Don't take a neighbor to lunch: It's hard to believe how bad it can get when Candidate Kasich starts talking.
Five years ago, in a split-second encounter, he mistook a young guy's girl friend for the young guy's mother. And dear God! When he won the Ohio primary last month, he stooped so low that he was caught making these remarks in his victory speech:
KASICH (3/15/16): Now, I want you to know the campaign goes on, and I also want you to know that it's been my intention to make you proud. It's been my intention to have young people all across this country watch somebody enter into politics—even though I labored in obscurity for so long—people counting me out, people in Ohio saying, "Why don't they ever call on him?" Okay? We get all that. But we put one foot in front of the other.For CNN's transcript, click here.
And I want to remind you again tonight that I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land...We can go to Washington in the first 100 days and fix these problems with a shock and awe agenda that can pass. I think we can rally the people in Washington because I'm going to remind them that, before we're Republicans and Democrats, we're Americans. And we have an obligation to our children. But I really, really, really believe this and want you to know this.
And maybe in many respects, this is why I have been given a chance to stand here tonight and have earned a victory. You know, the lord has made everybody here special. I have been telling people this all across the country. Nobody, sir, has ever been made like you before, and no one will ever be like you again. And young lady, you're here a moment in time, and your job is to find that purpose that you have. Your job is to live life a little bit bigger than yourself. Your job is to be a center of healing and justice and hope in whatever way we can.
If we're a schoolteacher, we give up money to change lives. If we're a nurse, we work 15 extra minutes, when we're dead on our feet, because we want to assure a family that things are going to be okay. And if we are a neighbor, that means that widow, who was married for 50 years, who no one calls any more—you want to change the world? You take her to dinner on Saturday night. She'll wear that dress she hasn't worn in six months. I trust you to do it.
See, what I learned as a boy, what I learned from my mother and father, is that the spirit—it doesn't rest in a big-time politician and a big-wig. You hired us to do the job. To create an environment of economic growth and opportunity. But that's not where our spirit is. Our spirit is in us.
Believing that through our efforts—that in whatever part of the world that we live, that we can change the world, that we can carve out a better future.
It's hard to believe that a person would stand up in public and actually say things like that. That he would praise teachers and nurses. That he would actually tell the public to care for an elderly neighbor.
Luckily, Rachel Maddow called Candidate Kasich to task for those remarks in the opening segment of her April 15 program. Sadly, Maddow didn't have time to "decode" all the ugliness in Kasich's speech. And so, she pulled out one short chunk, letting the ugliness of that remark stand for all the rest.
This is the short chunk Maddow played. She aired videotape of this chunk of that speech, edited down like this:
KASICH: And if we are a neighbor, that means that widow, who was married for 50 years, who no one calls any more—you want to change the world? You take her to dinner on Saturday night. She'll wear that dress she hasn't worn in six months. I trust you.That's the chunk Maddow played. Weirdly but rather typically, it seems that "I trust you to do it" even got edited down to the slightly puzzling "I trust you" stub, which made the remarks sound stranger.
To watch Maddow's full segment, click here.
Why did Maddow play that chunk of Kasich's speech? She included it in "our child's treasury of John Kasich engaging with women voters," the seven-part parade of alleged horribles which was accompanied by this chyron:
KASICH'S LONG HISTORY OF CONDESCENSION TOWARD WOMEN
As it turned out, Kasich's advice about that elderly widow was part of his "long history of condescension toward women!" That's why our own multimillionaire corporate hustler decided to show it that night!
In fairness, let's include a bit of context. Earlier in the segment, Maddow's viewers had been warned about the "incredibly awkward things" Kasich had been "accumulating almost a reputation for saying." Apparently, Kasich's ugly remark about the elderly widow was one of the many examples which prove that Kasich is "a statewide elected official who says stuff that you can't believe he's actually saying. Sometimes he's offending women. Sometimes he's just being radically offensive."
Apparently, Kasich's comment about the widow was an example of this troubling behavior! So was his utterly pointless mistake when he thought, five years ago, that somebody's girl friend was, instead, his mother.
As we watched, we couldn't help forming a question: How long could Kasich's "long history of condescension toward women" actually be? If these were the most offensive examples Maddow and her horrible staff could find, just how awful could Kasich have been during his long career?
How offensive has Kasich been? How rich in condescension? Maddow's "child's treasury" contained only seven examples. In one example, Kasich was urging people to be their neighbor's keeper. In another, he made an embarrassing but pointless mistake about the identity of a person on whom he had never laid eyes.
This left only five more examples of his "long history of condescension." With a thirty-year career to choose from, Maddow came up with other underwhelming examples, including one time when Kasich had dared to ask a woman if she'd ever been on a diet.
Through skillful editing, Maddow staffers kept viewers from seeing the point of Kasich's query; Kasich went on to compare the way we tend to backslide on diets to the way a government can fall off the wagon when it comes to disciplined spending. In his extended comments, Kasich seemed to suggest that he had fallen off the wagon once or twice when it came to dieting. But in the increasingly crazy Empire of Maddow, he had uttered another condescending remark, illustrating a crazy new rule:
Can we talk? In the crazy Empire of Maddow, men and women are no longer allowed to mention the practice of going on diets! Does any reactionary religious regime practice separation of men and women to a greater extent than this? In the increasingly crazy Empire of Maddow, it's now an example of condescension if a man dares to speak to an unclean woman that way!
How long is Candidate Kasich's "long history of condescension?" The history didn't seem very long by the time Maddow had finished playing tape of these stupid examples—examples which said more about her unpleasant heart and dishonest mind than they said about Kasich.
Rachel Maddow has become a dishonest, self-absorbed person. In its relatively short history, cable news has produced a few genuine demagogues. For our money, the worst to date have been Sean Hannity and the ugly version of Chris Matthews which did so much harm from 1998 to 2008, until Matthews reinvented himself in line with changed corporate policy.
Bill O'Reilly can be crazy too, but he doesn't rise to the level of Hannity, or to the level of the Matthews who did so much harm by running errands for his corporate owner, Jack Welch. That said, we'd have to say that the increasingly dishonest Maddow is rapidly finding her way into the Hannity ranks.
She has almost totally lost her way, helped along by her stooges and staff. Like Hannity, Maddow now seems to be devoted to making her viewers dumb and tribal, apparently to serve the end of her own massive profit and fame.
Is there anything worse than a corporate multimillionaire who toys with her viewers this way? That said, it turns out that you aren't your neighbor's keeper! A self-obsessed person who's lost her way was happy to tell us that night!
Judged by journalistic standards, Rachel Maddow ought to be off the air. Her program is rapidly devolving into a weeklong con. It seems to us that something has perhaps gone "wrong" inside her devolving head. But her conduct on that show has become fake and faux and ugly in its desire to help us learn how to loathe.
In our view, Maddow is sliding in the direction of the all-time worst in cable. Are Hannity and the former Matthews actually the worst of all time?
Mugging and clowning and pimping herself, a less than obsessively honest hack is moving up on the inside.
For the record: Much more was wrong with that Kasich segment. In its essence, Rachel Maddow's TV show has become both dumb and dishonest. Trusting viewers serve as her marks.
We've seen this very bad movie before. We've seen it done by Rush and Sean. We've seen this game played Over There.