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America Goes Rogue

Once again, the coastal media elites are very disappointed with how fly-over country voted. HotAir's Mary Katharine Ham reports for the December issue of Townhall Magazine. 

America has gone rogue again. In its special way, the electorate has once again confounded its media and coastal leadership by turning right, voting for Republicans, and making its professed intellectual betters very, very disappointed in them, indeed.

As the results of a historic clock-cleaning rolled in this November, the most notable meltdown happened at MSNBC, where hosts despaired for silver linings and time traveled to 2016 to avoid the mess in front of them. Chris Matthews gave voice to their consternation, heightened by a betrayal of various editorial boards across the country, who had the temerity to endorse Republicans in print!


“There’s something weird going on,” he said, “even amongst the educated crowd, that surprises me.” 

He was referencing the endorsement of Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner in Colorado by the Denver Post and the endorsement by the Chicago Sun-Times of gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, a Republican running in Illinois. In the first case, incumbent Sen. Mark Udall’s (D) campaign had become so focused on the War on Women that the Post declared it an “obnoxious one-issue campaign,” and “an insult to those he seeks to convince.” Voters agreed. Reporting by the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney found that Udall’s website mentioned “birth control” 71 times—far more than it referenced “America.”

In Illinois, an endorsement of Rauner as an “extraordinarily capable businessman” who could potentially bring good management and leadership skills to Springfield was enough to cause a mid-level kerfuffle and the resignation of a longtime political reporter from the paper. Because nothing says objec- tivity like quitting your job because the editorial page endorsed a Republican that one time.

And, what about the man who sits atop the world of political commentary, his show a destination for the nation’s most desirable demographic? Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” was recently approached to helm the Sunday morning staple, “Meet the Press.”

Ten years ago, when he denounced the format and hosts of CNN’s “Crossfire” on “Crossfire,” he was appointed our preening shepherd on the path to political enlightenment.

He didn’t vote, he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, and he said Big Money was the big winner of the midterms (Stewart later claimed he did vote and was only joking with Amanpour). By the standard of the Left’s frantic VOTE OR DIE campaigns, Stewart is now dead to us all. I don’t ascribe to the notion that if you don’t vote you can’t complain, but if Stewart does, it’s gonna be a long two years on "The Daily Show."

But on the 10-year anniversary of Stewart’s call for honest debate and denunciation of partisan hackery on a CNN set, he reveals himself to be wearing a set of blinders as hacky as anyone he criticized that day.

He can’t bear to imagine that Americans elected a bunch of Republicans on the merits of their campaigns, or because they found some of their ideas to be a palatable alternative, or even just because they were tired of Democratic leadership having resulted in economic stagnation for six years.

Nope, it had to be the money. Well, let’s talk about the money.

The most obvious attempt in recent memory to straight-up purchase a congressional seat went down in flames as Sean Eldridge, the 28-year-old husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, lost by 30 points in New York’s 19th District. It was only the latest in a series of districts that Hughes bought Eldridge a mansion and various “investments” for the townspeople to ensure the young go-getter a seat.

Who knows where they’ll buy property next?

In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan (D) was supposed to be a Democratic firewall, and boy did they spend like it. In the most expensive Senate race of all time, far more money was spent by the losing side. Late-October totals showed Hagan’s campaign had more than doubled Thom Tillis’ spending: $22 million to $9 million. Outside and party spending also favored Hagan, though by less of a margin.

“Our state is not for sale,” was Hagan’s battle cry on the trail. She was right. She lost 49–47.

Mother Jones dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Koch”— using the go-to libertarian businessmen bogeymen of the Left when it comes to money in politics. But Washington Free Beacon reporting reveals seven unions spent more than the Kochs on Super PACs.

Meanwhile liberal, green billionaire Tom Steyer was the single biggest donor of the cycle, putting in about $75 million of his own money, with almost nothing to show for it. There was lots of money spent, but money alone couldn’t win the day.

“Daily Show” creator Lizz Winstead offered her own goofy theory for why Texas didn’t go blue for pink-shoe wearing abortion enthusiast Wendy Davis, who lost the women’s vote resoundingly. The culprit in this state race for governor was... redistricting. “I think part of it is redistricting,” she told Joy Reid on MSNBC. “And Texas, I think, can turn blue.”

Two years from now, the media will get a different electorate in a presidential year, and a shot at understanding this country once again (as long as we all comply by agreeing with them). Until then, cheers to an America that can still surprise them. •

Mary Katharine Ham writes at and is a contributing editor for Townhall Magazine. 


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