Chris Matthews apparently thinks the GOP is just one big bag of crazy.
MSNBC's "Hardball" host challenged Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) on the Republican Party's commitment to addressing climate change during the May 5 broadcast. Matthews claimed to Pence that the GOP is not passionate about environmentalism because, "There are people that really are against science in your party who really do question not just the science behind the climate change but the science behind evolutionary fact, that we were taught - you and I - in our biology books. They don't accept the scientific method. They believe in belief itself."
Matthews prefaced his argument with, "There are people on your side of the argument who believe that all the prehistoric bones we've discovered in this world, all the dinosaur bones and all that stuff was somehow planted there by liberal scientists to make the case against the Bible."
Pence called Matthews' argument "an interesting straw man" and a "caricature."
Matthews then confronted Pence about evolution, "I think you believe in evolution but you're afraid to say so because your conservative constituency might find that offensive." Matthews continued harping on Pence's belief that "God created the heavens and the Earth, the seas and all that is in them" by saying, "you don't believe that, you don't, you don't take a fundamentalist view of, of the seven days of creation do you?"
Later Matthews offered unnamed "polls that show that a huge percentage of the American people don't believe in evolution ... don't believe in climate change" as proof that the GOP is not "passionately committed to science or to fighting global warming or to dealing with the scientific facts we live with."
And what would a "Hardball" broadcast be without the obligatory swipes at well-known conservatives? Matthew told Pence, "The troubled is that your, your Rush-, your Mt. Rushmore now includes Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and these characters that don't share either your intellect or your honesty."
Wednesday's edition of "Hardball" featured another discussion of evolution, this time with former Republican presidential hopeful and representative Tom Tancredo. Matthews repeated his characterization of the Republican party as anti-science:
Let me talk to you about what I think are the extremes on this position. One extreme would be there is no God, it`s all sort of random, we all ended up here, we don`t even know why we`re here. Right? That would be a random totally secular view of everything. I don`t think you or I are at that end.
The other end would be, "It's like it's written down in the Bible, we don't have to figure out science, it's all there." And if you really get into the Bible and you're totally literal about it -- I don't want to knock anybody's belief -- you get to the point of having to deny all the fossils out there because they all pre-dated 4,000 years of written history in the Bible, back to Adam and Eve, through the prophets all the way back. And then you have -- then you get into that crazy idea, Well, there's a bunch of liberals that went around and buried all these bones in the ground to make it look like there was ancient history.
Matthews followed up this argument by saying, "Well, I don't think most people believe that. I think except the fact there were dinosaurs that were around here millions of years ago. It wasn't covered in the Bible, et cetera, et cetera."
So if Matthews doesn't think most people believe the ideas he put forth, why bring it up at all?
Right. Because it makes the GOP look crazy.