"Wishin', and hopin', and thinkin', and prayin'. Plannin', and dreamin', each night." -- Dusty Springfield, Wishin' and Hopin'
Looks like Morning Joe has been spinning its old 45 of Dusty Springfield's 1964 hit. But instead of "looking to find love," the MSNBC crew is wishin' and hopin' to find a nasty split between President Trump and congressional Republicans. The media love to create and promote divisions and internecine warfare in the GOP, and then hide it and discourage it among the Democrats.
That was the theme of a segment on today's show, with New York Times Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller encapsulating the prevailing sentiment:
"I think that this is perhaps the beginning. We're always looking for signs of a break with Republicans on the Hill—a public break—from Trump."
The panelists—including Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Willie Geist, Carol Lee, and John Heilemann—echoed Bumiller's fervent wish. Much attention was paid to Mitch McConnell's recent critiques of Trump foreign policy.
Perhaps the MSM is thinking that if Senate Republicans can be turned against Trump, maybe there's a shot for the Senate to convict the President after the House has impeached him!
Here's a partial transcript.
7:05 am ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I found it interesting that Mitch McConnell and a lot of Republicans finally found their voice --
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: -- Came out of nowhere!
JOE: -- on Syria, of all things. And I'm not exactly sure why that is --
MIKA: -- We'll take it, though.
. . .
ELISABETH BUMILLER: I do think that after the government shutdown, we're beginning to see cracks, more cracks, in the Republicans in the Senate against Donald Trump . . . I think that this is perhaps the beginning. We're always looking for signs of a break with Republicans on the Hill—a public break—from Trump."
JOE: Secretary Mattis had written a letter and said, I don't agree with your policies. Your policies are bad for America's national security. And then the next day, Mitch McConnell came out saying, Donald Trump: you need to appoint somebody that shares the same policy views with Secretary Mattis. A guy who had just attacked Donald Trump's own.
WILLIE GEIST: One of the stories of the last week is Mitch McConnell speaking up. He was silent for 34 days of the government shutdown; I think he knows how bad that was for him and how bad it was for Republicans. They heard about it. So maybe now he will rise and lift up his voice a little more.
. . .
CAROL LEE: What we've seen when it comes to Republicans is that Syria really a breaking point for them.
. . .
MIKA: Robert Costa, what are you hearing on the Hill, especially given some polls are showing there's a lack of faith in the presidency, a show of faith for Nancy Pelosi. But does this give Republicans and Mitch McConnell a little bit of a place to step away from President Trump?
ROBERT COSTA: Mika, there are certainly signs that congressional Republicans, here at the Capitol in the last few days, are trying to assert themselves.
. . .
JOE: And the question is John Heilemann, do you have Mitch McConnell continuing to assert himself and basically saying, yeah, we're not going to allow the mule to kick us the third time?
JOHN HEILEMANN: Yeah, look, I think, Joe, you probably do.