Matthews is an incorrigible idealist, with a romanticized notion of politics, longing to relive his childhood conception of statecraft as a Camelot Neverland. He is livid at Obama for giving him a political fix with all that grandiose "Yes, we can" rhetoric and then removing it like a sadistic parole officer as soon as he was inaugurated.
Matthews wants a leader, not just to provide that fix but also to follow it up with a vision and policies to realize the vision. But here's what's revealing: Matthews excoriates Obama for failing to say "one thing about what he'd do in the second term. He never tells" us his plan for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the tax system or the long-term debt.
I think Matthews is disillusioned with Obama on two levels. First, he feels betrayed that Obama the person is so different from Obama the pseudo-messiah he calculatingly portrayed himself to be during the campaign. He's ultimately about himself; he's all hat and no cattle -- something many of us knew years ago. He doesn't share Matthews' idealism about politics, and he is an abject fraud for pretending to.
Second, whether or not he fully realizes it or its implications, Matthews is frustrated that Obama, the apparently quintessential liberal, hasn't been able, through their shared ideology, to produce prosperity and world peace.
There is a disconnect at work here with Matthews' anger at Obama for doing precisely what liberals do. Obama shoved through a radically liberal agenda -- the kind that should earn him permanent gratitude from a liberal such as Matthews, and it has led to economic catastrophe. Matthews, at least in part, is furious at Obama, perhaps subconsciously, for proving that Matthews' lifelong ideology is an epic fail.
But in fairness, Matthews is also rightly disgusted with Obama for refusing to provide leadership or show even a modicum of willingness to work in good faith to extricate us from these horrendous economic, entitlement and debt problems, which, maddeningly, are occurring on a liberal president's watch.
Matthews pleads: "Just tell us, Commander. Give us our orders, and tell us where we're going. Give us the mission. And he hasn't done it."
I feel your pain, Chris, but we tried to warn you.
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