I've heard Lady-Mc-Cheney, Mary Matalin say a lot of ridiculous things in her defense of Mitt Romney, but this segment from Anderson Cooper's show on CNN this Thursday evening may have set a new low, even for Matalin's standards, which generally range from low to non-existent. Apparently labor unions, paying people minimum wage instead of slave wages and poverty programs that keep people from starving when times are tough are harming upward mobility in America.
And in this idiot's world, women being allowed to control their own reproductive health and having access to birth control is not one of the primary economic factors in most women's lives, but instead something that has no affect on whether they get "upward mobility opportunities" as well. Really astounding from someone who I assume was alive and cognizant during the last half a century or so and who has been around long enough to maybe remember the days when women were discriminated against because they might not be able to remain at a job, because heaven forbid they might end up pregnant.
Who needs misogynistic men around when you've got women like Matalin doing as much or more damage to her own gender as her male counterparts could ever hope to do.
As to the rest of the segment on CNN, I was glad to see The New York Times' Charles Blow call out Matalin for presuming to know what's best for African-American voters and the fact that you can't separate the issues she was discussing from the economic impact on the lives of average American workers, no matter what their race or gender.
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
COOPER: Mary, I got to say when I heard this I was reminded of the 47 percent hidden camera tape of Mitt Romney. I want to play a little more from this conference call, one of the two he held with donors. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY (via telephone): It's a proven political strategy, which is give a bunch of money from the government to a group and guess what, they'll vote for you. Let me tell you what I would do if I were a Democrat running four years from now, I would say you know what, dental care ought to be included in Obamacare. Immigration, we can solve, but giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So Mary, what do you make of the calls, his comment?
MATALIN I'm glad you played some more and I completely agree with Ana. You never know in what context this was said. It's just like the 47 percent. But the reason I became a conservative, I grew up a liberal Democrat.
The reason I became a conservative is so everybody, no matter of race, gender, class, could have the same opportunities for upward mobility. That's the better way to say what he's saying. You don't -- women don't get upward mobility opportunities because they get free contraception.
The Obama campaign was ruthless and open and loud about their targeting that they wanted youth, they wanted women and they wanted minorities, and they -- they won because they had better turnout and they did it, ran a better campaign.
So I think Ana's right. I don't know that he isn't examining what else went wrong with the campaign. I wouldn't lead with this. I can't expect a man as smart as him would think that this was the reason he lost this campaign.
COOPER: Charles, to you, do these comments echo the 47 percent comments? How do you interpret them?
BLOW: I think they absolutely echo the 47 percent. It's actually a really unfortunate timing for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party for this to come out right now.
Because you had an opportunity for people, at least some people, to kind of forget about the 47 percent, let that kind of fade into the distance during the last couple months of the campaign, and also, he did I think give a rather gracious kind of concession speech.
But this brings back to the fore the idea that he was not misspeaking when he was discussing the 47 percent. It is an incredibly condescending way to think about the American electorate and about the presidency of the United States.
That the president would use the U.S. Treasury as some sort of massive cynical vote buying machine and people would fall for that. That is the only thing that they want in a candidate is someone who will give them handouts.
It goes back to that narrative of the makers versus the takers, which is sort of a coded message people use when they want to kind of denigrate minorities, young people, people who they don't think are smart enough to make decisions based on policy.
COOPER: Which, by the way, Romney himself during the campaign walked away from, saying my comments were absolutely incorrect. It does sound like, to some, that he's reiterating.
Mary, I want to ask you about another thing he said. He took issue with the 20 Republican debates that took place in the primaries, saying quote, "it was absolutely nuts," criticized the networks that hosted the debates saying the next time the debates should go to quote, "stations that are reasonable" that quote, it's not all going to be done by CNN and NBC.
I moderated one of those debates. I didn't hear complaints from the Romney people after that debate. And a lot of Republicans I talked to during the campaign were saying that the debates made him a better candidate. That he got better and better at debating.
MATALIN: Yes, they did, and we can stop maligning Mitt Romney. He's not going to run again. That's the only other thing I know he said on the campaign. I would like to say to Charles, the greatest, and he can deny this, but I'm an empiricist.
The greatest impediment to upward mobility for women and minorities are liberal policies such as the teachers unions, which secure teachers jobs, they don't educate our youth, such as African- American youth locked out of entry level jobs because the insistence on minimum wage, such as poverty programs that have dismantled the families.
The greatest predictive of poverty in childhood is unmarried mothers, single parent families. So those are liberal policies. If you care about the African-American community and women who are all in this together, there are things, there are economic policies that work, there are cultural policies that work and have proved themselves throughout the ages.
The mistake the Republicans made is, and they are going to make if they continue this, is to segment out and divide America by race, gender, class and all the rest of it, which is what the Obama campaign was about.
BLOW: Let me respond to that. The last time I checked, I was a member of the African-American community. I don't just care about the African-American community and the idea these policies are somehow separated from economic policies, the idea that somehow health care is separate from the economic argument is absolutely ridiculous.
When you look at the fact that health issues are one of the leading causes of insolvency in people's households that is an economic decision, when you look at the fact among women, the biggest decision that you can make as a woman and as a family is when you decide to bring a child into that family.
It is a huge economic issue and you can have -- get a new job and quit that new job. You cannot have a child and quit that child. So this argument that you're making is actually kind of a silly one, in my view.
COOPER: We got to leave it there, unfortunately. We'll continue this more down the road. Appreciate all your perspectives.