As reported in Esquire, "Playing the Reince Card (The Race Card's Been Played)," by Charles P. Pierce, on 27 August 2012 -- TAMPA, Fla. — All the catz 'n kittenz down by the Bay are quivery and twittery because Chris Matthews, on whose last nerve Willard Romney seems to jump with hobnailed boots, got all up in the slick, smug little grill of obvious anagram Reince Priebus this morning on Morning Joe's Playhouse over the obvious racial air-raid sirens that have echoed through Republican politics only since about half-past 1964, and which have grown especially loud these past few weeks as Willard Romney made his little fun-fun about birth certificates last week, and his campaign released an ad falsely accusing the president of "gutting welfare reform," which was an achievement of President Bill Clinton who, you may recall, was a big favorite of the Republican party back in the early to late 1990's.
If you can tear yourself away from the attempts of the hosts to tut-tut-my-good-man the whole thing to death — and poor Tom Brokaw, who freaking covered the civil-rights movement and knows good and well which party latched on to the wrong side of those events and rode them to glory, looks as though he might have a stroke — listen carefully to what Matthews says. He links the birther joke to the welfare commercials, which any thinking analyst would do, since they came hard, one upon the other, and since that was the only hymn in the modern Republican hymnal Romney had not yet sung to the approval of the choir — he'd warmed up on the melody when he was ripping up Rick Perry on the issue of immigration — his campaign was bound to get around to it eventually. Priebus dismisses the birther comment as "an attempt at levity," and chides Matthews for failing to have a sense of humor....
"We've gotten to a point in politics where any moment of levity is frowned upon by guys like you...It's a moment of levity. Everybody gets it."
Somehow, the truthless welfare commercials, which are the really deafening sirens in the current moment, disappeared from the dialogue and never come up again. There was yet another blow-up later when Priebus smirked about the president's alleged "European" policies, and Matthews went up the wall again, calling what Priebus said "insane," while Mika Brzezinski suggested that everyone "work on tone." She has her work cut out for her down here, I'll tell you that.
I am at somewhat of a loss to criticize Matthews here. That he has a class-based animus toward Romney is undeniable; Romney could breed a class-based animus in the Rothschild family. But Matthews is old enough to remember wealthy white Republicans, most of whom came from families that made things, and did not make their pile moving other people's money around the Caymans and other people's jobs to China, and who, for all their hidebound principles, nonetheless helped finance organizations like the NAACP, and who marched with them, too. He's revolted by what has happened to American conservatism and, if he's late to the game of calling it for what it is, he's at least historian enough to link its current manifestations with their historical origins. What we have in this campaign is a joining of old Republican money with the modern American financial universe, and its power applied to advance ideas straight out of the swamps of the Wallace campaign 50 years ago. It is an unholy mess, and it is precisely the unholy mess over which Reince Priebus wants to preside, and if Mika wants the tone to change, maybe she should start there.
I predict Matthews will be disciplined. I, for one, am willing to go his bail on this one. (source: Esquire)
Chris Matthews And Reince Priebus Duke It Out Over The Race Card On Morning Joe