You may remember Claire McCaskill as the Senator from Missouri who lucked her way to re-election in 2012 by having Todd Akin as her opponent, and whose final pitch to the voters in her 2018 re-election campaign was “I’m not one of those crazy Democrats.” She would go on to lose to now-Senator Josh Hawley by six points in 2018. Well, the former Senator has now found a home as an NBC News political analyst.
On a Monday segment of Morning Joe, she made a particularly off-base comment by accusing President Trump of “throne envy” with regards to his meeting with the royal family in London. It's difficult to tell whether she was serious or making an unfunny joke, but it shows that the gaffe machine that McCaskill was as a senator has followed to her cable television career.
The segment began with a discussion of the geopolitical implications of President Trump’s visit to the UK, with Council of Foreign Relations President Richard Haas claiming the U.S./UK relationship is slowly deteriorating:
And secondly, the so-called "special relationship," that's a slogan, it's a phrase, but it's not a reality anymore. This relationship is a lot less special. It began to become less special years ago, for lots of reasons given what's happened in the UK, what's happening here, and then it's accelerated under Donald Trump's presidency. So you'll hear all this stuff about "special relationship" and U.S./UK and it's the 75th anniversary of D-Day. We've come a long way since Churchill and Roosevelt, let me just say. May and Trump is not exactly 75 years on.
That is when McCaskill interjected with her peculiar “throne envy” comment followed by some stark whataboutism when it came to presidential use of executive orders:
The one thing I know that will happen in this visit, he will have throne envy -- Donald Trump wants to be king. He has throne envy. He's going to come out of this meeting saying I just don't understand why I can't be king because he kind of acts as if he is. George referred to this unfettered executive power. I don't think the conservatives who were just pounding the podium about Barack Obama's use of executive orders, the height of hypocrisy with how this president has gone in unchartered territory. I mean from selling arms to Saudi to unilaterally saying, okay, more tariffs for everyone, more tariffs for Mexico, send the military to the border. He is totally given the back of his hand to Congress, and Congress is putting up with it.
An intellectually honest person would say that executive order power should be limited no matter who is in the Oval Office, but McCaskill is not, which makes her a perfect fit for MSNBC.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
6:23 AM Eastern
RICHARD HAAS: John, you're right, it's not. There is a lot at stake. One way to frame the question is, you look at the last 75 years, we look at the run from World War II to where we are now, an American led so-called liberal world order, all these institutions, these alliances, it's actually worked remarkably well. But, taking a step back, the question is, you know, you think about it, what came before, it was two World Wars. We know what came before, which was the worst 50 years of human history. We had 75 years of relative peace, prosperity, democracy made tremendous strides around the world and here we are and Donald Trump is an outlier. So the real question is what comes after -- to frame it, are the last 75 years the normal now? Donald Trump is the exception. And then we kind of return, not exactly where we were, but to something pretty familiar. Or is Donald Trump the beginning of a new era so the last 75 years look like the exception? We know what came before, two world wars, and now we're potentially entering an era of history which has all sorts of jockeying between great powers, the rise of China, these global forces we can't contend with, failed states in the Middle East, populism, nationalism and that is the historical question.
KASIE HUNT: There are real echoes of what happened before World War I, right, the great power jockeying, the rise of nationalism, populism, isolationism.
RICHARD HAAS: 100%. You had in Europe and the world, essentially, after Napoleon at the risk of sounding like Meacham here.
WILLIE GEIST: God forbid.
JON MEACHAM: Welcome aboard.
HAAS: You had the rise of Napoleon --
MEACHAM: The water is fine, Richard.
HAAS: Essentially the world stabilized in the second century -- second decade of the 19th century. Then for roughly 50, 75, 100 years you had what was called a Concert of Europe, the countries of Europe worked things out. It broke down in the years running up to World War I and that's, again, the question we have now. We have had 75 years of a managed international environment. Are we beginning to see it break down? If so, history suggests it won't be pretty or, again, is this simply a temporary speed bump and then people get scared by the glimpse of what they see and they kind of return to what was sort of the norm for 75 years. That is the big question about where we are.