Melissa Harris-Perry | December 01, 2012
>>> this morning, my question. do we value the lives of young black men? plus, the women making the case to fight for their country. aids in 2012 , the young people at risk. first, how the president is playing godfather and making republicans they better not refuse.
>>> good morning. i'm melissa harris perry. it is december 1st , one month from the deadline for the so-calleded fiscal cliff. the drama is building. check out what house speaker , john boehner , had to say this week.
>> the white house spends three weeks of trying to develop a proposal that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, calls for a little, not even $400 billion in cuts and they want to have this extra spending that's actually greater than the amount they are willing to cut. it was not a serious proposal. right now, we are almost nowhere .
>> oh, mr. boehner, you have got it all wrong. it is a serious proposal, really serious. godfather serious.
>>> watching the d.c. drama convinced those of us in nerdland that president obama must be a fan of the francis ford copel la masterpiece. remove the lethal components and there are valuable negotiating lessons that the president seems to be picking up on, like this one.
>> my father taught me many things here. he taught me in this room. he caught me keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
>> well, president obama keeping his opponents close in hand. lunch with mitt romney . a mid-week summit with the business leaders that supported romney. the ceos of marriott, at&t and state farm . of course, meeting, after meeting, after meeting with speaker, john boehner and republican leaders. with this strategy, president obama keeps his opponents from being able to claim that he is unreasonable or stone walling. heck, i have y'all over every day, he can claim. it also ensures that they know where he stands, in the oval office . return there for another four years by the american people . which is why the president has been reminding his coalition of this.
>> don't ever take sides against anyone against the family again.
>> president obama is letting his electoral coalition or his family know that now is the time to hang together totally, rather than allow republicans to pick you have vulnerable, nervous members of the democratic coalition , he is getting the family in line. he reached out to voters to do their part to continue campaign. calling on all americans to raise awareness about the fiscal cliff, to get in touch with their congressmen to tweet my2k. here he was doing this in small businessville, pennsylvania just yesterday.
>> it's not acceptable to me. i don't think it is acceptable to you for just a handful of republicans in congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage because they don't want tax rates on upper income folks to go up. that doesn't make sense.
>> in addition to rounding up the voters, he deployed tim geithner to the hill. he just know that leader pelosi is letting house democrats know they better not pull a fredo during negotiations. the president's offer was this. $1.6 trillion in tax increases, a hefty $50 billion in mortgage relief, infrastructure investments. extension of unemployment insurance and a deferral of cuts to medication payments to physicians. oh, yeah, no more debt ceiling fights. he is going to take that one off of congress' plate all together. there is a claim of about $400 billion in entitlement savings. they carry no guarantee and are pushed off another year. right about the time the members of congress will need to start their re-election bids. not such a good time to cut medicare. once these details were made public, it was clear the president is indeed a student of the dawn.
>> senator, you can have my answer now if you like. my offer is this, nothing, not even a fee for the gaming license, which i would appreciate if you would put out personally.
>> see, the consequences of the fiscal cliff are real. from a politicaler speck tiff, president obama is holding all the cards here. if he does nothing, the push area tax cuts expire, raising revenue. spending cuts will bring down the debt and possibly help secure social security and medicare. apparently, the president this is that he is making an offer republicans can't refuse. joining me at table is msnbc contributor, joy reid. cnbc contributor, dan dicker and laura flanders , the host and founder of grittv.org. thanks to all of you for being here.
>>> is this, in fact, a new president obama . is the kind of negotiating tactics we are seeing now something that wasn't happening in the first term?
>> i want to see that seventh head. i'm really looking forward to that. i love this whole don core leone thing. i know this was one of those things. apparently, they got in touch with a dog food factory. i will put that one aside.
>> i don't think anything the administration is doing this time is going to get them on that case. i do think this represent pigs after the last election in the first term, there was this idea you were going to go to the country and keep the grassroots momentum that had brought obama to office going after the election. two things happened. one, people felt that fizzled out. a lot of people said, wait a minute. we were good enough to invite to the dance but not good enough to dance with. others felt, we were brought in not organizing for america but organizing for obama . do we really have a voice in the health care debate. this time, they are trying to do it differently. the question is, what will the administration find as it goes out into the country. are its priorities in this discussion about the deficit, the people's priorities that brought the administration to office and what will they do at some of those meetings as people say, well, we also want to talk about raising the minimum wage. we also want to talk about workers and the condition of work in this country. that stimulus spending, maybe it is not big enough. there is definitely an effort to redo some of the mistakes of the last term. they are in the same peril louse situation.
>> we are looking at the $1.6 billion in tax increases. those are the big power moves . does that jive with what people want here?
>> these aren't new numbers. these are the numbers that the president originally talked about. the original time two years ago and then a year before that in terms of bringing down the deficit. his plan for bringing down the deficit, which got nothing from boehner. i like the way you are putting this. in the first term, it seemed to me that obama was very conciliatory towards republicans . he wanted to create a grand one and he learned something in his first term. for right now, he is offering them nothing. see how you like it. we tried it the other way for four years. i've gotten nothing back in return but blockage. let's try it this way and see how it goes.
>> it suggests the possibility of political cover, that he makes the big offer. if this is not the godfather, if this is a used car negotiation, he is low-balling but giving plenty of cover. they get to say 1 trillion attacks as the increase. is it really an offer for nothing or is it that much more political cover that he is offering?
>> i think it is more political cover. if you look at the contrast with 2010 . they were in a different situation. in 2010 , there were things that obama needed. he had a re-election coming up. he also wanted that big payroll tax which was essentially stimulus. he wanted the debt ceiling increase, the start treaty , don't ask, don't tell. they crammed a lot of stuff into that lame duck session . republicans had just cleaned up in that mid-term. republicans had the leverage. obama had the needs. obama does not face another re-election. it is republicans that have needs. they have grover norquist and these people on the right nipping at their heels. they have a need. obama has the leverage. we are seeing a reversal. democrats, the base, are not used to being winners. zat. we are the boss. we can do what we want. democrats are feeling excited because they actually have it over the republicans .
>> i agree. i think in a certain way progressives tend to have a preference for being on outside. we almost prefer the sniping from the outside mentality of position. part of the danger for that is when you finally find yourself in the position of power, you have to be careful not to fredo out. we have this question about what do the people want and how, in fact, president obama holds his coalition together? we'll talk a lot more on exactly this after the break and what happens when the president goes to the mattresses, you know, bring the canoli. re days a [