MSNBC's Morning Joe had a rare moment of journalistic integrity on Thursday morning when they took Democrats to task for refusing to tell Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax to resign after he was accused of sexual assault.
The state of the Democratic Party in Virginia can only accurately be described as a dumpster fire. When Governor Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page from 1984 was revealed to the public and after his debacle of a press conference on Saturday, it was easy for Democrats to say he should resign because he would be replaced by Fairfax, a fellow Democrat. But, Fairfax soon found himself in a scandal of his own and has been accused of sexually assaulting Dr. Vanessa Tyson at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. With State Attorney General Mark Herring in his own blackface scandal, the party's control of the state's top three elective executive positions is in peril.
After co-host Joe Scarborough pointed out that Democrats dug themselves a hole by arguing that Brett Kavanaugh's actions as teenager disqualified him from being a Supreme Court Justice, NBC Political Reporter Heidi Przybyla added that Democrats were not living up to their own supposed zero tolerance standard, saying that, "Frankly she seems pretty credible. She's a college professor. She's a Democrat. There's no hidden political agenda here and she told her story a long time ago."
Politics Editor at The Daily Beast Sam Stein said that the standard Democrats' set was "We must believe women" and that it "has been shocking" to see 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, feminist-progressive institutions, and those "who have been at the forefront of the MeToo Movement" remain quiet.
Scarborough said that it reminded him of feminists attacking Monica Lewinsky and of Hillary Clinton saying that all women should be believed. Stein agreed, saying that feminists have not learned the lessons they claim to have learned from the Lewinsky Scandal and added that their reaction would be different if the accused was a Republican.
Stein added that if we lived in a logical world, there would be an investigation, but because of the rules Democrats set, that we are "not living in a logical universe."
Scarborough finished with a "We told you so" moment in which he re-called co-host Mika Brzezinski warning that "Democrats will pay for this" during the Kavanaugh hearings. He paraphrased former Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill on the show yesterday as saying, "Damn right and I did pay for it on the campaign trail."
Here is a transcript for the February 7 show:
6:45 AM ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And so the problem that Democrats are facing is that by the time that allegations of what Kavanaugh did as a 15-year-old. Allegations of what he did as a 15-year old , led most Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to say that he was disqualified to be Supreme Court Justice. So what do Democrats do now with a guy who is a rising start in Democrat politics and would be a star on the stage for decades to come?
HEIDI PRZYBYLA: We have a lot of examples of Democrats setting what everyone’s calling a zero tolerance policy, like with what happened to Al Franken. The problem here is that frankly she seems pretty credible. She's a college professor. She's a Democrat. There's no hidden political agenda here and she told her story a long time ago. Like you said, Mika, she did not by all accounts want to come forward. They found her. Yes, this is something that happened a long time ago --
KATTY KAY: And she's been an advocate for victims of sexual abuse
PRZYBYLA: To your point Katy, there’s going to have to be a broader investigation and with these investigations, what we've seen is that there are other accounts. A lot of times when there is one incident…
BRZEZINSKI: So who is investigating it?
6:50 AM ET
SAM STEIN: My point was there's a journalistic standard and a political standard. And more the past year half, the mantra for Democrats was “We must believe women” and that was it. What has been shocking to me to see, to Joe’s point, is that in the wake of the allegation against Justin Fairfax at a very delicate political time in Virginia, the voices that have often been there that saying, “Believe women, believe women,” have been really silent. We reached out to every 2020'er, who is running right now to get a reaction to this and up until recently they’ve been incredibly silent if not completely silent. We’ve been reached out to leading feminist-Progressive institutions, people who have been at the forefront of the MeToo movement. They have said nothing.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of Monica Lewinsky, where you actually had feminists attacking Monica Lewinsky. It also reminds me of the 2016 campaign, one of Hillary Clinton biggest, early missteps was when she said, “All women must be believed,” and immediately, she opened herself up against on Bill Clinton.
So, Democrats can’t have a double standard any more than Republicans can’t have a double standard on race.
STEIN: What’s interesting about the Monica example that you just pointed out, there's been a lot of retrospective about Monica recently, including some really good podcasts about it, and to a person feminist groups have said, “Man, we really shouldn't have done it that way and we were not open minded.” You would think that in a modern day example of something similar were happening, they would handle it differently. But this whole process has been designed by we got to wait and we go to see. And I have talked to a couple of people who have said, “You know what, her name’s not out there, we got to see. The name is out there, she’s put out an incredibly moving and harrowing story about what happened to her that day that would be any other standard, if it were a Republican, cause howls. What we have had is silence.
STEIN: I think logically -- the logical thing is have an investigation before anyone steps down, because you don’t want to have the punditry doing the investigation. However, we're not living in a logical universe. We're living in a universe in which we set, or Democrats I should say, have set certain political standards, which is: you have to go. That was the standard…
SCARBOROUGH: Maybe the standard was wrong. We talked to Claire McCaskill about it yesterday and Mika was saying in real time during Kavanaugh, “Democrats will pay for this,” Mika was saying in America we still have something called due process” and Claire McCaskill said yesterday "Damn right and I did pay for it on the campaign trail.”