tv Disrupt With Karen Finney MSNBC December 28, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
oh... dear, i've dropped my tea into the boston harbor. huhh... i guess this party's over. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. hello, disrupters. i'm karen finney. over a million americans just lost a lifeline and if nothing changes another 4 million will be in peril before 2014 ends. but hey, at least one american is back at work after less than two weeks. >> breaking news on the "duck dynasty" suspension. >> breaking news. >> the quack is, in fact, back. >> in a lot of ways, though, the suspension was if anything symbolic. >> the left may control hollywood but they don't control the hearts and minds of a majority of americans. >> this family is what they is. >> do you have any objection on manners aspect, how he said it?
>> he is on the wrong side of the way of a majority of americans feel. >> i haven't read the article. i don't know exactly how he said it. >> if you're out of works, you are out of luck. >> does it make sense to borrow money from china to give it to the unemployed in america? >> merry christmas. you might not have a house very much longer. >> it is weakening us as a country to extend unemployment benefits? not only is this cruel, it's flat-out wrong. so it was a classic weekend news dump just before new year's. in politics we call it put og tut trash because the hope is no one notices the significance. a&e may have had similar hopes putting out an announcement that
phil robertson will be back in filming. he missed zero days of work while suspended for offensive comments about gay people and african-americans. the network said in a statement, quote, duck dynasty is not a show about one man's views, it is a show about family. a family that america has come to love. as you might have seen in many episodes they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. these are three values that we at the network also feel strongly about. now, there were a flurry of statements released in response to the statement but amongst the first to pounce is louisiana governor jindal to perhaps shore up some support of religious conservatives ahead of 2016. maybe that's why he didn't have the courage to address the comments of african-americans. in his statement, jindal said, quote, i'm glad to hear that the folks at a&e came to their senses and recognized that tolerance of religious views is more important than political
correctness. today is a good day for freedoms of speech and religious statement. it is a bad day for honest dialogue about what tolerance actually means. joining me now, social commentator nancy jils and gregory tiangelo. thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> nancy, i want to start with you. i found it very offensive, this idea that many on the right immediately labeled this as being about freedom of speech and freedom of religion and i think so many of the rest of us heard anti-gay slurs and a real misunderstanding of african-americans and our history. >> slavery. >> yeah. >> it's so -- you know, this struck me on so many levels. i loved your intro. the hard working people who earned unemployment, they're done. they're not getting anymore support. this guy, not only is punished but doesn't lose anything but
his job remains. and it's such intolerant speak. >> yeah. >> it's everything that's kind of against i think, any kind of religious spiritual point of view. it marks an incredible twisting of history. happier before civil rights? i don't think so. >> why. >> the homophobic language also just mean spirited. i will say this because i believe this. i thought of it a couple different ways. i think -- i'm glad they're keeping it on. i think people need to hear and see this kind of thing. it would be dishonest to try to edit that out like there were some shows and cbs, my own network, had "big brother" with a very, very bigoted girl and a lot of stuff on the network was edited that out. people need to see. now, what bobby jindal said, i don't know what to say. it's just -- it bares no relationship to anything real. it is just -- i don't get it. >> gregory, it is interesting to me. this breaks down in a couple of different ways. right? there's the politics of it which
i understand why jindal said what he said in the way he said it but i think there is and you have talked about this a bit, this idea of can we have a real conversation about tolerance? can we have a -- to nancy's point, it is important. i have no problem with this being on television. i think people should watch it and make their own decisions. he obviously was perfectly free to make the comments he made on "gq," in the article. but i do think -- this is a statement that g.l.a.d. put out saying, phil robertson should look african-american and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising gym crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists. i mean, i do think it's fair to say if you make those comments then you're accountable for them when people have a reaction to them. >> what g.l.a.d. also said is that a&e needs to be serious
about a conversation with the gay community and phil robertson. we have been right about this from the start. we were the only organization calling for this to be an educational moment for the country. and an opportunity to engage with christian evangelicals in particular. so we can talk about intolerance all we want. we can talk about race in this country all we want and admonish those with different opinions than we do but the fact that there was such a push from social conservatives on the right and others who are fans of the "duck dynasty" show, a show that has over 14 million viewers a week, most popular reality television show in history shows a demographic there that needs to be engaged on this. if we want true equality around this country, we can't ignore the 14 million plus people fans. we need to talk with them and log cabin republicans was the only organization advocating that from the start. >> nancy, one of the things that strikes to me is going back to
the politics and the demographics as you point out of the people -- >> who are fans. >> likely fans. there are all kinds of fans all over this country. but in general i think it is fair to say there's a demographic that is part of the base of the republican party and it felt like in a lot of the comments we got from jindal and others, it didn't feel like their goal was to try to inspire any kind of dialogue and yet it was instead -- i think this is why many took on the lgbt comments and basically ignored the african-american comments because they were trying to speak to that electorate rather than this bigger idea. >> it was dishonesty. everybody has freedom of speech. but that doesn't mean you can just say anything that you want that is untrue, offensive without it really being taken -- you know, to being accountable for it. you're right. i agree with you. i think that there are ways to take something like this where
it's a really popular show that people have come to love and say something that i disagree with bobby jindal. this is not what most people in america agree with and want to hear and a&e says we believe in tolerance but i don't think shutting it down, you know, is good. i think there is a way to really talk. i wish they had the courage to work with that instead of the political ramifications where all it does is keep the two sides split and not communicating. >> to that point, gregory, you have talked about it. i think you worked -- reached out to a&e about a moonshine summit. >> that's right. >> have you heard from them? as you point out, part of what they have said is we want to do psas, have conversation. i think a lot of us are sitting back looking and saying, okay, let's see if that's sincere or a pr strategy and i'm curious the feedback you have gotten. >> well, i'm curious, as well.
because i have not heard back from them and it's important to point out that in the statement a&e said they reached the conclusion to bring phil robertson after talking with numerous advocacy organizations. >> is that right? >> g.l.a.d. doesn't seem happy with the results there. clearly they didn't reach out to us. the offer is still on the table for playfully calling the moonshine summit with the robertson family. we want to talk about what unites us and use that as a moving point for dialogue. but no. we did not hear from a&e and i wonder which organizations they consulted with before coming to the conclusion and releasing the press conference at 5:00 p.m. on a friday before new year's eve. >> of course. a&e, if you're listening, the offer is still on the table. i don't know if they have your number. >> they do. >> you should give them a call. i think your point is so well taken. you know, let's also look,
though, at the business of a&e here because ratings were down 22% among adults 25 to 54 even though they did a sort of weekend long i believe it was like, you know, marathon of the show. but the economic power, 11.8 million viewers for the august season premier. and about 400 million in merchandising. so nancy, i mean, obviously, i mean, it is a big business. >> i know, i know. it's all about money. i know. money, money, money. making more money. if there was a show let's say with a group of black folks saying all kinds of things offensive things of white people and didn't get the same amount of audience, there's uproar, blah blah blah. it's still not everything should be just about money but i guess i live on planet, you know, nice. i want to make a quick point. i was thinking about conservative-conservative. these guys are giving conservatives a bad name in my opinion because conservative does not necessarily mean
bigoted or homophobic and i'm remembering the times of harvey milk an you met the people that were in san francisco because not everybody in san francisco was like gay friendly. you know? there were some dyed in the wool working class guys very skeptical of mar vi milk and worked with him and then got into it. that would be the kind of thing that i think would be amazing to see with moonshine summit. >> you know the audience. come on. >> make it a moonshine soul food summit. i don't know how they look at me and say you know you were better off before civil rights and you liked being a slave. the singing, the dancing, the songs. >> would you be open to conservative african-americans if it's conservative to conservative? >> i think it's very important to point out that log cabin republicans has numerous black gay republicans, black lesbian republicans. we have them on the national
board of directors and in louisiana. so yeah. you better believe that we want to open this up to represent as much of a -- the diversity that we have in the organization as possible if and when this occurs. but my point is, just coming from -- i think this is something -- a conversation that needs to come from the right. it needs to be gay conservatives that make this case because we have more in common than separating us. we are at a polarizing point in this country where in order to get that conversation to begin you need to sit down with people you have more in common with. >> that you perceive you have more in common with. part of the polarization is we perceive we have so much less in common. a final question to you, gregory. nancy made an important point. i think this gives conservatives a bad name because, i mean, some of the viewers of the show are shocked to hear me say this. i have friends that are conservative and not bigoted and racist and we just disagree and
that simple. for you, do you feel as a conservative -- i mean, i have heard you talk about you're a person of faith. you have common ground with these folks. but will they have that conversation? does it make you feel like gives conservatism a bad name in. >> we continue to have conversations like this around the country. the fact that we're just -- we're the latest group to propose having a conversation with phil robertson is just a latest conversation we want to have the. the fact we continue to engage with republicans, we have had a banner year in 2013 with 3 sitting republican united states senators come out in support of marriage equality and republican legislatures vote for marriage equality shows the importance of engaging with conservatives and the fact i'm here and log cabin republicans exists shows there's good conservatives out there. you need not be white and gay to be a member of log cabin republicans. we have black gay republicans part of the log cabin republicans, all different faiths and straight people of
faith as part of the organization. >> straight liberal people? >> i guess not. >> a&e, gregory, he's here and happy to get the summit. maybe we could come. >> we'll be very polite. >> soul food. >> thank you, nancy and gregory. >> thank you. >> pleasure. coming up, the choice democrats need to make if they want to win in 2014. and later, we'll try to answer the question, will the tea party outlast president obama? stay with us. ♪ [ male announcer ] if we could see energy... what would we see? ♪ the billions of gallons of fuel that get us to work. ♪ we'd see all the electricity flowing through the devices that connect us and teach us. ♪ we'd see that almost 100% of medical plastics
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money from china to give it to the unemployed in america? that is weakening us as a country. >> senator, it makes perfect economic sense for us to do what we can to support our out of work americans. we shouldn't be fooled to thinking when 1.3 million fellow sit zones learn unemployment insurance it doesn't impact the rest of us. the damage to the economy is only just beginning. and if republicans in congress continue down this road, another 3.5 million americans will also lose their unemployment insurance between now and next december. and according to the economic policy institute, loss of unemployment benefits will lead to broader job losses and a possible reversal of economic gains made in every single state. so while republican members of kon pontificate of who's deserving, they ignore the mr. of the american people. 55% of the country supports extending emergency unemployment compensation. and americans united for change released a new ad this week urging congress to do the right thing.
>> to the 1.3 million americans losing benefits, merry christmas from the gop. it's wrong to leave more than a million americans behind. tell republicans restore unemployment benefits now. >> and yet, as senator paul and republican members of congress relax in their respective hometowns for a month-long vacation, they basically closed their eyes and ears to the people they're supposed to serve. >> we lose our benefits at the end of the month so we're on the federal plan right now. been very tough. i haven't had any real offers lately. >> going on to unemployment has -- it's better than having no money but my whole situation is caused me to become homeless. >> cut by my government so i can't provide for my daughters is a hard pill to swallow. >> this comes from left field right before christmas. merry christmas. you might not have a hawes very much longer.
>> i need the benefits so that i can keep pushing forward so that i won't need the benefits. >> it's hope. if you don't have the hope, then it's truly over. >> joining me now, former vermont governor and my former boss, govern hor dean and msnbc contributor and columnist goldy taylor. thank you both for joining me. >> thank you, karen. >> thank you. >> governor, i want to start with you because i think it's important, the republicans talk about how they're listening to the american people and we know that's not really true and latest ppp poll even republican-led districts favor extending unemployment including john boehner's hometown in ohio. and you know, if we take a listen to the president in the final press conference, he addressed this issue and urged congress to extend unemployment insurance. let's listen. >> i think we are a better country than that. we don't abandon each other when times are tough. keep in mind unemployment insurance only goes to folks who are actively looking for work.
>> so, i mean, governor, i'm hoping part of what happens in the political calculations is these guys get some pressure or heat watching the local television hopefully and hearing from the people that we saw sort of in the opening of this program but i'm not sure if i'm fully optimistic. >> well, there's two problems. first is compassion problem. that doesn't seem to exist on the republican side. their view of humanity seems to be absent, not to include any kind of compassion. that's going to hurt them a lot and why they can't win national elections because when it's anger versus decency, decency ultimately wins but the bigger problem is the problem you outlined. rand paul has no idea what makes the economy work. he wanted to get rid of the fed. he was the only person who really understood that you've got to prime the pump. the congress wouldn't do it. they wouldn't pass the president's second and third stimulus packages but bernanke
because of the qe infinity was able to prime the pump. unemployment payments are priming the pump. for people who want able to work and can't find work, this is a foolish thing to do economically. it's going to result in less money being spent and less money supporting the american economy and nonsense of borrowing from china to paid american unemployed, it is stupid economics. >> goldy, i think it is worth noting that 90,000 people in new jersey lost benefits, 1% of the population. state population. 65,000 in texas. 18,000 in kentucky. each of those three states boasts a potential 2016 presidential candidate. how do you say you can manage the economy when you let this happen? >> it's problematic. 1 in 4 people after today unemployed will receive
unemployment benefits in this country. that means that this country will lose some 300,000 jobs because these unemployment benefits go straight into the economy. grocery stores, discount stores, retailers, utilities, places where people need to buy the things they need to run their lives and so there are people on the other side of that spending and those jobs will dry up. you know, it's a same thing to cut s.n.a.p. benefits. that's less money in the local grocery store, less people running the cash registers and stocking the aisles and that shrinks our economy when you pull the money out. you know, you find that economic growth on the whole is going to slow. some .4%, .5% when we can least afford the kind of things to happen. what republicans are doing is playing a game. they're hoping that this smaller government, free market economy talk is going to get people into the voting booth. on the other hand, if you're taking money away from them, the unemployment benefits, benefits
they earned, a system we paid in to, by the way, people will forget about the global free market economy and think about the personal household economy and that's the economy they vote on. >> governor, it strikes me just to maybe channel my inner howard dean it is important -- you know, majority of americans think we should extend unemployment benefits. people have a huge disgust with congress right now and we have to make sure they remember the feeling in november and try to i think make the argument about who it was who stood in the way of not just unemployment benefits extensions but investment in the economy as a longer term problem than just getting through the next few months. >> see, i actually don't think that's a problem. i think the brand of the gop is callousness and working for big corporations. that's the brand and what people believe the republican party stands for. it's true they believe the republican party stands for smaller government and all that
but the american people are not so hung up on the size of government. they don't think government works very well. people -- >> well, the republicans have certainly, you know, enhanced that, haven't they? >> no. they have. but you know, bill clinton always said that people would -- need to like the person they vote for. people don't like republicans very much in this country because they're not very likable and this is the kind of thing that people remember cutting unemployment at christmastime. they won't forget that. they're really not. >> goldie, we looked at the alternatives. so we looked at some things like how about closing some corporate tax loopholes? how about subsidies to oil, gas and coal industries? that would over $100 billion in the next 10 years or depreciation, cut the accelerated decelebration program, $24.5 billion. you have republicans saying what's to pay for? the point is there's plenty to
pay for the idea of not, again, not just helping americans who have w.h.o. are needing unemployment insurance and what that does to the economy but also invest in some of the things like infrastructure for jobs. >> well, absolutely. this extension of maybe another 90 days i think democrats are proposing costs about $6 billion. you can get it from offsets of the farm bill and this is something that can be paid for and paid for easily and an investment in the american people. it's an investment in families and households. the check in georgia is about 100 to $300 a month based on the previous wage that you earned. every dime of that money is spent towards rent, spent towards food, spent towards things like looking far brand new job. by the way, you've got to verify, certify every week that you have looked for in earnestly to try to find a job that week. three or four leads every week and not that you're collecting a check at home.
you are out there earnestly looking far job and verify that through the state and federal system to receive the check. and so these are people who are out there trying to survive, cope and make it on somewhere between $100 and $300 a week and doing the best they can. to cut them off now in the midst of their job search and just about to turn the corner and turn it around, i think it's callous. >> governor dean, very quickly the last word. >> the thing that's so interesting about this, here's where the difference and the republicans and democrats. i don't claim that democrats do everything right. i don't. >> that's right. >> the republican vs a view of man kind the people on unemployment is cheaters and their fault they don't have a job. they're not going to get away with that unemployed people working. they're not. >> even though they're wrong most of the time about welfare people, as well. >> they are. but they can, you know, reagan used that. people have neighbors who were hard working people and through no fault of their own put out of
jobs and now cut off by the republicans. >> all right. we'll stay on this issue. thanks to you both for joining me. >> thank you, karen. >> thank you. coming up, it's time for a wake-you wake-up call for the republican party. as my mother used to say, nothing is promised. that's when we come back. [ female announcer ] we eased your back pain... ♪ ready or not. [ female announcer ] ...so you can be up there. here i come! [ female announcer ] ...down there, around there... and under there for him. tylenol® provides strong pain relief and won't irritate your stomach the way aleve® or even advil® can. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®.
be whacko bird before they take flight. we all know how great he is at predicting the future. that's coming up. >> they're at 59 with basically the early vote counted it is going to continue to edge up. butler county, delaware county and warren county republican counties that have big chunks of their vote out. >> is this math you do as a republican to make yourself feel better or is this real? >> did you catch that? did you catch that right there? [ male announcer ] marie callender's knows that your favorite dutch apple pie starts with a golden flaky crust, wedges of fresh fuji apples, and a brown sugar streusel on top. so she made her dutch apple pie just like that. marie callender's. it's time to savor.
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female body has ways to try to shut that down. >> i'm not a witch. i'm nothing you've heard. i'm you. >> ah, brings back memories, doesn't it? many progressives are hoping for a new crop of crazy gop tea party candidates in 2014, some key figures in the establishment are working to avoid exactly that. so while it's been fun and bad for the country watching the whacko birds and the republican party in disarray, republicans need to face the significant challenges to winning in 2014. in addition to the gerrymandered districts, karl rove and friends like the chamber of commerce aren't taking the threats to the establishment lightly. they're starting to purge the party ranks of those whacko birds. a strategist said the number one focus is to make sure when it comes to the senate we have no loser candidates. that will be the mantra. no fools on our ticket.
all right then. the strategist boasts the plans of a $50 million campaign to knock any potential whacko birds out of the sky. as a new cnn/orc international poll found, they're losing 16 points and put it is gop in the lead. that same survey also found an enthusiasm gap, only 22% of registered democratic voters are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year compared to 36% on the gop side. joining me now to discuss is democratic strategist doug thornal and james peterson, contributor. thank you both. >> hey, karen. >> thank you, karen. >> doug, i know you and i both come from, you know, hard core politics looking at the numbers and obviously between now and november is a lifetime but it does, you know, give me pause to think that our folks are maybe getting a little bit too
complacent when we see kind of a whackiness and assume that yes there's another government shutdown in february but that's not enough to win. >> well, i think first of all i would tell democrats it's not time to panic. i think we have actually a promising next six months in terms of a policy standpoint. i think democrats are going to be on the offense on unemployment insurance, minimum wage, comprehensive health care reform and we lost ground with problems with the obamacare website and also because we weren't on the offense on the affordable care act. i think dems are back on the offense and the enthusiasm gap is a crazy numbers in polls that don't always bare out until the end. >> sure we. >> had the enthusiasm gap last election, remember? democrats weren't going to be excited about president obama and that, you know, democrats weren't going to turn out. well, what happened? he won. and i think if you look at the fund raising numbers, for
example, the democrats are doing very well at the committee level, the dccc is in the minority and the democratic senatorial campaign committee outraised the rnsc and there's enthusiasm out there and dems have to take the fight to the republicans and get off the mat. >> james, the point is it's great to raise the money and not time to panic but it matters how we spend the money for our message and mobilize voters and remind them. i was talking about unemployment issues. right? remind voters how they're feeling right now about 1.3 million fellow americans without unemployment insurance we all pay for. >> that's exactly right. and i think maybe this is an opportune time for dems to be on the aggressive side of politics as long as they continue to push progressive agenda. if they're talking about
comprehensive immigration reform, talking about unemployment insurance benefits and talking about dispensing with this craziness about a grand bargain where we radically change the social safety net, those are the kind of things that the progressive folk can get behind and we shouldn't take the gap too lightly because while at the presidential level enthusiasm gaps won't have the impact, at the level of congress, the gaps are really, really important so the idea here for democrats i think is to really stick to the progressive issues. i've been saying this a lot and stick to it. i believe that the constituent of the party are within the party and got to be some kind of realignment in the party to match the so-called obama coalition that re-elected the president this last cycle. >> doug, one of the other challenges i think we'll see in 2014 are the voter i.d. laws and another place where we need to spend money, both in terms of turnout and in terms of, you know, fighting some of these
laws but it was interesting in 2012 was that acted as a mechanism that got people inspired to get out and vote. do you think we'll see that again in 2014? >> it was a huge motivating factor for young people, african-americans, hispanics who felt like the right to vote was being taken away and saw in it pennsylvania, florida where people are literally waiting in line for hours and hours. and you know, where i think that has an imspakt in governor's races. in pennsylvania, tom corbett is in deep trouble. in florida, charlie crisp competing really, really hard against rick scott. some folks kind of behind these crazy voter i.d. laws are up on the ballot and i think there's going to be a real motivational piece there for voters to kick these guys out and so, you know, look. i think that any time a voter feels like their voice is being with held from the prohesse, that just motivates them more and more to vote, to stay in line and bring the friends and
family to the polls. >> you know, on this issue, james, staying on offense. i think all of this is important. i think turnout is important and making sure that we bring out that obama electorate but also sort of looking for those opportunities and really staying firm on those opportunities to be on offense. we've noticed in the last week or so that the tea party versus the establishment on the affordable care act and a fracturing on how to talk about that. some like ron johnson who said recently that it's no longer just a piece of paper you can repeal an it goes away. there's something there. we have to recognize that reality. just talking about recognizing reality is shocking i admit. we have to deal with the people currently covered under obamacare. clearly that suggests that's another opportunity for democrats to be on offense in the coming year. >> absolutely. there's going to be actually plenty of opportunities for democrats to be on offense about the affordable care act and remind folk that the state exchanges are efficient and
probably should have been set up and blocked by republican legislators and a lot of republican governors. number two, democrats have got to get on the offensive of the civic sensibility of affordable health care. that is issue about poverty, as well. people go into the poor house based on health care bills and i think there's ways to be on the offensive. back to the state of pennsylvania, democrats in the state of pennsylvania did something really, really important. they didn't just respond to the voter restricting access and voter i.d. laws, let's get on the offensive and get the i.d.s and fighting the things in the courts and i think that's the approach that democrat vs to take to maintain the progressive momentum of the re-election of president obama. >> all right. >> i'm sorry. we have to leave it there. but doug and james, i hope you'll come back to all keep the pressure on democrats to stay on offense. >> thanks, karen. >> absolutely. ahead, will the tea party outlast president obama? is it even a real movement? that's coming up. if i can impart one lesson to a
new business owner, it would be one thing i've learned is my philosophy is real simple american express open forum is an on-line community, that helps our members connect and share ideas to make smart business decisions. if you mess up, fess up. be your partners best partner. we built it for our members, but it's open for everyone. there's not one way to do something. no details too small. american express open forum. this is what membership is. this is what membership does.
so we have been asking you to share your favorite disrupt moments of the year. here's what you have been saying. disrupter jackie said, quote, i was young enough to read and watch nelson mandela in the '50s so i enjoyed your report on meeting him in 1994. thanks for that. on facebook, lisa's vote for wendy davis for the 11-year filibuster demanding the reproductive rights for texas women and her bid for the office of governor of texas. go, wendy, go. i'm right there with you. facebook fan eric's favorite moment wasn't from our show. he said you rocked beat the clock with steve kornacki. please don't drink out of that gold painted cup. don't worry. i didn't and i won't. we'll be picking our favorite moments for tomorrow's show. you keep them coming. coming up next, the origins of the tea party go back a lot
further than the affordable care act, hundreds of years and they're based on fear of change. that's coming up. ♪ [ male announcer ] new vicks dayquil severe. helps relieve your ugliest, nastiest, roughest, toughest cold symptoms. new dayquil severe. with maximum symptom fighting ingredients. ♪ new vicks nyquil severe. helps relieve your ugliest, nastiest, roughest, toughest nighttime cold symptoms. new nyquil severe. with maximum symptom fighting ingredients. ♪ would you like apple or cherry? cherry. oil...or cream? definitely cream. [ male announcer ] never made with hydrogenated oil. oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] always made with real cream. the sound of reddi wip is the sound of joy. [ male announcer ] always made with real cream. "stubborn love" by the lumineers did you i did. email? so what did you think of the house? did you see the school ratings? oh, you're right. hey babe, i got to go. bye daddy! have a good day at school, ok?
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i see the tea party indispensable keeping washington accountable and when i look at when we lost the majority in '06 we deserved it. they helped us right the ship again being fiscally conservative. >> i would put it differently. the tea party helped republicans win in 2010 and even many in the gop didn't understand what was happening. you tried to control it which, of course, has failed miserably. and now the tea party is regrouping for 2014. ted cruz and pals love to call the tea party a grassroots organization, standing up for the free market liberty and the constitution. but was shutting down the government really standing up for all that? what about the shutdown rally
outside the white house featuring cruz, sarah palin and a confederate flag in the background? was that standing up for the constitution? we have talked a lot about the tea party over the last two years. but is it really an organic grassroots movement, one that just happens to be partially supported by the coke brothers backed organization freedom works that was previously run by none other than former republican house majority leader dick armey? and why is there anger towards president obama so visceral? is it about him or is it bigger than that? the s the anger perhaps trigger bd i the election of president obama and part of a history of reactionary movements fearing the realities of change and will the tea party outlast president obama? joining me now to discuss, christopher parker, university of washington associate professor and co-author of "change they can't believe in." thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me, karen. >> i read a piece that you wrote in a summary of the book and i was really fascinated by what
you talked about in terms of viewing the tea party in the context of sort of larger context of history as a part of a reactionary movement that sort of crops up from time to time when the country is undergoing massive shifts and changes. can you talk a little bit about that? >> yes. sure, yes, karen. the tea party is not something that just started just within the last few years. this sort of phenomenon goes all the way back at least to the no-nothing party of the 1850s and reaction to immigration. it continued all the way through the clan of the 1920s and believe me i get a lot of grief for comparing them to the klan of the 1920s and john birch society and goldwater voters and this is the idea when country is undergoing rapid social change this group of people fills this existential threat to the identity, their connection to america, and they will do
anything and everything to forestall that or go back in time. >> does that suggest then that i mean -- is president obama just sort of -- i don't want to say the tip of the iceberg but a catalyst in this instance and i think there's genuine racism and ire that's directed towards him, it also feels like he is symbolic for the people already afraid about, you know, changes in -- we have had dramatic changes in lgbt rights, women's rights. the country is -- some of the backlash we're seeing with some of these crazy things going after women in the states. so it feels like the president is really kind of just the sort of symbol of that anger. >> there's no question about that. president obama's sort of cat lized this movement. like you said, i think you're completely correct. think about what coincided with president obama, right? his election. so increasing visibility for women, increasing visibility for
same-sex rights. all these things come together and coincided with president obama taking office. think about he put two women on the supreme court. moreover, he put more specifically a quote/unquote wise latina on the supreme court. for some people, it's way too much change for them to deal with. >> you know, so some of suggest that the president -- i mean, we have heard apocalyptic language in the idea that the president is destroying the country and health care is destroying the country. one of the things i think you wrote was, quote, they not only wish to halt change. if we're correct, tea party supporters wish to turn the clock back. they hope to return to a point in american life before barack obama held the highest office in the land, before a latino was elevated to the supreme court and when powerful members of congress were heterosexual. at least publicly. >> yeah. thanks for pointing that out. one of my --
>> sure. >> yeah, you just had to twist the knife just a little bit there. >> just a little bit. >> i mean, yeah. but all of that's very, very true. i mean, we didn't see this backlash so they're supposedly punitively about fiscal responsibility, more restraint. that's not what we saw. what happened on george bush's watch when the deficit went up, the budget went up? right? he signed t.a.r.p. in. we didn't see tea party people out there crashing the barricades but you let somebody other than a white male take over the white house then we have more problems and it's more than a coincidence. >> i think also you point out the tea party's not going anywhere because they're part of the continuum and to the question, will they outlast, president obama i suppose they will and we have to deal with them for another few years. thank you, christopher parker. >> thank you, karen. >> that does it for me.
thank you for joining us. be sure to tune in tomorrow as we take a look back at the biggest stories of 2013 and predict the movers and shakers to disrupt the year ahead. we'll see you then. [ male announcer ] if you can clear a crowd but not your nasal congestion, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec-d®. powerful relief of nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms -- all in one pill. zyrtec-d®. at the pharmacy counter.
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