Liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday mocked the Mount Vernon Statement, a conservative declaration of principles as "a grandiose fake-parchmenty-looking thing." The anchor first described the document as endorsing "the rule of law, and individual liberty, and opposing tyranny in the world, and the defense of family, neighborhood, community and faith." [Audio available here.]
Maddow then dismissed, "In other words, such generic 'I love my mama' platitudes that even a pinko-Commie-liberal-elite-infidel like me would be happy signing on to all but one paragraph of the whole Mount Vernon Statement." (At one point, Maddow appeared to be mimicking the tone and voice of the late William F. Buckley.)
The left-wing host didn't explain which paragraph she objected to, perhaps it was the one about "limited government" or "market solutions." However, if it has caught the ire of MSNBC, conservatives might want to learn more about it. To view the entire document or to sign it yourself, go here.
To see prominent conservatives, including MRC President Brent Bozell, read the Mount Vernon Statement, go here.
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 9:05pm EDT on June 21, follows:
RACHEL MADDOW: Republicans have made a bunch of efforts in the last year to nail down exactly what it is they want to tell the American people they stand for. Remember the pizza party that Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney hosted last year? That was supposed to be the kickoff for the Republican Party`s new National Council for a New America. The plan was for Republicans to travel around the country, soliciting ideas from average Americans. Eric Cantor pulled the plug on that big idea last month after holding just one pizza event in the whole year, one little pizza party.
And then there was this idea-soliciting effort from House Republicans – Americaspeakingout.com, an online forum for Americans to provide new ideas for the Republican Party platform. As the Associated Press noted this weekend, that effort is also not bearing much fruit for Republicans.
If you go to the "Liberty and Freedom" page, for example, right now, you can see that the top suggested ideas are "Please protect my right to play poker," and "Eliminate `don`t ask, don`t tell.`" Also, "Keep the Republicans out of our bedrooms" and "Ban handguns" and "Drop the idea that we`re a Christian country."
You think the Republican Party is ready to run with those ideas? From Americaspeakingout.com, their big ideas generator? Then there was You Cut, the House Republican project to let the American people literally set the legislative agenda for Republicans. People would vote online on what federal spending programs should be cut, and then House Republicans would propose those cuts, thereby slashing federal spending by 0.017 percent.
The anti-spending Cato Institute here ridiculing House Republican for their effort to exchange their own initiative, their own leadership, for a meaningless social media gimmick.
Then there was the Mount Vernon Statement, a grandiose fake-parchmenty-looking thing that conservatives signed on to as their statement of Constitutional conservatism for the 21st century, endorsing things like the rule of law, and individual liberty, and opposing tyranny in the world, and the defense of family, neighborhood, community and faith.
In other words, such generic "I love my mama" platitudes that even a pinko-Commie-liberal-elite-infidel like me would be happy signing on to all but one paragraph of the whole Mount Vernon Statement. And if I fit into your definition of conservative, your definition of conservative is probably broken.
It`s one thing to have the luxury to work out your principles in the abstract, to have your pizza parties and your parchmenty statements that talk about loving America and hating foreign aid or whatever. It`s all well and good until what you want government to do actually gets put to the test, like say when a giant, totally unforeseen catastrophe happens, like what is happening right now in the Gulf -- the biggest environmental disaster ever in our country, plainly and inarguably caused by an oil company screwing up. It`s exposed deep rifts and deep disagreements among conservatives, among Republicans, about what to do and why.