Matthews: FDR Didn't Blame Catholics for Mussolini, So Don't Blame Islam Now

November 16th, 2015 8:49 PM

2015 is drawing to a close, so unless some dark horse comes out of absolutely nowhere, Chris Matthews is a mortal lock for the DisHonor award for the year's worst analogy.On this evening's Hardball, Matthews argued that we shouldn't blame Islam for ISIS terrorist attacks since, after all, FDR, despite despising Mussolini, "never declared war on the Catholics."

Just a little difference: Italian fascism had no ideological affinity with Catholicism. To the contrary, it was rooted in notions of the revival of the Roman Empire of the Caesars. In contrast, you can't spell ISIS without "Islamic." To say that we are at war with radical Islam is simply to acknowledge the manifest truth. For Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to deny it is dangerous.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: There is 1.75 billion Islamic people in the world. There are Islamic people who are as far from Arab as you and I are far from Arab. They are not Arabs: they happen to be Muslims. They live in India. They live in Pakistan. They live in Indonesia. Why do we want to declare war on them by calling our terrorist opponents Islamic? 

EUGENE ROBINSON: Well we don't. Or we shouldn't. In fact, George W. Bush did not. Right after 9/11, George W. Bush, in a moment that actually filled me with pride, George W. Bush came right out and said we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with this crazy al Qaeda group. We're going to get them, and we're going to get them good. But we are not at war with one of the world's great religions. And it is a ridiculous thing. I sincerely hope that none of these characters, if they were to become president, would repeat such a thing. Because it is a sentiment that no President of the United States who is responsibly discharging his duties would ever utter. 

MATTHEWS: I don't think Franklin Roosevelt, as angry as he was at Mussolini, never declared war on the Catholics. Anyway, that would have been a stupid thing to say.