A Spoonful of Saccharine: Rachel Maddow Fails to Understand a Little Thing Called Context
If you look up “blindly partisan” in a dictionary, there won’t be a picture of Rachel Maddow next to the words. But maybe there should be. After all, this is the woman who routinely uses her show as a platform to attack any and all Democrats who show the slightest hint of moderation and deviate even the tiniest fraction from her far-leftist ideals. This is the woman who routinely invites ultra-lefty blogger Jane “Watch Me Fail to Get Ned Lamont Elected” Hamsher to talk about “primary-ing” moderate Democrats while Maddow cheers. And now this is the woman who on Tuesday amusingly misread the mood of the entire nation to attack Republicans and conservatives over a House of Representatives race from New York.
For those not familiar with the story, the district is NY-23. Republican John McHugh was elected from the district, but Obama appointed him to be Secretary of the Army, some say as a gesture of goodwill to Republicans, but others say it was because he believed it would give the Democrats yet another House seat in a special election. Now that special election is drawing near, and there are three candidates in the race. The Democrat Bill Owens, the Republican Dede Scozzafava, and the Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman. Many prominent Republicans — Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty to name just two — are lining up behind Hoffman instead of their own party’s candidate.
Maddow, naturally jumped at the chance to ridicule Sarah Palin and what Maddow called a bunch of Republican “losers” (and Pawlenty, who she singled out). Maddow believes that the division in this race is because the Republican party is “fractured” and “purging” itself into oblivion and away from any moderates. Funny that she doesn’t think the same thing when her favored party does the same thing. But what Maddow fails to understand is the context here. First off, Scozzafava is hardly a conservative. She isn’t even a moderate. No matter her party affiliation, she’s a leftist’s dream of a Republican.
Scozzafava is supported by SEIU, ACORN, and has received awards from Planned Parenthood. She is in favor of more stimulus packages, voted for huge bank bailouts, and supports the union-friendly “card check” legislation. She also appears to have committed Jack Abramoff-style corruption. We hardly believe it is necessary to agree with your chosen political party’s every whim to run for office. Heck, all of us here at NewsReal could probably find quite a lengthy list of issues we disagree on, even if we all call ourselves conservatives. But by any definition, Scozzafava is a nearly textbook leftist. Doug Hoffman is by far the more conservative candidate — by which we mean he is in favor of lower taxes, smaller government, lower spending, and more freedom.
This race also comes at an interesting time in America. The Republican brand is down — way down. Maddow and her ilk routinely rejoice in the fact and take it as a sign of a new liberal ascendancy, insuring a Democrat permanent majority. There’s just one problem–she’s dead wrong and ignores the greater context. After all, having an R in front of a politician’s name has, of late, lost much of its use in identifying the actual beliefs of said politician.
But then there’s this: polls show that while Republican self-identification is down (even though this poll is a Washington Post/ABC News poll, whose methodologies we’ve shown to be flawed in the past, the poll is backed up more or less by others), conservative identification is up and liberal identification is down. What does this mean? Well, maybe it means that the Republican party has lost its way as the party of smaller government (it has), fewer taxes (it has, somewhat), lowering spending (it most definitely has), and more freedom (again, it arguably has in some areas.)
Maybe it means that despite the wisdom of the Beltway establishment, turning the Republican party into Democrats-lite is not a recipe for success, no matter what politicians like (to take an example of one prominent name endorsing Scozzafava) Newt Gingrich insist.
However, whether or not the Republican party does anything to change its fortunes is not our concern. Our concern is with advancing a pro-growth, pro-individual, pro-freedom agenda. We cheer any candidate who will do this regardless of their party affiliation.
So Maddow is free to attack leading conservatives voices for endorsing Hoffman. She’s free to continue to point and laugh at the Republicans’ supposed “self destruction” while cheering those same tendencies in her own party. And most especially, she is free to continue to misread the makeup and constitution of this country as she continues her slow slide further leftward and deeper into irrelevancy. Enjoy the ride, Rachel.