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Matthews: The GOP is becoming a 'brownfield'

Do you know what a "brownfield" is?  It's what's left when an old factory is torn down, where the land has been torn up, beaten up, burned into the soil from a

Do you know what a "brownfield" is?  It's what's left when an old factory is torn down, where the land has been torn up, beaten up, burned into the soil from a long period of having giant furnaces and factories spewing soot and heating up the ground. It's where hazardous wastes and pollution has beaten up the land.

The reason I mention a "brownfield" is because this is what the Republican party is becoming - a land that has been contaminated by too much soot in the air, by the dumping of endless hazardous waste.

Night after night, day after day the airwaves are filled with the lethal, nasty demolition of one Republican by another.  Romney's the worst of them, he and his SuperPACs.  He's dumped so much hazardous material on his rivals, it would take a 21st century superfund to clean it up.  Try watching television in Michigan today.  You can't escape the contamination. It's everywhere you go.

And it's leaving a deep level of poison out there.  It happened in Iowa, then Florida.  Now it's Michigan.  Endless layers of negative, nasty assaults by one Republican on another, just like an old fuming factory putting more and more black soot into the air, clogging the ground with the hazardous waste that will be there for months, long into this campaign for president.

What will be the cost?  That would be the deterioration in the desire of millions of regular Republicans to become involved in this process.  People don't like getting dirty, don't like living in an environment that's been contaminated and is covered in hazardous wastes.  They're not going to want to put up lawn signs in what's becoming state by state polluted by the endless rant of negativity about this or that Republican.

Romney, again, is the worst, and he, ironically, could end up paying the most of this contamination.  If the normal voter is turned off by the foulness in the air and the filth in the electoral environment, the only people who will show up to vote will be the wild ones, those with the most primitive of passions, people driven to vote out of a hatred so deep they can't live with themselves without pulling the lever against whatever it is bothering them the most about the times they are forced to live in.

But no matter which Republican survives living in this "brownfield," he will carry with him the polluted, beaten-down, tarred look of the stricken earth this Republican campaign fighting field has become.

Having spent a year or more in this place of televised horror and on-the-ground nastiness, he will look like a survivor from some factory disaster, a fugitive from an industrial horror movie, a joker cackling that life has been good to him but who no one else can imagine wanting to be in the same room with, let alone want to pick and then watch for four years as their president.