At this point, mocking Chris Matthews for sounding unhinged is a cliché, as Jonah observed last week. But tonight the face of MSNBC seemed to have a particularly bizarre and conspiratorial talking point, that most of the Republican contenders, except for Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, are itching for war for “Biblical” reasons.
“I don’t want to think about the promises this crowd will make down South about bombing Iran and going into war . . . These guys are making crazy, Biblical commitments about going to war with Iran.”
(Has Matthews noticed the tensions in the Strait of Hormuz? Has he noticed Obama’s former special assistant on Iran, Dennis Ross, now telling reporters that Obama is prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons if sanctions and diplomacy fail? Does he feel that potential military conflict with Iran exists only in the minds of Republicans?)
Matthews had a Huntsman surrogate, Pennsylvania senator and Vietnam veteran Tom Ridge, as his guest, and asked him why the veterans in the GOP field tended to oppose war (he seemed to imply Huntsman was a veteran; Huntsman is not, but his sons are in the armed services) and asked why the “chickenhawks” are always looking to start a war. “Your party always seems to have a war on the on-deck circle. It’s always Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Libya.”
(Er, who committed U.S. forces to Libya? And all of one Democrat voted against U.S. military action in Afghanistan.)
“We have to do this for some Armageddon reason.”
Ridge responded that was hyperbolic, and Matthews responded, “When is the last time they haven’t had one? Bush went to Iraq the first time, Reagan went to Grenada . . .”
Er, and Clinton committed U.S. military forces to Haiti and the Balkans.
Matthews concluded his rant with the succinct summary, “Maybe I’m overstating it, but it’s a fact.”
Is this a trial balloon for some new line of attack from the Obama campaign and the DNC?