As Shrum Dances on DeLay's Grave, Matthews Applauds Him as "Solid on This Stuff"

Be the death literal or figurative, in recent days Democrats and their MSM claque have demonstrated a ghoulish penchant for dancing on the graves of their political opponents. As documented here, on the very day of his death last week, MSNBC's Alison Stewart, subbing for Keith Olbermann on Countdown, took nasty parting shots at Caspar Weinberger. Stewart disparaged as both a budget "slasher" and a big spender the man who, as Ronald Reagan's Defense Secretary, contributed mightily to winning the Cold War.

Today, it was Tom DeLay's retirement announcement that brought out the worst in the left. Bob Shrum was Chris Matthews' guest on Hardball, and so avidly did Shrum exult in DeLay's predicament that former GOP Rep. Susan Molinari was plainly repulsed. But far from taking Shrum to task for his unseemly asperity, Matthews commended him.

Shrum is the Dem strategist whose place in history is secure, having served as a chief consultant on a record-breaking seven losing presidential campaigns. He immediately went for the jugular, branding DeLay "the father of the culture of corruption," while claiming "his simply getting out of the way is not going to remove this as an issue. Richard Nixon resigned in August of 1974 and Republicans got killed in those 1974 elections."

Continued Shrum: "[The Republicans] came in 1994 to make a change and they stayed to make a killing, which culminated in a criminal enterprise apparently being run in the Majority Leader's office." And later: "He assassinated his own character and he left the Republican party in terrible shape going into this election."

A visibly disgusted Molinari remarked: "It's nice to know on a day that a colleague is resigning, that it's dealt with with such grace."

Shrum was utterly unrepetant, spitting back: "He wasn't my colleague. I thought he was one of the worst Members of Congress."

Ugly as were Shrum's words, they do not convey the cruel vituperation with which they were pronounced. If you can, and have the stomach, set your VCR for the 3-4 AM EDT Hardball replay.

I actually expected Matthews, as a generally pragmatic partisan, to remonstrate with Shrum. Wrong. To the contrary, Matthews commended Shrum for being "reasonably solid on this stuff" and then sought to put Molinari on the defensive, asking "why is Tom DeLay the target of so many criminal investigations?"

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.