A fundamental rule of modern American politics is that every Trump rally produces an equal, opposite media panic. The President put the pedal to the floor on Saturday during a speech in Pennsylvania, and so the reaction from Joe Scarborough and others on Monday’s Morning Joe was predictably hysterical.
Ever the innovator, Scarborough dispensed with the tired Hitler analogies and instead compared the President to a different widely-maligned fascist. “The booing is getting stronger by the day,” he fretted, “whenever he goes out there and whips people up, it’s like a Mussolini rally.”
“Yes, that’s what I said,” he added, perhaps sensing that his comments might be construed as hyperbolic. He then went on to suggest that the President’s attacks on the media had a tendency to – and in fact were meant to – endanger the lives of those in the press:
When you’re in rallies like that and you whip your supporters into a frenzy, there are real life consequences to that. Threats follow, often death threats. And that is actually – unfortunately, that’s exactly what he wants.
Morning Joe regular Mike Barnicle worried that speeches like the one on Saturday threatened to inflict considerable “damage” on “the presidency,” and that Americans “should be worried about how lasting it is, and can it be repaired?” He blamed the President for the “unrest in this country,” postulating that it was a result of Trump’s penchant for “playing to the cheap seats.”
Though Scarborough had already likened the President to a quintessential fascist, he later suggested that he was also “obsessed” with Chinese President Xi, whom Scarborough alleged was “patterning himself after Chairman Mao.” He claimed to see in Trump the common thread between these two otherwise mutually incompatible archetypes: “absolutely no democratic impulses whatsoever.” He later invoked President Roosevelt’s fireside chats and suggested that with “all of this demagoguery from Donald Trump, we go from fireside chats to firestorming demagoguery.”
Of course, the pundit class will always attack the President. As Scarborough himself admitted, they see it as their job. But evidently the relentless criticism has left little time for self reflection. Thus, none of Monday's panelists bothered asking whether the incessant media comparisons of the President to mass-murdering dictators might be whipping their left-wing viewers "into a frenzy" against Trump and his supporters.