Editor's note: Explicit language below.
On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, co-host Joe Scarborough made three separate impassioned pleas to Democrats to use Trump’s “shithole countries” comments as a pretext to seize the moral and political high ground and demand passage of a clean DACA bill. In demanding amnesty for Obama’s “dreamers,” Scarborough called on Democrats to vote for shutting down the government instead of giving any concessions to conservative Republicans regarding immigration reform or a border wall.
Scarborough’s first Democratic strategy pitch mainly consisted of him insulting imaginary Democrats who are being too soft on President Trump in reaction to his remarks about Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries:
If you're a Democrat and you do anything to help this president who is sounded [sic] racist and Republicans, who have attacked Dick Durbin, questioned his integrity, questioned his honesty, if you are a Democrat and do anything to help the government keep, uh, help the, help Republicans keep the government open, without attaching a clean DACA bill to it, then you don't deserve to be in the majority this year, at the end of this year, because you're too weak. Democrats have to go after them. They were attacked. The president was racist, uh, in his remarks. He’s now attacked the Congressional Black Caucus and basically said they're jokes. They’ve called Dick Durbin a liar. You make them pay for that. And, while you're making them pay for that, you also do what's good for America and you get the dreamers, uh, you get a deal for the dreamers, or you don't give Republicans a single vote. They owned Congress. If they can't keep the government open, the voters will blame Republicans, not Democrats.
It’s worth considering that Scarborough’s selective outrage here about insults towards Democratic senators like Dick Durbin was directly preceded by Scarborough and fellow co-host Mika Brzezinski comparing Trump to “grandpa on The Simpsons,” thereby once again insulting the President by calling him both demented and senile.
Just a few minutes after his first speech to rally Democrats around holding the line on DACA, Scarborough drove home the same points again, albeit this time with greater clarity of purpose and more epithets directed at theoretical Democrats who would be unwilling to follow his game plan:
SCARBOROUGH: So, to finish what I was saying, Democrats, Republicans own Washington, D. C.. You should not give them a single vote in keeping, uh, the government running. That's their job. This is their government. This is their Congress. This is their presidency. The American people said they wanted Republicans to run Washington, D.C.. Let them run Washington, D.C.. Don't give them a single vote unless they give you a clean bill on dreamers. If you do, let me say again, you are too weak and too spineless-
HEILEMANN: [interjecting] And too stupid.
SCARBOROUGH: -and too stupid when it comes to politics and too cowardly to be given control of Congress in 2018. Listen to the people in the streets. Listen to the people that, that knock on doors, that are gonna be making phone calls for you in 2018. Don't do a deal with this guy. No DACA–no deal.
Catchy slogan! When’s the DNC check coming?
Scarborough wasn’t done padding his resume with Democrat Party agitprop, however. Roughly twenty minutes later into their broadcast, Joe and company began to discuss the story of Jorge Garcia, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who was recently deported after spending 30 years living in America. Scarborough and the other panelists were appalled by the news that Garcia had been sent back to Mexico. As Joe described the incident: “[T]his is a story that, that -- I, I found people–conservatives, liberals, uh, evangelicals, uh–just everybody shocked by this.”
Brzezinski then sorrowfully recounted the circumstances of Garcia’s deportation, noting that it was the Obama administration that had repeatedly delayed Garcia’s removal from the U.S. for eight years (Garcia was not eligible for DACA). In reaction to Brzezinski’s summary of the story, Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle declared: “That is not the United States of America.” Scarborough agreed: “No, it’s not.”
On yesterday’s Morning Joe, Scarborough ripped into Trump as a “tyrannical president” inflicting “horrors” of “violence” against “constitutional norms” and “contempt [...] for the rule of law” on the American people. And yet today, Joe and his fellow panelists demanded that Trump subvert cut-and-dry immigration laws to salve the wounds of their hurt feelings about law enforcement doing their job and...well, enforcing the law.
In fact, Scarborough was so “shocked” by the concept of deporting illegal aliens that he went on his longest rant of the morning, imploring Democrats to resist Trump’s “cruel” and “immoral” immigration enforcement policies:
SCARBOROUGH: And I wanna pick up on the “no DACA–no deal” that we talked about last block. The time, the time to do this is now. And the time to do this is now because the President of the United States called together senators and started spewing out racist comments. The focus -- don't do this three months from now. Do it now when the focus is now on the President of the United States making bigoted comments because he wants to keep out people who are not white, who are not from Norway, who may be highly educated, but may be brown or black. Now is the time for Democrats to stand up and have a spine. You know, Mika, we've been talking about how the Democratic Party has missed so many opportunities in the past. This is an opportunity they cannot pass -- let me say, from a former Republican–I would shut the government down in a second, and I would pound, pound Democrats if they were in this position.
[starts hitting/pounding desk intermittently]
If I were in Congress, in their position now, every day I’d take to the floor, everybody would take to the floor. We would talk about the President's racist comments for 24 hours a day. We would flood the cable news channels, talk about it 24 hours a day. We would make this an issue of morality.
[stops pounding desk]
We would show those images. We would show images of other family members being dragged away from their children.
[starts showing footage of Garcia hugging family before being deported]
We wouldn't be talking about Mexicans streaming across the border illegally. We would be talking about 40-year-old people that were being ripped out of the arms of their teenage children. This is Mr. Trump's America. This is Paul Ryan's America. This is Mitch McConnell's America. No, we're not going along with this. No DACA–no deal. No humanity–no deal. We will not be compliant. Kevin McCarthy may spend tax dollars separating Star-, uh, ste-, separating, uh, candies out that Mr. Trump likes. He can waste taxpayers' dollars. He can be compliant in this cruel and immoral age. We will not. That's a win.
BRZEZINSKI: [talking under Joe] That’s the right thing to do.
SCARBOROUGH: That's not only a win for this government shutdown debate, that's a win for 2018. They've got to show spine.
BRZEZINSKI: It would be a win for America.
According to a 2013 report from the Heritage Foundation, the average illegal immigrant household received roughly $14,000 in net government benefits per year. According to The Washington Examiner, more recent estimates suggest that illegal immigrants collectively consume $115 billion dollars in net state and federal spending every year, including educational, medical, law enforcement, welfare, and other costs.
Do Americans have a right to protest having their pockets picked in this way for decades on end? Apparently, Scarborough and his friends do not think so.
Perhaps a win for America would include taking the opposing point of view about immigration into perspective instead of lazily demonizing people opposed to illegal immigration as inhuman racists who enjoy inflicting emotional pain on people.