Tom Degan, who posted on LA Progressive last Friday ("Chris Matthews Nailed It"), is my new hero…no, wait, he snuck into my head without being invited or even wearing a mask, snatched up my outrage, and then told the truth before I could. Damn, he’s good.
He beat me to it with a lot more classy a style of reporting than I'm capable of producing. The way I figure, it was for the best, anyway. Every time I start to write about Dickhead Armey’s delusional puppets in the CFFGRCoMBSK, (Corporate Financed Fake Grass Roots Carnival of Mindless Brainless Sheetless Klanspeople), I get so fu…furious that I make even less sense than usual.
I (too) wanted to rant about the absolute certainty that the basic impetus of the tea party -- which isn’t really a real party and doesn't deserve capital letters -- is nothing more than a sickening loogy of criminal racial hatred lightly seasoned with a phony threat to
“…take back our country!” by means of insurrection.
In the final analysis, of course, such a ridiculously stupid threat is totally phony because they have neither the leadership nor the guts to even come close, but I'd love to see ‘em to try. Oh, how I want those blowhards tested.
Please, you ignorant lemmings, go up against the Secret Service. Even better, and, my most fervent wish: try taking back, “your,” country from the Marine Corps. They’ll be delighted to be your escorts for the inevitable, eagerly awaited perp-walk into federal prison. C’mon, suck up that Kool-Aid moonshine and show some sand. Leavenworth’s only one specific threat away.
What? It’s not polite to bigot-bait? When did that start?
It may be old news now, but indulge me here for moment. Let’s take a good look at just one of the reptilian creatures who is now a typical icon of the teaparty (which doesn't even deserve two separate words).
Down in the beautiful, but seriously infected, state of Georgia they elected a senator by the name of Saxby Chambliss. Good Ol’ Boy Saxby, who just loves wars he doesn't have to fight, slithered out of having to serve his country twice, once by claiming to have a, “bad knee.” Poor baby.
Chambliss’ opponent in his senate race had no knees.
Captain Max Cleland lost both legs and his right arm and won a Silver Star in Viet Nam, yet this draft-dodging Saxby Chambliss character had the sickening temerity to campaign against him, believe it or not, by calling the decorated hero, “unpatriotic.” Yeah, you read it right.
Lying in his teeth, Saxby Chambliss also told his knuckle-dragging audience that Captain Cleland was, “soft on terror.”
What’s wrong with those people in Georgia? Can’t they comprehend the difference between a legitimate American patriot and a sniveling, lying coward like Saxby Chambliss? Why would they elect such an obvious liar? I mean, it ain’t like Captain Cleland is black, for chrissakes. I mean, what the damn hell were they…
Deep breath, calm down, easy, easy…
Tom Degan also mentioned Chris Matthews, who managed to pull off one of the most brilliant stunts of the current political scene.
Matthews’ nightly show appears on MSNBC, and most of MSNBC’s audience is already on the right bus, so whatever truth he speaks might be meaningful, but he’s still preachin’ to the choir. Seems like nobody else is listening, which is really frustrating. But that’s the way it is. Can’t change that situation? Can’t even hardly nudge it? How to get the truth out wider? How to get the facts out to middle America? Hmmm…
The host of MSNBC’s, “Hardball,” goes and gets himself booked on Jay Leno’s mildly amusing smilefest, which has impressive across-the-board ratings. 5.7 million people, which is about 31% of the still-conscious-at-11:30pm Americans viewers. Matthews correctly deduces that most of those Leno viewers probably never had the opportunity to be exposed to the facts he wants so much to communicate. Why?
Some of them either don’t have extended cable, or some watch only Fox “News,” which means that all they’ve ever heard is right-wingding propaganda and Murdochian talking points blathered nightly along with the outright lies of extremist toadies like Hannity, O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck, who aren't the only spoiled, pampered, obscenely overpaid horses asses on parade at Rupert Murdoch’s spread, El Rancho LookAtMeI’mGod.
If, for one reason or another, most of Leno’s audience won’t give themselves the chance to hear the truth, then they’ll never learn the truth. So, since they couldn’t come to Chris Matthews, he went to them. And he showed up loaded for bear. I mean loaded in a good way, not like Limbaugh on Oxycontin.
Knowing he’d have only about six minutes to do his thing, Matthews hit the Tonight Show hotseat and breezed right past all the small talk. I think it disconcerted Leno that Chris immediately launched into delivering a rapid, cogent, well-thought-out monologue of irrefutable truths. Employing a potent combination of everyday language and absolutely flawless logic, he grabbed the fascinated attention of an audience to which he would otherwise have had no access, and he nailed it.
It was beautiful. Matthews didn’t indulge in a single rumor, hunch, or morsel of typical political bullshit. He simply rapid-fired facts, cold facts, in plain, simple English, and seemed to do it without wasting even a second on such an unimportant self indulgence as, like, breathing.
Chris Matthews turned in a rock-solid, expressive, impressive, straight-down-the-middle performance that night on Leno’s private turf, and Jay seemed to be both surprised and a smidge taken aback by it all. Good. Maybe he, too, learned something of value. It worked, and worked beautifully. The rapt, single-minded attention of the audience proved it.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I caught Leno on a later rerun because I'm a full-time Letterman guy. Just putting it out there…
Mike Price is a long-time newspaper columnist, talk show host, and screenwriter who appears as a standup comedy headliner for top clubs and casinos across the country.