BREAKING: Massachusetts will hold a Republican primary!


Rachel Maddow informs the world about who's "very white:"
No one gets informed more quickly than viewers of the Maddow Show. Last night's program provided a good example of this general principle.

Until last night, no one had the slightest idea why Candidate Trump would be staging campaign events in Massachusetts and even in liberal Vermont. On Monday evening, Maddow explained how weird it seemed that Trump was doing that.

For our previous post, click here:
MADDOW (1/4/16): This is a line to get into a Donald Trump rally in Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell, Massachusetts. Yes! And this is the third major campaign event that Donald Trump has mounted in the state of Massachusetts recently.

And if that is not weird enough, later this week, Mr. Trump is going to be making a big campaign stop in Burlington, Vermont, as in the city where Bernie Sanders was mayor.

Donald Trump, now campaigning regularly in Massachusetts and starting to campaign in Vermont.

Why is he doing that? I have no idea.
The entire political world was puzzled by Trump's behavior. But apparently, Maddow began asking around, presumably speaking to trusted sources in the former Rhodes scholar community.

In the process, the mystery was solved. Breaking! Maddow explained what Trump is up to during last evening's program:
MADDOW (1/6/16): This is this nutty map of all the states voting on March 1st on Super-Duper Tuesday this year. Donald Trump has been working this map, which is why this week was his third big rally in the otherwise unlikely venue of Massachusetts.

Donald Trump keeps doing big Massachusetts events, which is weird for a Republican presidential contender unless that contender is making a Super Tuesday play, because Massachusetts is one of those states outside the South that will also be voting on March 1st.

Another one of the states outside the South that will be voting at the same time outside March 1 is the great state of Vermont.

And so...tomorrow we will be treated to the Bizarro World spectacle of Donald Trump not only campaigning in Bernie Sanders' state of Vermont, but in Bernie Sanders' hometown of Burlington, Vermont.
Interesting! If we understand Maddow's theory correctly, Trump is campaigning in Massachusetts and Vermont because those states are holding Republican primaries whose results will affect the Republican nomination.

Matters like this start seeming simple when an expert explains them! As recently as Monday night, no one in the cable news/TV star community had been able to figure this out.

Kidding aside, Maddow went even farther with her explanations last night. Let's start with South Carolina.

South Carolina holds the first primary in the South. At the very start of last night's program, Maddow explained the nature of the electorate in that mysterious state:
MADDOW: For Democrats, it's a particularly important state because non-white voters are such an important part and such a big part of the Democratic Party's voting base and the other early states, New Hampshire and Iowa, they're pretty white. So for Democrats, South Carolina is a really important test of the strength of their various candidates particularly among this very, very important group that is African-American Democratic voters. That's true for the Democratic Party.

For the Republican Party, South Carolina has always represented a more complex challenge because after Iowa and New Hampshire get their say, South Carolina is the Republicans' first chance to measure which of their candidates appeal to the hardest of the Republican hard-core. South Carolina Republicans are very, very conservative. They're almost 100 percent white, they are hard-line, Southern Republican base voters.
We were puzzled by one part of that analysis. South Carolina Republicans are "almost 100 percent white?" What does Maddow think is true of Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire?

In the 2010 census, the entire state of New Hampshire was 1.1 percent black! Is it possible that New Hampshire Republicans are also "almost 100 percent white?" How about the state's Democratic voters? What does she think about them?

(In the 2010 census, Iowa was 2.9 percent black. Vermont was 1.0 percent black.)

Maddow's comment almost seemed a bit odd. But as she continued, we got the impression that the peerless corporate political analyst was possibly trying to tell us something. Here's the way it went down:

Maddow was soon discussing this year's March 1 Super Tuesday events. On that day, primaries and caucuses will be held in seven Southern states and five more states in the North, including those previously undisclosed events in Massachusetts and Vermont:
MADDOW: South Carolina is the first stop in the Republican primary process for the most difficult Republican base voters when it comes to the general election. These Southern white hardliner base voters, South Carolina is where they get their first say in who the Republicans pick as their presidential nominee.

So that's how it's been for more than a generation now. That's how it's been for years. This year, though, things are a little bit different.

South Carolina is still technically first in the South, but this year there's a lot more of the South in the early process. Because this year, just a week and a half after South Carolina Republicans go, you know, show themselves as the first in the South, a week and a half after that, all of these other states are going to go vote all on the same day. All on March 1st, all these Southern states, plus these other non-Southern states too. The mega-Tuesday primaries that are going to happen on March 1st this year, they will have the effect this year of making the early nominating process way more Southern than it usually is.

So yes, South Carolina is still first in the South, but right on its heels is a lot more of the South. And for Democrats, that means the concerns and preferences of African-American voters in particular will be of even more electoral importance than usual in this year's Democratic primary.

For Republicans, it means the party is foregrounding the concerns and preferences of not just a very, very white part of their base, but the most hard-core, most right-wing, most purely white part of their base.
In the primaries in those Southern states, the GOP will be foregrounding the concerns of "just a very, very white part of their base?" The GOP will be focusing on the "most purely white" part of their base?

What the f*ck is this person saying? one analyst finally said.

The analyst had a point. In what way are South Carolina Republican voters more "purely white," whatever that means, than Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont? In what way are they more "purely white" than Republican voters in Wyoming and North Dakota, which are also holding their caucuses on that day, March 1?

Statewide, Wyoming is 0.8 percent black. In what way are the Southern electorates "very, very white," but the Wyoming electorate isn't?

We explained these things for the analysts. We explained to them what Maddow meant by her strange formulations. We explained her regional and ideological framework, which we'd be inclined to call "hard-core, very, very Yankee pseudo-progressive."

We explained what Maddow meant when she said that those Southern voters are the "most purely white" part of the GOP base. We explained why she described the Southern Democratic base in such respectful terms, while the Southern Republican base voters were described as the most difficult, hard-core right-wing hard-liners who are "most purely white."

In the end, Maddow strikes us as a consummate Yankee tribal. For the most part, she does a job good hiding this trait. But tribalism of this type is very rarely constructive. Tribalism of this type lies at the root of all wars.

At any rate, credit where due! Maddow solved a riddle last night concerning Trump's presence in Massachusetts.

Until last night's show, no one had been able to figure it out! When a host can cut through a puzzle that way, the $7 million she's reportedly paid starts looking like money well spent.


  1. "Yankee Tribal"?? What does that mean in English?
    Bob Gardner
    Randolph, MA

  2. I take it to be disapproval of framing the east coast as having two tribes - yankee and southern - and via that framing implicating southerners as racist.

    I will say as an SC'er one of the most popular phrases in the state is "white is right". North and South I suspect have similar rates of racism, we southerners are just less shameful about it. It's not a whisper or snicker or ironic tease, it's direct and matter of fact.

    1. It sounds like Somerby is implying that Maddow means something different by the phrase "pure white" than skin color.

      Maddow seems to be saying that Republicans don't need to worry about racial issues but that isn't true. If Republicans weren't concerned about race, they might be attracted by policies discussed by Democrats, especially concerning income inequality or health care. Racial attitudes are what unite Southern Republicans, despite being racially homogeneous. Race also unites Northern Democrats despite being racially heterogeneous. That might be what Maddow was getting at. Race is less relevant in the Western states because they don't share the same history.

  3. Bob's obsessive jealousy of Rachel Maddow continues. He really should consider seeking professional help.

    1. Why would he be jealous of someone who said the idiotic stuff he quotes here?

    2. She makes 7 mil a year, dumb*ss.

    3. Yes, liberals are all about the money. Unlike conservatives who think that other values are much more important, such as helping people, achieving social justice and equal opportunity, and saving the planet from climate change. Somerby just cares about the big bucks -- that's why he sold out in the 70s by teaching in inner city schools and devoted his life to mocking political foibles as a stand-up when he could have sought a pundit job like Dennis Miller (how'd that work out for him?).

  4. Sounds like valid criticism on Somerby's part.

    Rache doesn't have the chops to cover politics other than from the most trivial "horse race" perspective.

    1. Please, the real question is how much longer until BS winds up like Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films, trussed up in a straight jacket in a padded cell writing 'Maddow Sucks' on the walls with a crayon using his feet.

    2. She may not have the chops but she apparently has minions whose job it is to write stupid comments defending her from criticism.

    3. Sorry that pointing out Bob's obsessive hatred and jealousy of Maddow while he ignores lies told daily on FAUX News and talk radio is so offensive to you.

  5. It sounds like Rachel doesn't know the actual breakdown of SC Republicans by race. She covers up her ignorance with the meaningless phrase, "most purely white".

    BTW the Governor of the state, now serving her second term, is a non-white Republican. Mentioning that fact would take away from the narrative of "most purely white' (i.e., racist) Southern Republicans.

    1. What is the factual basis for your ridiculous assertion that because Governor Haley belongs to a designated ethnicity (Sikh), she is non-white? Oh yeah, I keep forgetting: from Professor Otto Yourass.

    2. Haley is Indian-American. The US official bean-counters (unfortunately IMHO) classify Asians as a different ethnic group than whites.

    3. Haley is Indian-American. The US official bean-counters (unfortunately IMHO) classify Asians as a different ethnic group than whites.

    4. From Wikipedia:

      "Originally, neither the courts nor the census bureau classified Indian Americans as a race because there were only negligible numbers of Indian immigrants in the United States. Various court judgements instead deemed Indians to be "White" or "not White" for the purposes of law. In 1970, in the most recent assignment, the U.S Census Bureau designated Asian Indians as White.[13] Since 1980, while keeping the validity of its earlier designation (White), the U.S. Census Bureau further allowed Indian Americans to self-report their ethnicity,[14] owing to the immense diversity of the Indian subcontinent, which is home to more than 2000 different ethnic groups[15] and all the racial groups known to mankind.[16] Only the continent of Africa exceeds the linguistic, genetic and cultural diversity of the nation of India.[17] The decision to let Indian Americans self-identify was made both in light of the aforementioned diversity in India, which has all the different racial groups represented in its diverse population, in addition to accommodate the fact that in recent years, increasingly diverse racial and ethnic groups of Indians and South Asians have immigrated to the United States, including from the North-West of the Indian subcontinent, where Caucasian ethnic groups are found."

  6. Seemed to me Maddow was making two points -- albeit poorly formulated in at least one instance:

    1. Explaining that the reason Trump is campaigning in MA and VT is because they are among a select few of non-Southern states who are part of what is being called "The SEC Primary" which takes place on March 1st.

    2. Her second point was to call attention to the fact that unlike in past primary races the early nominating process will be way more 'Southern' than it has been because so many Southern states have earlier primaries. Leading her (and presumably others) to conclude this favors the more conservative candidates who derive a lot of their support from mostly white southerners.

    Not sure why Mr. Sommerby once again chose to find any reason large or small to take another shot at one of his favorite targets, Rachel Maddow, when there are better targets out there like Chris Matthews.

    He seems to have an obsession with her. Not sure why. Isn't he supposed to lean left?

    1. "when there are better targets out there like Chris Matthews"

      Or Joe Scarbrough or Rush or O'Reilly or anyone else on FAUX news.

      "Isn't he supposed to lean left?"

      No he doesn't. Bob's a old southern white guy who pretends to be a liberal.

    2. Yes, he's an old southern white guy who grew up in Massachusetts and Palo Alto and then attended Harvard University before teaching in Baltimore, MD (heart of old Dixie).

      Liberals don't read/watch Scarborough, Rush or O'Reilly. Trying to convince conservatives not to be conservative is like trying to hold back the tide. However, you can teach liberals how to be better, more effective at trying to lure independents to vote the Democratic ticket.

      You trolls aren't liberal yourselves just because you try to get Somerby to shift his attention to a hopeless cause.

      Liberals do listen to Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes and even Chris Matthews. They think they are getting good info from those sources. It is appropriate to point out when they are not, when they are being used and misinformed and misled. That hurts our cause in ways that Rush and O'Reilly do not.

    3. Try this:

      What can Somerby add to their efforts?

    4. 9:54 AM You're peddling as much BS as Bob. Bob has declared war on Maddow and other liberals not because he's a liberal but because he's a old conservative white guy who can't handle that a black man was elected President 7 years ago. He blames Maddow and the others for helping that happen. Plus his soul is consumed with jealously that they make a lot of money and he doesn't.

  7. Today the Huffington Post is calling Hillary Clinton a liar because people like Barney Frank and Paul Krugman think her plan to curb Wall Street is better than Bernie Sanders' plan. Democrats are trying to shoot themselves in the foot once again.

  8. Is this like Rachel demonstrating with old video paired with new video -- Tim Russert-style -- the many parallels between the rhetoric of George Wallace in 1968 and Donald J. Trump in 2015? And then muttering under her breath practically that Trump is not the segregationist Wallace was?

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