The Rachel Maddow Show | May 16, 2012
>>> the best new thing in the world today is a growth opportunity for republican political a lucrative source of revenue just waiting to be tapped. now i, jane lynch , is not normally one to give career advice to republicans , but guys and gals, there's money to be made on promoting gay rights within the republican party . you see, the de facto head of the republican party , one willard mitt romney has taken a strong position on the side of the gay rights debate, that if your politician is getting to be on the side you don't much want to be on. the rest of his party may be about to evolve around him. this weekend a respective republican pollster, one who helped president george w. bush win re-election, wrote a memo, basically saying guys, i have a lot of polling here, and the gay marriage thing is getting kind of popular. he suggested that republicans may want to change the way they talk about stuff, like gay marriage . maybe saying support for gay marriage is consistent with conservative fundament malls. as people who support responsibility, family and commitment, we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone. this includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing. the freedom to live without the interference of the regulatory force of the government. folks, that's a republican telling republicans to reframe gay rights . to make equality under the law sound like a conservative principle, which it is. he may be one of the first to do it, but he won't be the last. but jane lynch , you ask, where is the job opportunity in all of this? after all, we republicans are all about jobs, jobs, jobs. well, here it is. someone is going to have to teach republicans to talk about gay rights , without seeming like they've caved to the democrats. some strategists are going to have to make it their specialty to teach republicans how do be pro gay while still sounding angry. that's a very tall order, but the good news is, you can charge more money. republicans are trying to figure out how to lose gracefully. the best new thing in the world today.
>> jane lynch , you're the best new thing in the world today.
>> oh, thank you so much. when you said, folks, do you do that.
>> you do, i was mocking you.
>> yeah, i felt it in a very painful way. thank you for doing the best new thing in the world.
>> thanks for having me.
>> it's weird i'm in the guest chair.
>> i know. how does it feel?
>> subser serviant.
>> i'm really happy.
>> do you want to be a cable news host ever?
>> i would love to play one. i don't know that i would want to do it day in and day out. i know how much you work and how you have to have your finger on the pulse. i'm a political junkie. i would love to play one.
>> when we asked you, you had a republican pollster memo in mind for what you wanted to do.
>> the thing about the subject of what you just talked about that i think is interesting is that this is something -- i mean, you are out. you are sue sylvester on "glee." you've written the book where you fauk about your coming out story and your family and all these other personal things, and we are in a moment when the politics of gay rights are rapidly, rapidly changing the country.
>> i know. fast. really fast. you know, it's an issue that i have not really taken personally so much. i mean, it's something that i watch on television with great interest. i have a stake in it. i've got skin in the game. but when the president came out and said that he supported the dignity of our families and our relationships, that really moved me. that really touched me for the first time. and i realized i had been distanced emotionally from it. but that really broke it open for me. it made me very, very happy.
>> that was one of the things that covering it as a gay person, thinking about it as a gay person and covering it as a gay person in the news, i felt like half of me had to have a talk with the other half.
>> because in the one dpundit world, in politics world, is well how many people are there who agree with the president, it's going to help it with him. how many people disagree, it's going to hurt him with them. and the gay part of me, sort of human part of me wants to explain, you know what, the big issue here is not who already agrees or disagrees with him, but who is changing their mind? discuss this change history?
>> i don't know if it changes history. i don't know if fs it was just political calculus on his part. i think he really believes in the dignity of our relationships and our right to exist. but i think there are people we're not going to get. and that's fine. and probably not in this lifetime, and that's fine. but i think there are changeable folks. and i think a lot of people change when they're in the presence of one of us. they get to know us, and they get to know our family. and i think that's, you know, that's why i think being out for me, anyway, is important, and allowing myself to, you know, appear in public with my family and not hiding about it. i think that's really important. i have a sound bite from a few days before. vice president biden, god bless him. on "meet the press." to everybody's surprise started talking about how he was all in favor of same sex marriage. but he hit a pop culture tv touch stone while he was explaining it. can we play that sound bite ?
>> this is evolving and my measure, david, and i take a look at when things really begin to change is when the social culture changes. i think will and grace did more to educate the american public than almost anything anybody has ever done so far. and people fear that which is different. now they're beginning to understand.
>> as a person who is part of the phenomenon that is "glee" on tv. how do you think it felt to the " will and grace " people to be mentioned in that context?
>> i'm all for them. and i'm sure they're absolutely thrilled about it. when they first did that show and nbc sat them down and said this could possibly turn into a huge thing and you might be threatened. it might get ugly. it never happened. never happened. and these are flawed characters. they're funny. you laugh at them. you want to go in the apartment whatever night it was on and hang out with them. and that changes a lot. like biden said, you have to put us out in the culture and see who we are. and if we're flawed, it has nothing to do with our orientation. it's because we're flawed. human beings . full human beings .
>> aren't we?
>> i wonder if you think there's an extension. you were saying as people know more gay people , as people come out, that tends to soften very hard attitudes. is there an extension that as people are exposed to the reality of gay lives, through culture, through tv, through theater, whatever it is, that it also has that effect?
>> absolutely. people tied to this their televisions. people come up to me like they know me because i appear on their television.
>> they want you to believe them.
>> say something mean to me. they think we're they're friends. so we do befriend the people on our television, so i think it's really great like ryan murphy , the creator of our shoe takes this very seriously. that's why he has every flavor of kid in the "glee" club. he wants every kid who watch this is show to have somebody that they can point to and go, that's me. i'm being supported. i'm in a place where people have my back, and i get to raise my voice in song.
>> i always felt like one of the things that i would always try to explain to people about like what i learned from junior high and high school is that popularity in junior high and high school doesn't buy you anything in later life. and then i hear really you ought to look for the kids who are the dorkier you are at those important ages, the cooler you are probably going to be as an adult. it's not always true. that's what i observe.
>> i think if you're being dorky or geeky it's a geeky, dorky time. you're being yourself. you're not trying to be something else. how many junior high or high school stars have we heard about who have just failed as adulthoods because they really haven't gone through that. they haven't gotten to know their true self .
>> i sort of feel like i'm waiting to meet my true self .
>> i'm looking at her.
>> it's going to be in a dark alley and there's going to be a fight when it happens. one last question for you about politics.
>> that is, at the same time that we've been seeing this transformation in the democratic party , the president completing his evolution and different things, on the right, in the republican party mitt romney has actually gone the other direction in his stance on gay rights . when he ran for senate he said he would be to the left of ted kennedy . now he's not only against equal marriage rights . he's against civil unions .
>> even us talking together right now, he's probably against that.
>> that's exactly right. it's probably illegal somewhere, and he supports that state's right to make it that way. i understand how people evolve on this issue. it's hard for me to understand how people devolve.
>> i don't think you do devolve on this issue. i don't buy it. i don't think it's genuine. i think it's politically calculated?
>> mitt romney ?
>> mitt romney politically calculated. i think deep down inside, yes, i think there's a little bit of calculus going on with him.
>> if he wants to come on the the show or talk to me, or fake me, which is you about that, that would be awesome.
>> i would love that.
>> jane lynch , i should say the finale of "glee" airs next tuesday night on fox. and the new book, which is awesome " happy accidents " with a forward by carol burnett , which is really great, is now on paperback. jane, thank you very much. any time you want to do the show. i can get an $11 blazer.
>> now it's time requester "the last word with lawrence o'donnell."