Krystal Ball Dismisses Tea Party as Full of ‘Hatred’, ‘Delusion’, ‘Morally and Intellectually Bankrupt'

On Tuesday afternoon’s closing segment of MSNBC’s The Cycle, host Krystal Ball delivered an epic soliloquy, holding nothing back as she attacked the Tea Party from just about every angle.

The segment was introduced by clips of Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz all using the phrase “We the People.” She chided the recent efforts of various “Tea Party” groups which fell short on delivering a crowd at different planned protests. What followed was boiler-plate MSNBC spin which seeks to pump up its left-wing audience by seeking to marginalize and misrepresent conservatism. Ball accused conservatives of having “developed a strange relationship with reality.” This strange relationship, of course, in Ball’s words because of conservatives:

trying to unskew Benghazi, insisting that the administration was cooking the books on Obamacare enrollments or faking an entire economic philosophy. Trickle down, really?

Ah yes, the old “conservatives have no grasp of reality” mantra. Ball claims that this “reality distortion" is:

based on central fallacy, a core belief that allows all the other fact denial to flow as freely as toxic sludge into a West Virginia river and that's the belief that America is actually on their side.

Ball argues that conservatives hold on to this belief that every American has their back, but is “too afraid of the liberal elites to voice their disgust for gay people” and so on. Again, this is just another page from the MSNBC play book which insists that because conservatives disagree on an issue it’s simply because of hatred or disgust for the opposing side. That is, at best, a simple-minded view of the opposing viewpoints which peddles MSNBC viewers a distorted view of the national political debate and, at worst, insults their intelligence.

The former Virginia congressional candidate also made a tremendous factual error when she complained about the “Glenn Beck-fueled hatred of Obama." Had she done her homework, she'd have known Beck actually warned his viewers to not get involved in the group that was protesting last week on the National Mall because he was nervous about the group’s direction:

“I had no idea yesterday when we talked about this that today is the American Spring day, which I think is one of the most irresponsible and dangerous things I have possibly ever heard,” Glenn said. “To each his own. I mean if that’s the path you want to take, but if you’re calling for violence, I am against you and I am not tolerant of that."

The real kicker is when Ball went so far as to say that the Tea Party's influence in the Republican party doesn't speak to the “strength” of the Tea Party, but rather to the “moral and intellectual bankruptcy” of the Right. Again, that's the easy way out dismissing detractors as lacking any sort of moral or intellectual capacity.

As NewsBusters has frequently documented, this is just standard operating procedure for MSNBC. There’s no real desire to actually sink their teeth into substantive political debate and best the Right on the merits of the issues. No, instead, as my colleague Paul Bremmer capably illustrated yesterday, they take to painting a picture of a party fueled by "anger, fear, and hatred."

Below is a transcript of The Cycle segment:


MSNBC
The Cycle
May 20, 2014
3:57 p.m. Eastern

KRYSTAL BALL: I’ve spoken before about how conservatives have developed a strange relationship with reality-- whether its trying to unskew Benghazi, insisting that the administration was cooking the books on Obamacare enrollments or faking an entire economic philosophy. Trickle down, really?

In some ways, however, all this reality distortion is based on a central fallacy, a core belief that allows all the other fact denial to flow as freely as toxic sludge into a West Virginia river and that's the belief that America is actually on their side. Nixon coined the term "Silent majority.” Conservatives still cling to a belief that most of America quietly has their back and is too afraid of the liberal elites to voice their disgust for gay people, deep desire to dismantle the safety net and burning passion for tax cuts for the rich.

This belief can be found in the constant tea party use of "We the people." Their faith that every Cliven Bundy a is a potential spark for a nationwide revolution. Their unwillingness to face the facts of the demographic demise of the Republic Party. It’s how Dick Morris can predict a landslide for Romney and how Karl Rove who is supposedly smart, can cling like a motivational kitten on a branch to the idea that Ohio really is going to go for Romney.

And a necessary part of this delusion is the belief that young people, city dwellers and minorities aren't part of real America so they don't count or at least they shouldn't count. Which is where disenfranchising voting laws come in. Unfortunately for conservatives, our votes still count the same as everyone else.

Now I will grant you Tea Partiers that, through sheer Glenn Beck-fueled grit and hatred of Obama you have managed to take over one of the two major parties in America. That speaks more to their moral and intellectual bankruptcy and the crumbling of our democratic process than it does to your strength..

It’s time someone told you the hard truth. We the people are not on your side. Your constant prediction of revolution sound to most of us like Harold Camping's doomsday predictions; always on the horizon, never arriving, and crazy.

We, the people respectfully request you stop invoking us in your nonsense.

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.