On the debut of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC on Saturday, after starting the show with a discussion of why she believes it is a good thing for the Republican Party to be a strong party - for the sake of having a competitive, multi-party system to give voters choices - the show soon predictably moved toward talk of alleged racism in the Republican Party. (Video clips below)
At one point, she showed video footage of liberal Republican presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller from the 1964 Republican National Convention condemning "extremists" in the party. After a clip of a black audience member applauding the speech, Harris-Perry cracked:
I love the last black Republican left in the party just clapping, "Yes, please repudiate them," right?
A bit later in the show, guest Dorian Warren - an assistant professor at Columbia University - charged that the Republican Party's strategy is to be a "white Southern party," with Harris-Perry, apparently agreeing, then adding, "And apparently an all-male party."
After she complained about the recent talk of social issues like birth control as being irrelevant to the creation of jobs, Warren jumped back in to claim that "the vast majority of women disagree with the Republican party's position on reproductive rights and reproductive justice."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Saturday, February 18, Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC:
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: I want to play Republican presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller at the 1964 Republican National Convention giving a speech that was very unpopular because he was actually attacking the far right wing of his party, and we'll see the response here.
NELSON ROCKEFELLER: These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror. They encourage disunity. These are people who have nothing in common with Americanism. The Republican Party must repudiate these people.
HARRIS-PERRY: I love the last black Republican left in the party just clapping, "Yes, please repudiate them," right?
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR DORIAN WARREN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: But here's the second thing. This is what I don't understand. The Republican strategy is basically to be a white party, and a white Southern party. And the time is, the clock is ticking on that demographic in this country.
HARRIS-PERRY: And apparently an all-male party. I mean, what I kept feeling this week is, I hear you, when I first heard the discourse of the Tea Party, you know, as much as I wasn't in agreement with it, I kind of like populist movements that are asking for jobs and asking and worrying about, you know, about the effects of big government.
But the shift now has moved more toward the so-called moral, ethical, racially problematic and now this contraception language? You know, jobs are simply not located in my uterus. Like, wherever they are, wherever they might be, you know, created, that's just not where they are. So why is so much policy language around that?
WARREN: The vast majority of women disagree with the Republican Party's position on reproductive rights and reproductive justice. Three out of four women disagree with the Republican Party. And, again it's a short-term strategy, the Republican Party has decided to go all in for 2012 on getting as many old and white male voters as they can; 2016, 2020, this country looks very, very different. And I'm not sure what the strategy is, medium and long-term, to actually be a viable party, a competitive party.