Chris Matthews praises the late Sen. Robert Byrd and his objection to the invasion of Iraq and does a bit of revisionist history by expecting the rest of us to believe that he shared those objections. Digby reminded us of Matthews fawning over Mr. Manly-Man Dubya in his flight suit in this piece she re-posts annually.
It seems like only yesterday that the country was enthralled with the president in his sexy flightsuit. Women were swooning, manly GOP men were commenting enviously on his package. But there were none so awestruck by the sheer, testosterone glory of Bush's codpiece as Tweety:
MATTHEWS: Let's go to this sub--what happened to this week, which was to me was astounding as a student of politics, like all of us. Lights, camera, action. This week the president landed the best photo op in a very long time. Other great visuals: Ronald Reagan at the D-Day cemetery in Normandy, Bill Clinton on horseback in Wyoming. Nothing compared to this, I've got to say.
Katty, for visual, the president of the United States arriving in an F-18, looking like he flew it in himself. The GIs, the women on--onboard that ship loved this guy. Read on...
Dibgy caught him doing a 180 on his praise in May of this year.
In his little "Let Me Finish" post script segment today, Chris Matthews tried to make the case that the citizenry likes it when the government is competent.
...Whatever. He then went on to talk about how Bush had been incompetent by claiming there were WMD in Iraq and then looked like a fool when none were found. But then he said this:
The incompetence became downright staggering when the Commander In Chief pranced onto an aircraft carrier with a "Mission Accomplished" banner flying overhead. The bozos couldn't even get the PR right.
Back in 2009, he was still finding excuses to praise Bush for the flight suit gimmick as he did in this segment on his Sunday show where he praised Bush for his salute.
Presidents have long taken salutes from the troops that attend them but Ronald Reagan, the movie star who made training films during his service in WWII was the first to actually return those salutes and boy did he get it right. Check out the sweep of his arm there. And then there was George H. W. Bush, the WWII fighter pilot, who kept up Reagan’s tradition. Bush’s salute as you can see was less dramatic than Reagan’s but did have a snap to it.
Bill Clinton who was as a candidate was best known for his youthful opposition to a war caused some flack for his solute which was, well, it was a bit uncertain when he first took office but after a while, he got it down pat.
As for George W. Bush, who could forget this moment on the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln? That beats even Reagan when it comes to Commander in Chief performance art. But getting back to our current president, it does seem that the president’s salute isn’t the only one he’s mastered.
And our own Jon Perr reminded everyone of how Tweety blows in the wind with his opinions in this piece at Perrspectives.
At a party last night celebrating the 10th anniversary of his MSNBC show Hardball, Chris Matthews lashed out at the Bush administration for its efforts to control his editorial content. But if his claims that "they will not silence me" ring a little hollow, they should. After all, Chris Matthews has spent the last several years telling us that President Bush, his White House and the Republican leadership team are "good guys."
Matthews' tough talk didn't end there. Without mentioning any of the laundry list of Bush wrong-doing, he claimed that "They've finally been caught in their criminality." Whether or not he was referring to Karl Rove's call to him in 2003 that Valerie Plame was "fair game" or Dick Cheney's supposed concern over Matthews' coverage of Scooter Libby's outing of the covert CIA operative or perhaps any other of their innumerable offenses, we don't know.
But what we do know is that Chris Matthews likes George W. Bush and the "good guys" of his White House - a lot. They may be, Matthews now suggests, thugs and criminals, but they are thugs and criminals you want to drink a beer with all the same: "I thought in listening to the president, I was listening to one of the great neoconservative minds. We were given a rare opportunity to hear the real philosophy of this administration with regard to the war in Iraq." (August 9, 2007)
"I like him. Everybody sort of likes the president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left." (November 28, 2005)
"Sometimes it glimmers with this man, our president, that kind of sunny nobility." (October 25, 2005)
"We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical." (May 1, 2003)
"For example, George Allen is a lot like George Bush. He's friendly. He's a jock in a way. He's happy go lucky. He's a good guy to hang out with, kicks back." (May 24, 2006)
"They're very adept politically, this White House. And whatever you think of Karl Rove, he is good and he is tough." (October 29, 2004)
"Tony [Snow] has no regrets, nor do any of us for being his friend. Good guy, he has been, he is, and he will be." (September 4, 2007)
And then we have his "Let Me Finish" segment from this Monday's Hardball where he expects us to believe he objected to the invasion of Iraq before he realized that maybe things weren't going so well there.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with a tribute to a U.S. senator who shared my deep American objection to the Iraq War. I love this country and believe in its historic greatness. I don’t know how those Founding Fathers found themselves in Philadelphia in the late 18th century but they did. And we are incredibly fortunate for that.
And I love the symbol of the Gadsden flag that, coiled rattlesnake against a field of yellow. "Don’t Tread on Me” -- it warned our enemies, and that included especially the British government and London.
This morning, a man died who treasure this country and that flag. For those reasons, Senator Robert Byrd opposed both wars -- both wars with Iraq.
Here’s what he said in the fall of 2002: "For the first time in the history of the republic, the nation is considering a preemptive strike against a sovereign state. And I will not be silent."
And on the eve of that second Iraq War, he said, quote, "We proclaim a doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We saw that the United States -- or we say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. There is no credible evidence to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11."
I was personally stunned and remain in awe that a president of George W. Bush’s abilities was able to take the attack on us of 9/11 and upturn two-plus centuries of American doctrine "Don’t Tread on Me." We don’t attack but if you attack, we attack back. We oppose aggression. We are not the aggressors.
President Bush and his cohorts in and out of the government were able to construct a new doctrine: If we don’t like you or your policies we attack. If you cause trouble in your region, we attack. If we think you have WMD, we attack.
And millions went for it, hook, line and sinker. Senator Byrd did not. That he was so alone out there makes the swooning of America generally Bush’s war so frightening.
If someone of Bush’s ability can make America forget its most basic, most time-honored standards, then imagine what a gifted demagogue could do. It’s one thing to send us off to Afghanistan, the base of those who hit us. Bush was able to then drive the entire country off to an altogether different direction. That’s what Bush did.
It’s interesting that he could not woo two people in his charge to Iraq, Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy. Both would say their vote against Bush’s war was the proudest of their careers.
And finally here is a summary from Media Matters on Matthews' hackery.
SUMMARY: Chris Matthews complained that the news media "sucks lately in covering the Iraq war," later asserting, "I have been a voice out there against this bullshit war from the beginning." But Media Matters has documented numerous instances during the past three years in which Matthews lauded President Bush's handling of the war, advanced false and misleading claims about the war, and attacked Democratic critics of the war. Read on...