In the Clinton years, the Clintons fans loathed Chris Matthews, locating him firmly inside the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. In the Bush years, Matthews is whacked regularly by the left and by the right. On Monday, MRC's Geoff Dickens found him sounding just like another disgruntled member of MoveOn.org as he interviewed John Murtha: the Democrats are too conservative.
“Why are the Democrats so conservative on this war? I was looking at the, the, the fundraising money. Is the fact that the Democrats are getting a lot of fat cat money no, more conservative people contributing to the party, an explanation of, if you were getting your money from college professors, you wouldn’t have this problem. You’re getting it from rich people. You’re catching up, in fact, passing the Republicans in fundraising. Is this steering the Democratic party to a more conservative position on the war, the money?”
He suggested to Murtha that Democrats would be more electable if they were more like Dennis Kucinich:
Matthews: “Why should the Democrats rule the Congress if you can only scrape up 102 members out of 202 to go your way on this war? Why should people vote anti-war and vote for Democrats, if the Democratic members won’t say they’re anti-war?”
Murtha: “Let me tell you, they’re voting for a change in direction, and they’ll vote for a change in direction. There’s no question in my mind about it. We need to lead this country. We can’t, if we want to win the majority back, we can’t depend on the Republicans to continue to make mistake after mistake. We have to lead. And I believe I’m in that position with my expertise in defense to help Nancy Pelosi and the leadership in that direction.”
Matthews: “Well, good luck, but I hear a lot of people out there, Democrats who are afraid to stake a position out, like you’re doing it. I don’t hear 200 Democrats out there talking the war the way you are.”
At show's end, Matthews added some pessimism about the Virginia Senate race, saying he was "disturbed" that Republican Sen. George Allen would hold his seat: "I am disturbed here. Jim Webb and Harris Miller debated on this show. I have the suspicion that neither one is going to beat George Allen. What do you think?”