THE PUNDITS NEW HAIRLINES! We still refuse to see whats true. Our tribe still refuses to say it: // link // print // previous // next //
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2007
REVIEWING THE REDNECKS: It has now become the place where hip Washingtonians start their day. If you want to be in the know in that town, you tear open your Washington Post and learn how The Front-Runners are dressing. Heres the start of this mornings post about how Fred Thompson looks:
Finally! This morning, on Day Four of this stunning series, we arent confined to wardrobe inanities. We also get the cultural condescension that is rarely far behind when our simpering upper classes offer their deathless critiques of the field hands. Meanwhile, in his How He Talks piece, Milbank helps us with phonetic spellings of Thompsons slow-drawl.
Back to Givhan. Thompson has a fondness for pale-blue shirts, she deathlessly writes. He doesn't mind a polo shirt as long as it's emphatically unstylish.
And what about Thompsons Social Security plan? Sorry. In his How Hes Running profile, Michael Shear teases the fact that there actually is such a critter—and that its not just campaign rhetoric. It's a set of specific proposals that go beyond what any of his rivals have set forth. But in todays four profiles of Candidate Thompson, no one explains what this critter might look like. Theyre too busy letting us know how dumb those damn candidates are.
THE PUNDITS NEW HAIRLINES: Chris Matthews was especially bizarre on todays Morning Joe. (America is based on generalities.) Hoping that someone else will transcribe his remarks, we direct your attention to the remarkable conversation conducted by the red-faced ranter last night. He spoke with Times satrap Frank Rich.
Even by Hardballs oddball standards, last nights conversation helps define the crackpot journalistic culture surrounding our national politics.
Matthews began with a serious pander. No, it doesnt exactly matter. But it does help define the mans tone:
The pandering was especially nonsensical, given the fact that Rich was already running away from the absurd column hed posted on Sunday—the one which went on and on about Mike Huckabees humane vision concerning immigration. Wouldnt you know it? Even as Rich was writing this Friday (assuring us that Cornel West said), Huckabee was releasing his plan to send them all straight back to Mexico! Whatever one might think of this plan, it had nothing to do with the valentine doilies Rich was assembling. Excerpts from Richs ludicrous column will be provided below.
Yep! Rich had penned a valentine to Governor Huck. And just like that, it had fallen apart. Comically, Matthews ended up saying this to Rich in last nights conversation:
Wow! That almost sounded like an indictment of Rich. But by now, Rich had left Sundays column behind. By last night, he seemed worried about those dumb-ass journalists too, the ones who were fawning to Huckabee:
Frankly, it had certainly faded soon for Rich! But then again, has anyone treated Huckabee like a mascot any more than Matthews has? Here he is, finishing a Hardball session just a month ago:
Good lord! But exactly one month and three days later, Matthews found himself deeply worried about the way liberal journalists treat Huck like a mascot. Rich, who had french-kissed the Arkansan two days before ,was troubled by such losers too.
Question: Can any politician ever be as fake as these two cosmic mega-frauds are? (Answer: Yes—if hes a press favorite.) But the real absurdity in last nights discussion came more from Matthews than from Rich—and it came at the start of their session. The red-faced ranter had teased the segment; he was going to share his theory about the way the election is going, he promised. I have a theory—I am going to, will share with you, he had said at the end of the previous segment. I think Im right about whats going on in this election. We are going to talk about it with some experts. Why are the voters rejecting these seemingly perfect candidates like Hillary and Romney?
Wow! Our analysts leaned forward in their seats, expectant, eager to lap up the learning. And when Rich showed up as Matthews next guest, the red-faced ranter started sharing his theory. In his first presentation, we saw something that has long been clear about this deeply odd, disturbed man. Like three-year-old children all over the world, Matthews believes that, if he feels something, everyone else must be feeling it too. This Nantucket nabob still cant distinguish his feelings from—lets just say—yours:
Hes still obsessed with that evil man claptrap! But that presentation is remarkable, in various ways. Two reactions:
First reaction: Of course! Almost surely, Hillary Clinton does think that Matthews is her moral and intellectual inferior. Who wouldnt think that after watching this dishonest man play his destructive games through the years? At this point, who doesnt think that he or she is morally superior to Matthews? Its something of a litmus test. Anyone who cant see that wouldnt be fit to serve.
Second reaction: Lets state something else that is obvious. To state the obvious, millions of people do not have the reaction to Hillary Clinton which now constitutes Matthews hunch. For example: On this same program, Matthews would eventually discuss a new poll which shows that 68 percent of Democratic voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton. (As Matthews noted, this is the highest favorable rating for any Dem in the poll.) Meanwhile, Clinton was leading Obama, 44-27, among Democrats in the new CBS poll; in todays Post, another new poll puts her lead among Dems at 30 points (53-23). Will Clinton win the Dem nomination? At this point, we have no idea. But surely, even Matthews cant believe that all those people feel subservient to her, because shes perfect, even as they support her. Surely, all those people dont feel that she thinks shes better than [them], morally as well as intellectually. On this same Hardball, Matthews would eventually cite the new CNN poll in which Clinton runs ahead of Giuliani by six (51-45). Do all those people feel subservient to her, because shes perfect? Obviously, such a notion makes no earthly sense. But so what? At the start of his confab with Rich, Matthews offered this ludicrous notion. It was his much-hyped new theory.
In doing so, Matthews made something official: Matthews is unable to distinguish between his feelings and everyone elses. (If he feels inferior, everyone must.) This strange trait has long been fairly clear. Last night, the strange man spelled it out.
At any rate, Matthews had voiced a truly absurd theory. To his credit, Rich said he only half-agreed—but soon, he made matters worse:
To Rich, it isnt just Clinton. Other Democratic contenders are afflicted by that pious liberalism too! Rich at least understands what Matthews can not—that many people feel differently than he does when they think about Hillary Clinton. But soon, Richs own views came roaring through—the views that, when applied to Vile Candidate Gore, helped send George Bush to the White House.
Soon, this well-matched pair of pundits were explaining the presidential politics of the past eight years. Matthews raised a typically vacuous point—and omigod! Oh! My! God! Rich waxed about George Bushs brilliance:
Thats why the $400 haircut keeps coming up, Rich said—bringing the $400 haircut up. And beyond that, that was the brilliance of Bush! Somehow, Bush was able to convince the public that he was a regular fellow.
That was the brilliance of Bush! Somehow, hed convinced us of that! But to all appearances, neither Rich nor Matthews had any idea just exactly how Bush had done that. More specifically, neither man seemed to recall that, during the course of Campaign 2000, they and their wardrobe-obsessed ship of tools had recited such cant about Bush for two years! Somehow, Rich failed to remember the way he trashed Gore all through the campaign. (Or the way hed invented Love Story.) And neither man recalled the way Matthews talked up brilliant Bush.
And things would get worse before they were done. Omigod. Matthews said this:
Do you mind if we tell you a small, dirty secret? In normal parlance, this man is insane. Chris Matthews is out of his mind.
A few weeks back, we happened to show you the ludicrous sessions, in 1999, when this cosmic public crackpot shared his theory about people with receding hairlines being pro-Bradley—and anti-Bill Clinton (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/13/07). Last night, he shared these borderline musings again—and said that everyone for Romney is rich. And how does he know this improbable fact about Romneys supporters? Again, because everyone he knows for Romney is rich. And there you see the dysfunction again—the three-year-olds view of the shape of the world. I dont know anybody who is for him whos not rich, Matthews says. Therefore: It just seems to be the fact out there.
Theres a term for this, and we dont mean to invoke it lightly: Chris Matthews is mentally ill. But our public discourse has been defined by this lunacy over at least the past dozen years. And like the denizens of a famous empire who once thought they saw their emperors clothes, the people who run the liberal world still cant bring themselves to see—or describe—what is right there before them. We still refuse to tell the world that the people in charge of our discourse are ill. We still pretend that Matthews private parts arent hanging right out in our faces. Ditto Givhan; ditto Milbank. And ditto the deeply ludicrous people who put their bizarre work into print.
Go ahead—reread last nights public lunacy. Include the part about the hairlines. Include the cosmic Rich-Matthews flip-flop. We still refuse to see what is true. Our tribe still refuses to say it.
Do we know that people are dying, all over the world, because of our endless liberal silence? Because of the refusal to see—the refusal to say—what is in front of our eyes?
FRANKLY, THAT WAS RICH: Two days later, the 1500 words were inoperative. But heres a bit of Richs pandering to his former mascot, Huckabee. Remember: This is the guy who was still trashing Gore even after his film came out:
Oops. Two days before this column appeared, Huckabee had released his send-them-all-back-to-Mexico plan. And two days after this column appeared, Rich seemed to have disavowed it. Speaking with Matthews, he seemed pretty sure that the bullsh*t about Huckabee would soon fade.
But then, this cosmic loser didnt stop trashing Gore until Gore won the Nobel peace prize! To this day, the liberal/Dem world refuses to see how things stand.