Last night on her MSNBC program, Rachel Maddow went after the Senate Republicans’ hypocrisy and lies against healthcare reform, but she specifically targeted Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Maddow characterized Hatch’s recent op-ed in The Washington Post as containing, “blatant, outright, laugh out loud falsehoods.” Hatch responded by Twittering to complain about how Maddow ran him down and he called it a badge of honor.
Here is the video of Maddow from last night:
Maddow characterized Hatch’s op-ed as having, “so many blantant, out-right falsehoods in it that It made me wonder if maybe there’s a deal or something. Where if maybe you’re a United States Senator who’s been in office for 33 years like Orrin Hatch has, you just don’t get fact-checked anymore in the Washington Post. They just allow you to print whatever you want. Is that the rule? ‘Cause if it isn’t the rule, than how do you explain this?” She also called out Hatch for voting for reconciliation bills 10 times in the last 21 years.
Hatch wrote that, “Both parties have used the process, but only when the bills in question stuck close to dealing with the budget. In instances in which other substantive legislation was included, the legislation had significant bipartisan support.” Maddow responded by calling his claim, “That is a total 100% unambiguous lie. It is a lie. It is an l-i-e.” She then cited the passage of the Bush tax cuts, and Medicaid, as evidence of bills passing without bipartisan support. Maddow flat out called Hatch a liar.
Sen. Hatch responded by claiming that Maddow had personally attacked him, “@maddow ran me down on her show last night over my views on health care reform. Wonderful badge of honor.” Maddow tweeted back to Hatch, “I didn’t actually address your views, sir, just your misrepresentation of the facts.” Maddow is correct. She did not attack Hatch or his views on healthcare. She went after his Washington Post op-ed for being full of lies.
My guess is that Hatch didn’t even see the segment on Maddow’s show. Some staffer probably told him about it. It speaks volumes about the Republican Party when even criticism that is based in fact gets twisted and construed as a personal attack. Rachel Maddow isn’t Keith Olbermann. She doesn’t do the personal attack thing.
The exchange between Hatch and Maddow is an example of the disconnect that is present in our political debate. One side (Democrats) keep trying to have factual discussions about the issues, while the other side (Republicans) live in a fantasy world, where they make up facts to suit their ideology. Until both sides can agree on the facts surrounding the issues, bi-partisanship will remain an unreachable goal and an impossible dream.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association