I normally avoid “Morning Joe” on MSNBC like I would the screeching caterwauling of a … well, the screeching caterwauling of a group of uninformed blowhard ignoramuses. Funny coincidence.
Scarborough is moronic and blustery. Brzezinski is vapid and sycophantic. The other guy, who has the unenviable resume item of being Tucker Carlson’s former sidekick, is hollow and off putting. Occasionally they have decent guests and panelists but I don’t know the frequency of appearances of non morons because I hardly ever watch the show. I’m usually doing something much more productive — like sleeping.
Today however, I happened to rise early and, to my misfortune, I tuned in the program.
The conventional wisdom is that MSNBC is the liberal foil to the right wing FoxNews. However, the fact that MSNBC gives so much time to these rightwing apologists demonstrates that they, not the Murdoch vehicle, own the rights to “Fair and Balanced,” desperate and foolish, or even funny, court cases notwithstanding.
This morning, after a long cold night in the wilderness, the hosts were positively giddy at the prospect of a new dawn for the right: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the CIA misled her about waterboarding.
None of us know at this point how this case will turn out of course. But the right is latching onto this for all its worth, and possibly a great deal more. Scarborough and Brzezinski are no exceptions.
The basic line is that CIA agents would never mislead or lie to congress, so, ipso facto, they did not mislead or lie to congress. Further, the fact that Pelosi asserted they misled her or lied to her, when all right thinking people just know the CIA would never mislead her or lie to her, destroys her credibility and, by extension, that of Barack Obama, every Democrat and anyone to the left of Dick Cheney ever.
But then Mean Old Buzzkill Lawrence O’Donnell came along with his irritating knowledge, grasp of reality and use of facts.
Scarborough, The Genius, replied that by then Goldwater was “as crazy as [O’Donnell].” This is of course the vaunted No True Scotsman fallacy. Normally, such hooey would be laughed off the stage in a rational debate. On “Morning Joe,” however, it passed for sacrosanct Truth and irrefutable logic.
To O’Donnell’s credit, he was able to carry on rather than stare slack jawed and gobsmacked at the idiocy surrounding him. In the next segment, the hosts and panelists, including Richard Viguerie, were discussing the current sad state of the Republican party and the right.
O’Donnell had the temerity to repeat a point he has made before: that all mainstream American politicians, including most if not all Republicans serving in office now and for the last 70+ years, were and are socialists because they refuse to even advocate ending social security, medicare and medicaid.
This is much like O’Donnell’s takedown of Pat Buchanan complaining about Obama speaking at Notre Dame despite Obama’s pro choice views while ignoring his own and others’ deviation from the church’s position against the death penalty.
It is beyond refutation that social security, medicare and medicaid are socialists programs. You’d think that even the dimmest rightwing pundit would have the intelligence to acknowledge this and admit to being just a teeny bit “socialistic.” Ah, but then that would show that you didn’t account for Joe Scarborough, Wonder Boy.
Without acceding to O’Donnell’s point, he hemmed and hawed about advocating talking about considering perhaps calling for ending the Department of Education and, when pinned by O’Donnell, claimed that he, as a true conservative, would not be for ending the now decades old programs in the interest of social stability.
So there you have it: according to Joe “The Big Brain” Scarborough, socialism is conservative.
And then Scarborough had the nerve to repeatedly make pointed reference to O’Donnell supposedly using “pharmaceuticals.” I don’t know the specifics of this obviously inside implication, but, I would humbly suggest that Scarborough stop ingesting whatever brand of crazy pills he’s apparently swallowing by the handful and switch to whatever “pharmaceuticals” O’Donnell is supposedly taking.
Update: Crooks and Liars Video Cafe now has the video.