What Is This Election Really About? Not the Deficit, the Stimulus or Big Govt – Watch Maddow Bust the Media Myths about the 2010 Mid-Terms

MADDOW: It‘s not the deficit. It‘s not big government. It‘s not the stimulus.

It‘s not Obamacare. It‘s not populism. It‘s not that all of these people are outsiders.

It‘s none of these things. These things are all provably not what‘s going on. They‘re not bolstered by the facts no matter how many times you hear from the Beltway media. This is not what‘s happening.

But the media dressing these guys up like there is some coherent narrative, like there is some cogent argument here, that conveniently obscures what‘s really going here, which is that we are on the precipice of elevating the federal office, the most extreme and in some cases strange set of conservative candidates in a lifetime…

There are extremist candidates who from time to time survive the churn of electoral politics and actually make it into the mainstream. There‘s always a few. But there has never been this many.

None of this makes any sense. We‘re just about to elect a whole bunch of extremists … unless thing change in the next two week.

Complete Transcript:

It is two weeks until the elections. And now, two weeks before the elections, it is finally become clear what is going to happen in those elections and why. It had not been clear before because over the past few weeks, in particular, the media narrative about what‘s going to happen in this year‘s elections has turned into a Republican campaign ad. There has been no daylight over the last couple week between how the Beltway media has been explaining what‘s going to in politics and what conservative candidates say they want to happen in American politics.

In other words, the message is that the Beltway media is using to explain what‘s happening in the elections right now happened to be the exact same messages that Republicans are using in their campaign ads. This may be one of those things easier to show than say.

So, here‘s just one example. Here‘s the spin as dictated to us by the punditocracy. It‘s the deficit. That‘s what the elections are all about, the deficit.

The reasons Republican are going to pick up seats in this election is because people are fed up with the deficit. That‘s the media spin. “The Republican Party‘s focus on reducing the federal deficit may be resonating with independent vote who could swing the midterm elections.”

You know, conveniently, here‘s that exact same spin in a typical Republican campaign ad this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK FLEISCHMANN (R), TENNESSEE CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Deficit spending is the number one threat to our country. It is immoral to spend money we don‘t have. The federal government like my family and yours has got to live within its means. My solution to the budget crisis is plain and simple: stop spending our money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: See, these two dovetail really nicely, right? It‘s a perfect spin cycle. The Republicans say we want to bring down the deficit. And then the media says, Republicans will win because they want to bring down the deficit. That‘s what explains the election. It‘s the deficit.

No, it‘s not. If it were the deficit, this would not have just happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: You want to extend all, all the Bush tax cuts which would add $4 trillion to the deficit.

You say balance the budget by cutting spending. Question: As a bottom line business woman, where are you going to find $4 trillion to cut?

CARLY FIORINA (R), CALIFORNIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, let‘s just start with the fact that as you pointed out in your last interview, spending has skyrocketed out of control in the last two years.

WALLACE: But forgive me, Ms. Fiorina. Where are you going to cut –

where are you going to cut entitlements? What benefits are you going to cut? What eligibilities are you going to change?

FIORINA: You know, Chris, I have to say, with all due respect, you‘re asking a typical political question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina of California on “FOX News Sunday” yesterday. Mr. Wallace went on to ask her seven times in total what she would cut to offset the $4 trillion in lost revenue from extending all of the Bush tax cuts. Seven times he asked her before in exasperation, he just quit.

If the Republicans really were poised to gain seats in this election because they‘re so credible on fixing the deficit, then major Republican candidates would not be on TV two weeks before the election proposing to add $4 trillion to the deficit with no corresponding cuts, no way to balance and it no explanation.

And this is not just true right now. This is not just Carly Fiorina falling apart. This has been true the whole campaign season.

Months ago, you‘ll remember that we traded fake campaign ads with Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio of Florida, after he started fundraising weirdly using my name. We finally boiled it down to just asking Mr. Rubio over and over and over again, even using signs, about his economic plan, which is to add $3.5 trillion to the deficit, $3.5 trillion.

How can you propose adding $3.5 trillion to the deficit and call yourself a fiscal conservative?

At that point, Mr. Rubio, stop playing with us and started ignoring that question that we were asking.

If what is about to happen in these elections is all about

Republicans having such credibility on the deficit, what happened between us and Marco Rubio would not have happened. What happened with Carly Fiorina yesterday on “FOX News Sunday” would not have happen.

We keep hearing from Republican candidates and we keep hearing from the media that spin the elections for Republican this is year, we keep hearing how much concern about the deficit explains why Republican are going to pick up seats in this election. It‘s the deficit. That‘s what explains this election.

No, it‘s not. Not this election and not these Republicans.

But when we are not hearing that it‘s the deficit, they‘ve got another example. They‘ve got another explanation for what‘s happening. They‘re telling us that maybe it‘s not the deficit. Maybe it‘s big government.

Big government is what explains what‘s going to happen in these elections. The Republicans are poised to pick up seats in these elections because they represent a rejection of big government. That‘s what we‘re hearing from the media. “As Views of Big Government Go, So Go Dems Out the Door.”

Conveniently, it‘s not just what we‘re hearing in the media. It‘s also what we are hearing from the people who are trying to elect Republicans this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I woke up one morning and it was there, big government on my back.

It‘s a huge problem. It‘s affecting everyone. Congress supported big health care, big bailouts, big debt.

Get Washington off our backs. Stop big government on Election Day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: And, again, these two things dovetail nicely, right? There‘s these conservatives, as the Family Research Council, they say they want to get big government off our backs. And then the media says, Republican will win because they want to get big government off our backs.

That‘s what explains the election, see? It‘s big government.

No, it‘s not. If it were big government, this would not be happening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

NARRATOR: Sharron Angle voted against background checks to identify sex predators. She said rape victim should be forced to have the baby.

KEN BUCK (R), COLORADO SENATE CANDIDATE: I am pro-life. And I‘ll answer the next question. I don‘t believe in the exceptions of rape or incest.

NARRATOR: That‘s right, even in case of rape, Ken Buck, he‘s too extreme for Colorado.

NARRATOR: In Carl Paladino‘s New York, victims of rape or incest would be denied the right to choose. He would make them victims a second time.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

MADDOW: This year, we have a slate of Republican candidates running for office who want a federal government so big that it makes decisions about every pregnancy in the country. It decides them by fiat.

We have the most extreme slate of big government, criminalized abortion candidates that has ever run for office, running for office this year. So, even though we keep hearing from Republican candidates and the media that is spinning the elections for them, how much concern about big government explains why Republicans are going to pick up seats in these elections, that‘s what explains the election, right? It‘s big government?

It‘s not. Not this election. Not these Republicans.

But when we are not hearing that it‘s big government, we‘re hearing that maybe it‘s … it‘s the stimulus. Oh, yes. The stimulus. Yes, the stimulus is what explains what‘s going to happen in these elections.

Republicans are poised to pick up seats because they oppose the stimulus. The stimulus was such bad policy, everybody knows that their stimulus didn‘t work. That‘s the line from the media. That‘s the line from Republicans and the reality of it is on display today yet again.

Yet another report outed yet another batch of Republicans who were happy to rail against the stimulus but then proved by their actions that they did not believe their own rhetoric when they asked for stimulus money to boost jobs in their own districts, Republicans like Pete Sessions of Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETE SESSIONS (R), TEXAS: Democrats have forced their tax and spend policies through Congress killing jobs and drowning our nation in debt. No to budget-busting stimulus bills.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Pete Sessions said those things in public while simultaneously asking for stimulus funds on the side, writing to the Transportation Department that stimulus funds will, quote, “create jobs and stimulate the economy.”

And it‘s not just Pete Sessions. It‘s all of these other A-list supposed conservatives. It‘s John McCain, it‘s Ron Paul, it‘s Mitch McConnell, it‘s Michele Bachmann even. They‘ve all asked for stimulus lust dollars to fund jobs in their districts even while they say publicly that that stimulus program didn‘t make any jobs.

So, we keep hearing from Republican candidates and from the media that is spinning the elections for them how much opposition to the stimulus explains why Republicans are going to pick up seats in these elections. That‘s what explains the election, right? It‘s the stimulus.

No, it‘s not. Not this election. Not these Republicans.

When we‘re not hearing that it‘s the deficit or it‘s big government or it‘s the stimulus, they‘ve tried out maybe it‘s Obamacare. Yes, maybe it‘s Obamacare. Republicans poised to pick up seats because they opposed Obamacare.

Obamacare, a classic example of liberal government overreach. Republicans will win this year because they opposed it. That‘s the line from the media and that‘s the line from Republicans.

The reality is that on the day that the trial starts, where the Virginia‘s conservative attorney general is show boat suing the federal government to stop health reform, the show boat conservative governor of Virginia has just finished taking credit for all the new funding that the state of Virginia is getting from health reform.

So even though we keep hearing from Republican candidates and the media that is spinning the elections for them how much opposition Obamacare explains how Republicans are going to pick up seats in these elections, then how do you end one show boat conservative candidates running on everything that health reform is doing f their state? They keep saying, it‘s Obamacare. That‘s what explains this election.

No, it‘s not. Not this election and not these Republicans.

When we‘re not hearing that it‘s deficit or big government or the stimulus or Obamacare, they‘ve also have tried on the idea that maybe it‘s economic populism. It‘s the economic populism that Republicans represent. Yes, Republicans are poised to pick up seats because they represent a populist message.

It all started with Rick Santelli on CNBC. It‘s all about being against the Wall Street bailout and it boils down to personal responsibility and being against those fat cats on Wall Street. That‘s the line from the media and Republicans, right?

The reality is that Republicans have nominated people like Pat Toomey, a former derivatives trader, to be the Senate candidate in Pennsylvania. That‘s stepping up against the Wall Street cats. They‘ve nominated former D.C. lobbyist Dan Coats to be their Senate candidate in Indiana.

Even though we keep hearing from Republican candidates and the media that is spinning the elections for them how much economic populism explains why Republicans are going to pick up seats in these elections, that‘s what explains this election. It‘s this populism thing.

It‘s really not. Not this election and not these Republicans.

When it‘s not the deficit or big government or stimulus or Obamacare or populism … they‘ve tried on this idea that maybe it‘s about being political outsiders. Yes, Republicans are poised to pick up seats because they‘ve nominated all these outsider non-candidate candidates, all these political novices who are bringing a breath of fresh air to people who are sick of seeing the same name and the same faces come election season. That‘s the line from the media, that‘s the line from the Republicans.

The reality is that these Republican political novices supposedly are people like Sharron Angle, an elected Nevada state legislator for seven years; Ken Buck, who is an elected district attorney in Colorado;

Christine O‘Donnell, a perennial Senate candidate. This is her third run for Senate in five years.

Joe Miller is now refusing to answer questions about the time he misused government computers in his former government job in an attempt to become chair of the state Republican Party.

This is not your neighbor running for office. This is not your buddy who has never been interested in the issues before. These aren‘t political novices. There aren‘t outsiders.

There are perennial, sometime crank, candidates who are good enough at talking to the media and the media is cowed enough by conservative bullying that they have been imagineered into credible candidates.

So, even though we keep hearing from Republican candidates and the media how much nominating outsiders explains why Republicans are going to pick up seats in these elections, that‘s what explains these elections. It‘s outsiders.

It‘s not. The narratives that are now being pushed by the media and by Republicans about how they‘re all just populists, they‘re all just small government amateurs — those narratives are wrong.

Bob McDonnell, the conservative hero governor of Virginia before getting elected, he wrote about wanting to use the power of government to punish fornicators.

Christine O‘Donnell started her professional political career touring the country promoting the idea that homosexuality can be cured, that condoms cause AIDS and that having sex with yourself is adultery.

Mike Lee, the Republican Senate candidate in Utah, is running on the platform that people should not be allowed to vote for senator because he wants to repeal the 17th Amendment.

John Raese, Republican Senate candidate in West Virginia is saying he wants to return to 19th century labor laws. Yes, in West Virginia. He‘s out on the stump calling our nation‘s energy secretary now, Steven Chu, calling him Dr. Chow Mein.

Ron Johnson running for Senate in Wisconsin against Russ Feingold, has a theory that there is global warming in the world, but he believes it‘s caused by sun spots.

Rich Iott, running for the House in Ohio, exposed by the “Atlantic Monthly” for dressing up in a Nazi uniform as a hobby. His campaign has defended the choice on the grounds that hey, the SS really weren‘t as bad as the Nazi Nazis. They‘re just the SS.

The response to that in the Republican Party is that House Minority Leader John Boehner has decided to let the guy keep the $5,000 donation that Mr. Boehner‘s PAC gave to him.

Carl Paladino, running for, envying most recently against pornographers, coming after our kids … who also known for emailing video after video after video after video of hardcore pornography with his own approving captions to his friends and supporters.

Sharron Angle, running for Senate in Nevada, embracing the John Birch Society conspiracy about the evils of fluoride in the water. And more worryingly, repeatedly threatening that conservatives should be expected to take up arms, to use Second Amendment remedies if they don‘t get what they want in the next election.

Joe Miller running in Alaska after running in the primary by having people show up with open carry assault rifles in Alaska parades. This weekend, he had his own private security detail handcuff and fake-arrest a reporter who was trying to ask him questions at a public forum.

There was not an ideological coherence to what‘s going on in right wing politics. There‘s not a cogent argument to make about what kind of challenge these folks present and what‘s going to happen in these elections.

It‘s not the deficit. It‘s not big government. It‘s not the stimulus.

It‘s not Obamacare. It‘s not populism. It‘s not that all of these people are outsiders.

It‘s none of these things. These things are all provably not what‘s going on. They‘re not bolstered by the facts no matter how many times you hear from the Beltway media. This is not what‘s happening.

But the media dressing these guys up like there is some coherent narrative, like there is some cogent argument here, that conveniently obscures what‘s really going here, which is that we are on the precipice of elevating the federal office, the most extreme and in some cases strange set of conservative candidates in a lifetime.

Yes, this has happened to a smaller degree before. In 1994, in the first midterm election after the last Democrat president was elected, we got a slate of candidates that included Helen Chenoweth of Idaho, Steve Stockman of Texas. These two were so close to the militia movement in this country that Mr. Stockman actually received advance notice that the Oklahoma City bombing was going to happen.

There are extremist candidates who from time to time survive the churn of electoral politics and actually make it into the mainstream. There‘s always a few. But there has never been this many.

None of this makes any sense. We‘re just about to elect a whole bunch of extremists … unless thing change in the next two week.

Two weeks out. How do Democrats run against this? That‘s next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *