A good one-sentence summary of the current American political divide is this: Republicans think that Democrats are wrong, but Democrats think that Republicans are evil. I mean, if you believe that all human problems -- poverty, racism, inadequate healthcare, income inequality, whatever -- can be solved, and that the world can be perfected, by another government program and some more spending and coercion, then who could be so evil as to stand in the way? And, if our opponents are evil, shouldn't we be angry? Really angry? We just need someone to articulate and channel that anger to rev up the voters, say, the way Hugo Chavez did so successfully in Venezuela.
Which brings me to the current wave sweeping over the Democratic Party: Maxine Waters 2020!
Maybe 2020 seems like a long way off to you, but in this game you can never start too early to test the waters (no pun intended). And for these purposes, "testing the waters" means making a few visits to New Hampshire. So you won't be surprised to learn that Maxine was in New Durham, New Hampshire this past weekend, making a speech at a local Democratic Party event.
Do you know much about Ms. Waters? She is the 13-term Congresswoman representing a district in mostly-poor South Central Los Angeles, during some of which time she has also headed the Congressional Black Caucus. She is famous for uncontrolled outbursts of rage on the House floor. Recently, she has been a leading voice stridently calling for the impeachment of President Trump. (For what? Really, does it matter?)
There is no more perfect embodiment than Maxine Waters of completely unhinged rage at anyone who dares to suggest that all human problems cannot be solved right this nanosecond by more government spending. Her other specialty is playing the race card to deflect any and all criticism from herself. Things she does not specialize in are (1) knowing what she is talking about, and (2) making any sense whatsoever. There are many "top ten" lists out there of various people's favorite Maxine Waters quotes. I'll give you just a few examples (from a list put together by Human Events in 2011):
- On her seemingly bottomless anger (1989): “I have a right to my anger, and I don’t want anybody telling me I shouldn’t be, that it’s not nice to be, and that something’s wrong with me because I get angry.”
- On "outrageous" behavior by people attending a Tea Party rally (April 2010 -- just after passage of Obamacare): "I just watched-the Republicans were out there-they were having a great time. They were laughing, they were waving the American flag, they were egging them on, and I thought that was outrageous behavior. I really did."
- Interrogating oil company executives at a Congressional hearing (2008): “Guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal would be about socializing … uh, umm. … Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”
- On the great success of Fannie Mae under the leadership of Franklin Raines (2004): “We do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Frank Raines.” (Raines left Fannie Mae at the end of 2004. He and his top coterie of execs walked away with some $90 million in bonuses during their last years. In 2008, Fannie Mae collapsed. ProPublica puts the taxpayer cost of the Fannie/Freddie bailout at $187 billion.)
- On the riots (in her district) following the Rodney King incident (1992): “If you call it a riot, it sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason. I maintain it was somewhat understandable, if not acceptable. So I call it a rebellion.”
- On how public policy gets made in America (1993): “Policy, for the most part, has been made by white people in America, not by people of color. And they have tended to take care of those things that they think are important."
You could go on with this literally as long as you want. Then there is the question of Waters' $4.5 million house in the affluent Vermont Knolls section of LA (outside her district -- although, to be fair to her, it was in her district prior to the most recent re-districting). How do you afford that on a Congressional salary of $174,000 per year? Plenty of people have asked (for example, TruePundit here), but Waters won't say.
All of which brings me to the last page of the Sunday New York Times Magazine from a couple of days ago, where this prime piece of journalistic real estate was fully given over to an interview of Ms. Waters by Ana Marie Cox. In a surefire indication that this "Waters 2020!" thing is real, this interview was one of the most ridiculous collection of softballs since Hillary Clinton passed from the scene. For example, there was this exchange on the house controversy (question in bold):
Tucker Carlson went after you recently: He used some very loaded language about your home, which he implied you could not afford on a government salary. I own several properties. The way he talked about it is: What right does an African-American woman have to do well? He doesn’t know anything about my investments, about the house that I’ve lived in for 25, 30 years. This idea of ‘‘how could she afford that?’’ is racist, and I just dismiss it.
No follow up on that, of course. Hey, this is Pravda! Here are a couple of other examples of the tough, tough questions faced by Waters from the Times:
Recently you’ve found internet fame after some of your public appearances went viral. Why do you think you’ve become so popular with young people?
How does it feel to be a meme?
Meanwhile, some conservatives are also starting to realize that there is a lot to be said for a Waters candidacy. For example, Michelle Malkin come out just yesterday with a video, proclaiming that she is heading up a new committee, Conservatives for Maxine Waters for President. Key quote:
“As chairman of Conservative for Maxine Waters for president, I pledge to do my best to spotlight Mad Max’s long record of coddling gang members and using her office to enrich herself and her family. . . . There you have it in a nutshell, liberalism in living color,” Malkin said. “Corruption, cronyism and cashing in for friends and family while your constituents and taxpayers get screwed.”
By the way, Waters is soon to be 79. She makes Bernie Sanders look young!