Chris Matthews was back at the helm of Hardball today after a week's vacation, and, fortuitously for him, the very same day his bête noire, Ted Cruz, announced for president before a supportive crowd at Liberty University. From start to finish, Matthews did not disappoint his audience, spewing out hateful invective about the junior senator from Texas, rehashing his tired talking points comparing Cruz to Joe McCarthy.
As icing on the crazy cake, Matthews capped it all off with a "Let Me Finish" commentary in which lamented the GOP going too far-right for its, and ultimately the country's good. Here's a video montage of the March 23 program's Cruz-bashing lowlights:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this dangerous day for Republicans.
We begin this week sifting through the news that Speaker John Boehner is heading to Israel. Is this a return favor from his prom date, Bibi Netanyahu? If so, it certainly has a nasty tone to it with Bibi undercutting what had been a bipartisan backing honored by U.S. presence of both parties for some kind of two-state peace solution over there.
Nobody thinks Bibi wants to deal with the Palestinians. Nobody thinks he will get back the occupied territories. Nobody believes Bibi will break with the settlers over there. Nobody.
So, what`s Boehner`s position on the future? Does he support the position taken by both parties that we need to settle this thing or does he go back to backing Bibi on keeping things the way they are? Are they going to put that in the Republican platform next time? No peace now, really?
Well, the second bit of bad news is Ted Cruz. Just picture it, it`s not hard. What the Republican debates are going to look like, Ted Cruz is going to dramatize every Republican get-together of 2015 and 2016. He will be the center of the media coverage. He will control the conversation for the basic reason that he will be working the outside lane, the far right lane of conservative Republican rhetoric. He, Ted Cruz, will be the one quoted on the front page and that`s what starting today Republicans are going to have to look forward to.
So what a day for the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, a Republican Party so positioned to the right, it can`t find its way back.