Last updated on February 8th, 2013 at 05:01 pm
On Real Time With Bill Maher, it was a moment the right dreams of daily. Two conservatives had their chance to take down Rachel Maddow, and both of them were a bundle of fail.
Things got personal while discussing Fast and Furious. Both of the conservatives on the panel, Mort Zuckerman and Gillespie, claimed that they weren’t Republicans. Although each of them have appeared on Fox News regularly, and when Zuckerman was considering a run for the U.S. Senate he courted the Republican Party. Gillespie calls himself a libertarian and wants to believe he is non-partisan, but self-delusion is a powerful thing.
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Both of the conservatives on the panel were hell bent on convincing America that Fast and Furious was not about taking away guns. Gillespie claimed it was Holder not knowing what is going on with his own DOJ, and Zuckerman focused on the widely debunked claim that it was all about the documents, which contain information that Darrell Issa and his fellow committee members were briefed on 2010 and 2011.
Since Nick Gillespie is a Libertarian, he hates all government agencies, but especially the ATF and DOJ because of the drug war. He was off on a patented anti-government tirade, but Maddow brought a little reality into his spin. She said, “Can we just talk about what we left behind here though which is that the Bush administration started this policy, the Obama administration continued it and then shut it down. And the Republicans in Congress are furious about this because they decided that since it continued during the Obama administration, it must be a conspiracy to somehow take away gun rights. When you listen to Republicans in Congress talk about why they’re doing it, it’s all about the conspiracy theory.”
Maddow then turned her attention to shooting down Zuckerman’s claim that is all about the documents, and took him down by pointing out that the things Issa is requesting have nothing to do with the operation of Fast and Furious.
Having stuck out against Maddow on the issue, Nick Gillespie launched a personal attack against her partisanship.
Video of the attack on Maddow’s partisanship:
Transcript via Mediaite and me:
Gillespie: You should not be forced by your Democratic partisanship to be forced to…
Maddow: I’m just trying to say a nice thing, and you’re already, ‘You’re a hack!’ Listen, dude, I’m not even a Democrat!
Gillespie: That’s not what I’m saying…
Gillespie: You will always take the side of a Democrat over a Republican.
Maddow: No, I won’t. You don’t even know me.
Gillespie: What’s an example? I’ve seen your show.
Maddow: I assume. I assume that you always done the thing that I assume based on the way you look.
Bill Maher jumped in and said that it wasn’t a fair question, because the Republicans have become the party of mental patients.
Gillespie whined that he didn’t want to be put into the partisan box of Democrats versus Republicans. Maddow told him that he was the one putting himself in the box.
I understand that Nick Gillespie has deluded himself into thinking that he is intellectually superior because he is not a Democrat or a Republican, but he is kidding himself if he thinks that he is not partisan. Gillespie is just as married to his partisan ideology as Democrats and Republicans are. Just because fewer people vote Libertarian, does not mean that Libertarians aren’t ideological.
There is nothing more annoying than a sanctimonious, ideologically-welded, third party follower declaring their intellectual superiority while they blindly tout the same fringe views that have gotten them nowhere for decades. If Gillespie had read Maddow’s book Drift, he would have known how stupid his attempt to frame her as a Democratic mouthpiece really was. Gillespie doesn’t know it, but his defenses of Ron Paul make him more partisan than Maddow ever has been. Rachel Maddow has never openly supported a political candidate, or gone on television to defend Ron Paul the way Gillespie has.
This segment revealed a reality within the right. There are a group of people on the right like Zuckerman and Gillespie on the right who disguise themselves as something they are not. Both claimed that they aren’t Republicans, but both took positions supporting the Republican Party.
Gillespie thought he could take down Rachel Maddow. The right dreams of taking down Maddow, but he crashed and burned. The evidence of his failure was the fact that he had to resort to a personal attack. These sorts of attacks are the last refuge of defeated. He couldn’t discredit Maddow’s facts, so he tried to discredit her as a source. Maddow could have easily turned Gillespie’s question around on him, but she has too much class to engage in such behavior.
Instead of taking down Maddow, all Gillespie managed to do was out himself as a partisan hack who is too trapped inside his on self-infatuated, smug bubble to see that he was actually the biggest ideological tool of them all.
Saying that Democrats and Republicans both suck doesn’t make you intelligent, it makes you a lazy thinker who is too busy touting your own smug sense of superiority to actually listen to the debate.
Gillespie and Zuckerman’s epic fail proved that it is going to take more than a closeted Republican and a Libertarian to stop Rachel Maddow. The right is going to keep coming after her, but Rachel Maddow just keeps knocking them down.
Jason 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