Patterico's Pontifications

9/11/2018

Joe Scarborough: President Trump Worse For America Than ‘Any Foreign Adversary’

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:20 pm

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed.: I meant to have this posted this morning, but life got in the way…]

I suppose it was inevitable that some political pundit too big for his britches would eventually exploit the tragedy of 9/11 in a cringe-worthy display of hyperbole and bad taste to make the claim that President Trump poses a greater threat to America than terrorists. Joe Scarborough is that pundit, and his Washington Post op-ed chronicles what he views as the “strategic missteps” of the past 17 years:

[E]ndless wars abroad and reckless policies at home have produced annual deficits approaching $1 trillion. President Trump’s Republican Party will create more debt in one year than was generated in the first 200 years of America’s existence. And while the United States has been mired in endless wars and bloody occupations over the past 17 years, China has used that same period to aggressively develop economic partnerships across Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa. Perhaps that is one reason China will soon overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy.

Any discussion of policy failures since 2001 must begin with George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq even though no evidence linked Saddam Hussein’s regime to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Even a majority of Senate Democrats voted for a resolution supporting the Iraq invasion, and more than 70 percent of Americans agreed. But we were wrong. That war cost nearly 5,000 American lives, $2 trillion and inestimable damage to America’s credibility across the globe.

The excesses of Bush’s military adventurism led to his successor, President Barack Obama, placing the United States in a defensive crouch for the better part of eight years. The commander in chief defined his foreign policy approach this way: “Don’t do stupid [stuff].” Even Democratic foreign policy experts would quietly complain that their president’s strategic retreat from the world would come at great cost. The ignoring of crossed red lines, the rise of the Islamic State and the deaths of 500,000 Syrians proved Obama’s Democratic critics right.

All of this bad decision making has led Scarborough to conclude that:

Sixteen years of strategic missteps have been followed by the maniacal moves of a man who has savaged America’s vital alliances, provided comfort to hostile foreign powers, attacked our intelligence and military communities, and lent a sympathetic ear to neo-Nazis and white supremacists across the globe.

For those of us still believing that Islamic extremists hate America because of the freedoms we guarantee to all people, the gravest threat Trump poses to our national security is the damage done daily to America’s image…

Osama bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team 6 before he accomplished that goal. Other tyrants who tried to do the same were consigned to the ash heap of history. The question for voters this fall is whether their country will move beyond this troubled chapter in history or whether they will continue supporting a politician who has done more damage to the dream of America than any foreign adversary ever could.

To use the anniversary of 9/11 to spout-off about Trump is shameful. (And shameful is a word I use often to describe the behavior of this president.) To be so sanctimonious when Scarborough’s own record reveals that he was a shameless, back-slapping suck-up to Trump, reveals how utterly tone-deaf and self-centered he is. Scarborough, along with others in the MSM, gave Trump free airtime and publicity (more than the other candidates), which in turn, gave Trump a bigger media platform to reach a wider audience. As Scarborough clearly helped push Trump front and center, his op-ed is little more than a pile of hypocritical crap coming at the expense of a mournful nation. His arrogant moral preening, amusingly, is not unlike the very president about whom he criticizes.

Remember these moments?:

In late 2015 and 2016, when Trump’s campaign was gaining momentum, they defended him against his critics and offered him advice. For example, at an event at the 92nd Street Y in New York in November 2015, Scarborough proudly recounted how he frequently called Trump to offer political guidance. Returning the bromance favor, in January 2016 Trump talked about Scarborough with Boston talk radio host Howie Carr. “He’s a great guy, and he has a great show … and we have a lot of fun,” Trump said. After Trump won the New Hampshire primary in February 2016, Trump appeared on “Morning Joe” and told the co-hosts: “You guys have been supporters, and I really appreciate it.”

A few days later, CNN reported that MSNBC officials were concerned about “Scarborough’s friendship with Trump and his increasingly favorable coverage of the candidate.” According to CNN, MSNBC insiders called Scarborough’s admiration for Trump “over the top” and “unseemly.” The Washington Post observed that Trump received “a tremendous degree of warmth from the show,” and that his appearances on the show, in person and over the phone, often felt like “a cozy social club.”

That coziness was caught on tape during an MSNBC town hall with Trump in New York that Scarborough and Brzezinski hosted in February 2016. An unaired clip of banter between Brzezinski and Trump in-between segments revealed the two of them colluding about what questions she’d ask him. “Nothing too hard, Mika,” Trump says. “OK,” she responded.

Scarborough pushed back on the criticism today:

“Many have been offended by a tweet I sent out earlier re: my @washingtonpost article. Even if they did not read the article, I should have shown more care on the tweet’s wording and the column’s conclusion,” Scarborough wrote. “The column was focused on 17 years of strategic missteps. The last paragraph became the sole focus of Trump supporters. On every other day of the year, I do not shy away from negative feedback from the right, the left or from Trump supporters… On September 11th, I’ll read the column again and think about whether I could have said the same thing in a way less offensive to Trump supporters on September 11th.”

Anyway, the best of America was revealed on that horrible day, from those who fought back on a plane, to those who plowed through the rubble looking for signs of life, to the military, law enforcement, first-responders and the everyday Americans whose efforts, no matter how big or small, made a difference. That’s who I am thinking about.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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