I used to respect Chris Matthews for being a liberal who was interested in both sides of an argument. Over the last couple of years, as Matthews has become increasingly blinded by his crush on Barack Obama, my respect for the Hardball host has faded. However, it was not until last night that I sadly realized that Matthews had become unhinged from reality. I only watched the first ten minutes of Hardball last night, but that was long enough to learn that
1) Matthews believes that right wing hatred of Democratic presidents is so pernicious that it’s even responsible for John F. Kennedy’s assassination by avowed Communist Lee Harvey Oswald:
What is it about the zeitgeist, the atmosphere in the air, in that case, very virulently right- wing hatred of Jack Kennedy, that may have sprung or triggered even a left- winger like Oswald to do what he did? … A communist sympathizer like Lee Harvey Oswald … kills in the atmosphere of a right-wing hatred of a lefty.
2) Matthews considers what Rep. Joe Wilson did – or standing outside a town hall meeting with a gun or anti-Obama sign – akin to assassinating the president:
What is it that triggers? Is it the sense that the whole atmosphere is, this guy is not legitimate, the guy I’m about to shoot or the guy I’m about to humiliate with carrying a gun or with a sign or yelling out, “You lie.”
3) Matthews has no memory of the left-wing protest signs and cartoons that portrayed George W. Bush as a chimpanzee and compared him to Hitler and the Nazis:
You can go to a rally and hold up a sign talking about the man in the White House being some kind of animal, that he’s a Hitler guy, the fact that somebody would know they can get away with carrying a sign like that without being shunned, pushed aside, even beaten up, tells me there’s a license out there. … You wouldn’t hold up a sign like that a few months ago.