Thursday, January 26, 2006

On Chris Matthews

Atrios wonders, and rightly so, what's up with MSNBC's Chris Matthews' relentlessly big-upping Tom DeLay.

Actually, it's not just DeLay. When you think about it, Matthews seems to have an almost school-girl-meets-teen-idol type of relationship with several prominant Republican elected officials.

  • His 'aren't you really just a regular guy?' interview with DeLay was humiliating -- for Matthews.
  • His starry-eyed depiction of the faux majesty of George W. Bush borders on the erotic, while his 'everybody likes Bush' nonsense betrays an embarassing estrangement from reality.
  • I was sure that at some point during his pre-recall election interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matthews was going to whip out a pen and ask for Arnold's autograph.

Meanwhile, his contempt for prominent Democrats like the Clintons, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi -- to say nothing of the Republicans' favorite liberal hobgoblin Michael Moore -- is so palpable my TV screen warps every time Matthews positions himself to take a gratuitous swipe at one of them.

I'm no professional psychotherapist, but what I see here is a little kid who yearns to be buddies with the local bully -- the yapping little puppy sidekick to the proverbial ornery bulldog. Bush, DeLay, Arnold: they represent the kicking ass-for-the-sake-of-kicking-ass wing of elected officaldom, and I think that's what turns him on now. He probably got scarred by his time working for Jimmy Carter, taking away the lesson that the only true virtue in politics is the raw exercise of power. If Kerry were president, Matthews would be cutting him up daily, no matter how good a job Kerry were doing, because Kerry lacks the rock-star quality and the heartlessness needed for the pointless pummeling Matthews becomes orgasmic over.


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