This afternoon, on Hardball, Chris Matthews hosted an interview with James Traficant, the Youngstown, Ohio Democratic Representative best known for his "Beam me up!" catchphrase, his conviction and subsequent incarceration for racketeering, and his hair, which looks like a carpet remnant sewn from the fur of swamp rats, stapled to his head. Traficant is now a free man, and he's GOING ROGUE.
Matthews' interview with Traficant was MAGICAL. Traficant adopted the tactics of Rod Blagojevich: have mesmerizing hair, deliver a full-throated declaration of support for the little guy, and make a series of robust claims that he is a man more sinned against than sinning. "I still have Federales swarming around me," he told Matthews, "They won't admit that, but they're looking for every opportunity to send me back." Over the course of their interview, Traficant decried spending and taxes, claimed to have spoken at Tea Party Rallies, and professed support for a "fair tax" and the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service. Critically, he did not rule out -- and indeed, threatened -- a future run for office.
Yes. He said, "Beam me up!" He also offered a new catchphrase: "Stimulate this!" Basically, James Traficant wants his collected volume of zingers to be considered a "governing philosophy."
All of this was amazing. Someone, please, teach James Traficant about Twitter, and do it soon.