Last night, unable to sleep, I woke somewhere between 2:00 and 4:00 in the am. I found MSNBC on the telly, and Rachel Maddow was on. Cable news networks must replay their prime time line up throughout the night, or Maddow must be working her way quickly back down the ladder of success. From the clip, I would have a hard time telling you which. It's 18 minutes long, and I know it will be tough, but consider it a challenge, more like a quest really. It is akin to a trip through the Twilight Zone, or like delving into some bizarro universe, where invective, strawmen, ad hominems, non sequiturs, and out right fabrication are considered an acceptable substitution for thoughtful analysis and substantive debate. It is also informative of just how exactly the other side of our great political divide forms its thoughts, and what we are up against.
Did you make it all the way through? First, let me begin by agreeing with Maddow, there is a vast difference in the level of general knowledge of current events between those people who watch Fox, and those who tune into the other networks. Bear in mind, those of you who believe that MSNBC is more accurate and topically pertinent in their respective reporting of the daily news, that Maddow feels the need to report to her viewers for what is seemingly the first time, a 3 year old story which prompted the President of the United States of America to invoke Executive Privilege for the first time in his Presidency. The timing for our chief executive could not have been worse either. He did this at a time when his Administration is embroiled in a scandal about how his Executive Branch has been found to be complacent in a number of national security leaks that has seen a huge amount of high quality secrets finding their way to our most feared enemies. It came on a day when the Obama Team has demanded the donor lists for virtually all of his political adversaries. He invoked that privilege on documents which he previously testified under oath that he had never seen nor known of their existence.
Maddow starts off with a full 8 minutes of pure ad hominem targeting the author of the Sipsey Street Irregulars. She meticulously twists the context of his writings on the Health Care Law to describe this man as a conspiracy theory spouting crazy. She uses this complete non sequitur to let you know that the Fast and Furious Scandal is indeed the same thing. I do not know if Michael Vanderboegh was the first to report on Fast and Furious. I do know that he is no where near alone. I also know is that he has been terrific at putting together what is perhaps the most comprehensive and fact filled collection of stories on the internet pertaining to this particular subject. Yes, he interjects his opinion into his postings, but he backs up his beliefs with actual verifiable facts, and does a good job of separating his opinions from those facts. Maddow's description of Vanderboegh in her 8 minute attack, not so much. She took an obviously emotionally charged piece meant to inspire thought and passion more than anything else and tried to tie it to acts of vandalism which quite frankly, were far fewer than anyone should have expected given the national mood at the time that a rogue out of control congress was inflicting a national law that a vast majority of Americans wanted no part of, down our collective throats. (For anyone who doubts the veracity of the last statement, look no further than the 2010 election results for your evidence to the truth of this.) Vanderboegh's words were reflective of the anger many of us felt with a group of elected representatives who seized a rare opportunity to completely disregard the Constitution, our freedoms, and the very will of the voters who elected them to be our representatives. The couple of broken windows found around the nation, which by the way were never actually tied materially to the passages read on air by Maddow, were nothing compared to the police blotters found in every city where the Occupests happen to be. In fact, Maddow said nothing nor presented any evidence which would convince me that these acts of vandalism were any more in those cities than what would usually be reported. Trying to tie Vanderboegh to the Giffords shooting is nothing short of Slander.
If you made it 8 minutes in, congratulations, you only had 56% of the way left to go at this point. It was here that Maddow would give her partial description of operation Fast and Furious. By the way, note to MSBC, in case you skip Maddow's show, something which I really could not blame you for doing, she failed to mention the small facts that over 200 deaths occurred including two federal law enforcement agents as a direct result of Operation Fast and Furious. She also failed to mention that zero arrests have been affected at any time during this operation and the even smaller fact that the guns were immediately lost in every instance once handed over to the Mexican Drug Lords who in fact used those weapons to launch an armed invasion into the Border States which make up our South West Corner.
As someone who wrote about Fast and Furious early on, I purposefully stayed away from the Second Amendment argument, as the intentions behind an operation so stupid were beyond knowing. That changed about 4 months in, and it was not due to any conspiracy theory, but rather documents and testimony of the principle players in the operation itself. The quote from the Sipsey Street Irregulars website which you took out of context, and by the way failed to mention that it was Vanderboegh quoting an ATF field agent, was actually part of the Congressional discovery process and entered into the record of this very sordid affair. The only possible reason that you would have taken this step of purposeful distortion would have to be to add to your ad hominem of painting Vanderboegh as some sort of kook who's words should be beyond our consideration.
Another note to MSNBC, Holder was not accused of contempt due to the fringe right wing blogosphere exerting undue influence to soft headed GOP Representatives. The contempt order came down because he was asked for more than 20,000 documents, and produced less than 7,000 of them, many of those documents were so redacted that they appeared as solid black 8.5/11 inch squares. That represents a compliance percentage of less than 35%. Eric Holder has engaged in witness tampering, intimidation, transferring witnesses to the Department of State where they were promptly posted to foreign lands so that they would be unable to appear. Witnesses have invoked their Fifth Amendment Rights to every question asked, and in fact Holder himself has not given a single answer to date on this that has not been proven completely false at some later time.
As to your charge that the cessation of our Second Amendment Rights being some out of the realm of possibilities, there have already been a number of Democrat Representatives who have used this scandal to indeed suggest that we institute stricter gun control laws. Eric Holder by the way has also made that same claim, perhaps that was the answer you should have gotten from the protesters in Alaska who were unable to answer your questions.
By the way, Maddow, in her rush to show just how crazy the theory was that Fast and Furious was concocted for the purposes of making gun control laws more palatable, she managed to misstate it completely. They didn't sell guns to people, they gave them to criminals. They mean to keep law abiding citizens from being able to purchase them. Forgive us all, I guess, for suspecting that Mexican Drug Lords would use the free weapons given them by the Obama Administration for committing acts of violence. Only a crazed lunatic could have read those tea leaves.
Maddow's attempt to dismiss the entire scandal as nothing more than the paranoid ramblings of right wing fringe bloggers echoed by the, "factless bubble," of Fox News ignores some stark realities. Her statement that only people who don't watch Fox for their news are capable of living in reality may be one of the most intellectually dishonest things ever uttered on the air waves of someone passing herself off as a journalist. In the Maddow world view, it is impossible that anyone who has a differing opinion from what she believes could possibly have a sane reason for coming to those conclusions. So, when the Supreme Court says as early as today perhaps, that the Obamacare law tortures the Commerce Clause to the point of asininity, and the the Tenth Amendment indeed says that the Federal Government is not allowed to simply grant itself authority not specifically granted by the Constitution, it will simply be because at least 5 of them are insane right wing lunatics who wouldn't possibly believe in a strict interpretation of a government constrained by the will of the people as proscribed by what is actually written in our Constitution. In her view, any sane person would be able to infer whole bunches of stuff the framers would have really meant to say if they only knew of the good intentions the self anointed elites had for us.
On the MSNBC website, the people in charge over there have called Rachel Maddow the smartest person on T.V. In the bizarro world of MSNBC, where they have been caught numerous times editing news pieces to materially misstate facts in order to fit their narrative, perhaps that is true. Personally, I find her snark nothing more than annoying. Her ability to grasp actual facts can best be described as weak. Her analysis is adolescent. She may be a big fish in the NBC pond, but that may also be why the Network is bleeding viewers. People know crap when they see it.
In the end, Maddow's attempts to deflect the Fast and Furious Scandal for her overlords has already failed. Obama's claim of executive privilege for documents he claims to have never seen have elevated this scandal to the point where it can not be stopped. It ties Obama to the scandal, and lends real credence to the belief that something really evil was perpetrated by this Administration. After all, if it really were George Bush's fault, as Maddow herself reported, why on Earth would they be refusing to turn over the more than 13,000 documents that would prove that theory? Asking pertinent questions is what real journalists do Rachel, in case you were absent the day they taught journalism in journalism school.
It is a sad day indeed when you have to turn to the Daily Show on Comedy Central for a more in depth and accurate analysis of a news story found on a major cable news network.