Melissa Harris-Perry | November 17, 2012
>> change the culture in washington and we will not support the other side's request or the president's request to increase the debt limit without meaningful reforms to the system.
>> i'm so sorry to any of you who might have been like vacuuming or doing your dishes and heard eric kantor's voice again. that was from 2011 , not this year. what a difference a year makes. that was house majority leader eric cantor muscle flexing on the house floor. but that was a year ago. amid the heated debt deal negotiations. back then, he and his tea party affiliated obstructionist policies had a very strong voice. leader kantor had been a mentor figure to many of the freshman gop house members voted in during the 2010 midterms and they were the group speaker boehner could not get in line to work towards a compromise last year. this week, there was no seat at the table for mr. cantor. are the power politics of 2012 different enough to stave off this dire fiscal future? back to the panel. so eric's gone. he's not at the table this time, daniel.
>> well, but the situation is that president obama didn't win a monarchy. he won the presidency. this is still a republic. you have to be persuasive in your arguments about the merits of the policy. and so what americans have seen here is that we still have a stagnant economy. we have unemployment through the roof. that hasn't moved at all. we have $6 trillion more in debt. so the i think there is still enough leverage on the republican side to say we are going to stick to our principles. the last thing they want is for president obama to play lucy with the football where the charlie brown makes promises and doesn't fulfill the promises.
>> i will give you we don't end up in some fundamentally different economic circumstance in terms of unemployment. i think that's exactly why the stim laltive effect rather than the austerity measures are so important. if we listen to lee sanders from afscme. let's listen to the afscme president lee saunders.
>> we're going to keep our members mobilized and organized in the different communities across the country. we're going into another campaign. we won the election but we're going into another campaign now.
>> congressman meeks , that's right. win agelection is not staging a coup. everybody's got to work together and come to compromise as you pointed out. there have been some real wins and the folks on the left are saying yeah, we're going to stand on principle and the principle is stimulative effect to get the economy going, not austerity.
>> the president has always said there are certain things we must invest in. you talk about investing in roads and infrastructure and education, those are things important to our country. that is stimulus also. it helps us build jobs. it helps us to make sure america is moving forward. the american people agreed with that. that's why the president won the election. not only by an electoral college landslide but with the majority of americans votes. we're going to continue to move that way. that doesn't mean we're not going to have some compromise in order to make sure we move it the country forward. the president has been clear on it. if we're going to move forward, we've got to do that. the difference had been for 14 years, two years the last two years, we were not able to do anything. why? because the republicans took the position they were not going to agree to anything. you saw a vast majority of them where they would vote almost with exclusivity. nobody would change. this time i think you see that the republicans won't be in 100% lock step with their ideological positions. some realize that they're state will be on the line and they have to compromise. that along with the democrats move along will give us the numbers we need to move our country forward.
>> there's a real claim the president was making that taxes were actually were a core issue of the campaign. and that you know, whatever responsibility people have to govern, that there is a bit of a mandate to reduce those taxes for the middle class or at least hold them stable but to allow the expiration of the bush tax cuts at the top. really, is that seriously going to send us into recession? we know this could send us into double dip recession. would letting the expiration of the tax cuts at the top send us into such a kind of recession?
>> this comes down to principle for the folks. no one wants to see the economy clash. there are enough folks in the republican party who feel like what leads to growth is making sure that job creators have as much money as they can to create jobs. you can debate all day long who is a job creator. i hire a baby-sitter. i'm not in the top 2%. everybody is spending money in the economy and how equally you weight that is the question.
>> the fact is that poor folks are more stimulative of the economy in terms of the percentage of their money.
>> unemployment benefits go right back out the door to the grocery store.
>> making sure those folks still have cash in their accounts has an oo enormous impact on it the economy. karen, we an keep talking about whether or not there's a mandate and republicans winning their majority. you and i both live in louisiana which is a pretty safely red state for the most part for now. for the moment. both you and congressman meeksing are in legislatures where you are in a party that is in a minority, doesn't mean that you just don't govern. how do you negotiate power in that kind of skarks?
>> we still are able to challenge, and congressman meeks is able to do that within the house, challenge the flawed policies being espoused by the majority. we're all at an impasse. that deadline is real at the federal level . i promise you that the republicans that congressman meeks is working with don't want the middle class to have an increase in taxes.
>> that drives them probably more in my opinion than to see a tax increase for the wealthy, the 1%. and those people live in my state.
>> even though it's a red state right now, those people are being governed by leaders and they're watching what congressman scalise is doing over in the republican conference now, and can he be an extremist. two years is not a long time. they're constantly campaigning and certainly have agopen presidential race in four years is going to dictate how their actions and their policies develop.
>> right and influence what's happening. up next, there is another voice that is trying, trying for relevance. grover norquist . his fight to remain relevant when