The theme of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday was all about complaining how “broken” U.S. politics have become under President Trump. According to the stacked anti-Trump panel, most of the blame belongs to the “anti-intellectual” attitude of “the extreme of the right-wing.” In the mix, Hillary Clinton super-fan Andrea Mitchell couldn’t help but smear the Republicans who were critical of the failed Democratic nominee. Yet she found herself thanking Republican Senator Jeff Flake for standing up to those who chanted “lock her up.”
“I really appreciated that Jeff Flake said the ‘lock her up,’ those cries at the Republican convention by Michael Flynn no less,” she touted, before claiming it was the lowest point of “what I view as the Republican Party.”
Mitchell was also taken aback by how much animosity there was for highfalutin elitists like herself and the rest of the panel, “even among those who are college-educated. Extraordinary.” That teed up Moderator Chuck Todd, who recently bemoaned about how he was taught to be impartial, to get in his own smears of the GOP.
“She referenced a stat here I want to put it up here on this issue, sort of the anti-intellectual streak that’s taking place in the Republican electorate,” he chided, noting a poll that showed 58 percent of Republicans thought colleges had a “negative effect” on the country. “It was a startling, wait a minute, I thought we all agreed college was good.”
Todd handed it off to Heather McGhee, of the left-wing Demos Action, to explain where that animosity came from. And according to her, it had almost nothing to do with the radical leftists that run amok and everything to do with the GOP losing its base as people got smarter.
“It's actually the more that you study the history and the world, you understand how much we've fallen short on values of justice and equality and you want to tend to work more veraciously towards those goals,” McGhee asserted. She also suggested that it was a narrative concocted by the right-wing media and “Republican strategists [who] began to really recognize how much more highly educated folks were trending towards being more liberal.”
McGhee then claimed it was a conspiracy to smear institutions of higher education by focusing on the left’s looney college programs and their violent rioting because of conservative speakers. “It's like the liberal outrage campus of the day,” McGhee said. “And that's where that's coming from. There's been a real spotlight, a distortion I think of the news of what is coming out of college campuses.”
Towards the end of the program, Mitchell had more to say about those in college. She insisted that Millennials were increasingly tuning out of elected politics. Assuming she’s referencing the decline in their turn out between 2012 and 2016, it’s clear that she doesn’t understand that Hillary couldn’t energize them.
But according to Mitchell the GOP was responsible for scaring them away:
…that is a very effective strategy by, you know, the extreme of the right-wing right now is trying to claim that there was election fraud and taking this fake commission and making it into a real fear factor for people who won't tip their toes into elected politics.
Clearly, Mitchell still can’t get over, or understand, Hillary Clinton’s defeat by the likes of Trump.
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Meet the Press
August 6, 2017
CHUCK TODD: But Andrea, I guess the question is: Is the Republican Party’s problem Trump or the fact that they, they don't know what the definition of conservative is right now?
ANDREA MITCHELL: I think it's a combination. And it's partly because they have this Republican President who is not really a Republican and not really a conservative. And, what Jeff Flake was talking about is that he voted against prescription drugs, he voted against the George W. Bush proposals that busted the budget, in his view. He views himself as a real conservative. He's making a distinction between conservatism and populism, and I think that's a good conversation to have for Republicans as well as Democrats.
What you're seeing, David, in your precinct and elsewhere and certainly in West Virginia which is, you know, ground zero of Trump country, is, anger against elites. People feeling that they've been passed over, anger, you know, you see the state, the stats on anger against elite colleges, even among those who are college-educated. Extraordinary.
So it's anger against all of us, the media, as well, and Trump has just tapped into that. And I really appreciated that Jeff Flake said the “lock her up,” those cries at the Republican convention by Michael Flynn no less, the call and response was really a nadir of the Republi-- what I view as the Republican Party.
TODD: Heather, I want to -- she referenced a stat here I want to put it up here on this issue, sort of the anti-intellectual streak that’s taking place in the Republican electorate. 58 percent of Republicans believe colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in this country. That is a -- I mean, it was a startling, wait a minute, I thought we all agreed college was good. We can have a debate about openness in ideologies at universities, but when did we go all the way there?
HEATHER MCGHEE: Well, I think you really have to sort of follow the thread of this narrative. You know, Republican strategists began to really recognize how much more highly educated folks were trending towards being more liberal.
And we can talk about why that might be, I mean, Republicans would say it's a nefarious liberal bias on campus. Other’s might say it's actually the more that you study the history and the world, you understand how much we've fallen short on values of justice and equality and you want to tend to work more veraciously towards those goals.
But if you look at right-wing media. A narrative has taken root, it's like the liberal outrage campus of the day. And that's where that's coming from. There's been a real spotlight, a distortion I think of the news of what is coming out of college campuses. That it's very clear, you start to see it pop-up Breitbart, you start to see it pop-up on Fox News and then it moves into the Republican voter.
MITCHELL: But one of the things that really strikes me when we talk about college campuses and Millennials is the sort of tuning out of politics, elected politics. And it gets back to what I think we really need to see in both parties, is focusing on legislatures and on governors and thinking. And not being afraid of being purged from the rolls, and that is a very effective strategy by, you know, the extreme of the right-wing right now is trying to claim that there was election fraud and taking this fake commission and making it into a real fear factor for people who won't tip their toes into elected politics.