On MSNBC tonight, Chris Hayes was both shocked and dismayed to realize that people tried to figure out what party Donald Sterling was a member of or voted for.
"You know what was one of the weirdest things about the whole Donald Sterling blow-up? It was the rush in the first moments after the story broke by a variety of conservatives to call Donald Sterling a Democrat. Someone out there thought, hey, I bet this guy is a Democrat, and looked up his donation records to find he had given some money to a few Democratic candidates a few years ago. As if that would be embarrassing for the Democratic party, as if that would implicate people who voted for Democrats."
He was so distraught because, as you are no doubt aware, this is a brand new thing that no one has ever done before in other circumstances or for any reason. Not. Ever.
It certainly didn't happen when census-taker Bill Sparkman was found hanged and the media and liberals online immediately tried to blame the tea party or Fox News. Nor did it happen when Joe Stack flew a plane into an IRS building in Texas and anti-tax Tea Party rhetoric was immediately pegged. It didn't happen when Amy Bishop shot colleagues at a University and the tea party was blamed. Or when Mayor Bloomberg blamed a Times Square bomb on people opposed to Obamacare. Or when James Lee attacked the Discovery Channel headquarters and global warming denial was blamed. Or when Jared Loughner shot Gabby Giffords and every right wing radio host, publication, group, and Sarah Palin campaign flyer was blamed. It didn't happen any of those times.
It didn't happen in Aurora when conservatives were blamed. Or in Boston when right-wingers were blamed. Or when Richard Poplawski shot three police officers and anti-Obama rhetoric was blamed. And it didn't happen when James von Brunn opened fire at the Holocaust museum and right wing rhetoric was blamed.
It didn't happen when, after each and every one of those incidents, then and ever since every Republican and Republican candidate is made to address them, to denounce or own them, or to explain why their political views aren't responsible. It doesn't happen every day on social media and blogs when Democrats and liberals and reporters blame Republicans and conservatives for fomenting hate and racism. Certainly no one ever tried to push the claim that conservative thought is responsible for more deaths than terrorism. Right?
It certainly didn't happen when Cliven Bundy, just a week before Donald Sterling, was pinned on all Republicans across the country. Nope. This is the first time, and Chris Hayes is totally justified in feeling surprised and caught off guard by it. Yeah, right.
Chris Hayes really, really wants you to know he really, really just can't make sense of it.
"I can't even begin to understand the mindset that hears that tape and immediately wonders which party Sterling is registered with."
Well if you really, earnestly want to understand that mindset, Chris, there is a way. Just ask your friends and colleagues. You can start with Ed Schultz and work from there.