If you went looking for comedy last night, you couldn’t have done better than tuning in to the Rachel Maddow show about the time that Scott Brown officially won last night’s election to succeed Ted Kennedy as Massachusetts Senator. Host Maddow and guest Chris “Shiver Me Timbers” Matthews were beside themselves, aghast at the results. Maddow kept sputtering about Republicans being “divorced from reality” even as she tried to spin in any direction to explain her candidate of choice’s loss. It was about “anti-incumbent sentiment” or Coakley’s bad campaign. It was about moving the country in any direction except, of course, the one that’s blindingly obvious.
Suffice it to say, when Chris Matthews becomes the voice of reason and moderation (although not before getting in a gratuitous “conservatives are hypocrites” jab) on your show, you might just have come a bit unmoored. Take this exchange:
Maddow: But if you were really upset about fiscal challenges, to look at the guy that turned surpluses into deficits, they would have been up in arms then. And there was no tea party movement against George Bush, you know? I mean, they now, in retrospect, say, “Oh, yes, we hated him when we did it. We just never said anything about it….I don‘t think you can say that this—that policy is at the root of this dissatisfaction.
Matthews: I think debt‘s a real problem. I think when this candidate came along and talked about taxes, he was really talking about other things. He was talking about worries about overkill, in terms of government spending. I think they‘re worried about it. We‘ll see as we analyze this in the weeks ahead. I don‘t think it‘s irrational.
Yes, it’s true. Rachel Maddow: Making Chris Matthews seem relatively sane and put-together since 2010.
But if Ms. Maddow really wants to play the divorced from reality card, we’re just going to have to trump her with cold, hard facts. After all, there is this wonderful tool called “the internet” which enables one to search for things people said just a few short years ago. And it turns out, conservatives were plenty unhappy with Bush from the word “spend.” Conservatives like the Club for Growth. Has she never heard of the Porkbusters movement, touted by leading right-of-center websites like National Review Online and those of a more libertarian bent like Glenn Reynold’s Instapundit? She wouldn’t have to look far to find article after article after article detailing fiscal conservatives dissatisfaction with Bush’s spending. But what were they (read: we) to do–vote for a party that would be (and has ultimately become) ten times as bad on deficit spending? Sometimes you’re stuck backing a bad team over an even worse one. Fiscal conservatives can take solace in the fact that the country has begun to wake up, even as they must face the reality that it took staggering amounts of spending and debt to make it happen. There are certainly those still divorced from reality. To find them, Ms. Maddow might start by locating a mirror.