Morning Joe served up a classic example today of the liberal media's double standard when it comes to covering Republicans versus Democrats.
The subject was the fleeing from the Lone Star state of Texas state House Democrats, and Republican efforts to return them to the state to do their legislative duty.
Morning Joe painted the Democrats in near-heroic terms. Mika Brzezinski said they had mounted a "last-ditch effort to block passage of voting limits." And the Associated Press's Jonathan Lemire—who doubles as an MSNBC "analyst" but essentially serves as yet one more partisan liberal pundit—described the Dem deserters as having been "embraced" by their fellow Dems on the federal level. Can you feel the love?
But Lemire's take on Republican efforts to haul the deserting Dems back to Austin was altogether more negative. He derided it as:
The threat for arrests, obviously, without jurisdictional rights, it’s a political show. It's a way to stir up passions and play to the base. There’s no teeth to that. But certainly, what we’re seeing here is the Texas state Democrats have come to Washington and been embraced by Democrats on the federal level.
What about the melodramatic scenes of Democrats jetting off to DC, posing for photo ops in front of the Capitol, making over-the-top speeches about the supposed Republican threat to end democracy, and fundraising off their stunt? No "political show" there? No attempt to "stir up passions" or "play to the base?" Apparently not, in Jonathan's liberal judgment.
And of course, neither Mika nor Lemire made the point that Claire McCaskill, in a surprising departure from Dem partisanship, did on MSNBC earlier in the week. She observed that the Democrats fleeing Texas in an attempt to prevent legislation from being passed was akin to the Senate Republicans' use of the filibuster.
Here's the transcript. Click "expand" to read more.
6:09 am EDT
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Texas Republican lawmakers yesterday voted to dispatch law enforcement to track down the Democrats who fled the state in a last-ditch effort to block passage of voting limits.
. . .
In turn, Republican lawmakers voted to send state law enforcement to track down those Democrats who fled the state. But as no crime has been committed, and the legislature’s only power is to compel attendance, Texas law enforcement do not have the jurisdiction outside the state of Texas, and cannot ask local police to bring the lawmakers home. This as the Texas Democrats who fled to Washington appeared in front of the U.S. Capitol yesterday to plead for lawmakers there to help.
. . .
It feels like maybe the second or third time the Texas governor or Republicans have done something or threatened to do something, like arrest them, that is simply not possible.
JONATHAN LEMIRE: Yeah, Mika, the threat for arrests, obviously, without jurisdictional rights, it’s a political show. It's a way to stir up passions and play to the base. There’s no teeth to that.
But certainly, what we’re seeing here is the Texas state Democrats have come to Washington and been embraced by Democrats on the federal level.