Chris Matthews: Worrying about Obama's executive power grabs is second-term Birtherism

Via the Corner, this isn’t the first time he’s equated questioning the legitimacy of something Obama’s done with questioning the legitimacy of the man himself. After all the sturm and drang among liberals during the Bush years about executive overreach, you would think that he’d at least work up a more sophisticated defense of O’s excesses. There are surely lefty law profs out there willing to appear on “Hardball” who’d defend Obama’s decision to suspend ObamaCare’s employer mandate as sort of justified in the name of smoothly implementing the law. Not all of them, of course: Jonathan Turley, who used to be a regular on MSNBC, wouldn’t fit in anymore. But there’s always someone on your side somewhere who can dress up a “lay off our guy” argument in expertise and intellectualism. Instead we get the eight millionth reductionist “Republicans are racist” argument to dismiss the same basic constitutional questions MSNBC itself was posing six years ago.

How far would Obama have to go to get Tingles more worried about the executive precedents he’s setting than about tea partiers complaining about it? I feel like we’ve reached the point where, if O issued an order tomorrow seizing some industry a la Harry Truman, Matthews would react by frantically scanning Republican denunciations for “dog whistles.” What is left of this network?