‘Hardball’ Holds Glorified Lefty GOTV Event; Matthews Compares America to Ford With Hand on Its Mouth

For the first 11 minutes of Tuesday night’s Hardball on MSNBC, the clownish Chris Matthews and his panel held a glorified get out the vote (GOTV) rally for Democrats. But began with Matthews gloating about his midterm forecast from April ended with the crude suggestion that America has been victimized by Trump like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford alleged she was by Brett Kavanaugh.

As for that grotesque comparison, Matthews had invoked Susan McDougal and one “Stormy Davis” [sic] for their hush money payments but then also Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for some reason.

 

 

He then suggested the situation Ford alleged Kavanaugh put her in is just like what President Trump has done to America:

[N]ot to be too crude, but the fact is she said she had somebody's hand over her mouth so she couldn't call for help and that person she said was Brett Kavanaugh and there's never really been really a good argument that wasn't Brett Kavanaugh. She was the witness. Nobody is denying it. Okay except him because he says he can't remember it. It seems, to me, that would be a strong primordial argument for a scream this November. I mean, it's time to say something when you've been gagged basically. 

Former Maryland Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards refused to condemn Matthews, but instead she agreed by opining that this has been exactly “what women are feeling across the country.”

Rewinding to earlier in the segment, the other panelists were equally willing accomplices in cheering Republican pitfalls.

Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire questioned Republican enthusiasm from the Kavanaugh nomination fight and reveled in the possibility that Democrats will “provide that image, night after night of Republicans close to the White House being forced to testify.” 

In other words, the media will hail Democratic show trials as pro-transparency instead of doing the bidding of Russia, as some in the press did with Republican-run hearings.

Matthews cartoonishly then suggested to Edwards that Republicans “trooped in the Supreme Court people” for Kavanaugh’s swearing in (even though the four liberal justices attended) while Edwards called it “pretty disgusting” to have a public swearing-in even though it energized Democrats.

The MSNBC pundit also had quite a loony take, telling cable news Republican David Jolly that its Republicans who love “power” because Democrats “run the argument sometimes and values and things like that.” It’s not clear if Matthews had space in the memory bank for the pen and phone years under Obama.

Jolly basked in Republicans “overplay[ing] their hand” because less and less people like Republicans and “Democrats have been working for two years towards this November 6 moment” that they won’t “let...slip away.”

Prior to Matthews’s goonish America-Ford comparison, Lemire gave more of what Matthews wanted (click “expand”):

MATTHEWS: It seems you have an accumulation of passion on the Democratic side....[O]n the progressive side, you have the Me Too movement, which has been going on for awhile — around politics....And they've been marching since the day after the inauguration — the day election back in '16, then you have two years of Trump, which is enough to drive most of the progressives crazy and then you got this whole thing — the way they treated Dr. Blasey Ford. So you have a whole accumulation of reasons to get out and vote whereas all the Republicans have I think is the sugar high of how sad they felt with Lindsay and — and Brett Kavanaugh and how weak they looked. Your thoughts? 

LEMIRE: Yeah, you're right. There's an extraordinary array of reasons why Democrats are energized and you hit it. We saw the day after the inauguration is when the Women's March took over the streets in countless American cities. Hundreds of thousands of women, with men alongside, you had protesting the Trump inauguration and we saw it again a week later when they protested the travel ban and it hasn't really let up. There has not necessarily been a demonstration every day or a demonstration every weekend or a march, but rather that energy is still there....It's a little harder for the Republicans. Yes, Kavanaugh does give them a boost. As I said, it remains to be seen how longer that will last. But for so many Republicans, the Trump administration has been, you know, perhaps a mixed bag. Yes, you now have two Supreme Court justices but you have day after day of drama....[.]

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on October 9, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
October 9, 2018
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: A resounding Democratic victory. Let's play Hardball. [HARDBALL OPENING CREDITS] Good evening I'm Chris Matthews in Washington. Here's what I predicted six months ago. [ON 04/05/18] And I say it on this 5th day of April with all the possibilities looming this summer and early fall, I believe the Democrats will carry the house. [SCREEN WIPE] History suggests and the level of this President's popularity suggests they'll pick up more than the 29 seats the party opposing the president gets in the midterm elections. I believe they'll do better, somewhere comfortably between 30 and 40 seats picked up, so hold me to that. [BACK LIVE] Tonight that prediction is stronger than ever, 30 to 40 seats the Democrats will pick up in the House of Representatives, that’s — by the way, it’s — right now, it’s four weeks exactly before the fall midterm election and that's what the Democrats are headed for, 30 to 40 seats. Politico’s latest race ratings suggest the Republicans in the House is crumbling now, noting: “A total of 68 seats currently held by Republicans are firmly in play — rated as ‘Lean Republican’ or worse for the GOP....There are now 209 seats either firmly or leaning in the Democratic column” just “nine shy of the 218 the party needs to wrest away control of the chamber.” Well, President Trump and Republican leaders have bragged the nomination battle over Justice Brett Kavanaugh has revved up their voters. Here's President Trump at the White House today trying to make that point. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: How do you keep your base energized now that you had the big Kavanaugh victory? I would say that just by winning. [SCREEN WIPE] I can tell you the energy on the Republican side I don't think it's ever been greater. 

MATTHEWS: But when it comes to which party voters want to take control of the House this fall, a new — new CNN poll found it's Democrats that hold the advantage with a 13 point lead among likely voters and that poll was taken last week during the height of the Supreme Court showdown that inflamed passions and protesters among some of the Democratic Party faithful. They've now got four weeks to propel or to translate that anger into energy and they’ve some of the biggest names in the Democratic Party cheering the voters on. Let's watch. 

[CLIPS FROM CORRY BOOKER, KAMALA HARRIS, AND ELIZABETH WARREN]

MATTHEWS: Well, I’m joined by Donna Edwards, former Democratic Congresswoman from Maryland, Jonathan Lemire, White House reporter for the Associated Press, and former Republican Congressman David Jolly from Florida. Let me go to get the information on the voting first of all before we get the point of view. Let me go to Jonathan Lemire on this. I'm looking at all these numbers, Jonathan, and I've been thinking for a long time, 30 to 40 seats, it's going to happen. What's your thoughts? What’s the analysis?

JONATHAN LEMIRE: It's a good time to revive your prediction, Chris, no question. I think there are a multitude of people close to the White House that share your view and they're worried about it. There are people — as much as the President is bullish, and you saw it publically today, he is going to say time and again that he believes in the energy that’s on the Republican side and there's no question there has been some increased enthusiasm because of the Kavanaugh fight. We have seen, particularly on the Senate side, some improvements in the polls there, but will that remain now that Kavanaugh is in? It would be one thing if Kavanaugh had been denied his seat on the bench and that Republicans could have had an anger towards it, thinking their man was treated unfairly where traditionally Republicans have better turnouts in midterms than Democrats to begin with. But now that he's on there, will the energy last or dissipate. That remains to be seen, but certainly those close to the President, Republicans, high-placed Republicans on Capitol Hill feel good about the Senate. But the House yes, they're concerned. They feel it could slip away, that they think it could be, potentially, a gain of seats for Democrats like you’ve outlined and if that happens, what does that mean? It means that Democrats — yes, — they could think about impeachment but really what it means they control a body of Congress, they’d have the power of the subpoena and could haul up Trump official after Trump official, up to the Hill, swear them in and proceed to run investigations, not just on Russia but on corruption issues or the emoluments and utterly bog down the Trump administration's agenda and provide that image, night after night of Republicans close to the White House being forced to testify and that is something that people close to the President are very concerned about. 

MATTHEWS: Donna, I was watching yesterday and trying to imagine what most passionate Democrats are feeling, watching that power festivity yesterday at the White House where they just showed off their power. They trooped in the Supreme Court people. They trooped in all these Republicans just so they could have the ceremony. They made the guy the chief justice, they just wanted to show him off. 

DONNA EDWARDS: Well, they did and it was like a campaign rally. Actually, I think it was a pretty disgusting show and I think that what's happening is that every time President Trump does that kind of thing when he goes out in the rallies, it actually inspires Democrats and so, I see that enthusiasm. You know, we were sitting here four months ago and you demanded I give you an answer about how many seats were going to be won.

MATTHEWS: Well, I did.

EDWARDS: And I said 35.

MATTHEWS: Okay, well that’s right in the middle of what I’m saying.

EDWARDS: And I'm sticking with it. And I'm sticking with it. 

MATTHEWS: I think we're together on that. Dave, let me ask you about this because Republicans are into the power, Democrats run the argument sometimes and values and things like that, but the sheer power that we saw on display yesterday is something Republicans love. They love the executive, they love the Supreme Court, they like to be in control of Congress but what they really like is owning it, you know what I mean? You were in that party, you know what they like. It's bottom line, we own it. 

DAVID JOLLY: Chris I think they're going to overplay their hand. Donald Trump is going to overplay his hand and this is what I mean that. Follow me on this. The spike in GOP means this. If you love the Republican Party, you love the Republican Party more, but it does not mean more people today love the Republican Party after Kavanaugh. What the Republicans are ignoring is this complete erosion of independents and the enthusiasm spike among Democrats. That's why we're seeing numbers in the House that suggests we could see a change of party, a change control like we saw in '94, '06, 2010. We’re looking at a historic night. Democrats have been working for two years towards this November 6 moment. 

MATTHEWS: Yes.

JOLLY: I don't believe they're going to let it slip away. 

MATTHEWS: Let me talk to Jonathan about that and everybody here. It seems you have an accumulation of passion on the Democratic side. You got this latest whiff over how badly treated Brett was or whatever or how Lindsey Graham was all upset. But on the Democratic side — on the progressive side, you have the Me Too movement, which has been going on for awhile — around politics. You have the fact that a lot of Democrats are furious they lost the 2016 election and maybe they had questions about Hillary but they damn well didn't want Trump. And they've been marching since the day after the inauguration — the day election back in '16, then you have two years of Trump, which is enough to drive most of the progressives crazy and then you got this whole thing — the way they treated Dr. Blasey Ford. So you have a whole accumulation of reasons to get out and vote whereas all the Republicans have I think is the sugar high of how sad they felt with Lindsay and — and Brett Kavanaugh and how weak they looked. Your thoughts? 

LEMIRE: Yeah, you're right. There's an extraordinary array of reasons why Democrats are energized and you hit it. We saw the day after the inauguration is when the Women's March took over the streets in countless American cities. Hundreds of thousands of women, with men alongside, you had protesting the Trump inauguration and we saw it again a week later when they protested the travel ban and it hasn't really let up. There has not necessarily been a demonstration every day or a demonstration every weekend or a march, but rather that energy is still there. We're seeing it in terms of the number of candidates running for office, particularly women candidates who a lot of Democrats feel very bullish about. They’re electing a number — a record-setting perhaps number of women this fall. We are seeing it, you know, time in again that Trump is such an ever present part of our lives. He’s an obviously foil for these Democrats, for the liberals. He gives them something to run against. It's a little harder for the Republicans. Yes, Kavanaugh does give them a boost. As I said, it remains to be seen how longer that will last. But for so many Republicans, the Trump administration has been, you know, perhaps a mixed bag. Yes, you now have two Supreme Court justices but you have day after day of drama. You have what happened in Helsinki, you have what happened with the children being separated from their parents at the border, you have the ongoing Russia probe, and even those perhaps sympathetic to the President feel this is not necessarily what our party wanted and they may not be willing to turn out for his — for people this November or conversely, the die-hard Trumpsters may wait until 2020 when they see the President's name on the ballot again and may not come out this November. 

MATTHEWS: You know, Donna, I just want to ask you about women because you're here and I keep thinking, well, Stormy Davis [sic], whatever you think of her, she was bought off $165,000 and Susan McDougal was bought off for $150,000 for their silence. And then you have the woman — Dr. Blasey Ford and not to be too crude, but the fact is she said she had somebody's hand over her mouth so she couldn't call for help and that person she said was Brett Kavanaugh and there's never really been really a good argument that wasn't Brett Kavanaugh. She was the witness. Nobody is denying it. Okay except him because he says he can't remember it. It seems, to me, that would be a strong primordial argument for a scream this November. I mean, it's time to say something when you've been gagged basically. 

EDWARDS: Well and I think that's what women are feeling across the country and if you take a look at some of the districts that are really in play in the House, they are places you wouldn't have thought of, in Kansas, in Iowa, in Nebraska, in Texas, and these are all a lot of suburban districts where those college-educated, white women voters are going to show up and they’re going show up and they’re vote for Democrats because they're tired of the mess. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2018 Congressional Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Congress Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video David Jolly Donna Edwards Chris Matthews Jonathan Lemire Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump
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