This is how ridiculously low the Republican party has sunk. Or the mainstream media. Or both. This is a panel discussion about the different candidates in Iowa that took place this morning on MSNBC. It began with Alex Wagner asking whether
January 3, 2012

This is how ridiculously low the Republican party has sunk. Or the mainstream media. Or both.

This is a panel discussion about the different candidates in Iowa that took place this morning on MSNBC. It began with Alex Wagner asking whether Iowa campaigns would cause trouble for whoever the nominee is when the general election rolls around.

Nearly out of the gate, this panel goes off the rails, thanks to SE Cupp. First Alex Wagner quotes this line from a December 27th New York Times anti-Ron Paul editorial:

Ron Paul long ago disqualified himself for the presidency by peddling claptrap proposals like abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard, cutting a third of the federal budget and all foreign aid and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

To which SE Cupp chirps in with her opinion that "most of that is actually good stuff!"

It goes downhill from there, and fast, especially when Jimmy Williams states that he finds it fascinating when white people tell black people (or women) what to think. He is referring particularly to this Rick Santorum comment made yesterday:

Answering a question about foreign influence on the U.S. economy, the former Pennsylvania senator went on to discuss the American entitlement system - which he argued is being used to politically exploit its beneficiaries.

"It just keeps expanding - I was in Indianola a few months ago and I was talking to someone who works in the department of public welfare here, and she told me that the state of Iowa is going to get fined if they don't sign up more people under the Medicaid program," Santorum said. "They're just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That's what the bottom line is."

He added: "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money."

"Right," responded one audience member, as another woman can be seen nodding.

Santorum's remark was made in Iowa and plays right into the white fear of blacks taking from makers, as is pointed out later in the discussion. But SE Cupp does her best to rehabilitate him.

CUPP: Look, this is taken completely out of context. Rick Santorum talks about social economics all the time. [crosstalk] He talks about how two-person families are better economically for the country. He talks about how conservative social policies are better for white people. You cannot take --


CUPP: That's not what he says.

WILLIAMS: That's what he says all the time. Rick Santorum is a homophobe and a bigot. Let's call it what it is.

CUPP: He absolutely isn't. He talks about the economics of these policies and these social issues that we talk about. It's all theoretical without ties to anything. And that's what he does.

Oh, I see. Theoretical. Of course. Because theoretically, it's all blacks on welfare and Medicaid who need the opportunity, right?

Alex Wagner took a moment to set them straight.

WAGNER: In that comment, he's singling out black folks in particular --

CUPP: In a 2-second sound bite --
WAGNER: 84 or 86 percent of the people on food stamps in Iowa are white; 9 percent of them are black. What it speaks to is a contention and an idea in the back of some people in the Republican party's heads which is the people taking from the makers are people of color and they don't deserve these handouts any more.

Wagner said it straight up, and that just flustered everyone, including SE Cupp. But no fear, Matt Lewis is to the rescue with this gallant defense:

LEWIS: You may disagree with Newt on allowing kids to be janitors. It sounds kind of absurd. But his point was folks, let's get people involved in the workforce and maybe give them a leg up so that they can be successful. You might disagree with the tactic but I think it's actually a compassionate thing to do.

CUPP: It is.

I'm at a loss to understand how it would be compassionate to put a bunch of school janitors out of work so nine-year old children can clean the school bathrooms. If any of you understand that kind of compassion, please leave a comment explaining it to me.

In the meantime, I'll call this one just like Wagner did. It's blatant race-baiting intended to reinforce false ideas about people of color draining the country of its wealth via "entitlements."

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