In July, MSNBC host and former Rep. Joe Scarborough showily announced on Stephen Colbert's CBS show that he was leaving the Republican Party. No one on the Republican National Committee flew a flag at half-mast. The announcement was at least a decade behind the reality. In 2006, he basically called then-President Bush an idiot. Last week, he did the same to President Trump. There is consistency here from the man who craves attention.
Scarborough is the MSNBC equivalent of David Gergen, someone always twiddling his spit-covered finger in the wind and switching his allegiances depending on which option benefits him the most. He announces a new position with a big "Look at me!" flourish.
Scarborough can boast egotistically just like the president he despises. In a Politico interview with Glenn Thrush in 2016, he actually said: "when I walk into a Southern Baptist Church -- I can be anywhere in the world, I could be, like, smoking pot when I'm going down, like, the center aisle. It doesn't matter. People still know I'm one of them, instinctively."
In the early days of the Republican primary race, from mid-2015 into the early contests, Scarborough was a Trumper. In January 2016, he proclaimed that the sight of Trump's plane landing in Des Moines, Iowa, "was like the Pope had landed with the Middle East peace pact to end 3,000 years of war." In November 2015, he touted Trump's "gut instinct and strength," and in January 2016, he even acted bashful with Hugh Hewitt on the radio and refused to reject Hewitt's suggestion that it would "make sense" if he were named Trump's running mate to help win the Florida vote.
But soon, Trump would become the second coming of both Hitler and Stalin. By June 2016, Scarborough scalded Trump, saying: "he had been talking about a Muslim registry. He's even talked in the past about making Muslims carry cards. Sounds a lot like Nazi Germany."
No Muslim registry has materialized, but Scarborough's loathing has continued -- and deepened. On Nov. 30, he claimed, "people close to him during the campaign told me had early stages of dementia."
On Dec. 22, the headline on the Washington Post Opinions email sounded like a serious left-wing attack: "The Stench of Trump's Self-Dealing." Was it Sen. Bernie Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren? No, it was Scarborough, who proclaimed that there is a "stench of self-dealing that engulfs all things Trump." He added, "Like autocrats across the world, the 45th American president has perfected the art of the self-deal."
This is hilarious coming from Scarborough. In his pro-Trump phase, he provided cover when Trump refused to release his tax returns, asking, "Why are Donald Trump's taxes relevant?"
On Dec. 29, Scarborough doubled down in the Post, suggesting Trump is guilty of foreign affairs based on "malignant idiocy" and transforming into a "tyrannical president" with a compliant Republican Congress. Trump even "used Stalinist barbs to attack the free press," proving only that thin-skinned Scarborough cannot discern the difference between assault and mockery.
In the same piece, Scarborough quoted the late British Prime Winston Churchill's "Gathering Storm" speech. Yes, indeed, but the wicked threat is now Trump: "The malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous."
This man is seemingly blinded by rage. He claimed that "America's dangerous retreat from the world continues" while neglecting to mention the crushing of the Islamic State group, or the bombing of a Syrian airfield (which seemed to end what American intelligence reported was President Bashar al-Assad's chemical warfare on his own people), or the approval of arms assistance for Ukraine (so much for being Russian President Putin's plaything).
Scarborough shouldn't be attacking Trump or anyone else for basing their political analysis on emotional bluster instead of facts. He specializes in it.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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