Via Newsbusters, to give you a sense of how seriously you should take this, until now his most famous accusation of McCarthyism was aimed at Rush Limbaugh for using the word “regime” to describe the Obama administration. Naturally, Matthews himself and many of his MSNBC cohorts had used the same word to describe the Bush White House. Same deal here, really. If you define McCarthyism narrowly, as baselessly accusing someone of operating in secret against American democracy at the behest of foreign powers, Matthews’s hero Barack Obama was happy to play that game before the 2010 midterms. If you define the term broadly, as making unfounded allegations about a political opponent’s motives to smear him, well, where to begin? This is a guy who’s famously free ‘n easy about charging racism to parry criticism of Obama; who’s not above reaching for Nazi analogies when pushing the left’s manufactured outrage du jour; and who, not two weeks ago, tried to dismiss John McCain’s aggressive questioning of Hagel as some sort of mental episode triggered by his torture in the Hanoi Hilton. His policy criticism of the GOP almost always reduces to an assertion of covert sinister intentions, and he’s practiced enough at guilt-by-association to have produced an hour-long documentary on the tea party that ended with a warning about Timothy McVeigh. Is his real problem with Cruz and McCarthyism the fact that Cruz is a comparative amateur at it?
Anyway, enough. You all know his shtick. Let’s talk about “Star Wars” and the Battle of Hoth instead. Follow that last link and then consider your exit question: Of what practical value were AT-ATs, really? Of all the ways potentially to maneuver Stormtroopers around a frozen landscape, a big lumbering metal dinosaur that can only fire forward seems like the worst vehicle you could possibly use. Am I misremembering or didn’t the rebels have all sorts of small, agile, flying craft capable of outmaneuvering the AT-AT with the greatest ease? If you ever wondered how the Empire could have been so stupid as to build a moon-sized space station with an easily accessible critical vulnerability, here’s your answer: They thought AT-ATs were a good idea too.