File this under Reasons Why Rachel Maddow is the Dreamiest. On yesterday's Meet the Press, MSNBC's First Lady of political commentary sat down with Hilary Rosen, Alex Castellanos, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers to discuss the political climate and policy formation of the current administration while examining Romney's Republican campaign. This video is maybe the clearest example I've seen of the total breakdown of communication between the parties in this election. When exactly did Democrats and Republicans start speaking different languages?
Rosen and Maddow outline the policies that keep women subjugated, economically and personally, touching on the Fair Pay Act of 2011, which would work to undo some of the subjugation, and on the more than a thousand bills introduced on the state level that seek to curtail women's access to reproductive rights. McMorris Rodgers counters, saying that Republicans won the women's vote in 2010 and that the War on Women is a myth created by the Democratic party to "distract from the real issues."
Maddow begins by saying women make less than men, an economic reality that Mr. Castellanos then explains by saying "There are a lot of reasons for that."
His reasons? Men simply work more than women! Men enter into professions like engineering, science, and math! Maddow's response: "Listen, this is not a math is hard conversation!" Castellanos embodies the patriarchy, interrupting Maddow and congratulating her on her "passion" but not her intelligence. It's frustrating to even watch.
But Maddow holds her own and calls Castellanos on all his crap: "That's really condescending. This is a stylistic issue. My passion on this issue is actually me making a factual argument." By refusing to quietly accept Castellanos' misogynistic comments, Maddow is exposing the way the Republican rhetoric works. Already this debate is the subject of intense scrutiny from many media outlets, framed either as Maddow schooling Castellanos or Castellanos having to endure the crazy rantings of left-wing, lesbian Maddow. In an interesting take, Jason Easley at Politicus USA claims:
The video below captures the heart of the clash, but for the full debate, click through to Huffington Post.