Newsweek's Meacham attributed an "almost irrational hatred of George W. Bush" to Democratic "base," compared it to "hard right['s] ... irrational hatred of Bill Clinton"

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

During MSNBC's coverage of the Democratic response to the State of the Union address, Newsweek's Jon Meacham referred to the Democratic base as "the people who have an almost irrational hatred of George W. Bush in the way the hard right in the Republican Party had an irrational hatred of Bill Clinton." He added: "I mean some things never change."

Following MSNBC's January 31 coverage of the Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address -- delivered by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) -- Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham referred to "the base" of the Democratic Party as "the people who have an almost irrational hatred of George W. Bush." After Kaine's speech, Hardball host Chris Matthews asked Meacham if Democrats are "afraid because of divisions within their own party over policy to make a clear statement" in opposition to Bush's Iraq policies. Meacham responded that "they're afraid because the people who get elected president, who are Democrats, are centrist governors." He added that "they have a very hard time ... keeping the left wing of their party happy, which is the base; and they're the very active people. They're the most vocal people. They're the people who have an almost irrational hatred of George W. Bush." Meacham equated this "almost irrational hatred" with "the way the hard right in the Republican Party had an irrational hatred of Bill Clinton." He added: "I mean some things never change."

From MSNBC's January 31 post-State of the Union coverage:

MATTHEWS: And here, the Democrats had a fellow come on tonight and say -- this is how strong he got -- "Are the president's policies the best way to win this war?" That's it. That was the criticism. Are they afraid to take on this president on his central, signature issue of the war in Iraq?

MEACHAM: Well, I hate to say it, but I do think that -- that response illuminates a good bit of the Democratic problem right now, which is that there is not been a powerfully articulated critique of this president. And there is a -- there's much to critique, obviously.

MATTHEWS: Are they afraid because of divisions within their own party over policy to make a clear statement?

MEACHAM: I think they're afraid because the people who get elected president, who are Democrats, are centrist governors. And I think that they have a very hard time playing to the -- keeping the left wing of their party happy, which is the base; and they're the very active people. They're the most vocal people. They're the people who have an almost irrational hatred of George W. Bush in the way the hard right in the Republican Party had an irrational hatred of Bill Clinton. I mean some things never change.

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Jon Meacham
Show/Publication
Hardball
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine, 2006 State of the Union, State of the Union Addresses
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