It's so good to see that Pat Buchanan has the poor and possibly disenfranchised voters that the teabaggers want to see stripped of their voting rights at heart. Buchanan disagreed with Tea Party leader Justin Phillips’ position that only land owners ought to be allowed to vote, but only because it might affect rich people that rent as well. Buchanan also espoused civics tests to allow Americans to be allowed to vote, apparently ignoring the fact that his favorite teabagger, Sarah Palin, probably couldn’t pass them.
Someone tell me how this wasn’t just a cheap shot for ratings for Hardball knowing ahead of time that Buchanan would say something idiotic? He’s the crazy old grandpa on the set that they keep bringing back out there that keeps babbling racist and sexist nonsense that hasn’t been acceptable dinner conversations for the better portion of America for twenty years or so. David Corn did some good push back here but why MSNBC thinks they need to keep their closet, or not so closeted racist, Sarah Palin fan-boy commenter Buchanan constantly on hand and ready to trot out on the set is beyond me.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
The Tea Partiers have famously said they want to take their country back, but no one thought they meant back in time, until now.
A small group of conservatives are clamoring right now to change the country`s voting rights. Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips recently said that the right to vote should be limited to property owners.
Here he is on his own radio program.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JUDSON PHILLIPS, FOUNDER, TEA PARTY NATION: The founding fathers originally said they put certain restrictions on who got the right to vote. It wasn`t just you were just a citizen and you automatically got to vote.
Now, some of their restrictions were -- you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of them was, you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because, if you`re -- if you`re a property owner, you actually have a vested stake in the community. And if you`re not a property owner, you know, I`m sorry, but they -- property owners have a little bit more of a vested stake in the community than non- property owners do.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, Pat Buchanan is an MSNBC political analyst. I`m not sure where he stands on property requirements for voting. David Corn is a Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and a contributor writer to PoliticsDaily.com.
Pat, this is a throwback. I mean, there`s nothing in our founding documents, certainly not in the Constitution of the United States, requiring landownership before you have the franchise, or the suffrage, if you will.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the right to vote, Chris, as you know, is restricted to the states.
BUCHANAN: They make the decision, and that`s why you needed a constitutional amendment to make sure African-Americans could vote and women could vote.
And I understand the principle behind it, but I`m afraid we`re pretty far beyond that. A lot of folks who are very wealthy and contribute to a community rent property, or they rent in places. A lot of retired people do.
I have thought that maybe it ought to be restricted to folks who pay taxes to the community, but can you really do that, when some young 18- year-old is not paying any taxes, but he is on some hill in Afghanistan?
I think you should leave it to the states. And I think the restrictions on the franchise, I don`t think any of them, realistically, are going to get through in any state.
MATTHEWS: Do you support, if you had the opportunity, a landowning requirement to vote? Do you support it in principle, if it could pass?
BUCHANAN: Well, no, I would not restrict it to that.
But the idea of owning property -- let me say this, Chris. I often thought when I was out in Saint Louis and I was renting, I don`t bother voting and stuff. I was having a good time. And the people that lived there and owned houses were really concerned about schools and about traffic and about -- and they really get concerned in the community.
And there`s no doubt, in that sense, they were a better citizen of the community than I was, and then I am right now, when I`m a property owner in McLean, as you are in Chevy Chase.
So, I think there`s an argument that can be made, but, as a practical matter, it ain`t going to happen.