Part 1—Rachel was upset with Romney: Mitt Romney is the most god-awful White House nominee in modern campaign history.
He has produced the craziest tax proposal of the modern era. As a business person, he engaged in egregious misconduct.
His personal finances are a slippery, tax-avoidant joke—and you don’t need more tax returns to demonstrate that fact. He has taken contradictory stands on every imaginable policy, issue or topic, ranging all the way from health care mandates to the value of a blind trust.
Romney is a god-awful nominee, but for us liberals, this isn’t enough! Because we humans love to hate, Romney has to be beating his wife. Or, at the very least, he has to be showering her in insults.
In the past ten days, this need to hate spread through the ranks of your favorite liberal intellectual leaders. That includes at least one person from whom you might expect more.
Rachel Maddow isn’t that kind of person. Last Thursday evening, this pleasing theme reached its culmination on her eponymous cable TV show. Through the miracle of “edited” videotape, Maddow shared the various ways Romney has been beating his wife.
Rachel was upset by Mitt's conduct. To watch the full segment, click this:
MADDOW (8/2/12): It is a sport that requires agility and flexibility and endurance. It’s the sport of avoiding one very specific Olympic sport. Mitt Romney, take it away.It was clear. Rachel Maddow didn't approve of the way Mitt Romney keeps beating his wife. She trained her viewers to hate—and she kept dumbing them down, showing her contempt for her viewers, in the manner pioneered by Sean Hannity.
(Start of videotape)
BRIAN WILLIAMS: When is the event and for those of us who don’t follow the sport, what happens? Are there rounds of competition? Is there just one chance? What happens?
ROMNEY: I have to tell you, this is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on.
ROMNEY: My sons gave me a box and said, “If you wear this, Mom will pay more attention to you.” It was a rubber horse mask.
MATT LAUER: Did you wear it?
CARL CAMERON: It sounds like Rafalca, your horse, is going to the Olympics. People are already getting snarky about this, Governor, saying, “Well, this is elitist, this is not a sport that Americans are familiar with.” But it is originating in sort of cavalry history, our country does have that. Any comment to what it means to have your horse there and Ann and your own familiarity with the sport?
ROMNEY: It’s actually Ann’s passion, not so much mine, to tell you the truth. When I get a chance to ride a horse, it’s Western and it’s on the trail.
(End of videotape)
MADDOW: [Pauses. Disapprovingly, clearing her throat] "You’re not going to actually see this horse compete," Matt Lauer said. "I mean, this is a big deal having a horse in the Olympics? No interest to be there?"
Mitt Romney’s response: "It’s Ann’s horse. She’s the horse guy."
The whole thing is so awkward. But the effort here is for the candidate to distance himself from this hobby that his family has pursued with a lot of commitment. You even have the Fox News reporter trying to help, suggesting dressage had this long and honorable tradition in cavalry.
But the answer is still, “I’m not even going to watch, I don’t know when it’s happening, I don’t like it, it’s my wife who likes it. Not me.”
For many years, Hannity set the cable standard for dumbness and open contempt for his viewers. It was he who set the standard when it came to dumbing down viewers while sharing the joy of hate.
Last Thursday, Maddow showed us how this money-making cable culture has been spreading. She helped her viewers learn to hate Romney because he’s been beating his wife.
Romney is the most god-awful nominee in modern campaign history. But within our emerging liberal culture, that fact just isn’t enough.
Politically, it isn’t enough to let us fashion a winning campaign message. Despite all the gifts from this god-awful candidate, we aren’t sharp enough to do it.
Culturally, it isn’t enough unless we get to hate.
Today, we liberals love to hate, as The Others have done for the past twenty years. Hustlers like Maddow are eager to help, doctoring “quotes” where they must.
Tomorrow: ABC’s idea of a “quote”