Dire talk of fascism, threats to democracy, constitutional crises, etc. are Morning Joe's everyday fare in the Age of Trump. But to the fevered proceedings, Willie Geist normally brings a welcome dose of equanimity.
It was thus a shock to hear Willie of all people floating a dark scenario on today's show. He claimed that there's no one around the table or watching at home who thinks that President Trump will "go quietly" if he's impeached or defeated at the polls.
Geist troublingly claimed, "that’s the context in which you hear this coup talk, and you hear this civil war talk." Geist seemed to be suggesting that President Trump is speaking of coups and civil war as a predicate for refusing to leave office.
Surprisingly, it was Joe Scarborough, normally the ringleader of the anti-Trump hysterics, who brought some calm to the discussion, expressing confidence that the "institutions will hold." Joe noted that he was more confident about that than his wife [and sidekick, Mika Brzezinski.]
It's ironic that some like Willie are fretting over Trump's willingness to leave office. Before the election, there was of course great concern in liberal circles over whether Trump would respect the election results should, as almost universally predicted on the left, he lose. Ironically, it turned out to be Hillary Clinton who, to this day, suggests that she was somehow cheated out of her rightful prize.
Here's the transcript.
6:20 am EDT
WILLIE GEIST: I don’t think there’s anyone around this table, or anyone watching at home, who thinks, whether President Trump impeached or if he's not re-elected, that he will go quietly. And so that’s the context in which you hear this coup talk, and you hear this civil war talk.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.
GEIST: What will the President do, really, if he’s not reelected, if he’s impeached? I remember sitting here in this studio on Election Day 2016, and we had Don Jr. on the show, and we had to ask the question, will your father respect the results of this election if he, in fact, loses? And he said yeah, yeah, of course he will. We didn’t have to find out the answer to that because President Trump won, of course.
But there are real concerns about what happens the day after if President Trump is impeached, or if he loses his re-election bid, because this is a President unlike any other. George W. Bush won’t talk about President Obama, President Obama’s been relatively quiet about President Trump.
Do you really think President Trump is going to go away and be quiet? No way.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: He won’t go quietly into that dark night. No doubt about that. I do think that the institutions will hold. I still remain very optimistic about that, probably more optimistic than others, certainly more optimistic than my wife.