Chris Matthews, during his syndicated The Chris Matthews Show over the weekend, warned viewers that a big win for Republicans in the upcoming midterms could lead to a bunch of "oddballs" coming to Washington. Matthews, citing a New York magazine article by Jennifer Senior, alerted his audience that if the Tea Party is successful in November it could be reminiscent of the Republican class of 1994 when a bunch of "nutty standouts" arrived. Matthews then went on to list two groups of Republicans who were elected in 1994 and placed them in two groups: "the black helicopter crowd of paranoids" and "hypocrites who stood on the party's family values platform and then managed to slip off." [audio available here]
The following Matthews monologue was aired on the August 1 edition of The Chris Matthews Show:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Anyway before we break, this week Democrats announced they're gonna tie all Republicans to the nuttier Tea Party ideas. That tactic may help save some Democrats but things are so anti-Washington, that a few Tea Partiers may sneak by this year. Political writer Jennifer Senior recently wrote in New York magazine that, "Any year when there's a populist tide out there, a wave, it's likely to wash ashore its share of oddballs." She did a peek back at the Republicans first elected in the Gingrich class of 1994. We put some of the nutty standouts in two bunches. The first bunch is the black helicopter crowd of paranoids who were elected to Congress that year. Helen Chenoweth, for example, from Idaho. She cast the global warming debate as a spiritual battle.
REP. HELEN CHENOWETH: The battle isn't even a battle for certain areas of timber. Or certain wilderness areas. Only until we're able to understand that this battle is a full-fledged spiritual battle will we begin to understand and have the weapons to deal with it.
MATTHEWS: Next item, Texas' Steve Stockman who wrote in Guns & Ammo magazine that Waco was a way for the Clinton administration to prove the need for a ban on assault weapons. They ginned it up I guess. Next, North Carolina's Sue Myrick, who wrote the forward to a book called Muslim Mafia: The Secret Underworld Conspiring to Islamize America. And also on the roster of paranoid Republicans swept in, in 1994 Andrea Seastrand of California who propose creating commercial rocket facilities and said "children living in the ghettos might like the idea of being launched into space so they could live out there." Our second bunch of Republicans elected to Congress in that golden year of '94, the hypocrites who stood on the party's family values platform and then managed to slip off. Item: Mark Foley who gave up his Florida seat after a congressional page scandal. Item: Jim Bunt of Oregon left his wife and five kids for his 31-year-old chief of staff. Item: Mark Souder of Indiana resigned after an affair with an aide. Item: Nevada's John Ensign had an affair with the wife of a top staffer. Item: Ohio's Steve LaTourette divorced his wife and married a lobbyist. And that congressional class also famously included Mark Sanford, later governor of South Carolina. His extramarital dalliance took him to Argentina.
MARK SANFORD: I'm here because if you were to look at God's laws, they're in every instance designed to protect people from themselves. It is indeed to protect us from ourselves. And the biggest self of self is indeed self.
MATTHEWS: Well the biggest self of self is self. That was the Hall of Fame class of '94.