Dover Bitch

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Chris Matthews, relent and repent!

"Hardball" host Chris Matthews interviewed Jimmy Carter Wednesday and took a brief break from telling everybody with whom he comes into contact that the Democrats are circulating a subtly anti-Italian "hit list" on Judge Alito.

DB took Matthews to task on Monday for trying over and over to force Howard Dean to reduce the Democratic Party's position on government intrusion into personal decisions down to a narrow and easily manipulated label:

MATTHEWS: So the Democrats are the pro-choice party, period.

DEAN: Well, the government...

MATTHEWS: The Democrats, your party, is the pro-choice party.

DEAN: No, my party respects everybody's views, but my party firmly believes that the government should stay out of the people's personal lives.

Dean stated the party position in one clear sentence seven times, and would not let Matthews stick his label on it. Matthews said that anything other than pro-choice vs. pro-life was too "complicated for people."

Fast-forward 48 hours and read what Matthews said to Carter (emphasis mine):

MATTHEWS: We're back with Former President Jimmy Carter. President Carter, we're having a new fight. It always begins with the new nominee... Judge Sam Alito, the justice to fill Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's position. And once again, it gets back to the abortion issue and whether he believes in notification of the husband and all that. But it's really about the pro-choice vs. pro-life issue.

We had Howard Dean on the other night, sitting right there, and he said basically the Democratic Party should no longer be considered the quote pro-choice party. In other words they're softening something in the debate. What is going on here?

What is going on here indeed? Dean did not suggest a departure from any policy. He simply refused to accept a label. When asked why, Dean said the label is "often misused."

Matthews was told not to define the party with that label, so instead of stating their one-sentence position, he defines the party by it's relationship to the label.

Two questions later, Matthews comes up with this (emphasis mine):

MATTHEWS: I asked Ken Mehlman, who sat here the other night, the Republican Party Chairman, wouldn't we be better off if we didn't have the pro-life crazies and the pro-choice crazies? I mean by crazies means that they won't vote for a guy under any circumstances who disagrees with them. Get them out of Washington. Let these senators decide this. He said 'No, it's a good thing to have them here.'

Do you think it's a good thing to have these pressure groups...


MATTHEWS: ...that are absolutists about this thing?

Unbelievable! First he does everything he can to slap a label on Dean and then he laments the fact that people are divided into the labels he's forcing on them.

Let it go, Matthews!

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