I’d thought Chris Matthews, via his excitement over the election of Barack Obama, was currently filled with Hope. But apparently he’s also filled with Bitter Resentment—this latter, unsurprisingly, toward the outgoing president. Matthews, punditing about President Bush’s farewell speech last night—as a commentator, not an anchor, so he can say whatever he wants!—told his own, vitriol-dripping version of the Bush Creation Myth:

He was a rich kid driving his father’s car. He got to be President because of his father, let’s face it, the same way he got into school and everything else, the same way he got his car probably. But the scary thing about Bush is somewhere he came to meet people like Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz and Feith and the rest of them….

The scary thing about Bush is he picked up on—almost in the way that a hermit crab does—another identity in becoming President….He became this new scholar of freedom, and he’s going to spend the rest of his life selling this stuff. This stuff cost the lives of 100,000 Iraqis, it cost the lives of 4,000 U.S. service people….

The idea that we have some brand new neo-conservative ideology of freedom that’s going to bring peace over in that part of the world is not true, and he’s still selling it, and that’s the tragedy of the last eight years.

Thanks for your restraint, Chris.


Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.