Remember when liberals blamed Sarah Palin's rhetoric for the shooting Rep. Gabbie Giffords, D-Ariz.? Hold that thought, and consider that MSNBC's Chris Matthews developed a sustained allusion to Goethe's Faust in order to call Newt Gingrich a "false god of hatred" and a "devil" sent by the Republican primary voters to "kill" President Obama.
"Why are [Republicans] on the verge of enlisting in the Army of Newt?" Matthews asked rhetorically last night. "Because he voices in cold, nasty, deadly tones the words of their contempt. Because he an opportunist ready to seek any route to his opponent's heart and thereby kill it. He is a political killer, a gun for hire."
Republicans desire more than anything "the few minutes of national television in which the President and his wife stand before them in defeat," Matthews said, explaining that "that's why they're offering up their partisan souls, why they're ready to bow down before this false god of hatred. They will give their souls to Newt - their compact with the devil - to get what they most want - pain on their enemy."
To recap: Chris Matthews described Gingrich as a "devil" and a "false god" during a segment in which he criticized Republicans -- and the former Speaker chief among them -- for the "voic[ing] in cold, nasty, deadly tones the words of their contempt."
Matthews' use of such violent (metaphorical) imagery would be less notable if he hadn't faulted Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., for contributing to an atmosphere of weaponry in politics, and if he hadn't criticized the Tea Party for bringing weapons to Tea Party rallies, during a segment on Giffords, while deploring "the violent level of the right-wing in this country."