The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

From the Department of Not Exactly News: Chris Matthews Is Very Confused

Posted on | February 5, 2011 | 29 Comments

You can’t make up stuff as funny as this:

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“I feel ashamed about this. I feel ashamed as an American, the way we’re doing this. . . . We’re not handling it as Americans should handle a matter like this. And I don’t feel right about it.”

There’s a lot of commentary concentrating on the fact that Matthews criticizes Obama, but as Ed Morrissey says, the whole 12-minute clip is worth watching.

Like many liberals trying to make sense of the Egyptian crisis, Matthews has been whipsawed between his support for democracy and his support for Democrats. It’s enormously upsetting to Matthews because he so very much wants to credit Obama with doing the right thing, even when (a) it’s not really clear what “the right thing” is, and (b) Obama is quite obviously doing everything wrong.

Putting aside the frightening thought of Islamists turning Egypt into Iran-on-the-Nile, conservatives have a much easier time making sense of this crisis: We expect Democrats to bungle foreign policy. We never believed Obama had any kind of miraculous abilities, and we especially jeered at Obama’s naive notion that the secret to foreign policy was to celebrate every week as “Be Nice to Foreigners Week.”

Because we never believed in Obama, then, conservatives aren’t experiencing the sort of emotional disorientation that the Egypt crisis has induced in Chris Matthews and other liberals.

(Aside: Did y’all see the Senate Intelligence Committee raking that idiotic CIA official Stephanie O’Sullivan over the coals Thursday? Was that priceless or what? I was like, “OK, I got the part about ‘Central’ and I understand ‘Agency,’ but could somebody please explain to me how this clueless dingbat is supposed to represent ‘Intelligence’?”)

(Another aside: Have you noticed that MSNBC and the liberal blogosphere have spent the past few days pointing fingers at Glenn Beck? “Oh, look! Beck’s pushing a conspiracy theory about Egypt being the linchpin of a future Islamic caliphate!” As if the real danger of the crisis in Cairo is whatever Glenn Beck is saying about it. Liberals aren’t worried about the Muslim Brotherhood, but Fox News scares them to death.)

Matthews and all the other liberals who shared his thrill-up-my-leg feelings about Obama are genuinely confused by the undeniable evidence of Obama’s incompetence in the Egypt crisis, but they are also confused because liberals believe in government.

Whereas conservatives look at the mess in Egypt and recognize this as the natural consequence of the most terrifying thing you can say to a foreign leader: “Hi! I’m from the State Department and I’m here to help you!”

 Liberals also are confused because, deep in their hearts, they really believe that all people are alike. Fire-worshipping cannibals are just misunderstood, you see, and there’s nothing wrong with a Jew-hating madman like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that can’t be fixed by some high-level diplomacy and maybe a free-trade agreement. 

Believing such nonsense, then, liberals thought when Obama called for a “peaceful transition process” in Egypt, it would be like a middle-school student-government election. Vote Josh for 7th Grade Treasurer!

Whereas conservatives turn on the TV, see Egyptians charging on camels and throwing rocks at each other in Tahrir Square and say, “Yep.”

Liberals think of themselves as morally superior to conservatives for the very reason that conservatives have such low expectations about idealistic schemes for “Middle East peace,” “gender equality” and “health care reform.” And the expectation of a “peaceful transition process” in Egypt was among the most wild-eyed schemes ever concocted.

But that’s OK. It made liberals feel good about themselves, and isn’t that what’s really important?

Meanwhile, Obama acts as though he believes that if he’ll just keep giving stern admonitions to Mubarak, that will do the trick.

Does he really believe that? I don’t know. The point is, Obama keeps lecturing and Mubarak keeps ignoring him, and Chris Matthews keeps babbling incoherent gibberish.

Like I said: Not exactly news.


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