Leftists love to talk about how Biden is democracy and Trump is tyranny. But on Monday night, as Rachel Maddow mostly took the night off due to hoarseness, she came on with Jen Psaki during her time slot and claimed the Republican base is “very eager” for a dictator to end “contested elections.”
In New Hampshire on Saturday, Trump praised Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban as “a great leader, a very strong man,” and MSNBC thinks this is pro-dictator talk. But Orban was re-elected prime minister for a fourth time in 2022. Liberal media outlets call communist tyrants “presidents” and this man is classified as a tyrant.
Psaki sucked up to Maddow: “You’ve studied authoritarians quite a bit, you’ve talked about them quite a bit, you’ve educated all of us quite a bit on it. Is this really about winning votes in the New Hampshire primary?” Maddow answered:
MADDOW: On the Viktor Orbán thing, listen, I think there is a very simple reason that Donald Trump is making that closing argument, in what may be the last contested primary. And it’s because that’s what he’s offering. I mean, this is the special sauce. Donald Trump is not leading the Republican field of candidates because of his youthful vigor [laughs] or because of his policy preferences or because of his eloquence. Right? None of that is going on.
What he’s offering is what, both sort of inherently offers and more and more explicitly offers. Which is: If you pick me, that’ll be the end of politics, and you won’t have to deal with politics anymore. You won’t have to deal with contested elections, you won’t have to deal with contests or divisions when it comes to power, you’ll have a strongman leader and I’ll just do what I want. And won’t that be a lot simpler? That’s what he’s offering. That strongman model is what the Republican base is enthused about.
That is something that sets him apart from every other Republican candidate. I think we are naive to think he is tricking people into picking him and then surprise he’s gonna act like a dictator. What he is offering is strongman leadership, the end of politics, the end of elections, the sidelining or the domesticating, as Ruth Ben-Ghiat says, of the Judiciary and Congress. He will be the man in charge and he will get it done. That’s what he is selling, and that is what they are very eager to buy.
Remember when Maddow breaks out the excuses that they couldn’t air Trump live because “There is a cost to us, as a news organization, of knowingly broadcasting untrue things?” Maddow thinks it’s the truth to say all those dangerous conservatives and Republicans want to end democracy. Zero fear of fact-checkers!
PS: It got weirder when Psaki nudged Maddow into discussing just how tyrants denigrate government, and you can hear some of the current leftist arguments in that stew:
MADDOW: These messages have appeal There’s ways that you can drive a populace toward them. You can denigrate the government. You can say government itself is the problem. [Sounds like Reagan’s inauguration speech in 1981. He wasn’t a dictator.]
You can make it so that the legislative branch never works, and is seen as an object of ridicule, pity, and hostility rather than as one of our three branches of government. [Has she heard MSNBC on the Republican Congress, the ridicule Scarborough has for Jim Comer, worse than a pig?]
You can challenge the rule of law and say that judges are all biased against people like you, and that the legal system doesn’t work for people like us, and that we should denigrate to the courts and the law, and the legal system in a way that falls down along partisan or identitarian lines. [Black Lives Matter, “systemic racism” experts, critics of the Trump DOJ?]
All of these things help. Flirting with these kinds of conspiracy theories that have them looking to mythical fantasies for solving their problems instead of actual government work. That helps. [Myths Maddow spun, like Trump colluding with the Russians to steal the 2016 election?]
Flirting with paramilitary violence, where you bring violence into the political sphere, and people are too intimidated, normal people are too intimidated to engage in normal political behavior. [FBI SWAT team raid at the pro-lifer Mark Houck’s house?]
All of that helps, all of that sort of shunts a populace towards authoritarian messaging, as the only solution, as the only thing that will work.
PSAKI: That was dark, and real, honest, and authentic, just as you are about these issues!