As I wrote earlier this week, I heard mostly what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn't say at the NAACP convention last week: nothing about his party's assault on voting rights, for instance. On the surface, that's understandable, given that had he stuck to the GOP party line on that, he might've seen a head of lettuce and some tomatoes come his way.
Still, he didn't have to go Full GOP Monty to make the speech into a kind of "Rawhide" scene from "The Blues Brothers" -- whereupon entering an environment not terribly receptive to what you offer, you win them over by playing their song, so to speak. (The demographics, of course, are reversed from what you see above.) People rushing to give him credit for speaking at all need to have a seat, but perhaps the only bit of credit he earned was by sticking to his stump speech in front of a crowd likely to disagree with him.
But when he came out looking like a mark when he said all that stuff about the "free stuff." Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone spit hot fire about the free stuff folks like Romney get:
As far as free lunches go, we of course just witnessed the biggest government handout in history, one that Romney himself endorsed. Four and a half trillion dollars in bailout money already disbursed, trillions more still at risk in guarantees and loans, sixteen trillion dollars in emergency lending from the Federal Reserve, two trillion in quantitative easing, etc. etc. All of this money went to Romney’s pals in the Wall Street banks that for years helped Romney take over companies with mountains of borrowed cash. Now, after these banks crashed, executives at those same firms used those public funds to pay themselves massive salaries, which is exactly the opposite of “helping those who need help,” if you’re keeping score.
Melissa today will offer her take on the speech in an extended conversation, and let me tell you that you do not want to miss her introduction at the top of the show. (I work here; I've read it, so trust.) We'll also go in-depth on inequities in public transportation, and how that affects the working class. (Interestingly, Melissa got on the bus with the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday; we'll show a few clips of that today, also.)
You might recall that the song that followed "Rawhide" in "The Blues Brothers" was "Stand By Your Man," and that's precisely what Melissa will tell timid Democrats to do for President Obama. After that discussion, Melissa will talk to Olympic champion gymnast Dominique Dawes about her work with First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. We'll welcome a coterie of comics to talk about the controversy surrounding a rape joke made by a Comedy Central host; check out our guest Jessica Valenti's piece in The Nation before she joins us today. And as always, Melissa has a powerful Footnote ready to close the show.
Including Dawes and Valenti, our guests today include:
- Bob Franken, Emmy-award winning reporter and syndicated columnist.
- Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
- Jamie Kilstein, comedian and co-host of Citizen Radio.
- Joy Reid, managing editor of theGrio, and an MSNBC contributor.
- Elon James White, comedian and founder/host of "This Week in Blackness."
- Maya Wiley, founder and president of the Center for Social Inclusion.
- Lizz Winstead, political satirist, co-creator of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," and author of "Lizz Free or Die."
We hope that you interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland -- and encourage others to do the same. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!