Chris Matthews opened Hardball last night with an extended discussion of National Review’s editorial and symposium Against Trump. The NR cover flags the editorial by “The Editors” followed by the names of 22 conservative contributors. As the screen flashed a graphic of the cover, Matthews described the contributors as “22 hastily deputized editors.” Matthews seemed not to understand that the cover advertised the editors’ unsigned editorial opposition to Trump along with that of the named contributors, most of whom had no relationship with the magazine, whether through the process of deputization or otherwise. (The editorial is posted here; the symposium including the comments of 22 conservative contributors is posted here.)
The contributors range from Glenn Beck to Ed Meese to Michael Mukasey and Thomas Sowell. To say the least, it’s a diverse group.
Matthews is not in favor of Trump, but he is against Against Trump. He postulated a theory of the case. The NR editors and conservative contributors have united against Trump because of their support of the Iraq war. They oppose Trump because of Trump’s opposition to the Iraq war (after the fact, of course, although this went unmentioned by Matthews).
Matthews declined to explicate the text of the editorial or any of the 22 individual contributions. Rather, he purported to read the minds of the editors and contributors. He offered a vision, or a mania: “All the neocons are out there.”
“The neocons” represent his theory of the case. Matthews repeatedly mentioned Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz: Kristol…Podhoretz…neocons. Kristol…Podhoretz…neocons. Kristol…Podhoretz…neocons.
It was a mantra in reverse. It didn’t calm him down. It set him off.
The full Hardball episode is posted here. Viewers can access it by signing in via their cable provider. Mediate has posted a three-minute excerpt (video below). The excerpt gives a taste, but I recommend the entire opening segment.
A theory of the case of Chris Matthews? Hint: Kristol…Podhoretz…neocons.