OR-4: Art Robinson implodes on the Rachel Maddow Show

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

"If it were possible to smear a person by quoting to him things that he has published in his own newsletter..." - Maddow

From her perch at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow has been blowing the whistle on the anonymous shadow group that's pounding the airwaves in Eugene, Oregon, with ads attacking Peter DeFazio - and supporting his crackpot (but well-funded) opponent, Art Robinson. (Seriously, he thinks public education is child abuse and that nuclear waste belongs in your house. No, really.)

Those of you who are fans of Maddow know that she enjoys bringing conservatives on her show. When she does, she's a tough interview - a Rhodes Scholar, by the way - but a fair interview. She asks honest questions about their views and gives 'em time to answer in full.

And last night, Art Robinson appeared on her show. It's hard to know what questions she wanted to ask, because she only got two of them in -- while Robinson managed to completely implode on live television.

Check it out:

(If you want the links to the material that Robinson claims was taken out of context, you can get it all on the Maddow blog.)

And if you missed last week's Maddow report on the anonymous and shadowy "Concerned Taxpayers for America", here's that report, too:

If you're outraged, donate to Peter DeFazio here.

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    Full disclosure: My firm built Peter DeFazio's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    How entertaining was that...

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    I was hoping blueoregon would cover this and am pleased to see this here. Robinson came across as dangerously arrogant. Pete should be able to make even more hay with clips from this in tv ads.

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    You know, I'm all in favor of letting the other side get their word in, but this guy was just an ass and there comes a point where a host should just pull their mike and say, "If you want to have a discussion we can have a discussion but filibustering is not and will not be allowed."

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    Several weeks ago we drove to Southern Oregon from Portland, and when we hit DeFazio’s district Robinson signs were everywhere (along with all the other usual GOP suspects). I stopped counting at twenty-five -- and that was before we got to Eugene. We saw one DeFazio sign.

    Robinson clearly comes off as a petulant loon suitable only for a far right fringe party that most folks wouldn’t give a second look. But, what does it say about the Republican Party in Oregon that it embraces this guy? Has the GOP in this state truly sunk this low? Where’s the party of Tom McCall and Mark Hatfield?

    I mean, political disagreements are fine, healthy even, and while Robinson’s views seem quite daffy to me, from just his personality alone he is simply not acceptable. His “performance” last night was nasty, rude, defensive.

    And inappropriate.

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      I wouldn't read too much into signs along I-5. They are always right leaning and there in droves.

      But I do think your question about the GOP embracing a loon like Robinson is a sort of sad commentary as to where the current GOP is at.

      Though to be fair, we have a couple of loons on our side as well (Alvin Green in SC for example)

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    This guy may be a looney, but he's a more transparent representation of the radicals who now have control, and are the majority voice in the Republican party. He's only a slightly less polished version of Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, Ken Buck, Rand Paul, and Chris O'Donnell, this year's group of star teabagger candidates. As for filibustering, well that's their stock and trade.

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    The only person who "completely imploded" in that 18 minute clip was Ms. Maddow, who obviously isn't used to having someone get up in her grill.

    Robinson held his ground, refused to take her bait and dished out to her what she tried to do to him. She couldn't handle him, not the other way around.

    And this Rhodes Scholar apparently cannot tell the difference between an independent expenditure and an in-kind contribution. More telling, she seems blissfully ignorant that anonymous, independent spending occurs on behalf of (and against) both political parties.

    Perhaps if she spent less time reading Art Robinson's writings and more time gaining a basic understanding of election and campaign laws, her interviews might improve (but not her ratings.)

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      So the important thing is not the policy positions of the candidate but the procedures for election? I must say that's a very ineffective way of attempting to divert attention from the extremist lunacy of your party.

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        I don't know and frankly don't care about Art Robinson. Not my district and DeFazio will cruise to an easy win in OR-4.

        And it's clear you don't understand "procedures for election" any better than Ms. Maddow, who repeatedly claimed that this reported $150,000 independent expenditure was an "in-kind" contribution made to Robinson's campaign that he is responsible for. She is absolutely clueless about that important distinction, which Democrats exploit just as well as Republicans.

        The headline and theme of this thread is that Robinson "completely imploded" on national television. In fact, it was Ms. Maddow who imploded when she could not control and steer the interview the way she wanted.

        A better tag line would have been, "MSNBC Rhodes Scholar No Match for Obscure Right-Wing Nut Job."

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      Oh, I was a bit frustrated at Maddow trying to ask questions that had too many moving parts for that simple man.

      But the fact is that he refused to even answer the most basic question. It's all fine and good to say that you disavow an earlier statement - but he refused to even do that.

      Those statements ARE STILL ON HIS WEBSITE for all the world to see.

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      I have such uncontrollable admiration for people like you and Mr. Robinson whose intellectual superiority allows them to dismiss, by fiat, the intelligence and competence of lights they view as lesser than themselves.

      Your final two paragraphs are superb echoes of Robinson's You, Madam, are clearly not capable of understanding the complex scientific concepts I was trying to explain in simple English in the quotes you've taken out of context!.

      Being of lesser intelligence than you and Mr. Robinson, while I found flaws in Ms. Maddow's interview I cheerfully acknowledge that I could certainly not have done much better faced with a man who felt that his assertion that "thousands of Cal Tech graduates" agree with him about Global Climate Change should have ended the discussion. A "scientist" who declared that there should be no involuntary gaps in transmission and response on these interviews since the transmissions "travel at the speed of light" deserves more than mere admiration.

      Indeed, my admiration is uncontrollable... or beyond my control.

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    Wow. I have heard the name before, but I never realized who Robinson really is until I watched this. I am sure that his rhetoric appeals to the right fringe, but as a human being he needs his mama to teach him some manners. What a disgrace.

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      My impression was that this guy did zero homework. He was engaged in a battle with the "Rachel Maddow" of Fox News mythology, and wound up looking particularly insane because that Rachel Maddow was not in evidence in the interview.

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        It's absolutely true. Every news interview gives you a checklist of things they would like to go over. This is standard procedure in just about every program, and I can't think that Maddow would deviate from this. (It's why even 'smooth' politicians suddenly sprout 'umms' and 'uhhs' when getting surprise interviews).

        Now, Mr. Robinson apparently didn't bother to read this checklist, or just drooled at his chance to get on a national show and smear DeFazio (and maybe sling wild accusations about the smear journalism the 'liberal media' does).

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    Even the Libertarian The Economist magazine, published in London, England, recently did a big special report on how important it is, ecologically, to preserve the remaining primary forests. And also allow replanted forests to, eventually, approximate primary forests.

    But Art Robinson, "scientist", is miffed because he believes Oregon's forests and fisheries haven't been exploited enough. (Robinson said a couple of times in the interview that DeFazio has denied Oregon's businesses access to forests and fisheries).

    To be more pro-development than Libertarians one has to be way, way out there!

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    When you make Christine O'Donnell look sane, it's time to worry.

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    It has been suggested that the $150,000 donated anonymously may indicate this is a test case for the Citizen's United ruling, seeing if this obvious loon can beat out DeFazio with nothing but massive money infusions.

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    I am a big Rachel Maddow fan, DeFazio is like my favorite politician, and I am a solid Democrat. But Rachel Maddow said Ronbinson wanted to end public education. That is not true according to his website which actually has some pretty good eductional stuff on it. We could use a return to locally run school districts in Oregon when the schools were far superior to what they are now. At least we need to look at that. The state has made a mess of it. And they have no idea how to fix it.

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      In Art Robinson's own words: "I think the public schools should be abolished."

      That's from a year and a half ago. It seems pretty clear. Perhaps he's now realized that's a loony position, or he has handlers who realize it's a loony position, but a year and a half ago that was clearly his position.


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        How difficult is it to highlight the words "I think the public schools should be abolished." (which then shows up in the search box) and hit "Enter"?

        I just did it, without typing in any info on Robinson and it took me right to the Youtube.

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      As others have noted, Art Robison said in his own words that he thinks public education should be abolished.

      That said, Oregon actually has much higher local control of schools than most states do. In fact, that is one reason some of the "ratings" of Oregon teachers is lower than they would be otherwise.

      As noted by Poltifact, the Quality Count report (which Dudley uses as his source that Oreogn's schools rank 43rd) is biased in its preference for statewide education measures, something that penalizes Oregon, where local control in setting policies is generally preferred.

      Christopher Swanson, the vice president of Editorial Projects in Education (the publisher of Education Week), said that some of those concerns are valid, particularly the bit about local control. "This is kind of a report and report card looking at state policies and education trends and to the extent that the state is an actor," Swanson said. "States with more local control will tend not to score as high.

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    Rachel Maddow had an agenda. It was the typical liberal approach when talking to a conservative candidate. She prefaced her questions with a caustic statement intended to put the interviewee in a position of having to defend himself against an over the top charge.

    Art Robinson didn't take the bait, he was sure of himself and kept in mind that he was dealing with a pit viper who wanted to injure him. This man is the kind of person we need in congress - he is intelligent, he is not intimidated by 'PC'. Oregonians will do well to send this man to congress.

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      LOL. Another person who delusionally thinks that the Maddow interview was anything that an utter disaster for Robinson.

      This man has neither the temperament, the common sense, nor grasp of reality to be an elected official, much less having a hand in developing national policy..

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      I realize that being ignorant and a jerk is a plus for the Lars Larson crowd, but it tends to be minus everywhere else.

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      Ms Maddow has superior credibility which reduces a "ditto head" comment to spin which is quite evident. Avoiding a direct question that contains no presumptive traps shows integrity. Those of us capable of critical thinking recognize this. Feebly attempting to discredit such an approach simply supports the conclusion that Mr. Robinson's prior statements and positions are indefensible.

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    I thought he did real well. He shut down the mad cow and he wouldn't let her get away with her standard smear tactics. Good for Art

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