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October 26, 2007

Hardballin'

In which Matthews says, in response to my unwillingness to agree that a new John McCain ad is "thrilling," that he doesn't like us "new liberals."

Incidentally, I realize the crosstalk in the McCain segment comes quick, but when I say he was on the "wrong side" of the war, I'm responding to the pollster who said there's "a war going on." In other words, I'm saying he was on the wrong side of the Iraq vote, not of Vietnam. The rightwing media web site Newsgrounds got that wrong earlier, and took down their post, but didn't publish a retraction. So, for the record, McCain: Wrong on Iraq. Vietnam, however, really wasn't his fault.

October 26, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Vietnam, however, really wasn't his fault.

It was, however, the fault of men much like him.

Posted by: Jason C. | Oct 26, 2007 12:52:34 AM

I've gotta say that Matthews' very weird blend of politics is practically unique. Where else do you find:

- Temperamental Conservatism.
- Economic Conservatism.
- Social Liberalism.
- Foreign Policy Dovishness.

He's really managed to find an unoccupied space on the grid. I suppose Schwarzenegger would come closest to Matthews-ism. But it really is a pretty rare combination of positions.

------

"he doesn't like us "new liberals."

Well, I'd say Yglesias' psuedo-endorsement of Senator Clinton tonight sure gives "new liberals" a pretty bad name.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 26, 2007 12:58:01 AM

That's why of all the cable people, I actually watch Matthews regularly. I think some of his personal attachments to politicians is weird, but overall, he mixes a good blend of conservatism and liberalism to actually be informative regarding the political establishment.

Posted by: mad6798j | Oct 26, 2007 1:08:44 AM

Petey: you left out "penchant for Sixties-bashing" and "kinship with working class white guys", though maybe that's what "Temperamental Conservatism" is.

Petey: that's not a pseudo endorsement, so much as "she's not as bad as I thought she would have been circa 2006". Which is true for me too, though that doesn't mean I'm going to be happy if Clinton is the nominee.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Oct 26, 2007 1:09:47 AM

The only thing that I learned from that segment is the Jennifer Donahue is loud and difficult to endure for more than a few minutes. The notion that Matthews raised about the Western or older school of Republicanism is an interesting notion, but one could hardly make much of it there in the coliseum.

Posted by: Paludicola | Oct 26, 2007 1:18:15 AM

"Petey: you left out "penchant for Sixties-bashing" and "kinship with working class white guys", though maybe that's what "Temperamental Conservatism" is."

Yup. Couldn't figure out a better two word way of describing it.

It's why he's got a teenage girl crush on Giuliani despite the neocon foreign policy.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 26, 2007 1:19:32 AM

"so much as "she's not as bad as I thought she would have been circa 2006". Which is true for me too"

Gack. Senator Clinton's campaign has been significantly worse than what I was expecting in 2005-2006.

If she feels free to vote for Lieberman-Kyl and to stand by Mark Penn as the face of her campaign when she's seeking Democratic primary votes, what do you think she's going to be like if she wins the nomination?

The contempt she's shown for progressives during this campaign is well beyond what I would have expected a couple of years back, and offers a very depressing preview of how a potential Clinton administration would operate.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 26, 2007 1:30:48 AM

It's why he's got a teenage girl crush on Giuliani despite the neocon foreign policy.

Can you cite a post? Cuz from all I've read, Yglesias seems to hold Giuliani in the lowest esteem of all GOP candidates with the exception of perhaps McCain.

Posted by: DRR | Oct 26, 2007 1:36:52 AM

"Can you cite a post? Cuz from all I've read, Yglesias seems to hold Giuliani in the lowest esteem of all GOP candidates with the exception of perhaps McCain."

The pronoun there was referring to Matthews, not Matthew.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 26, 2007 1:40:06 AM

if gore wont run and hillary is appearing unbeatable, i wish jim webb would run.
i trust his judgement and leadership a lot more than i do that of hillary clinton.

Posted by: jacqueline | Oct 26, 2007 3:33:26 AM

On the topic, Sullivan wrote this about the McCain zinger at the debate:

He wants to malign the Democrats as Woodstock hippies — still working after three decades! ... Woodstock and Vietnam are still the needle-changing motivators. Still. How many more election cycles do we have to go through before we get past this?

Sullivan is tired of it. Ezra said on Hardball that he is tired of it. But it still works. It's why Bush beat Kerry despite his own lousy approval ratings in '04. And it'll probably keep on working for several more election cycles.

And it's at the heart of Edwards' electability. Folks want to focus on the 'white male' factor to explain why he runs so strongly in general election matchups. But that's not what's actually going on. The electability is really about Edwards' squareness.

If he wins the nomination, attacks will certainly come against Edwards. But they won't be able to attack him on the Woodstock/Vietnam axis. His life story, region, ruralness, and personality present a squareness that prevents it. And since the Woodstock/Vietnam axis has been the core of Republican strength for the past 40 years, having a candidate who neutralizes it is a mighty good thing for Democrats. The squareness is a crucial part of why Edwards is running ahead of the top GOP contenders in Oklahoma, fergawdsakes.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 26, 2007 4:00:45 AM

"Have you met him? Have you met him in person?"

What's with the Romney plug from Jennifer Donahue? As an aside, while I certainly appreciate the running stream of insights into the politics of Chris Matthews that we are entertained with, are you going to spread your wings and fly onto other political talk shows Ezra? I don't know much about the practical functionings of talk show booking, but you seem to have proven yourself worthy on your many appearances on Matthews' show; shouldn't other shows be calling as well? Or does Matthews have a claim on you now? Perhaps you struggle with the same questions yourself?

Posted by: JSS | Oct 26, 2007 4:06:44 AM

Ezra,
But don't you believe MCCain WAS indeed fighting on the wrong side in Vietnam?

Wasn't the left hopeing America would lose, just like today?

I think I'm correct and the collective thought on the left was America needed to be defeated in Vietnam, the same as the left thinks we need to lose this war.

Posted by: Patton | Oct 26, 2007 4:36:15 AM

"the same as the left thinks we need to lose this war."

patton...
i dont think we are fighting a war.
from the very beginning, this has seemed to be an occupation.
...but who knows, we might be starting a new war soon.
it is getting hard to keep up.

Posted by: jacqueline | Oct 26, 2007 4:49:44 AM

if gore wont run and hillary is appearing unbeatable, i wish jim webb would run.
i trust his judgement and leadership a lot more than i do that of hillary clinton.

Even if Webb could run with a chance - and he's been a Democrat for about fifteen months, which wouldn't help him - I'm not sure I'd find him so great. I love Webb as a Democratic Senator from Virginia (the last two words in that phrase do matter), and I donated to his campaign before the famous macaca moment. He's great on Iraq, both his positions and his effectiveness as a spokeman and as a legislator. His equal-time-at-home-as-in-Iraq amendment was both eminently just and brilliant politics. But he's been less good on other issues, and while he's sound on torture I'm not sure how he'd do on the rest of an ACLU scorecard. He has not been so good on FISA, for example.

He sets a great example as a 'fighting dem' and I think we need that tone from him and from other Dems. With the R's so discredited this is our chance to get a real progressive in there (who that might be is a more controversial issue, though Hillary is not my druthers), and see some health care reform, some progressive taxation, etcetera. I don't know where Webb is on any of that.

Posted by: Warren Terra | Oct 26, 2007 6:12:25 AM

that he doesn't like us "new liberals."

But Matthews also hates the Dirty Hippies, which are pretty much the "old liberals". I doubt that the Dirty Hippies find McCain's tv ad "thrilling" since it's pretty much bashing them.

So are there any liberals that Matthews actually likes? He doesn't like old liberals, doesn't like new liberals - maybe he only likes fake liberals?

(And, yes, I know that Matthews would probably balk at me equating "old liberals" with the Dirty Hippies - he probably thinks that "old liberals" are FDR era New Deal liberals. He needs to get over it. At this point the anti-war, Vietnam-era Dirty Hippies are the old liberals and the New Dealers are the "nearly extinct liberals".)

Posted by: NonyNony | Oct 26, 2007 8:35:22 AM

if he has such a problem with "you new liberals" - then why does he continue to invite you back?

Posted by: europhobe | Oct 26, 2007 8:43:31 AM

Oh, f*** that one correspondent, 'You know who cares about 'who's a hippie and who's a soldier? Military Moms, there's a war on...'

Yeah, nice, you had an actual under-fire Vietnam vet Democrat running in 2004 and yet the slobbering Bush worshippers played up their cowardly draft dodging chickenhawks as heroes again.

F*** you and your bullsh*t. Yeah, being a soldier only counts for you a**holes when it's a raving right winger. Anyone else and it's "but he's got a long face" or "he's not a real Republican". F*** you.

Posted by: El Cid | Oct 26, 2007 9:17:23 AM

oh el cid, tell us what you really think!

aimai

Posted by: aimai | Oct 26, 2007 9:35:41 AM

I'm sorry, people actually watch matthews? I thought the only reason for the existence of that show was to provide fodder for blogs. That kind of scares me. Perhaps most viewers watch hardball the same way they watch The Colbert Report?

On second thought, I kind of doubt it.

That's really scary.

So why do you go on that show again?

Posted by: russell | Oct 26, 2007 9:43:52 AM

The electability is really about Edwards' squareness.

Oh, that's a relief, since the MSM never goes after people for being too square. By the way, Petey, how much campaigning for Edwards do you expect President Gore to do?

Posted by: mds | Oct 26, 2007 9:47:41 AM

"Oh, that's a relief, since the MSM never goes after people for being too square. By the way, Petey, how much campaigning for Edwards do you expect President Gore to do?"

Edwards has a lot of advantages that Gore never had. For one, he's a skillful talker rather than a below average talker. For another, he's got the 'son of a millworker' narrative rather than the 'son of a senator' narrative.

Gore does indeed have a similar squareness to Edwards. But the squareness helped Gore. It didn't hurt him.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 26, 2007 9:56:25 AM

But it still works. It's why Bush beat Kerry despite his own lousy approval ratings in '04.

I don't think 2004 had anything to do with the 60s. Most of Bush's victory can be chalked up to fear. To the extent that the culture wars played a role, they were 21st century culture wars - i.e., rural v. urban. This doesn't really have much to do with the old hippies v. straights battles from a hundred years ago. Bashing hippies doesn't work any more because hippies don't exist any more except in Boulder, CO and Dave Mathews concerts.

Seriously, hippie scare mongering is about as likely to work as accusing Hillary of being a flapper or a beatnik. It is ANCIENT HISTORY and nobody cares any more.

Posted by: Jason C. | Oct 26, 2007 10:34:59 AM

"I don't think 2004 had anything to do with the 60s."

Huh. You must have slept through August 2004.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 26, 2007 10:42:28 AM

Yeah it's probably not fair to blame John McCain III for Vietnam--John McCain II, then a member of the high command, is another matter

Posted by: rea | Oct 26, 2007 11:04:13 AM

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