Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chris Matthews doesn't care about the country

He really doesn't. All he cares about is making political hay and championing his "side," no matter what the cost or what the facts. This has become abundantly clear in the last week or so, ever since the Boston Marathon bombings. On the actual day of the bombings, Matthews went on the air--on his show "Hardball" and during the day's live coverage of the bombings--and tried to make a case for the identity of the bombers based on the date of the incident, suggesting that it was a domestic attack from the "far right," even that the target was possibly the Democratic Party (because of the erroneous reporting of a bomb at the Kennedy Library). Speaking to terrorism expert Michael Leiter, Matthews says:
Let me ask you about domestic terrorism as a category. Normally, domestic terrorists, people tend to be on the far right, well that's not a good category, just extremists, let's call them that. Do they advertise after they do something like this? Do they try to get credit as a group or do they just hate America so much or its politics or its government that they just want to do the damage, they don't care if they get public credit, if you will?

I was just thinking, again, it's early; it's an early situation, but going after the Kennedy Library, not something at Bunker Hill, not something from the freedom trail or anything that kind of historic, but a modern political figure of the Democratic Party. Does that tell you anything?
And speaking to Congressman William Keating earlier in the day, Matthews says:
So many iconic days — it’s Patriots Day, it’s the Marathon Day, it’s the Kennedy Library always up there. And also as you point out — I just forgot because I filed already — that it’s filing day for the federal income tax, which does cause some emotions around the country, sometimes in the wrong parts of the brain.
Matthews very badly wanted to lay the bombings at the feet of the far right, he wanted to have an easily exploitable connection to the Republican Party and the Tea Party, with regard to these heinous attacks. Thus, he was quick to offer reasons for the "why" behind the attacks, as a key to "who" behind them, both with regard to specific people and with regard to an ideology.

Now, days later, it's crystal clear that the bombings were undertaken by radical Muslim extremists, though they may very much have been acting alone. The suspect now in custody--Dzhokhar Tsarnaev--has apparently admitted as much to the authorities:
The hospitalized Boston Marathon bombing suspect charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction has told investigators that he and his brother were motivated by religion but were not in contact with overseas terrorists or groups, officials said.
Dzhokhar also claims that he and his brother learned how to make the bombs from the internet, even learned about radical Islam from the internet (and yes, there are people now arguing that the internet "radicalized" these brothers; I'm sure there's an "it's the internet's fault" defense in the works). But whether or not he is speaking the truth in all of this, these are still important issues, knowing how he and his brother were able to do what they did, knowing why they chose to do it.

Not to Chris Matthews, however (my boldface):
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FBI PROFILER: No, it's really coming together. I mean, there's -- as terrible as this case is and was, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of heavy lifting. We've got the two primary individuals. It's obvious that they had hands on the devices. The pieces we don't have, Chris, are where was their inspiration? Where did they get the guidance? Who taught them how to build the bombs? Where did they build them? These are a lot of questions.  
MATTHEWS: Why is that important? Why is that important to -- is that important to prosecuting? I mean, what difference does it make why they did it if they did it? I'm being tough here. But I don't know whether, when you look at all this evidence--
That's Matthews just the other night. It's a stunning transformation of position, it really is. In a matter of days, Chris went from worrying about the "why" behind the attacks, both for what it possibly meant in context (an attack on the Democratic Party) and what it said about the identity of the people responsible for them, to saying that the "why" doesn't matter at all, now that we have the last suspect in custody.

But we all know the reason for this transformation: now that the terrorists are known to be foreign-born Muslims and not "right-wing goons" of one sort or another, Matthews sees no opportunity to push his ideological goals with the issue. He sees no way to score points against "the enemy." And for Matthews, the enemy is made up of people who disagree with him politically, it's conservatives, Republicans, and the like, especially ones that can be labeled "tea partiers."

Chris Matthews doesn't care a whit about the safety and security of the nations at large. This is evidenced by his own words. He has no interest in understanding why and how terrorists act--information that could help protect us from future acts of terror--unless those terrorists fit the template for his political adversaries (or imagined adversaries, really).

Cheers, all.

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