Watching Chris Matthews tonight, I couldn't help but be embarrassed for him. He melted like a pad of warm butter all over Alan Greenspan. As I see it, this is one of Chris' major flaws. He seems so personally awed by so many of the major players in and around Washington he exhibits no professional distance in his interviews. It's more like he's interviewing his best friend each time, and god forbid he ask them a hard question that would endanger their personal relationship. He's "embedded" himself in the Washington scene far too long and has lost almost all of his impartiality.
Even when talking about someone like president Bush, who's record of failure should speak for itself, he's stated how much 'respect he has for the man'. Sometimes when Chris says things like that it almost makes my head spin around and I think, did he really just say that?
What's equally weird are the times when he really seems to be back within the bounds of reality. Sure, if you're honest with yourself your feelings can change about certain things as you grow and learn, but as I've watched Chris over the years it appears depending on the day, his mood, or something unknown [to me] that he'll be on opposite sides of the issue.
It's like there's two separate Chris Matthews, one voice coming from his head and the other coming from his heart.
Now regarding Greenspan's comments tonight about how social security should ultimately be 'fixed', he says that cutting entitlements will have to be done.
Now I'm currently "living" on a single social security disability payment each month, similar to what retirees with no other source of income do (I have no 'assets' whatsoever).
I'm just trying to think about what they're supposed to do if their benefits are reduced.
Barely above the poverty line as it is, there is no way that they should have to even contemplate trying to get by on less than they already have, especially when the rich are getting richer (and growing in numbers). Greenspan's cold assessment doesn't include those factors it seems.
They seemed to dance around the fact that one of the major factors in the equation is the massive profits the HMOs and pharmaceutical companies suck out of the system, made worse by raising their rates far above the rate of inflation. The subject about reigning in that major problem is rarely mentioned, and when it is, the agents of the health care lobby (and their partners on strategic government committees) come to their rescue.
The way our government runs these days is shameful. Sure lobbyists aren't new or inherently bad, but the balance is so tilted to one side now that the public's 'representatives' don't work for them, but in many cases look to be working directly against them, giving much too much weight to the upper class and major business interests. And although there are some wonderful, caring people included in this upper class, all too many seem to live by the motto "I've got mine, if you can't get here by yourself, too bad" (or "Sucks to be you!")
When I try to distill this in my head and relate it to the Democrats and Republicans, the Democrats lean towards helping their fellow Americans who are in need, and the Republicans lean towards helping only themselves, and only those who share their philosophy (and wealth). And this attitude has been 'distilled' over the past seven years by the man and administration who promised to "unite" the country.
And briefly, I want to get into my feelings about why someone who I admire greatly, namely Keith Olbermann, is so reticent to say anything relating to some other members of the media's comments, especially (but not solely) in the case of Chris Matthews, "My good friend".
I hope he does speak up at least privately behind the scenes. I know he has to work with him, and it's unreasonable for me to expect absolute honesty from Keith in this particular situation, but from what I've seen of Keith's character, and the 'special comments' that are so right-on, he must cringe [inside] at some of the inane statements and positions Matthews has come out with. And to speak out against comments others in the media have made, as he does regularly (and rightly so), then neglect those made by his "good friend" is less than I expect (even if it is unreasonable) from the conscientious professional I admire.
The other night after the Republican debate Chris was his usual manic (rude?) self interrupting Keith and not taking time to hear the points Keith was making in favor of his point, whatever that was.. I got the feeling that even his good friend was testing his patience at that point.
So often Chris' interviews are more like an interrogation than an interview.
Chris calls it "Hardball", but all too often it's just him rudely pushing his own twisted philosophy down the throats of his 'guests'.
What makes me shake my head is every once in a while he acts perfectly normal, reasonable and courteous. Seriously, it makes me think he needs medication. I wonder what psychiatrists think when they watch his show?