Matthews a few race cards short of a full deck

The Covington News - - The Second Opinion - ANN COUL­TER

Ap­par­ently, Mon­day, Aug. 27, was open­ing day for Hys­ter­i­cal Lib­eral Sanc­ti­mony About Imag­ined Repub­li­can Racism. Dur­ing this first round, The New York Times, The At­lantic and the TV net­works each put in a splen­did show­ing.

To­day, we will fo­cus on the out­stand­ing in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance of the man who, since the de­par­ture of Contessa Brewer, is widely re­garded by his col­leagues as the stu­pid­est on-air per­son­al­ity at MSNBC. Ladies and gentle­men, I give you Chris Matthews.

Ap­pear­ing on “Morn­ing Joe,” Matthews ex­ploded at Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee chair­man Reince Priebus, al­leg­ing that Mitt Rom­ney’s harm­less birth cer­tifi­cate joke from a few days ear­lier was a “cheap shot.”

(Dis­cussing his home­town roots while cam­paign­ing in Michi­gan, Rom­ney had cited the lo­cal hos­pi­tals where he and his wife were born, adding, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth cer­tifi­cate.”)

Even the lib­er­als on the show were per­plexed. Asked to clar­ify whether he con­sid­ered the birth cer­tifi­cate joke “play­ing the race card,” Matthews an­grily said: “Yeah, there’s no doubt he did with his birth cer­tifi­cate. No doubt. Why would he bring it up? Why would he say, ‘I have no prob­lem with my birth cer­tifi­cate’? What’s that sup­posed to say?”

Mika Brzezin­ski: “Be­cause he’s an awk­ward joker?”

Joe Scar­bor­ough: “Be­cause he mis­fired badly on the joke?”

But Matthews didn’t have time for al­ter­na­tive ex­pla­na­tions. Be­sides, he had al­ready yelled at Joe and Mika, so the is­sue was ob­vi­ously re­solved. Chris quickly moved on to Rom­ney’s ads de­scrib­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s change to wel­fare re­quire­ments as an­other ex­am­ple of racism.

Matthews said that Rom­ney’s (fac­tu­ally cor­rect) claim that Barack Obama is weak­en­ing the work re­quire­ment for wel­fare was “play­ing that card,” fum­ing at the RNC chair, “and you are play­ing that lit­tle eth­nic card there.” Priebus could only laugh awk­wardly.

Matthews raged: “You can -- you play your games and gig­gle about it, but the fact is your side is play­ing that card. You start talk­ing about work re­quire­ments, you know what game you’re play­ing ... It’s a race card.”

Asked by Scar­bor­ough if he re­ally be­lieved that the wel­fare ad was racist, Matthews said: “Of course it is. Wel­fare? Food stamps?”

For the clincher, Matthews added: “Did you catch Rom­ney fol­low­ing it up by say­ing this was Obama’s ef­fort to ex­cite and shore up his base, pass­ing out wel­fare checks? His base.”

As ev­ery­one but Chris knows, the “base” Rom­ney re­ferred to con­sists not of in­di­vid­u­als col­lect­ing wel­fare, but those dis­tribut­ing it, i.e.: union-dues-pay­ing gov­ern­ment work­ers. Democrats’ prob­lem with wel­fare re­form al­ways was that if it worked, we would need fewer of these well-pen­sioned pub­lic em­ploy­ees, a fact re­peat­edly ac­knowl­edged by lib­er­als them­selves.

Guest John Heile­mann, like an or­derly in a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion trapped alone with a pa­tient, played along, re­spond­ing, “Well, there’s a lot of black peo­ple in Chicago” -- while fran­ti­cally jab­bing at the alarm but­ton.

For the love of Pete, can’t we all ac­knowl­edge that a ref­er­ence to “Chicago” in this con­text man­i­festly refers to cor­rupt, big-city, ma­chine pol­i­tics and 1920s gang­ster­ism --- not race? No one thinks Al Capone was an African-Amer­i­can.

My ad­vice to Matthews is: Pace your­self. It’s a long way to Elec­tion Day. If you get too crazy, too soon, you’ll have noth­ing left for the fourth quar­ter.

Ann Coul­ter is a con­ser­va­tive writer and a hon­ors grad­u­ate of Cor­nell Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Michi­gan Law School.

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