We conservatives have countless beefs with Chris Matthews. But in contrast with the current crop of liberals inhabiting MSNBC, the American left at large—and the Oval Office—Chris is much more of an old-school Cold Warrior, and, dare I say it, a patriot.
And so it was that on this evening's Hardball, Matthews flatly declared "I hate" the Castro regime. How many other denizens of the left—from Rachel Maddow to Barack Obama—can you imagine saying the same? Matthews thus aligns himself more closely with Ronald "Evil Empire" Reagan than with Barack Obama, who just today was hailed by Tom Friedman for being able to see America from Iran's perspective.
Chris's comments came in the course of a discussion of the way in which various Republican candidates, including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, are speaking out on Cuba.
HOWARD FINEMAN: The interesting thing to me is going to be to watch Jeb Bush, who is also very hard-line on this, join with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and seeing who can out Cubano the other in the Republican primaries. And that's going to drive them not closer to the Hispanic community in the rest of America but I think farther away.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, Michelle [Bernard], I'm not so sure that this is a matter of how much do you hate the communist Castro regime. I hate it. I remember it. I always thought that if this Cold War had gone the other way, Castro in his fatigues would be standing there in Central Park while they shot all of us. He would have loved to have won on that side. But he lost! It's over. The Cold War's over. The communists lost. They're dead meat. And so the question is what can we do to improve relations for us and improve the life of the people in Cuba by opening the door or not.