The Ed Show | January 25, 2013
>>> we've got to stop being the stupid party. and i'm serious. it's time for a new republican party that talks like adults. it's time for us to articulate our plans and our visions for america in real terms . it's no secret we had a number of republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. i'm here to say we've had enough of that.
>> welcome back to "the ed show." that was louisiana governor bobby jindal doing his best chris christie impersonation at the rnc winter convention just last night. jindal , who is widely expected to run for president in 2016 used his keynote speech to position himself as a tough-talking reformer dedicated to fixing the republican brand. but changing the sign on the door doesn't change what's behind it.
>> i'm not one of those who believe we need to abandon, moderate, equivocate or otherwise change our principles. now, i know this observation badly disappoints many of our friends and liberals in the national media, of course.
>> jindal is exactly wrong. republicans ' resistance to progress is what allowed rnc chairman reince priebus to be reelected today. that's right, the man who presided over 2012 's shellacking of the gop is back for another round. and priebus is pushing the same empty rebranding effort.
>> we can stand by our timeless principles and articulate them in ways that are modern, relevant to our time, and relatable to the majority of voters. and that i believe is how we will achieve republican renewal. and that's how we'll grow. that's how we'll win.
>> all right. truth tellers, now. the policies embodied by the republican, like bobby jindal and all reince priebus are what damaged the brand in the first place. as long as they keep selling the same old policies and keep pushing the same priorities, they're just putting lipstick on a pig. i am joined tonight by karen finney, msnbc political analyst and former communications director of the dnc, and eugene robinson , msnbc political analyst and associate editor of the " washington post " and pulitzer prize winning columnist for that newspaper. all right. it's friday night. let's have a little fun. let's focus on the word "stupid." i'd like some names. bobby jindal says the gop needs to stop being the stupid party. karen , who is he talking about? can you give me some names here?
>> gee, do you think it could be, i don't know, richard mourdock or perhaps now blanking on his name, but you know, the one who attacked tammy duckworth , you know, an amputee who served our country as touting her service too much? there were plenty of stupid comments to go around. and just recently, we had another member of congress try to explain what the comments about legitimate rain actually might have meant. so i don't think that stupid is going anywhere too far away i from the rnc any time soon.
>> eugene , they are just looking for a leader right now, aren't they?
>> yeah, they are. and speaking of the leadership of the actual organization, i would point out that the -- this is a party that michael steele presides over, a huge victory, so of course they fire him and reince priebus presides over a debacle, and they rehire him. so this is not getting past stupid as far as i'm concerned. but be that as it may, that's their business. they are looking for a leader. and i think jindal could have challenged them to do what they need to do, which is reexamine their positions and their policies. it's not -- it's not just that some republicans say stupid things. it's that they have positions that are seen as anti-women, anti-minority, anti-immigrant, anti-science, anti-everything.
>> if they're looking for a new leader, and they've got to have a new leader, and they're in the age of obstructing everything in washington, wouldn't this set the table for somebody out in the heartland with republican core conservative value and ideas to step forward with a fresh message? what about that, karen ?
>> you know, here is the problem, ed. it's not just the message, right. it is the policies. think about so while bobby jindal was making those comments, we know that a majority of americans from our own nbc/ wall street journal poll believe that access to legal abortion, majority agree with that that roe v. wade should be the law of the land . what is the republican agenda? to try to overturn roe v. wade and take those rights away from women. we know the majority of americans support a path to citizenship. what is the republican agenda? a fake path to citizenship. point being, it is their policies. i will say quickly that after the 2004 election when democrats got beat and we kind of went back and said what is going on here, we did some real polling, and we found that americans actually agreed with us on our value.
>> but it was how we were communicating. republicans can't say that americans don't agree with them on their positions.
>> just today john boehner released a video for the march for life. let's take a look at it.
>> with all that is at stake, it's becoming more and more important for us to share the truth with our young people and to encourage them to lock arms, speak out for life, and help make abortion a relic of the past. let that be one of our most fundamental goals this year.
>> didn't the republicans already lose that fight, eugene ? how is anything going to be different?
>> nothing is going to be different. there is an uneasy consensus in the country, but it's a fairly durable consensus that nobody loves abortion, but abortion should be legal and infrequent, as infrequent as we can make it. and that is -- that's the basic agreement. that's what people basically believe. they don't believe what republicans want, which is to outlaw all abortions in every case, according to their platform, and as a result, they're seen as hostile to the interests of women and others who care about women's reproductive rights .
>> can they do a face-lift, an image change between now and 2014 ?
>> i don't think there is enough lipstick for that, ed. i think, come on. look, i actually -- in all seriousness, think about regard to latinos. i think they have a two-cycle problem. that is not something that they can fix right away. and again, what are they trying to do? they're also trying to change the rules in some of the states in terms of they didn't get elected so, let's change the rules. they're going to have to stop all the shenanigans and face the truth . but you know what they say. stupid is as stupid does.
>> eugene , what would be their best play right now? if you guys were to the republican party , okay, this is what you have to do. step one, you are deficient in the polls in so many areas where. do they go first?
>> well, where they go is -- i'd say here is the republican party platform. this is basically, the reason why you lost. and so instead of all their after-action sort of analysis of where they went wrong, instead of focusing on tactics and how they can, you know, suppress a few more votes here and change the electoral college rules there, they should instead be focusing on where they are disconnected from the american people . you know, newt gingrich of all people said right after the election we have to study and figure out what it is it about america that we're not getting right now. and that's the question they need to ask. because that don't get it.
>> they have to accept america for as it is and stop pulling the covers over their eyes and trying to take us back. i mean, that's part of the problem. they are in for a very hard awakening about what this country really is and who really make up the vorpts svoters of this countr y.
>> they have their work cut out for them. a new poll shows the majority of americans have a negative opinion of the republican party . i thought there were actually more republicans than that.
>> yeah. how about that?
>> that positive opinion number is getting down to friends and family. so we're going to have -- it's a problem.
>> karen finney, eugene robinson , great to have you with us on this friday evening. thank you so much.
>>> a senator who ran the most despicable commercials in american history is slithering out of