- The Washington Times - Friday, August 31, 2012

Chicago. Chicago. Chicago.

You can’t say it enough. That’s because liberals fear that the very name of the city of Al Capone, Richard J. Daley, Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama has become shorthand for dirty politics and redistributionist economics.

We know this because “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, MSNBC’s thrill-a-minute leg man, has taken to the airwaves to warn his fellow liberals against the GOP’s use of the city’s name for precisely that purpose. Well, what other city has such a rich history of corruption? Where else have city officials called in Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam for peacekeeping missions in high-crime neighborhoods?

In many respects, Chicago is still a wonderful town, but its policy-driven problems are becoming unmanageable. Mr. Matthews understandably wants to defuse this verbal grenade called Chicago that’s rolling around the liberal bunker with its pin pulled.

On Wednesday night in Republican National Convention coverage, as related by NewsBusters’ Rusty Weiss, Mr. Matthews joined The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson and New York magazine’s John Heilemann to accuse the GOP of using code whenever anything critical of President Obama or the city of Chicago is uttered.

With budget reformer Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as the Republican vice presidential candidate, fasten your seat belts for many more media discussions of welfare reform that include the false charge of GOP racism.

Mr. Robinson set the scene on “Hardball” by regurgitating a 2008 meme: The GOP’s attack on Mr. Obama’s record “is all part of this Barack Obama as ‘other’ sort of blanket campaign that has been waged by the Republican Party for some time now.”

Mr. Matthews chimed in with, “They keep saying ‘Chicago,’ by the way; have you noticed? They keep saying ‘Chicago.’ That’s another thing that sends that message — this guy’s helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods, screwing us in the ‘burbs.”

That left it to Mr. Heilemann to remove all doubt by adding, “There’s [sic] a lot of black people in Chicago.”

MSNBC is the network that was caught turning off its cameras on Tuesday when minority speakers took the podium at the GOP convention and featuring instead liberal commentators who accused the GOP of being racist.

If you think big-city redistributionist politics like Chicago’s have produced spectacularly awful results, including shattered families, gang wars, urban blight and massive debt, you’re a racist, too.

What about politicians who keep minority populations in bondage to top-down welfare systems and chronic dependency so that they can keep getting elected?

Liberals have gotten away with this since the dawn of the Great Society, but perhaps they finally have overplayed their hand. People are starting to notice that the nation as a whole is going broke while inner cities such as Chicago’s are not getting more livable.

The state of Illinois, with a budget deficit of $44 billion — worst in the nation — and unfunded pension liabilities of $83 billion, is in a race with liberal-governed California for the worst credit rating of any state. On Tuesday, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Illinois’ bonds — unsurprising after Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn raised personal income taxes by 67 percent and the corporate tax to 9.5 percent. High taxes, incidentally, are not a magnet for job creators, so more downgrades in the near future would not be unexpected.

Like the three liberals on “Hardball,” progressives seem unable to grasp crucial distinctions between real charity and government redistribution (as Mr. Matthews would say, “helping the poor people”).

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