground states to consign mitt romney to overwhelming defeat. but in his careful and considered speech last night, the president was generous to his opponent and called for the same unity that propelled him to an historic victory just four years ago.
>> i believe we can seize this future together. because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. we're not as cynical as the pundits believe. we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions. and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states . we are and forever will be the united states of america .
>> that we are greater than our individual ambitions was perhaps the most resounding message of this election. with a man who staked everything on the entrepreneurial spirit , finding to his complete mortification, constructed out of papier-mache, the cayman bank statements and positions past, it's only fair to say, yes, mr. romney, you did build that.
>> like so many of you, paul and i have left everything on the field. we have given our all to this campaign.
>> i so wish that i had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader, and so ann and i join with you to earnestly pray for him.
>> he left everything on the field. except coherent policy positions, records of his personal finances , details of his tax plan and any kind of genuine vision for this great, great nation. let's get right to our panel. here in new york is msnbc contributor ari, also correspondent for "the nation," in chicago political analyst jonathan coulter, and in pennsylvania, lehigh university professor james peterson . ari your piece in "the nation" today calls the president's win a decisive victory for liberal government . what do you mean?
>> i mean that when president obama took office, we had just experienced, if we can think back on it, a profound failure of both government and elite institutions from iraq, foreign policy to finances to the response to hurricane katrina . what president obama did when he came into office was strongly and unapologetically assert the government's role in dealing with our problems. in a wide array of markets. the insurance market, the car market , small businesses, tax reform . he did that at great personal, political risk . and what he got back in return was, a very strong attack on the notion that we're in this together and that government has a role to play. first in the grass roots of the tea party on the ground and then in the air in what you documented, martin, and what the audience knows, one of the most well-funded attacks in the history of american politics . what i think happened last night is more than just a re-election of barack obama as a man that people trust to lead our country, which is, i think, good. i think something deeper happened. i think there was an endorsement of the notion, liberal notion, that government has a role to play here and can help everyone and even the playing field . i think we're in an historic period today.
>> people said yes. dr. peterson, wasn't there also a victory for the president, yes, as ari said, but also a defeat for hate? the defeat of those who maintained a barely concealed contempt for the president, women, minority, the poor? i've even read today, ted nugent , a columnist for "the washington times ," pimps, wohores have a brat for welfare america. that was also a defeat for hate last night.
>> it was a defeat with hate. listen to the coalition this president has assembled through this election process. have you 93% of the african-american vote. 71% of the latino vote. 70% of the asian-american vote. a majority of young, single women . i mean, it is an extraordinary coalition. look at the movement we made along the lines of progressive politics . you know, we have movement with the legalization of marijuana in a couple of states. that's less about people getting high and more about us addressing the injustices in our criminal justice system with arrest too many substance abusers. look how many women are in the senate. look at the way marriage equality is put on ballots and vote the through. the question really is, can we continue to be behind this, can we continue to push this president and work with him in order to have the kind of government that's effective? forget liberal versus conservative, just any government.
>> john boehner , leader of the republican party , he spoke moments ago about the fiscal cliff. take a listen to him.
>> shoring up entitlements, closing special interest loopholes and moving to a fairer, simpler system will bring jobs home and result in a stronger, healthier economy.
>> i'm sorry, john, close loopholes, reform the tax code . that was mitt romney 's plan and he lost. is this man deaf?
>> you know, martin, i'm going to take issue with you on the day after the election. i think what he just said in that particular clip, president obama , speaking for myself, i would have no problems with tax reform , simplifying people's taxes, closing loopholes, moving toward long-term deficit reduction. it was some of what he didn't say --
>> john, no revenues, no mention of revenues.
>> well, okay. that's what i was about to say. some of the other things he didn't mention, and in previous days has said, that he cannot accept any tax increases on people making over $1 million a year. well, he will have to accept them because the president has the w.h.i.hip hand on this. what the president will do is let the 2001 tax cuts expire on january 1st , at which point taxes on the wealthy will go back to their clinton-era levels, as the president promised during the campaign. taxes on everybody else will rise as well. and one assumes that within the first couple of weeks of the new year, the taxes on the middle class are reduced and can be sold as a tax cut . while taxes on the wealthy remain at clinton-era levels. john boehner won't get his way. they lost the election. the election was partly over this issue of raising taxes on wealthy and having a more balanced approach. the president wasn't at all vague or secretive about this. he has a clear mandate about that. my only other point is there are other things like sensible tax reform , closing loopholes, where there really is common ground and they should be able to come to some agreement.
>> let us hope so. you don't agree with that, ari?
>> you don't think there's any common ground ?
>> go ahea it's pretty clear if you look at every key plank of the agenda republicans either obstructed, denied votes entirely, or opposed it when there were votes. i think that's across the board the problem with the message we got yesterday from the republican leaders is, we're now looking at the apex of time for graciousness and cooperation, right? there's no time in american history when it's more expected --
>> -- than the night of the re-election of the president of the united states --
>> what did you get from john boehner ?
>> 300-plus electoral votes --
>> mcconnell was worse.
>> i agree, he was worse. neither took the chance to even broadly, generally, sound a note of cooperation. so, here's the thing. here's where we're going. we're going to go into now a president with an overwhelming mandate, a re-elected mandate, a real coalition. we're now going to have to have the argument, without all of the lies about bipartisanship. it's not about bipartisanship. it's about solutions. if the republicans want to come in against this re-elected president -- i mean, the other thing -- know what jonathan means, he mentioned the president letting the tax cuts expire. no, no. the congress handles that. the congress has the taxing power of the constitution. if the republican house wants to raise taxes on everyone as opening salvo, i say let them. let's go forward. we know the stakes.
>> let me play for you rush limbaugh because we couldn't have an opening segment in our broadcast without them. he appears to be losing his mind over accusations the gop is too old and too white. take a listen to the great rush.
>> clarence thomas , herman cain , none of it counts. don't tell me the republican party doesn't have outreach. we did. but what are we supposed to do now? are we supposed to -- in order to get the hispanic or latino vote, does that mean open the borders and embrace the illegals? is that what -- i want you to think about this. if we're not getting the female vote, do we become pro choice ? do we start passing out birth control pills ? is that what we have to do?
>> professor peterson, open the borders and everyone receive contraception. what do you believe?
>> the discourse of hate is dying out. there's a lot of problems with what he's talking about but i'll take issue with a couple perform herman cain clarence thomas and folk like that represent those th that tokenism. we want equitable representation. maybe rush limbaugh doesn't understand that up. don't have to be passing out birth control to understand women have the right to choose what they're going to do with their bodies. can you still be pro life , just don't impose your religious ideology on everyone else in the country. there has to be middle ground . rush limbaugh will never get there but that brand of hateful discourse is diminishing in its popularity. there's a way in which the coalition which was put together to re-elect this president is a sort of embodiment in the ways we can move forward in this country. it's not about bipartisanship or left/right, it's about being effective and progressive. we have a lot of signals in terms of last night that we're moving in the right direction.
>> gentlemen, we don't have any