Kevin Drum was a naughty lad!

FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

Gives voice to a Beltway script: Yesterday, Irvine, California’s Kevin Drum was a naughty lad.

We aren’t talking about the way he edited David Brody. We’re talking about this post, in which he said that simple-minded polling figures can’t tell you whether various gun measures are going to pass.

Naughty lad! When Drum said that, he may well have given voice to a Beltway script of the Beltway press. In the process, he may have advanced Beltway common wisdom!

In a remarkably low-IQ manner, Rachel rails about this every night—on Wednesday night, for instance.

To watch the full segment, just click here. This is horrible work:
MADDOW (3/27/13): We are more than 100 days out now from Newtown. And the Beltway script says we’re all supposed to be over Newtown now, the issue is supposed to return to the quiet stasis of the NRA getting everything it wants, even though it represents only a rump, minority extreme view in a nation that overwhelmingly wants this issue handled in a centrist way.

The Beltway in Washington is trying desperately to follow that same script, but the politics are not necessarily following along. You can say, because you expected it to happen, that the momentum is stopping. But if you actually look at the news, the day-by-day, here-there-and-everywhere, unrelenting, heterogeneous, unpredictable pressure for gun reform is off-script.

Within the last 24 hours, a conservative Democratic senator with an “A” rating from the NRA has just come out in favor of universal background checks, Senator Joe Donnelly, who’s telling local media in his home state of Indiana that he is now supportive of universal background checks. Not only are people not forgetting but things are moving.

And now, factor in a new round of action by the White House. We’re told that in the next few weeks, President Obama himself will hit the road to pressure specific senators to vote for gun reform.

And not exactly separately, you have the organization formerly known as the president’s re-election campaign, Organizing For Action, you have them announcing that tomorrow, they and Mayors Against Illegal Guns are going to hold 100 different events across the country to support efforts against gun violence.

The Beltway common wisdom on gun control is that it’s losing steam as a potent political issue. “Yeah, sure, there was once a roiling boil of urgency after the Newtown massacre. But it’s now a low simmer and the heat’s dropping every day. That’s how it always works, right?”

That’s the line from the Beltway press, but it’s not true this time. We have become a different country these last three months. Newtown changed us. You can tell from the way we’re acting and it doesn’t seem like we are unchanging any time soon.

Now it’s time for The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Have a great night.
Who could possibly “have a great night” after listening to garbage like that?

According to Rachel, the Beltway press is desperately pushing a Beltway script concerning proposed gun measures. In the process, they're advancing their Beltway common wisdom.

Rather plainly, they’re trying to help the NRA. But alas:

As usual, Rachel didn’t name anyone in the Beltway press who is advancing this Beltway script, desperately or otherwise. She didn’t name anyone during her program. Nor did she provide any links at the relevant MaddowBlog post.

Homey plays this game night after night after night. We’re not sure which is worse—the dumbness of this presentation or its rank dishonesty.

Or its faux bravado!

Go ahead, you darling child! Stand up on your hind legs for once! Who is advancing this Beltway script? Just once, name someone's name!

In truth, Rachel enjoys inventing “Beltway scripts,” which she then attributes to “the Beltway press.” She doesn’t have the courage to name any names, perhaps because there are no names. But she gives her slower viewers the sense that she’s fighting for them hard.

We liberals get to feel persecuted by “the Beltway.” No names or examples required!

We’re sorry, but this darling child isn’t fighting hard when she hands you this nightly puddle of piddle. She isn’t even being smart. She's handing you horrible blather.

What did the liberal world ever do to get saddled with this kind of corporate leadership? This darling child won’t name a name, which leads to a fairly obvious question:

Does any such Beltway script exist? Or has Rachel just made this one up?


  1. "Stand up on your hind legs for once?" Methinks I heard Rumpole admonishing Claude Erskine-Brown!

  2. Greg Sargent on March 28: "There has been a lot of chatter out there to the effect that the 'moment may have passed' for real legislative action in the wake of the slaughter of 20 children in Newtown."

    Where was the homework behind this rant? I guess when it's Maddow, no homework is required.

    Omigosh, I didn't notice it at first, but Sargent didn't name names, either. I suppose it should be discounted as likely made up.

  3. Three paragraphs about Drum, then another full-fledged rant about Rachel Maddow.


  4. Names???? You want names??? All of them, Katie.

  5. urban legend,

    do you believe Rachel was referring to Greg Sargent? calling him out?

    or was Rachel referring to whomever Greg Sargent was referring to? if so, i can't for the life of me figure out who he is talking about. whoever they are, they're engaged in "chatter" and it's going on "out there". that's about as amorphous as it gets and he's certainly not necessarily referring to media pundits, much less Teh Beltway Media.

    given her track record, it's likely Rachel created another strawman based on this behind the scenes chatter from unidentified talkers living in the proverbial out there. it's good theater to claim it's coming from the Beltway Media even if there's no real evidence of it.

  6. What confused me was that Drum was linking to a name, Jonathan Bernstein, who is a political scientist and congress-watcher. Bernstein's point, and Drum's, is that massive polled majorities aren't important politically.

    Bob's point I take it is that RM, and MSNBC generally is about feel-good satisfaction and outrage, so that the realism and hard-headedness of Drum & Bernstein are are dissonant, and not part of the morale-boosting "hooray for our side, the righteous" message. Because they point out liberal failure to do the hard work of staying on this as letter-writing, phone-calling citizens, as exemplified by such recent social achievements as the advancement of Gay equality.

    Here's Drum's quote from Bernstein:

    "Those people who have been pushing for marriage equality? They were calling for change. And marching for it, demanding it, donating money to get it, running for office to achieve it and supporting candidates who would vote for it, filing lawsuits to make it legal. In many cases, they based their entire political identity around it."

    1. As I've been saying for years now, when people care about something, they fight for it, fight like hell. What do liberals fight for? Pretty soon, gay marriage and gay rights in general are going to be taken off the table, it'll be a settled issue. Gays have been an important source of money, passion, and organization for our lousy excuse of a movement, and that's going to go away now that they've won. When I look at what's going to remain on the left, I shudder. A bunch of people who sit around trying to find a way to look smart and superior who have no personal stake in leftist ideals; a demoralized, powerless mob of people more interested in watching American Idol than improving their lives; an angry, tiny group of feminists who have done a wonderful job of marginalizing themselves; and the the potheads. I mean that's what's going to be left. Maybe the immigrants will step up, but that issue, too, is being taken away.

    2. Wow, what a pretentious load of bullcrap!

      Let me tell you about the real world, dear child. Most people don't get involved in great causes because they don't have the time. They are too damned busy working mind-numbingly boring jobs they probably hate just to pay a mortgage, car payments and gasoline to get to and from those jobs.

      When they do get involved in a cause and they win, they don't sit on their keisters thinking up the new great cause to get involved in. That's because the greatest joy in their lives isn't fighting for a cause and fighting like hell. It's their children. And they will fight for their kids and fight like hell.

      So get off your pseudo-intellectual high horse and gain some respect for those "demoralized, powerless mob of people more interested in watching American Idol that improving their lives." To tell you the truth, I'd much hang around with them than to spend five minutes with a egotistical, "Oh, I'm so smart" snot like you.

    3. Damn, and I' m going to SO miss your company. Oh well, my loss will certainly be the American Idol watchers' gain.

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  8. Quaker in a BasementMarch 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    You lost me here:

    When Drum said that, he may well have given voice to a Beltway script of the Beltway press. In the process, he may have advanced Beltway common wisdom!

    How is it Drum did that?

  9. How is it Drum did that?

    Bob's being sarcastic there.

  10. How about the editorial writers at the WaPo (I think their offices are inside the beltway)? When 90% of the people clearly want something, in this case background checks, and Congress refuses to do it, wouldn't that be a good thing to editorialize about, maybe make it a crusade? Wouldn't something this popular help sell papers? I think there have been some token editorials, but nothing important. What the WaPo has been on a crusade about for a long time is something the majority of people don't want, cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Is the general WaPo script really serving the country or representing the people?

  11. It is interesting that Phil Donahue, who was so passionate in his opposition, goes unmentioned. It's also interesting that the passionate opponents of the war, Donahue among them, are mostly ignored. Are they unavailable?

  12. Who can remember the years bracketing the "Invasion of the Body Snatcher.s?" Slowly but persistently a new breed of journalists entered the public arena, with an unholy conviction and arrogant deceit. Their audience had become too stupid to read in depth analysis and rarely if ever cared about events that did not affect them directly. Enlightenment came as they exclaimed, they are all suckers or at least most of them. So they determined that the greatest entertainment could be had with contests between journalists who sold the most pure bullshit successfully. They celebrated the complete lack of desire to investigate their movements, because now they were truly a free press. Intellectual integrity, research for actual facts, investigating stories more deeply than the television anchors and the weighty business of informing audiences were lifted from the shoulders of work weary journalists. The new zeitgeist for journalist offered a vast open wasteland of opportunity to sell stories that with a little luck and good timing provided stardom and the status many of them craved for so long. As long as they were successful they knew that all was right with the world. Let principles, ethics, integrity, and skepticism fall to the scrap heap of a bygone era. How quaint those concepts had become in the modern world. No longer burdened by the responsibility of accuracy they simply stated that everyone was the same and everyone had a price. How simple this made their lives. Onward.