Chris Matthews Trashes Rick Perry, and I’m on Perry’s Side


Posted by Bob Lord

No, I'm not kidding. Matthews has a few of his regular guests on, and they're going after Karl Rove. Then, he transitions to a rif on Rick Perry. He plays Perry on Laura Ingraham's show, where he said that when politicians moderate their views in order to win votes, it weakens them. He goes on to state that voters look for consistency in politicians. Matthews ridicules this, explaining how sometimes people (like Perry) who don't know politics get elected. Then, Matthews goes on to show a clip of Barry Goldwater famously saying that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. And Matthews ridicules that as well!

Does Matthews realize he just offended every principled viewer out there? Essentially, he trashed both Perry and Goldwater for principled statements. Perry stated that politicians should not take positions purely to win votes. What the hell is wrong with that? As for Matthews' ridiculing of Goldwater, is he suggesting that we should be moderate in the pursuit of justice? Really?

I hope the right goes after Matthews for this. He deserves it.  


  1. Bob,

    Lots of tricky issues involved here but I do agree that Matthews made a mess of it.

    First to Matthews. My impression when I watched the show was that Matthews intended for the Goldwater clip to be a counter to Perry’s statement but that he, or his staff, had totally misinterpreted Goldwater and instead played something that confirmed Perry’s point. That left Matthews with some nonsensical rhetoric.

    As to the issue. There is an ongoing conflict between sticking to principle and reflecting the will of the constituents. Some politicians manage to overcome the obstacle by demonstrating skill at leadership and persuasion but others either cave or stubbornly stand their ground. If the voters don’t like the result there is always the next election.

    Bill Astle