Chris Matthews sums it up

“The people don’t like the President even more than they don’t like his policies.”

Correction Wrong in important detail: Matthews has in fact opposed the Iraq War since before it started. See below.

My favorite line from the “Today Show” Matthews clip (also linked in the previous post):

The people don’t like the President even more than they don’t like his policies.

Remember, this is the guy who said three months ago “Everyone sort of likes the President, except for the real whack jobs.” So now we know Matthews’s definition of a “whack job”: someone quicker on the uptake than Matthews is.

Why should we care what Chris Matthews thinks? Because the free pass he’s gotten from people like Matthews has been one of the props of the Bush Presidency.

It’s fascinating to watch Matthews play Oceania-has-always-been-at-war-with-Eastasia. It’s now obvious to Matthews that attacking Iraq instead of cleaning up al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan was the wrong move from the beginning. Matthews now takes seriously the warnings from the Bush I team that occupying Iraq would lead to disaster, and is peeved that Bush II didn’t listen. That is, he now believes, and says, all the stuff he and his buddies pilloried Howard Dean and John Kerry for saying. But don’t expect him to admit that they were right and he was wrong.

Be that as it may, if Matthews and his ilk start piling on the anti-Bush bandwagon, the Republicans are going to have a long three years.

Update A reader points out that the paragraph (now in italics) above regarding Matthews’s views on Iraq is simply wrong:

Chris Matthews during late 2002 and right on to the present has always opposed the Bush intervention in Iraq. It is true Mr. Matthews on his show Hardball teamed up with his guest G. Gordon Libby and others to celebrate the president’s triumphant “Mission Accomplished” moment. However, Matthews has always challenged the moral and national security claims the administration has used to justify the path to war in Iraq and the subsequent years of occupation there.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: