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Tilting at Windmills

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May 2, 2011

DOES JOE SCARBOROUGH KNOW ANY DEMOCRATS?.... MSNBC's Joe Scarborough offered some praise for President Obama this morning, in light of the announcement regarding Osama bin Laden, but in the process, made an odd observation about the Democratic base.

"Here, you know, I think Republicans should stand up and certainly salute Barack Obama for making some -- again, for making some very tough choices that his own base did not want him to make. That takes courage, that takes leadership, and we saw the results of that courage and leadership saying no to his own base yesterday. [...]

"[These are] decisions that he probably did not believe as a candidate he didn't think he'd have to make.... Going against his own ideological leanings to do what he believes he has to do."

I just don't understand what reality Scarborough is living in.

On the first point, has the Democratic base been clamoring for the president to call off the hunt for Osama bin Laden? I like to think I'm pretty well plugged in to what Dem activists are up to, and this would be a new one for me.

On the second, President Obama, as a candidate, talked repeatedly about targeting bin Laden and other terrorists. His "ideological leanings" weren't a secret, and included his desire and intention to combat terrorism aggressively.

Steve Benen 11:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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Reality doesn't matter to Joe any more than it matters to any other Rethuglican. Obama has to be a extreme ideolog of the left because that's what Joe wants to believe.

Joe is just tryig really hard to make a lemon out of the lemonaide.

Posted by: wonkie on May 2, 2011 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, take it easy on the poor souls. They're still trying to work out how to spin this and Karl Rove is still doing his morning thing (whatever that is).

By the afternoon, we'll have no one to thank but GWB and Trump. It doesn't have to make sense now, because it won't have to make sense later.

Posted by: CJ on May 2, 2011 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

What a dumbass. Why does Joe hate Americans so much?

Posted by: the seal on May 2, 2011 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the odd use of the double negative was a Freudian slip. After all...
"[These are] decisions that he probably did not believe as a candidate he didn't think he'd have to make.... Going against his own ideological leanings to do what he believes he has to do."

if he didn't believe he didn't think he had to make those decisions, doesn't that mean those are decisions he DID believe he HAD to make? So he did?

Posted by: slappy magoo on May 2, 2011 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Strange, indeed, from a man who keeps saying, rightfully, that we should withdraw from Afghanistan.

Our fight was only against Osama and those who supported him, such as the Taliban who protected him. Our fight was never with Saddam, nor, against, the current version of the Taliban.

However, I am so pleased when our CIA operative called the Joint Special Operations Command that they had located bin Laden, neither Tommy Franks, nor Rumdumb and Cheney were able to take the call. Add "President" Double Talk to that list, as well.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 2, 2011 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

The entire Democratic Party is made up of DFHs and their anti-war grandchildren in the Joe's world.

Posted by: thebewilderness on May 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

During the campaign, Obama specifically said he would take unilateral military action in Pakistan if he had actionable intelligence on Bin Laden. A statement that received relentless criticism from the right, by the way.

Could Scarborough be any more blatantly clueless?

Posted by: Holmes on May 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, just for the record, and since you like doing somewhat misleading stats on the "sunday morning news shows", here's stats on the WashingtonMonthly blog page 12 hours after the Democratic president announced the death of the 9/11 terrorist incident:

Politicians means current or former pols.

Republican polticians mentioned: 6
Democrats mentioned: 1
Republican politicians quoted: 4
Democrats politicians quoted: 1

Mentioned: Joe Scarborough, John McCain, Eric Cantor, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Mitt Romney.

Quoted: Scarborough, McCain, Cantor, Romney.

Why you think we need to read quotes from Mitt freakin' Romney at this historic moment, I'll never know, but .... please don't ever again complain about how the Republicans control the MSM narrative.

You need to cast the beam out of your own eye first, saith the Lord.

Posted by: Observer on May 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Well what are you saying Joe that if your part of Obama's base that you didn't want to see Bin Laden killed or brought to justice? That's total bull shit.
Republicans are such incredible pussies. Bush wouldn't be bothered with going after Bin Laden and his base didn't raise a fuss about that even though they claim to be such big time hard asses.

Posted by: Gandalf on May 2, 2011 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

CJ, don't worry, Rush will be on in about 15mins and they will all have their talking points and marching orders.

Posted by: martin on May 2, 2011 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's tactics, strategy, and determination have been vindicated in the eyes of this country and the world.

And it's scaring the shit out of Republicans.

Posted by: Archon on May 2, 2011 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I seem to recall all the Republican candidates in 2008 jumping down Obama's throat when he said he was willing to pursue bin Laden into Pakistan whether or not the Pakistanis cooperated. Some liberals were nervous about that as well, but Obama stood his ground.

On the other hand, it was the Bush administration's OFFICIAL POLICY not to devote extra intelligence resources to pursuing bin Laden in Pakistan or anywhere else. As early as 2003, Bush claimed he "didn't even think" about bin Laden much anymore and he shuttered the CIA/military unit responsible for tracking the Al-Qaeda leader in order to divert more resources to the deteriorating situation in Iraq.

We're going to be seeing a lot of unbelievable chutzpah from the GOP in the coming days.

Posted by: jonas on May 2, 2011 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't expect much but insults and ignorance from Mr. Dead Intern.

Posted by: dr2chase on May 2, 2011 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Brilliant analogy, Observer. The Sunday show hosts, who are essentially lap dogs, elevating the right's nonsense and unfailingly internalizing their narratives are exactly the same as Steve pointing out the right's ridiculous attempts to turn the killing of OBL into vindication of Bush.

Posted by: Holmes on May 2, 2011 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Wonkie is right. It was interesting to see again that Romney remark about Jane Fonda. Deep down the GOP remain convinced that the Jane Fonda of 40-something years ago represents the true face of the Democrats. Anything they say or do to the contrary is explained away as a camouflage for their pacifistic and pinkish designs.

Posted by: davidp on May 2, 2011 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Scarborough is a real American, he lives in a reality of his own manufacture.

Posted by: Jamie on May 2, 2011 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

It's not an analogy, it's the facts.

Posted by: Observer on May 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Beat me, Holmes.

So...What Holmes Said and... Benen, Fuck Yeah!

Posted by: chi res on May 2, 2011 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

As a liberal I have to admit that Joe has a point. Since 9/11 I have harbored a secret desire to see Al Qaeda march victorious through the streets of America. My leftist fantasy of religious fundamentalism, a draconian justice system, and gender norms from the dark ages will now never be realized.

You got me Joe!

Posted by: sven on May 2, 2011 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

I observe it is facts used to make a false analogy.

Posted by: anon on May 2, 2011 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

ahh Joe...

I watch Morning Joe while I am at the gym. I am often frustrated by Mr. Scarborough (& Ms. Brzezinski) and swear I will never watch him again. I end up tuning back in the next morning.

I have been really pissed for the past month or so as all the discussion is focused on cutting entitlements- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid with hardly a word about revenue (we dare not even say taxes!)

Nonetheless, Joe, Mika, and the regular gang are polite and open to airing the views of people who disagree with them. I think it is important for me to hear what Joe has to say. I don't have to like it or agree with it and I don't feel bad about pointing out that it is sometimes over the top.

Posted by: KJ on May 2, 2011 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Scarborough is a Republican moron from Florida. What else would you expect?

Posted by: TCinLA on May 2, 2011 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Not only have no Dems advocated calling off the hunt for Bin Laden, but Republican hero George W. first let him go at Tora Bora and then made a point of saying he didn't care about him very much.

The idea that Bush is the hero here is absurd. Far from a hero, Bush is the war criminal who reacted to Saudi Bin Laden's act of terrorism by invading an unrelated country and getting several hundred thousand people killed while emptying $3 trillion from our treasury.

Republicans like Scarborough don't live in another universe. They're just delusional liars.

Posted by: The Fool on May 2, 2011 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

If your sole source of information is FOX, you have been educated to the simple fact that Obama is anti-war. Libya has already thrown confusion into this "statement of fact" and now this is really going to confuse the FOX troops. To these people, Obama linked to any act of military agression is as dumbfounding as hearing Tom Brady is gay. It violates every assumption you have been led to believe.

Posted by: sublime33 on May 2, 2011 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

He sounds like a crazy person. What? dems WANTEd Osama to live?

I think not.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on May 2, 2011 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Following up on what @Holmes said, during the campaign both McCain and Clinton called Obama "naive" and "inexperienced" for saying he would take unilateral military action in Pakistan if he had actionable intelligence on Bin Laden. As President Obama did what he promised to great acclaim even in Pakistan. Not so naive after all.

Posted by: TeeJay on May 2, 2011 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

What? "...making some very tough choices that his own base did not want him to make"??? The guy has been systematically planning this operation since August of 2010 when they found out the pseudonym of the courier and then the house that lodge OBL.

Republicans and conservatives who truly believe in the caricature of liberals and Democrats as weak and pusillanimous cannot and may never be able to wrap their minds around this. The Democrats were always the strong on defense policy for real, rather than merely rhetorically.

But Republicans have spent so much time spinning 'strong on national security' in their direction they actually seem to believe that they ARE stronger than Democrats. Pshaw. There is a reason that OBL released so many of his 'tapes' just in time to throw elections the Republicans' way--he knew they couldn't get the job done. He must have been quaking once a smart Democrat took office.

To even begin to imagine that 'liberals' and 'Democrats' did NOT want to capture and or kill OBL is dastardly and every republican who makes this claim should be called out on it.

Posted by: jjm on May 2, 2011 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

@anon, @Holmes

Here's last month's Washington Monthly archives.

Q. Other than the president, how many Dems were quoted?

Can you find the first Dem pol quoted last month? It's easy to find the first repub quoted, it's in the first post in the archive. And the second and the third...

How many Republic pols quotes do you have to read before you read the first one from the Dems?

Hint: Look for a Leon Panetta quote well after more than one dozen Republicans one.

You can do this for any month. It's hard to take complaints about the "Republicans controll the MSM narrative" seriously when they also control it here.

Posted by: Observer on May 2, 2011 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Some member of the MSNBC team ought to ask Mr. Scarborough exactly what part of the Democratic base has been cheering for Osama Bin Laden? Mika, I am looking at you.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 2, 2011 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

In case I am mistaken, this is exactly the kind of targeted, surgical, "law enforcement" action that liberals have always advocated in the "war" against terrorism. Right wingers would be with Pakistan by now, and may still be if they get their way.

Posted by: Ted Frier on May 2, 2011 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

It must really gripe Scarborough, and most other republicans for that matter, to be faced with incontrovertible evidence that the Democrats are more competent in about every phase of governance than the republicans ever thought of being.

1. The repubs screwed up the chase after bin Laden and Obama caught him.
2. The repubs brought us the worst recession since 1929 and Obama is getting us out of it.
3. The repubs made us world pariahs and Obama has changed attitudes 180 degrees.
4. The repubs brought us Katrina and Obama is showing them how to respond to a natural disaster.
5. And so forth and so on.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on May 2, 2011 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

My wife has an interesting take on the Obama just completed what Bush started meme. "Somebody had to finish what Bush started. God knows he couldn't."

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 2, 2011 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I am sure we are all heartened by the reports that supporters have left balloons, flags and flowers outside the Bush's Texas home and thank you notes!
Now let us all throw up in unison!

Posted by: j on May 2, 2011 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I can't find the quote now but I remember shortly after Obama's election victory in 2008 either the Taliban or Al-Queada made the statement about how they now had a shrewd enemy to deal with, as opposed to the moron who fell into Al-Queada's trap.

Boy where they right. wish I could find that quote...

Posted by: citizen_pain on May 2, 2011 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Methinks that Mrs Ron Byers' wife sounds like a Brit! As am I! Cheers.

Posted by: joan on May 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, were, not where

Posted by: citizen_pain on May 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, I learn something new about myself every day from Joe Schmarlborough. Good thing the President had Osama killed even though his "base" wanted to put him up on a pedestal, yes sir! WTF? Another person who best never get within reach of me or, pow! Right in the kisser!!

Posted by: Trollop on May 2, 2011 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Nonetheless, Joe, Mika, and the regular gang are polite and open to airing the views of people who disagree with them. I think it is important for me to hear what Joe has to say. I don't have to like it or agree with it and I don't feel bad about pointing out that it is sometimes over the top.


Afraid not, thats like listening to the mindless drivel on fox news, and thinking you need to seriously consider what they are saying... you do so at your own IQ lowering peril.

Posted by: Michael on May 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Joe can't help himself. He's just a dumbass.

Posted by: rollingacres on May 2, 2011 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to take complaints about the "Republicans controll the MSM narrative" seriously when they also control it here.

Um, what should we be talking about? I mean, this is a liberal political site and we liberals want to beat these guys politically. There fore, what they say is actually important for us to know, because we plan to use their words, policies, and actions against them. After all, the political process is all about debate.

I know that observer is trying to make a point, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it is. Perhaps, we're just supposed to talk about our grand policy ideas without considering the political environment within which they must compete and survive? I dunno, sounds like ivory tower stuff to me.

Posted by: AK Liberal on May 2, 2011 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Has anybody on the republican side been asked to explain this statement that George W. Bush made on March 13, 2002 when asked about bin laden?

Quote--I don't know where bin laden is.
I have no idea and really don't care.
It's not that IMPORTANT.
It's not our PRIORITY.

I think it shows very well why Bush didn't get bin laden in eight long years and President Obama performed the deed in two short years.

Posted by: Marge on May 2, 2011 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is just a manifestation of the fact that to many Republican dickheads like Morning Joke, it's still 1972 and the Democratic party is and will always be the party of anti-war pussies and DFHs. And when a Democratic president does something "strong" like this, it's only because that person temporarily suspended their "inner Jane Fonda" and were willing to risk angering the millions of Jane Fondas that make up the Democratic Base.

This is simply axiomatic to them. No amount of countervailing evidence will ever convince someone like Morning Joke otherwise.

So let's just 1. rejoice at this long-overdue news, and 2. enjoy that our secret-Muslim Kenyan soshalist president succeeded where the Cowboy King of Awesome Prezidentin failed, and move on to other things.

Posted by: Turgidson on May 2, 2011 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Scarborough should refresh his memory:

http://www.kcra.com/r-video/17653460/detail.html

Posted by: TravisInTexas on May 2, 2011 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Joe isn't stupid. You have to see the big picture game he is playing. By implying that Obama's base did not want this: It further alienates independents from Obama because everyone was for hunting down OBL and if his base isn't against it then that certainly that isn't me... get it?

Posted by: someguy on May 2, 2011 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

If you've been following Scarborough through the years, and listened closely to the conversation this morning, you ought to know that his real peeve is liberals' devotion to civil liberties. Joe is an outspoken advocate of tor--excuse me, enhanced interrogation and all that goes with it. He credits such methods with whatever intelligence breakthrough might occur. Hence, Obama's "tough choices" and "courage" in overriding his base's wussiness. To Fox with him.

Posted by: Henderstock on May 2, 2011 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

@AK Liberal

There's a difference between talking about X and *only* talking about X.

You'll notice that the Repubs who control the narrative talk about two things: their narrative and attacks on Dems.

You'll also notice that Dems, even amongst themselves, only talk about what Republicans say and how everybody only talks about Republicans.

This isn't "ivory tower" stuff, it's basic communications.

Posted by: Observer on May 2, 2011 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats were always behind getting bin Laden. The only thing many Democrats were against was using 9/11 as a pretext to start wars on those who had nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Fides on May 2, 2011 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone can give me one valid reason why I should care what this former congressman has to say about anything, bring it on. I look forward to the challenge.

Posted by: Debra L Blosnich on May 2, 2011 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think Benen's snark (and those of most if not all of you commenters) are off-base. I'm a flaming liberal (I voted for Nader in 2000 and, since I live in Illinois, I don't even regret it) but I enjoy "Morning Joe." The simple explanation is that Scarborough was referring to Obama's escalation of the Afghanistan commitment when he says the "base" opposed Obama. Scarborough is NOT one of the bad guys. Move on to the REAL idiots.

Posted by: Tom Volz on May 2, 2011 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Did we not all here writing and reading this blog conclude last week that Scarboro was a jerk? He's is still a jerk this and will be next week too.

Posted by: rob on May 2, 2011 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Since Jeb Bush helped put Joe Scarborough into his position, (and dealt with his secretary Lori K.'s death), Joe has been no different than Feeney when it comes to Jeb's and heavy GOP initiatives.
You didnt expect Joe to say something intelligent about the Dem President they are painting as a non-US citizen, did you?!
This is the problem with Florida. The money problems we have now were never dealt with under Jeb bush for 8 years. According to Orlando Sentinel 2006 Jason Garcia, only an $8 Bil. increase in long term debt. Jeb and the GOP here would have you believe Jeb balanced the budget every year. It has never occured.
this is just state and national GOP spin, nothing more.

Posted by: theloneconsumer on May 2, 2011 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way Ill be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

Posted by: Sign Shops Scarborough on May 4, 2011 at 7:03 AM | PERMALINK
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