Monday, February 15, 2010

Maddow Proves She Can Pander Too

Much of the liberal blogosphere is currently engaged in trashing Evan Bayh (D-IN) for his retirement announcement, but prior to that there was at least a small amount of gloating over an exchange between MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) on Meet The Press.

I would have went with, "Maddow Leaves Schock In Awe," but The Huffington Post instead just had, "Maddow Stuns Rep. Aaron Schock." Maddow's point centered on the fact that Schock attended the ribbon-cutting of a project in his district that was funded by a bill he voted against.

Regarding Schock's appearance at the green technology education program ribbon-cutting ceremony, the bill providing funds for that program was an omnibus-spending bill that Congress took up last spring....

"If you vote against the omnibus bill," [Maddow] said at the end of the exchange, "if you complain about the omnibus bill, if you tout your vote against the omnibus bill, it is hypocrisy to then go to your district and go to a ribbon cutting ceremony for something that is funded by the omnibus bill that you voted against."

Only problem is, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Elections, and votes in Congress, have consequences. Once they are over effective leaders recognize the changed landscape and adapt.

It wasn't hypocrisy when the Obama administration changed course on the closing of Guantanamo, or a New York City trial for KSM. It wasn't hypocrisy when Democratic Senator Jim Webb called for Democrats to slow down on health reform in the wake of Scott Brown's victory. If it was, why isn't Maddow outraged by these instances as well?

Maddow has a reputation as an intelligent analyst of politics and policy and a tough interviewer. She and her fans form a mutual admiration society centered on the idea that they are much smarter than your average Tea Party attending Fox viewer, whom they deride as being duped by every utterance of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

That's what makes Maddow's rush to the bottom in this instance so damning. Her simplistic take on Schock's actions couldn't have been any more Palin-esque if she had written it on the palm of her hand. Who says they don't like red meat in blue states?

Once a spending bill becomes law, refusing a reasonable amount of money for home district projects would be more akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face, an act that many voters might find even more distasteful than any apparent bout of hypocrisy. Something I think the serious Maddow would agree with. It's too bad the Maddow we saw in this exchange was anything but serious.


J. Strupp said...

The bigger issue is why so many people are duped all of the above. They're entertainers.

Unfortunately, I think people are more interested in gaining political ammunition than actually knowing what they're talking about these days.

Jeremy R. Shown said...

J. Strupp,

People are generally ill-informed and these folks sound authoritative. These two factors combine and the result is that many people are duped.