The occasional dust-ups between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on the Morning Joe set seem largely made-for-TV. But there appeared to be some authentic antagonism on today's show on the issue of the motivations of those who oppose the Iran deal.
Joe passionately condemned supporters of the deal who cynically suggest that opponents are controlled by the Jewish lobby. "Why don't you guys talk about the Elders of Zion?" suggested Scarborough sarcastically at one point. When Mika tried to shut Scarborough down, claiming "we get the point," Scarborough shot back "you're the last person on the face of the earth who appears to get the point." Later, Mika walked right into it, saying that in opposing the deal, Chuck Schumer "did what he had to do, and it's perfect for him." Scarborough pounced: "there you go. There's the cynicism I talked about."
Note that at the very end of segment, Mika, under pressure from Scarborough and Barnicle, archly agrees that Schumer did what he thought was right. We can't claim to read minds, but can't help but wonder if Mika had her fingers crossed, or was completing the sentence in her mind along the lines "what he thought was right--for his campaign coffers."
JOE SCARBOROUGH: It's always been the dog whistle, hasn't it? It's the Jewish lobby. You people kowtow to the Jewish -- it's always been the dog whistle from the left that if you -- you can't if you're Chuck Schumer sincerely be concerned about the safety and future existence of Israel. That's always been the dog whistle. Oh, you're just listening to the Jewish lobby. Why don't you just say international bankers? Why don't you guys just talk about international bankers and the Protocols of Zion. It's sick and it's repulsive and it's a smear and it continues and the President of the United States only makes it worse by saying that you have to be ignorant. Or else in bed with Iranian radicals if you oppose my deal . . . For a lot of left-wingers in America and Europe, this is the one issue where you're not allowed to be reasonable. Where reasonable people can differ. You're either against Israel and for this deal or the Jewish lobby has paid you off and you're scared of these powerful Jews lurking behind crevices and international banks. It's sickening. And it's bigotry and it should be called out. Who dares suggest that Chuck Schumer is doing this --
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Oh my God. Okay, that's like the fourth time. We get the point. Seriously.
JOE: No, you don't get the point. You're the last person on the face of the Earth that appears to get the point.
. . .
JOE: You have an overwhelming majority of Americans against this. You have a majority of congress against this. And you all are saying, well let's just do it because Barack Obama likes it.
MIKA: Let's scrap it. That sounds smart. No, let's scrap it because Ted Cruz hates it and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.
JOE: So does Chuck Schumer and a lot of other people. Are you turning into a cartoon character before our very eyes?
MIKA: Chuck Schumer did what he had to do, and it's perfect for him.
JOE: See, there you go. There's the cynicism I talked about.
MIKA: Mmm. Cause it's never there on the Republican side.
JOE: Chuck Schumer could never, ever believe in his heart according to you that actually Israel faces an existential threat from Iran and this only makes it worse.
MIKA: Chuck Schumer is not holding rallies begging everybody to go along with him. He quietly went against it
JOE: You just said Chuck Schumer had to do what he had to do.
MIKA: Come on.
JOE: Why did Chuck Schumer have to do what he had to do?
MIKA: We disagree.
JOE: Why, because he's a Jew and there are a lot of Jews in New York? Why can't you just say that Chuck Schumer did what he believed was right?
MIKE BARNICLE: I believe that. I believe that.
JOE: You believe that. Mika doesn't.
BARNICLE: I think she does.
JOE: She didn't say that. "Chuck Schumer did what he had to do."
MIKA: I think he did what he believes is right. Mm-hmm.
JOE: Okay, I can live with that.