Wait, What? Matthews Compares Republicans to Jonestown Followers, North Korean Soldiers

Wait, What? Matthews Compares Republicans to Jonestown Followers, North Korean Soldiers


A day after MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews called out President Trump for “coming out like a kiss butt” in dealing with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the liberal pundit reveled on Wednesday in comparing Republicans to North Korean soldiers and comments by Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker that GOPers are part of a “cult” for enthusiastically backing President.

Not surprisingly, Matthews seemed a little confused about whether to make the Republican comparison to those who committed mass suicide in Jonestown by first ruling at 7:21 p.m. Eastern that “Corker’s not exactly a bomb thrower and he’s not comparing this guy to James Jones and drinking the kool-aid and cults and that’s pretty deep.”

 

 

Then, 17 minutes later, Matthews wondered in a tease: “Anyway, the Republican Party becoming more like a cult than a political party? Boy, that’s hard news for the Republicans. You’re in a cult. This is Jonestown? The Hardball Roundtable’s sticks [sic] with us.”

Fast-forward another eight minutes and then Matthews told his Hardball Roundtable this:

Outgoing Republican senator, I love this phrase, outgoing, in other words, they actually start talking when they’re outgoing, they become outgoing. Anway, Bob Corker’s fought — calling out his fellow Republicans as being like a cult, like Jonestown or something under President Trump.

So, he went from saying Corker definitely wasn’t doing that to wondering that aloud to asserting that Trumpers are indeed like Jim Jones followers….solid work, Chris.

But wait, it gets better. Moments later, the same person who couldn’t control their emotions when talking about Barack Obama blurted out that “[m]aybe the Democratic Party is a little more loosey-goosey but they don’t take orders like the Republicans do.”

To end the show, Matthews fretted that “[t]he Republican Party is in the process now of purifying itself….of anyone who doesn’t march in step with President Trump.”

“Listen to them. They all sound like they’ve been scripted by Sean Hannity, all marching along in stiff, locked cadence and regimental discipline, speaking in one voice, smiling in unison, contorting their faces into the same expression as the man next to them, you know, like scared to death soldiers marching in Pyongyang,” Matthews added.

Yeesh. Granted, Matthews said something similar on Tuesday. But still.

Matthews listed a few of the Republicans who are quitting Congress and cited Trump as the reason they’re leaving (not their disapproval ratings in their home states or difficult reelection battles) and hilariously tried to claim that the GOP only became fiscally irresponsibility with the Trump tax plan and not anything in years prior.

Matthews concluded with a bizarre defense of South Carolian Republican Congressman Mark Sanford one night after he lost reelection in the GOP primary:

Whatever you want to say about Mark Sanford, who Trump’s people knocked off in yesterday’s primary, you feed to add this. At least when he embarrassed himself a few years back, at least the love was real. The Republicans now beckoning to Trump’s allure can’t even claim that. 

Again, yeesh.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on June 13, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
June 13, 2018
7:21 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, you know, Corker’s not exactly a bomb thrower and he’s not comparing this guy to James Jones and drinking the kool-aid and cults and that’s pretty deep. 

JOHN FEEHERY: I don’t think that — 

MATTHEWS: You think it’s true?

FEEHERY: Well, listen. I think that upsetting the Trump voter not necessarily the president but the Trump voter is bad politics. 

MATTHEWS: You mean the bear?

FEEHERY: The bear.

MATTHEWS: He’s talking about the bear. 

FEEHERY: The bear is the trump voter. 

MATTHEWS: Oh really?

FEEHERY: And Sanford, you know, it’s easy to complain when you’re leaving or get on your soapbox.

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s the point.

FEEHERY: That’s the easiest thing to do. The hardest thing to do is run again and compete and win these voters and appeal to them on the issues they care about. What they care about are jobs, they care about national security, they care about rising wages and they care about immigration and you know, Mr. Corker is leaving and you know, so no one cares what he says. 

MATTHEWS: Well, you’re making his point, Cornell, I think, John just made the point. The only guys free to speak their minds are the ones leaving.

FEEHERY: Right.

CORNELL BELCHER: Well, there certainly is something different about this — this — this President and what we’re seeing. Certainly — certainly, Bush didn’t hold the base of the Republican party this way and as someone who worked for Barack Obama could tell you, he certainly didn’t hold the base of the Democratic Party this way. There is something very different that’s going on here and I mean, I said it himself, Trump said I could stand in the middle of Times Square and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose any support. So, there is something textually different from what — with Trump than what I think we saw from Bush and Obama. But the question for me becomes can you be the party of Trump? And I think Speaker Boehner has it got right, you know, this is Trump’s party now. Can you be the party of Trump and also be the party of middle America? Yes you can do well in these primaries, but I can tell you right now. The Republican they nominated to take on Virginia is way out of line with Virginia.

(….)

MATTHEWS: Anyway, the Republican Party becoming more like a cult than a political party? Boy, that’s hard news for the Republicans. You’re in a cult. This is Jonestown? The Hardball Roundtable’s sticks [sic] with us.

(….)

MATTHEWS: Outgoing Republican senator, I love this phrase, outgoing, in other words, they actually start talking when they’re outgoing, they become outgoing. Anway, Bob Corker’s fought — calling out his fellow Republicans as being like a cult, like Jonestown or something under President Trump. Let’s watch. 

TENNESSEE REPUBLICAN SENATOR BOB CORKER: We have a lot of people who are willing to do the things that they feel are right for our country. We have some who are fearful of upsetting the president. Again, it would mostly be around the leadership, but it’s — it’s not a good place for us to be. 

MATTHEWS: Well, Corker said part of the cultish behavior comes from concerns over getting re-elected. Of course, South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford. who lost his primary last night after poking the bear told The Washington Post today that Republicans “don’t want the tweet I got last night….There’s no motivation like self-motivation.” Gene? 

EUGENE SCOTT: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: They don’t want it. This guy — Roosevelt couldn’t get rid of people. He couldn’t purge them when he tried in ‘38. It wasn’t — it wasn’t doable in the old days. Maybe the Democratic Party is a little more loosey-goosey but they don’t take orders like the Republicans do. 

SCOTT: Well, right now, I think they’re seeing that the voters are with Trump far more than the voters have been with Congress and they’re just nervous and they’re afraid and I think what’s been interesting to me —

MATTHEWS: Don’t they want a local person to be a little bit independent? Answer: No!

SCOTT: — no, no, not at all. We haven’t seen that at all. One of the things I find interesting about Corker’s words, even Flake’s words is that this — this personality cult was happening way before what we have now, back when Corker was encouraging people to get on the Trump Train and, so, I haven’t seen a lot of self-reflection admitting what role they played in creating this political climate. 

(….)

MATTHEWS: Trump watch, Wednesday June 13th, 2018. The Republican Party is in the process now of purifying itself. It’s purifying of anyone who doesn’t march in step with President Trump. Listen to them. They all sound like they’ve been scripted by Sean Hannity, all marching along in stiff, locked cadence and regimental discipline, speaking in one voice, smiling in unison, contorting their faces into the same expression as the man next to them, you know, like scared to death soldiers marching in Pyongyang. Look at what happens if you get out of step? You’re gone like Senator Bob Corker or Senator Jeff Flake or Congressman Charlie Dent or Congressman Ryan Costello or Trey Gowdy. If you’re not in step with the Trump marchers, not tune with the line from the White House, if you can’t lip-synch with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you’re dead in Trump’s eyes. And none of this has anything to do with what we used to consider Republican values. The GOP stood for free trade, Trump stands for trade wars. The Grand Ole Party called it self the party of fiscal discipline. That was before the new guy decreed his trillion and a half dollar tax cut. It used to be for things like NATO and the Marshall Plan and alliance building against the enemy. Now it’s lunch, communiques, and smiles and bromances with the enemy. One has to ask if it is still possible to ask, what will happen to all this heel-clicking when Trump’s gone? Will the party of Lincoln and Reagan be proud it knelt before Donald Trump’s altar? Whatever you want to say about Mark Sanford, who Trump’s people knocked off in yesterday’s primary, you feed to add this. At least when he embarrassed himself a few years back, at least the love was real. The Republicans now beckoning to Trump’s allure can’t even claim that. 



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