On the syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, over the weekend, conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin was mocked by Chris Matthews for playing to the "wingnuts" at a Capitol Hill rally. Before running a clip of Levin, MSNBC host broke down the new GOP coalition as "regular Republicans," "energized conservatives," and "the wingnuts!" and added: "Talk show host Mark Levin spoke to all of them!"
The following exchange was aired on the November 8 edition of the The Chris Matthews Show [MP3 audio clip here]:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tuesday's election results gave Republicans a big boost. A year from now they hope their loose coalition will unite to beat a lot of Democrats. What's that coalition? Well it's regular Republicans, people that have been Republicans all their lives. It’s also energized conservatives. People philosophically opposed to what they see as a creeping big government. Third - it's people just upset about the economy and the loss of jobs. And fourth - it's the wingnuts! Talk show host Mark Levin spoke to all of them at that rally at the Capitol this week.
MARK LEVIN: They want to control you. They want to control your children, your parents, your doctor, your nurse. And the bottom line is they want to play God and who decides who lives and who dies!
MATTHEWS: Wow! Well that angry voice, Andrew, seems to be grabbing a lot of people on the right and the center, politically right now.
ANDREW SULLIVAN, THE ATLANTIC: Yeah I mean I’m trying to understand it as best I can. I think it is, in some ways, a response to the Bush years as well. I mean conservatives have to suffer for eight years as Bush governed essentially as, in their words, a socialist. I mean he dramatically increased debt. He, he put in an entitlement program in health care that makes Obama look like Eisenhower. I mean the Medicare Prescription Drug Act? Much more expensive than anything-
MATTHEWS: So this is pent up anger against-
SULLIVAN: It’s pent up anger against Bush and the fact that conservatism was destroyed under the last administration that is now able to vent itself against Obama. Unfortunately all the principled reasons to oppose Bush have been kind of lost in this, this, this cultural and social hatred of Obama, which is the worst part of the right. In other words you have the best part of the right, which is, can we please get back to fiscal sanity? Can we please restrain spending?
MATTHEWS: Your part of the right.
SULLIVAN: Yeah! What I, what I believe in. I’m encouraged, in a way-
SULLIVAN: That is alive and well. At the same time it’s, it’s so combined with this, I mean, just culturally horrible, ugly stuff.