A friend of mine recently reposted the following statement by Rachel Maddow on her Facebook page and I, as is my wont, had to chime in on its legitimacy. Not that Rachel can't say anything she wants to, legitimately, but that this list was given over as "Rachel Rocks the Facts". A legitimate list of "facts", it is not. Rather than go back and forth bothering a FB friend about something she was so excited about (She deserves to be happy that the candidate she fought for won the election!), I thought I would generalize my views to a larger audience (?) and get specific about Rachel Maddow's "facts" here, on MILLERWRITES.
"Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win."
Perhaps she is alluding to the way Karl Rove embarrassed himself on Fox News by second-guessing the decision desk at Fox. They gave the Ohio race, and thereby the national victory, to Obama when only 75% of the votes in that vital state were reported, and Rove made a point of arguing they may have jumped the gun. Fox decision desk was right. Ohio went for Obama, and so he held the Presidency.
"And he really was born in Hawaii."
Only a few kooky people think this is a big issue. Instead of being careful who she paints this kooky color, RM is using a broad brush to paint as many political opponents as possible with a tinge of absurd. That is weak, and certainly unfair.
"And he really is legitimately president of the United States again."
Of course, if someone was not born in the US, as the Constitution requires, he would not be a "legitimate" president right? Let's be careful that we don't ignore or dismiss that legal test in the future. Or, let's change the Constitutional guidelines so that whatever new guidelines we deem appropriate are in place and enforced.
"And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month."
Nor did they this month, when it went back up a tenth, to make it higher than it was when Obama took office. (What exactly did he do well for us, again? And how will his policies be different/better this time around?)
"And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy."
What is the point of picking the view of one source to reference, Rachel? Why not instead try to refute the specific evidence in history, when it has been done? JFK cut taxes, and Federal revenues multiplied. Ronald Reagan, did the same thing and had the same result. Citing a negative ("...can find no evidence that...") is meaningless.
"And the polls were not skewed to over sample Democrats."
RIGHT / WRONG
As I understand it, many polls did over sample Democrats, on the assumption that an overabundance of Democrats would turn out to vote again in 2012. Most conservative analysts thought THAT was the critical "skew" that would surprise the pollsters when the results came in. SURPRISE! The pollsters guessed correctly and the conservative/hopeful/optimistic pundits were wrong.
"And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math."
I do not have any knowledge of Nate Silver or of what was said about him, nor about his math skills. I would surmise, however, that this relates to number 6 above. Yes, conservatives (mostly) got projections and predictions all wrong.
"And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes"
Todd Akin's foolish comment was obviously foolish to all (except him, even when confronted by the absurdity of his idea and challenged to withdraw by every conservative who could get his ear). If he did have to say something about rape and abortion in this campaign season which was actually focused on the fiscal cliff that is looming, he might have been better off to stick with more solid facts. For example: A pregnancy represents an independent life. The little person's conception circumstance does nothing to change his or her right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Romney's pandering notwithstanding, children conceived and born, even through rape, should be allowed to live.
"And evolution is a thing."
(And I saw many comments left by people who are in awe of RM's great intelligence!!)
Who could disavow this profound claim? Yes, evolution IS a thing. But what is it Rachel? I do think I know what it actually is. It is a theory.
Perhaps you meant to suggest that evolution is an absolute, set in stone, scientifically proven fact of life. Perhaps you meant that, but I don't want to insult your intelligence. It's still just a theory. And as time passes, its proponents are weakening and its detractors are gaining a larger thoughtful support. Ask yourself this question: Can I name ONE thing about the theory of evolution that has been scientifically established as an absolute fact? (Not, "what one thing is asserted or claimed or surmised")
"And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us."
RIGHT / WRONG
This one makes my blood boil!
Thank you RM, for correcting the President. He claimed repeatedly that this was not a terrorist attack on us on 9/11, but stated that it was a simple protest in the street by some people who were upset about a movie trailer that had been online for months! And you are right again. The terrorist attack on the consulate and the CIA annex were NOT "a scandal by us." If you want to parse words, fine.
But now that you are on a roll, you might pause to describe the administration's decisions BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the attack as being rife with scandal!
Only a determined ideologue, and not an intelligent, unbiased journalist, could refuse to acknowledge this truth. But a good journalist will go on to seek answers no matter which vested interest they impugn. Will your admirers remember your trite belittling of these events when the questions do get answered?
Well, there are eight more "facts" in this list to be addressed, but this post is getting long so I will break my answers into two blog posts. The rest seem to be made up of simple insinuations of the type that would offend any one trying to carry on a reasonable argument, and should betray only weakness of position.
Like if you were just about to prove that your Father's car has more doors than my Father's, and I said "But your Mother wears army boots!" But I will look closer at those later.
Thanks for coming by MILLERWRITES. I hope you leave a comment.
By the way...MILLERWRITES copy is COPYRIGHTED. Why cut and paste when you can simply copy the link?