Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews last night and tangled over the recent emphasis on Barack Obama’s relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers. Matthews trapped Bachmann with a couple of reductio ad absurdum arguments, and somehow wound up asserting that an investigation to find anti-American Congressmen would be a good idea:

Michele’s a friend and I know her passion for her country, but she let herself get trapped by Matthews here. She did well until the last two minutes, but she let Matthews get away with characterizing her statements as equating liberal policy with anti-Americanism. That leads to the conclusion that half of Congress hates America, which is ridiculous, and led to the silly notion that someone should “look into” it.

We don’t need another House Un-American Activities Committee. Voters make those decisions. Mainstream liberal policy may be wrong-headed and ineffective, but it’s not anti-American. That’s not the point with William Ayers, unless Matthews suggests that Ayers represents mainstream liberal views — a suggestion that would rightly offend mainstream liberals. That’s how Rep. Bachmann should have answered Matthews.

Ayers is a pretty good example of anti-Americanism; he bombed the Pentagon and other places, and his group wound up killing people to score political points. He wants to destroy the private-property system and replace it with essentially a Soviet state. Jeremiah Wright preached “God Damn America,” about as anti-American a statement a preacher can make from the pulpit, and accused the government of creating AIDS as a genocidal tool against people of color. I’d call both anti-American, and not coincidentally, Barack Obama spent years of his life in politics with both people.

If Matthews objects to this coming out now, he can blame himself and his colleagues. Had they spent one-tenth the effort investigating Obama as they have in investigating Joe the Plumber, Obama’s evasions on Ayers would have been widely known months ago. Matthews was too busy feeling tingles up his leg, which is all anyone needs to know about Matthews’ credibility on anything connected with Obama.