Trust her—it's for a good cause: In this morning’s New York Times, Joe Nocera writes an actual column. In this column, he criticizes major aspects of Eric Holder's tenure.
In our view, Nocera has been a big disappointment since joining the op-ed page. He wastes enormous amounts of time writing about various aspects of college athletics, a rather marginal set of concerns as the nation disintegrates.
In today’s column, he wrote about a serious topic in his general field, the world of business and economics.
Last Thursday, Rachel Maddow also scanned, or pretended to scan, the legacy of Holder. Where Nocera offers a real critique, Rachel authored the latest in her growing number of piddle-rich tribal scams.
She started in a pitiful way which we’ll review below. Quickly, though, she offered a pleasing sponge bath to gullible liberal viewers.
It’s obvious what she’s peddling here. Can you spot the factual problem?
MADDOW (9/25/14): Eighty-two different people have had the job of attorney general over the course of the history of the United States. And 80 out of the 82 of them have been white men.Surely, we all can see the tribal gruel Rachel was ladling here.
The one African American man we have ever had as attorney general of the United States is Eric Holder. The one woman we’ve ever had as attorney general of the United States is Janet Reno. And both of them were so viscerally hated and so vilified by the right, that it occasionally lost local coherence. It was pure emotion, to the point where it became almost a pathological, visceral thing.
The tenor of the vitriol against the Janet Reno over the years is perhaps best represented by a joke made by Senator John McCain in 1998. I will not read out loud Senator McCain’s joke but I—there we go. But I will point out that Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the president and first lady of the United States, was a teenager at the time that John McCain made this joke about her.
This was John McCain at his classiest. But it’s also fairly representative in terms of the way conservatives and Republicans talked about and felt about Janet Reno. The right hated Janet Reno so badly that they just couldn’t see straight. She was the only woman who has ever been attorney general of the United States.
The only African American to ever be attorney general of the United States, today announced his retirement from the job. During his tenure in office, he too got Republicans so upset, so overexcited, so overwhelmed with their emotional hatred for him that things with Eric Holder, like with Janet Reno, they sometimes didn’t just get vituperative and over the top. They sometimes got weird and hard to follow.
This gruel is bad for the brain and bad for the soul. Rachel was telling us this:
The Other Tribe hates Holder because he’s black. Also, The Other Tribe hated Reno because she was a woman! End of discussion!
In this parable, “We” get cast as The Very Good People—the ones responsible for only two attorneys general who weren’t white men. By way of contrast, “They” get cast as the snarling haters. They hated Reno and Holder so badly that they couldn’t see straight!
There were a million problems with Maddow’s presentation this night. You can lose a lot of IQ points if you watch the tape all the way through.
That said, there was an obvious, groaning factual problem with the chunk we’ve already posted—her claim that 80 of the 82 attorneys general have been white men.
That was a very strange statement. In this way, Maddow cast Alberto Gonzalez as just another “white man.” Are we race-obsessed pseudo-liberals really willing to let ourselves do that?
According to one taxonomy, Gonzales actually could be listed as a “white man.” In this taxonomy, Hispanics are divided into “white Hispanics” and “black Hispanics”—and Gonzalez is clearly a man.
Much more often, though, Alberto Gonzalez was and is described as “the first Hispanic attorney general.” As such, he was listed in concert with Reno and Holder as “firsts,” not in opposition.
Needless to say, we liberals pretty much hated Gonzalez, although we typically said we did so for cause. Of course, conservatives said the same thing about Holder and Reno, not always without something resembling reasons.
(Does Maddow remember the day Reno managed to burn the Branch Davidian complex down? Reno made plenty of bumbles along the way. According to scuttlebutt, Clinton hated her too!)
Maddow made an extremely lazy, faux attempt to evaluate Holder’s tenure. Instead, she fed us a giant bowl of tribal gruel, in which “We” were cast as heroic trailblazers and “They” were cast as haters.
By the way, how did Maddow start this segment? In the dumbest possible way, while also singing the inevitable song of herself:
MADDOW (9/25/14): And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.“I I I I I I I.” According to rumor, that’s the slogan on Maddow’s coat of arms.
All right, here is my personal Eric Holder moment. It was not a personal moment that I had with Eric Holder. He was not there, but it was about Eric Holder and it was personal and it was very, very clarifying.
It was 2010, I was in Alaska. We were up there to cover the Joe Miller/Lisa Murkowski U.S. Senate race that year. And up until the very last minutes of that trip to Alaska, it looked like I had gone there to talk to Lisa Murkowski and that’s it. Looked like I was not going to get an interview with the other guy, with Joe Miller himself.
But at one point on that trip, I did find myself on the streets of Anchorage in the middle of the next best thing to Joe Miller. I found myself in the middle of a crowd of Joe Miller’s Tea Party supporters. And they agreed to talk to me and this is how that went...
After singing this “personal” song of herself, Maddow played tape of a four-year-old segment which was extremely dumb in real time—a segment in which a couple of inarticulate (but courteous) Miller supporters spouted off with their complaints about Holder.
Can we talk? The country is full of young, true-believing souls who may not always know exactly what they’re talking about. Maddow, a former Rhodes Scholar, has always taken way too much pleasure in lording it over this, the lesser breed.
Our tribe features imperfect people too. In segments like the one we’re discussing, Maddow keeps trying to add to their number:
All but two have been white men!
On this night, Maddow wiped the first Hispanic attorney general off the face of the earth. Instead of taking a serious look at Holder’s pros and cons, she played tape of a couple of kids in Alaska who weren’t especially sharp on a point they had raised. Then, she made us sit through that utterly pointless tape of Louie Gohmert using that regional expression again.
Holder was casting aspersions on his asparagus! Holder made Those People so mad, they would say things like that!
That’s what Those People are like, Maddow said, as tribal players always do. Go ahead—watch the tape!
Warning! Your IQ may drop several points if you watch the whole thing. In the process, you will see the nation’s Hispanics wiped off the face of the earth.
Trust her, though. It's for a good cause—making us liberals feel good!