Diplomacy or Appeasement?

I am not a fan of Chris Matthews by any stretch of the imagination, but even blowhards can get something right sometimes.

Today, he had conservative radio host Kevin James on his show to talk about President Bush’s comment which compared Obama to Nazi appeasers (choosing guests who do nothing but shout is one reason why I usually do not like his show). What followed, I have to admit, was extremely enjoyable.

MATTHEWS: You don’t know what you’re talking about, Kevin. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Tell me what Chamberlain did wrong.

JAMES: Neville Chamberlain was an appeaser, Chris. Neville Chamberlain was an appeaser, all right? […]

MATTHEWS: I’ve been sitting here five minutes asking you to say what the president was referring to in 1938 at Munich.

JAMES: I don’t know.

MATTHEWS: You don’t know, thank you.

But it got even better. Matthews rebuked James (and Bush) for “being blank slates of history”:

You don’t understand there’s a difference between talking to the enemy and appeasing. What Chamberlain did wrong, most people would say, is not talking to Hitler, but giving him half of Czechoslovakia in 1938. That’s what he did wrong. Not talking to somebody. Appeasement is giving things away to the enemy.

You can see a video here.

This type of political rhetoric drives me crazy…when all else fails, compare the opponent to Nazis or Nazi appeasers. And people wonder why we can’t have a real public conversation about real issues.

Not to mention, since when it is a crime to talk about diplomacy? If you are not willing to talk, then how can you expect to ever make progress?

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/mogmcE33KeY" width="425" height="350"/]

About throwingmarshmallows

I am a homeschooling mom to two sweet, energetic boys although I am probably not exactly what you would expect (definitely NOT your stereotypical homeschooler, if there is really such a thing). I support progressive political causes (yes, liberals can and do homeschool!) and I have found a spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist Church. I have no real idea of how I want to use this blog, but will probably focus on homeschooling, things that I am learning from my boys, personal thoughts and opinions and maybe some liberal politics thrown in, who knows!
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5 Responses to Diplomacy or Appeasement?

  1. What Sen. Obama said in that clip was just purely common sense. Do we live in an age where any glimmer of common sense is a revelation?

    I have no idea who Chris Matthews is, but kudos to him for calling a spade a spade. “Journalists” and “leaders” like this can spout snippets of historical rhetoric, but they don’t know the history behind it. I think that explains a lot about some of our country’s foreign policy. :-(

  2. jove says:

    I read an excellent piece recently (maybe in the Guardian?) suggesting that we can’t fix this thing UNLESS we talk to terrorists/enemies. The comparator was the Northern Ireland situation. And it was very well argued.

    In fact, it pointed out that much of that discussion with Sinn Fein and the IRA started out in secret but it was the crucial element in finally being able to come to an agreement.

  3. Summer says:

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Now if only Matthews would do this more often. Or all journalists for that metter. :)

  4. lapazfarm says:

    I never have understood how talking to someone is equated with complicity or approval (or “appeasement”). How will we ever get anywhere if we refuse to talk with those we disagree with?

  5. Topsy-Techie says:

    I think ultra-conservative leaders, like Bush, have been terrified of talking to radical leaders because they will find out HOW MUCH THEY ACTUALLY HAVE IN COMMON!!