Martin Bashir | March 12, 2013
>>> it's impossible to miss the republican party 's super hot young look these days. heaven knows they need it. after all, this is a party that lost the youth vote by 24 percentage points on election day , despite running a presidential candidate whose rugged good looks could easily have been ripped straight from a commercial promoting treatments for male impotence. fortunately for the grand old party , there's a new wave on the right wing in this country. a certain boy band putting the cool back into conservatism. of course s, we're talking about freshman senator at rand paul of kentucky. 50 years of age, he's not too old to teach john mccain a few more tricks. ted cruz of texas, 42 years of age. this freshman senator is not old enough to remember the red scare . no one is doing more to keep mccarthyism alive. last, by no means least, representative paul ryan . they call him the cute one. don't let those baby blues trick you into forgetting how ugly is war against the poor really is. one question, though, are these guys a bunch of one-hit wonders, or will they expand their creative horizons and become the voice of their generation? you know, just like the beatles? let's ask dana milbank , political columnist for the " washington post " and msnbc contributor joy reid, managing editor of the grio.com who's not stopped laughing during that lead. and so just get your laughter out. that was extremely disturbing. dana , we'll start with you. rans priebus, the chairman of the republican national committee , appeared on the "hannity" program last night on fox and we have managed to preserve some of the discourse for the sake of prosperity. here it is. take a listen.
>> what do you think of this new generation, these younger guns in the senate?
>> i think they're the future of our party .
>> so, dana , if we take paul ryan as the quintessential young gun, should we assume he's going to keep bringing back the same old budget , his path to austeri austerity, if you will, year after year after year? isn't this the third year in a row he's trotted out that one?
>> well, first of all, martin, only in washington could a bunch of guys pushing 50 be called the young guns .
>> this is correct.
>> but this is how we do things around here.
>> remember, priebus calls them completely awesome.
>> they're completely awesome. this, that passes for youth and innovation in the capitol. look, this is the generation that was coming of age when ronald reagan was in the white house . they read ayn rand . and they have some notion that what's been going wrong for the republican party late ly is it hasn't been extreme enough. now, and, of course, we'll see cpac later this week that is absolutely dominated by these guys. this is the mattparty right now. i suppose the only hope is they might mellow with age. based on what i saw at paul ryan 's news conference this morning, they have a little bit more to go before the mellowing begins.
>> i think that's probably true. joy, this is the third time in as many years that we've seen the magnum dopus of ayn rand fiction. the budget . i mean, we've heard this every year for the last three years. do we need it for another year next year? it's the same stuff, isn't it?
>> right. i'm sure democrats hope we'll hear it for another year. this is what they're going to run on in 2014 .
>> they ran on it in 2012 .
>> i mean democrats. democrats are hoping they do it. this is setting the republicans who need to run for re-election in 2014 up perfectly because they're all going to have to vote for it once again. they're going to be on record for having to dismantle medicare and turning it into a voucher. the point here is, dana kind of got to it, you have a generation of republicans schooled on ayn rand who feel the party 's problem is the sort of wisemen of the party keep leading the party into the center which as we know it hasn't been the center, it has been to the right. they feel the party has been too mild. they have this intergenerational issue that says that elderly people , people who receive medicare and social security , are greedy and that they're taking away and stealing the wealth of the young. and that what all these guys have in common, you left off marco rubio .
>> even though the elderly people have actually paid into this.
>> exactly. the elderly people are the voting base of the republican party . remember, the republican party is in a way the party of the elderly. they have a generational struggle where they're saying we've got to stop elderly people stealing our wealth and, you know, what the poor. people like paul ryan also believe giving federal money to the fear is a waste, it should all be given to the marketplace. the genius of the market.
>> right. dana , it's ironic that we have the papal conclave starting on the same day that paul ryan is out there peddling his same old budget again. in fact, the last time he brought out his budget , you wrote by the reaction of the u.s. conference of catholic bishops . you wrote "the bishops sent letters to onk staying the ryan budget passed by the house fails to meet the moral criteria of the church, namely its view that any budget should help the least of these. as the christian bible require, the poor, the hungry, the jobless, the homeless. a just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons." yet here we are a year later, same old budget .
>> well, it's the same old budget except as you pointed out with congressman van hollen, borrowing the obama care tax increases.
>> sorry, that's the new change. that's right. that's the big change.
>> i tell you what, martin, what has changed here is the rhetoric. i think they realize that they sound harsh and they're trying to dress it up. paul ryan only used the word "cut" twice in this morning's news conference. that was to say things like cut the waste. the budget is basically like an old mad libs exercise. they leave all the blanks for people to fill in. they don't actually say where these programs are going to be cut because if they did, people would be very angry about it. so they've left that kind of vague. they've said, in fact, this is about securing the safety net , strengthening retirement, looking out for the poor. and, of course, you never actually get to the details of the budget because they know, as we know and everybody else knows, it's not actually going to become law.
>> no, absolutely. now, joy, we've got a number of individuals out there kind of revising parts of history. we've got chuck hagel and the scurrilous claims that were made by ted cruz about him. and also resurrecting mccarthyism. then you've got rand paul out there resurrecting the isolationist trend that dominated the party before the second world war . i'd like you to take a listen to john mccain .
>> we are for a strong america and we believe that's the best way to prevent war rather than a weakened military which many of my colleagues now support who are the isolationists which goes all the way back to post world war i.
>> that was an oblique reference to rand paul .
>> if rand paul is is the future of your party , you must be in trouble.
>> no, absolutely. and that, john mccain , is exactly what they're fighting. they believe that wing of the party , the neocon wing, the older guys married to 20th century notions of war and the reaganite peace through strength and we'll keep building up, they're against that, too. that's why they're more open. this new wing that's about cutting spending. they're open to defense cuts. you played priebus earlier. i was at an event he did yesterday when he was doing a listening tour in the black community. he was at a church in brooklyn. he said what the republican party has is simply a marketing problem. they can have all these new ideas which are absolutely cruel. ezra klein pointed out 60% of paul ryan 's budget cuts are to programs that help the poor. that do medical care for the poor. they have to market it in a nicer way. that younger looking people, people with brunette hair, people who look more pleasing, they think they can get that past the american people .
>> is that, dana , a con job with a bit of change on the surface?
>> there's some of that going on. i think guys like rand paul , certainly is genuine in what he's peddling here. you've had these two themes interwoven competing in republican party for years, but now you have this particular part that's, again, of something not only mccarthy would recognize but lindbergh would recognize. that doesn't mean it's here for good, but that is a theme that is ascendant now and presumably it can't last for too long or there won't be a republican party .
>> dana milbank , joy reid.