Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews – 2/6/2020. Screen grab via MSNBC.
When it comes to cable news networks, Chris Matthews is arguably the one that suffers from the most egregious case of Trump Derangement Syndrome (although Joy Reid gives him a run for his money often).
Just last month, the MSNBC “Hardball” host bizarrely likened President Trump to an “assassin” while discussing the successful U.S. military strike against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. And in an effort to further paint Trump as the real enemy, he compared Soleimani to Princess Diana and Elvis Presley, marveling at how the terrorist mastermind was a “beloved hero” in his country.
So it should be no surprise whatsoever to find out that after Trump took a few victory laps yesterday over his acquittal, Matthews went on a wild, unhinged rant during a live segment with fellow MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell, one in which he, towards the end, unintentionally gave the Trump campaign a brilliant ad just as the 2020 presidential election season heats up.
This is one of those instances where a description of Matthews’ commentary doesn’t quite do it justice. Read what he said below (transcribed, with bolded emphasis added), and then watch the video for the full effect:
The evil part or I should say the serious part was the revenge contract he signed basically against what he calls the “deep state”, going after Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and Comey and the author of the dossier and going back into the very roots of the investigation that led to his impeachment in the House. He wants to get to the root of it. He wants to root it out. He wants to say it was all evil by his enemies. There was no truth to it.
But I think especially a promise of what’s to come, not only lack of any kind of reasonable divided government. He’s at war with Nancy Pelosi in a moral fight. They are talking about banishing Mitt Romney from the party. That’s the language of a cult, banishment. It’s not a language of the Constitution or of our American tradition. Banishment for the one guy who dared in the United States Senate to vote to convict.
I think it’s also an attempt by the president to basically tell his troops here’s the fighting line right now. We’re going after everybody who went after us. We’re gonna to fight to the death. We’re gonna get ’em. It’s about righteous moral indignation. Our family’s been abused. I’ve been abused. The Constitution has been abused. We’ve gotta get these people. We’ve got from now to November to do it. This is to me is a cri de guerre, this is a fight to war. He’s calling on his troops to fight to the death against the Democrats and the American bureaucracy itself. This is the starkest fight I’ve ever seen declared by any American politician.
What Matthews doesn’t realize is that instead of sounding like a criticism and insult of Trump, which was his intent, it sounded more like the description of a righteous call to (verbal) arms for Trump’s supporters, who see him as a victim of a relentless and sustained campaign to undermine his presidency at every turn and to, if not oust him outright via impeachment, destroy any hopes of him getting reelected.
Trump’s willingness to fight back in kind when under attack was one of the big reasons he was elected in 2016. He’s not going to go changing his style now just because bloviating liberal commentators are routinely triggered by his rhetoric. In fact, it’s more likely to embolden him to continue on the same course – which will endear him to his supporters all the more, and which will cause his detractors like Matthews to more often than not show their true (hypocritical) colors.