Up | February 03, 2013
>>> hello from new york. i'm chris hayes here with korin skinner, michelle goldberg of news week and the daily beast.com and dillin glenn, former special assistant to president george w. bush . we were talking about the modern republican party post the election and a string of decisions that have made the institutional levels, i think, particularly in terms of how congress has acted in terms of the opposition that appeared to indicate that the behavior has shifted a little bit, that the long period in which constant obstruction was the way that republicans thought was the best of countering the oh bam in administration and the democratic party . in terms of the debt ceiling deal, the fiscal cliff, the bipartisan senators who came together on immigration, which, aga again, that's kind of a rope thing in washington, d.c., but it's been absent for the last couple of years. when george w. bush was elected, no child left wind was a top domestic priority and you had a kind of gang of eight style thing.
>> no child left behind just didn't happen. bush reached out to ted kennedy , and you worked the issue and --
>> sure. they worked on the recovery act. they want today recovery.
>> they didn't work on the --
>> yes, they did.
>> it was one of those ludicrous republican myths that obama didn't reach across the aisle. and ma myth is so foundational to a lot of republican thinking and i'm guessing to you and i it seems so divorced from reality that it's hard to even engage with, right, the idea that obama didn't attempt to genuinely attempt a bipartisan governing style.
>> you can call it a myth. i think the proof is in the pudding . i think that this --
>> so you blame obama for the fact that there's this --
>> listen, i'm in politics. i think most of those people we elect hopefully are there because they want to get solutions for the country. you have to come and have real bipartisanship. just because the president of the united states is re-elected doesn't mean that he should get everything that's in his progressive agenda.
>> non but i think --
>> but that seems to be his governing, the way he's governed the first four years of his presidency.
>> you and i totally view this differently. look at the affordable care act . they pushed and pushed and pushed the affordable care act . and the reason they pushed and pushed and pushed was because they were trying to get this group of republican senators, right, in the senate finance committee spearheaded by max bachus, one of the most conservative members of the democratic caucus to get some kind of bipartisan deal. they wanted nothing more in the universe and, in that case --
>> you could have done insurance reform and you would have had a bill.
>> i totally disagree with that.
>> well, i think the acrimony of obama 's first term was equal to the anxiety about the economy and there was a political anxiety that health care reform could really damage the republican party for the next 40 years by making it so that when the average american parent, when their child gets sick, they think of the federal government and that scare tess crap out of republicans because they've seen how it's changed the torrey party in the uk. it is a fundamental shift in the state, in the nature of the federal government , maybe not equal to the great society or the new deal, but in the same vein. so i think that was a big part of the society. and, again, we're in a place politically where the temperature just keeps cooling. and a lot of those fights have shifted to the core.
>> we're outside of the election year now. so you don't have to have todd achin or mitt romney talking about conception.
>> let me just come back to this point. i think it's important to see what the political incentives are. so in terms of this vision about, okay, there's something on the table, right? legislatively and you're making this calculation, do i get on to the train and then try to have conversations with it and change its direction and mix the met fors, i guess, or do i just let it go and try to block it? the tale of bob bennet to me is the one. bob bennet was a fairly conservative senator from utah. he was not a lefty. and his huge hetarodoxy was that he had cosponsored a health care by with ron widen. it was not the health care bill that got passed. but what happened to bob bennet just for cosponsoring this health care bill? he went back to utah and got booted out in this state's republican convention after serving, what, two or three terms, okay. and i interviewed bob bennet --
>> what about ron wisen? he wasn't embraced by the republican party .
>> but that is the key. what you just said is the key. ron widen will not face a krit credible primary challenge. that is a huge asymmetry.
>> that's because the democrats have the presidency and they can protect ron widen.
>> no. there's a real difference in the way their bases operate. to my great frustration.
>> we constantly think -- i mean, as a progressive, you constantly think, you know, why can't our base carry the same sort of weight in the democratic party that the republican base carries in theirs? and there is a trade up there, right? on the one hand, you have basically the democratic party -- what is the saying, the democratic party hates the space and the republican party spears the space? the democratic party tends to treat progressive activists with a fair degree of contempt.
>> let me say for the record, ron widen is a very good senator in a lot of ways and very progressive on a lot of issues. just so that owes t record.
>> but the up side of that is you don't have this kind of constant veto threat from the most im plaqueble elements of your party .
>> i actually disagree with the idea that the tea party or the far right is the core base in the republican party . i think the base is shifting and reforming and i think the election helped to make that a lot more apparent. if you look at what happened at the national review institute's conference, just a few days ago, and some of the states that are coming out, govern gindahl saying the republicans are stupid.
>> but gindahl is not the base.
>> no. but i really think that we have to give it time, that the republicans are coming out of shock with the election. a lot of resources went into the romney camp and there was a sense, throw money at the problem and we will win. that did not happen. we've not begun a serious conversation about the role of racial minorities and the republican party . and i did an op-ed on the "new york times" online a few weeks ago talking about how the black vote needs to be recaptured and the party needs to become the party of lincoln again, especially in light of the film " lincoln " which is all about the role of race and rights in the united states and the beginning of the republican party .
>> there's a lot different in everyone's politics in 1865 . nothing would cheer me more than to bring back the republican party of thaddeus stevens .
>> but i'm not saying we're going to reform the party of lincoln , but the elements are there about race and rights and the party that has that legacy also has a certain responsibility. we are even have a serious conversation at this point. they've identified this person, the marco rubio . here is a black senator there. that's not the answer of a few people. it is about coming to common ground on a set of core beliefs that we call the american creed and is how do you bring racial minorities into that?
>> i have a lot of thoughts on that. i've argued that the republican party should try to reach out to the black community before it reaches out to the spanish community, one to reconnect with any urban voter whatsoever. and, too, because i think conservativism speaks to a sense of loss and i think that blacks may feel, in the next generation or two, as america continues to change, as they are the minority with something to lose.
>> that's interesting.
>> this in their status. so i think that the republican party may be able to speak to that.
>> how clear you are about the emotional appeal of conservative conservatives.
>> it's difficult because the image of the republicans -- there are two images of the republican party for the average person. it's the country club castle loafer guy on the one hand and the wife beater wearing toothless redneck toting a bushmaster on the other.
>> that does not look like the future of the america. it doesn't look like the president of the republican party . it's so diverse in one sense that it doesn't have one dominant image.
>> i like how you putd it about the republican party and its relationship to black voters. because i believe that the black vote is the lead indicator vote for what's going to happen with other racial minorities and if the party can't win back part of the black vote, i don't believe that it's going to take over the h hispanic vote. on social issues, on defense, the military has been the pathway, the gi bill , for example, for most of us or a large part of us into the middle class . i wouldn't be here were it not for the gi bill and the way it allowed my father to get educated.
>> but the gi bill is a liberal policy.
>> but no, listen to what i'm saying underneath it. i'm talking about the commitment to national defense and understanding of the role of the military and the united states , the relationship between the military national readiness, how we project otherwise in the world.
>> but that's the patriotic americans in the united states are african-american?
>> sure. but --
>> is there --
>> liberals. those things are --
>> no. but i think when you go underneath, there is a deep well of social conservativism among african- americans .
>> i agree 100% with that. but i don't want to see the republican party become a pandering party , either.
>> no. that's not what i've said.
>> i know that's not what you've said. but our message used to be one of growth, opportunity for everyone. and i think that that still is the message, we just don't get it out in an appropriate way.
>> and that's a very good point.
>> beyond that, the policy that support that are what's really important and i'd like to see us get back to --
>> can i say quickly, there's been this idea on the right for a while that they were going to reach out to african- americans on the basis of social issues. that was the basis of a lot of these anti- gay marriage amendments. and we've seen the complete breakout of that strategy. so i can't imagine that you would want to --
>> and the strategy on the right.
>> of course there was.
>> it happened to be, you know, southern baptist black ministers that don't believe in gay marriage .
>> and it just happened to be on the payroll --
>> wait, wait. hold on a second. hold on a second. two things. important, right? the actual opinions of african- americans on gay marriage are moving in the same way everyone's opinions are. the final thing i would say here can b coalitions, which is a point i hit a lot, which is that people are smart enough to not join coalitions that are going to be in coalition with other people that don't want them, right? and the version of this on the democratic site side are going to do this. what democrats did on policy was they completely restreeted, no gun control , the only gun control the president signed was to carrie guns in national parks , right? now, gun enthusiasts can chose between two major coalitions. even if one isn't coming at you, you understand that one coalition has people that like you and one has coalition of people that don't like you. and you can change on policy, but at the coalitional level, which coalition are you going to choose at the margin and that's the deeper problem.
>> kyron skinner, michelle goldberg , dillon glenn, michael, thank you for joining us this morning. nobel prize winning economist joseph stiglus