Dem wars: Lanny whacks Rachel
Karl Rove may be feuding with Christine O'Donnell these days, but for all the delicious infighting, the Republicans don't have a monopoly on this sort of sniping.
Now Rachel Maddow has become a target of some on the left.
Lanny Davis, the Democratic stalwart and former Clinton White House aide, has called her "sanctimonious and intolerant" in an interview on Talk Radio Network's syndicated "America's Morning News."
There's more, but first, the back story.
Back on March 31, during a discussion of health care, Maddow said on her MSNBC show that "Bill Clinton was probably the best Republican president the country ever had, if you look at the policies that he passed." A hard shot, to be sure, though not personal in nature.
Clinton didn't forget. He fired back this week, during an appearance with Tony Blair:
"One of the leading television commentators on one of our liberal cable channels said I was the best Republican president the country ever produced, which would come [as] quite a surprise to the Republicans, half of whom still think I'm a closet communist.
"What she meant by that was I didn't necessarily follow their 'conventional wisdom. I said, 'What do you mean?!'" The 42nd president defended his record as pragmatic.
During yesterday's interview with radio hosts John McCaslin and Amy Holmes, Davis teed off on Maddow by suggesting she is somewhat extreme. "We have our tea party side," he said.
While calling Maddow "very talented and very smart," the Washington lawyer declared:
"But she's sanctimonious and intolerant of anyone who disagrees with her. So, if it's Bill Clinton, she calls him a Republican because he doesn't meet Rachel Maddow's test. So, the worst element of our party are people who call themselves liberal who are actually illiberal because they are intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them...
"It's called the demonization of political opposition."
Lanny is the ultimate Clinton loyalist, having defended the man through scandal and impeachment, but he missed the mark here. Maddow has people on her show with whom she disagrees, sharply but politely. Her interrogation of Rand Paul over his view of the Civil Rights Act was a model of tenaciousness and civility.
If Maddow thinks Clinton's Third Way centrism leaned too far to the right, she's entitled to say so. That hardly makes her intolerant.
September 16, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Latest stories , Top story | Tags: Bill Clinton, Lanny Davis, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, tea party
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