RUSH: I want to go back to Chris Matthews and Hardball last night. He was talking with Evan Thomas of Newsweek. If you remember, Evan Thomas of Newsweek was one of the guys who said that the mainstream media would give John Kerry at least a 15 point head start in polls and in election returns. The media coverage that Kerry was going to get would be worth 15 points to him. (Laughter) So he’s a guest last night. Matthews says to him, “You know, the people who sympathize with those people down there — meaning the residents of New Orleans — tend to be Democrats. Those who may not be sympathizing with them are Republicans. The president may try to change that tonight. You know, a lot of people aren’t really upset about that.”
THOMAS: I think people resent the idea that the president was somehow racist. I mean, if the charge, which is made certainly on the left and by a lot of people that somehow he overlooked the poor blacks of New Orleans, a lot of folks resent that charge and think it’s not true. I think it’s probably not true. But that, I think, accounts for some of those numbers.
RUSH: It doesn’t. This is the point. We had the survey results, poll results and analysis that James Taranto did at opinionjournal.com, and nine out of ten Americans, non-black Americans, don’t think race was a part of this. And that’s why Evan Thomas is right when he says that people resent the idea that the president was somehow racist, and that voters resent that. They do. That has not worked. I don’t care what they want to attribute these poll numbers to. It is not because the charge of racism has worked. But Matthews doesn’t like that. Matthews disagrees with that.
MATTHEWS: Suppose we digitalized the faces of all the people who are in that crowd at the convention center, out in the street begging for help, and all those people turned out to be white people by some digital manipulation. Do you think the country would have had a different reaction to those people’s plight than the fact that they were all black? Do you think the country would have had the same reaction if they were all white people?
THOMAS: I think so, yeah. I do.
MATTHEWS: Well, I don’t.
RUSH: So Matthews is presuming to say that this is a racist country, that there would have been a totally different reaction if those people were white. The thing that’s lost here is: What reaction? What are we doing? Who went down there to rescue people as quickly as they could get in? See, there’s a false premise that underlies this whole thing and the false premise is that there are still 10,000 or 20,000 dead and that they’re all black and that they’re dead because Bush is racist and the government is racist and the country is racist because it doesn’t care about these people. Well, there aren’t even a thousand dead and the rescue workers, we all saw, were white, black, whatever, but all the people they rescued were black. And we also know, we have the story of Congressman William Jefferson, who was able to commandeer military vehicles to go to his house in the middle of the rescue so he could get personal effects out of his house while the rescue was going on. I mean, it’s classic, folks.
It’s what I tell you. In the moment, in the current cycle in this case with Chris Matthews, colored by the prism that he looks through, which is that Republicans are racist and the country is basically racist. And I think the older the liberal Democrat is, the more he’s going to think that. You would be surprised how many of these 55-plus-year-old Democrats, 50-year-old-plus Democrats whose lives were shaped by the civil rights movement, and the northeast Democrats, okay. Northeastern liberal Democrats. Yeah. Okay. But they still think that this is 1964 and we haven’t passed the Civil Rights Act. And even if we have passed it, the country hates it. And we still need affirmative action. There hasn’t been any racial progress whatsoever in these people’s lives or minds, and so that’s how they continue to look at the country. Same thing they look at it economically. They see soup lines. They see 1930s post-depression soup lines when they look at the US economy. They look at the war in Iraq, they see Vietnam. They look at a Republican president, they see Richard Nixon. They live in the cycle. They live in the moment. They miss the deeper currents flowing through our culture.