Rachel Maddow broke some big news on her MSNBC show Sept. 28 – and she wants you to know.

She mentioned several times during the program that she was reporting “important real news,” “important political news,” and so on.


Here’s my quick rewrite of this earth-shattering development: Two people best known for working on John McCain’s failed presidential campaign in 2008 say selecting Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate was “a mistake.”

Here’s the problem with this being big news:

Both Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign manager, and Nicole Wallace, a top aide to the campaign, were actually involved in the vetting process for Palin and have used every opportunity at their disposal to trash Palin.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that trashing Palin – and everything she stands for – has become their livelihood.

Schmidt had an undistinguished record of running mostly losing campaigns when he took the helm of the McCain debacle. Google his name and you will find he is now a professional Palin-basher. Likewise, Wallace is pimping a new novel about a female presidential candidate she boasts is modeled after Palin. The candidate is, of course, certifiably crazy – and wasn’t properly vetted. (Perhaps losers like Wallace and Schmidt were in charge of that vetting operation, too.)

For her part, Wallace advises Palin that if she runs for president in 2012 she should resist her most partisan political instincts. This coming from a woman whose own artful and delicate oratory skills have her labeling Palin as “seriously mentally ill” and “cuckoo for Co-Co Puffs.”

That interviews like this would actually be considered “serious news” even by someone like Rachel Maddow pretending to be a news anchor is laughable. But there’s even more to the back story here.

I told you Schmidt doesn’t just hate Palin but everything she stands for. I wasn’t exaggerating. Shortly after he engineered the victory of a completely unknown, unvetted, extremist Democratic presidential candidate through his ineptitude as a campaign manager, he quickly became an expert on what was wrong with the Republican Party that his boss controlled.

The problem with the party, he said, is that it has been co-opted by its “religious elements.”

“If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party,” Schmidt declared. “And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party.”

Now whom do you suppose he was speaking to when he made those remarks?

His first major talk after his historic failure in 2008 was to the Log Cabin Republicans national convention – the very liberal, homosexual element of the Republican Party that probably represents less than 0.5 percent of its support. And, of course, he spoke in favor of same-sex marriage – a political position yet to be embraced by most left-wing Democrats.

“If you reject [gay marriage] on religious grounds, I respect that. I respect anyone’s religious views,” he said. “However, religious views should not inform the public policy positions of a political party because … when it is a religious party, many people who would otherwise be members of that party are excluded from it because of a religious belief system that may be different. And the Republican Party ought not to be that. It ought to be a coalition of people under a big tent.”

Prognosticator Schmidt portrayed a dire future for Republicans because of its shrinking base – unaware, of course, of what 2010 would bring.

He made no bones about being what used to be called a Rockefeller Republican – sometimes called a RINO today. He waxes nostalgic about the days of Christie Todd Whitman and George Pataki “and all the members of Congress who have since gone extinct.”

In her book, Palin has some things to say about Schmidt, too. It seems the rotund, chain-smoking Schmidt was giving Palin health tips, wincing every time she mentioned God, which was frequently and telling her to “sit down and shut up” when she would talk about Obama’s connections with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers.

By the way, Schmidt never graduated the University of Delaware because of a “learning disability” that caused him to flunk math.

Guess that explains his inability to count votes – which can come in handy in politics.

News? Not unless Schmidt or Wallace has a Damascus Road experience on their return visit to Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC studios. These two delivered just what anyone would expect. Perhaps Rachel has never heard the old newsroom axiom: It’s not news if dog bites man. It’s news if man bites dog.

Three dispirited, disenchanted and angry dogs yapping at Sarah Palin – that ain’t news. It was good comedy relief though. See for yourself with this handy scorecard.

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