The repurposing is complete: Chris Matthews was quite worked up at the start of last evening’s Hardball.
To watch the full segment, click this.
As we ingested his opening points, we came to a sudden realization. The repurposing of this corporate tool is now completely complete:
MATTHEWS (8/1/12): Fury on the right! Let’s play Hardball!Before he let his first guest speak, Chris had compared Ted Cruz to a fascist who may be staging a military coup. This was part of his attempt to counter “fury on the right!”
Good evening. I’m Chris Matthews down in Washington. Let me start tonight with this:
Huey Long once said that fascism, when it comes to America, will call itself anti-fascism. So what do we call this hard lurch to the right that’s happening in the country as I speak? I don’t mean conservative. The conservatives are the ones getting hit by this new hard rightward swing in Republican politics.
Last night in Texas, a cheered-on hero of the Tea Party right beat Governor Perry’s candidate, and now can’t be stopped. Suddenly, conservatism isn’t good enough. You’ve got to be on the far-out fringe, where people don’t believe in science, think the government should arrest people for abortion, or same-sex marriage is the work of the devil, where government is baaaaad, where nothing is better than another war in the Mideast, yet another neocon race toward Armageddon.
I want to start with John Heilemann, who watches it. You talk about a game change. I’m watching people like— The language of "save our republic." You know, the language almost sounds like "Seven Days in May," like a military coup.
Nia-Malika and John played along, as it had been written. For the record, we don’t know Cruz’s views on the issues Chris rattled off.
You can trust us: Chris doesn’t know either!
As we watched, we had to admit—Chris has really come a long way since the days when he was making up shit about Clinton, Clinton and Gore and insulting Democrats as “a bunch of sweaty, yelling people,” “a bunch of crazy people yelling.”
Chris was taking his pay from Jack Welch in those days. At long last, the repurposing is complete!
This morning, we heard a reaction to Chris from the average man on the street. A fellow we see at the bagel joint asked us what we think about the Mitt Romney cookie-insult issue. He had seen Matthews lead a discussion of the key issue on last Friday’s Hardball.
To read the transcript, click this.
This man on the street thought that discussion was just amazingly stupid. This was the first time he had heard that those cookie insults are an issue. Just a guess:
Based on prior conversations, we’d guess that this voter may still be undecided. We’d guess that what he saw last Friday tilted him somewhat toward Romney.
What do non-aligned voters think when they see Matthews clowning in these ways? Some will think one thing, some another.
But one point is abundantly clear: The reinvention of this corporate tool is at long last completely complete.