Chris Matthews: In their own weird way, these tea partiers are kind of awesome

Via Breitbart, don’t get too excited here. He’s making the same point, essentially, that Obama did in dismissing Beck’s rally as a byproduct of economic anxiety: Right-wing voters are scared and angry because they feel gypped by our flawed, insufficiently redistributionist system, so now they’re going to take it out on incumbents. He doesn’t really “get” the tea party, in other words — but he sure does like the idea of grassroots voters slaying an entrenched establishment. That’s an awfully strange bit of praise to find on MSNBC given that the left has spent every day since January 20, 2009, arguing that conservatives are a lunatic fringe who can’t be trusted with power. (Just yesterday, Bill Clinton insisted that tea partiers make George Bush look like a liberal.) But I guess, like everyone, Tingles has soft spot for populism too. In fact, consider this a sneak preview of O’Donnell’s campaign strategy against Coons. One strand of the tea-party ethos, i.e. purging Democrats, centrists, RINOs, etc etc, isn’t such a smart way to go in a state as blue as Delaware. But a different strand — purging the establishment — can appeal anywhere. If she and her team are smart, they won’t so much as utter the words “liberal” or “Democrat” vis-a-vis Chris Coons from now until November. Stick with “ruling class,” “rubber stamp,” “Goliath,” “Beltway favorite,” and so forth. If it works on Matthews, it can work on anyone.

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