August 21, 2014

While I'm very happy to see Hardball host Chris Matthews willing to discuss the topics of income disparity and poverty in the wake of the protests in Ferguson, MO and what can be done to get people back to work, I really have to wonder what world he's living in if he's not already aware of the fact that Democrats in the House take to the floor week after week when they are in session and give speeches on those very topics and that it has absolutely zero effect on whether or not the Republicans in the Congress are ever going to cooperate with Democrats and pass a jobs bill or to put some real money for infrastructure into their budget.

The Congressional Black Caucus can talk until they're blue in the face, but it's not going to move their counterparts in the House and it's not going to move the public if no one hears them talk.

Here's Matthews on this Wednesday's show, apparently clueless about the fact that the CBC is already doing exactly what he's requesting with the floor speeches and Rep. Karen Bass reminding him of the fact that they would be passing a jobs bill if they had control of the Congress back:

MATTHEWS: What happens if you go on the floor tomorrow -- or when the Congress comes back and actually give an impassioned speech, which I`m sure you can do, about this case. Let`s not talk about the police. That`s part of the problem.

Let`s not talk about the justice in this case. That`s up to the jury ultimately. But let`s talk about the justice in society economically.

The kids who grow up in the wrong neighborhoods, I mean, economically wrong neighborhoods --

BASS: Right.

MATTHEWS: -- do not have a break coming to them.

BASS: Right. Absolutely.

Well, you know what? I have no problem making that impassioned speech. And one thing that I believe we will do is that we will have a special order hour where you know we can speak on the floor after votes on the Monday when we get back. The Congressional Black Caucus does that fairly routinely.

But there really is a lot that we can do. And as you know, Los Angeles went through this 22 years ago, you have that underlying bent up rage that happens in these cities and then have you a spark that ignites it and you have Ferguson today.

MATTHEWS: Let`s get back to the president. The congresswoman says the bill has a bill. I`ve never been impressed by it. It doesn`t seem to be macro economic, big time enough.

You`ve got to be -- to me, you`ve got to ask for what you want. I was telling young kids, ask for what you want. They`ll give you what they`re willing to give you.

ROBINSON: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: But ask for what you really want. I don`t think there`s enough there.

ROBINSON: I`m with you on the theory -- you don`t ask for nothing, you don`t get nothing, right? That`s the way of the world.


MATTHEWS: You ask for a penny, nobody`s going to give you two pennies.

ROBINSON: I think you should always go big and, you know, you get what you can get, but you`ll never get it if you don`t ask for it.

MATTHEWS: You know, look in the 1930s when a lot of white people got a lot of jobs from the government, but the CCC and a lot of that stuff, and the NRA, and a lot of people who had high unemployment then compared to the minority community today really. And they got jobs. And nobody complained that these make-work projects. Everybody wanted those jobs.

Your thoughts?

BASS: And, you know, the sad thing is that we all know our infrastructure is crumbling all across the country. In Los Angeles, we just had a major water break at UCLA.

So, there is so much that we could be doing if the political will was there.

MATTHEWS: Well, you ought to ride the roads of Washington more often, like I do, even here in the nation`s capital, it is rugged. It feels like you`re on a bug board.

Anyway, thank you, Congresswoman, so much for coming on. Karen Bass of Los Angeles, in California.

And thank you, Gene, for writing so well -- so well for us.

If only someone had a format where they could feature some of those floor speeches and staffers available who could watch them and make clips for them to air on their show. Maybe more of the public would be aware of the policies they're pushing for year after year -- and maybe they'd be more aware of who is standing in the way of passing any legislation aimed at getting people back to work. Heaven forbid it might take away from the time he spends on horse race coverage of a presidential election that's still over two years away.


Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.