At the conclusion of a fractious national debate about the debt ceiling, a truly marvelous moment occurred Monday when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) returned to the House floor after being shot in the head almost seven months ago.
Apparently unable to control himself, the sadly getting more and more disgraceful Chris Matthews chose to mar the emotional homecoming by connecting her shooting to the Tea Party and "the violent level of the right-wing" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
KEN VOGEL, POLITICO: And it really is sort of the one redeeming moment here at the end of this nasty, partisan and high-profile dispute that in some ways is kind of a microcosm for the way, the way Congress works. Not the Gabby Giffords coming back, which is truly exceptional, unprecedented and touching, but rather the fact that we had this debate that just happened to be, you know, draw an extreme amount of attention, but it’s the way that these issues tend to work where you have the two sides navigating their bases and having to find a compromise solution that actually in spite of all the brinksmanship and the nastiness and the partisanship speaks well to the Democratic process and the way that Congress works.
These nice sentiments from Politico's Ken Vogel were followed by similarly reverential words by the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman:
HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: I was just going to say the fact that she made it back here and came for this vote I think is sort of a message - not to be overly dramatic about it – but a message from outside the beltway, from the real world saying, "You know, if I’m committed to coming back here and trying to make sure that we avoid default and that we, we end this fractious debate," I think that probably had some emotional effect on the floor of the House right now, the fact that she came back here for this to vote “Yes” to end the impasse I think really mattered.
So two media members addressed this amazing homecoming with the respect and the dignity it deserved.
Sadly, the host refused to follow in their footsteps, and instead used this moment to attack those he believes to be his political enemies:
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: It’s also important to remember why she was, why she was coming back. She was shot by a violent act, of course a person using a gun, breaking up a political meeting with a gun, bringing one to a political event which we saw a lot of during the Tea Party demonstrations, people carrying firearms to political events. The violent level of the right-wing in this country, not particularly this case but generally where people feel the need to show firearms at political events, I think that’s a bad development in our history to bring guns to political events. You should come to argue not to show your firearms. And to have now this horrible case of a woman who was shot down in her political act, meeting with her constituents shot, only not dead because of modern medicine and her character and her resilience, that is all part of this story this year, Howard, and I’m not going to forget it.
Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson monster, had absolutely nothing to do with the Tea Party or the right-wing in this country.
To make any connection between him and conservatives at the very moment Giffords made her touching return to the House was despicable.
If Matthews at this point has become so disdainful of the Right in this nation that he views every incident - even the heart-wrenching ones that bring everyone together - as a means of attacking conservatives and further dividing this nation, the folks at MSNBC should be seriously rethinking what his value is.
A few weeks ago, the Daily Caller's Tucker Carlson said, "Very few people have done more to divide the country than Chris Matthews."
Sadly, the MSNBCer's comments Monday were a perfect example.
Shame on you, Chris. This was totally uncalled for.
(H/T NB reader Kevin L. Bass)