I just watched an amazing performance on Hardball. Chris Matthews just pummeled, PUMMELED Van Taylor (only Republican Iraq War vet running for Congress on the Republican side, in Texas), and Paul Hackett piled on, calling out Taylor as nothing but an apologist.
Matthews has been a strong antiwar voice for some time. He continually asked Taylor "why did we go into Iraq" over and over again, and Taylor simply couldn't answer it. He tried over and over again to link 9/11 and Al Qaeda and Iraq, and got sucked in to admitting that Al Qaeda is in Iraq right now because they made a decision to attack us there once we went in. Matthews then pounced on it, saying "well, if we didn't go in, they wouldn't be in there in the first place?" Matthews then hit him, wondering why what we're seeing on our TV screens (even though we're not really seeing it), where 3,100 Iraqis are dying a month, and no more than 5% can be attributed to Al Qaeda. Taylor couldn't respond.
Paul Hackett jumps in with "what you're seeing is a civil war. The US military has done every single thing they can do from a military standpoint. Hackett then asked "Where's the six-foot-two, left-handed guy with the flowing white robe and the kidney problem? (Taylor) doesn't understand the war on terror." It just got worse from there.
Hackett was fucking amazing, at one point yelling "soundbite" when Taylor was peddling a talking point. Hackett said in no uncertain terms that the war is over, what you're seeing is a civil war, and the Administration has no strategy to fix it. He really should be the only guy sent out to the talk shows. I've never seen such a mismatch tilted in favor of the Democrat on one of these type of shows in MY ENTIRE LIFE. Digby did a prescient post the other day about how Hackett should be the model for Democratic talking heads, because he plays against the stereotype of a feminized wimp. Well, this appearance was a ringing endorsement of that strategy.
Matthews tried to trip Hackett up at the end by referencing Sherrod Brown, saying "shouldn't that be you out there," but Hackett was having none of it. "Go give some money to Sherrod Brown, he's a great guy and I support him in becoming the next Senator from Ohio."
Crooks and Liars is going to get the video of this up and I urge you to go take a look. This is a model for how Democrats should handle themselves on these shows, although it was helped by a host predisposed to the Democratic argument and an incompetent boob of a Republican opponent.