Schadenfreude is, as it sounds, a German word meaning the derivation of pleasure from the distress of others. It is not an exalted emotion. Indeed, it is an ignoble one, and expresses some of humanity’s worst impulses.
That said, those who never felt a tingle up their legs, as did MSNBC’s unthinking man’s political analyst—who endorses a presidential candidate based on feelings in their thighs?— cannot but feel some degree of schadenfreude at learning that Matthews and his deep-thinking “panel”— including the pompous, totally full of himself Joe Klein; the perfectly-coiffed with no-discernible-brain-capable-of-original-analysis beneath the hair, “Senior Political Analyst” Gloria Borger; and New York Magazine‘s John Heilebrun, who seems to be the least narcissistic and most discerning in an admittedly clueless field—agree that “Hope and Change” is not going to work in 2012. As Heilebrun put it,
“The core difference between 2008 and 2012 is going to be the politics of hope, which we saw in 2008, versus the politics of fear in 2012. They won’t call it that, but so much of this campaign in terms of driving turnout among all these groups, is going to be about making the Republican alternative totally unacceptable.”
As Mediaite’s Matt Schneider nailed it, “…in a final revealing moment, Matthews best summed up the likely mood of the elusive independent voter, as someone who is ‘just looking for something better than they got – and it may be Obama – but it’s got to be better than the first term.’ Therefore, even if ‘hope’ can’t be part of Obama’s campaign again, it looks like ‘change’ from the present will still need to be featured prominently in order to re-energize his support.”
Tatler readers who need an extra jolt to add to their coffee this morning, to slough off the weekend’s heat and inertia, could suddenly find themselves sitting bolt upright as they watch the brutal force of grim reality beginning to filter through to Matthews and his guests. The emotion that will suffuse your minds, is, of course schadenfreude: the video is at the bottom of Mediaite’s screen.