Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Monday expressed "outrage" over the growing IRS scandal involving targeted audits of conservative groups. At the same time, he fretted that such a controversy would strengthen conservatives who believe the federal government will soon take them to "concentration camps." Worrying about the President's political future, Matthews lectured Obama: "Find a way to get rid of whoever did this, or your enemies will ride this baby right through 2014."
The Hardball anchor sneered that the "right-wing people" "love this story" and "expect the worst." He continued, "They get up in the morning figuring, well, they're about to be picked up by the FEMA workers and taken to concentration camps or the black helicopters of new world order, they're coming to take their guns." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Delving into the minds of conservatives, Matthews imagined, "Knew it all the time,' they're muttering. 'This is the government...They ought to abolish the darned IRS.'"
The host urgently concluded, talking directly to Obama: "Find a way to get rid of those [IRS] people or Mitch McConnell himself, will ride this right through re-election." This, according to Matthews, is "the worst."
It's nice that the liberal journalist thinks the IRS targeting conservatives is wrong. It would be nicer if he spent less time worrying about how it will impact Obama.
A transcript of the May 13 Hardball segment is below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Outrageous. Let's play Hardball.
MATTHEWS: Let's start with the outrageous. Taxes, if you're honest and pay 'em, the best feeling you get after April 15 is "Well, glad that's over with." You've done what you have to do. So, you try to believe that the system is basically fair, that those progressive rates really mean something, that those IRS people who go over your returns really are looking to keep people honest and they're fair about it. How else can you deal with this? This is if you don't have some basic faith in the system, you can't even do your return. So this, my progressive independent reasonably conservative friends, is how we live in this country. How we try to be good citizens. And we are the ones, we are the ones most furious about this IRS story that's just come out. Do those people know what they've done to undermine the basic civic faith we've all got about not being chumps for being honest at tax time? Do they know what they've done to the faith of this republic and what it can do to keep us who we are? Then there are the right-wing people out there. They love this story, this baby. They always expect the worst. They get up in the morning figuring, well, they're about to be picked up by the FEMA workers and taken to concentration camps or the black helicopters of new world order, they're coming to take their guns.
Yes, this "expect the worst" crowd just got an earful of what it goes to bed at night agitated about. I can only guess what they're saying about the news that some in the IRS have decided to target right-wing groups. "Knew it all the time," they're muttering. 'This is the government.' They're telling everyone they can listen to. "And they ought to abolish the darned IRS to start with." Anyway, Mr. President, I have got advice for you. This is going to demoralize the good people. It's going to give firepower to the far out. So, don't just talk about being outraged. I can say that. Do something. Remember what Reagan did back when the air traffic controllers broke faith with their oaths and went on strike. He fired the bunch of them. And guess what, you might not like the rough treatment, but that's when we realized he was president. That's when the bad guys in the soon to be Soviet Union knew this country has a leader. You can act. Find a way to get rid of whoever did this, or your enemies will ride this baby right through 2014. Find a way to get rid of those people or Mitch McConnell himself, will ride this right through re-election. And talk about preparing for the worst.