1. The Super Tuesday tragedy. I can’t find it online, but this supposedly crucial day in the 2020 Democratic Party nomination race yanked out of my mental archives a cartoon in the old National Lampoon that ran in 1972. It showed Richard Nixon saying, “Vote for me! I’ll make Southeast Asia look like the bottom of a used Shake ‘n’ Bake bag!”, and on the other side, showed George McGovern saying, “Vote for me! I have a spine like a wet bed of kelp!” That was the first election in which I could vote, and I refused to do so as a matter of principle. I had good friends who were passionate about McGovern, and I felt sorry for them. He was decent man, but so obviously not a rational choice for President of the United States.
All four of the Democrats (sort of…two of them are pretending to be Democrats) still in the race today are just awful options for anyone with their eyes open and not overcome with hatred of Donald Trump, which, it is clear, a distressing number of once-intelligent people are. In the end, the Democratic Party is accountable for allowing things to come to this, just as the Republican Party was accountable for allowing itself to be swamped by Donald Trump, a real estate mogul who began his campaign as just one more branding opportunity, and hit the jackpot. How can any Democrat defend a vote for Michael Bloomberg, when part of the “resistance’s” hate for President Trump is based on his alleged autocratic ways and threat to a free press, and they know that the former New York mayor has ordered his own news agency not to criticize him and is betting that his money alone will give him the White House? How can any Democrat defend a vote for Joe Biden, after that party has claimed for three years that President Trump is mentally unfit and sexist, and hearing Joe Biden sound more and more like Grandpa before he was put in a home, and seeing photo after photo of women and girls wincing as Joe exploited a photo op to kiss, hug, grope or sniff them? How can any American defend a vote for Bernie Sanders ( and if I have to elaborate, you’re hopeless)? Finally, how can any Democrats filled with hate for the President because of his lies, real or imagined, vote for Elizabeth Warren, whose career and campaign have been built on a foundation of lies?
2. It worked! Chris Matthews got cancelled , literally and figuratively, for daring to call out socialism for the proven disaster that it is. Last night Chris Matthews began his MSNBC show by announcing his retirement, and disappeared after the first commercial, forcing someone else to finish. (Not professional, Chris.)
It isn’t possible that the long-time liberal pundit’s decision to quit was voluntary. Before he left, Matthews said something about how compliments on a woman’s appearance “that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK are never OK, not then, and certainly not today” and that it was time for the younger generation to take over. I’m disappointed in Matthews, who obviously had a financial incentive to not make a public stink over what was being done to him. He could have done a lot of good by emulating Sir Thomas Moore in “A Man For All Seasons,” who decides, once he knows he is doomed, to tell the kangaroo court condemning him exactly what he thinks.
I stand on what I wrote about the transparent hit job on Matthews here, but I have a few thoughts to add:
- If Matthews’ emphasis on the younger generation reflected what MSNBC head honcho Phil Griffin said in their “quit or else” meeting, then he’s a victim of age discrimination…which, of course, he is.
- The four-year-old “compliments” that were used to bring him down are the weakest evidence of workplace sexual harassment imaginable. No fair or reasonable woman would use such comments to try to get someone in trouble; a fair and reasonable woman would say, “You should be careful Chris; that’s a little too suggestive, and some women will find a comment like that offensive.” In which case Matthews, being at heart a gentleman, would have said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way,” and the episode would be over. As a manager, my response to receiving such a complaint would be to call the man involved into my office and to tell him, “Cut it out. Next time, I’m going to have to take official action.” Maybe I’d explain to him that old guys can’t get away with the kinds of comments that may have made a young woman’s heart skip a beat when the old guys were unwrinkled, rich and famous; remember, the standard is whether the object of a compliment “welcomes” it. I’m sure in Chris’s mind he’s 30. (I know in my mind I’m 14. Looking in the mirror is a daily shock.)
- Joy Reid is just one of many MSNBC talking heads who have said things on the air and off it that were far more deserving of dismissal than anything Matthews said, including his ill-advised comparison of Bernie Sanders’ rise to the Nazis conquering France. Reid is so bad, such a race-baiting bigot, that I’ve stopped flagging her obnoxious remarks, like when she said, two weeks ago,
“Even though Donald Trump did not have a majority, the hungry constituency was a lot of white ethnic voters, north and south, who said ‘we’re taking this country back from the brown people, the immigrants. We’re getting rid of unlawful migration. We don’t care what you say… The smart, the smarty pants, the college educated… forget them. We’re the hungriest.'”
- On one level, Matthews deserves this. Once, before MSNBC deliberately re-tooled itself to be the anti-Fox News, he was a reliable truth-teller, a liberal pundit who was open about his biases but completely capable of taking a contrarian position and bucking the Left. He was relentless in resisting Democrat spin attempts during the run-up to Bill Clinton’s impeachment, for example. Then he tossed his integrity away to become virtually indistinguishable from his progressive hack colleagues, swooning over Barack Obama and only occasionally letting the real Chris out his money-padded box. You could see it pained him: one memorable moment was when he rolled his eyes at Rachel Maddow ‘s angry outburst about how Republicans were lying about Obamacare increasing the budget deficit, because the CBO’s analysis said otherwise. “Well, you know, all of these big programs end up costing more that advertised, Rachel, ” he said , with a “God, why am working with such idiots?” tone of voice. Because of these intermittent flickers, Matthews was a moderating voice on an otherwise disgracefully biased and unprofessional network.