Generally, I don't watch or listen to MTP Daily because Chuck Todd annoys the [email protected] outta me, but I listened today because he wasn't there. Steve Kornacki didn't do too much better. The program corresponded with the press conference of Ayanna Pressley, IIhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib, so it was his job to break it down with his panel immediately after it was finished.
Fortunately for us (though unfortunately for Kornacki) Zerlina Maxwell was on that panel. Kornacki was aping the "But Both Sides Do It" in true Chuck Todd fashion, implying that (1) Reps. Omar and Tlaib were less conciliatory in their tones than Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, and that (2) by being so, they were sinking to Donald's level by getting "personal."
First of all, Steve, No.
Second of all, Donald didn't get "personal." He got racist. And Women of Color are permitted to get angry and defend themselves when racists vilify them in public.
Thirdly, as Maxwell pointed out with strength and confidence, nothing they said veered from the facts.
MAXWELL: What did she say that was a personal attack on the president? I don't see impeachment, just to be clear, as a personal attack on the president. That's their Constitutional obligation to hold this administration accountable for perceived crimes which were outlined in the Mueller report. She didn't come out and call the president names. She didn't come out and say he should go back to the country which his parents immigrated from. She didn't talk about his family. We have to be careful when we say that they're, you know, not necessarily rising to that level of Ayanna Pressley when none of them attacked the president personally. None of them called out his patriotism. What I saw today was four patriots come out...
KORNACKI: Well, wait, I should say, Omar said he colluded with a foreign government --
MAXWELL: That was in the Mueller report, Steve. The Mueller report says -- so, to be clear, we all read it. He said he was not going based on the definition of collusion under criminal statutes, but there were absolutely crimes outlined in the Mueller report. And if we're using just the specific definition of collusion, there was plenty of examples where there was collusion, but not criminal conspiracy. Make that distinction.
KORNACKI: We can put this aside for another time. I think tonally I would say there was a difference...
Don't you just LOVE it when a woman doesn't let a man get away with his minimizing, lazy thinking, and he cannot handle it, so he says, "Well, we can talk about that another time. Let's just end by saying I'm right..."? Oh, you DON'T love it? Well, apparently, neither does Zerlina Maxwell. She held his feet to the fire.
KORNACKI: Again, I'm not saying -- and I don't say that -- the point I was trying to make there and the difference I was trying -- if we heard it differently, we heard it differently. But what I heard was when you said patriotism wasn't questioned. It certainly did sound like with Omar when she said he had credible evidence that he colluded -- had been accused colluding withed a foreign government -- I took that as going after patriotism.
MAXWELL: Those are facts.
KORNACKI: We can debate what exactly is in the Mueller report...
MAXWELL: I don't think she was questioning his patriotism, that is just outlining facts which were documented in the Mueller report.
If he wanted to say, "Well, to collude with a foreign country is not patriotic, so she would be correct to criticize his patriotism," that would be fair. If he wanted to say, "Well, his version of patriotism only includes white people, so it is not a valid comparison to her version of patriotism," that would have shown more complex thought. But clearly, this guy was not prepared to be challenged. (Sounds about white.) His attempt to defend his slant had failed, and flustered, he simply turned to a different panelist and said, "Susan?"
THIS is why representation matters. THIS is why Black and brown people — ESPECIALLY women, need to be at the table. It is imperative that we learn to accept and validate the emotion and anger that racism like Trump's evokes. And it's MOST imperative that white people learn to accept it from the Black and brown people at whom it's targeted, and think with more nuance before trying that pathetic "both sides" nonsense.