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Rachel Maddow plays the fool once more

In comments at this great post by BostonBoomer at the Confluence:

Wonk the Vote, on June 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm Said:

Oh and the sentence Rachel utters after that is even more rich:

The last time any president did this much in office, booze was illegal. If you believe in policy, if you believe in government that addresses problems, cheers to that.

Of course, Obama apologist Maddow is full of shit. I'm shocked:

bostonboomer, on June 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm Said:

List of LBJ legislative achievements

Civil rights
* Voting Rights Act of 1965
* Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965
War on Poverty
* Upward Bound
* Head Start


* Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
* Higher Education Act of 1965

* Medicare
* Medicaid

Arts and Culture
* National Endowment for the Arts

* National Endowment for the Humanities

Consumer protection
* Cigarette Labeling Act of 1965

* Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965
* Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965
* Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act of 1965

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CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

In 2001, Joseph A. Califano Jr., a former Carter administration Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, wrote:

What Was Really Great About The Great Society

The truth behind the conservative myths

If there is a prize for the political scam of the 20th century, it should go to the conservatives for propagating as conventional wisdom that the Great Society programs of the 1960s were a misguided and failed social experiment that wasted taxpayers' money.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, from 1963 when Lyndon Johnson took office until 1970 as the impact of his Great Society programs were felt, the portion of Americans living below the poverty line dropped from 22.2 percent to 12.6 percent, the most dramatic decline over such a brief period in this century. Since then, the poverty rate has hovered at about the 13 percent level and sits at 13.3 percent today, still a disgraceful level in the context of the greatest economic boom in our history. But if the Great Society had not achieved that dramatic reduction in poverty, and the nation had not maintained it, 24 million more Americans would today be living below the poverty level.

...In those tumultuous Great Society years, the President submitted, and Congress enacted, more than 100 major proposals in each of the 89th and 90th Congresses. In that era of do-it-now optimism, government was neither a bad man to be tarred and feathered nor a bag man to collect campaign contributions, but an instrument to help the most vulnerable in our society....

[Read it all, including:]

...Why then do Democratic politicians who battle to preserve Great Society programs ignore those achievements? For the same reason Bill Clinton came to the LBJ library on Johnson's birthday during the 1992 campaign and never spoke the name of Lyndon Johnson or recognized Ladybird Johnson, who was sitting on the stage from which he spoke.

The answer lies in their fear of being called "liberal" and in their opposition to the Vietnam War. In contemporary America politicians are paralyzed by fear of the label that comes with the heritage of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. Democrats rest their hopes of a return to Congressional power on promises to preserve and expand Great Society programs like Medicare and aid to education, but they tremble at the thought of linking those programs to the liberal Lyndon. The irony is that they seek to distance themselves from the president who once said that the difference between liberals and cannibals is that cannibals eat only their enemies....

Roman Berry's picture
Submitted by Roman Berry on

Rachel Maddow is really nobody's fool, so for her to spout this Demo-tribalist talking point ("If you believe in policy, if you believe in government that addresses problems, cheers to that."), she'd pretty much have to be sandbagging her intellect.

I've had a personal epiphany of sorts over the last two or three years. It began to come clear when I began to realize that the Democratic Tribe of today was in no way, shape or form remotely interested in being an FDR New Deal tribe. In fact, it came clear to me that the New Democratic Tribe couldn't distance itself from the core values and heritage of the old tribe fast enough. Prior to that, I actually was a fool, because a large part of me believed (or wanted to believe) that the only thing keeping the New Democratic Tribe from resurrecting the core values of the FDR Tribe was that they lacked control of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House. Now they have control of all three.

Maddow and other tribalists seem to be pushing a line that says "Hey look! We passed legislation!" while completely ignoring whether that legislation really accomplishes anything. What I see is Potemkin legislation, or maybe lipstick on a pig. Take FinReg for example...

Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture pointed out a few says back in a post titled "Stop the next crisis? This wouldn't have stopped the last one" that outside of mortgage underwriting requirements, "there is not a single element of the reform that would have prevented the last crisis. I strongly doubt that anything else in this reform package is going to prevent the next one, either."

We are supposed to celebrate the passage of legislation that ranges from nearly useless (FinReg) to that which may be actually harmful (through entrenching a broken system with the force of law) like Health Care "Reform"?

Maybe now that Maddow is a Tee-Vee personality (rather than an obscure radio host/blogger), she's become one of those who covets and is worried about maintaining "access." She often gets things right, and she can be critical in very helpful ways, but there seems a part of her that can't help but carry water for the least sometimes.