‘Hardball’ Panel: Trump Can Hurl ‘Historic Slur’ at Biden Thanks to GOP’s ‘Silence’

MSNBC’s Hardball decided — to borrow a phrase from Scott Pelley — Tuesday night to make statements alleging analysis and facts that were divorced from reality, declaring that the President broke precedent by criticizing Joe Biden on foreign soil as a “low IQ individual” that’s a “historic slur” and was “absolutely astonishing” he’d treat Biden like an enemy of America.

Somehow in this day and age, there’s still plenty of brown paper bags left after all the hyperventilating these people have been doing.

 

 

USA Today’s Susan Page went first, declaring how “remarkable” it was that “[h]e called Joe Biden, the former Vice President and veteran U.S. senator a low income individual [sic], which is a historic slur.”

Page continued doing as her colleagues would soon do thereafter, which was to falsely claim that criticizing political opponents overseas was beyond the pale and casting Republicans as incompetent newbs (click “expand”):

In the past, politicians have not talked about their presidential opponents in that way. He did it on foreign soil. He did it, aligning himself with — with an authoritating [sic], bloody dictator and he did it on Memorial Day. So, you put those things together and surely, a fair number of Americans are going to be offended by parts of that, although, you have not heard — I have to say — you have not heard a big outcry from Republicans over this. There has been mostly silence from Republican members of Congress, from Republican senators and silence from John Bolton, the national security adviser who also got thrown under the bus during the Japan trip. 

New York Times columnist and Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferer Bret Stephens went next, suggesting that Trump was “the psychological term of art....is projection when you fear that you are yourself a low IQ individual, you — you claim it of your enemy or your opponent.”

Stephens argued that Trump’s behavior overseas has been “unprecedented in American history” going back to even our founding in the 18th century that would “side with a — if I may say — psychotic or murderous dictator against an honorable opponent, whatever else you say of Joe Biden and a fellow American is absolutely astonishing.”

After correctly citing the plight of the late Otto Warmbier’s family and what they must be feeling amidst these relations between North Korea and the U.S., Stephens laughably asserted that America had a long “tradition of bipartisanship in foreign policy.” 

He added that Trump views Kim Jong-un as someone who’s “a moral exemplar and authority on American politics,” which is undoubtedly a bit of a stretch.

Stephens concluded and was promptly praised by host Chris Matthews (click “expand”):

STEPHENS: It is — it is historic in the worst possible way. It is a stunning repudiation of two centuries of American foreign policy tradition. I cannot believe it is amazing that someone who identifies as a conservative that so many of my fellow conservatives are just mum on this subject. Can you imagine for one second where Sean Hannity, where the crowd at Fox News would be if — if any Democratic predecessor, President Obama or President Clinton had uttered anything like this. They would be demanding impeachment on the spot and here they are, as silent — as — as — as silent and compliant as any group of ideologues and partisans have ever been. 

MATTHEWS: Well said. You know, I’ve been using — Kimberly — I’ve been using the word unprecedented, but one thing that’s not unprecedented is not is Donald Trump playing ball with a foreign power. A hostile power. In 2016, there is all kinds of evidence and here he is with Kim Jong-un playing ball with him against his political opponent here in the U.S. 

WBUR reporter and MSNBC contributor Kimberly Atkins went last, starting with a statement signifying when a cable news segment is not only unbalanced, but long descended into group think, which was that “I agree with everyone.” Diversity! Huzzah!

Atkins opined that Trump’s behavior being “drawn to....authoritative dictators and to coddle them and to praise them and — and — and all while criticizing his political enemies even when he’s abroad” is not unusual since Trump’s election.

She concluded with a hot take that Trump views those opposed to him as enemies of America and it goes beyond the press (click “expand”):

It is not unusual for him to go against members of his own administration on policy, sometimes even surprising them in that process. It is not unusual for him to punch at political enemies when he should have other things on his mind like — like North Korea's missile program....Donald Trump sees himself as the equivalent of America if — if his enemy is the enemy of America. We see him do that with the press. We see that do — him do that with his enemies. So, in that sense, criticizing Joe Biden on Memorial Day on foreign soil, I don’t think he doesn't see that as unpatriotic. I think he sees Joe Biden as an opponent and that the most American thing in Donald Trump's world for him to do would be to attack him. I think that's his view. He doesn't have the same ideological view....Now there is silence because the Republican Party has largely folded right behind Donald Trump. 

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on May 28, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
May 28, 2019
7:06 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Susan, the politics on this. Is this — apparently, this has caused reaction — negative reaction from Republicans, even a couple of them. They think Trump should never have leveled this blast at Biden in the midst of a state visit. 

SUSAN PAGE: You know, here’s what’s remarkable. He called Joe Biden, the former Vice President and veteran U.S. senator a low income individual [sic], which is a historic slur. In the past, politicians have not talked about their presidential opponents in that way. He did it on foreign soil. He did it, aligning himself with — with an authoritating [sic], bloody dictator and he did it on memorial day. So, you put those things together and surely, a fair number of Americans are going to be offended by parts of that, although, you have not heard — I have to say — you have not heard a big outcry from Republicans over this. There has been mostly silence from Republican members of Congress, from Republican senators and silence from John Bolton, the national security adviser who also got thrown under the bus during the Japan trip. 

MATTHEWS: What's with the IQ thing? Let’s go over that again, Susan because you have got a great sense of humor about this thing and I share it. Why would he pick out certain people with IQ? It seems pretty clinical. I — what's the point? 

PAGE: Well, I think he’s — I think he is — I think he thinks that Joe Biden would be a strong opponent to him in the general election with appeal in places like — crucial places like Pennsylvania and he is always testing with opponents what kind of criticism, what nickname is going to gain traction. He tried a couple things before he settled on Crooked Hillary in 2016, so I think he is doing with Joe Biden which, by the way, underscores the point Joe Biden has been trying to make that he is already moved on to a general election against — against Donald Trump. In an odd way, Trump's actions are helping Joe Biden avoid a Democratic primary on the assumption that he is the strongest candidate against Donald Trump. Let's move on to that. So that may be an interesting unintentional consequence of what President Trump is doing. 

MATTHEWS: Let me go back to Bret on this. I loved your last column, by the way, Bret, in The Times, but, you know, it used to be elite liberals. I’ll have to tell you because I know a lot of them who are intellectually elite and who love to put their noses up in the air and look down on Republicans as not quite as IQ’d as they are — not quite as intellectual. This is a strange thing for a guy who runs as a populist to run on relative IQ. I — I — it’s unusual and he did it form Tokyo.

BRET STEPHENS: I think — I think the psychological term of art, Chris, is projection when you fear that you are yourself a low IQ individual, you — you claim it of your enemy or your opponent. I wanted to take exception with Nick. I don't think he’s going to disagree. He said this is unprecedented for the last 100 years. I would say it's unprecedented in American history.

NICHOLAS BURNS: That’s right. 

STEPHENS: I was thinking over presidents in the 19th century, going back to the 18th 

BURNS: Yeah.

STEPHENS: And the idea that an American president may side with a — if I may say — psychotic or murderous dictator against an honorable opponent, whatever else you say of Joe Biden and a fellow American is absolutely astonishing. The person I'm thinking of, the people I’m thinking of right now are the parents of Otto Warmbier murdered at the hands of Kim's regime and what a betrayal this represents. Never mind of the United States, never mind of our tradition of bipartisanship in foreign policy, but of them very personally to have suffered as grievously as they did at the hands of this man, Kim Jong-un, who is now held up as an moral exemplar and authority on American politics by none other than the President of the United States. It is — it is historic in the worst possible way. It is a stunning repudiation of two centuries of American foreign policy tradition. I cannot believe it is amazing that someone who identifies as a conservative that so many of my fellow conservatives are just mum on this subject. Can you imagine for one second where Sean Hannity, where the crowd at Fox News would be if — if any Democratic predecessor, President Obama or President Clinton had uttered anything like this. They would be demanding impeachment on the spot and here they are, as silent — as — as — as silent and compliant as any group of ideologues and partisans have ever been. 

MATTHEWS: Well said. You know, I’ve been using — Kimberly — I’ve been using the word unprecedented, but one thing that’s not unprecedented is not is Donald Trump playing ball with a foreign power. A hostile power. In 2016, there is all kinds of evidence and here he is with Kim Jong-un playing ball with him against his political opponent here in the U.S. 

KIMBERLY ATKINS: Yes, I think that's absolutely right and while I agree with everyone, I will say that what Donald Trump is doing is unprecedented up until 2016. What he is doing exactly what he has been doing for two years. It’s — in that sense, it's not surprising at all. It is not surprising that he would be drawn to authorit — authoritative dictators and to coddle them and to praise them and — and — and all while criticizing his political enemies even when he’s abroad. It is not unusual for him to go against members of his own administration on policy, sometimes even surprising them in that process. It is not unusual for him to punch at political enemies when he should have other things on his mind like — like North Korea's missile program. This is what he has been doing since 2016. Since his inauguration speech was unprecedented, too. This is the new Donald Trump. Donald Trump sees himself as the equivalent of America if — if his enemy is the enemy of America. We see him do that with the press. We see that do — him do that with his enemies. So, in that sense, criticizing Joe Biden on Memorial Day on foreign soil, I don’t think he doesn't see that as unpatriotic. I think he sees Joe Biden as an opponent and that the most American thing in Donald Trump's world for him to do would be to attack him. I think that's his view. He doesn't have the same ideological view. The one thing that is unprecedented, as Bret mentioned, though, is before at least in the beginning, certainly when he was a candidate, you would see Republicans say okay, well, that's not presidential. He shouldn't do that. That's not right. Now there is silence because the Republican Party has largely folded right behind Donald Trump. 

NB Daily Japan North Korea Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Deadline: White House Chris Matthews Susan Page Bret Stephens Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links