Monday, March 22, 2010

Chris Matthews Clip Berating Rep. Grayson is Given new Light

Daily Kos has dug into the January 2010 archives and pulled out this telling clip from Hardball with Chris Matthews:

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Rep. Grayson (D-FL) was trying to explain to Matthews how the Democrats no longer would need 60 votes to pass the health care legislation due to the process of reconciliation, but Matthews would have none of it.

He continually made fun of Grayson and dismissed his views as "outside" the traditional Washington way of thinking. This segment was quite telling about where Matthews is coming from:

MATTHEWS: In the Senate, you have to get 60 votes. Why do you think the Democrats fought like hell to get 60 votes? Why do you think the President and everybody else is dying over the fact that they lost Massachusetts? Because it didn't matter? You think they're all crazy over there, but you're smart?

GRAYSON: No, I didn't say that. What I'm saying is that everyone's been talking about reconciliation, and nobody has the guts to do it.

MATTHEWS: Name the United States Senator that's willing to do this. You keep talking about it...

GRAYSON: I think that's what you'll probably see at this point.

MATTHEWS: [Laughs.] Wanna bet? [Laughs.] Do you want to bet that they're gonna do this? In other words, they killed themselves to get 60 votes, but now they're gonna say all we need is 50, and Biden to break the tie.

GRAYSON: They shouldn't have killed themselves to get 60 votes. This is something they could've done six months ago.

MATTHEWS: This is netroots talk!

GRAYSON: No, look...

MATTHEWS: This is outsider talk, and you're an elected official...

GRAYSON: That's not true. That's not true.

MATTHEWS: ...and you know you can't do it. You're pandering to the netroots right now. I know what you're doing!

GRAYSON: You are wrong! This is something we talk about with the leadership in our caucus meetings every week!

Notice that Matthews was chiding Grayson for supposedly pandering to the "netroots" and while we now know that Grayson was simply telling Matthews exactly what was happening, it speaks to the value that Matthews puts on various opinions. He obviously respects the viewpoints that are inside the beltway and is very dismissive of "outside" views no matter the validity that they hold.

Matthews continued:

GRAYSON: When did you become the Senate parliamentarian? Did I miss that?

MATTHEWS: Well, I worked over there for many, many years, and I worked for the Speaker for six years, I worked 15 years up there...

GRAYSON: Well, I'm speaking to the Speaker and the leadership this year...

MATTHEWS: ...and I know what I'm talking about! You ask anybody... you ask anybody in the Senate right now... Go call the Senate legislative counsel's office and ask them if you can do this. Go ask the parliamentarians if you can do this. You haven't bothered to do that.

GRAYSON: No, the leadership...

MATTHEWS: [Laughs.]

GRAYSON: ...my leadership has done that. And my answer is yes.

See? Matthews is an "insider" so he is "in the know" on these issues and when Grayson dare stray from this mindset, Matthews is all over him. See how this works within the beltway and why this mindset doesn't yield the best results? At the end of this exchange Matthews bet Grayson that reconciliation wouldn't happen.

Seems like Matthews was wrong on reconciliation and if the reconciliation package passes the Senate, it will be interesting to see what Matthews will have to say.