Liberals like Rachel Maddow and former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell often express their deep and abiding concern for the well-being of children. Well, most children anyway. Providing they aren't "hideous".
On her show last night, Maddow was talking about New York Times' columnist Paul Krugman suggesting that Americans should respond to our economic malaise as if threatened by invasion from outer space. Much the same idea has been expressed before, Maddow pointed out, citing an episode of the '60s TV show "The Outer Limits" and the graphic novel and movie "Watchmen" as precedents. (video after page break)
Not only that, Ronald Reagan in the 1980s touted a similar idea and Maddow showed clips of Reagan's remarks along these lines.
Following all of that, Maddow introduced a bemused Rendell, who said this --
RENDELL: I'm absolutely stunned listening to that, Rachel. (Maddow laughs) My mind is boggled.
MADDOW: You are being very, very diplomatic. You remind me of somebody confronted with a hideous child who says madam, that's quite a baby. (both laugh)
Fortunately for Maddow and Rendell, legalized abortion that they both support has spared them many such encounters.
Based on the context of her remarks, Maddow appears to be referring solely to physical appearance and not behavior. Perhaps she will elaborate in a future show. What, for example, constitutes the antithesis of a "hideous" young person? Would she be trim, blonde and athletic?
As for hideous adults -- MSNBC on any given night.