Chuck Todd was on Hardball talking about how President Obama is fighting terrorism and how, in Chris Matthews mind, the president is fighting the extremists with liberal policies. Todd weighs in and says that there aren't enough "other" Muslim leaders willing to speak out against the radicals who have turned the religion into terrorist organizations.
Matthews: Chuck, do you think he can hold this line that we're going to remain a liberal society in terms of human rights and trial by jury and habeas corpus, Miranda and also not get really angry in a reactive way to the Islamic world generally. Get that bunker mentality that Israel takes from time to time. The whole neighborhood hates us, we've got to be reactive to that. Can he keep us from that point of view and that mentality?
Todd: I think it's tough but the greater challenge is that there aren't enough other Muslim leaders around the world who stand up and criticize al-Qaeda publicly enough, You know this is the great challenge here and I think this is what makes it harder for him to win this argument with the right in this country. There aren't enough examples around the world where we have leaders of other Muslim nations who stand up and loudly yell, these guys in Yemen are thugs....
The president believes in his heart that 99% Muslims around the world believe this is not a violent religion, an extremist religion, but there is so much fear in the middle east form some of these leaders that they're going to be toppled by this extremist movement that they're afraid to speak out about it and that of course puts the president in a box here politically with his own domestic critics because we sit here, I think you see conservatives sit here and say hey, it doesn't seem like the Muslim world wants to stop these guys.,
To Matthews' point, Obama isn't fighting this with a liberal philosophy for the most part. It's interesting how the Villagers slip up. I think it shows how right-wing narratives permeate the thinking of the media even if they aren't conscious of it. And the right-wing critics are not operating in good faith, so their criticisms are not valid, for a simple reason: These people are looking to weaken the president even in a time of war for their own political purposes. And the proof that we have seen right before our eyes is that a reactionary, smash-and-burn attitude from conservatives regarding one billion Muslims around the world didn't work. Bush and Cheney only created more extremism and more violence because of their neoconservative philosophy and foreign policies, which includes their pet war in Iraq. The idea is to have fewer terrorists not more. However, it's very profitable for the military industrial complex for our society to continue to be at war with somebody, so there's that too.
We can see how out of touch
Todd is the right is when they talk up this issue of the way Muslim leaders around the world are cautious in how they speak about Muslim extremists: THEY LIVE THERE. Get it? The struggle has to go on beneath the screaming world of television pundits and news programming. That's why diplomacy is an important tool. Using a sledgehammer will not work. Negotiations behind closed doors with Muslim leaders as well as other countries is a big part of the solution. And not attacking Middle East countries that haven't attacked us is a really good idea too.
Todd also slips when he refers to right-wing critics as "we" for a moment too. The momentary honesty was unbecoming.