Surprising consensus on today's Morning Joe that Barack Obama blew it bigly in Syria by punting on his redline. Even Obama fan Mike Barnicle admitted, "Syria was a serious mistake that the Obama administration made." Foreign policy honcho Richard Haass said "history's going to be rough on this. This is going to be the defining moment for the Obama presidency."
It wasn't just the panel that trashed Obama's mishandling of Syria. Joe Scarborough noted that not only did leading Dems like John Kerry and Hillary quickly come out in support of Trump's strikes, but that Dems were saying things that were "almost disloyal to Barack Obama, saying we could have never moved this quickly."
Kibitzing about Donald Trump's mental health is a favorite MSM parlor game. But Morning Joe took it to a new level today, devoting its long, opening segment to the matter.
Donny Deutsch and Joe Scarborough were the ringleaders, playing Drs. Freud and Jung, respectively. Excerpts:
On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough argued that the MSM is failing to cover the story of the Obama admin "unmasking"and leaking the names of Trump campaign people caught up in the intercepts of Russians.
According to Scarborough, 95% of the story is the attempt by the Russians to influence the election. But that still leaves the 5% that the MSM is ignoring because the people unmasked were disliked, and in the case of Michael Flynn, "loathed" by the media. In contrast, said Scarborough, the improper activity was "by people who, let's face it, most of the people in the media like and admire."
Should conservatives be rooting for the health care bill to pass the House today, or be defeated or withdrawn? Joe Scarborough made an interesting observation today, quoting the late Senator Paul Simon at the end of his career on the biggest lesson he had learned: "sometimes when you win, you lose. And sometimes when you lose, you win."
Scarborough pointed to the way Democrats whooped it up when they "won" on Obamacare in 2010 . . . and proceeded to experience six years of political "hell," losing 1,000 seats across the country. Opined Scarborough, "I think the best thing that could happen is this bill goes down today. Actually, that they pull it. Let them start renegotiating from the very beginning, do it the right way and move on to tax reform, something that will unite all conservatives.
Did the Trump White House use the House intel committee chairman to divert attention from the committee's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russians? That's what Joe Scarborough suggested on today's Morning Joe. Scarborough said that his reporting suggests that the White House "shoved" committee chairman Devin Nunes in front of the cameras to reveal that communications of President Trump and associates may have been intercepted after the election by intelligence agencies conducting surveillance of foreign targets.
Scarborough: "it just looked like, and sounded like from some reporting I did yesterday, that you had the White House desperate to do anything to change headlines this morning, because, again, from the reporting I did yesterday, talking to people in the White House, they were sodesperate to change the narrative that it looks like they shoved him out with this information—just any information, anything—to change the headlines. And to blow up the investigation in the House. And it looks like that's exactly what they did."
Joe Scarborough went on an epic rant this morning against liberal academia and the way it shuts down and ultimately radicalizes conservative students who grow frustrated with being stifled in the classroom.
The segment began as an effort to explain Stephen Miller's personality, as Morning Joe cited a column by Andrew Sullivan in which he speaks of conservative students who are often "mocked, isolated, and anathematized on campus" and often react by adopting "brattish and obnoxious positions just to tick off their SJW peers and teachers."
An extraordinary first half-hour of Morning Joe today. The thesis was that President Trump had gotten off on a seriously bad foot by failing to look back at history in his inauguration speech, sending a first and ungracious tweet about the Women's Marches, sending Sean Spicer out to berate the press over crowd-size reporting, and above all for a self-referential, boastful, angry speech, referencing crowd size, given while standing in front of the wall of fallen heroes at the CIA.
And the message, delivered repeatedly and in the starkest terms, by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, was that those aides who abetted President Trump, who counseled him to adopt a combative tone, should be fired and leave immediately. View the video to see the myriad ways in which Joe and Mika pummeled the presidential aides who did not advise President Trump to moderate his remarks.
Is the party—the Republican party, that is—over? That's what Joe Scarborough is predicting. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough surmised that "Donald Trump, by the end, will blow apart the Republican party" and that people are "going to look at George W. Bush as the last Republican president."
Scarborough depicted Trump as "in a sense, the first independent president." Joe also suggested that Bernie Sanders might have the same party-demolishing impact on the Democrats.
Cory Booker's shameless gambit of launching his presidential bid by attacking Jeff Sessions has really gotten under this Insurrectionist's skin. From my Quick Hit of this morning: "I reckon he earned the scorn of many of his fellow Dems for his transparent ploy."
And so it was gratifying to get confirmation this morning from Joe Scarborough, who on Morning Joe said this of Booker's stunt: "obviously calculated . . . in a way that would have the other senators, especially Democratic senators, wanting to drag him away . . . a lot of senators irked, especially on the Democratic side. They thought he was launching his bid for the 2020 campaign."
On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough ripped as "repulsive" Sean Hannity's "bromance" with Julian Assange, and more generally criticized the Republican change of heart on Wikileaks. Background on the evolution of Hannity's views on Assange here [note: from Daily Beast.]
Scarborough noted that when Wikileaks divulged information about a CIA operation some years ago, Assange became the Republican "enemy #1." In 2010, Donald Trump himself tweeted that WikiLeaks was "disgraceful" and that there "should be death penalty or something."
In the wake of yesterday's terror attacks, including the one in Berlin in which 12 people were killed and many more injured, Donald Trump tweeted that the civilized world must "change thinking."
A disdainful Joe Scarborough reacted on today's Morning Joe: "I don't know exactly what the civilized world is going to do about trucks, unless we're going to ban trucks. But again, some of the deadliest attacks have been with vehicles."
Some feuds die hard. Joe Scarborough and Keith Olbermann have one going back to at least 2008, with another flare-up in 2012. Scarborough's got the bigger mic now, and he wielded it on today's Morning Joe to mercilessly mock Olbermann as someone suffering from delusions of Nazi tomatoes that talk to him.
The context was Mika Brzezinski role-playing Rex Tillerson being questioned during his Senate confirmation hearing. Joe played the committee chairman, but couldn't help himself from launching into an Olby impression, with his trademark "Sirrr!", then riffing "you do know that he calls tomatoes, that he thinks are staring ominously at him, Nazis? You know he does that? . . . Because they keep talking to him in German. The tomatoes in his kitchen. It really disturbs him."
Could Donald Trump pull a Brexit, confounding elite opinion by winning the election with votes that the polls didn't pick up? On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post agreed it could happen.
Scarborough said that people are still whispering to him as they leave the room that they're voting for Tump, but are embarrassed to tell pollsters given the coverage of his comments about women, etc. There are limits to the phenomenon: in Cillizza and Scarborough's view, the hidden Trump vote is unlikely to exceed 1.5%. But if Trump can continue to tighten the race in these two final weeks . . . it could be a very interesting election night.
That was ugly! Today's Morning Joe offered a prime example of the notion that the bitterest political fights are the ones between members of the same party. Joe Scarborough and Bill Kristol got into a nasty spat over Kristol's accusation that in the early days of the campaign, Morning Joe had been supportive of Donald Trump, and by extension bears some responsibility for his rise.An angry Scarborough shot back "you lied!" and laid out the case that he had declared early on that he wouldn't vote for Trump, had analogized his call for a Muslim ban to Germany circa 1933, and said that Trump's reluctance to reject David Duke's endorsement was disqualifying.
Every couple of weeks, Joe Scarborough rebuilds lost conservative street cred by going on a good rant against liberals and the MSM. He did so in spades on today's Morning Joe, comprehensively crushing libs for their hypocrisy in "freaking out" over Trump's wait-and-see answer at last night's debate to the question of whether he'd accept the results of the election.
Excerpts: "the media got something they can absolutely freak out about and claim that he is an agent of Vladimir Putin and destroying democracy in America and it's just another example of the media having to find a little phrase and freak out when as a Republican I have listened to Democrats talk about the only two times we won the White House in like 800 years that we stole both elections . . . hell, even Bernie Sanders supporters just six months ago were saying that Hillary Clinton was rigging the election."
During the opening 6AM segment of today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough accused NBC of having "cooked" its current poll to favor Hillary Clinton. But at 8AM when Morning Joe replayed that opening segment, Scarborough's criticism of the NBC poll . . . had disappeared. Instead, the video jumped ahead to Mika Brzezinski's reading of the poll results themselves, which showed Hillary Clinton with an 11-14% lead.
Scarborough's point was that NBC sampled only during the height of the hot mic hysteria, but didn't include sampling from after the debate, widely viewed as having been won by Trump. Joe obviously knew he was skating on thin network ice, prefacing his criticism by saying "we work here. We really love working here. We love this place."