Did I just hear Chris Matthews tell Charlie Cook and Pat Buchanan that the gun-toting wingnuts who have turned up at the president's town halls succeeded in forcing the president to back away from the public option?

Unless I was hearing things, that could be the most insane and irresponsible thing I've heard Matthews say in quite a long time.

Ah yes. Just looked up the video (Timecode 7:44). Matthews said:

I think these crazy town meetings work... In a weird way, these guys even with the guns really helped him [Obama?]. They've shown the virulence of the critics.

Brilliant! Bring guns to presidential events is awesome according to Mr. Matthews.

By the way, no fewer than 12 wingnuts showed up at the president's event in Arizona with guns strapped to their legs -- compensating for their tiny, flaccid penises.