Far be it from me to sow discord in MSNBC ranks, to stir up old animosities between colleagues there. But if Joe Scarborough is going to do a mocking imitation of Keith Olbermann in full Special Comment rant, well then, blogging ethics compel me to report it.
The jumping-off point on Morning Joe today was Eugene Robinson's current WaPo column. After claiming that he didn't want to kick the president on his way out the door, Robinson proceeded to do just that. The columnist described a variety of measures adopted by the president in prosecution of the war against terror as "departures from American values and traditions." Robinson recommended an investigation if not a criminal prosecution. That led Pat Buchanan and Scarborough to cite, chapter and verse, the ways in which Bush's supposed abrogation of "American values and traditions" were small potatoes compared to the actions of predecessors including Lincoln, Wilson and FDR.
Without mentioning the Countdown host by name, Scarborough closed with an unmistakable impression of Keith Olbermann in pompous Special Comment peroration of the sort that can be seen here.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mr. President, sir, you're shredding the Constitution, sir.
The joke was not lost on John Harwood of CNBC/NYT, as evident from his amused reaction.
For the record, here was Buchanan's description of the actions previous presidents took.
PAT BUCHANAN: Lincoln ordered the Chief Justice of the United States arrested. Eugene V. Debs, Socialist Party leader: Wilson put him in a penitentiary along with countless others. FDR locked up 110,000 Japanese--75,000 U.S. citizens. You know who was behind that? Earl Warren, Attorney General of California [who would of course go on to become Chief Justice of the United States.]