Melissa Harris-Perry | November 24, 2012
>>> did this happen to anyone, you are buttering a role and uncle fred says, i can't believe they reelected barack obama ? what in the world are those people thinking? it is like the moment where the movie stops with the loud scratch of the needle. family and politics, pass theant acids. he might your liberal uncle who has a subscription to "the nation" and is planning to put a copy of cornell west and tavis smiley in everyone's christmas stocking . despite the many differences with the president. the left carried president obama to re-election. many now see it as time to take him to task. a recent article published on the liberal site alternet.org says, we have dodged the bullet of a mitt romney white house . so let's get back to reality. despite his campaign trail populism, the president will continue the politics of accommodation to conservatives.
>> we will witness how all the cousins in the democratic party electoral family cope with the big daddy in the white house . you can't just stamp your foot and get your way. with the president, most legislation still originates in the house, which is still in republican hands. presidents need public support and pressure to move their agendas effectively through congress and congress has to believe they will be punished politically if they don't follow president obama 's lead, which means he needs robust support. in a second term, this is the left's best opportunity to shift the discourse and create meaningful alternatives to the conservative agenda. this is family and politics at its best. what are folks going to beholding the president accountable from the left in this second term?
>> there is an opportunity to create more pushback on the foreclosure issue. i think there is an opportunity. the one thing the president has that he hasn't used effectively is the bully pulpit . a tremendous opportunity for him to peel back that politics of resper respectability argument and carve out a new set of politics that allows for leftists to fight. i am talking about foreclosure issue and student debt on domestic stuff and creating increasing possibilities to deal with poverty and the like.
>> the poverty issue has been one on which the president has had particular pullback. clearly, not only do we need better unemployment rates but living wages . is that a possibility from this preside president?
>> before we get to the wages, we need to see what happens with the fiscal cliff showdown. this is going to be a strong opportunity for him to go to bat for poor people . he is going to say, we are going to make sure we are caring for poor people . this isn't just a anybonebulous conversation for a family that includes donald trump . i think how this conversation turns out and how he fights for really the people in the very bottom is going to be telling about how he works on poverty moving forward.
>> are we going to see that amazing coalition that came together in november begin to fracture or will it stay together in order to press the president towards the left?
>> like aishia says, if you can get the upper echelon of america to pay their fair share , that would be a good start. a little bit more, you might have trouble with that. the fair share , you might have a good swinging shot at. in the first time, a lot of people might have thought the president had an attitude of not working across the aisle and he who cares the least has the most power. and shooing people away.
>> it is the used car definition of bargaining.
>> if you can walk away from the table, you will get the better deal.
>> now, as the president is thinking and rightfully so about legacy, because the first term is about getting through to get reelected, now, it is an eight-year proposition. we have to figure out what our legacy is going to be. with john boehner showing up with the john boehner interview, obama carys t obama carries the law of the land . if the coalition, the pressure of the people that voted, the election, the results mean anything to the right, they know that they are in trouble, because they are losing voters. they are losing their messaging. they need this four years, especially the first two, if they want to keep the house. if they want to look like obstructionists for a solid eight years, that is no way to take back the white house in 2016 .
>> i do think they are going to be obstructionists. what i would like to see from progressives is the same kind of organizing that conservatives did that put all these crazy people in the house. this is a problem. we got our guy in.
>> then, we are going to yell at him.
>> so we can't yell. we can't say, black-faced republican. we can not say these kind of things. that doesn't make anybody change. what does make change is for people to be consistent. i will use one example from the african-american community. souls to the polls. let's get souls to the white house . higher unemployment, foreclosures, all these things. this is the time for people, these coalitions to come forth. this is the issue. not to be mean or anything. every other coalition has got something out of the president except the african-american community.
>> the environmentalists.
>> i think you can argue with that a built. there was a fair sentencing act that reduced that disparity. things like stimulus and the payroll tax deduction had a disproportionate impact. undoubtedly, there has been an irritation. what i want to touch on is how do you shift that incentive structure? you don't just say, you need to do better, mr. president. what does the incentive structure shift. part could be about the legacy concern. souls to the polls works because you can vote people in and out of office.
>> what i am thinking about is another way around this, another way to get at this. if you look at the most successful, the stuff that was mind-blowing to me wasn't the president's election but all this stuff that happened at the state level. you are talking about california peeling back three strikes and getting a super majority . in a number of other states that happens. what can we do at the state level to begin to organize people both i cities and institutions to create the moral imperative the president has to respond to.
>> which is the model of the civil rights movement . even if you go to the model of montgomery and birmingham, you end up with local policy fights that end up leading to that '65 voters rights. not because king went and made a speech to johnson and said, you need to do better but because.
>> he rose from underneath.
>> that's it.
>> clearly, this family has a lot of thanksgiving politics. we are going to stay on exactly that topic as soon as we come back. [