Chris Matthews: Bush should have studied more in college to avoid susceptibility to Trotskyite Straussianism, or something

posted at 6:01 pm on April 25, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I think maybe he pounced on the 43rd’s joke earlier today — “there was a time in my life when I wasn’t likely to be found in a library, much less found one” — maybe a little too literally. I present the original analytical stylings of Chris Matthews, everybody: Make sense of it if you can.

I think he fell into bad company. And what I think George Bush’s problem was, having gone to school and put down people like Bob Shrum who read books and thinking they’re all a bunch of intellectuals, and basically mocking that kind of a life where you really are a life of ideas. And then he got into the White House, and all of a sudden fell in love with people with ideas, these neoconservatives, with all their ideas of Strauss and all that stuff, and… whatever it is, some form of Trotskyism or what it is, whatever the tradition those neocons come from… He fell into believing all that stuff, and he started believing this freedom agenda, and all this stuff came from them. It came from bookish people, the same bookish people he put down in college. We would be better off if he studied in college, and then came to the presidency educated so he wouldn’t be a hermit crab. That’s the problem. He had to assume an identity once he was there.

Yes, because people who “read books” are pretty difficult to come by, and I’m sure that the former governor of Texas’s political beliefs were like liquid Jell-O waiting to be molded until the moment he stepped through the White House doors. What the what?

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Chrissy says that like “freedom” is a bad thing.

GWB on April 26, 2013 at 10:54 AM

That just reminded me, I saw a bumper sticker or t-shirt in Manitou Springs last weekend that said “You call me witch like it’s a bad thing”. Pretty typical stuff for that area.

dentarthurdent on April 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Well… most the original neo-conservatives were disillusioned Trotskyites, so Mathews has that correct. However, they are those who rejected Trotsky Communism, and became adamant anti-communists.

Sackett on April 26, 2013 at 1:36 PM


it does not matter if YOU are well read or not, (my bet is on ‘not), nobody is going to donate money to build a Chris Matthews library.

Sir Napsalot on April 26, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Yes, Irving Kristol, who is considered sort of the father of neoconservatism was, as a young man in the 20s and 30s, a Trotskyite communist. That was because he believed it was the only answer to the fascist threat that was threatening the west. Norman Podhoretz, another influential neoconservative, had a similar experience.

But they broke with communism, Trotsky-version (they were always anti-Stalinist) in the 1940s and 50s, and became anti-communist and pro-American/pro-Western advocates.

But what does this have to do with the neoconservatives in the Bush Administration? None were Trotskyites as young men and none were Straussians. Irving Kristol had a friendship with Strauss but what does that have to do with the Bush Administration?

Matthews read an article somewhere – my guess is that it was one written by Hitchens – and extrapolates from events 80 years ago to today.

It’s sophomoric, historically illiterate, and intellectually simplistic.

But those are Matthews’ best qualities.

SteveMG on April 26, 2013 at 4:20 PM