RachelWatch: The Return


Today: Rachel wades back into our hearts with the help of Ana Marie Cox and Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Waist Deep

Rachel saved the internet from having to be elaborately casual and all “Oh, were you gone that long? Hadn’t noticed,” by diving straight into Sarah Palin’s odd, sudden resignation and her commitment to staying out of the public eye by giving fifteen kajillion interviews about it. Total number of full, grammatically correct sentences in those interviews? 0.

For crying out loud, Ms. Palin, sentences can be pretty simple. Can’t you just pick an idea and follow it through to its conclu — oh.

Rachel did a bang-up job of parsing Palin’s logic, then welcomed Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who last year helped Palin prepare for what was destined to become the folksiest Vice Presidential debate ever.

You want to watch this clip. Trust me.

I try never to rule anything out when it comes to The Rachel Maddow Show, but I have to admit that I never thought I would see Rachel get into Sarah Palin’s pants on the air.

The Right Stuffed

There was more joy to come, because Ana Marie Cox was next. Rachel looked at the triumvirate of Governor (for a couple more weeks) Sarah Palin (R – Alaska), Governor (Still!) Mark Sanford (R – South Carolina), and Senator (Yep. Him still too.) John Ensign (R – Nevada. Remember him?) and wondered whether all the Republican base are belong to us or what?

Cox is, alas, waderless in this segment, but otherwise terrific as always. I like the fact that she’s funny and playful, but brings genuine political insight. And that she won’t buy into the hype that Sanford and Ensign were serious Presidential candidates.

Sarah Palin is the only one discussed in this segment who still has a shot at the Republican Presidential nomination. I know Rachel is pretty sure that Sarah Palin won’t come on her show (And let’s all take a moment to pray that Palin won’t have a show for Rachel to come on), but I believe that thanks to Ms. Maddow’s vacation, I have figured out a way.

Can’t the ladies go fishing and happen to have a cameraperson along? OK, Sarah, but what if we called it “gals” and “fishin’”?

OK, but what if we made it some sort of charity thingamajobber? You could fish n’ be outdoors n’ git things done for Alaska and Alaskans and all you’d have to do is answer a few questions laser beamed directly at your brain by someone who will never, ever allow you to brush them off or change the subject. But you like pit bulls right?

I would donate a substantial portion of my theoretical income to such a charity thingamajobber. I’m just sayin’.

Ms. Information

And then the hilarity was over because it’s Rachel and she won’t let us ignore Afghanistan. I have a theory that she’s also working on getting us to eat our vegetables.

There has been an upsetting new wave of deaths &mdsah; 10 U.S. and NATO troops in a single day — and it sounds like we’re going to be hearing more news like that before we can start hearing less of it. So just get ready to be in the fetal position at least once an episode.

Rachel also noted that what were supposed to be carefully managed Uighur protests in China got out of hand and footage has leaked out in spite of the Chinese government’s unsurprising attempts to clamp down on social media.

The story itself is intriguing, but I will admit that I mostly can’t stop thinking about how the wingnuts in our own nation will react. Commies vs. Muslims! Who do they root for!? Maybe we should set up some crisis centers for the befuddled.

Al in the Family

How do you welcome a comedian to the United States Senate? With nearly three solid minutes of applause, that’s how. Congratulations, Senator Al Franken(D – The Great, Relieved State of Minnesota)! And I’m not only saying that because my autographed copy of Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot just got more valuable.

While this means that the Democrats theoretically have the magic 60 votes to make any bill filibuster-proof, Rachel noted the many ways in which that’s not really true, so let’s not get cocky.

On the other hand, Democrats, please don’t get lazy or cowardly either. Take your calcium supplements and eat your oysters. We want to see some spines and nards out there. (In light of recent events, Senators, please note: We do not literally want to see some nards out there.)

To add inspiration to the getting things done part, Rachel ran through some of the legislative greatest hits of the past few months and then welcomed Senator Amy Klobuchar (Also D! Also Minnesota!) to chat about the long road to getting a second Senator and try to wrestle another prediction and some lottery numbers out of her.

I hope Rachel keeps finding reasons to have Senator Klobuchar on even though the eternal Senate Race is done. She’s always a treat.

The Man who Tried To Kill McNamara

Robert McNamara died Monday at the age of 93. He was a key player in escalating the Vietnam War and, to his later credit, seems to have regretted it and spent much of his late life working to do good in the world in an attempt to balance things out. Whether you can actually do that kind of balancing is, of course, very much open to debate.

Rachel welcomed Paul Hendrickson, author of The Living and the Dead, to talk about, well, the guy who tried to kill McNamara.

I don’t think it’s OK to get violent with public figures. I am not suggesting that anyone should. That said, this segment did make me think about how comfortable we allow our current crop of war criminals to be.

I don’t know that the Code Pink woman who shouted “War Criminal!” at a tuxedoed Donald Rumsfeld quite had the ticket either, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a little less smiling and hand-shaking and putting them on the teevee.

I don’t think we should be grabbing our war criminals by the belts and collars to throw them over railings, but, yes, I do think there should be social as well as legal consequences. Doesn’t making up fake reasons for a real war with real people dying merit a good old-fashioned snubbing anymore?

But no need to focus on the bad right now. Rachel is back, and the Twitterverse is rejoicing. Let’s wish her good health and a good work week.

And let’s hope we haven’t seen the last of the waders.

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