In his Let Me Finish segment, in which he takes one topic discussed on his show and gives the audience his own take, Chris Matthews went after the far right of the country for dragging down “one of this country’s historic political parties.”
“The Republican party has given us great moderate leaders in the past. Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower. It’s given you flawed leaders who were, nonetheless, great Americans. I think of Ulysses S. Grant, for example, who won the Civil War and who was a true believer in reconstruction after the war. I don’t know where the tradition I’ve just described broke off and this new thing took over. I think it was passage of the Civil Rights Bill back in ’64, when the enemies of civil rights flipped from the party of Jefferson to the party of Strom Thurman, or maybe it was the supreme court ruling banning prayer in public school, but what we have today is a different, deeply different Republican party than the one that fought slavery and championed conservation in the old days.”
Matthews then leveled some of the candidates of the far right including Sarah Palin, who “talks like thinking isn’t necessary, it may not even be good for people.” And Newt Gingrich who “uses his mind to say truly hateful things.”
There are candidates, like Romney and Pawlenty, who are better than that, but it may be impossible for them to get through without having to go low.
“John McCain tried to beat them, the zealots, once. The family values types went after his family. George Bush’s father tried to take them on. Ronald Reagan managed to charm them, but he was a rarity. The danger today is the only way to win the nomination is get past the gatekeepers of the right, and they aren’t looking to let anybody past who isn’t dead right, like them.”
And then Matthews made his own over-the-top, outlandish statement, almost like he was trying to beat them at their own game.
“Maybe this is God’s will that Obama not have a reasonable opponent out there. How’s that for an incendiary statement?”
Divine intervention as interpreted by Chris Matthews.
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