Who Chris Matthews Thinks Should be TIME's Man of the Year
So Chris Matthews asks his guests this week-end who should be TIME's Man of the year. A couple of them pick Julian Assange, but Andrea Mitchell had another nomination:
ANDREA MITCHELL: I'm not going to say Julian Assange. I would say because of the midterm elections, the House going Republican, the Senate not going Republican, the Tea Party. They’ve changed the debate on deficit reduction. They’ve got, you’ve got Ron Paul now in charge of monetary policy from the House. They have changed politics for now in Washington.
Right. They changed the debate on deficit reduction but their putative leader Jim DeMint is now threatening to filibuster the tax deal, not because it greatly expands the deficit, but because it doesn't make the tax cuts for millionaires permanent. I suppose that you can call innumeracy and mendacity "changing the debate" but it's a stretch to say they are really doing anything but the bidding of Andrea Mitchell's social network.
On the other hand, she's right that they should be in the running for the Man of the Year label, since their billionaire funded astroturf movement really did manage to topple a bunch of Republicans and they are ushering in a new era of right wing radicalism.
Chris Matthews' nominee, on the other hand, is odd under any circumstances, but his reasoning was just strange:
MATTHEWS: I think it’s Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader who forced the President to the left on every issue from healthcare to the stimulus. He made him into a left-wing president because of Republican policy. It was brilliant. It allowed the Republicans to have a brilliant political year. I’m not sure it was in the country’s interest, but he made the big difference this year.
It appears that the Village narrative has fully set in: it was a master stroke for the Republicans to be total obstructionists thus forcing the president to succumb to the shrieking left to pass his radical health care takeover and stimulus plan so that Americans would reject this socialistic takeover and put them back in office. Savvy, very very savvy.
I wouldn't even mind that narrative if the health care bill and the stimulus had been left wing. But if you're going to define the radical left as that which pleases Olympia Snowe and Joe Lieberman then I think we may be speaking different languages.