Tuesday's election results played grimly on Fox News, the supposedly fair and balanced network that actually exists to boost Republicanism and explain away its failures. It was left to host Sean Hannity and guests to process the Democratic dominance as it happened, but for better or for worse, there simply was no getting around Tuesday's central message: Abortion rights are very important to Americans, and Americans will turn out to protect those rights.
We'll get to Hannity’s Cirque du Copium in a second, but it's “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt who most concisely summed up the network's takeaway message. Via Acyn:
Don't look now, but the new Republican Party motto may have just dropped: "We love our babies … but what's most important is Republicans taking over."
That's a bit wordy for a bumper sticker, but I suspect few Republicans would argue with the message. At this point, it's fairly clear that the party would support putting 1 in 10 American babies in a blender and feeding the resulting slurry to cattle if that were truly the last way to keep Republicans in power. They've already pinned themselves to an attempted coup and the general premise that Republicans are allowed to get away with crimes. If Donald Trump made that one additional modest proposal, you'd have Hannity on television that very evening nodding his head and explaining why Trump was brilliant for suggesting it.
Back to Hannity's election night coverage: Decoding Fox News has a nice summary thread of all the low points.
If you're trapped in an elevator in hell and wondering, "Can I watch something on my phone that would make being in hell even more uncomfortable?" you can’t do much better (worse?) than looking into white nationalist Stephen Miller's cold, dead eyes as he Millersplains how to convince Americans to give up their rights.
Hannity really looks at this guy and thinks, "Now this is a guy who should be on television." Amazing.
The programming didn’t improve from there. There was talking head Charlie Hurt straight-up lying about supposed infanticide because, again, Fox News is a propaganda network. There was Kayleigh McEnany offering up the usual bullshit calls for nebulously better prenatal support, which Republicans have never supported and never will. But it was mostly an evening for Hannity and his motley crew to grieve about the power they're losing now that they've made abortion an issue while they also muse about what might happen if Republicans, you know ... toned it down a bit?
God, Reince Priebus has aged terribly. Don't make lying your whole career, kids; it'll Dorian Gray you into a freaky husk sooner or later. (That was a literary reference. Kids these days go nuts for literary references.)
Those were the themes: Resignation, blame-shifting, and bargaining, with some lies thrown in to reassure Fox viewers that the abortion rights proponents are genuinely evil people.
Also, it's the Supreme Court's fault for giving conservatives what conservatives have demanded of them for 50 years rather than dribbling out minor changes on a slow enough schedule that Republicans could keep pandering on the issue without fully waking the public's ire.
So abortion is "murder," which must not be allowed because something, something religious beliefs, but it's also not the kind of "murder" that should be taken seriously enough to stake Republican election chances on. Yup, that indeed has been the theme of late.
As the “Fox & Friends” philosopher said, Republicans “love our babies” and are "pro-life" and all of that stuff. But what's "most important" is "Republicans taking over."
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