Joe Scarborough on Tuesday told his "Morning Joe" co-host an inconvenient truth that she and most of her colleagues in the media just can't handle.
"A president that cannot control 45 backbenchers in the opposing Party in the House of Representatives is too weak to be President of the United States. It is that simple" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOE SCARBOROUGH, CO-HOST: [Obama’s] a mediator. And he sits and, “What do you think? What do you think?”
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST: Well.
SCARBOROUGH: “We’ll go halfway.” He…
SCARBOROUGH: He doesn’t understand, Mika, he controls the world stage. He has a power with that bully pulpit that nobody else has and he will not use it.
BRZEZINSKI: He controls the world’s stage unless the Republicans say they will not negotiate on anything.
SCARBOROUGH: That’s just not true. That’s just not true.
BRZEZINSKI: I want to read from Joe’s piece on Saturday.
SCARBOROUGH: That is just not true.
BRZEZINSKI: Hold on.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Just to interject quickly, when he drew a line, when the President drew a line in the debt…
ROBINSON: …in the debt ceiling debate, and when he said, you know, this and no further, I, it’s got to be a longer-term deal that gets us past the election, he got it. He got what he wanted.
ROBINSON: When he used the bully pulpit, he swayed public opinion.
BRZEZINSKI: Who he already negotiated on way down in the House.
ROBINSON: Exactly. Yeah, no that’s true.
Wow. So after months of haggling, the only thing the most powerful man in the world got was a deal that kicked the can further down the road until after the election, and Brzezinski as well as Robinson, ever the dutiful shills, see that as a huge victory.
SCARBOROUGH: A president that cannot control 45 backbenchers in the opposing Party in the House of Representatives is too weak to be President of the United States. It is that simple. Lyndon Johnson would have eaten these people up for breakfast and spit them out before lunch.
BRZEZINSKI: Okay. These people though are the very people that I think don’t care…
SCARBOROUGH: Ronald Reagan wouldn’t put up, I mean, a strong leader doesn’t put up with it.
SCARBOROUGH: It doesn’t matter whether they care or not. You make them irrelevant to the process if you’re strong enough to do that.
Scarborough, who clearly is coming around to the obvious leadership deficiencies of this President, was spot on.
As much as I love the Tea Party, a huge part of their success stems from the weakness of Barack Obama. A minority faction in one chamber of Congress should not be wielding the kind of power this fledgling movement is.
Don't get me wrong, I am quite thrilled that this is the case, but agree with Scarborough that a Reagan, Johnson, or even a Clinton would have pushed back much more effectively.
Consider that the real legislative impact of the Republican revolution in the '90s didn't happen until after their second successful election in 1996. Clinton stonewalled their budget and tax cuts until 1997 thereby furthering his own reelection.
By contrast, Obama began caving to Tea Party demands in December weeks before any of them was sworn in. Now, eight months later, he has become almost irrelevant, a situation that as NewsBusters pointed out earlier has been enabled by his equally hapless fans in the media.
This of course includes Brzezinski and Robinson.
Maybe with more exchanges like this, they'll come around - but I wouldn't hold my breath.