Rachel Maddow Mocks Medicare Demagoguery After Engaging In It

The potential for over-the-top advertising from Democrats to defend Medicare is definitely there, Rachel Maddow told her MSNBC audience Monday.

She should know, since her show of late is little more than a Medicare commercial for Democrats.

As she talked about the next day's special election in New York's 26th House district, Maddow described Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus advocacy group, stumping for Republican candidate Jane Corwin (video after page break) --

MADDOW: Politico.com reporting today that the head of 60 Plus "reminded the elderly audience that Democrats have long played political games with entitlements." He mention the 1964 ad that Lyndon Johnson ran against Barry Goldwater that showed a Social Security card being torn up -- "That was a canard, as we used to say in the old days," he said. "And it's still a canard."

Have you ever seen that LBJ ad that he's talking about? It's Democratic president LBJ, Lyndon B. Johnson, running against the Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964? Have you ever seen this? It's a famous ad. Watch this --

Followed by the ad being shown, and narrated thus --

LBJ AD: On at least seven occasions, Sen. Barry Goldwater said that he would change the present Social Security system. But even his running mate, william Miller, admits that Sen. Goldwater's voluntary plan would destroy your Social Security. President Johnson is working to strengthen Social Security. Vote for him on Nov. 3.

MADDOW: The conservative activists are right that Democrats have been making that argument for a very long time, that argument that Republicans want to kill Medicare and they want to kill Social Security. I mean, that LBJ against Barry Goldwater ad from 1964, I mean, it is not a stretch to imagine that ad being run right now, is it? Although, I mean, if it was running in the 2000-sies it would have to have jump cuts! And special effects! And, of course, a different soundtrack --

Maddow then showed a mock ad as conceived by Democrats based on the LBJ ad, with the same Social Security card being torn up over and over, frenetically, against an apocalyptic soundtrack and ending with a nuclear blast. Afterward, Maddow said this --

We have sort of upped the level of bombast, but not entirely. Mostly it's just "O Fortuna" that's the difference now.

"We"? How about "you", Ms. Maddow? Because on your MSNBC show just before this one, May 20, you claimed nine times in little more than the first ten minutes that Paul Ryan's proposal will "kill" Medicare" (as shown at 2:21 in embedded video) -- without a shred of elaboration on how it would do this. You know, as one might expect a journalist to provide.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts