Here's the full interview of Chris Matthews on his own show:
Really, I have no problem with Matthews promoting his book on air. After all, it is his own show. And he wrote a book about President Kennedy, so why not talk about President Kennedy all he wants? Kennedy's political prowess was something to behold in his time, and that is fantastic. No problem.
But the speed and agility with which the conversation went straight for the "Obama disappointed us" narrative, it is hard to believe that it was spontaneous and unplanned. None of them noticed, of course, that Obama has to be president while back, and none of them even cared that no one representing a voice of color - let alone an African American voice - was even in the room. So let me remind Mr. Matthews, Mr. Fineman and Mr. Barnicle a few things about the obstacles this president faces that no other president in history has.
- Personal as well as institutionalized racism: The media has it out for him on both ends. He's either too calm and collected (God forbid we have a calm and collected captain of the ship while navigating through stormy waters) or an angry black man. He has to both be an American president and the magic negro (yeah, I said it). He has to get things done and be seen as slapping his allies and opponents alike. What is nearly as bad as the vivid racism put on display by the political right is the subtle ignorance and pretension of the media personalities that our politics is post-racial.
- Unprecedented political enmity: Did you guys check the Republican party lately? They have turned against a ton of their own policy ideas on jobs because now the president is proposing it. The Republicans have said NO in unison, used legislative procedure to stifle damn nearly everything. Anyone remember this graph?
While the Right openly declared that they hope the President fails and that their single most important goal is to defeat the president, the media sat there, sucking their thumbs, and now you have the galls to complain about how Obama is not twisting enough arms?
- Health care reform expanding coverage, reining in insurance company malpractices, improving Medicare and paying for every penny of it. There can be no comparing of Barack Obama with other presidents in the past half century without mentioning this. All those presidents had been trying to do what Barack Obama has accomplished.
- A stimulus pack
- The most significant financial regulatory reform since the Great Depression with an independent consumer protection agency.
- Credit card reform and student loan reform protecting consumers, students and parents.
- The largest expansion of children's health insurance ever.
- Delivering a tax reduction for the working poor for the first time in recent memory (by the means of a cut in the payroll tax).
- Unemployment benefits extensions to 99 weeks to cope with the economic situation, made the largest investments in infrastructure since the interstates, kept teachers, police and firefighters on the job.
- Ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell and codifying a federal hate crimes statute protecting the LGBT community.