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?