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Keep it Classy, Chris Matthews: Tingles Uses Chilean Miner Rescue as Occasion to Bash Tea Party

By Doug Powers  •  October 13, 2010 10:09 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

As the great news of the last of the trapped miners in Chile being lifted to the surface spread around the world, Chris Matthews had as a guest the president of the AFL/CIO Richard Trumka. Naturally, the pair had to use the occasion of the year’s greatest tribute to ingenuity, endurance and teamwork to… slam the Tea Party.

Transcript via Newsbusters:

After Trumka initially recounted his joy at watching the miners being rescued, he quickly veered into his standard rhetoric of the need for more regulation. Matthews then picked up on Trumka’s cue to launch into an attack on the Tea Party, as he distorted their limited government view as one of total anarchy that would mean “no more government, no more everything,” as seen in the following exchange:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay let’s talk about what the…message to a lot of the people was. The message coming out of the Tea Party people, and lot of them are good people, is every man for himself, basically. “No more taxes, no more government, no more everything. No more safety net. No more health care for everybody. Everybody just get out there, make your buck, save it, screw the government, move on.” Right?

The rest of the transcript (and video) is here if you can stand it.

It’s worth noting that the president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, who aggressively pursued a rescue of the trapped men, put his reputation and even presidency on the line, and refused to give up hope, is not a politican who would give Chris Matthews a thrill up his leg:

The win for Piñera ended the 20-year hold on the presidency exercised by the center-left Concertación coalition and made Piñera Chile’s first elected conservative president in 52 years.
The new Chilean president vows to become an “entrepreneurial” leader and has already set his sights on restoring a healthy six per cent growth rate, lowering taxes, and improving government efficiency while pursuing programs to reduce poverty and inequality. Unlike countries under populist’s presidents offering promises rather than performance, Chile has significantly reduced poverty, lowering it in the last two decades from 40 percent to 13.7 percent.

The election of Piñera was in fact a sort of Chilean Tea Party.

One action taken by Piñera that is being credited with helping getting these miners out alive is the fact that he did not wait to ask for and accept help from other nations with expertise in the disciplines required for this complex rescue.

I won’t mention the name of another nation’s president who was slow to accept outside assistance during a disaster, and who didn’t act to waive insane bureaucratic regulations, except to offer this clue: He’s not a Tea Partier, and his mere aura used to turn Chris Matthews’ trousers into a pup tent.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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