Tomorrow Chris Matthews will have an interview with Rand Paul, and in the last couple of days he’s been saying nice things about the Kentucky senator and using him to bash the neoconservatives. I’m sufficiently experienced to know cultivation of a journalistic subject when I see it, but Matthews has also been resonating sincerely with Paul’s anti-war fervor, and doubting Hillary Clinton’s.
Last night Matthews aired Paul’s argument that the neoconservatives helped create ISIS by starting the tragic Iraq war; and Matthews said that Paul was doing a better job of discrediting the neocons than Clinton is:
For 20 years they’ve been wrong and we’re still listening to them, because they’ve got the gall to keep speaking. The Democrats don’t do it as well as Rand Paul does, blow these guys apart… He believes it.
(Jim Fallows: “Genuine Q: What is the track record of accurate predictions or principled commentary that keeps getting B Kristol onto Sunday talk panels?”)
Matthews went on to offer his political wisdom about the antiwar “soul” of the Republican electorate, and by extension, Democrats:
The person who wins the presidency is the [man or woman]… who figures out what is it in the American soul at that time that’s really motivating them. It’s kind of a romance…
Right now I think there’s a surprising level of war weariness in the Republican rank and file. Not the big shots and the people with money to spend $200 million on a candidate. But the regular person in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa, they are really ripped about these wars.
The candidate who is willing to stand up and say the U.S. made mistakes, is going to rise above the Republican crowd, Matthews suggested.
Matthews went further in his closing segment. Again he blasted the neoconservatives, and questioned Hillary Clinton’s belief that the Iraq war was a mistake.
It’s not surprising that the country’s lone libertarian presidential candidate is the one Republican with the courage to call out his party for the disastrous route this government has taken since the weeks after 9/11…
The war was bad. If the Republicans want the White House the first thing they have to do is confess the horrible decision they made the last time they had it.
Hillary Clinton called her support of the war a mistake. I dearly hope she means it.
Earlier this week, Chris Matthews used Bernie Sanders as a springboard to attack the neoconservatives, as warmongers who would never pick up a gun, only a keyboard:
Democrats never forget why they have the White House today. They have it because they ran a candidate who opposed the stupidity and horror of the Iraq War…
The truth is we were taken last time, as Senator Sanders has made clear. Taken by a president lacking the intellectual heft to serve, a vice president driven by a determination to kill and by ideologues so gung-ho to send our kids into battle they should not be allowed near a keyboard again, a keyboard being their primary means of battle.
We’ve had too many wars, too many days and nights of killing Islamic people on global television, too many people whose instinct is to exploit their positions to pursue their ideological madness.
I love Matthews’s lathers, as readers know. I sure hope they add up to something. It’s impossible to put all these pieces together, the 20-year reign of the neoconservatives, the rich donors who support them and the wars they promote, the killing of Muslims on television, and the Democratic complaisance in these policies, without talking about the Israel lobby: without critiquing the support for the Israeli occupation that runs from Richard Perle’s Clean Break to Obama’s collapse in the Security Council and at the Democratic convention. We will never win the antiwar struggle inside American politics till we correctly identify the enemy. There is simply no constituency in this country for a war with Iran, except in the Israel lobby.