Chris Matthews has a new book out about his former boss the late Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.
Despite this, the MSNBC host was made a fool of on Sunday's Meet the Press by Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Id.) concerning how many times the government was shut down when O'Neill ruled the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DEE DEE MYERS, FORMER CLINTON PRESS SECRETARY: So what's the endgame, though, Congressman? Are you willing to vote for-- a continued resolution that comes back that does not delay or de-fund ObamaCare?
REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R-IDAHO): I am not. But I think there's enough people in the Republican Party who are willing to do that. And I think that's what you're going to see.
DEE DEE MYERS: But would you--
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: Our first request was to completely def-- de-fund the program. And we knew we were going to lose on that. Now we're asking for a delay, which, again, I don't think is an unreasonable thing to do. You know, your boss, Tip O'Neill, shut down the government 12 different times. And you didn't call him a terrorist.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: No, it wasn't--
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: You did not call him--
CHRIS MATTHEWS: These were always issues of a couple of days. And they were always resolved, and they were over numbers. And it was both sides, though. Let's be fair. Both sides were doing it.
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: But it happened.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But you said once--
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Where'd you get your number from?
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: It's from The Washington Post.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: No, it was seven times, though. You were--
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: No. So--
CHRIS MATTHEWS: --counting all the times--
REP RAUL LABRADOR: No.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: --since the '70s. Look, they were always taking--
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: No, there were 17 times since the '70s, and 12 under your boss.
Who was right?
Raul of course, and his source was indeed the Washington Post which on Wednesday published a piece chronicling the seventeen times in American history the government has been shut down. As Labrador said, twelve were indeed when O'Neill was Speaker.
Yet Matthews - who worked for O'Neill and has just published a book about the Speaker called "Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked" - either didn't know that, or was being dishonest with viewers to protect his hero and his Party.
Given the name of the book, Matthews also must think these twelve shutdowns were part of government working.
Yet now it's an act of terrorism.
Funny how that happens, isn't it?
But Labrador wasn't don't making a fool out of Matthews who then argued why O'Neill's shutdowns were different from the one currently looming:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, let me--
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: So (UNINTEL).
DAVID GREGORY: All right, Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me tell you this. They were issues of a day or two. They were issues of funding. Now, what I said before is you can argue over numbers, and then you can-- if it's seven or nine, make it eight. But when you say we're going to get rid of the number one program that you put into law and put in the history books, and your party's been fighting for, for half a century, you can't say, "Give me that." That's a non-negotiable stand.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's the problem.
DAVID GREGORY: And so here's the question. And I want to raise it again. When is a law legitimate? And would it be appropriate for the president or Democrats controlling the Senate to say, "Let's go back and let's overturn a Reagan-era law?"
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: They do it all the time.
DAVID GREGORY: Should they do that?
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: One of the shutdowns was based on the Fairness Doctrine. One of the shutdowns under Tip O'Neil was because The Fairness Doctrine had actually been done away with.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Right.
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: And they wanted the Fairness Doctrine back.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Right.
REP. RAUL LABRADOR: So it has been done before. The Democrats spent the entire decade of the Bush administration trying to repeal the Bush Tax Cuts. It's not like Republicans and Democrats don't fight about their policies. That's what politics is all about.
But politics when Democrats play it is just fine and dandy to shills such as Matthews and most of the liberal media.
Unfortunately when Republicans play the same game, they're terrorists and extortionists.
The good news for viewers was this time a conservative was on the sound stage to set the record straight.
Bravo, Congressman! Bravo!