Chris Matthews Tuesday once again showed that his tenuous grasp of reality is getting dangerously weak.
During the final segment of "Hardball," the host unequivocally blamed the 2007 financial crisis and resulting recession on George W. Bush just moments before he said, "Okay, Obama hasn't been able to get us out of it yet, but...there’s no sense blaming one Party or the other" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish with a simple political question: Why on God's earth should we reward the people who got us into this financial mess? You can't sell a house because you can't get a decent price for it. You can't buy a house today because people can't believe what you're offering for it.
What? You can't sell a house today? One just sold two weeks ago four houses down from me, and another just last week up the street.
I see houses in my neighborhood selling all the time, which also means you can buy a house as well.
If you can figure out what Matthews was talking about in those opening sentences, please let me know.
MATTHEWS: Who created this political dung hill? Who created this financial horror show that has older people dying over their miniature 401(k)s, young people hopelessly out of work, certainly out of good work?
Hmmm. My just graduated from college son accepted a fabulous career opportunity last Friday.
As for people's 401(k)s, as they are self-directed, whatever they are worth is the fault of the owner and nobody else.
If people didn't want their retirement funds to have stock market risk - especially after what happened in 1987 and 2000 through 2003 - they should have reallocated their funds exclusively into bonds and money markets. That is after all their choice.
But Matthews was clearly in the mood to blame all this on someone other than homeowners, job seekers, and investors. Care to guess who?
MATTHEWS: It all started in a splurge of greed and deception and grab what you can before the building falls down that George W. Bush begot us late in the year 2007.
Yep. It's all George W. Bush's fault.
Forget about Bill Clinton signing into law the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which completely deregulated banks, brokerage firms, and derivatives thereby ushering in the excessive speculation and leverage that led to the global financial crisis that began in 2007.
And let's certainly forget about Clinton and his Party greatly expanding the lending authority of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac whilst also blocking all attempts by Republicans to increase regulation and scrutiny of these government-sponsored enterprises.
No, this economic calamity was all George W. Bush's doing:
MATTHEWS: That's what we're living right now. Okay, Obama hasn't been able to get us out of it yet, but, no doubt on that front, but that's what we're suffering from, and there’s no sense blaming one Party or the other.
Got that? So regardless of all the other indisputable causes of the economic crisis, it's all Bush's fault. But "there’s no sense blaming one Party or the other" for why we haven't been able to get out of it since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007 and the White House in 2009.
This is what's called critical thinking on MSNBC these days:
MATTHEWS: But there's a hell of a lot of sense in keeping your eye on the people who did it to us, who made millions on all kinds of off the wall investment products and then dumped them out there to people who didn't know what they were getting. All I ask is why anyone regardless of political philosophy would want to be out there barking for better tax breaks for these people? Why they should be so shameless as to tell us it's better to screw the old people out of their Medicare so you can keep the tax breaks that Bush jammed through heading out the door, even if we have to deliver them in hot checks courtesy of the latest borrowing from abroad?
Is anyone trying to screw old people out of their Medicare? Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) plan doesn't impact anyone over the age of 55.
As for "tax breaks that Bush jammed through heading out the door," his last tax cuts were implemented in 2003. He didn't leave the White House for the last time until January 2009.
Makes you wonder if Matthews was hitting the sauce Tuesday:
MATTHEWS: Why? Ask somebody. Why reward the big shots who shot this economy dead with more millions in tax breaks, a running bonanza of generosity from you and the people who got screwed by the very people now with their hands out for more?. It’s a no-brainer for the average taxpayer. It's simple. If there has to be pain to keep this country solvent so we don't go the way of Greece, where do we come up with the deal? Do we sock it to the people who are old and sick or to the people making the big bucks who never really came on, never felt the hell brought down on this country in the first place - the hell they left in town behind them?
Once again, who's trying to "sock it to the people who are old" other than the Democrats whose only plan on the table for Medicare is to let it die in 2024 meaning that all current recipients as well as those that are about to receive benefits in the next twelve years are guaranteed to get socked?
MATTHEWS: Fair is fair. Please repeat - fair is fair. This isn’t just about the ability to pay. It's about who, given how we got here, ought to pay.
Well, using that logic, since we got here by Democrats increasing spending by 41 percent since 2007, they ought to pay.
Fair is fair. Please repeat - fair is fair.