Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chris Matthews Lambastes Bush Apologist for Bush Comparison of Obama to Nazi Appeasers

Chris Matthews was at his best on Hardball tonight, taking talk-show host Kevin James apart on his inability to say what Neville Chamberlain did wrong in his appeasement of Adolf Hitler before World War II. The correct answer, of course, is that Chamberlain allowed Hitler to carve up Czechoslovakia - which emboldened rather than satisfied the Nazis, and led directly into World War II.

The wrong answer is that Chamberlain talked to Hitler. Talking wasn't the problem - giving away a piece of a sovereign country, in the hope that it could be bring peace, was the problem.

Matthews made all of that very clear.

It's especially helpful to keep that in mind, today, in the aftermath of Bush's comment in his address to the Israeli parliament, comparing Americans who want to talk to Iranian leaders to appeasers of the Nazis.

Barack Obama wasn't mentioned by name, but he was clearly the main target. Unsurprisingly, McCain issued a statement that agreed with Bush. (Click here for McCain's statement, and links to Obama's response.)

I've got to say that I never bought the idea that Bush's stumbling speech somehow was an unfortunate connection to a generous mind and soul. In contrast, Bush's words are carefully considered, and express a dangerous, almost paranoid mind. This was the mindset that got us into Iraq in search of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. It was the mindset that led Bush to even indirectly compare Barack Obama to Neville Chamberlain before the Israeli parliament. And it's the mindset that McCain buys into.

But it's not the mindset of Barack Obama, who believes we can do better than saber-ratting, who wants to talk to our adversaries, as we keep America strong.

Hillary Clinton and other Democrats were quick to jump on Bush for his inapt analogy.

I'm heartened to see the media jumping on it, too.

The battle lines are being drawn.
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