Chris Matthews with possibly the stupidest comment of the night after Obama's speech at West Point. A military installation is "the enemy camp" Chris?
December 2, 2009

Chris Matthews with possibly the stupidest comment of the night after Obama's speech at West Point. A military installation is "the enemy camp" Chris? Unbelievable.

Matthews: Well I think that’s true of most wars, you start with a lot of excitement and you know I always remember that scene in Gone With the Wind where all the Rebels are so excited about going to war with the North, a country they can’t beat because of its industrial advantage and population advantage—they were going to lose that war eventually. It seems like in this case there isn’t a lot of excitement.

I watched those Cadets, they were young kids, men and women who were committed to serving their country professionally and must be said as officers and I didn’t see much excitement but among the older people there, I saw if not resentment, skepticism. I didn’t see a lot of warmth in that crowd out there the President chose to address tonight. And I thought that was interesting. He went to maybe the enemy camp tonight to make his case.

I mean that’s where Paul Wolfowitz used to write speeches for, back in the old Bush days. That’s where he went to rabble rouse the “we’re going to democratize the world” campaign back in ’02. So I thought it was a strange venue.

Maddow: I think we’re used to, I think you’re right Chris that we are used to seeing real bumper sticker, jingoistic speeches by George W. Bush frankly in front of military audiences. I think one important observation made today is how many times he spoke before military audiences, really in a departure from every president who came before him. Dana Milbank had a great article about that today in the Washington Post and Bush did that because he liked to get that adulation from the military politically and I’m guessing personally. President Obama today talking about balancing the military against our other needs as a nation is an anti-bumper sticker. It’s not the kind of thing that brings crowds to their feet. It may in fact be the most adult thing that’s ever been told to an American, a modern American audience on a military issue.

Matthews was already back tracking a bit later in the evening. He knows he's going to get whacked for this one and rightfully so. His explanation wasn't much better. Just because the neo-cons have used and abused our military and their installations as props doesn't make it the "enemy camp" when a Democratic president goes there.

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