At Smith College, Maddow Whacks Bush's 'Super-Corrupt Criminal Government'

Following up on Brian Williams offering a Bush-bashing commencement address at Notre Dame, the liberal all-female Smith College naturally invited MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for her own Bush-bashing graduation speech on Sunday.

Maddow, whose every profile seems to boast of her bartending talents, began her address by expressing horror at Carry Nation, the bar-smashing temperance activist of the early 1900s, which spurred Prohibition, which spurred Maddow to bash Bush:  

With the massive surge of profits flowing through that criminal underworld, this country reached whole new levels of government corruption that puts anything we've got today to shame -- except for maybe the Interior Department of the Bush administration.

It's not about the Bush administration -- remember they put the Abramoff guy as the Number Two guy in charge of the Department of Interior and there was that one office where they were snorting meth off the toaster oven and the people who worked in the office regulating the oil industry were actually having affairs with oil industry lobbyists? So the Bush administration Interior Department maybe can compete.

And actually, when you think about it, there was that morning last summer when 44 people got arrested all at once in New Jersey on corruption, and then there's Rod Blagojevich -- so alright maybe we can imagine what super-corrupt criminal government looks like. But in Prohibition it was really bad...

Maddow threw in that one jibe at Blagojevich, and one at Obama for being too pro-oil exploration:

Personal triumphs are overrated. If you think about it, when Jack Abramoff got the White House to install his on- the-take, corrupt, patsy as the Number Two job at the Department of Interior thus leading to the snorting-meth-off-the-toaster-oven, sleeping-with-the-oil-lobbyist vibe at the Department of the Interior, that was a personal triumph for Jack Abramoff.

Someone at Yum Brands this year achieved their personal triumph by getting KFC to remove the bun from a cheese and bacon sandwich and replace that bun with pieces of fried chicken -- the double-down sandwich-designer's personal triumph.

When the current president hit upon the strategy of co-opting his political opponent's wish list in order to get a climate bill passed this year, President Obama, adopting "Drill-Baby-Drill," was lauded in the Beltway press as a political and personal triumph....

Frankly, if all goes well, life is long. So if you might take advice for me I would offer this, hopefully life is long. Do stuff you will enjoy thinking about and telling stories about for many years to come. Do stuff you will want to brag about.

No one brags to the grandkids that they were one of the geniuses behind poisoning all the industrial alcohol in the country [during Prohibition]. Nobody's going to brag to grand kids about "Who-needs-wetlands? Let's-have-a-subdivision-and-a-shipping-canal-instead" decisions that made New Orleans the tragedy and the distant hope that it is today -- and the 40 percent of our nation's wetlands that is Louisiana's beaten, bloodied coast.

Nobody's ultimately going to brag to their kids about having told the country that we ought to invade Iraq because, you know 9/11, and it ought to be easy. Imagine in the family history: "Yeah, then granddad went onto TV and said war in Iraq would take six weeks, max." Nobody wants to remember that about granddad....

History has a way of not remembering that some of those Iraq War press secretaries had real talent in the White House press room; or that BP and Trans-Ocean had a real talent for drilling down to find oil deeper than anyone else.

MSNBC Jack Abramoff Rachel Maddow
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