In yet another sign that liberals view next Tuesday's midterms with fully warranted fear and loathing, Rachel Maddow gamely tried last night to depict GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst as only a few bullets short of official status as a heavily-armed and barricaded survivalist.
Since few people beyond the low-rated, leftist fever swamp that is MSNBC's core audience are likely to have heard Maddow's harangue, its impact on the Senate race in Iowa can safely be described as negligible.
Maddow teed up her report by unearthing audio cherished on the left, of Nevada Republican Sharron Angle in her 2010 campaign for Senate versus Harry Reid citing possible "Second Amendment remedies" against predatory and out-of-control government.
Could it be that Ernst is this campaign's version of Angle, Maddow prayerfully intoned --
MADDOW: A piece of tape has emerged where Joni Ernst, like Sharron Angle before her, is threatening that she is ready to turn to armed violence against the government if she doesn't get what she wants through the political process. Now this was first published by the Huffington Post, it shows Joni Ernst addressing the crowd at an NRA event in 2012 --
ERNST: I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson 9 mm and it goes with me virtually everywhere. But I do believe in the right to carry and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family, whether it's from an intruder or whether it's from a government should they decide that my rights are no longer important.
MADDOW (parroting Ernst's remarks for emphasis): I believe in the right to defend myself from the government with my beautiful little Smith & Wesson 9 mm.
First flag goes up -- Maddow, repeating Ernst's remarks, finger wagging, looks down at a sheet of paper that presumably included what Ernest said, as if to suggest Maddow is oh so carefully repeating Ernst's remarks.
But Maddow's quoting of Ernst is off, and the difference between what Ernst said and what Maddow repeated is a subtle but important distinction.
Ernst said, "I believe in the right to defend myself and my family, whether it's from an intruder or whether it's from the government" -- not just in self-defense and to protect her family and, presumably, her property, but against a potentially abusive government authority.
Maddow's abbreviated and misleading paraphrasing -- "I believe in the right to defend myself from the government." So much for Ernst first citing self-defense and protection of her family as part of her constitutionally protected right to bear a firearm. Ernst also referred to "a government," not "the government" as claimed by Maddow. Ernst was clearly speaking hypothetically.
Then came what Maddow intended as the coup de grace --
MADDOW: So, this raises a very specific question for this now-US Senate candidate -- in what situation exactly would you say that it is appropriate to use your beautiful little Smith & Wesson 9 mm to shoot government officials? (dramatic, Tony Award-worthy pause for emphasis). We've reached out to the Joni Ernst campaign ("reached out" .... awwww) for comment starting several days ago actually (we've sat on this huge story!). We have so far not heard back. But this is not the first time that Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst has been seen advocating that conservatives ought to try to get what they want by mounting some sort of physical confrontation with the government.
Earlier this year, Talking Points Memo turned up a survey in which Joni Ernst said she supports legislation to allow local law enforcement in Iowa to arrest anybody who tries to implement Obamacare in that state. This was a survey distributed by the Ron Paul group Campaign for Liberty. As you can see here, question five is, "Will you support legislation to nullify Obamacare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as Obamacare?" Joni Ernst answered yes to that question, yes, yes, yes, arrest federal officials trying to implement this federal law, this federal scheme! Arrest them if they try to do it in Iowa.
So as I said, we do not have an answer from the Joni Ernst campaign yet as to when she believes it would be appropriate to shoot federal officials, but maybe we can extrapolate. (This should be fun!). If this Iowa Senate candidate advocates arresting federal officials who she catches trying to implement Obamacare in Iowa, would that also be a circumstance in which she believes you should be allowed to shoot government officials as well? Can you only arrest them or can you also shoot them? What if they resist arrest?
It's kind of an amazing, amazing policy position for somebody who very well might be going to the U.S. Senate.
Got that? Not just an "amazing" policy position, it's "amazing, amazing." That's like amazing on 11.
Notice how Maddow's default tendency toward deceit effortlessly allows her to "extrapolate" -- her word -- from Ernst's boilerplate remarks to an NRA audience, combined with Ernst responding to a questionnaire on whether she supports "legislation" (the undemocratic gall of this woman!), all thrown into an MSNBC blender and poured out as one of Ernst's official policy positions.
It comes as no surprise that Maddow cannot conceive of circumstances under which violence against "a" government is justified. How could she, being so besotted with The State, an obligation gladly accepted by all dutiful leftists, albeit only when their party is in power. But as National Review's Rich Lowry pointed out --
Ernst never said she would shoot first and ask questions later, or lock-and-load if an increase in the minimum wage passes over her objections. Accusing her of any of this is like saying that, because she promised to protect her family, she wants to shoot anyone who makes one of her grandkids cry.
The fact is that Ernst as a much more traditionally American attitude toward rights and gun ownership than her critics do, and for much of American history, her statement would have been utterly uncontroversial.
We live in a country founded by traitors, at least according to the view of the duly constituted governmental authority at the time, and these alleged traitors vindicated their rights by taking up arms.
That Maddow struggles to grasp Ernst's "more traditionally American attitude toward rights and gun ownership" is hardly shocking, seeing how Maddow once insisted that the Constitution has no preamble.
The only thing Maddow established last night is that MSNBC remains firmly committed in its war on Republican women who dare stray from the Democrat plantation.