Matthews on the negative effect of name calling in politics: ‘It ends the discussion’

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

This campaign is getting hot. We’ve got the Republican National Chairman calling the Senate Democratic Leader a “liar.” We’ve got Senator Lindsay Graham, usually a genteel sort, backing him up. Now we have word that the President “hates” the Republican candidate for president. 

So here we are — in early August. The conventions haven’t even started and the heated words that often come late in the race are already out there.  

There are people who say they don’t like this kind of politics, the same people who say they don’t like negative advertising. But there’s another group that wants to see the fight for it. They don’t think politics should be a show on public television. They think it oughta be like it is here most nights — people with strong opinions, passionate about who should be running the country, about what the country stands for.  

I don’t like to see someone call another politician a “liar” for the simple reason that it ends the discussion. How do you respond to someone who says you’re not a man or woman of your word? And oftentimes it hurts the person who calls the other one a liar far more than it does the one he’s calling a liar.

This thing about a candidate “hating” the other guy also gets to me. But let me throw in a “but” here: Have you noticed that the Republicans who’ve gone against Romney this time and last tend to have very negative attitudes toward the man? McCain certainly didn’t like him. Huckabee didn’t. Santorum certainly didn’t. 

The only people who get chummy with Romney are the folks looking for his patronage. That would be Pawlenty, who wants on the ticket, and Newt, who has the most to hold against him, just wants in the loop.

So here we go. Temperatures rising, anger in the air, nasty words being spoken that cannot easily be taken back. “Sorry for saying your words are no good.” Now that’s a tough one to take back!  

The fact that the Romney forces are making such charges is a sign that their guy is getting hurt. I wonder if he’s told his defenders whether he paid taxes or not. It would be the right thing to do given what they’re saying about the other guy.

Don’t you think?

Mitt Romney and Hardball Let Me Finish

Matthews on the negative effect of name calling in politics: 'It ends the discussion'

Updated