Has anyone checked the video to see if Chris Matthews was part of Cindy Sheehan's noisy protest that brought Rahm Emanuel's press conference to a halt the other day at the Capitol? Because Matthews has been on an absolute anti-war rampage. As noted here, in the days preceding Nancy Pelosi's ascension to the speakership he was demanding that she use the power of the purse to cut off funding for the war. Yesterday afternoon he snapped at Matt Lauer when his NBC colleague opined that the Democrats have no choice but to fund the war so long as US troops are in the field.
Matthews continued his campaign on last night's Hardball. Check out these excerpts from his conversation with Dem strategist Hilary Rosen and former Republican representative Susan Molinari:
Demanded Chris of Rosen: "Will the Democrats do what they promised to do in the campaign or will they let the voters down again and not stop this war?"
When Rosen replied that Jack Murtha, who now chairs a committee controlling the funding for the war is "committed to evaluating where we are," Matthews snapped back "words, words, words."
More from Chris:
"They're changing the subject. Every time I talk to these new Democrats about Iraq, they say we're busy raising the minimum wage or stem cell, they're quick to change the topic, even Jim Webb he did it now. It's great, he said what he said. But he said, I ran on other things besides the war. Why is he changing the subject now when he didn't during the campaign?"
"To get elected, is that all they wanted?"
"Do you think it's possible that the Democrats used the war issue to get elected and once they got the power and the perks that they're going to let the war slide a couple of years?"
When Rosen said that Pres. Bush is "going to say something [next week] and the Democrats are going to react," Matthews sardonically observed "this is the iron fist of the Democrat party you're describing? I missed it. When [do] they call for an end of the war, five years, ten years?"
"Do the Democrats have the guts to oppose this war?"
"There are voters that are wondering why we're having the celebration. They wonder why they voted and campaigned and now [the newly-elected Dems are] all congratulating themselves on their new jobs and perks."
"I don't mind playing the role of agent provocateur. I want to see a decision on this, a vote, one way or the other. I want to see these people stand up and say clearly where they stand because we went into this war without a real debate. We had phony intel. A lot of scared Democrats voted for the war not really believing in it. Crossing their fingers, like Hillary Clinton saying 'I didn't really vote for the war. I voted for to authorize the president to have the option to maybe someday go to war if he doesn't get what he wants. This is BS."
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org