If you're going to criticize a member of Congress on national television, wouldn't you try to get his or her name right?
Seems like a slam dunk if you want to be taken seriously, correct?
Well, on Thursday's "The View," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow poked fun at Indiana Congressman "Steve" Pence for wanting to freeze government spending.
The Stanford and Oxford educated Rhodes scholar with a Ph.D in political science also claimed such fiscal restraint "is what made the Depression 'Great'"(video embedded below the fold, relevant section at 6:45):
The Republicans need to figure out what their message is. Even just on the economy...I don't think that it's that they're not saying it well. I think they've got bad ideas...Guys like Steve Pence who is a member of Congress. His idea is spending freeze. John McCain during the campaign, spending freeze. Spending freeze is what made the Depression "Great." Spending freeze is a bad idea.
Might that be Mike Pence (R-Ind.)?
Bear in mind that Maddow is billed as a sharp, highly-educated, hard-studying political commentator. MSNBC's website promotes her program:
Watch Maddow’s smart look at politics and the day's top stories. It's mind over chatter!
Of course, in Maddow's defense, it is quite likely one's intelligence quotient drops significantly the moment you walk onto the set of "The View."
This might also explain Maddow's incoherence concerning the Depression. After all, government spending exploded from $3.1 billion in 1929 to $8.2 billion in 1936.
Is a 165 percent increase a freeze, Rachel?
Now, in fairness, spending declined in 1937 and 1938 as political leaders grew concerned about the exploding deficits and debt. However, they also raised taxes during this period which even the ultra-liberal Paul Krugman pointed out in November caused the economy to decline further.
Is Maddow suggesting the Depression wasn't "Great" until then? After all, unemployment peaked at almost 25 percent in 1933. It was 19 percent in 1938 after taxes were raised and spending trimmed.
Color me surprised that Joy or Sherri didn't point this out to the Ph.D sitting to their left, or that what virtually all historians, political scientists, and economists save Maddow believe made the Depression "Great" was 1930's Smoot Hawley Tariff Act as well as President Hoover agreeing to a tax hike in 1932.
Alas, that is probably asking too much of the good ladies of "The View."