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NewsReal Sunday: Confusing My Religion: Chris Matthews Genuflects Before the Altar of Politics

Posted on October 4 2009 5:14 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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A couple of weeks ago, I noted that Chris Matthews was confusing the sacred and the profane by calling a joint session of Congress with the President, “a sacramental, religious experience.”  He ended this week with another wholly (holy?) inappropriate analogy to faith.

In a giddy performance that eclipsed even his usual caffeinated personality, (he would later in the broadcast gush when discussing David Letterman’s sex scandal, “I love all entertainers!”) Matthews seemed almost weak-kneed with joy at landing MSNBC’s hero of the week, Rep. Alan “Republicans want you to die” Grayson.  The tingle from his leg was running all the way up to his mouth.

MATTHEWS: Sir I have to hand it to you I think you are a Martin Luther!

Say WHAT?  “Here I stand” this isn’t:

It was an odd praise coming from a supposed Catholic, even a lapsed one… but that wasn’t the end of mangled historical references:

MATTHEWS: I remember being over there when the Berlin wall fell down with my old colleague John McLachlan and he said, “How did Luther know he could stand up against the Church?” and this is an old Jesuit talking. How did you know you could stand up to the Republicans the real clowns out there, well we could start with Limbaugh and the rest of them, and you know the whole crowd, what’s his name—Beck– the rest of them, how come you knew the way to beat these guys is to put them on defense?

Grayson, grinning ear to ear, and clearly proud—and full– of himself, accepted the accolade without embarrassment and gave an appropriately sanctimonious answer:

GRAYSON: Because they’re bullies, a bully always backs down don’t we all know that?  That’s what happened here.

Really?  I haven’t noticed anyone backing down from Alan Grayson.  I’ve heard ridicule.  I’ve heard liberals back away from his comments.  I’ve seen Democrats on the defensive trying to explain by Grayson saying Republicans want you to die and are responsible for an “American Holocaust” is not as bad as Joe Wilson blurting out “You lie.”

I’ve seen Republicans jump on the chance to sway Independents by protesting Grayson’s extreme rhetoric.  As Ben Johnson pointed out in a recent post, even Newsweek’s uber-lib Jonathan Alter thought the rant was not appropriate.  (I haven’t seen the usual suspects who generally jump on any trivializing of the word “holocaust” have anything to say here, however.)

What is not in evidence is that Alan Grayson accomplished anything other than to be a constant presence on MSNBC for 2 days.

Chrissy did not really ask anything of substance in the segment, it was more of a Tiger Beat fan club affair, like a teenaged girl in the 70s getting her chance to chance to interview Donny Osmond.  So, we got probing questions like: “Did you get any mean looks from the Republicans like Boehner… by the way Beohner, doesn’t Boehner look like a golfer who has just blown to put all the time?  Doesn’t he?”


It may be just a coincidence, but the most famous person to misapply the notion of what’s  “holy” was named Grayson…

Maybe Chris was just auditioning for the part of Robin in Batman Retires: The Case of the Missing Medicare.

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