If you see the Independence Institute's Jon Caldara smiling today, here's one likely reason: He provided the de facto name for the lead segment on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night. Sitting to the side of a continental-U.S. map plastered with the Caldara-uttered phrase "Wave of Fear," Maddow explored the recall election defeats of John Morse and Angela Giron over their support of gun-control legislation. Along the way, she featured a clip of Caldara at the lectern and politically incorrect graphics courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. See it all below.
Following an introduction noting that her program is celebrating its fifth anniversary this week, Maddow took up the topic of recall elections in general, noting that until recently, officials targeted for ouster usually had committed crimes or other forms of malfeasance. In contrast, the Morse-Giron matter was prompted by ideological disagreements with organizations powerful enough to trigger a recall. Moreover, she went on, these groups understand that such efforts have a high likelihood of success, since special elections tend to attract relatively small turnouts dominated by older, more conservative voters.
To illustrate this growing trend, Maddow inserted a Caldara video that appeared on Colorado Pols last month. Note the "wave of fear" line visible in this screen capture:
Caldara wasn't the only local Second Amendment fan to get attention from Maddow. Also spotlighted, albeit not by name, was Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who posted a couple of images on the RMGO Facebook page that left the host slack-jawed. Here's one of the graphics Maddow displayed.... ...and here's a second: Somehow, though, she neglected to include the third part of the triptych: To comment on the apparent rise of recall-mania, Maddow turned to Steve Schmidt, an MSNBC regular who previously oversaw the 2008 McCain-Palin campaign. Schmidt correctly pointed out that Morse, in particular, was vulnerable to the recall strategy because he represented Colorado Springs, one of the most conservative areas in the state (and the country, for that matter). But even he seemed disturbed by the idea that special interests could essentially undo elections not to their liking via expensive recalls and suggested that reforms may be in order if the concept begins to spread.
Check out the complete segment below.
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More from our Politics archive: "John Morse, Angelo Giron recalled: Celebrating conservatives, lamenting progressives."