Thursday, July 01, 2010

Chris Matthews rips Rick Barber a new one...

Did you catch Hardball with Chris Matthews yesterday? Well, Chris ripped Alabama tea party candidate Rick Barber a new one. Rick is running against Congressman Bobby Bright, the Democratic incumbent.
Matthews’ approach to the interview is to take Barber through every single point made in his two YouTube ads– yes, it is as painful as it sounds. Matthews begins by asking who Barber would like to impeach when he says “I would impeach him.” Barber calls it a “metaphor to the fact that we don’t seem to want to hold our leaders accountable,” but wouldn’t say whether there were concrete illegal acts, though he hinted at tax fraud, tax evasion, and the Joe Sestak job pseudo-scandal.

Then the conversation shifted in that direction– to taxes– and became a murky swamp of income tax policy. Barber wants to replace all current taxes with a “fair tax,” which Matthews notes is not possible since the federal government can’t eliminate state taxes. “You would get rid of Social Security,” he responded, “capital gains, Medicare and Medicaid. You would get rid of the death tax.” At this point, Matthews loses his patience and repeatedly accuses him of not answering the question.

If this would have been the end of the interview, it would have been a fairly bad debut for Rick Barber in the national arena. But it wasn’t: He was then held accountable for his other ad, asked, “we don’t have a representative form of government?” He responded that “absolutely we do,” but Matthews continued, asking “why do you keep saying government is tyranny?” This goes on for a while, until Matthews rapidly switches gears, asking whether Barber has ever been audited.[...]

The entire interview is fascinating, albeit extremely painful. In retrospect, comparing it to Maddow’s intelligent discussion with Rand Paul is doing it too much justice– it was readily apparent Matthews doesn’t have much respect for Barber at all, and Barber has a deer-in-headlights quality to him towards the end, as if he expected the interview to be easier.
Barber suggests a national sales tax, on top of local taxes.

It's about ten minutes in lengths.

Watch here:

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