All's fair in love, war and politics for Chris Matthews. And there is one particular theme that he just can't seem to let go of, and he's asked absolutely every guest on Hardball for the last week the same thing, as evidenced by this clip from last Wednesday: Doesn't John McCain deserve respect or credit for not invoking Reverend Wright in the waning days of the campaign?
Think about that. McCain has flailed wildly over the last few months, calling Obama a friend to terrorists, a socialist, a Marxist, a communist among many, many other attempts at smears, but somehow we're all supposed to be impressed that he doesn't bring up Rev. Wright? Nevermind that he has 527 support doing it for him, the fact that McCain himself doesn't say anything is praiseworthy to Chris Matthews. Should we likewise be impressed that McCain hasn't actively encouraged his supporters to call Obama the n-word, even though they've managed very well on their own? What other non-actions should we praise McCain for, Tweety?
Meanwhile, whatever restraint McCain may have displayed in this matter was utterly nullified by the massive last-minute ad buy by Republicans, running an anti-Obama ad featuring Wright, that ran incessantly on cable TV (notably MSNBC) the last couple of days.
And finally, though I know C&L readers already know this, but I harbor a secret hope that a Hardball producer reads C&L and can maybe just clear this up for Matthews, as he has bought the Fox-driven Rev. Wright smear hook, line and sinker, here is the full context of the snippet that FNS played over and over to show Wright's "anti-American hatred." I would hope that if Matthews had actually ever saw this video, that he'd admire McCain's reticence just a little bit less.