Chris Matthews and The Hardball Gang

After the Senate Democrats today finally had the courage to play hardball with the Republican majority, I turned on the TV to watch what the pundits would say about this. I first watched Wolf (the U-boat commander) Blitzer on CNN. Wolf guided his audience into a display of the typical for and against viewpoints of both Democrats and Republicans. As I expected, there was no substance in this report nor was there any discussion about the need in general for the Senate Intelligence Committee to conduct the second phase of its report. The first phase was unanimously adopted which reported to the Senate that there were a series of intelligence failures regarding the information that led us to war. To use a metaphor from the movie CASABLANCA, the Senate in its phase I report was "shocked that the intelligence was so bad." Phase II of the report was supposed to tell us if the Bush Administration had any responsibility for misleading the Congress and the American people by manipulating false intelligence about WMDs. That report was delayed for almost two years before the Democrats finally had some courage today.

I then turned to Hardball with Chris Matthews. Hardball's panel included Andrea Mitchell, Nora O'Donnell, and Howard Fineman. I almost threw up while I was watching this group agree that this was a "tactic" used by the Democrats to keep the pressure on the White House and not allow Bush to change the subject with diversions such as the nomination of Judge Alito and the Avian Flu vaccine. Not once did any of these pundits ever discuss that the American people are entitled to further discussion and investigation about the lies that led us to the war in Iraq. Not once did they say that the Republicans are obviously disengenuous about delaying this report and that the delay has been dictated to them by the White House. No, these professionals led by Matthews chastised the Democrats for not doing their job three years ago when many of them voted for the war resolution.

We all agree that many Democrats did not do their job three years ago. Many of us wonder why Senators Kerry, Clinton, Biden and others will not say that if they knew then what they know now, they would not have voted for the war. Perhaps they are waiting for this report to be completed before they make such a statement. So Matthews and his team played "hardball" with the Democrats for using this so-called "tactic." And that is the problem with the Corporate media. They always want to go backwards and they treat politics as if it were a game. I was taught to recognize mistakes and move forward. If the Senate Democrats are doing something positve today, what is the relevance of bringing up a past mistake? For the Corporate media, the relevance is to stir up the pot and create a false debate as if this were World Federation Wrestling. There should be no debate. The Senate Democrats are doing the right thing after the Libby indictments. Americans have every right to an explanation for such an obvious deception that has cost the lives of over 2000 Americans, many thousands more Iraqis and at a financial cost of hundreds of billions of dollars. I do like Howard Feinman a lot and I understand that he has to play it safe when he is on NBC and MSNBC. But, in this case, the issues of war and peace should out-trump those personal pressures.

The only really honest viewpoint came from Jack Cafferty of CNN, hardly one who is perceived as a liberal. He had the courage to say that this act by the Senate Democrats was a matter of "what is right or wrong" and not about any political "tactic" or political "game." I wonder whether Mathews will ever understand this.