Rachel Maddow and the truth versus condescending, sexist Republican consultant

Republican consultant Alex Castellanos is pretty good at his job. It’s not easy to fully represent the extent of the Republican Party’s sexism, and yet Castellanos manages to do so in both content and form! And that’s pretty impressive. He demonstrated his skills on Meet the Press, as he denied the well-documented phenomenon unequal pay. Castellanos must have unsubscribed from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research e-mail list, or he would have heard about their study showing that women make 77 cents  cents per men’s dollar But, knowing it’s better to show than tell, Castellanos was in top sexist form, constantly interrupting Rachel Maddow, who was typically fact-based and gracious,  and even saying, “I love how passionate you are.  I wish you are as right about what you’re saying as you are passionate about it.  I really do.” Maddow called out Castellanos for being “really condescending” and explained, “[m]y passion on this issue–is actually me making a factual argument.” I don’t know how Maddow remained so calm, cool and collected. I’m pretty sure I would have combusted. Transcript is after the video.

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RACHEL MADDOW:  The Romney campaign wants to talk about women and the economy.  Women in this country still make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make.  So if–

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Not exactly.

RACHEL MADDOW: Women don’t make less than men?

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Actually, if you start looking at the numbers, Rachel, there are lots of reasons for that.

RACHEL MADDOW: Wait, wait.  No.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Well, first of all, we–

RACHEL MADDOW: Don’t tell me what the reasons are.  Do women make less than men for the (UNINTEL PHRASE)?

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Actually–

RACHEL MADDOW: No?  (LAUGH) Okay.  No.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Well, for example–

(OVERTALK)

ALEX CASTELLANOS: –men work an average of 44 hours a week.  Women work 41 hours a week.  Men go into professions like engineering, science and math that earn more.  Women want more flexibility–

(OVERTALK)

RACHEL MADDOW: Listen, this is not a math is hard type of conversation.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: No, no.  Yes, it is, actually.

RACHEL MADDOW: No, it isn’t.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: We’re having to look–

RACHEL MADDOW: No, listen–

DAVID GREGORY: All right, let Rachel–

(OVERTALK)

RACHEL MADDOW: Right now women are making 77 cents–

ALEX CASTELLANOS: And litigated–

RACHEL MADDOW: –on the dollar for what men are making, so–

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Well, that’s not true.

RACHEL MADDOW: –so–

ALEX CASTELLANOS: If so every–

DAVID GREGORY: All right, let Rachel make her point.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: –greedy businessman in America would hire only women, save 25% and be hugely profitable.

RACHEL MADDOW: I feel like this is actually–

ALEX CASTELLANOS: That’s it.

RACHEL MADDOW: –and it’s weird that you’re interrupting me and not letting me make my point, because we get along so well.  So let me make my point.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: I will.

RACHEL MADDOW: But it is important, I think, the interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your perspectives, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy.  That women aren’t getting paid less for equal work.  I think that’s a serious difference in factual understanding of the world.

But given that some of us believe that women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work, there is something called the Fair Pay Act.  There was a court ruling that said the statute of limitations, if you’re getting paid less than a men, if you’re subject to discrimination, starts before you know that discrimination is happening, effectively cutting off your recourse to the courts.  You didn’t know you were being discriminated against.  You can’t go.

The first law passed by this administration is the Fair Pay Act.  To remedy that court ruling.  The Mitt Romney campaign put you out as a surrogate to shore up people’s feelings about this issue after they could not say whether or not Mitt Romney would have signed that bill.  You’re supposed to make us feel better about it.  You voted against the Fair Pay Act.  It’s not about–

(OVERTALK)

RACHEL MADDOW: –whether or not you have a female surrogate.  It’s about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don’t believe is happening.

DAVID GREGORY: It’s policy is the argument.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: It’s policy.  And I love how passionate you are.  I wish you are as right about what you’re saying as you are passionate about it.  I really do.

RACHEL MADDOW: That’s really condescending.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: For example– no.

RACHEL MADDOW: I mean this is a stylistic issue.

ALEX CASTELLANOS: I’ll tell you what–

RACHEL MADDOW: My passion on this issue–

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Here’s a fact–

RACHEL MADDOW: –is actually me making a factual argument–

nyc

Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

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Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

    Wow, what a jerk!

    • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl

      Yeah. But Rachel just held her cool there and classily shut him up (Read the transcript, I would’ve wanted to eat that man for doing that to her!)
      Wish I had her guts in standing up for myself and others

  • http://feministing.com/members/smsintexas/ Sarah

    I love the way he laughs at her. What a prick.

  • http://feministing.com/members/skylark/ Skylark

    Wow, he is horrible. That smiling smirk he has on his face while she is talking is just made of all the things she is fighting against. He’s so smug.

    Ew.

  • http://feministing.com/members/theomni/ Ryan

    I need to remember this for the next time someone asks exactly what “mansplaining” means. That’s just such a ridiculous over the top example.

  • http://feministing.com/members/scarlett/ scarlett

    this is so f***ing condescending! seriously.
    i love that she called him out right there on the spot!
    i remember when first watching this, i didn’t really pay attention but just listened to it while doing some other stuff. but when he said that condescending stuff i immediatly turned around to the screen and thought “what the heck!?”

    here is rachels answering a day after this during her own show:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#47240047

    but i am really suprised that it is kinda new for rachel, well that republicans/the conservative movement are denying that pay inequity exists. for me it has been clear for a long time that this movement is regressive and builds on traditional social roles (e.g. women are such great mothers they should stay at home and fulfill their natural roles as caretakers… ). in that concept women are not important in a national workforce, why care or admit that pay inequity is real?

    • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl

      That’s Rachel, she doesn’t seem to wanna see the worst in others

  • http://feministing.com/members/nerdbeach/ Erika

    it is so refreshing seeing such a strong woman combating such a condescending douche with great rhetoric and calm. having been bombarded my whole life with negative imagery of weak, unintelligent women is so frustrating and demoralizing. seeing videos like this is like a breath of fresh air.