On Monday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough warned that Democrats might lose in November, because despite President Trump’s unpopularity among many, the president has achieved many conservative goals.
“The question Democrats should be asking themselves today is whether Trump’s expanding populist checklist will energize the conservative base in November enough to keep his congressional handmaidens in charge,” Scarborough wrote. “Unless Democrats find their voice and an alternative to Trump’s bleak agenda, his pathetic populist shtick might just do the trick this fall.”
Scarborough claims to be a Republican, and he once represented the GOP in Congress, but liberal slant dominated every word of this Washington Post column. Even so, the MSNBC host discovered a very pertinent point: Trump has been delivering on conservative policies far more than the #AntiTrump Republicans anticipated. Not all of the president’s achievements are “populist,” but they will resonate among conservatives in November.
The MSNBC host essentially accused Republicans of selling their souls for Donald Trump. While it seemed at first like they had gained little in return, Scarborough had the vision to admit that the “blundering billionaire has actually begun to fill his political trophy case with victories sure to inspire the conservative base.”
Republican candidates justifying their support for Trump can point to many concrete achievements. “For starters, they can point to Trump’s conservative judicial nominees beyond [Supreme Court Justice Neil] Gorsuch as cause for celebration,” Scarborough admitted. The list actually proved quite expansive.
Their “talking points can also include massive tax cuts, a bigger military budget, regulatory reform and the gutting of the Environmental Protection Agency,” the MSNBC host noted. “Other wedge-issue winners include the planned withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal, undermining Obamacare, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, attacking federal employee unions and promoting extreme immigration policies. Add to that the mocking of political correctness and identity politics, and you have a platform sure to inspire the activists who drive today’s Republican Party.”
To be clear, the MSNBC host does not support any (?) of these policies. He merely admits that they might play well to many voters in November. “While many of these policies will drive up the federal debt and diminish U.S. power across the globe, and will likely be reversed by a stroke of his successor’s pen, Trump’s list of ‘accomplishments’ are scratching an ideological itch that establishment Republicans could never reach,” Scarborough wrote.
As if his attack on these policies were not clear enough, he emphasized that these things would “prove to be disastrous in short order.”
“But Trump is not concerned with history’s judgment,” the self-assured fake Republican liberal proudly wrote. “He simply wants to stay out of jail and complete his first term.”
Stay out of jail? Oh right, Scarborough thinks the president should be in jail for “colluding” with the Russians. For the MSNBC host, Donald John Trump is the devil.
While Scarborough deserves credit for admitting that Democrats are in trouble, he only came to this conclusion after many paragraphs of lambasting Trump.
“It has been hard to grasp why so many conservatives would sell their political souls to a man who wallows in racist stereotypes, questions federal judges’ legitimacy, flogs the free press, undermines Madison’s constitutional norms, declares war on America’s intelligence community, and attacks Justice Department and FBI leaders he appointed for refusing to kill special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation,” the MSNBC host wrote. Some of those criticisms are genuine, but most are ridiculous overstatements: “flogs the free press”? Really?
Even in his paragraph opening up the idea that Trump has accomplishments to present to conservative voters, Scarborough got in a few jabs at the president: “Republican candidates justifying their support for a man who lies about payoffs to porn stars, lies about policies that rip infants from their mothers’ arms and lies about the existence of White House staffers speaking on his own behalf now have more than Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to justify their devotion to the ‘carnage’ president.”
As for lying about “the existence of White House staffers,” that charge is particularly rich, seeing as it is the media’s twisting of Trump’s insistence that his staffer did not say negotiations with North Korea were “impossible,” as The New York Times reported. Video has since emerged proving that the staffer did not call the negotiations impossible, but instead of admitting fault, the Times twisted Trump’s words, accusing him of saying his own staffer didn’t exist.
Yes, many Republicans who support Trump firmly today did oppose him at one point. Scarborough rightly noted that “House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) declared a Trump comment to be a ‘textbook‘ example of racism before quickly endorsing him. Mike Pence told friends and political allies that the New York billionaire was an unacceptable Republican nominee before eagerly accepting a spot on Trump’s ticket.”
Many Republicans opposed Trump, but when he won the GOP nomination and then the presidency, they came around. Trump has proven better than many #NeverTrump conservatives warned he would (this writer included). That doesn’t erase Trump’s past — Scarborough recalled many offensive statements the candidate made on the campaign trail and before, along with the scandals over his alleged relationships with porn stars.
Liberals can berate Trump all day, every day — do they do anything else? — but at the end of the day, he is the president. Conservatives need to evaluate candidates based on their values, their promises, and what the Republican Party has achieved.
Like it or not, Trump is president. How will each candidate deal with that reality? Will a Democrat who excoriates Trump stonewall any potential progress by constantly pushing for his impeachment? Will a Republican champion the best parts of Trump’s accomplishments and do the best he or she can to further a conservative agenda?
The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate will be different this time next year. Voters have choices to make. Scarborough is right: the GOP does have concrete achievements to bring back to voters, and the Democrats have only excuses for why they refused to work with the majority party.
Recent polls suggest the Democratic advantage might be shrinking. Joe Scarborough helped explain why.