Rhonda Robinson

Chris Matthews May Have Accidentally Said Something Smart

Posted on February 12 2010 6:20 pm
Rhonda Robinson is part of NewsReal's editorial team. As a columnist, Rhonda has provided readers with thoughtful insight into social, political, and parenting issues since 1995.
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Every mother has at least one story of a child that says something embarrassingly truthful; unexpectedly exposing a family secret. After the initial redness fades, it usually falls into the family memory bank; to be later withdrawn at family gatherings.

When a politician does it, it’s called a gaffe. Although the redness doesn’t usually appear until it comes out on YouTube.

When Chris Matthews, accidentally says something embarrassingly truthful, it is a rarity that should certainly be acknowledged.

That’s what happened when the host of MSNBC’s Hardball, asked Democratic Strategist, Steve McMahon if daring the Republicans to filibuster was a good tactic. They could after all, read the health care bill out loud, for the voters.


“Is it smart for your side, which controls the floor in the Senate in the United States and the House of Representatives, you control the proceedings; is it smart for you to dare the Republicans? Say, ‘Okay, we’re going to try to get a vote on health care; an up or down vote, on a compromise between the House and Senate. You guys go out and filibuster.’ Would that be a smart tactic?”

McMahon stuck to the party talking points; how the Republicans needed to first bring their ideas to the table. Of course, he also said they don’t have any ideas. Then added if the Republicans want to filibuster, because they don’t have an alternative, then that would be a good idea.

But he missed where Matthews was going with it. So Matthews tried again.


“Back to my point: a filibuster is when Senators go out, and they used to just read the bible, or read the telephone book. These men and women would be able to go on the floor every night, and read particular provisions of the democratic health bill, that were a problem for the voters. Would that be smart to let them do that?”

What Matthews managed to say without saying it, was obviously, hey look– they are going to go stand up night after night, read out loud what you are trying to ram down the voter’s throats. Do you really want to remind the voters of what’s in that bill? Do you really want to do that?

He’s not as cute as a five year old, but it was pretty good for him, considering he spends so much time building Obama-castles in the sky.

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