It is time for another check-up from the neck-up on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Let’s get the big take-away out of the way up front: Democratic politicians, pundits, candidates, and operatives should take NO counsel from Joe Scarborough or Mika Brzenski. If they do, they deserve to lose. Anyone inclined to take advice or gain valuable perspectives from an MSNBC tag-team duo should direct their attention to Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell. The latter pair helms the prime-time programming on the network and they actually base their commentary on facts and do research to support the positions they take during on air discussions. It is evident that Joe and Mika do neither of those things- relying primarily on personal experience, anecdotal evidence and conventional wisdom that has been long proven inaccurate. That is not a recipe for actionable intel for any rational or effective political actor.
Morning Joe is not just a place where political news is discussed, it is also a place where personal agendas are advanced and personal grievances are aired. The personal spin is so pervasive that if legitimate news analysis is the main course of the meal (and I concede that it is), Joe and Mika’s unique brand of spin is the soup at the beginning of the meal and the nuts at the end. Those of us who watch it regularly do not watch it because we are committed fans. To paraphrase Ezra Klien of Vox, Morning Joe is just a part of the breakfast routine for many political news junkies. Fox and Friends is hot garbage- universally known as pure Trump TV propaganda. And CNN is… CNN. So if we want any political talk with our scrambled eggs and toast we are pretty much stuck with Joe and Mika.
That is fine so long as we keep in mind that on Morning Joe the line between political news analysis and pure entertainment gets hopelessly blurred at times. And when that line gets blurred, it is heavily shaded by the aforementioned personal agendas and grievances. At that point the news talk program can get so maddening that it becomes hazardous to your mental health. This is a quick check up on the mischief that the cozy couple of Morning Joe has been up to lately so that my friends who may have gotten sucked in can get out before the myth-making and spin-doctoring can take hold.
Even though Joe and Mika have staked out firm positions against Donald Trump since the middle of 2017, it is key to remember that they were both firmly planted up his ass during the Republican Primaries and gave him TONS of free, live air-time. So the duo is neither a friend of the Democratic Party nor an honest broker- although they allow the pretense to persist that they are.
The following four lines of discussion illustrate how Morning Joe often works to undermine Democratic success even while feigning objectivity or attacking the despicable deplorables advancing Trumpism:
“I don’t understand why Barack Obama won’t just come out and endorse Joe Biden.” This is part of the Morning Joe tradition of minimizing the sparkling success of President Obama- and one of Joe’s more transparently disingenuous suggestions. And he has made it a couple of times recently. He often punctuates it with follow up comments like “Barack Obama sent all of his top campaign brass over to Beto O’Rourke.” First and foremost, Barack Obama is no longer the President and he has neither the authority nor the inclination to “send” anybody anywhere. He is far too smart to put his thumb on the scale in an election of this magnitude. The petty jealousy exposed by that comment rests on Joe’s hope that if Beto O’Rourke doesn’t break through, he must REALLY suck because Obama sent all of his heavy hitting consultants to help him to no avail.
The idea that President Obama should offer a formal endorsement of any candidate in the spring of 2019 for an election taking place in November of 2020 is asinine. Pure and simple. A presidential endorsement has never been offered at this early stage of the game. Joe is not dumb- he only acts dumb sometimes in hope of catching hopeless, hapless and gullible Democrats like his wife slipping. The idea is that suggesting that President Obama is not appropriately supportive of Joe Biden’s candidacy gives a black-eye to BOTH men. Of course, it is nothing more Morning Joe Mischief.
“Trump has been a Democrat all his life” is a Morning Joe staple that gets tossed onto the plate of many discussions like the parsley garnish you never eat but also never bother objecting to. But this is one garnish that you should throw away because it is loaded with toxins that could poison the steak you’re about to enjoy. The idea behind pointing out Donald Trump’s former status as a registered Democrat is to build a trap door for Republicans to escape through when the time comes for an accounting of who helped Trump destroy the political and social infrastructure of our country.
The Democrats being too weak to stop the Republican majorities from doing so is a far cry from the Republicans aiding and abetting him at every turn. History will be brutal on the Republican party over the events of the Trump Era and Joe- a lifelong Republican- wants to do his part to rescue a chosen few friends and at the same time stain the Democratic party with having had him as a member. It sounds like a stretch but dumb arguments and silly suggestions can be highly effective if laid out in just the right place at just the right time. So keep an ear cocked for this one when it comes up and remember what Joe is up to.
“Democrats are “over-playing their hand” against Trump like they did against Kavanaugh” is a statement that Mika loves to make because it is firmly planted in her dome by her man. Don’t shoot the messenger, ladies. Mika toes the line and only offers up resistance where it is Scarborough approved in order to support the pretense of independence and authenticity in the discussions.
Here is the truth: Brett Kavanaugh could not be stopped by Democrats from getting on the Supreme Court. The Republicans had the votes and even if there were video evidence that he was a raging drunk teen-age Jack-the-Ripper, Kavanaugh was getting on that Court as Trump’s ultimate insurance policy. The hearings were an appropriate oversight tool and forced everybody to go on the record with their positions- which turned out to be very valuable in the 2018 mid-terms and will likely be again in the 2020 general election.
As we all know, Democrats massacred Republicans in those midterms- the first vote held after Kavanaugh sat his whiny, drunk, entitled bitch-ass on the High Court. So how exactly did Democrats lose?
“Nancy Pelosi is a Zen Master who rides a dragon on her way to the Capitol every day.” This is their latest and greatest hit. This one makes Joe and Mika sing in harmony like Peaches and Herb.
And this one is easy: Nancy Pelosi is royally screwing up the political strategy of holding Donald Trump accountable for being a criminal. The longer she screws up, the weaker the Democrats’ position gets. The weaker the Democrats’ position gets, the closer and more exciting the 2020 elections will be. The closer the 2020 elections are, the higher the ratings are. The higher the ratings are, the more money political entertainers make. And while I firmly believe that Joe Scarborough still wants Republicans to win despite his justifiable personal hostility toward Donald Trump, he cares about his money more than anything else. And for him, pushing a b.s. political narrative is as good as printing money. Easy money.
So until next time, my friends, try watching some Netflix with your breakfast.