Surely Jon Meacham knows that when people resort to "some of my best friends are" whatever, they are losing the argument. Yet on today's Morning Joe employed just such a claim to defend himself against accusations of anti-conservative bias.
Meacham accused President Trump of causing the "literal" death of constitutional order. He then suggested that if people listened to a Trump press conference, they would conclude that "the lives of your family" would not be safe "in this man’s hands."
But Meacham insisted that in making such grave accusations against President Trump, he was "not being partisan," and that his attack was "not some crazy left-wing thing." Already deep into "lady doth protest too much territory, Meacham totally gave away the game when he said:
"Look, I live in Tennessee . . . When I say I have conservative friends because I live here, that’s redundant."
So no one with conservative friends can be a liberal partisan? James Carville, meet Mary Matalin.
Here's the full exchange:
7:09 am EDT
JON MEACHAM: You know, we’ve talked for four years now, since 2015, in some ways, about the theoretical death of constitutional order, a governmental order that, for all of its imperfections that many of us valued. Now it’s moved to a more literal phase. There’s nothing amusing, diverting, or simply interesting in the abstract anymore about this presidency. We are facing the wages of not having been a serious enough country about the person we sent to the Oval Office in 2016. Full stop. I could go on. But I think we all understand the point.
And I’m not being — I promise, this is not being partisan. This is not some anti-red hat thing. Look, I live in Tennessee. I’m George H.W. Bush’s biographer. I value the Republican party that I knew when I was growing up.
When I say I have conservative friends because I live here, that’s redundant. So this is not some crazy left-wing thing. This is a clinical observation. I challenge any American: watch these briefings this week. All the way through. Because the wheels come off at the end when he starts being self-pitying. And tell me that you are confident that the lives of your family are safe in this man’s hands.
Meacham also tried to bolster his supposedly non-partisan bona fides by saying "I value the Republican Party that I knew when I was growing up." Right: the Republican Party of the Bob Michel era that would roll compliantly over and let the Democrats run things.