PoliticsNation | March 21, 2013
>>> for tuning in. tonight's lead, don't believe the hype. all the gops talk about change is just that. talk. a bunch of hot air. today, almost every single republican in the house voted for paul ryan 's budget. the budget that would lower taxes for the rich, cut programs for the poor, and end medicare as we know it. it's unbelievable just three days ago the rnc rolled oh ut a plan to reboot the party , claiming that they will change the public's view that they only care about the rich.
>> the perception that we're the party of the rich, unfortunately, continues to grow. that's frustrating. we want to lift people up from poverty.
>> lift people up out of poverty? really? what about voting for ryan's budget today, republicans endorsed a plan to give every millionaire in the country a $200,000 tax cut . while slashing the safety net for the poor. doesn't sound like change to me. republicans claim they want to expand the big tent of the party .
>> no words in telling us that we have to be more inclusive. i agree.
>> more inclusive? really? than why did a leading gop senator say this when asked about marriage equality ? quote, i'm not guy so i'm not going to marry one. doesn't sound like change to me. republicans claim they are going to reach out to groups they lost in the election.
>> we have to do a lot better job and do a lot more to make up ground in minority communities with women and young voters. the rnc cannot and will not write off any demographic community or region of this country.
>> make up ground with women in minorities? really? then why did the republicans in arkansas ran through a new voter i.d. bill to suppress the minority vote? why do they poise the ban all in a state, a state that has the most restrictive laws in the country? during the election, president obama promised change we can believe in and he's delivering. republicans promise change, too. but nobody believes in it, least of all the republicans . joining me now are krystal ball and joan walsh . thanks for being here tonight.
>> thanks for having us, reverend.
>> do the republicans not notice their rhetoric, that it doesn't mesh with their reality?
>> i don't know, with you. because on the one hand, they see the demographic trends . the rnc conducted an autopsy of their dead party . we know that there's a problem.
>> we call it a flawtopsy.
>> on the other hand, it would really upset their base on gay marriage , even as 58% of americans accept gay marriage , the base of the republican party is in this very different place. so they don't know how to make that movement without upsetting their base, which is why you saw after that autopsy, which did make some comments about young people needing to see that the republican party was more open on issues of equality for the lgbt community , even in that press conference right afterwards reince priebus says our principles are the same. we don't need to change anything there.
>> now, joan , it's almost like they all agree on they don't like the president or they don't like this or that and they start falling apart in this political civil war when they have to talk about what they do agree on and i think that part of their problem is that they are against everything but can't say what they are for. i think nancy pelosi articulated it best. listen to this when they just rapid fire gave out what the republicans in congress are doing.
>> clean water, public safety , public education , public transportation , public housing , public health , medicare, medicaid, social security , it just keeps on unraveling and unraveling and that's their point.
>> she keeps talking about what they are against but are they for anything and can they all agree with it?
>> they are obviously for big, big tax cuts , reverend al, and they are for cutting programs in the middle class . they've shown that time and time again. it's clear that the autopsy, which is what you do on a dead body , so that's interesting, is a farce. it's a complete farce. they are saying, okay, we want the votes of young people , african- americans , women, even gays, but we're not going to change our policies to attract you. we're not going to be anything different that will tell you why you should vote for us. so it's a rebranding without any meaning and it's just gotten the party -- i mean, it's gotten the fighting with one of another, are you leaving us out, and reince priebus having to backtrack immediately saying, no, marriage is one man, one woman. they can't change the substance. they think they can change the tone but they can't even change the tone.
>> now, krystal , when you look at the fact in the autopsy, they want to move, they say, past 47%, past makers and takers mentality. they say, quote, the republican party must be the champion of those who seek to climb the economic ladder of life. we must make sure that the government works for those truly in need. how does that square with the ryan budget that shreds the safety net ?
>> that's exactly it. it's fine to say those words. we're going to be the party of the people. but what does that actually mean to them? they have no idea. you know, paul ryan wanted to come out and talk about poverty and income and equality on the campaign trail but what solutions do they have to offer? they haven't thought about it. they've got nothing there. so just taking the rhetoric out of it. granted, that's just a start. start off by not defending half the country but you have to offer some solutions to back that up. and that's the other piece that was wholly absent from the autopsy. this is a party that has become divorced from any sort of science or research or data and if they are going to win back the trust of the american people , if they are going to come up with anything that offer as real solution to the country's problems, they have to show that what they want to do squares with creating positive results in some sort of a meaningful way.
>> but that's the point that i'm making. i'm not even saying, become like those of us that disagree with you.
>> but show me your plan that comes to a result.
>> that will help eradicate poverty, or help african- americans or latinos or women.
>> there's no real evidence .
>> but give me your way and tell me why it would lodgely do that. i mean, you look at roll call , the stewart rothenberg. he wrote an article about the gop, joan , and he told me this. i recently asked a smart veteran republican pollster what his party could do to turn his party around in the near future and his response was refreshingly honest. nothing. the republican brand will improve, he continued, only when the president screws up. hope the president screws up? i mean, that's the political strategy? doesn't sound like much of a national agenda to me.
>> it goes right back to the leader of the republican party , rush limbaugh and what he said on the eve of the president's first inauguration, reverend al. he said, i hope he fails. and that has been their strategy and when the president has had hard times , they kind of come back and when he does a good job, which is what he mostly does, they are in big trouble . they sit around hoping that the economy gets worse. it's too late now because the president got reelected overwhelmingly, they did everything in their power just hoping that the american people would say, hey, 8% unemployment, we can't rehire this guy but we did and their strategy didn't work, even though they are not going to be running against this man again, they still think that opposition to the president as well as hits party and what we believe in, but particularly the president, is the glue that holds them together and is going to help them win elections.
>> i don't remember if you remember the stockton, he brought ted nugent to the --
>> krystal , he tweeted out, the best thing about the earth is if you put holes in it, oil and gas come out. how is that for kinder and gentler? he actually tweeted this.
>> and that's part of the problem. if you have any concern about the environment, if if you have any concern about climate change , are you going to look to someone that's a party that's saying things like that? that's not offering any solutions and i think that's part of the problem. cap and trade, which has been thoroughly demonized, that was a conservative idea. that's a market-based approach to dealing with climate change . democrats have adopted some of these goods, market-based things that they used to do. if they are going to be an effective party and opposition, they have to offer nuance responses. it's worked for them a while but now that well has run dry, so to speak.
>> and i think joan made a very good point. usually they take an autopsy after you've been pronounced dead. they don't usually take 5u7 autopsies while you're still alive.
>> that's not a good sign.
>> they need a political resurrection, not change.
>> that's right.
>> thank you for your time. check "the cycle" at 3:00 p.m . eastern right here on msnbc.
>>> ahead, hey, republicans , if you do unpopular things, you become unpopular. wait until you see what happened today on that.
>>> plus, three years later and tea partyiers are still trying to appeal obama care but the cause is losing steam.
>>> and sarah palin is back. no, not that one. the funny one.
>> your views on gun laws or wolves changed at all?
>> you know, jimmy, i believe that if everybody had guns, then there would be fewer guns in the stores.