Chris Matthews is probably one of the few white guys on television that can say the crap that he says and not only keep his career intact, but even avoid anyone commenting on it. Either he has sold his soul to the devil (going price is a fifth of Old Crow), or he’s totally irrelevant, or he’s said so much strange crap that no one even notices, or he’s simply an old sot who’s lost the ability to control his impulses. Take, for instance, the Thursday edition of Hardball (the singular is telling).
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Coming up, a meltdown in the Trump camp. Catch this. This is wilder. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explodes at a White House meaning for undermining him. They say the people around the President — the personnel people are screwing him. It’s a far cry from that love feast we watched a few weeks ago, which is right out of Mengistu’s government in Ethiopia with all the people bowing to the president. Apparently all is not well in paradise.
Well, according to The American Conservative magazine, Secretary Tillerson believes he’s been contradicted and undermined by the White House. A close associate of Secretary Tillerson explained: “Rex is just exhausted. He can’t get any of his appointments approved and is running around the world cleaning up after a president whose primary foreign policy adviser is a 36-year-old amateur.” Now, Ashley, I’m allowed to have opinions and one of my opinions was that nepotism is a bad thing in government. It just is. You put Uday and Qusay in your government and you’re going to have a problem with everybody else in the government because nobody can fight with them. Nobody can challenge them and, in the end, the son-in-law is always right because he can always to go his father-in-law or his wife and say they were mean to me. Do something about it. It is a disastrous decision from day one and now we find Kushner in the Middle East, brokering the Middle East peace process, whatever it is, among the Arabs and Israelis and Likud and everybody else and meanwhile, Tillerson is sitting around doing what? He can’t even appoint his own deputies. The power seems to have gone to the son-in-law. This is the Romanovs. Just a thought. The Romanovs. Is it?
MATTHEWS: Is it a royal family instead of a Democratic or a Republican form of government? Or is it a family running the government? Is it Ivanka and Jared and the President sitting around in the White House upstairs ruling the world?
MATTHEWS: And then you find out in all these investigations that Jared was opening up a tunnel to Moscow so he wouldn’t have to deal with the State Department. So the son-in-law — you know, one good thing Mussolini did was execute his son-in-law. I mean, I’m talking about Ciano.
FRANK BRUNI: Let’s be careful here, yeah.
MATTHEWS: That was an extreme measure. But this was — this is a strange situation.
Seems like he could have fitted the Kennedy administration in there somewhere if he’s concerned about nepotism but then his shooting metaphor might have gained more attention.
The shoot-the-son-in-law seems to be part of Matthews repertoire. I missed it, but back on inauguration day he said something very similar:
“It’s hard, Rachel, it’s hard to fire your son-in-law,” the Hardball host said. “That’s the tricky part. But Mussolini had a great solution to that. He had them executed.”
Even Rachel Maddow was taken about [I think the word they were searching for was ‘aback’] by Matthews’ comment.
“Jesus, Chris,” the Rachel Maddow Show host said.
“So if I were Jared, I’d be a little careful,” Matthews added.
Matthews’s last rant was so unseemly that even the left took notice. This from Huffington Post:
Putting aside the poor taste of at least creating the impression that Mr. Matthews thinks it might be doing “one good thing” for President Trump to have his son-in-law executed, the comment reveals a dismal lack of historical knowledge, particularly for a long-time political commentator who has built a reputation for sophisticated insights.
As far as the execution Mussolini ordered for his son-in-law, the act that Chris Matthews highlighted as the “one good thing” Mussolini did, here are the facts. In mid-1943, Ciano was one of the members of the Fascist Grand Council who voted to depose Mussolini, believing only through the dictator’s removal could Italy be spared from becoming a bloody battlefield. Unfortunately, German military intervention rescued Mussolini, and ensured that Italy would become a major battlefield in the Second World War. Ciano was taken into custody by Mussolini’s rump fascist state and its German protectors. Seeking revenge, Mussolini arranged for a show trial that would condemn to death all the members of the Fascist Grand Council who voted for his removal. Ciano was at the top of the list of “traitors,” not only for his opposition to Mussolini, but also because the Nazi leadership knew Ciano was an enemy, and encouraged Mussolini to have his son-in-law killed.
And so, Mr. Matthews, explain again how the execution of this man was the one good thing Mussolini did, and why this is an example that President Donald Trump should emulate?
One would think that, after the Bernie Boy shot up the GOP baseball team practice, sensible people might pull their punches before advocating shooting or beating people because there is always someone who thinks it is a great idea. If MSNBC had any standards at all, they’d suspend Matthews over this bullsh**. Even if they don’t care if he wants Jared Kushner dead they should be concerned that he doesn’t really know jack sh** about World War II history.