Chris Matthews is widely disliked on the Right because he is part of what they regard as the reflexive, Angry Left cabal than hangs out on MSNBC. He is, ironically enough, also distrusted by many on the Left, for his lack of sympathy for President Bill Clinton while he was lying to the grand jury, journalists and America during the Monica Lewinsky crisis. The “problem” with Matthews is that unlike most of his neighbors in Punditville, he has integrity. Matthews is an old-style, blue-collar, Tip O’Neil liberal who doesn’t let his political leanings alter his feelings about what he cares about most: the United States, the ideals of democracy, and bold and committed political leadership.
Matthews demonstrated his integrity and his priorities again yesterday with this impassioned outburst in which he accurately and deftly explained what a President’s leadership imperatives are in a crisis on the scale of the Gulf oil spill, and condemned President Obama’s failure to meet them. His withering sound bite—“This idiotic cerebral meritocracy has got to step aside and let people who do things take over!”—perfectly summed up the Achilles heel of the entire Ivy League-obsessed Obama White House, and may haunt the Democrats for a long, long time.
Yes, obviously I agree with him on how Presidents are supposed to lead, because his position agrees with my own. But I work in a remote corner of a sparsely-populated field, my audience is small, and the only people who get really mad at me are those who object to the whole concept of holding the conduct of others to ethical standards, and a few arrogant trial attorney/bloggers who don’t think lawyers need to be especially ethical when they’re off the clock. Matthews has a large and mostly liberal audience, and gets hurt when he get out of lock-step with the liberal media line. Yet he doesn’t hesitate when his principles tell him to take a stand.
Now if only he would stop interrupting his guests…