Matthews: ‘There ought to be a conscience’ in politics


Let finish tonight with this.

The Republicans could win this election just on the math. You could argue that if they can’t make something of an 8-plus jobless rate and all the underemployment out there, they shouldn’t even be in the running. The point is, and we can mostly agree on this across the spectrum, they shouldn’t do some of the stuff they’re doing on the eve of this convention, desperate or not. 

Welfare cheats. Food stamps. The whole “birther” game is below a major political party, including and especially the party of Lincoln. 

I don’t know why Romney hooked up with Donald Trump, don’t know why Trump himself is pushing the “birther” charge so hard. 

There ought to be a conscience in this business. John McCain showed his last time. He refused to play the ethnic card, the “He’s a Muslim” charge. And John McCain was losing when he refused to get down and dirty. Why’s Romney, who’s head-to-head now, and now faces a huge chance to pull ahead in his acceptance speech and in the three big primetime debates—why’s he taking these shots at welfare people and telling knee-slappers about the “birther” sickness? 

That’s a question that needs an answer. More important, it’s a question we shouldn’t have to be asking after what this country’s been through all these years.