Richard Wolffe is ubiquitous on MSNBC as a “political analyst.” Just what qualifies him a being such a general know-it-all is kind of a mystery, unless the provincials are just that impressed by a British accent.
But when Wolffe’s Anglo-ness should have been an asset on Hardball Thursday night, he could not even identify one of the 20th Century’s monumental British thinkers, C.S. Lewis, as anything other than the author of “kids’ books.”
Of course, he was in the MSNBC anything-Sarah-Palin-says-is-stupid default mode, and caught up in a allegedly hilarious bit of Palin Derangement Syndrome patter.
WOLFFE: All “The Chronicles of Narnia.” (LAUGHTER) … Look, divine inspiration from a series of kids books?… But divine inspiration? There are things she could have said for divine inspiration. Choosing C.S. Lewis is an interesting one.
Yes, how could anyone get inspiration from Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, Surprised by Joy… oh, right only millions have.
To get the full smug Monty, you need to watch the video.
MATTHEWS: Well, here she is again…telling Barbara Walters what she reads, a dangerous area. Let‘s listen. (LAUGHTER)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:
I read a lot of C.S. Lewis when I want some divine inspiration. I read Newsmax and “Wall Street Journal.” I read all of our local papers, of course, in Alaska, because that‘s where my heart is. I read anything and everything that I can get my hands on, as I have since I was a little girl. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: I just love Barbara Walter‘s face, that discerning look: I have seen you people come and go. What is this number all about?
I could just see her looking at this candidate…
WOLFFE: …All “The Chronicles of Narnia.” (LAUGHTER)
WOLFFE: Look, divine inspiration from a series of kids books? I don‘t think C.S. Lewis would really want Newsmax in –
Here, Matthews puts his Catholic school education to use for once, and tries to warn Wolffe off, that he’s showing his ignorance, but Wolffe is so clueless about anything not in the Leftie Lexicon, that he doesn’t get the warning.
This is especially delicious if you know that Wolffe graduated from Oxford with a degree in English and French literature– C.S. Lewis was arguably Oxford’s most prominently known writer and philosopher of the latter half of the 20th Century– and his specialty as a professor was in Medieval English literature.
MATTHEWS: But I wouldn‘t put down C.S. Lewis.
WOLFFE: No, I‘m not putting him down.
WOLFFE: But divine inspiration? There are things she could have said for divine inspiration. Choosing C.S. Lewis is an interesting one.
Actually, it’s a really common one, especially for anyone whose faith has ever been challenged by grief or loss.
The Problem of Pain is a great solace for someone who wonders why a loving god allows tragedy. That same someone might be comforted by A Grief Observed, which shows how the author of The Problem of Pain dealt with unbearable tragedy in his own life.
Someone, for instance, who no matter how much joy she derives from her son, and no matter what a great outlook she has, might wonder why God allows birth defects…
I’m sure this won’t hurt Wolffe’s status with Chris Matthews, since he still has Andrew Sullivan, who has lost his mind on the subject of all the Palin children on his weekend show on a regular basis.
Tomorrow, Richard Wolffe will be free to return to Hardball and chuckle at how poorly read Sarah Palin is. Forget the facts, preserve the legend.