Chris Matthews' level of political advocacy as we approach November's elections has now crossed from being unprofessional into almost pathological.
After claiming on Wednesday's "Hardball" that the Chilean miners would all be dead if they followed the so-called "every man for himself" philosophy of the Tea Party movement, he proceeded on Thursday to use this incident as an example of why people should vote for Democrats on November 2 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let me finish tonight with a deep observation about mankind.
Down 2,000 feet in the ground, a group of 33 men not only survived for 69 days but prevailed. What a story of human faith, hope, charity and yes, community. I know that last word drives people on the right crazy: community.
Theirs is the popular notion that it`s every man for himself. Grab what you can, screw the masses, cash out of the government, go it alone -- the whole cowboy catechism.
But how would those miners have survived, the 33 of them, and their loved ones living above if they`d behave like that with the attitude of every man for himself. This is above all, and deep down they`re in the mine about being in all there together. It`s about mutual reliance and relying on others. Not just to do their jobs, but to come through in the clutch.
Somebody had to get food and medicine down to those guys and somebody did. Somebody had to drill that hole down to get them and somebody did. And all the time, the guys down there, there`s 33 human souls, kept the faith.
"I was with God and I was with the devil," one of the first guys out said, "they both fought for me, God won." So, in his way did mankind. The group of miners stuck down a half mile down into the earth organized themselves. They had one guy in charge, another the spiritual leader, still another working on health, still another director of entertainment -- it reminded me, as I said the other night, of how John McCain and the other Americans survived those years in that Hanoi prisoner of war camp.
This coming election now looks to be a process very different. What it promises to be is a huge number of Americans withdrawing their confidence in the ability of us to work together, to have faith in each other, to build a common community. It`s headed towards something -- well something quite un-American, a statement that we`re not all in this together.
For that, I blame the people even now seek to meet their need for notoriety by nightly yelling "fire" in the movie theater, by convincing those who still have jobs that their worst enemies are those who don`t. Whether it`s Newt Gingrich dumping on people who rely on food stamps or some Senate candidate knocking unemployment comp or even stranger, the one who says, we don`t -- if you don`t like a politician, go get yourself a gun.
How thoroughly disgraceful.
First off, if this incident reminded him of how McCain and others survived the Hanoi Hilton, where does he get off suggesting such behavior is exclusive to folks on the left.
The concept of "community" drives people on the right "crazy?" Really, Chris?
Well, the Tea Party movement is a community, and if he'd actually go to a rally rather than just report on them from a distance, he'd know.
Claiming the desire for a smaller federal government is somehow anti-community and un-American is not only revisionist history but also the height of gall as well as something we've grown to expect from his colleagues Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and Ed Schultz.
Unfortunately for those that had any respect for Matthews as a journalist - and I confess to once having such feelings when "Hardball" first aired years ago - this MSNBCer is now just another Democrat shill lacking any semblance of objectivity or impartiality.
In recent weeks as it's become clear the Party he loves is going to take a serious drubbing at the polls, he has used "Hardball" to night after night campaign for virtually any candidate that might beat a Republican with the possible exception of Richard Blumenthal in Connecticut although he's clearly not advocating votes for Linda McMahon.
On last Tuesday's program, Matthews ripped liberal press member David Corn for endorsing all Democrats.
I guess he must have realized how bad things have gotten for his Party and has decided to behave exactly like what offended him just nine days ago.
Shame on you, Chris. Whatever vestiges of journalistic integrity remaining in your body have now been cast out like demons.
If this is what you consider to be a desirable exorcism, I wonder how you look yourself in the mirror when you brush your teeth.
*****Update: Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal on Thursday marvelously explained how it was capitalism that saved those miners (h/t Gary Hall)!
If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?
Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.
This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees. The drill's rig came from Schramm Inc. in West Chester, Pa. Seeing the disaster, Center Rock's president, Brandon Fisher, called the Chileans to offer his drill. Chile accepted. The miners are alive.
Longer answer: The Center Rock drill, heretofore not featured on websites like Engadget or Gizmodo, is in fact a piece of tough technology developed by a small company in it for the money, for profit. That's why they innovated down-the-hole hammer drilling. If they make money, they can do more innovation.