Rare Candor for Maddow Show: Democrats 'Outhustled' on ObamaCare Protests and 2000 recount in Florida

August 10th, 2009 12:12 PM
Email message from Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, to Chris Hayes, the magazine's Washington editor, anonymously forwarded to NewsBusters --
From: Hurricane K
To: Hayes, C.
Re: Maddow show -- WTF?
CC: Rahm Emanual, Robert Gibbs, Keith Olbermann


Things seemed to go well with your last Maddow facetime until you derailed narrative with lapse into independent thought.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you on board with meme of the month? To wit, widespread outrage against health reform in town hall meetings is nothing more than astroturfed, running dog-funded, GOP hooliganism. Didn't you get email on this that's been sent around ad infinitum?!?!
Time to get back on board, buddy boy. Window closing fast, next thing you know midterms kick in gear and last thing we want is Joe Sixpack in Rustbelt doing math on ObamaCare and cap & trade.
I knew I took risk hiring you, but you were the best paperboy I ever had, regardless of the weather ...

Yes, this is satire. Once again, for sake of left-wing trolls -- this is satire. No such message exists, not that I'm aware of. Then again, I can't prove it doesn't, so who knows?

Hayes appeared on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Aug. 4 to commiserate with its host (hostess? hoster? ...) about alleged lynch mobs seizing control of public forums on health reform and forcefully expressing their opinions.

Then came this gem from Hayes after Maddow compared raucous gatherings to the so-called "Brooks Brothers riot" that, as long maintained by liberal mythology, shut down the manual recount in Miami-Dade during the 2000 election recount in Florida  --

MADDOW:  Chris, one of the great regrets of Democrats that I have heard over the past decade is that they weren't called by their party to go fight in Florida the way that Republicans called their people to go fight in Florida. Looking back on Florida nine years down the road, now that we know what happened there, can you imagine how things might have worked out if Democrats had done the same thing that Republicans did? And is it conceivable that they might have asked Democrats to go there?

HAYES: Well, I mean, to consider the counterfactual, I think it's undeniable the Democrats go outhustled and they got outorganized and I want to say, at a certain level, right, what the right is doing right now, it's corporate sponsored and it's astroturf but it's just, it's organizing. They're coordinating, there's a set of very powerful interests that are spending literally millions of dollars a day to defeat this agenda and they are coordinating it. And the answer, in a free democratic republic like our own, is to meet organizing with more organizing, to not get outhustled, to make sure that people who have been, you know, are going bankrupt from the health insurers are showing up at these meetings in Blue Dog districts, etc.

So I think there's a really crucial lesson from Florida, which is that you can't get outhustled, you need to organize and this is, look, democracy is about the non-violent resolution of political conflict and there is political conflict here and Democrats have to, have to organize their own forces.

Translation: Stop whining, start working.

Second gem from Hayes, same program, end of segment after Maddow suggested that tactics of Obama's opponents could backfire to Obama's benefit --

HAYES:  This is sort of signature Obama political strategy, which is to kind of judo, right, to kind of use the excesses of your enemy against them and I think that you're already seeing the DNC and other people sending the message out showing the signs of swastikas that are showing up at these rallies, the images of Stalin, the screaming, the sort of red-faced, spittle-flecked anger that's coming out in these town halls to show that, look, this isn't just, you know, some kind of middle of the road, undecided independent voter who's having some reservations about the possible cost of the health care bill.

These are radicals, these are extremists, these are zealots. And as someone who has palled around with radicals, zealots and extremists, there's nothing wrong with that, they should just be called out for what they are.

Got that? Call 'em out on it -- not that there's anything wrong with what they're doing.

Surely you weren't expecting that initial clarity to continue, were you?