On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Republican resistance to extending unemployment benefits, MSNBC political analyst Goldie Taylor charged that the GOP "almost single-handedly blew up this economy," and that it was "as if" they "blew up" the "bridge" and then "dared people to cross to the other side of the canyon on their own."
After host Al Sharpton played several soundbites of Republican elected officials and complained that they "act as though" the unemployed are "dependents, that they're some kind of beggars," he turned to Taylor who responded:
You know, this is a party who almost single-handedly blew up this economy. You know, it's as if they stuck dynamite on the bridge, blew it up and then dared people to cross to the other side of the canyon on their own. And so, at the end of the day, this is going to hurt them in 2014. It's going to hurt them in 2016 because you don't know who your next door neighbor happens to be who might be receiving benefits from the Department of Labor.
A bit earlier, Taylor served as a reminder that when conservatives discuss the disproportionate poverty or unemployment rate of the black population in the context of trying to help, that they are attacked as having a racist motivation just for noticing, but when liberals do the same, it is considered a perfectly reasonable topic of conversation. As she tried to make Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul seem insensitive to the needs of the black population, Taylor recalled that "African-Americans have a higher disproportionate unemployment rate than the rest of the country."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Thursday, December 26, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: Goldie, you know, Senator Rand Paul is standing behind his comments that extending jobless benefits does a disservice to the workers. Listen to this.
SENATOR RAND PAUL (R-KY): And so really, when I said it's a disservice, I mean this. I am worried about the workers. Not that I think they become bad people by being unemployed longer, but that the longer they're unemployed, the less likely they are ever to get a job again.
SHARPTON: Now, Goldie, keep in mind in Senator Paul's home state of Kentucky, about 53,000 people will lose benefits if Congress fails to act. But this is his position.
TAYLOR: Yeah, I've got to agree with Governor Rendell here. You know, you've got to force them to vote because if they do have to vote, then they're going to turn around to the people in their district, the people who are receiving SNAP benefits that they wanted to cut, the people receiving unemployment benefits that they refuse to extend. Now, the people who want to sign up for the Affordable Care Act when they refuse to create these exchanges.
You know, we need to force them to vote on not extending this unemployment benefits package so that the 53,000 people of Kentucky who are going to lose those benefits can see exactly where Rand Paul stands and all of the rest of them. That's what this is really about.
I heard Rand Paul say that he was using this as a part of this mission to attract more African-American voters. Well, African-Americans have a higher disproportionate unemployment rate than the rest of the country. And so, certainly, this is not the constituency you want to talk to about cutting unemployment benefits that people earn who have lost their jobs through no fault, clearly, of their own.
SHARPTON: Goldie, but not only have they come now to the brink of where the benefits will run out and they're talking about the $40 billion in cuts with food stamps, it seems like it's bad enough to be harmed but then to be in many ways mocked. I mean, when you think of the way they blast people that are not at work, that cannot find jobs and act as though they're dependent on government. I mean, listen to the kinds of things Republicans in Congress say.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): We don't want to turn this safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives on dependency and complacency.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MI): Self-reliance means if anyone will not work, neither should he eat.
REP. ROB WOODALL (R-GA): We also eliminated skin in the game for most ordinary everyday Americans. You know, folks mocked Mitt Romney for what he said about 47 percent, but he's right.
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): We need to make sure our government programs encourage work, not dependence.
SHARPTON: I mean, to act as though they're dependents, that they're some kind of beggars, is almost as bad as not extending the benefits and trying to mess with food stamps.
TAYLOR: You know, this is a party who almost single-handedly blew up this economy. You know, it's as if they stuck dynamite on the bridge, blew it up and then dared people to cross to the other side of the canyon on their own. And so, at the end of the day, this is going to hurt them in 2014. It's going to hurt them in 2016 because you don't know who your next door neighbor happens to be who might be receiving benefits from the Department of Labor.
You know, that's not something that's really public knowledge. And so those people go into the voting booth. When their families go into the voting booth, they're going to remember the people who voted to deny them benefits that they worked so hard for.
If they were truly interested, truly interested in gaining full employment in this country, they'd be investing in day care subsidies, they'd be investing in job retraining, they'd be investing in young people to get their GEDs. They would be investing in, you know, jobs out there that for the people who want to stay in the workforce a little bit longer, they'd be investing in meaningful jobs and meaningful wages for real people. In fact, they tossed the President's jobs act right back at him and didn't even let it up for a vote.