One of my favorite memories from watching MSNBC -- not that there are many -- came a few years back when Rachel Maddow in full-blown, arms-waving smarm insisted that the Constitution does not have a preamble. "That would be the Declaration of Independence," Maddow declared emphatically.
It's one thing for an MSNBC pundit to publicly reveal her ignorance of the Constitution (and Maddow made the gaffe, not incidentally, in response to a similar one by House Speaker John Boehner). It's quite another for one of her MSNBC colleagues to reveal his contempt for the Constitution. That's what Ed Schultz did on "The Ed Show" last night. (Video after the jump)
While doing his part for MSNBC's feverish, 24/7 coverage of the so-called Bridgegate scandal, Schultz all but convicted those involved for the egregious crime of hiring an attorney --
SCHULTZ: Chris Christie and his former aide Bridget Kelly are now playing some serious defense over the Bridgegate scandal. Bridget Kelly is Christie's former deputy chief of staff who actually wrote in a message to start this whole thing to David Wildstein, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." It snowballed from there.
New Jersey Democrats have issued subpoenas for Kelly to turn over documents and her electronic devices. One goal of the subpoenas is to find out if Gov. Christie was involved with the lane closures. On Monday, Bridget Kelly's lawyer said that she will not comply with the subpoenas, saying unfettered access to Kelly's information could "potentially reveal highly personal confidential communications" not related to the bridge scandal. The plot thickens.
On Monday night, Christie said that he's just fine with Kelly pleading the Fifth.
CHRISTIE (appearing on "Ask the Governor" show on NJTV): What I've said to all these people that have lawyers now, is that I hope they would share information with us, but I also understand that people have rights. ... We're certainly going to be asking and have asked for information from folks and if folks give it to us, great, and if they don't, because they say they're exercising their constitutional rights, I don't think any of us can be critical of someone for exercising their constitutional rights.
SCHULTZ: Who needs an attorney if you didn't do anything wrong?
Not sure if Schultz is quoting Goebbels or Mao ...
Here's a novel thought, Ed -- you know who needs an attorney even if he or she is innocent of wrongdoing? -- the wrongly accused. Yes, even they have rights.
How I wish the Supreme Court would rule on a challenge to its Miranda decision (you have the right to an attorney, etc.), just to see Schultz contort while enthusing about his belief in the presumption of innocence. At least when it's a liberal who stands accused, preferably one of color.
Another reason why innocent people often need lawyers-- our laws are mostly written by lawyers, in Congress and state legislatures, and often in a way that can be understood only by other lawyers. (ka-ching!). Mark Steyn, covering for Rush Limbaugh yesterday, said he's wary of any "comprehensive" legislation -- since it's certain to be "incomprehensible."
More amusing still was Schultz's choice of guest for the Bridgegate segment -- Mike Papantonio. Yes ... an attorney.