Martin Bashir | November 19, 2012
>> karen finney is an msnbc analyst. ana marie cox is with "the guardian. good afternoon to all of you. as you know, i love you women. karen , given all the outright condemnation of mitt romney by republicans , one might have assumed they'd never, ever heard mr. romney 's rhetoric of contempt until this weekend.
>> oh, heavens no, or no concerns about president obama learning to be an american or even embracing some of the language about the welfare reform language. look, the thing is, i have said this before, it's not just mitt romney . there are others in the party who have been talking like this for a very long time, and no one, but no one has stood up to stop them or to say, hey, this is wrong. it's part of the reason, frankly, that the whole birther narrative garnered so much resentment.
>> so why are they doing it now?
>> now they're trying to pretend that the horror, we would never talk like that. now we're trying to turn the page and, you know, put some paint on that and pretend like that didn't happen. now we're allowed to say things like revenue. i mean, it's a totally different world now, martin. come on.
>> indeed. anna marie , for all those republicans who may have been completely blindsided by mr. romney , here is a little refresher from the campaign trail.
>> if you're looking for free stuff you don't have to pay for, vote for the other guy. he promises you all sorts of free stuff. i'm going to give you this and give you that, you're going to have this and that. health care , food, housing to you name it.
>> government planned life. a country where everything is free but us.
>> anna marie , given he's been saying this stuff for almost a year, are republicans really being honest when they say they don't agree with mitt romney because they didn't say anything to contradict him for about 12 months.
>> oh, not only did they not say anything to contradict him, he was defended and people went on to say he was right and they created defenses that were along the lines ever, and i think this is actually what they believe, maybe it's not 47%. you know, maybe it's more like 27%. the republican party is sort of founded on the idea there are makers and takers and there's some quibbling about whether that's most of the country or just some of the country. the big difference in ideology here is the feeling among post progressives and democrats that the makers and takers dichotomy is not the dichotomy to look at the country through. that's not the right lens. that the lens is some people are successful. some have struggles. we help those who are struggling and those who are not struggling, do what they can, they pay their part. that's a fundamental difference in world view . i think with republicans it comes down to how much of the country do they think is lazy. i mean, i still hear a lot of rhetoric and i think the other two panelists would agree, there's still a lot of rhetoric about obama being the food stamp president which is one of the most coded words we heard in the run up to the election that wasn't so obviously racial but still raises a lot of resentment with people who think of themselves as being sort of in the middle. maybe got a little angry at romney for saying 47% but still think of some people as being not deserving.
>> professor, to anna marie 's point, before we allow republicans to somehow run away from mitt romney , this notion of the nation divided between workers and parasites is very much a long-standing philosophical position, isn't it?
>> it goes all the way back to the notion of the puritan work ethic and that this country is founded on this notion of hard work and those people should be rewarded. what's problematic about the takers and the makers dichotomy, i think it needs to be inverted. it's that you have all these people who are in unions, undocumented laborers in the united states , all these people who really are being -- they're not parasites of the system but they are committed and giving so much back to the united states and yet they're the ones that are seen as moochers or takers. i think this is true. it's the republican philosophy, but it's false. and it also needs to be not just got away with, but we can also invert it or reverse it as well.
>> karen , a lot of republicans in this campaign seemed pretty nostalgic for the past and in particular the 1950s . paul krugman points out today that those were years of much higher taxes on the rich, much bigger labor unions and lo and behold, the economy was very strong in that era. what changed over the years to make them so harmful?
>> well, martin, i think what they miss about the 1950s was the last couple of sentences that paul krugman talks about, and that is that women and minorities we knew our place back then and seemingly the rules were simple, right? everybody knew their place, everybody knew what they were supposed to do, and now we're living in a much more complicated society. also, we lived our lives very differently back then. you went to college, you got married, you had a job, and that was everything was pretty much laid out for a certain sector of the population. so that sort of dream of what is the nostalgia for a certain america was for a certain group of people and not for most of us.
>> we just heard donald trump reflecting in answer to question that he would never dream of cooking the turkey because that would be the role for his wife and that, of course, is the position i guess the world view that he would like to replicate in 2012 directly from the 1950s .
>> i think the problem with this world view , this row mantization of the 1950s doesn't look back to the '30s which is what the people if the '50s remembered. they remembered times of bread lines , when women had to go to work because the men were in the service and fighting world war 2. there was a clear vision of what happened when the nation faltered to its quest for equality and when the nation came together. i think there wasn't the resentment toward unions. unions were seen as a function of bringing people together and protecting people ae's work and the gender roles were stratified. karen is totally right. there was a blindness to the struggles of women and minorities so we can focus on that picture perfect norman rockwell style family and forget about everything else. clearly donald trump is living in a fantasy land to begin with. what era he wants to live in is up to him. it's never going to match up with reality.
>> professor, do you agree with what anna marie said and how does the republican party shake itself away from these kind of historic and old-fashioned ideas and confront the reality of a modern america where actually women are more important than just having them out there as tokens?
>> i do agree with the 1950s are seen as the last gasp of white male pate riay. it was also the birth of the mod he were civil rights movement . the 19 50s were much more complicated than republicans who are cherry picking american history like to portray. they want to believe it really was as fictitious as " leave it to beaver " when the other image of the 19 50s is little rock nine and the desegregation of the american schools . it's always in contrast to the more open $1,960 a196 0s and i think they're afraid the second decade of the 21st century is as rich as the 1960 was for a lot of americans and rich being diversity.