While the impeachment hearings were playing out in the background on Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews turned to Jon Meacham, the channel’s liberal presidential historian, and asked him to discuss House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of this “opportunity” to attack Donald Trump and try to throw him out of office.
Of course, Meacham replied that the impeachment was indeed “a solemn moment” for the Democrats, saying of Republicans: “Because one of the things that I think Republicans someday if they ever choose to have a reckoning about this will have to figure out is how did they become the monarchical party? How did they become monarchists.”
The host of the weeknight Hardball show couldn’t resist stating that “history is being made tonight” before noting that Pelosi had “figured out, after all the months of haggling” that people in the political center didn’t want to impeach the President, but those on the left wanted to take down the GOP official.
Matthews’ guest replied that Pelosi “made a very carefully calibrated decision, but I don’t want to just talk about it about the Speaker’s decision in raw political terms.”
“I think at some point,” he stated, “we have to take people at their word, and I think the inquiry” is a “solemn” and “difficult” moment for the Democrats.
Here's Meacham's full reply:
7:30 PM ET
JON MEACHAM: We do this once every 60 years in this country. Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and varying degrees of seriousness, varying degrees of political divisiveness. But it’s a very important moment, and it was the ultimate check put on the executive. One of the things that — I think the Speaker has done a wonderful job not simply tactically but strategically in defense of the Constitution. Because one of the things that I think Republicans someday if they ever choose to have a reckoning about this will have to figure out is how did they become the monarchical party? How did they become monarchists? Because that’s basically what they’re arguing. That the President is acting in a kingly fashion and that’s okay. And you know what, we've been fighting over this for 242 years.
The MSNBC guest also pointed to “one of Thomas Paine’s most important insights in Common Sense, arguably the most important thing originally rendered in English in terms of our revolution.” He quoted Paine as noting: “People ask: Where is the king of America? The king of America is above where the law is.” The presidency “is about the law, not simply about the man, whether the members and the senators are going to be able to hear that music,” Meacham added. “I don’t know, but here’s hoping they do.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, this is not the first time the liberal historian has exposed his bias regarding the impeachment of Donald Trump. In late October, Meacham responded to a question about Republicans’ claims that the current impeachment inquiry is unfair, and he asserted that the process undergone by Democratic President Bill Clinton “was ferociously partisan” and “I personally don’t think this one feels that way.”