Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chris Matthews Forgets for an Hour

Chris Matthews tried to do some thinking on MSNBC about Barack Obama after his State of the Union address last night. Let us deconstruct:

Chris MatthewsDesconstruction

"He is post-racial, by all appearances."


"I forgot he was black tonight for an hour."

And remembers the rest of the time.

"I was watching and I said, wait a minute."

Which is it, a minute or an hour?

"He's an African-American guy in front of a bunch of other white people."

Other white people?

"There he is, President of the United States, and we've completely forgotten that tonight — completely forgotten it."

Forgot "that" he is black, or forgot "that" he is President of the United States?

"I think it was in the scope of the discussion, it was so broad ranging, so in tune with so many problems and aspects of American life."

We watched the speech too and, no, that wasn't it.

"You don't think in terms of the old tribalism and the old ethnicity."

But usually thinks in those terms, it would seem.

"It was astounding in that regard, a very subtle fact. It's so hard to even talk about it. Maybe I shouldn't talk about it."

Astounding or audacious?

Some will say that Chris Matthews remarks were racist. We think not. Certainly they were racial, or at least post-racial, whatever that means.

Our problem with Chris Matthews is that we have woken up to the fact that he has been one of the active resistors to Barack Obama's desire to change the culture of politics in Washington, DC.

On paper Matthews has impressive Democratic credentials. Served in the Peace Corps. Worked on staff for Senator Edmund Muskie. Wrote speeches for President Carter. Toiled as top aide to Tip O'Neill.

In practice, Matthews uses his show Hardball as a pulpit for old school Democratic politics. The kind of politics Barack Obama campaigned against. The politics Obama promised to change. And the response of the guys like Chris Matthews in the Democratic Party to the 2000 election has been, "You can be President, and we can run things just like we always have."

And so the Hardball Democrats have not been following their President. They have worked actively or inactively to undermine him. Loading the stimulus and then health care reform down with their backroom deals, sneering at the promises of openness, thumbing their noses at the President, and at the people who voted for him.

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