Thursday, September 6, 2012

The alternate universe of Chris Mathews

Years and years ago, I went to special on-location taping of Hardball with Chris Mathews at the campus of the University of Miami. This was in 2004, just prior to the first debate between President Bush and Senator Kerry. It was the glory days of 24-hour cable news and political punditry, when the pundits were less concerned with each other and their ratings and more into being dicks to their guests, regardless of political affiliation. Mathews was a pip then, but he was also one of the big boys, a Washington DC insider who had been an early entrant into the cable talking head game back in the 1990s.

Mathews has become something of a joke in my opinion. He doesn't have anything original or interesting to say anymore, but plays the part of just another partisan hack, tossing softball questions to those whom he agrees with politically and hammering those he disagrees with, usually by asking a question then cutting them off when they attempt to respond. His public man-crush on the President is simply too much to bear, from the leg-tingling to the silly pronouncement of Obama being the "last Kennedy brother."

All that said, it's sometimes interesting to see what Mathews is saying, only if to better understand the mass delusion that afflicts a good portion of progressives and liberals in this country. His latest, from the Democratic National Convention:
Look, the only people who haven't had it tough in the last four years are the rich. They've had it easy, and I think that's obvious. And now they're afraid they might get somebody in the next four years who might start winning battles.  
By the way, the best way to beat the right-wing is to beat them. If he beats them in this election, they're finished. And I think that's the point. And the moderates will come back. And Jeb Bush will come back. And the people like [Charlie Crist] will come back. The moderates will retake the party if you smash the right.
Funny stuff. If Obama is the last Kennedy brother, Mathews must be the last--and least--Marx brother (he'd be Karl Marx, of course). The first part is a hoot. The rich have had it easy for the last four years--under who, Chris? Ahh...Barack Obama--but now they might get someone who will challenge them? Who would that be, Chris? Ahh...Barack Obama.

Apparently--in Mathews-land--even though Obama has been President for four years, he really hasn't done anything, but if he wins this time, then watch out! Now, he's going to do something. A helluva campaign ad, this is. It's made even more amusing by Mathews' total lack of command of the facts. Because even though Obama might win a second term, it doesn't follow that he will therefore "get serious," that he will be able to start "winning battles." Why? Because the Democrats are still miles and miles away from taking control of the House. Even worse, there's a fair possibility that the Republicans might take control of the Senate in this election. Currently, the RCP No Toss Up map has the Republicans gaining four seats and, in fact, gaining a majority, 51 to 49.

Let's allow that Obama wins reelection (however painful this may be for some). If he faces a Republican-controlled Congress and a Supreme Court tilted slightly against him (along with a majority of Republican governors), what battle is he going to win? Most likely, Obama will end up playing a lot more golf.

Which brings us to the second portion of Mathews' spiel, the idea that an Obama victory means the right wing is finished. Finished. That's an awfully heavy word, a mighty big prediction. It reminds me of James Carville's prediction in 2009, about how the Democrats will rule for the next forty years. Carville was so
certain of this that he published a book on the idea, currently out of print yet still in stock (used hardcovers available for a penny)! And a big newsflash for Mathews: Charlie Crist is no longer welcome to come back. Who gives a crap if he does, anyway? He has no future. He mad his bed, now he gets to lie in it.

Really, the Right is in the catbird's seat here. If Romney loses, the argument will be that he was was too moderate, not a true conservative, etc. The truth or lack thereof of this assertion is inconsequential, for it will be made regardless. If the Republicans simultaneously take control of the Senate, it will be presented as total vindication for the conservatives/far right because it will be these kinds of candidates who deliver the Senate, just as they delivered the House in 2010. If the economy recovers, it will be because Congress stood in the way of Obama, thanks to the conservatives in control of it. If the economy doesn't recover, it will be because Obama stood in the way of Congress. And this will play because Obama--when he had a Democratic-controlled Congress--accomplished nothing.

Chris Mathews makes a fair amount of money, from what I hear. And he makes it because he's supposed to be a political analyst and commentator. But the above bit marks him as a failure on both fronts, as it's devoid of any real analysis and is mind-numbingly stupid, as well. Well, it seems so to me at any rate. But I guess Mathews has some company in his alternate universe, though I'm hoping most are finally realizing it's time to get the hell out before it collapses in on itself and is swallowed whole by Mathews on Ted Kennedy Appreciation Day.

Cheers, all.

1 comment:

  1. Mathews is not the only one

    The guys at powerline are obviously conservative and pretty partisan, but the videos and the link are simply disturbing