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Matthews: A vote for Romney is a vote for all radical conservatives

Let me finish tonight with, again, the stakes this November.You can vote your impulse in this election.

Let me finish tonight with, again, the stakes this November.

You can vote your impulse in this election. You can say, "Well, the economy's not growing the way it should. Let's change presidents." Or you can look at the choices here and decide who is the best bet to lead the kind of country you believe in. That includes, but isn't limited to, the kind of economic growth you'd like to see this month or next. 

That bigger choice is getting heftier by the minute.

You vote for Obama, you get a second start at what he's been trying to do: some smart use of government action to stimulate a fairer, safer America. 

You vote for Romney and you get a slew of things: 

You get him — the "him" he's created of himself the past few years. I'm still not all that sure what that means in personal terms. But if you take Romney, the candidate, at his word — he's a dedicated disciple of the right — tax breaks for the wealthy, no deals with Democrats on cutting the deficit, no abortion rights, no marriage equality, a war footing with Iran, militance toward China, a cold relationship with Russia... You get something like what the hard right has wanted for years and on every front. 

You also get the whole cotillion: you get Bachmann and her loony notions of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into Hillary's office, of Democratic "anti-American" types sifting through the Capitol cloakrooms. You get the equally lunar "birther" types, the folks Speaker Boehner wistfully calls the "knuckle-draggers." You get the people who hate science, like this character Akin with his quack theories about rape and impregnation. You get the real hawks like John Bolton, just waiting for another empty suit to fill with the latest war they've got on their agenda. With the Bushes they had one for the first, two for the second. Dubya was much emptier as suits go: all hat and no...well, you fill in the blank. 

The point is, getting Romney, the dedicated rightwing man-for-hire, is one thing. But we're reminded again tonight with this character from Missouri and his "legitimate rape" gospel that all is not right in nut country. 

Just remember, if you vote for Romney, you not only get him, you get the march of the clowns that didn't end with Santorum and Gingrich. It marches on, taking only short breaks after killing the debt deal, downgrading the country's bond rating, a quick skinny dip in the Galilee, to their next snappy march to armageddon.