Rachel Maddow is so awash in self-esteem, it's all she can do to contain her modesty.
There she was on her MSNBC show, enthusing about her appearance on "Today" that morning to defend President Obama's mandate that employers' health insurance cover birth control and contraceptives virtually across the board. (video after page break) --
MATT LAUER: Is there traction to this? Is this an issue that's going to last well into the election or the campaign or is this going to be something that's going to fizzle out?
MADDOW: I think this is going to, listen, I think this is going to fizzle out. Listen, if there's a bus driver opening and you're Amish, nobody's going to say you can't apply for that because you're Amish. But if you get the job and you say, actually, I can't drive this bus, I'm Amish, people are going to say, sorry, if it's a bus driving gig you gotta be able to drive. And if it's health insurance it includes contraception. It's part of health care in the 21st century.
Hmm, why would Maddow cite the Amish in her hypothetical as opposed to, oh say, Muslims, Native Americans, gays or any number of other people of faith, ethnicity and sexual orientation who might take offense?
Presumably this has something to do with the unlikelihood of many Amish being aware of Maddow saying this, what with their aversion to television, (motorized) school buses and all manner of modernity.
The problem with Maddow's analogy is that it falls apart at its outset. It's like invoking the lesbian who marries a man and then decides she doesn't want children, the orthodox Jew with second thoughts about that shellfish restaurant he just bought, the MSNBC anchor watching CPAC videos on the sly.
It doesn't make sense that any of these hypothetical people would do these hypothetical things because if they did, the woman wouldn't be a lesbian, the Jew not really orthodox, the MSNBC anchor not Stalinist enough. In Maddow's hypothetical, the bus driver isn't Amish, he's actually agnostic and just discovering it.
Maddow beamed with pride on her show Tuesday night, noting how she produced her polished gem "before 8 a.m. on a day after a day spent in bed with the flu."
"Do not try this at home," Maddow warned with mock solemnity. "The Amish bus driver analogy invoked here by a trained professional on a closed course."
More accurately, the analogy invoked here comes from a person secure in the knowledge that few in her workplace at MSNBC, as was the case at Air America Radio, and in academia before that, would dare challenge such an inanity from a left-wing lesbian for fear of the allegation of homophobia that would surely follow.