In msnbc's latest Hardball documentary, “Rise of the New Right,” Chris Matthews takes a hard look at the recent surge of anger on the political right, particularly the outpouring of support for the Tea Party, which helped secure Rand Paul’s victory in Kentucky. The special airs Wednesday, June 16 at 7 p.m. ET.
I think what's been misunderstood in this entire fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico is the spiritual factor. People in our country are heartsick over this. They sit and watch our natural birthright, this "gift outright" that Robert Frost called North America, being disfigured.
And there's nothing that they can do. There’s nothing that their kids or parents or anyone that they know can do. It's as if we're all a bunch of by-standers, watching part of our country get destroyed.
Let me finish tonight with an observation about Sarah Palin.
As the former governor of Alaska, an oil-producing state, you expect Sarah Palin to have reasonably fixed positions on the dangers of off-shore drilling. Let's see if we can follow her line of thinking… Last night, she blamed the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on those whom she calls "extreme greenies." She said that we should have stuck with drilling for oil on-shore, in places like the Alaskan wilderness.
Is this the Palin position? Avoiding drilling off-shore? Let's see for ourselves.
When I heard today that Al and Tipper Gore are separating, I thought back to something that my old boss Tip O'Neill once said on this matter. I mentioned to him that someone had just gotten divorced after 33 years of marriage and said how sad that was. The veteran Speaker of the House, who had so many men – politicians like him – come to him for personal counsel over the years, said something that I'll never forget:
Memorial Day was set up as a tribute to those who fell in the American Civil War. It was intended to honor the men who died on both sides of that struggle.
What's stunning about the Civil War is that both sides were American. Sure, there was a different accent, but we spoke the same language, shared the same religions and revered the founding roots of the same country. Not only that, but so many of the fighting men -- especially the officers – knew each other, had gone to school with each other, went to class together, drilled together, went to dances together and prayed together.
The president again paid tribute to his energy secretary for having a Nobel Prize in physics. Mr. President, that’s not really the information that the American people need right now.
What most Americans want to know is whether the federal government is using all of its power in order to dragoon every resource, public and private, into cleaning up the millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Have we drafted supertankers into service to suck up the oil? Is BP doing anything to suck up the oil? If not, why not?
Did the president show enough passion and leadership to answer his critics? Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell and Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post dissect President Barack Obama's defense.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Let me finish tonight with a letter from a soldier fighting in Afghanistan.
"I found out this soldier under my command was gay. I learned about it after he died, when his longtime partner wrote to me, not knowing my orientation, to tell me how much this staff sergeant had loved the army; how we were the only family he'd ever known.
by Chris MatthewsDepending on how much is coming out of that well a day, it has dumped somewhere between 6 and 60 millions gallons of crude oil into our water - that's the water in the Gulf and wherever else it will travel over time - certainly up onto the beaches of the Gulf: Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama and Florida, perhaps then up the coast to the Carolinas.That crude oil isn't going away, it's going to be there -- where it's not supposed to be -- for the ages, or at least 'till some brilliant engineer figures out how to take it up and save us from it. read more
By Chris MatthewsLet me finish tonight with the power of video. The days are over, gone, kaput, when you can say something and hope people will forget about it.You say "macaca" at a picnic somewhere and you're finished politically. That tape of yours never dies. read more
Appearing on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Chris Matthews addresses the Gulf oil spill, describing it as "the worst thing I've ever seen," then goes on to call out former Vice President Dick Cheney for his dealings with the oil industry. In addition, Chris talks about Arizona's tough new immigration law, Rush Limbaugh, and even mixes it up with comedian Chelsea Handler.
By Chris Matthewsincluding from my colleague Rachel Maddow last night - that he supports the federal power to tell business owners that if they're open for business they can't discriminate against someone because of how they were born.Now, just to be clear, candidate Paul never called for a repeal of the civil rights act, never did say categorically that he would have voted against it. But when you read his words on the subject, it is clear he is torn between his deep philosophical belief in the rights of the individual and the ideal of a non-discriminatory America. read more
By Chris MatthewsWe`re at war this evening in Afghanistan. This week, the number of Americans killed in that theater passed 1,000. The New York Times today showed the faces of those killed just during the past two years, which is half the number lost since the war began in 2001.When you look at these pages, you see the ages of these men and women. You learn how young they were when they gave up their lives for their country. You see the varied backgrounds of all the states they represent. read more
by Chris MatthewsWhenever I meet a guy my age who served in Vietnam I ask him that direct man-to-man question: "Were you in it?" Then, I look and often see that somber nod of the head and the sad, knowing but sure answer. There is no more powerful question, no more important answer for those men my age. read more
by Chris MatthewsWe've got three big ones, all of which will gauge the level of anger out there, the amount of tough, edgy abuse people are ready to lay on the political establishment. PennsylvaniaGround zero is Pennsylvania where Joe Sestak is commanding a PT boat against Senator Arlen Specter's fleet of destroyers. read more