During the opening of Andrea Mitchell's show today before President Obama came on to talk about Standard and Poor's downgrading the credit rating of the United States, Chris Matthews made the ridiculous assertion that they actually had some credibility after all we've seen out of that ratings agency over the last few years.
MITCHELL: Let's talk about the S&P. Clearly a political judgment by the S&P about the future of debt reduction and long term solvency. Is that exceeding their grasp? And was it wrong as the White House and Treasury claimed?
MATTHEWS: Well it's done. And it has power in itself and uh... they have credibility. We live with the S&P everyday. And the value of our stocks and how our portfolios are doing, depending on how the S&P rates it. I think it probably has more to do with our dollar and the value of our dollar. I think gold's going up because of that. And that's a more of a near term thing than the obviously unrealistic assessment that we might actually renege on our debt.
But I tell you, I think this is really big and I think it has to do with the towering size of the U.S. debt. And the more we read about Greece; the more we read about the periphery countries of Portugal and Spain and Italy too... in trouble, the more we look at one thing, how's their debt compared to their GDP? And by that standard we have problems.
We can't keep saying we're different, that there's American exceptionalism at work here. Because if we're exceptional why do we keep rolling up our debt? And that's a question I think the liberals, the Democrats, progressives are going to have to deal with. They can't simply say it's a problem of the idiot right. You can't blame it all on them. There are some idiots out there on the right. There's some people on the right who will not look at the overall big picture. But the big picture's indefensible. And that's the problem.