PoliticsNation | February 27, 2013
>>> gop cracking. house republicans have caved on the violence against women 's act. tomorrow, they are expected to pass it. the bill provides programs for domestic violence investigations and prosecutions. resources like the national domestic violence hot line and offers much needed funding for domestic violence shelters. who could be against this? republicans were. for months. they blocked it, every chance they could. time and again, we talked to senator boxer about the gops refusal to take up the legislation. now they are cracking. after a year of fighting against women's rights, after a year of mocking their war on women.
>> the republicans have a war on caterpillars.
>> this strawman, straw women, this war on women that supposedly the gop is waging.
>> this is the war on women. give me a break.
>> so much for the fake outrage. and remember this?
>> quite frankly, chuck hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking.
>> i think it's a lot of tough questions.
>> it's difficult to imagine a circumstance where i could support his confirmation.
>> soak it in. the secretary of defense hagel reporting for his first day on the job. need another example? mr. mccain and his buddy senator graham met with the president on immigration reform head. mccain said the president, quote, understands what we are dealing with. graham called it one of the best meetings i have ever had with the president. this isn't candid camera. it's senator mccain and graham. no gop reversal has been more dramatic than health care .
>> we are not going to implement obama care. we are not going to expand medicaid .
>> that's mr. scott, one of the eight gop governors signed on to the president's medicaid expansion. the key part of this health care will be implemented. this is progress. it hasn't been easy. at times, it's been down right messy. but you better believe, it's progress. it's a win. joining me now is richard wolffe and angela . thank you both for coming on the show tonight.
>> thank you.
>> it's a hard sell but republicans seem to crumble on a bunch of these issues. what's going on?
>> they are picking fights they cannot win. they are picking fights about defense secretary who is always going to have enough votes. yes, they mess around with him. he was always going to get confirmed. it's a bit like the sequester. they have to cave. the pressure is too intense watching this unfold. medicaid dollars, really, are you going to have governors with the supreme court saying you have a choice. governors are going to turn down dollars that make them more popular. they are not picking smart fights here. that leads to a bigger question. will they ever break out of what bobby jindal call the stupid party? that's the thing they are facing right now.
>> angela , you work the hill. you know it better than most people in this town. you were there in 2010 when the tea party movement was at its height and had a lot of strength. salon says that not only do the republicans seem to be caving, but the tea party itself seems to have fizzled. let me read the quote. it says who are the names that come to mind when you think of leaders of the tea party movement? maybe sarah palin , glenn beck , jim demint , ron paul and michele bachmann . you could add to that a handful list of congressmen, steve king and joe walsh . then you realize that every single one of them either lost their job or abandoned being a voice of the movement. an interesting statement.
>> absolutely. i think when you look at the tea party politics and what was happening in 2010 , both on the hill and even for the president, the president just won the election, 2008 . all of a sudden the tea party rises. folks are angry. they want to take their country back. there's visceral partisan rhetoric we can't relate to in any way shape or form. now, the evolution of the tea party . we saw this election season with people saying all kind of things like donald trump wanted to see a revolution. glenn beck said people are hired into the government to be taught how to be racist. we see these things unfold in all kinds of ways. they are not representative of what the american people at large think, feel or vote for.
>> why do they fight?
>> i don't know. when you look at what's happening today, the fiscal cliff was the first battle where, you know, speaker boehner had to say forget the rule. after that, they are speaking out against immigration. mccain is defending the president on policies that make sense. they have to do what makes sense for the country, not these conservative districts they have drawn for themselves after redistricting.
>> day after day , a poll shows how badly the gop brand has become. a new poll says 62% think the gop is out of touch with the american people . 52%, 52 now think is gop is too extreme.
>> right. i want to put another point of comparison here. yes, the polls are striking. in a way, it's not surprising straight after they just won an election. might be more surprising to do a comparison between where president bush was at this point of his second term and where president obama is. president bush did not have a honeymoon. by the time he got inaugurated the second time, he was already having rebellions in his own party. his big signature thing in the start of his second term was reforming social security , privatizing social security . it failed. you are looking at the president, president obama with a shot of immigration reform where his party is holding together with him, not splitting away as republicans did with president bush . you know, democrats at that point of 2005 were on a track to a big win in 2006 . looking at things now, i know it's early. republicans do not seem to be on that track for the next election, 2014 .
>> you know, when you look at the fact that the polls that i just quoted to angela , yesterday's nbc news poll to be specific with the wall street journal , he says the republican body is in need of a major make other. republicans don't need a silver lining , they need a whole new playbook. now, even though that may be something you and i would say sounds right, look at the title messages that keep failing and listen to who the gop has invited to speak at this year's big conservative conference. take a listen.
>> you can actually see russia from land here in alaska.
>> corporations are people, my friend. we can raise taxes -- of course they are. everything corporations earn goes to people.
>> three agencies of government that are gone. commerce, education and the -- what's the third one there? let's see --
>> i believe 78 to 81 members of the democratic party --
>> i don't want to make people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money.
>> you betcha.
>> these are the -- this is the lineup. these are the key speakers for their conference. i mean, so how do they ever rebrand when they have the same old, tired line and those that give those lines as their key people out front?
>> they won't. they absolutely won't. you have governor christy who is in new jersey in a blue state with a 78% approval rating. if you can't beat them, you join they will. it's boycotts across the board. they want to see a sequester happen. in 25% of the country knows what a sequester is. you can't continue boycott politics to get anything done.
>> richard and angela , thank you for your time this evening.
>>> every now and again, the right wingers meet their kryptonite, true. and it happened last night inside the right wing