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Toads, Trolls and Chris Matthews’ “Non-Partisan” Fantasy Land

Posted on January 6 2011 9:00 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.
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Despite occasional lapses, Politico is one of the better straight news organizations covering Washington these days, but they had a hard time keeping a straight face recently, when Chris Matthews ludicrously described his show “Hardball” as “non-partisan.”

Last night on “Hardball,” when Pat Buchanan used the boilerplate phrase “Wish them well,” referring to John Boehner’s new majority, Matthews exploded.

“I don’t wish them well!”

But this wasn’t an isolated moment of clarity. 

On the days leading up to Christmas, besides making one of the all time silliest movie references, Chris had a daily session with Mother Jones—and former Nation—“reporter,” Marxist David Corn to tag Republican’s “killers” and “vicious,” with an altogether weird “toad” reference thrown in:

Here’s how “n0n-partisan” Chris opened his first session with Corn: (video not available)

MATTHEWS: Leading off tonight: That‘s right, Republican death panels.  Good name for them, isn‘t it.  How else do you describe the Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate?  All they do is kill things, their leader a proud, chilling killer of bills and Democratic presidencies, he hopes.  Their mission, to destroy whatever gets in their way.

Consider this crowd‘s rap sheet.  They voted against the job-creating stimulus bill, against the health care bill, against financial regulation.  Their leader, Dr. Death himself, Mitch McConnell, now chortles with chilling delight about what he intends doing next year…

David, I have never seen a character like this before, Mitch McConnell.  He seems like a character that only Charles Dickens could have fully created, you know.

Whew, think what he could say if he weren’t so objective!

I will just cut through some really tiresome blather—Chris may have sampled the eggnog too early and too often (like Democrats voting in Chicago)—and just give you the pertinent phraseology:

MATTHEWS ON REPUBLICANS:  I think it‘s vicious…  that their goal in life is to kill the other side politically.

You know, the term “death panel” was cooked up by the former governor of Alaska, but I think it fits the Republican caucus better than anybody.

MATTHEWS: (on McConnell) I think he‘s trying to replace Dick Cheney as the troll under the bridge.  (LAUGHTER)  He waits for the kid to cross the bridge and bites him on the ankle.  In this case, he wants to kill him and drown him.

The panel of David Corn and Jonathan Allen had enough trouble responding to Matthews’ reference to the romantic comedy “Love, Actually” which neither indicated they had actually seen, but the stunned scrambling to keep the conversation on an adult level while Chris went on this tangent was hilarious to watch:

MATTHEWS:  Are they going to replace the Republican icon, the elephant, the mascot, with a toad?  I mean, is that what this party‘s going to be, a toad, Jonathan Allen?

ALLEN:  I don‘t think—

MATTHEWS:  Just somebody who basically—

ALLEN:  I don‘t think the logo committee—

MATTHEWS: — is against—

ALLEN:  I don‘t think the logo committee at the Republican National Committee is going to change the elephant for a toad.  I would disagree with David on this point.  I think that‘s what got them in the majority, the no, the killing of bills, standing in the way, but I think they do have a need to govern.  And I think we‘re seeing that in this lame duck Congress, part of the productivity—

The guests performed the best double take to the mention of a toad I have seen since—watch carefully, Chris, this is how to use a movie clip—the Coen Brothers’ great film “O Brother, Where Art Thou”:

Though speaking of toads, Chris, you certainly played the toady of late…

And, of course, it’s not just political power the Republicans are after, they want to reconstitute the Old Confederacy (which, by the way, their party was founded to defeat) and enslave black people once again!

MATTHEWS: Coming up: Is all this talk about states‘ rights a recap of the old days, the bad old days?

[Republicans] talking like antebellum Southerners?I remember back in the ‘60s growing up, a lot of libertarian kids thought Goldwater was cool.  But then all the racist got behind him and you saw all the rebel flags behind him, because he voted against civil rights.

Which led to this purposely dishonest canard:

Congressman, I looked at that poll we had last week at NBC.  And I‘m proud of our polls because it teaches you stuff if you really look closely at it.  There‘s a portion of the American people who hate Michelle Obama.

Now, I can‘t think of a reason in the world why you would hate this well-turned-out woman, who‘s bringing up her kids well, who‘s done nothing more really than fighting childhood obesity and looking out for her family.  And if a person hates her, I have got to believe it‘s race, it‘s tribal.

What do you think?  Why would you hate Michelle Obama?

Of course, NO poll ever asked the question, “Do you hate Michelle Obama?”  Matthews deliberately took a disapproval rating into that territory.

But then, if you are right and the other side is wrong, who needs objectivity?  It’s not partisan to oppose the “vicious,” it’s just the right thing to do, right?

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