Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) was on MSNBC’s Hardball tonight to talk about his plan for passing healthcare, but host Chris Matthews kept attacking Grayson and claiming that a sitting member of the House of Representatives does not understand the “real world” of Congress.
Here is the video:
The interview started confrontationally and stayed that way through this exchange:
Matthews: This is netroots talk. This is outsider talk, and you’re an elected official, and you know you can’t do it. You are pandering to the netroots right now. I know what you are doing. You are pandering.
Grayson: You are wrong. This is something that we talk about with leadership in our caucus meetings every week.
The interview ended with this exchange:
Matthews: This is the problem, Congressman. Every night we deal with two worlds, the real world of Congress that has to do things and get things passed, and this outside world represented by the netroots and people like yourself, who play this game.
Grayson: What are you talking about? I sit in meetings with the Democratic caucus with meetings every week! I’m telling you, this is what we’re talking about. This is what the leadership is telling us.
Matthews: We’ll make a side bet that it’s not going to happen. Congressman Alan Grayson, a true believer that you can get things done by willing it to get done!
It takes a gigantic ego for a talk show host who worked on the Hill decades ago to tell a sitting member of Congress that he knows more about what’s going on than they do. This was nothing more than a Chris Matthews egofest. Someone needs to tell Chris, that Congress has changed in the years since he has been there.
Matthews has a big problem with the netroots people, probably because they tend to call him out on his flip-flopping ways. Matthews is one of those television people who looks down on the Internet, and since Grayson is friendly with the netroots community, Chris Matthews felt the need to treat him like he knows nothing and lecture him.
Alan Grayson has done something that Chris Matthews has never been able to do, be elected to office, (Matthews ran for Congress in 1974 and lost in the primary). It is disrespectful for Matthews behave the way he did. He could have argued with Grayson on policy, without inserting his own ego. This kind of behavior is why Hardball posted some of its worst ratings ever in 2009.