Ex-McCain Aide Schmidt Blames Mark Levin for ‘The Demise of the Conservative Movement’

Lacking any self-examination whatsoever, failed McCain campaign head and MSNBC political analyst Steve Schmidt lashed out late Wednesday evening on Mark Levin as the embodiment of “narcissism” and “self-aggrandizers” who have created a “cancer” that’s led “the demise of the conservative movement in the Republican Party.”

If Schmidt wasn’t enough, MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid sought to one up him by parroting false claims about Barry Goldwater being an ardent racist and the late William F. Buckley endorsing segregation. 

Schmidt came first and first called out fellow commentators for bemoaning “the tone of this election” when they have not “listened to talk radio for five minutes in this country that reaches 50 million people a day for a moment in the last ten years” because “[t]he tone is disgusting around our political discourse and Trump has been a reflection of that tone and this steel cage match Republican primary.”

Instead of just blindly following folks like him and other moderate types, Schmidt whined that, somehow, the proliferation of conservative-leaning sites have brought about “the intellectual collapse of the conservative movement.”

Hardball host Chris Matthews chimed in to ask about what Mark Levin was thinking on Tuesday night, Schmidt’s constant finger-wagging at conservatives and utter hatred for Levin came out [emphasis mine]:

Look, Mark Levin is crying tonight. Look, he's a series A, round investor in the demise of the conservative movement in the Republican Party. He very famously — a woman calls up his show and has the gall to disagree with Mark Levin who calls himself the great one. Talk about narcissism, talk about self-aggrandizers, Mark Levin asked do you have a gun in the house? Go find it and blow your brains out. This is the tone that has emanated from talk radio and this cancer has spread and that tone has infected the whole of the party and so, this moment that we've arrived at where there's been a severability between issues and conservatism and the test of who is the conservative in the race is who has the loudest voice of opposition. 

Schmidt continued to seemingly absolve himself from any blame of the base’s distrust in the GOP and capped off his rant by providing a historical primer on how the GOP is no longer “a movement of ideas....that can move the country forward.”

In a brief aside, this was only the latest example of MSNBC targeting the Levin TV founder and radio host as Matthews called him “one of the most distasteful human beings out there” and predicted that, upon leaving the GOP race, Cruz would be Levin’s sparing mate on radio (even though Levin had endorsed him).

Going back to Tuesday night, Reid jumped in and attacked Schmidt for talking about the lack of people like Buckley in conservatism of the present since both he and Goldwater were, in both her mind and that of revisionists everywhere, big fans of racism:

But can I just say that if you go back you have to remember that Jackie Robinson left the Republican Party because Barry Goldwater made a crusade out of opposing civil rights. William F. Buckley Jr. who you lauded as an intellectual giant of the party, came out in print in the National Review and said that the south has a good reason to subborn the idea of segregation. There has been an — a — a co-optation of and an usurpation of a part of what used to be the Democratic Party. You know that base. They are part of the Republican Party.

The relevant portions of MSNBC’s A Special Edition of Hardball on May 3 can be found below.

MSNBC’s A Special Edition of Hardball
May 3, 2016
11:07 p.m. Eastern

STEVE SCHMIDT: There’s the old John F. Kennedy quote that when you try to ride the tiger, the problem is sometimes you wind up inside the tiger, but this has been building for a long time. We look at the tone in this campaign. 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I like the way you know all this Kennedy stuff. 

SCHMIDT: And a lot of —

MATTHEWS: You know your stuff.

SCHMIDT: A lot of commentators say, my God, the tone of this election, have they not listened to talk radio for five minutes in this country that reaches 50 million people a day for a moment in the last ten years? The tone is disgusting around our political discourse and Trump has been a reflection of that tone and this steel cage match Republican primary. You look at the intellectual collapse of the conservative movement, the fading of giants like William F. Buckley, the replacements, you know of — purveyors of blogs and polemics that — and it's all collapsed. 

MATTHEWS: Well, who won? Who won when Trump won? Did Mark Levin win? Did — did Michael Savage? Who are these people? 

SCHMIDT: Look, Mark Levin is crying tonight. Look, he's a series A, round investor in the demise of the conservative movement in the Republican Party. He very famously — a woman calls up his show and has the gall to disagree with Mark Levin who calls himself the great one. Talk about narcissism, talk about self-aggrandizers, Mark Levin asked do you have a gun in the house? Go find it and blow your brains out. This is the tone that has emanated from talk radio and this cancer has spread and that tone has infected the whole of the party and so, this moment that we've arrived at where there's been a severability between issues and conservatism and the test of who is the conservative in the race is who has the loudest voice of opposition. We went from being the small government party, but a movement of ideas to being an anti-government party and when institutions collapse and we no longer propose anything and we no longer stand for anything, we no longer advocate for anything and we don't turn out intellectually the ideas that can move the country forward, you arrive at this moment. 

JOY REID: But can I just say that if you go back you have to remember that Jackie Robinson left the Republican Party because Barry Goldwater made a crusade out of opposing civil rights. William F. Buckley Jr. who you lauded as an intellectual giant of the party, came out in print in the National Review and said that the south has a good reason to subborn the idea of segregation. There has been an — a — a co-optation of and an usurpation of a part of what used to be the Democratic Party. You know that base. They are part of the Republican Party.

MATTHEWS: Well, but overwhelmingly, the Republican senators voted for the civil rights bill. Overwhelmingly. 

REID: They did, but they used to be that embed in the Democratic Party that George Wallace walked out of the Democratic Party and the American Constitution Party. They've been there since Wallace. They’ve been there since Pat Buchanan. This candidacy has reinvented itself and has been revived every generation. Trump is the latest guy.

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