Chris Matthews argued Monday evening that opposition to President Obama was due to resentment over the South’s loss in the Civil War.
In a conversation with Sam Stein of The Huffington Post and Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post, Matthews seized upon a Confederate flag carrying protester from Sunday’s Million Vets March, a protest against the closure of the World War II Memorial, to allege that such resistance to Obama was not just politically motivated.
After showing a photo of the protester, Matthews declared that the image had struck a nerve with him and asserted that “there’s a piece of this thing from the beginning, this hatred of Obama. It’s not specifically racial — it’s also regional, it’s historic, you hear people refer to ‘the cause.’”
The MSNBC host charged that opposition to Obama carried a “redolent attitude of: we got screwed in the war, we didn’t have enough guns and railroad cars, or whatever, and were coming back to fight the big fight now.”
As a superimposed graphic displayed the Republican elephant next to the words the words “party like it’s 1861,” Matthews asked Stein why protesters like the Confederate flag bearer wanted to “re-create that emotion that led us to the horrible Civil War…Why do they want it again?”
Stein said he had no idea, but hazarded a guess that it had to do with states’ rights. For his own part, Matthews said he believed that it was an attempt delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency.
“They want put an asterisk next to his name, like he really wasn’t president,” Matthews said.
Capehart, who penned a column on the protester Monday afternoon, told Matthews that the Confederate flag represented fear of change, and “the idea that there is a an African-American family in the White House and a black man in the Oval Office is a little too much change for [them] to bear.”