“Oh, god,” why did he have to use that word? According to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the GOP “outsourced” the Republican response to a young, successful Indian-American governor who “had nothing to do with Congress.”
They had to outsource the response tonight, the Republican party. They had to outsource to someone who had nothing to do with Congress because the Republicans in Congress had nothing to do with the programs he was talking about tonight or the record he referred to.
First of all, one might point out that Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2004 to 2006. Furthermore, Republican governors are quite important members of the party. The idea that the GOP was bringing in an outsider is flat out wrong.
The pièce de résistance, however, was the idea that Republicans had to “outsource” the response to Governor Jindal. Using the term “outsourced” in reference to the performance of a young Indian-American is a very poor choice of words – especially by a cable anchor who very recently fretted over the effect of a certain New York Post political cartoon. One wonders at Mr. Matthews’ error in judgment.
Next, the normal rules of journalistic integrity might slow down ordinary members of the media, but Matthews bull-rushed his way to (greater?) infamy in a diatribe against Governor Jindal. During the speech, Governor Jindal made this statement on the need for alternative energy:
All of us remember what it fell like to pay $4 at the pump. Unless we act now, those prices will return. To stop that from happening, we need to increase conservation, increase energy efficiency, increase the use of alternative and renewable fuel, increase our use of nuclear power and increase drilling for oil and gas here at home. We believe Americans can do anything. And if we unleash that spirit of our citizens, we can achieve energy independence.
This seems fair enough – no attacking of any opponents, real or imaginary. The response from Chris Matthews, however, was not so even-handed:
The Bush administration with Dick Cheney, two oil-patch gentlemen running the show, never proposed anything but a dependence on oil, they were fossil fuel guys from day one, made fun of – Cheney himself made fun of any effort towards conservation.
Actually, a quick Google search turned up an article from Matthews’ old network (CNN), saying that Bush raised the amount of money he originally wanted to spend on renewable energy sources. Searching with more scrutiny, one would find that the Bush administration proposed increased funding for renewable energy resources as recently as 2006.
In sum, Chris Matthews stepped in it, hard.