Chris Matthews is becoming the mainstream media’s premier race-baiter and hatemonger. The MSNBC host is the Joe Biden of liberal commentators — an obtuse, loudmouthed Democratic hack willing to ruthlessly play the race card. He is a national embarrassment. His brand of demagogic vitriol should be denounced for what it is: ideological fanaticism masquerading as journalism.
During the GOP convention in Tampa Bay, Mr. Matthews confronted Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. On “Morning Joe,” Mr. Matthews denounced Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for playing the “ethnic” and “race” card. Why? Because Mr. Romney had made a joke about President Obama’s birth certificate at a speech in Michigan, telling the crowd that “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
For Mr. Matthews, this was “code” for racism, in order to portray the president as “other” and “outside the mainstream.” He thundered that it was part of the GOP strategy to label — and slander — Mr. Obama as a foreigner. Mr. Priebus answered that the comment was a joke — which it was. When Mr. Priebus later said that Mr. Obama’s statist policies resemble those of Europe, Mr. Matthews pounced, accusing the Republican National Committee chairman of being “insane.” Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman — according to Mr. Matthews, they all sought universal national health care. He asked: Were they under the “influence” of Europe as well?
Teddy Roosevelt never championed socialized medicine. The New Deal borrowed heavily from social policies in Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Contrary to myth, FDR was an American national socialist. He did look to Europe — in particular, fascism and corporatism — for guidance. Mr. Matthews is not only wrong, but ignorant about American and European history.
More importantly, Mr. Matthews has been accusing Republican opponents of “racism” for decades. The MSNBC host is not a serious journalist; rather, he is a Democratic apparatchik, who cut his political teeth on Capitol Hill. During the 1980s, he worked as a top aide to then-House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who was President Reagan’s nemesis. Mr. O’Neill was known for two things: his fondness for Irish whiskey and tax-and-spend liberalism — in that order. The Irish Democrat was a typical corrupt machine politician. Mr. O’Neill used the welfare state — and its legacy of crippling government dependency — to perpetuate his grip on power. Mr. Matthews frequently denounced conservatives, especially those pushing welfare reform, as Jim Crow sympathizers. He frequently compared President Reagan to George Wallace — and later to former Klansman David Duke. In his twisted mind, the Gipper was nothing more than a closet, primitive bigot.
Upon entering journalism, Mr. Matthews perfected the art of political mudslinging. He has called Republicans “terrorists.” He has fantasized on air about shooting Rush Limbaugh. He referred to the George W. Bush administration as a “regime” akin to Nazi Germany. He has accused the U.S. government of frequently engaging in “torture.” He charged the Tea Party movement of wanting “secession,” that it seeks to forge an partheid-style white-dominated ministate. His ideological worldview boils down to one idea: Opposition to liberalism is racist. This is not the belief of a serious intellectual, but a political thug — a rabid Democratic partisan who cannot deal with dissent and craves one-party rule. In short, he is a left-wing kook.
In 2008, he admitted to getting a “thrill running up my leg” every time then-candidate Obama spoke. Like many in the establishment media, he has helped to prop up Mr. Obama. And his method has been crude and vulgar: to smear anti-Obama critics with the oily brush of race. According to Mr. Matthews, Mr. Obama is defined by his skin color; hence, any criticism of his policies is based on his race. It is racialism — crass identity politics — at its worst. The failed stimulus, trillion-dollar deficits, the crippling national debt, a sclerotic economy, chronic high unemployment, rising inflation, the government takeover of the health care sector, the illegal war in Libya, the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the inability to curb Iran’s nuclear program, the push for amnesty to more than 12 million illegal immigrants, ceaseless class warfare, the contraceptive mandate and the war on religious freedom — this is Mr. Obama’s real legacy. It is marked by economic ruin, cultural disintegration and global decline.
The facts are obvious and overwhelming. Liberalism is bankrupt. It is devoid of ideas, rotten to the core and consumed by power. All it has left are crazed mad dogs like Mr. Matthews, who spend their time howling at the moon.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and host of “The Kuhner Report” on Boston’s WRKO 680-AM (www.wrko.com).
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