All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, April 11th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Friday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 11, 2014
Guests: Judith Browne-Dianis, Melissa Harris-Perry; Goldie Taylor
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
Today, President Obama spoke at the annual convention of the National
Action Network, a group founded by my colleague, the Reverend Al Sharpton.
And for the second day in a row, the president was giving a speech on civil
rights at a moment in his presidency when the discussion of race in the
Obama era has reached an intense crescendo.
And if yesterday, the president was solemn and diplomatic at the LBJ
memorial in LBJ memorial library in Texas, today he was frank and clear and
pointed as he took aim at one of the most disturbing political and racial
trends of his tenure -- a full frontal assault on a citizen`s franchise,
the right to vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Across the country,
Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for
people to vote. The real voter fraud is people who try to deny our rights
by making bogus arguments about voter fraud.
America did not stand up and did not march and did not sacrifice to
gain the right to vote for themselves and for others only to see it denied
to their kids and their grandchildren. We`ve got to pay attention to this.
This recent effort to restrict the vote has not been led by both
parties. It`s been led by the Republican Party.
If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote,
that`s not a sign of strength. That`s a sign of weakness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A rare moment of partisan clarity from the president, one
backed up squarely by the record.
First, let`s recall, five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme
Court gutted a key part of the Voting Rights Act. Shortly thereafter,
seven states that had been covered in whole or part by Section 5 of the
Voting Rights Act, seven states that also had, we should add, who had
Republican governors or legislatures moved forward with restrictive voting
And this is not some accident. If that map is the crime scene with
the victim being American democracy, what you might ask is the motive?
A fascinating new study leads us towards that motive. Two
Northwestern University psychologists surveyed white respondents nationwide
and they asked them something. They asked these folks about the racial
shift in California, if they had heard the state of California had become
majority-minority. In other words, that whites were becoming a minority in
the state. And what they found was after learning of this fact, the
respondents exhibited a significant shift toward Republican identification.
In the second experiment, they focused on the overall U.S. shift.
Again, they found that white Americans became more conservative and more
likely to indorse conservative policies when they were aware of demographic
changes that will eventually displace them from the country`s majority. In
other words, when you tell white voters that they`re going to be the
minority, they get more conservative.
Presumably, this is because they find themselves staring down the
barrel into a future they fear -- a future in which they could possibly end
up on the wrong side of the social hierarchy. The study finds that this
right word shift was true of respondents who were politically unaffiliated
as well as those affiliated with either political party. Crucially,
Republicans, Democratic, independents, it didn`t matter, they all tended
to, quote, "endorsed conservative policies more strongly."
Now, this fear-based shift isn`t simply academic. You see it being
actively discussed and promoted by those who are seeking to make white
people fear their future.
Here`s Bill O`Reilly on election night 2012 when it was becoming
apparent that President Obama was win a second term.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: The demographics are changing. It`s not a
traditional America anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public
who want stuff. They want things. And whereby, 20 years ago, President
Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like
Mitt Romney. The white establishment is now the minority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Whether conscious or not, whether intentional or not, if the
stakes that people understand for their politics are some kind of future of
permanent dispossession -- well, then, it becomes a war of any means
necessary to preserve the current order, to preserve one`s edge. And one
of the easiest ways to do that is to make sure that the other folks, the
ones who aren`t part of the -- what`s the words -- white establishment, the
ones who want things, that those folks can`t vote.
Joining me now, Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president of the
National Action Network and host of "POLITICS NATION" on MSNBC.
I was struck today by the difference of the president`s tone yesterday
-- similar in some senses, similar thematic elements to the speeches. He`s
talking about the struggle for civil rights in both places, and the
difference between the president`s tone yesterday and his tone today in
front of your group, the National Action Network. He seemed much more
pointed, less diplomatic, less solemn, more kind of specific about what
calling out what the problem is.
AL SHARPTON, "POLITICS NATION" HOST: I think yesterday, they were
commemorating the 50th anniversary of what Lyndon Johnson had done in the
Civil Rights Act. Today was about action today. And that`s what he
referred to, National Action Network, the name of the organization and what
we`re trying to do.
So, I think yesterday, he was talking about civil rights in the `60s
and 50-year anniversary. Today was talking about civil rights today and he
outlined that voting rights and votes suppression is a very serious civil
rights issue of today.
HAYES: When someone -- when a white Republican conservative clicks on
the television today, and he sees Barack Obama speaking at the National
Action Network, Al Sharpton`s group, what do you want to say to that guy
whose brain might be going through precisely the process that we`re talking
about this experiment, right, which is this idea that, oh, this isn`t going
to be, quote, "my country anymore"?
SHARPTON: Well, I think that what he has to say is why would you not
think it`s not going to be your country? When you have not been denied
SHARPTON: People of that National Action Network has represented is
people who have been denied use in this country. So, it seems kind of
strange to me that people who were never denied equal rights, never denied
public accommodations, would wonder if they`re going to lose the country
because people that were denied that now are just getting equal rights and
fighting to maintain.
HAYES: But that, I completely agree. It`s not rationally, but I
think the fear exists. I mean, that fear, I think, is projected outwards.
I think part of the backlash politics you see in the Obama era, part of
what you`re seeing on the voting rights front, is to preserve this order.
SHARPTON: But I think it`s failing because they`re using it in `12,
and we all organized, mobilized, and people came out and voted and the
president won the election.
SHARPTON: And I think that as we continue to go forward, and not
playing the people`s fears, but play into people`s reality, and the common
good of the country, that those that do have that apprehension are in the
minority, and they will continue to dwindle in number.
HAYES: There`s two elements to sort of electoral exercise of the
franchise, and one of them is being able to vote, and then there`s people
coming out to vote. Those two things have to go together. And we have
seen a real -- a real division between what that looks like in presidential
years and in midterms so far, in 2010.
What`s your sense of where -- what kind of turnout we`re going to see
in 2014 and how you kind of re-create the sort of 2012 turnout in an off
SHARPTON: I think that one of the things that we`re going to be
challenged with, groups like National Action Network and NAACP and others,
is to get the real urgency out, like we did in 2012, that will bring the
Now, you had a lot of work that was underground that mobilized a lot
of that vote because people felt their rights were violated. You`ve got to
do that again. Now, what you don`t have is President Obama on the ballot.
So, that means we`re going to have to dig in deeper, organize harder,
which I think is why it was important that National Action Network
convention this week, which doesn`t end until tomorrow, heard from the
attorney general, heard from the president, so they will understand how
serious this is, and the president went all in, to use your term, today, to
explain how important it is by coming himself and really laying out this
HAYES: You said before that you think the effort is failing, and I
would agree in terms of what we have seen electorally. But at another
level, you could say, if you look at the Supreme Court`s decision, if you
look at those states that are moving ahead with things that had been
blocked by the preclearance aspect of Voting Rights Act, if you look at how
successful they have been in implementing these, they are moving forward
aggressively with the efforts to make voting harder.
SHARPTON: Right. I think they are, but I think that we`ve just got
to fight harder. And I think that we showed in `12, and the president said
today, if you one, have to fight the new impediments, the voter ID, the
ending early voting days or cutting back on them, ending Sunday going to
vote. At the same time, though, we have to have a mobilization to no
matter what impediments they put there, we`re going to vote anyhow, if we
have to stand in lines.
You have to have a two-prong strategy, and that`s what we`re
HAYES: I would add a third prong, which is proactively making it
easier to vote, having election days on Sundays for instance.
HAYES: You know, it struck me when they had the ridiculous fake
referendum in Crimea to join Russia.
HAYES: Even there in a fake election, they had the election on a
weekend. So people didn`t have to take off work.
SHARPTON: And they didn`t ask people for photo ID.
HAYES: That`s right. That`s right.
Reverend Al Sharpton, always a pleasure.
SHARPTON: All right. Good to see you, Chris.
HAYES: All right. You can catch Rev. Al`s show at 6:00 p.m. Eastern,
weeknights, here on MSNBC.
Joining me now, civil rights attorney Judith Browne-Dianis. She`s co-
director of Advancement Project.
So, what does the landscape look like legally right now in terms of
the fallout legally, not legislatively, legally, with the Voting Rights
Act, the core part of it, the preclearance part being gutted, the states
moving ahead. What recourse is there now in the courts to fight back?
JUDITH BROWNE-DIANIS, ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Right, well, thanks for
having me, Chris.
So, right now, with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the
Supreme Court, what we`re finding is groups like Advancement Project and
others having to go in and aggressively litigate. So, for example, we have
a case in North Carolina against what`s called the monster voter
suppression bill that has everything in there, it`s the kitchen sink.
But you also see in Texas, very quickly, I mean, we must remember,
after the Shelby County case, Texas tweeted out they were going to
implement voter ID right after that decision. North Carolina waited until
that decision to pass that monster bill. Virginia never sent in their
voter ID bill to the Department of Justice because they, too, wanted to
wait for the Supreme Court to gut it.
And so, we see states continuing to move in this direction. And for
us, you know, it just means more litigation, and thank goodness we have a
great attorney general and an Obama administration that is aggressively
litigating alongside with us.
HAYES: Is the Supreme Court`s current holdings on voter id, are they
wrong? I mean, even before -- if I`m not mistaken, was it in the Roberts
court that the Crawford decision which upheld the Indiana voter ID, and
even the great liberal hero John Paul Stevens on the wrong side of that
issue, is the court`s current jurisprudence on the constitutionality of
some of these means, is it just flat out wrong?
BROWNE-DIANIS: Well, you know, too bad I`m not on the Supreme Court,
Chris, because we might have had different decisions.
Yes. I mean, they`re wrong, and in fact, you know, we have now seen
Judge Posner come back and say maybe I was wrong in that case.
But the other pieces that when you look at the Pennsylvania voter ID
case, which Advancement Project and ACLU brought in state court, there`s a
really great language about how the Constitution has a right to vote. And
even though that was state law, it should apply in federal instances, too.
That our right to vote should not be impeded by these barriers, and fake
barriers, because in fact, in Pennsylvania, and in other states, we have
pointed out that in fact there is no voter fraud. And that instead, this
really is about manipulation of the vote in order to control outcomes.
HAYES: The conservatives that I read when they`re writing about this,
there`s some who I just can`t take seriously as good faith because they`re
talking about voter fraud and all this nonsense.
But I -- but if you put that aside, there`s a certain line of
conservatives who say, yes, we shouldn`t be pushing for the voter id stuff.
It`s probably alienating. It`s not that important, but what the left is
doing with is equally ridiculous. They`re blowing this out of proportion.
You`re talking about a few hundred thousand people here at the margins and
this is basically being used to gin up the base.
What do you say to that?
BROWNE-DIANIS: Well, unfortunately, there are millions of people that
don`t have the strict voter ID these states are requiring. And, you know,
when you think about the number of people who can`t vote in early voting
because they`re cutting back early voting, in a place like Manatee County,
Florida, after Section 5 was gutted, Manatee County decided to get rid of a
third of its voting sites, which were disproportionately in black
So, we have to look not just what`s happening at the state level, but
it`s at the very local level, where election officials can engage in all
kinds of shenanigans to actually change the outcomes of elections.
HAYES: Yes, people think Washington is nasty or broken or
dysfunctional. You should check out some local politics.
BROWNE-DIANIS: That`s right.
HAYES: That`s things can get really gnarly down there.
Judith Browne-Dianis from the Advancement Project, thank you.
BROWNE-DIANIS: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, the city of Mena, Arkansas, motto is "where good
things happen", and something good did happen there this week because it
appears of Obamacare. It`s the strongest anecdotal example I have heard
yet that the law is doing precisely what it should be doing. I`m going to
HAYES: Coming up, does any of this behavior look familiar?
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: Never done anything like that, ever, really. Well, France may
have a solution to that problem. It`s only after 6:00 p.m., and it`s just
for work e-mail, but it is a start. More on that, ahead.
HAYES: On the day the president nominated a new person to lead the
Department of Health and Human Services, the latest polling shows the
biggest shift in opinion on Obamacare is not happening among Democrats.
It`s happening among the people you might least expect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Of course, what Kathleen will go down in history for is
serving at the secretary of Health and Human Services when the United
States of America finally declared the quality affordable health care is
not a privilege but it is a right for every single citizen of these United
States of America.
HAYES (voice-over): Today, Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius officially announced she`s resigning. The news came less
than 24 hours after Sebelius told Congress that at least 7.5 million
Americans have signed up for Obamacare.
But that didn`t matter to conservatives. The news of the Sebelius
resignation gave them the perfect opportunity to ignore the new enrollment
numbers, revisit the rollout of Healthcare.gov.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By the way, every time today, you hear somebody
describe the rollout for the Affordable Care Act as troubled or rocky or
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bumpy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bumpy, you`re going to hear that a lot. It wasn`t
any of those. It was a disaster.
HAYES: But many on the right are missing an important point. With
Sebelius` exit, she`s leaving after accomplishing her goal. The law she
spent five years crafting and implementing is working.
You can find one clear example in rural Arkansas. A free clinic in
the town in Mena is closing its doors after 15 years of service, all
because of Obamacare. The clinic`s director told the "Mena Star", "Because
people are qualifying for insurance coverage through the Affordable Care
Act, our free medical clinic will not be needed anymore." Normally, the
clinic sees around 300 people a month. In February, just 80 people came to
the clinic. And last month, three people.
Across the country, the effects of the law are being felt by millions
of people. At least 9.3 million more Americans have health insurance than
in September of 2013, according to the Rand Corporation. Almost all of
them because of the president`s health care law. The uninsured rate is now
at 15.6 percent, the lowest point since 2008.
And people`s attitudes towards the law are starting to change. In
Alaska, Democrats are actually running ads embracing Obamacare.
Today, the Put Alaska First super PAC launched an ad backing
Democratic Senator Mark Begich.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was lucky. I beat cancer, but the insurance
company still denied me health insurance, just because of a pre-existing
condition. I now have health insurance again because of Mark Begich,
because he fought the insurance companies so that we no longer have to.
HAYES: And even as the majority of Americans continue to disapprove
of the law, there`s been a sea change in how Republicans feel it will
directly affect their families. The percentage of Republicans who say
Obamacare will make their family`s health care situation worse has dropped
21 points in the last month alone. And 43 percent of Republicans don`t
think the law will make much of a difference to their family`s health care.
That`s up 20 points over just the last month.
As the law goes into effect, years and years of fear and
misinformation about it is starting to melt away.
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: Critics and supporters alike are
benefitting from this law.
HAYES: So, Kathleen Sebelius` resignation is not another defeat for
Obamacare. It`s just the latest and most definitive example that her
mission has been accomplished.
HAYES: Joining me now, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of medical ethics
and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, author of "Reinventing
American Health Care", worked in the White House on this issue.
It`s striking to me that so much of this law was actually crafted
around disturbing as little of the system as possible for political
expediency`s sake and leaving as many people`s current health plans alone
EZEKIEL EMANUEL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Yes.
HAYES: That the polling number that seems most salient to me in the
long run of this is the percentage of people who say it won`t affect them,
because there`s been a mismatch between how much people thought the law was
affecting them and how much it actually was.
EMANUEL: Well, I do think the fact that we`ve had the exchange open
and close 7.5 million people have signed up, and most people say, wow, I
still have my insurance, my employer is still providing it, does -- it
brings the reality to them that at least in the short term, everything is
going to be the same, and if anything, friends or neighbors or children
have a way of getting insurance, and they have a kind of peace of mind that
if something, God forbid happened, they would have the exchange, they would
have a safety net for them.
So, I think you are right, Chris, that that is one of the unheralded
points of the end of the open enrollment period. No big thing went wrong
at the end. And the health system is still functioning and I`m still
getting care more or less how I did it before.
HAYES: Now, your -- Kathleen Sebelius has stepped down. You`re a
professor, you have occasion to do grading. If you had to give a grade to
the first, you know, October -- no, I`m serious -- October through March of
Obamacare implementation, what grade, Professor Emanuel, do you give them?
EMANUEL: I think it`s between a B and a B-plus. Look, the opening
two months were a disaster, and let`s not sugar-coat it. They were
terrible. And it was -- then we had the tech surge under Jeff Zients, and
that really brought back a pretty acceptably functioning Web site.
But it certainly isn`t -- hasn`t gotten to an A level. There`s more
work to be done on that, and a whole series of ways. You need a better
customer experience. You need shorter shopping times, below 30 minutes. I
think the Spanish language version needs to get up and running and better.
But the fact is, 7.5 million people were able to use it, able to get
through the process, get insurance. And that`s, I think, the real triumph,
and it does show you fundamentally how people back is the lack of
affordable health care. It wasn`t, you know, complications. It wasn`t
that they wanted to go without health care insurance, they wanted to go
naked. It`s just that they didn`t have an option and now, they have a
mechanism by which to get coverage and they`ll come out in droves.
HAYES: So, two critiques from conservatives. One points to this "New
York Times" article, study finds sicklier enrollees in early stages of
health care law, bases on prescription data that we`re starting to get from
the folks that enrolled. Shows higher percentage of folks using
prescription drugs for pain, HIV.
What`s your response to that data?
EMANUEL: Well, that data is like the first six weeks or two months of
data. It doesn`t include the last surge, and we know that younger people
tend to come in at the end.
Again, I said this early on. It`s like trying to watch -- you know,
watch the pot examine whether it`s boiling every few seconds and think you
have the definitive answer. We just won`t know for a while what the mix
We do know we have about 27 percent, 28 percent young people. The
proportion of people who are healthy, that is still unknown. And that`s
the key variable, and over time, we`re going to have to look at their
It is true drug utilization is an early marker, but it doesn`t tell
you enough about the entire population because the last six weeks of
enrollment isn`t included at all.
HAYES: Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, and I think a fair grader all in all.
Thanks a lot.
EMANUEL: I`m actually known as a tough grader.
HAYES: All right. That`s good. Secretary Sebelius will be happy to
All right. Coming up, the right attacks Jeb Bush over a comment he
made over immigration being an act of love.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL ROVE, GOP STRATEGIST: He said it in an artful way. The key for
him now is not to make this kerfuffle into a bigger mistake because he`s
going to be hit about this. If he becomes a candidate, this will be tossed
back at him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The political mistake of showing compassion, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ELLIS "JEB" BUSH, 43RD FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Someone who comes to
our country because they could not come legally. They come to our country
because their families, you know -- a dad who loved their children was
worried that their children did not have food on the table.
And, they wanted to make sure they family was intact, and they
crossed the border because they had no other means to work, to be able to
provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law. But, it is not a
felony. It is kind of -- it is an act of love. It is an act of commitment
to your family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST OF "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES": He is right. I
mean, it is not a felony and this is how you know an area of American
politics is completely off the rails. When something says something
obviously sensible, something obviously true and just gets pummeled for it.
And, that has long been the case about our discussion about
immigration in the country. The latest example was the response to Jeb
Bush`s observation in Texas on Sunday that bringing your family to America
in search of a better life is, quote, "An act of love." For that little
bit of compassion, he was rewarded with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES: I understand what Jeb was saying. But we are also a
nation of laws.
TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS JUNIOR SENATOR: We are a nation of immigrants.
We need to celebrate that, but at the same time, rule of law matters.
RAUL LABRADOR, (R) IDAHO REPRESENTATIVE: Comments like Jeb Bush`s and
other republicans, what they are doing is they are pandering to a certain
group of people. When you trivialize the fact that these people have
broken the law. I think your message is a little bit off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That blowback, Jeb Bush did back down from his comments last
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH: This last week, I made some statements about immigration
reform, apparently generated a little more news than anticipated. The
simple fact is there is no conflict between enforcing our laws, believing
in the rule of law, and having some sensitivity to the immigrant
experience, which is a part of who we are as a country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There is a lot of talk about Jeb Bush as a potential
presidential nominee in 2016. In fact, I will let you in on a little
secret. In our all-in private office pool, I have got my money on him.
The big question is how Jeb Bush is going to handle what is effectively his
Rick Perry moment, named after the Texas governor who faced huge blowback
for saying this in the 2012 presidential campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY, (R) 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you say that we
should not educate children who have come into our state for no other
reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I do not
think you have a heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Rick Perry got annihilated for those comments and he soon
walked them back in a few tile effort to placate his party`s anti-
immigration base. The fact that Jeb Bush decided not to run away from the
compassion he showed for illegal immigrants and their families suggests he
recognizes -- this fact.
There is a core of the republican base that cannot be a pieced on the
issue. They can under be convinced. They cannot be brought along. They
simply need to be overcome. They must be defeated. And, that goes to a
There is a certain portion of the republican base that is so
implacably opposed to anything that smacks at amnesty, so terrified of a
thought of a country overrun by foreigners, that there is nothing you can
say. No policy you could propose that will make them agree to any kind of
comprehensive immigration reform.
And, the sooner the Republican Party leadership learns that and stops
trying to find a way to win over those people, the better for the country.
But, and this is crucial, they are not the only ones who have to learn that
lesson. President Obama has been trying to get a comprehensive immigration
reform bill passed basically since he came into office.
Republican obstruction has stopped him over and over again. The
president`s political strategy from the beginning was to prove to those
anti-immigration hard liners that this president was as serious as anyone
about border security and dealing with the illegal immigrants already in
And, so this is what happened to deportations over the past few
years. They skyrocketed, under a democratic president. And, I am just not
guessing at the president is political strategy. He explicitly articulated
it at the state of the union two years ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, CURRENT U.S. PRESIDENT: I believe as strongly as
ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That is why my
administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That is
why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office. The
opponents of action are out of excuses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was not necessarily a crazy strategy. But, it just has
not worked. In fact, conservatives have even taken the opportunity to use
the president`s efforts to plicate them against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Why did not he keep his promise to push
immigration reform? Instead, Obama has deported more people than any other
president in this country`s history. With friends like these, who needs
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This is about a lot more than politics. From the perspective
of justice and human decency, policy on illegal immigration under this
president, particularly on deportations, has been a disaster. Tens of
thousands of families torn apart, veterans facing deportation. Horror
stories left and right.
There is a growing movement to finally end this ongoing tragedy. A
string of protests across the country calling for a comprehensive
immigration reform bill and an end to deportations. Hunger strikes outside
the White House. A show of support from progressives in congress,
including house democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and increasing pressure for
the president to take action on deportations through executive order.
While the president has said he cannot act unilaterally to reduce
deportations, he said much the same thing when the young dream act eligible
immigrants were calling for him to use the power of the executive to keep
them in this country, and after enough pressure in 2012, his administration
took action to allow them to escape deportation and continue their lives in
Now, last month, the president announced he has ordered a review of
his administration`s deportation policy. That is a start, but it is not
nearly enough. As the president himself once said in another context, the
opponents of action are out of excuses.
Nothing is being gained politically by this deportation weight. It
is not serving our country. It is not making us safer. It is destroying
people`s lives. And, if Jeb Bush can recognize that there is no persuading
the dead enders, than certainly the president of the United States can as
HAYES: Louisiana Congressman Vance McAllister, I would hazard to
guess, is not the first congressman in the history of this August Republic
to make out with a staffer. He is, however, almost certainly the first
married congressman to get caught making out with a married staffer on a
leaked surveillance video less than six months after being elected to
office campaigning like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VANCE MCALLISTER, (R) LOUISIANA REPRESENTATIVE: I am Vance
McAllister, U.S. army veteran, job creator, and family man. We instilled
the values of faith in our family and country and our five children. Where
I come from, we are not scared in a hard day is worth, and the values we
live by faith, family, and country. Because I believe losing our values
like faith, family, and heard work are sorely missing in Washington, D.C.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The republican establishment seems to have decided it is time
to throw Mr. McAllister overboard. But, the chair of the Louisiana
Republican Party and the state`s republican governor, Bobby Jindal called
for his resignation this week.
The problem for Vance McAllister is of course very plain. He ran on
family values only to be caught on tape looking to be violating those
values in a pretty fundamental way. But, here is the thing about family
values. Family values, if you take them seriously, are about a whole lot
more than just not making out with married staffers.
For example, across the ocean from Louisiana, in a country that has
long been the betten war of family values conservatives in America, the
French have come up with an amazing and controversial new policy that may
not be an American conservative`s idea of family values but does a lot to
value families. We will talk about it with MSNBC`s own Melissa Harris-
Perry and Goldie Taylor next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIANNA HUFFINTON, GREEK-AMERICAN AUTHOR AND SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: We
are much better at taking care of our smartphones than we are at taking
care of ourselves. On your iPhone, you get constant warnings like 20
percent battery remaining, 16 percent battery remaining and immediately, we
We look around at all our recharging shrines in our offices and our
homes. We carry portable rechargers. When it comes to ourselves, we often
are not even aware that we have no battery left until we have below zero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Arianna Huffington`s new book, "Thrive," which has already
topped the "New York Times" best seller list is all about attaining that
always allusive work life balance. Among her suggestions for making sure
we recharge our own batteries, do not charge your phone near your bed.
That way, you will not be tempted to say, check your e-mail in the middle
of the night, which is great advice if you are Arianna Huffington.
And, you are the person in-charge at the office. If you are not the
boss, you might not feel that you have a luxury because when your boss e-
mails you with a question, even in the middle of the night, you are
expected to respond. Bureau of labor statistics, average American parents
spend more hours working than they do sleeping.
But leave it to the French to come up with the perfect solution.
French unions and corporate representatives inked a deal last week that
obliges workers to, quote, "Disconnect from remote communication tools like
work calls and e-mails after working hours." If the deal is approved by
the labor ministry, each company could choose it own disconnect hours and
decide how or whether to enforce them.
The agreement is designed further to protect the 11 hours of daily,
quote, "Rest time to which French workers are already legally entitled."
So, returning back to the themes of Vance McAllister in the previous
segment, if we want to talk about what it means to value our families,
let`s first admit this basic fact.
The amount of time we spent working, the amount of time we spent with
our families is in fact zero sum. An American policy seems to have zero
interest in tilting that balance. Joining me now, my colleague, Melissa
Harris-Perry, host of her own show here on MSNBC, author of "Sister
Citizen" and MSNBC and grio.com contributor Goldie Taylor. Melissa,
congratulations on Etta James` arrive in this world.
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST AND AUTHOR OF "SISTER CITIZEN":
Thank you. Yes, she is two month old today. But, I got to tell you. The
way I first heard about the French`s story is one of the producers in
Nederland sent me an e-mail with the subject line, I am leaving Nederland
and moving to France, which -- helped me a little bit. Because, you know,
I am an employee, but in certain ways also the boss. You are always --
HAYES: Yes. Right of your staff.
HARRIS-PERRY: Right? You are always e-mailing the producers, and I
realized that I do that bad behavior because I work so much, in the middle
of the night, I will regularly e-mail them.
HAYES: I completely do that. I completely do that. And, it made me
realize that -- and we were actually having this discussion in the
editorial meeting. And, I said, well, my first response, there is part of
me -- there is a little kid of a little Archie Bunker Fox News host in me
that was like, "Oh, these French. They are so lazy."
They need to get off their duffs, and a bunch of segment producers
looked at me and they were like, there was no part of me that felt that
way. The part that felt that way was like, "Yes, that is work. That is
work." I mean it is true. Like, even just identifying that, Goldie, as
work, is something that seems even beyond the boundaries of American
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC AND GRIO.COM CONTRIBUTOR: Well, culturally, we
are a bit different here than say in France, but you know a couple years
ago, up in till last year, I own an advertising agency. They have 45
employees and those employees have families including children and husbands
and wives and significant others and such.
And, one of the things that we did as an agency, harkening back to
when I was in the corporate show, working 65 to 70 hours a week. I closed
the agency on Friday. No one ever worked on Friday. And, if you got an e-
mail from me after 6:00, it was a client demand that needed to be turned
around and had to be something you needed to do something about and so
there were things that we actively did as an agency that made balance, you
know, a way of life for us.
HAYES: And, the key there is you have to do it either through labor
agreement or policy in some way --
TAYLOR: That is right.
HAYES: -- because otherwise, it is a collective action problem,
right? You cannot be the one employee who says I am not answering e-mails
after 6:00. You cannot unilaterally do that.
HARRIS-PERRY: Well, you know, Goldie, your point, particularly of a
woman who understands, and I think it is not always women and certainly not
all women understand, but because of the ways in which the child labor tend
-- not child labor -- the labor that we do around our children tends to
fall heavily on women --
TAYLOR: That is right.
HARRIS-PERRY: -- more frequently, we will see women who understand
it. When I was at Princeton, the president at the time was Shirley
Tillman, who had come up through the ranks at a faculty member in the
biological sciences and as a single parent.
And she instituted a variety of policies that were these compulsory
policies that went through the entire university. So, you had to take the
maternity leave. You had to take the parental leave so you did not get
docked for it later.
HAYES: And, the thing -- what is so striking to me is that like
family values becomes this kind of cultural war politics, very polarizing
thing because it resolves around what is traditional marriage or women`s
control of their own reproductive faculties, et cetera. But, to me, I
cannot think of anything more like unanimously held to than people should
spend time with their families. That should, it seems to me that that
should be a rallying point.
HARRIS-PERRY: Not if you are a poor single mother.
TAYLOR: And, not if you play baseball.
HARRIS-PERRY: Well, yes. Right, so men should not necessarily
because their value is in their income. But also, we know that poor,
single mothers, when they are stay-at-home moms we call them these welfare
queens sitting at home and not working. So, we value middle class women
who are married to wealthy men being able to stay home. But if a poor
woman stays home, she is a welfare queen.
TAYLOR: That is right. You know, I was one of those moms who was on
welfare, raised my kids with food stamps, Medicaid, the whole lot. When I
did go back to work, I worked as a consultant and worked from home.
TAYLOR: And, we lived across the street from the elementary school,
so I could walk across the street and read to my kids during the day. My
family said I was a slacker, but what I was doing was investing that time
in my children because it was just me, you know? No dad at home, so they
needed the extra face time with a parent every day.
HAYES: But, there is no -- we have an amazing statistic about where
America ranks in just this basic think of paid maternity leave. I am not
getting fancy with you, with maternity leave. This is just basic, like do
moms get to take tom off and get paid paternity -- maternity leave. I want
to show you what covert we are in internationally right when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Is maternity leave according to you a
MIKE GALLAGHER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, do men get maternity
leave, Megyn? --
GALLAGHER: I cannot believe I am asking you this?
KELLY: Guess what, honey? They do. Yes, they do. It is called
family medical leave act. If men would like to take three months off to
take care of their newborn baby, they can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is Fox`s Megyn Kelly who along with myself and I believe
Aaron Burnett are the only people primetime cable host with young kids.
Megyn Kelly taking a strong pro-maternity leave stance, although the law
she was referencing is for unpaid time leave.
When it comes paid maternity leave, when it comes to legally required
paid maternity leave, the U.S. is on par with the following countries. I
will list them. Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, that is it. Four
countries in the world do not provide paid maternity leave by law.
We are back. I am here with Melissa Harris-Perry and Goldie Taylor.
It seems to me like, why? It does seem to me that there is some space.
When we have been talking about the pay gap, we are talking about the war
on women, reproductive choice. It does seem to me that this is low hanging
fruit. There should be political space in this country to run on paid
maternity leave and run on that hard.
TAYLOR: And, there are very real outcomes to this. And, this is not
just about the sort of ooshy-kooshy stuff of being home with your children
and pinching cheeks. This is economic outcomes. If you look at where
children are in any given community and take some measurements, you can
then extrapolate the outcomes of economics, of their academic achievement.
You can extrapolate health care outcomes. You can extrapolate the
quality of life for that community, for generations to come, based on how
the children are faring today and the access or inaccess they have to
HAYES: In particular in the first year. All the research is showing
earlier and earlier back.
HARRIS-PERRY: But, here is why I think the political faith is not as
obvious as it would appear, because there is a narrative that exists so
strongly on the right and has taken hold to much of the left, that
patriarchy is the than thing that will save you. The solution to poverty,
the solution to the lack of paid maternity leave is to have a working man
in your home who is your husband.
Now, never mind if you are a same-sex couple, never mind if you are
in a community where men actually make pennies on the dollar racially, as
compared to other men, but the idea is if you just have a husband and your
husband supports you, then you do not have to worry about these kinds of
things. You can just take the time.
And, so I think it is that kind of push back, and part of what we
have to do as we have this conversation about family and family values is
to have expansive definitions of family and to have very clear definitions
of the value of domestic work and labor because the other piece of this
here is because we value it so low, because we do not even pay people to
stay home to do it with their own children, when we then have to pay child
care providers, whether they are in home care, whether they are centers,
they are making poverty wages.
HAYES: They are making poverty wages --
HARRIS-PERRY: To watch your infant child.
HAYES: And, they are making poverty wages or the other side of that
is, it becomes a luxury good, right?
HAYES: So, people are making median household income, are looking at
a trade off in which they would be paying in child care what they are
making in salary. So, here is what that data, I think, looks like. Here
is how it cashes out. Here is the pew data.
Highest percentage of women staying at home with their children since
1999, 23 percent in 1999. It is up 20 percent in 2012. Part of that is,
this economy, a lot of women are having a hard time finding a job. But
that tradeoff, that simple economic exchange, which is can I afford to work
because of the cost of child care?
HARRIS-PERRY: Transportation, all of that.
TAYLOR: I went shopping for child car, have a 1-year-old
granddaughter, in Atlanta, in the market, the average cost of a make-due
child care center is over $300 a week. And, so, you push that out, you
talk about $1200, $1600, $2,000 for day care for someone who might be 22,
25, 30 years old who is making -- who cannot afford to pay rent and health
care costs and all of these other things because of the extraordinary cost
of care and then they turned around and pay the day care workers. In
Georgia, we have a tax program that is a day care subsidy. That day care
subsidy caps out around $200. What do you do about the rest?
HAYES: Or a child dependent care tax credit, which is ridiculously
regressive because people who make more money actually get more values out
of it, which maybe I will explain next week, but there is, again, no real
systematic policy look at this as something, even that -- there is not even
an expectation it is a problem politics should solve.
HARRIS-PERRY: And I also want to be careful, as someone, now that I
am back commuting to New York on the weekends, you know, my daughter is
with her father, with my husband, three days out of the week, Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday. I do not want to fetishize staying at home with your
children as the only valuable parenting choice right, but there are many
ways in which people make family.
But, that as we look at sort of each one of these choices, whether it
is about having paid maternity leave, what we pay for women is work when it
becomes public work, all of those under those in a system that devalues
life in the zero to five years, which we know from research are critical.
HAYES: That is it. There is no actual, for all the talk about leave
no child behind, for all the talk about -- for even all the talk we get
about with the inequality conversations where you have Chris Christie and
people talking about inequality of opportunities and outcomes.
If we actually took it as seriously as we say, the policy landscape
would look revolutionarily different than it does. Forget inequality
outcomes. If we just actually talk about what equality opportunity would
mean, it would look very different.
Melissa Harris-Perry, you can of course catch her show, she is back
from maternity leave. You can see her weekends at 10:00 a.m. Eastern here
at MSNBC, and Goldie Taylor. Thank you both for being here. That is "All
In" for this evening. A special edition of "The Rachel Maddow" show starts
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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