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Pants on Fire: Chris Matthews’s New Problem with “Anti-Americanism”

October 7, 2009

“I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire.”

–Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 1927

For the past 6 years, Chris Matthews has hosted a show in which guests gleefully reported the purported success of both indigenous insurgents and foreign al Qaeda fighters in Iraq.  On his network, MSNBC, that became the default setting.  They were the publicity arm of al Qaeda.  Car bombs led the news, successful American battles, infrastructure completion, or the like were not even news.  Bagdad Bob had nothing on them.

Chris would evoke the worst kind of moral equivalence by constantly posing some form of this the question, “Wouldn’t you be mad if someone invaded America and imposed a different form of government they thought was better?  Wouldn’t you fight back?”

Anyone who thought this was unpatriotic was the worst kind of scoundrel, an unquestioning lackey of the Bush Administration who was trying to quash dissent, the highest form of patriotism.

Losing a war was chump change compared to defeating evil Republicans.

Now, finally, Chris Matthews has spotted REAL anti-Americanism—people who were happy that President Obama was humiliated in his vanity-laden attempt to bring the Olympics to Chicago.

Oh, the horror.

Matthews’s Monday show intro was unintentionally revealing, though not part of the video on the MSNBC website:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Anti-American?  Let’s play HARDBALL.  Good evening. I’m Chris Matthews in Washington. Leading off tonight:

The right roots against America. Remember how Republicans questioned Democrats’ patriotism during the Bush years, how you were either with Bush or with the terrorists? So what do we make the of the glee some prominent Republicans felt when Chicago and President Obama lost its Olympics bid? It’s one thing to argue politics and policy, what’s good and what’s bad for America. That’s what we do right here on HARDBALL. It’s another thing to root for America to fail.

Yeah, whether America wins a war or keeps thousands of innocent Americans are massacred on a normal work day—or Chicago gets the Olympics.  Same thing.  We won’t mention that more than HALF OF CHICAGO didn’t want the Olympics.

But the comparison tells us more about Chris Matthews than he meant to reveal, or wants to admit about his side of the political divide. Is he finally admitting that liberals rooted against America winning the war in Iraq so they could use it against George Bush?

Guest Terry Jeffrey did a great job of trying to bring a perspective of reality to Chris’s newfound feverish patriotism—which is really Obamism:

JEFFREY: I don’t think the city of Chicago getting the Olympics is synonymous with a vital national interest of the United States. I mean, you could be from Chicago and not want the Olympics to come to Chicago.

Exactly right.  Later, Jeffery got to the main point of who roots for America, which caused Matthews to lose it and throw out a mangled version of Churchill’s great quote.

MATTHEWS: You don’t think-just to get back to our point here, you don’t sense that on the right-well, maybe I’m asking the wrong person to agree with this-that there is a goal here that anything where there’s a contest, a chance to prove its success, whether it’s ideological, whether it’s pro-American or political or partisan, any chance for Barack Obama to fail, your side is going to root for him to fail, whatever it is. He must fail at any moment. Whether it’s health care, whether it’s the Olympics, whatever it is, you will cheer if he fails. Are you denying that now?

JEFFREY: Not any place, most places. There’s one place, clearly, where conservatives ought not want him to fail, and that…

MATTHEWS: No, but don’t be selective. Isn’t it true…

JEFFREY: No, it’s not true.

MATTHEWS: … that the evidence of this past week is, wherever he attempts to do something, you guys want him to stumble.

JEFFREY: No, actually, that’s true because…

MATTHEWS: Give me an example where you’re rooting for him.

JEFFREY: Well, let me give you an example. I’m very much rooting that what President Obama chooses to do, which he hasn’t yet chosen to do, in Afghanistan works because all Americans share an interest in our country succeeding in Afghanistan. It’s important for our national security that it happens. I hope his policy in Iraq succeeds. I hope what he does with the Gitmo prisoners, Chris, succeeds. I think conservatives are very much worried that he will not succeed because they think his policies in those areas may be wrong-headed.

On the domestic front, I think conservatives are opposed to just about everything President Obama is trying to do because he’s trying to augment the power of government over our lives and diminish our individual freedom. So to the degree that his ability to leverage the Democrats in Congress to attain his agenda is diminished, that’s a good thing for the United States of America….

MATTHEWS: … most of this began last fall under George Bush. The bringing in of Hank Paulson from Goldman Sachs, the whole works, the whole downfall of Wall Street, the attempt to bail out Wall Street, the banking industry, the failure of General Motors and those industries began long before Barack Obama came into office. He came in to clean up the mess, and I refuse not to take sides between the fire brigade and the fire. He’s the fire brigade. Your side was the fire.

During his softball interview with Alan “Republicans want you to die in the health care holocaust” Grayson, Matthews ludicrously exclaimed “I don’t always take sides, but you are right!”  Now we get it, Republicans are the fire, Barack Obama is the fire brigade.

However, when it comes to the American military versus America’s real enemies, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran—or in the case of civilization versus barbarians in, say Gaza, Chris Matthews has a lot harder time discerning who is the fire brigade.

To use Chris’s mangled analogy, he and his colleagues spent 5 years reporting on deaths and injuries to the fire brigade, but never mentioned any of the fires they put out.  But don’t you DARE call that anti-American.

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  1. MaryAnn permalink
    October 8, 2009 5:45 am

    I guess I’m one of those people who want America to fail. I was so happy when Obama lost the games for Chicago. In both foreign and domestic policy, I believe Obama wants America to fail. Beginning with his never ending apology tour, to his dithering about Afganistan including his admission that he’s not interested in victory- how well was that received by our soldiers, living and dead, and their families?- and ending with his disastorous economic policies, it seems clear to me that Obama has no special affection for the country he has deigned to rule. I want Obama to fail. If he fails, America wins.

  2. Judy permalink
    October 8, 2009 11:31 am

    “Wouldn’t you be mad if someone invaded America and imposed a different form of government they thought was better. Wouldn’t you fight back?”

    Yes Mr.Matthews, we are mad as hell that a communist/Marxist/statist form of govenment has invaded America and is attempting to overthrow the Constitution and replace it with a form of government that we do not want. We are mad as hell that American history is being reported as evil and requires rewritting to expose the error of our ways and point us in the direction of global unity. We are mad as hell that we are being forced to burden our grandchildren and great grandchildren with the debt that the Obama administration has incured on behalf of the very few affecting the large majority with the intent of ” leveling the playing field”. We are mad as hell that the Obama administration has structured itself on Marxist ideology, supported and advised by the most radical,racist idealogs available. We are mad as hell that the free-market, the very backbone of our economy and way of life is being scraped for the far-fetched utopian one size fits all economic disaster that has been repeatedly shown to be a failure in socialist/communist countries around the world. We are mad as hell that our children are being forceably exposed to explicit sexual education, textbooks with not only erroneous content but socialistic, anti-American and anti-religious content. We are mad as hell that we are being told that what makes absolutely no sense what so ever is actually good for us because the Obama administration says so. We are mad as hell that “the (mainstream) media” has become the 4th estate and the cheerleading team of the Obama administration, complicit in spreading misinformation and not reporting the truth/reality, or of investigating those in power. We are mad as hell that elected leaders in this country have taken upon themselves to be the all knowing parent and make decisions without the input or consent of the citizens. We are made as hell that the corruption and deceit levels in Washington D.C. cannot even be measured due to it’s pervasiveness and insidiousness. We are mad as hell that WE OURSELVES have let this happen.Through our continued lassitude, non-involvement, and non-questioning, we have allowed the dismanteling and eventual destruction of America to occur.Our children will suffer because of our non-involvement in the very process that makes America the greatest country on this planet. Shame on us. We are mad as hell Mr. Matthews because we recognize that we allowed the void in America to be filled by the empty promises of transparency, openness, truthfullness, togetherness,change and a way to prosperity for all. Shame on us. Shame on us.I for one will fight back for the sake of my children and others. Yes Mr. Matthews, I will fight back to secure a future for my children. I recognize that it will be difficult but for my children it will be worth my last breath.

    • October 8, 2009 1:09 pm

      It’s so wonderful to read someone who can put exactly how I also feel, into such a GREAT statement that I printed it and put in a frame on my wall. Well done!

    • Dr J permalink
      October 10, 2009 4:18 pm

      Thank you for such a wonderful, beautifully written & passionately expressed commentary.

      Dr. J

  3. howard g. permalink
    October 8, 2009 7:40 pm

    Mr Matthews, You and the major(should I say” former”) networks have swallowed hook,line and sinker the communist ideology of the administration.I am disgusted with the radical thinking of this administration.
    Doesn’t anyone believe in the CONSTITUTION anymore?The President took an oath to defend the constitution;but he says it is just a piece of paper which needs to be changed.
    The citizens of this great country are madder than hell!We are tired of being lied to!
    Every congressman should be ashamed of themselves by continuing to allow those congressmen who are tax cheats.liars,etc to sit on committees and/or in Congress.

    You have been a real disappointment in defending this charade before the american people.There is a backlash happening in this country.The AMERICAN PATRIOTS will regain control of this great country.


  4. Dr J permalink
    October 10, 2009 4:14 pm

    Outstanding passionate commentary & right on! In order to survive as the great USA, who we elect as new leaders will be of the utmost import, the key…I have thought hard & long on what it would take. I sincerely believe we should consider military generals, the great ones who have performed for us all under the most dire, stressfull, dangerous & consequential circumstances. Whose sole purpose is to protect & defend the US Constitution & preserve liberty & freedom for all Americans.
    What do you think?

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