(CNSNews.com) - "Do you remember the bar scene in 'Star Wars,' with all those wild-eyed creatures from every part of the solar system?" MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked at the beginning of Thursday's "Hardball."
"Well, today here in Washington, the whole tapestry of weirdness was reenacted at the annual convention of something called CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee.
"Well, actually, 'conservative' doesn't quite capture this out-of-this-world jamboree," Matthews continued. "At CPAC, it's the far-out sharing space with the even further out, a place for the crazy car to fill up with the usual suspects -- Cruz and Paul and Rubio and Bobby Jindal -- while gassing up with the craziest bunch of ideas since Rick 'Oops' Perry couldn't remember that list of government agencies he wanted to kill..."
Taking his cue from Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, Matthews also tied conservatives to some of their wealthy supporters:
"It was pure Koch brothers populism being sold out there today, words and phrases crafted to heat up the peanut gallery, translating to cold cash for the oil patch billionaires who approved the script."
Joining Matthews to explore what went on in the "crazy room" were former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat; and Republican strategist John Feehery.
"Governor, it's amazing to me how the regular people fall for this stuff put together by the richest people," said Matthews -- who is assumed to be fairly wealthy himself.
Throughout the segment, Matthews seemed puzzled by the crowd's enthusiastic response to the speeches they heard:
"But what do they mean when they applaud?" Matthews asked Feehery. "Well, what does it mean?"
"It's a great speech," Feehery explained.
"So in other words, the full mooners are being played to here," Matthews said.
"Of course they are," said the Republican analyst.
That earned Feehery a pat on the back from Matthews:
"Here's a guy, Feehery, who's a smart guy, admitting that this red meat is just BS. It's just, Let's get rid of the government. Let's get rid of the IRS. Let's get rid of the Federal Reserve. Let's get rid of any regulation on Wall Street and just go back to what -- the rich get a lot richer and everybody else goes where? I don`t know -- that sells, though. It's like every time you say, More capital punishment, this crowd applauds. Fry 'em -- they applaud!
Matthews said said he'll "probably sneak by the CPAC convention t his week and just do bear-baiting because they'll yell at me."
"They're always friendly," he added. "You probably haven't been to these conventions, but you know who goes there," Matthews told Rendell. "Regular -- mostly guys, mostly guys in their late 20s, early 30s. They're just intellectuals. They're not rich. They may make $30 (thousand) a year, if they're lucky. They're just regular people. And yet they all buy into this. Let's get rid of Dodd-Frank. Let's get rid of the -- they -- why do they benefit from any of this stuff, this crazy right-wing economic agenda? I just don't see why regular people buy into what's the Koch brothers' ambition. That's what I don't get."
Rendell's explanation: "Because they're angry and they react to red meat. Angry people react to red meat. They don't think."