For months, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has been on a near-daily if not daily tirade accusing the Republican Party of using dog-whistle racist tactics to defeat President Obama. Since the start of the Republican National Convention, Matthews has amped up his racial hyperbole to 11 by overtly claiming the Republican Party wants to return to a time when slavery was legal.
Matthews’ insulting comments came roughly 12 hours after former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke at the GOP convention. Appearing on The Daily Rundown, Matthews tried to paint Ms. Rice as an outlier in a party hostile to minorities. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews claimed that the Republican message of ‘restore’ is at odds with modern times, i.e. progressivism. Instead, Mr. Matthews insisted that, “to a lot of Americans, if you get back to where we were, there were slaves, if we got back to where we were, women weren't voting.”
Apparently Mr. Matthews does not know that Ms. Rice, the direct descendant of slaves, explains that she is Republican because as a child, the Republican Party in Alabama allowed her parents to register to vote, whereas the Democrats would not. Matthews continued his rant claiming that Condi represents a progressive view, one that in his words is where, “it gets better all the time. Suffrage, ending slavery, civil rights, gay rights.”
Matthews’ bigoted and uninformed attack on the Republican Party shows his lack of historical knowledge on multiple levels. The Republican Party ended slavery, had a higher percentage of their members in Congress support the Civil Rights Act than their Democratic counterparts and opposed Jim Crow laws and the KKK.
Matthews, who has championed the charge of racism against the Republican Party, owes both the RNC and Ms. Rice an apology for his offensive and false accusations. MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd is also not without fault, failing to chastise his colleague on air for his smear.
See relevant transcript below.
The Daily Rundown
August 30, 2012
9:36 a.m. EDT
CHUCK TODD: Joining me now is Chris Matthews, he’s the host of MSNBC’s Hardball, the syndicated Chris Matthews Show and he's going to be the host of this documentary, that special, Barack Obama: Making History, which will be premiering tomorrow night. Chris, let's talk about that a minute and then we’ll get to the convention. The president, how much is his run going to be you do this nostalgic versus his record?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, I think it’s obviously about the future ultimately. It's about what’s the best bet for the next four years. I think people are rational especially in the middle. I think this convention, just to jump ahead. I think, without making any knocks at anyone. There’s really two ways of looking at American history. There’s the one that looks back to Jefferson and Madison. We heard a lot of that last night, for example. Where the best days were the early days. Where the original founders had it right. And we have to keep up with where they started. And then there is the progressive view which is that it gets better all the time. Suffrage, ending slavery, civil rights, gay rights.
TODD: Which is something Condoleezza Rice was trying to –
MATTHEWS: She's much more in that tradition.
TODD: It was interesting, she was trying to draw that thread, what you just described, of saying, hey, we were trying to get it a little bit more right.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, I think the idea of the American Revolution continuing right up to today and all the time more and more progressive, more freedom, more tolerance. Less prejudice. And even last night with the LDS Church you saw some of that for political reasons but all these guys who are Evangelicals or Catholics saying what church you go to is not that important. In fact it’s not. The progressive look is we are getting better. The other view is we’ve got to restore, restore, restore. We’ve go back to where we were. But to a lot of Americans, if you get back to where we were, there were slaves, if we got back to where we were, women weren't voting. I mean the idea of nostalgia is okay for old movies and stuff, and old music, but if you really get into it, there’s a real conflict -- and I think the two parties do reflect the difference generally. But you’re right, Condi reflected the progressive view last night.
TODD: You know it’s interesting, political conventions and I think we get caught up in the moments each day and then ultimately when you look back and say, yeah, there is the part of the convention that rallie the base. And that felt like last night a little bit. And then there’s the part of the convention that actually will have impact. And we haven't had that part of the convention yet which is Mitt Romney.