Liberal bloggers continue to be apoplectic with rage over Chris Matthews "misogynistic" performance during this week’s New Hampshire primary.
Regular readers of this space had no such surprise. It’s what I’ve been saying for years now. A generation’s worth of political assumptions are exceedingly difficult to dislodge. In the case of the Nixon Thesis of Conflict, it has taken the breaking of our military, our health care system, and our economy, based on obsolete assumptions that may have resonated in Spiro Agnew’s time , but are completely meaningless in the War Against Oil.
The result of being on the wrong end of those assumptions for a lifetime is, as in Matthews’ case, a form of Battered Wife’s Syndrome. He claims to stand against those assumptions, and is fond of noting he is a former aide to the late, great Tip O’Neill. But watching his boss get hammered, again-and-again, by Reagan-era conservatism, he became always on-the-lookout for the jerking of political knees on behalf of political jerks.
Until this year, this was the right way to bet. The only reason
George W. Bush got close to the Presidency, close enough to steal it
netroots Democrats will tell you, is because of those assumptions.
Those assumptions are often couched in a rather naked form of bigotry
as though their author, Nixon himself, were dictating to Matthews from
inside a bottle of Scotch.
The Swift-boating of John Kerry would have been ignored had they not
fit so nicely into those assumptions, about Vietnam-era protesters,
assumptions Democrats gleefully walked right into by nominating the
When you’re battered like that politically, year after year, decade
after decade, it’s completely logical to see no other way of political
life. So Matthews and his Boston sidekick, Mike Barnicle, went
on-and-on with their naked display of prejudice — against feminists,
against blacks, against educated liberals, against the very idea of a
possible Democratic majority.
Given how 60,000 more voters opted for Democratic ballots in New
Hampshire than Republican, after an Iowa caucus where Democrats
outnumbered Republicans by nearly 2-1, it was simply too much. And this time, because the netroots had the numbers, the media heard.
This is an important turning point in American politics. Nominal Democrats
who assume the fetal position before Republican batterings are being
told by their fellow Democrats to STFU. They’re being called out for
what they are, co-dependents. They’re being given an intervention, told
that if they don’t get help for themselves the family will wash its
hands of them.
With many women, and some men, this is all it takes. They go to the
sheriff, they get a lawyer. They divorce the bastard. For others, and
I’m afraid Matthews is one of them, they just go nattering on until
they are, in effect, killed.
Or in this case, cancelled.
Matthews is acting like a battered woman. That’s the irony here. That’s
the funny bit. Merely feeling sorry for him is just enabling his
batterer. If the victim refuses all help, you shake your head and leave
And this goes for the rest of you. Next time some gun nut, or economic royalist, or chickenhawk,
or pro-slavery maniac tries to intimidate you, tries to politically
rape you, attacks you, you kick him (or her) . In the nuts. Then you do
it again. And again. Until they get the message.
Your time is over. Your day is done. We’re not afraid of you any more.
I am Democrat. Hear me roar.