Chris Matthews quickly collapses: It has been a potent, never-ending theme over the past 23 years, especially during the Clinton/Gore/Clinton years.
For whatever reason, the liberal world has shown little skill in dealing with this potent theme—or perhaps, little appetite for the fight.
The potent theme arose again in Thursday’s undercard debate. On her way to an undercard win, Candidate Fiorina offered dropped these L-bombs during her closing statement:
HEMMER (8/6/15): Carly Fiorina, closing statement.By wide agreement, Fiorina emerged as the winner of the undercard debate, partly because of the feisty way she pounded Candidate Clinton.
FIORINA: Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lies about e-mails. She is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party’s frontrunner. 2016 is going to be a fight between conservatism and a Democrat party that is undermining the very character of this nation. We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets into the ring.
I am not a member of the political class. I am a conservative; I can win this job, I can do this job, I need your help, I need your support. I will, with your help and support, lead the resurgence of this great nation.
Later that evening, Chris Matthews challenged Fiorina about her use of the L-bomb. As usual, he was irate and highly incensed but hapless and underprepared.
After a challenge, Matthews collapsed. Here’s the way that went:
MATTHEWS (8/6/15): Do you really think that’s a way to engage in a debate? To call your opponent a liar? I’m astounded by that judgment of yours.We’d call that vintage Matthews. That said:
FIORINA First, I was very specific about the subjects about which I think she has lied. I didn’t say she lied about everything. I was very specific. Very fact-based, actually. You are the one who has made a generalized comment now about her. Not me. Secondly, I will debate her. Excuse me. Secondly, I will debate her—
MATTHEWS: Go through your list. Go through your list of where she’s lied.
FIORINA: Benghazi, e-mails and server.
MATTHEWS: Let me put a fine point on that. Why did she lie, or how did she lie, as you put it, about Benghazi? Where was her lie?
FIORINA: Okay. It is very clear from all the data, it is very clear from the data, it is very clear from the e-mails that she, that the president of the United States, that the Secretary of State, and that the military understood this was a purposeful terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11, and they understood it while it was going on.
So tell me then, why would you talk about, the next day, from the State Department, why would you talk about a video? Why would you explain that this is not America? Why would you stand over the bodies of the fallen and say it again? Why not come out and say, “This was a purposeful terrorist attack on our embassy. Four brave Americans were killed, and we are going to seek retribution.”
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Carly Fiorina. I see why you stood out tonight. Thank you for coming on the program tonight.
There you have it. Joe [Scarborough], what do you think of that?
In that exchange, we see the return of a dominant, 23-year theme—the theme that, among other services, decided the outcome of Campaign 2000.
We also see Candidate Fiorina defining one of the alleged “lies” with great precision.
In that exchange, Fiorina says that Secretary Clinton lied on September 12, 2001 about the Benghazi attack. She says Clinton knew the attack was “a purposeful terrorist attack” designed to coincide with “the anniversary of 9/11.”
She says that Clinton lied the next day when she spoke about a video—the insulting YouTube video which was creating turmoil at that time all over the Muslim world.
As usual, Matthews aggressively challenged Fiorina, then had nothing to say in rebuttal. We decided to take a look at the statement Clinton made on the day in question.
As far as we know, it’s false to say that Clinton and Obama believed the attack was a preplanned effort specifically designed for September 11. As far as we know, no such judgment about the attack has been reached, even today, by our intelligence services.
At any rate, Matthews’ collapse captures the way the liberal world has reacted to such L-bombs over the past 23 years. Matthews puffed himself up in a state of rage, then collapsed in a useless heap.
That’s the way the career liberal world had played this game all these years, except to the extent that the liberal world has delivered these L-bombs themselves.
(Right through 2008, Matthews was one of the most aggressive attack dogs against both Clintons and Gore. Accuracy was rarely required.)
Fiorina’s L-bomb will be repeated again and again. Because such claims have been made so many times over so many years, this is a theme which gains easy purchase with a great many voters.
Today, we’re putting you on notice. How well will our fiery liberal heroes respond to Fiorina’s claim?
Below, you see what Secretary Clinton said at the State Department on the day in question. Your challenge, should you agree to take it:
Can you find a lie? Beyond that, will you ever see the day when your liberal heroes take the trouble, and display the skill required, to respond to such attacks?
On Thursday night, Matthews collapsed in a heap, with nothing to say, in the face of Fiorina’s attack. That’s the way our multimillionaire, career liberal heroes have behaved for 23 years:
CLINTON (9/12/12): Yesterday, our U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. Heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. American and Libyan security personnel battled the attackers together. Four Americans were killed. They included Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and our Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. We are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals.Fiorina said Clinton lied that day. Can you find a lie in that statement?
This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world. We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence, and we send our prayers to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we’ve lost.
All over the world, every day, America’s diplomats and development experts risk their lives in the service of our country and our values because they believe that the United States must be a force for peace and progress in the world, that these aspirations are worth striving and sacrificing for. Alongside our men and women in uniform, they represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation.
In the lobby of this building, the State Department, the names of those who have fallen in the line of duty are inscribed in marble. Our hearts break over each one. And now, because of this tragedy, we have new heroes to honor and more friends to mourn.
Chris Stevens fell in love with the Middle East as a young Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Morocco. He joined the Foreign Service, learned languages, won friends for America in distant places and made other people’s hopes his own.
In the early days of the Libyan revolution, I asked Chris to be our envoy to the rebel opposition. He arrived on a cargo ship in the port of Benghazi and began building our relationships with Libya’s revolutionaries.
He risked his life to stop a tyrant then gave his life trying to help build a better Libya. The world needs more Chris Stevens. I spoke with his sister, Ann, this morning and told her that he will be remembered as a hero by many nations.
Shawn Smith was an Air Force veteran. He spent ten years as an information management officer in the State Department. He was posted at The Hague and was in Libya on a brief temporary assignment.
He was a husband to his wife, Heather, with whom I spoke this morning. He was a father to two young children, Samantha and Nathan. They will grow up being proud of the service their father gave to our country, service that took him to Baghdad and finally to Benghazi.
The mission that drew Chris and Shawn and their colleagues to Libya is both noble and necessary. And we and the people of Libya honor their memory by carrying it forward. This is not easy. Today, many Americans are asking, indeed, I asked myself, how could this happen?
How could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be. But we must be clear eyed even in our grief.
This was an attack by a small and savage group, not the government or people of Libya. Everywhere Chris and his team went in Libya, in a country scarred by war and tyranny, they were hailed as friends and partners.
And when the attack came yesterday, Libyans stood and fought to defend our post. Some were wounded. Libyans carried Chris's body to the hospital and they helped rescue and lead other Americans to safety. And last night when I spoke with the president of Libya, he strongly condemned the violence and pledged every effort to protect our people and pursue those responsible. The friendship between our countries born out of shared struggle will not be another casualty of this attack.
A free and stable Libya is still in America's interest and security. And we will not turn our back on that. Nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice.
We are working closely with the Libyan authorities to move swiftly and surely. We are also working with partners around the world to safeguard other American embassies, consulates and citizens.
There will be more time later to reflect, but today we have work to do. There is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve. We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault.
Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.
America's commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation, but let me be clear. There is no justification for this, none. Violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith.
And as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace. It is especially difficult that this happened on September 11th. It's an anniversary that means a great deal to all Americans. Every year on that day, we are reminded that our work is not yet finished.
That the job of putting an end to violent extremism and building a safe and stable world continues. But September 11th means even more than that.
It is a day on which we remember thousands of American heroes, the bonds that connect all Americans wherever we are on this earth and the values that see us through every storm. And now it is a day on which we will remember Sean, Chris and their colleagues.
May God bless them and may God bless the thousands of Americans working in every corner of the world who make this country the greatest force for peace, prosperity and progress. And a force that has always stood for human dignity, the greatest force the world has ever known. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.
As usual, Matthews—our multimillionaire corporate defender—collapsed in a heap when the L-bomb was dropped. This theme has been potent for 23 years because of behavior like that.
He was once a virulent, aggressive attack dog. Having been reinvented—you might say “fixed”—he’s now a useless defender.