Chris Matthews in his "Let me finish" segment says out loud what most of us have known for a long time now, that the Republican Party has become the party of the John Birch Society.
MATTHEWS: "Let Me Finish" tonight with this unbelievable presidential campaign that’s about to begin. Watching President Obama today explaining and defending his budget, both the substance and the politics, I was struck by the question: could any of the possible Republican candidates out there do this? Does any one of them have the precision of mind, the command of recall, the orderly process of thinking and evaluating, the reasonable moral compass?
You can play this game, too. Think it through. Throw those names and faces onto your mental viewing screen and think deep. Romney, Huckabee, Palin, Bachmann, Barbour, Santorum, Gingrich -- is there one of them we think could do what Obama can do?
I’ve been in close quarters with the president twice. The first time I came to the conclusion that this guy ought to be president of the United States. There’s a peace to his presentation, a calm understanding of the information, of his values, of the world.
A look at the Republican field, with all its negatives, I look at Nate Silver’s numbers and see the problem that the party has in finding someone to field against the president -- someone who can stand up on the same platform, talk the issues with this competence and wonder -- then it come to me, that they may not be in the business of looking for something with the match to Obama, simply someone to attack him. I’m talking about a protest candidate -- someone who is -- who yells at the government, mocks the country’s condition, is clever, sarcastic, and when it works best, cute in their cutting.
A look at the joke-telling at last week’s Conservative Political Action Convention, a look at the new poll showing a majority of Republican voters don’t believe the president was born here, even though it was announced in the newspapers at the time. I look at the strange wackiness that echoes through the one stable party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, and Ike, and wonder if they accept any of those guys today? Do you think they’d take a guy who wanted to take away states` rights? Who wants to fight for conservation of our wilderness lands, who wants to build an interstate highway system or create a federal system of loans and grants for higher education?
Forget about it, they’d never pick those guys. No, The Republicans aren’t that party anymore. They’re becoming more and more the party that doesn’t believe in science, whether it’s evolution or climate change; doesn’t believe in government; doesn’t believe the president is an American.
It’s veering off to being the party of the John Birch Society, adhering to the while preachments of that society’s latter day apostle, Glenn Beck. That’s right -- the John Birch Society that said Ike was a communist; the apostle who now believes that President Obama is an avatar of a burgeoning world-dominating caliphate.
That’s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.