"This is what plutocracy looks like," Chris Hayes told his audience on Sunday after viewing the now-infamous Romney 47% tapes. "The first thing that jumps out is that a lot of the question [asked of Romney] are really inane."
"The folks in the room all but advise Romney to tour around the country reading passages from Ayn Rand novels out loud as his campaign rallies and hectoring the idiotic masses to bow before their obvious superior," Hayes said by way of characterizing the advice Romney got from his $50,000-a-plate donors. "Romney, who is many things but not a total fool, gently explains that probably is not the best way to go about attempting to win over the Obama voters he needs to be elected," Hayes added.
"Almost none of the advice Romney gets during the tape is very good. Some of it is terrible," Hayes said, but that's not the interesting part. The interesting part, he explained, is that "Unlike the millions of other political junkies and backseat drivers, this small coterie of folks by sole virtue of their wealth, gets to impose their invaluable insights on the actual candidate."
"This is the power of money, not just in politics but in society more broadly: the power to make people listen to your ideas, no matter how dumb or uninformed," Hayes said.
He added, "The other thing that stood out to me was just how under siege, persecuted and victimized these extremely wealthy people appear to feel," he added. "And what you hear from them is the same kind of whining that was the central theme of the Republican convention." (Hayes' response to the "whining" was this clip from "Reservoir Dogs" featuring the world's smallest violin.)
"And yet despite the fact that Obama has managed a recovery that has been exceptionally good to them," Hayes said, "Wall Street is incensed that anyone would call them 'fatcats' or assign new financial regulations." He added, "In almost every way conceivable, they inhabit an alternate universe. And everyone's pretty frank about that."
Hayes said that the tape reveals one of the biggest problem with the amount of money that's required to be in politics in this day and age: "It's not that lots of money can buy elections, though sometime's that's true. It's not that campaign contributions function as a quid pro quo, chits to be cashed in when legislation is being considered -- though that's also often true. It's that every single person running for high office in America is forced to spend the vast majority of their time around one group of people, and one group only: wealthy people. That's who they talk to and listen to all day long, day in and day out, every day for months and years and decades. It has an incredible warping effect."
Watch the video, which first aired on MSNBC on September 23, 2012, below: