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Chris Goes Coup-Coup: Matthews Losing His Grip on Reality

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Posted on February 11 2010 8:55 am
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.

Does Chris Matthews think this is a true story?

Liberals liked to accuse Ronald Reagan of being too influenced by movies, but in reality it is more generally Baby Boomer lefties who are apt to derive their worldview from iconic liberal films.

One of those is Seven Days in May.  Despite the fact that the United States military has a record of absolute obedience to civilian authority, (when perhaps a discouraging word would have been appropriate in, say, Vietnam and Iraq) and even the smallest scale mutiny is an unusually rare occurrence, liberals are nevertheless easy to convince that a military coup is just around the corner.

Chris Matthews blurted out a paranoid fantasy on Monday night–Republicans who fillibuster Obama’s agenda are plotting a military coup of the United States government!

MATTHEWS:  I know who it helps.  It helps the very far right, the very far right, the pro militarist party of the far right, the Seven Days in May types, who would like to see democracy fail so they can have absolute control over the government and begin the move so far to the right!

Wow.  Somebody borrowed Keith Olbermann’s tinfoil hat this week…

If Chris Matthews knows of United States Senators who are plotting to bring down the government with a military coup, he needs to actually make some news on his pathetic little show and name names.  Right now.  Or shut the hell up.

Of course, when Democrats were in the minority, we heard a lot of talk about how the “cooling saucer of the Senate” protects us from the tyranny of the majority, and how the filibuster was a necessary block to runaway imperial Presidential power.

And, of course, Republicans protested that issues—and judges—should come to the floor to be voted on.

But I don’t remember the filibuster being portrayed as the end of democracy and a first step to fascism—until it became a roadblock to Obamaland.

Matthews was fuming all night about Republican filibusters.  In a previous life, Matthews was shaping up to become a political historian of some note; but you would think Senate procedures had never been used this way in the history of the Republic to hear Chris’s indignant ramblings:

MATTHEWS:  Susan, let‘s go through this.  If every senator did this, we‘d have a joke of a government.  I‘ve seen democracies fail around the world.  They don‘t all succeed.  And some of them have a pretty good run and then fail.  At some point, the system just fails.  Nothing gets done.  We‘ve had democracy in Greece fail and the colonels take over.  I don‘t want to get extreme about this, but at some point, Americans are going to get really tired of a Congress and government that doesn‘t operate effectively and respond to the latest election…

MATTHEWS:  Maybe this is so outrageous that it will teach the American people a lesson about the abuses of the filibuster, which should only be used, it seems to me, on really almost existential issues, when you believe absolutely—this is the most important thing in your career and it must be stopped…

You mean like the vital existential issue of phony philandering John Edwards smearing Judge Pickering as a racist in order to score points against George W. Bush?

MATTHEWS:  We have a two-party system, Gene.  And the public hates to give so much power to one party.  But the rules say you have to give so much power to one party or nothing will get done.  We‘re in a real log jam here.

Yes, Chris, having opposition and competition is such a bother.

ROBINSON:  Well, it is a log jam, Chris.  Ultimately, this cannot be a good idea for politicians who want to continue being re-elected.  Because when I‘m traveling, the one thing that I hear is that you guys in Washington never get anything done.  You talk everything to death; you go back and forth, the same old arguments; you never get anything done.

I don‘t see how, frankly, this in the long run helps even Senator Shelby.  And certainly I don‘t think it helps his party, which is already smarting from the party of no.

“Smarting from the party of no?”  Smarting where?  Not in the polls.  Where do you go, Gene, that people are clamoring for a health care bill?  Or communist labor department officials.  Oh, right, Washington cocktail parties.

That’s when Chris completely flips.  Check out just how frozen his guests’ expressions get during this outburst—and Robinson is an Olbermann regular:

MATTHEWS:  I know who it helps.  It helps the very far right, the very far right, the pro militarist party of the far right, the Seven Days in May types, who would like to see democracy fail so they can have absolute control over the government and begin the move so far to the right.

Maybe it’s because he is getting slaughtered every night by Glenn Beck.  Maybe it’s because the only person on his network who gets ANY attention—even if it’s unfavorable—is the most outrageous hater on television, Keith Olbermann.  But Chris Matthews has abandoned all pretense of sanity, much less thoughtfulness.

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