Diversity of thought on MSNBC: Liberal Chris Matthews on Wednesday talked to liberal journalist David Corn and liberal Congressman Steve Israel about the "Tea Party crackpots" and whether the GOP is trying to "sabotage" the economy in order to defeat Barack Obama.
With no conservative or Republican in the Hardball segment, Matthews seriously wondered to David Corn: "I know you are an advocate but you're also an journalist. Why do Tea Party crackpots keep winning elections out in the country?" Not shockingly, the Nation journalist cited the Tea Party's ability to "exploit" anger. Matthews summarized, "...[Democrats] believe in government."
Later, the MSNBC anchor wondered if the Republicans are going to try and "stop the government" before the election in order to bring Obama down.
Matthews posed this question to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chair Israel: "Let me ask you, am I too strong in saying this is a sabotage campaign?"
Again, not shockingly, Israel did not think it was too strong.
A partial transcript of the May 16 segment can be found below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, David, you're a journalist. I know you are an advocate but you're also an journalist. Why do Tea Party crackpots keep winning elections out in the country?
DAVID CORN: I think they are taking advantage, exploiting is the anger out there, that some Democrats and the President hasn't always tapped as effectively as they can. I think things are going bad. People vote for the incumbent regardless of who the challengers are.
MATTHEWS: Who do they blame?
CORN: Well, they blame the people in power and this is where the Democrats have some danger.
MATTHEWS: Because they believe in government. They are willing to say we're the government. Tea Partiers say we're the protest party.
CORN: Exactly. But listen, Mitt Romney is out there not saying much about anything. He's just blasting away the at president. Now, Congressman Israel and everybody else can say, look at what the House Republicans, what John Boehner is doing and it may bring down the economy and cause all sort of pain but Mitt Romney's strategy obviously is going to be to stand apart from that. And let it fall how do you, sort of, tie this together if you're the Democrats
MATTHEWS: Israel, let's talk about the timing here. Here we are in Jay, going into June. We're half way through the month. Have a summer ahead of us, a big hot summer ahead of us. At what point does this debt crisis hit. He's saying now we have got to deal with the Bush tax cuts, extensions, gotta deal with the sequestration problem of cuts and domestic and military spending cuts and they got to deal with the fact that we have to raise the debt ceiling. Is all this going to crash before the election? Are they going to stop the government before November?
REP. STEVE ISRAEL: Well, they tried to do it last year. Again this is a bad summer rerun. We have seen the play book. We know how it plays out. I believe that their strategy is to do everything they can to make the President look bad in order to experience some partisan gain. The whole tragedy here is it doesn't have to go down like this. We can compromise. Democrats want to end spending for programs that doesn't work and make spending more efficient for initiatives that protect opportunities for the middle class. we wish we add a Republican to negotiate with. We can solve this.
MATTHEWS: I know. By the way, what you said about Tip and Reagan is right. They did negotiate. They did fight but they negotiated. Let me ask you, am I too strong in saying this is a sabotage campaign?
ISRAEL: You asking me, Chris?
ISRAEL: No, I think Mitch McConnell admitted it. It's not you who's saying it. It's Mitch McConnell's own words.