Sunday, January 13, 2008

Everybody Hates Chris

After a long, difficult week in politics, a week in which loyalties were tested, old wounds re-opened, and certainties upended, Americans today stand united around a common purpose and a single clear idea: NBC's Chris Matthews is a complete idiot, a buffoon so bereft of insight and lacking in decency that it's hard to fathom how he got a driver's license much less a couple of television shows. There is even a new blog devoted entirely to "exposing the wankery, the douchebaggery, the fecal stainery, and the general foul pusbag that is MSNBC's Chris Matthews." It's called Sweet Jesus I Hate Chris Matthews (and, yes, it acknowledges its debt to one of the original deconstruction-of-media-moron sites, Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O'Reilly).

There is also this delightful Scott Bateman cartoon, which takes up Matthews's mind-boggling assertion earlier this week that Hillary Clinton would not be in the United States senate or a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination were it not for the fact that "her husband messed around":

Then, because an issue is not really an issue until Jon Stewart has weighed in on it, there is this long bit from The Daily Show on how the pundits got everything wrong in New Hampshire. His comments about Matthews are about 5 minutes into the clip (though the whole thing, of course, is worth watching):

So, you see, fellow citizens, we have found the true uniter! We have found one thing on which we can all agree. Please, Clintonistas and Obamaniacs, and, yes, even you dead-ender Edwardians, let us join hands and give thanks to the gods of media consolidation who have given us so very many opportunities to see and hear and loathe Chris Matthews as we slog through the tortuous process of choosing our next president. Chris reminds us that no matter how vague and insubstantial political campaigns are, there is nothing more vapid than the coverage of those campaigns. No matter how trivial or mean-spirited one campaign's attacks may be upon another, the blabbing, blithering bloviators will always win the contest to see who is most superficial or gratuitously cruel. In a nation of swift boaters, their profit-seeking boats are the biggest and swiftest of all. Mo Do's pathetic little newspaper column is nothing compared to the platforms Chris has for spewing his venomous Hillary hatred. Thanks, NBC, for reminding us of what binds us together in these moments when intra-party divisions threaten to tear us apart.

So, now that we all feel warm and happy and united again, Roxie's World has some homework for y'all to do.
  • First, snuggle up to your computer and watch Senator Clinton on Meet the Press this morning. The completely unbiased view from the couch here at headquarters was that the old girl was at the top of her game, calmly yet forcefully answering little Timmy's game of gotcha on everything from her and her husband's criticisms of Senator Obama to her vote on Iraq. Love her or hate her, you have to be impressed with the woman's command of the issues.
  • Then, check out this long piece by Jon Meachem in Newsweek called "Letting Hillary Be Hillary." It focuses in part on the race/gender minefield this election has become and in part on how Clinton recovered from her defeat in Iowa by making herself more accessible to both voters and journalists as a way of re-introducing herself. It's amazing that one of the most famous women in the world should need to do this, but it's true -- and we think she should continue with the open-door and open-mic policies.
  • This New Yorker article by Ryan Lizza is a few months old, but Moose ran across it when she was tracking down Kumbaya references in relation to Obama. The article is called "The Legacy Problem: How Hillary and Her Rivals Take on the Clinton Administration," and it focuses on Clinton, Edwards, and Obama. Interestingly, it's Edwards who characterizes Obama's claims about the need for greater consensus in Washington by saying that the difference between Obama's approach and his own is the difference between “Kumbaya” and “saying, ‘This is a battle. It’s a fight.’ ” And yet it's Clinton who is accused of campaigning "against hope." Our position is that she's campaigning against naivete about how genuine differences shape the process of making policy. You can't ignore them or "transcend" them. You have to work with and through them in order to make things happen. (Paul Burka makes this case in an op-ed piece that compares Obama's politics of hope to Shrub's fantasies about being a "uniter.")
  • Finally, curl up with Mark Leibovich's "Rights vs. Rights: An Improbable Collision Course," which makes us think that someone at the New York Times has taken to reading Roxie's World. It looks at the Clinton-Obama battle through the historical prism of struggles for gender and racial equality in the United States and pays particular attention to that period Moose was thinking about after Iowa, when the coalition between abolitionists and women's suffragists broke down after abolitionists opted to support the 15th Amendment, which gave black men the vote and introduced the distinction of gender into the Constitution for the first time. It's a good article that gives us an excuse to end with photos of two of our favorite historical heroes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass, and a gentle reminder that real change always comes slowly, but it comes more slowly when natural allies allow themselves to be divided.

(Photo Credit: Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)


  1. Anonymous12:56 PM EST

    Thanks for this post, and all your fine work on this blog, Roxie! The Times article you mention (Rights vs. Rights) is fascinating, and just to pick up on that.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is a teacher to me, especially on how to handle complex, boxed in situations, and most impressive here in defending herself vs. the very likable Obama -- not with Bill's defensive remarks -- but with a knowledgeable and provocative understanding of black civil rights history! Dr. King's dream fulfilled by President Johnson, wonderful!

    I'll be away from cyberspace for a while -- some creative work to attend to.

    the very best always,


  2. You can't go away, RA -- We need you here in Roxie's World. And yet, of course, we understand the need to attend to one's creative work. All of us great writers need to do that from time to time. Well, good luck, and we hope to see you again soon.



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