Martin Bashir | December 04, 2012
>> joy reid is managing editor of thegrio.com and incapably laughing and maria teresa kumar is an msnbc contributor. merry christmas to both of you before turning to a very real war which is civil war in the republican caucus . two gop members tossed from paul ryan 's budget committee . the crime was bucking leadership too often. they already have several big name conservative organizations behind them. how big a problem is this conflict civil war for john bainer?
>> i think it's a huge problem. john boehner has never been able to exert leadership over his caucus. he has the biggest gavel any speaker has ever had and he has no power over his caucus. he knows the math but he has these donors. the donor class in the republican party is very far right and they feel they should be exempted from participating in funding our civil society . they just don't feel that their taxes should be raised one dime.
>> these are not elected people, these are funders that throw money at the republican party .
>> absolutely. they have become divorced from having to rely on the republican establishment to channel their money through. they could go to third party groups and they did it effectively. think of a guy like dick lugar who was winning by saddam hussein margins who was winning in indiana but he got knocked off by some loon. these outside groups can target any republicans that step out of line. they can pour money into changing republican party leadership. those people are always off to his right saying, listen, raise our taxes one dime, and you're done.
>> wow. maria , boehner also has a major fire brand on the right against him, senator jim demint of south carolina . he says today, speaker boehner 's $800 billion tax hike will destroy american's jobs. he's important because he spends a lot of money on far right primary challenges. how do these men continue to be so forceful and so powerful?
>> well, welcome to the 2016 presidential election , martin.
>> basically what senator demint is basically saying is he's recognizing that what happened with mitt romney was that mitt romney didn't have a republican base. what he's basically say ising not only do i have a base, i have the tea party base. this is actually where i actually don't completely agree with joy. i think what boehner is recognizing is that the tea party is actually sunsetting. it's not as strong as it was. by him basically removing these folks from leadership, he's finding his swagger back and saying you're going to have to come with me because otherwise there isn't going to be a tea party because if we own want to be a party of winning congress but not the senate or the congress, we'll continue going down that direction. he's continuing to try to herd cats but look at the global perspective and coming back more to the center right.
>> joy, here is how bad it's gotten for the gop. we saw in a poll that herman cain is ahead of saxby chambliss por the 2014 senate primary by get this, 14 points . don't tell me we could be looking at senator herman cain in two years' time.
>> this is the point. you still do have these three wings of the republican party . yes, you have the business wing, the wall street wing, that wants a deal for the fiscal cliff because they're looking at their pocketbooks. you still have this hard ride evangelical wings and that tea party wings. those two things still have a lot of sway, and they still want the kind of candidates that are like herman cain . they still think people like even john boehner are too moderate. even though boehner is putting forward essentially the mitt romney economic plan as his supposed compromise with the president. that's not far right enough for a big chunk of the republican base.
>> maria , let me play for you something one of the outcast congressmen tossed by speaker boehner said today. listen to this.
>> it's not about principles. it's about blind obedience. dissent will not be tolerated, particularly conservative dissent.
>> he was upset throughout that forum today. is conservative blogger eric ericsson , he writes this. conservatives must seek retribution or become the paper tiger . maria , what will the retribution look like?
>> i think we're all a little scared of that.
>> i am.
>> right. but i think that let's be honest, i think what joy is saying is absolutely right. unless the republican party figures out a way to coalesce, they're only going to be basically a strong party in midterm elections . there's no way they are going to actually -- they actually reflect the majority of voters when they come in between presidential elections . so they have to figure out their strategy. are they looking for short-term gains in the senate and possibly continue controlling the house or do they actually want the white house ? that's where, again, boehner is trying to herd cats. he has to make sure they bring people more into the center in order for him to actually make sure they have a shot some day at the white house .
>> you know what? the problem for the republicans right now is there's an alternate theory of why they lost the election that's emerged from the conservative base which is essentially seeing itself as in competition with establishment republicans, not in partnership with them. that alternate theory by people like eric ericsson --
>> meaning that romney was an establishment appointment and was not the kind of nominee that they would have selected.
>> exactly. they said that the far right voters stayed home. so their alternate theory is they didn't go conservative enough. even though this was a guy who ran on turning medicare into a voucher program.
>> this is a magical math though.
>> sorry, go ahead.
>> this is their magical math. when you start looking at the demographic shifts, there's no way that even if the folks that came out and voted, if they had even gone up to 2% or 3%, they could have even contested obama's base. and i think that's what the republicans -- they have to recognize the demographics are no longer on their side. i think that's what boehner is trying to do. god bless him for it because it's not going to be easy but that's exactly what they have to do in order to figure out how do they become a political party , not a sunsetting party, but a political party that has force, not just within the walls of d.c. but outside as well.
>> i'm reminded 69 words of george carlin who said it's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. joy, maria