Was Chris Matthews suddenly struck by some semblance of fairness? Or is the Bill Clinton fan, and the man who has described notorious womanizer JFK as a "hero," reluctant to condemn presidents for their peccadilloes?
On his Hardball show this evening, Matthews suggested that impeaching a President over sexual misbehavior would be a "witch hunt." Said Matthews, posing the question to Dem Rep. Hakeem Jeffries:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you think you can actually impeach a President for basically covering up sexual misbehavior? I mean, we had this with Clinton. Everything is different in life, but it was somewhat related. And it never seemed right: that that would be the basis for throwing a guy out of the presidency. To a lot of, certainly progressives and middle-of-the-roaders --and journalists in some cases. It seemed to be a witch hunt, to use the phrase used lately. How do you impeach a President for his sexual misconduct, covered up, even if it is illegal?
It's not just shocking that Matthews would employ a Trumpian term. Twenty years ago, when Hardball was on CNBC, Matthews was seen as tough on Bill Clinton's adultery with Monica Lewinsky. Last year, he confessed to Stephanie Ruhle "I'm trying to make up for the fact that I think I was too tough on Clinton." Ruhle had insisted "We called it the Lewinsky scandal, we didn't call it the Clinton scandal, and we looked at Monica Lewinsky as a villain—come on, Chris, she was a victim."
Note: before posing his question to Jeffries, Matthews lavished praise on the New York congressman:
"You've got a big role in the Democratic party now. I know all about it. I'm watching your career. I've spotted you, you are on your way. Congratulations. You may be Speaker at some point fairly soon."