MSNBC's Chris Matthews aggravates the hell out of me most of the time because he's incapable of giving an interview without talking over his guests, and right or wrong, if he's got a point he wants to make, that often means he's going to steamroll that guest until he gets the answer he wants to hear out of them come hell or high water.
As annoying as that can be at times, at other times, it can be at least a little bit enlightening, which is what you could say about this interview with so-called "tea party" Rep. Dave Brat, who took down Eric Cantor with a lot of help from the Koch brothers and their allies.
Brat appeared on MSNBC following President Obama's final state of the union address this Tuesday night, and Matthews tried his best to pin Brat down on when, if ever we're going to see Congress pass an immigration reform bill, and he pretty much got his answer after a bunch of filibustering and trying to change the subject by Brat.
The answer of course is never. These people know their base and they're not going to give an inch. They're going to demand the impossible, that you seal off the southern border completely, and until that impossible thing happens, they're not budging.
MATTHEWS: Before you slip and slide away from the question, what was wrong with a comprehensive immigration bill? I'm not talking about a giveaway or amnesty. I'm talking about a bill that said no more illegal hiring. We're going to make E-Verify work. It's not going to be another Simpson-Mazzoli from '86. It is truly comprehensive. What's wrong with that?
When are you going to fix the system if not with a bill like that?
BRAT: Yeah well, I don't think we need to go comprehensive. We've done that in the past and the comprehensive anything never works. Obamacare is a comprehensive health care disaster.
MATTHEWS: What kind of Jabberwocky is that?
BRAT: If you let me answer the question.
MATTHEWS: That's not an answer! It's a word and you don't like the word comprehensive? The only way to pass the bill is to have something for the right and something for the left. It's called compromise. You're not going to get a bill that just...
BRAT: … compromise... let's go with something everyone agrees with first which is sealing the border. Last week ten thousand kids came across according to the Washington Post...
MATTHEWS: How well did that (inaudible)
BRAT: We keep puttting up green lights for to welcome seven million people in.
MATTHEWS: Okay. I see where you're going here.
BRAT: I think everybody knows that won't work.
MATTHEWS: So the politics you're playing here is anti-immigrant politics.
BRAT: No. Absolutely not. We have a million legal immigrants for a year that go through the proper channels and follow the rule of law. This country was made great because of the free market system and the rule of law. If the left would embrace those two simple things the rest of the world would be rich and they wouldn't all want to migrate to the richest, greatest country on the earth.
MATTHEWS: You keep changing the subject to these other parts of your jeremiad. That I just want an answer. When are we going to get an immigration bill?
BRAT: As soon as we all compromise and first of all, seal off the southern border, which everyone knows is a disaster.
Republican's idea of compromise is give me everything we want and then maybe we'll talk. Matthews seemed impressed at the end that the guy was at least willing to say it out loud.