Matthews Calls Limbaugh and Republicans 'Trolls Under the Bridge'

What's with Chris Matthews' fixation with comparing Republicans to trolls? Back in September he called a then presidential candidate John McCain "troll-like," after one of his debate performances, and then over the weekend, on the syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show," he applied the monstrous term to Republicans in the following intro to his February 23 episode:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: And finally trolls under the bridge. Is that what Washington Republicans have become? Gremlins hiding along the pathway, nipping at the Democrats. And are Republican governors saying, "That's not my job."

A little later, going to break Matthews teased the upcoming segment with video of Rush Limbaugh, with an on-screen headline reading: "Trolls Under The Bridge."

MATTHEWS: Anyway when we come back Rush Limbaugh wants Barack Obama to fail. He's honest about it. Are Republicans letting Limbaugh speak for them?

At the opening of the segment Matthews drew guffaws from guest panelist, NBC News' Norah O'Donnell when he mocked Limbaugh again:

MATTHEWS: Welcome back. That was "Saturday Night Live’s" take on the Republicans these days. They’re not sure what to do about Obama’s popularity. One guy, Rush Limbaugh, says just pray for failure.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed.

MATTHEWS: He always talks like he’s had a really big breakfast.

NORAH O’DONNELL, NBC NEWS: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

NBC The Chris Matthews Show