From 1968 to 1970, Christopher John Matthews heroically served his nation as a trade development adviser in the Peace Corps where he developed trade or traded advisers or developed trading advice. Or something. There he gained the name Phakama Dube, which is Swazi for Jump Up Zebra and faced danger a thousand times.
I was driving my British-made Ford Escort through the Grand Valley. Sweating and numbed by the heat, I barely noticed a black line across half of the roadway ahead. Suddenly I could see it was alive, heading at a sharp angle toward me. Before I could change course, the snake was at my open window, its full length springing up and in at me!
At that exact moment of sheer terror, I was as sure as I have been of anything in my life that the black mamba was twisting around in the backseat of my Escort, ready to strike. Of course, the mamba wasn’t there at all. In my panic I flinched, jerking the wheel to the left and skidding to a stop.
That heroic escapade, which is exactly like being shot down and tortured in Vietnam, eminently qualifies the second whitest and fattest journalist on MSNBC (Ed Schultz still wins this one) to mock McCain as a crazy veteran.
Both Matthews and McCain were well connected young men. The difference is that McCain served his country, while Matthews was playing tourist in Africa on Uncle Sam’s dime.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why is John McCain so angry? Forty years after the Vietnam POWs came home, the most famous of them is angrier than ever. Why is America, why are we fighting the Vietnam war all over again in the United States Senate? The ticked off vitriol against Chuck Hagel, what is it about is? Is it for show? Is it about something Hagel said in the cloakroom? Is it about the basic unfairness of Vietnam itself that some went and some didn’t? Is it about Lyndon Johnson’s inability to either win that war or end it? What is it that burns so deeply in John McCain these days? It seems to excite those who knew nothing of Vietnam, but for hard reasons want to replay it again and again in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Syria and, yes, eventually in Iran. Well, tonight, we dig into the deep well of resentment burning in John McCain’s patriotic heart.
A resentment not against the North Vietnamese who imprisoned and toured him all those years, not against George W. Bush and his political henchmen who tried to stain McCain’s reputation back in 2000, but against a guy who fought against fear and rallied against wounds just like he did in the same army of America’s long nightmare in Vietnam, Chuck Hagel. A nightmare by the way whose flashbacks must haunt still the mind and heart of John Sidney McCain.
Eugene McCarthy supporter Chris Matthews appears to be having his own flashback here, and it’s to Vietnam, not Africa.
This isn’t really about Vietnam, it’s about the resentment of a generation of leftists for Vietnam veterans. A resentment that they disguise as concern trolling about angry and unstable veterans.
If McCain were really angry about Vietnam, it would have come out in the Kerry hearing, not the Hagel hearing. The Hagel hearing was ugly because Hagel was an incompetent nominee who had alienated everyone in the Senate. It’s Chris Matthews who can’t let Vietnam go, who has to continue defaming Vietnam veterans as a cover for his own cowardice.
MATTHEWS: It looks like a flashback. McCain is so angry. Is it really about the surge?
Here’s a question. Why is Chris Matthews so angry? He’s never been to Vietnam. He’s been a privileged boy of the DC establishment who had a patronage job, a jaunt in the Peace Corps and then has to do the hard work of getting on the air of a news network with lower standards than a White Castle (a place that Chris Matthews has spent more time in than Vietnam and Africa combined) to scream childish insults at the Republican Enemy of the Day.
Chris Matthews is rich. He’s privileged. So why is he so angry? It can’t be Vietnam. It’s probably not Swaziland. Is it the knowledge that he’s a worthless human being who has made a fortune telling lies and churning out bile? Is it the self-loathing that comes from the knowledge that his anger is what he’s being paid for and that his anger is as phony as the rest of him? Is Chris Matthews’ fake anger behind his real anger?
Perhaps we can have a panel discussion on what makes Matthews so mad.