Time’s Joe Klein Calls GOP Base ‘Maniacs on the Right’

On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, as the panel discussed whether President Obama would move to the center for the 2010 elections, after the BBC’s Katty Kay argued that he may need to please the Democratic party base for this year's elections, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein referred to the conservative base of the Republican party as "maniacs" as he claimed that the GOP base is more dominated by conservatives than the Democratic base is by liberals. Klein:

But there’s a big difference here between the Democratic and Republican parties. In the Republican party, the base is the right wing. In the Democratic party, the base isn’t the left wing. The base is African-Americans, a lot of Hispanics, trade union people, and so on. You have a bunch of bloggers on the left, but I don’t think that they carry the same weight as the maniacs on the right do with the Republican party.

Host Chris Matthews approved: "Well said."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, March 14, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:

KATTY KAY, BBC: The base is not purely focused on jobs. This is a distinction that you can make in terms of policy issues. They want Guantanamo closed. They also want some kind of energy reform. They liked Cap and Trade. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, they’d like to see that repealed. If he’s going to try and keep the base energized as well, which I think this year is probably even more important than 2012, if this year he wants to minimize losses, I think he’s going to have to focus more on the base than he does in 2012.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, it goes to jobs, doesn’t it? If he tries to coopt the Republicans like he did with that $15 billion bill. Can he keep coopting them and keep the left happy and do something in the center?

JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: But there’s a big difference here between the Democratic and Republican parties. In the Republican party, the base is the right wing. In the Democratic party, the base isn’t the left wing. The base is African-Americans, a lot of Hispanics, trade union people, and so on. You have a bunch of bloggers on the left, but I don’t think that they carry the same weight as the maniacs on the right do with the Republican party.

MATTHEWS: Well said. Does everybody agree with that? ... That the left of the Democratic party is relatively small but they’re noisier?