When Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough did the unthinkable and praised President Trump for holding a “listening session” with victims of gun violence, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic editor-in-chief, said that his praise serves as an example of “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
Scarborough, along with his co-host and fiancee Mika Brzezinski, have served as objects of ridicule on the President’s Twitter page. While they had a friendly relationship with the President during the campaign, they immediately became two of his strongest critics on cable news after he took office. One would find it hard to believe that Scarborough once represented the most Republican congressional district in Florida.
Praising the President’s willingness to hold the White House event, Scarborough noted: “Let’s give credit where credit is due.” Goldberg responded by saying: “This is, to borrow a phrase, the soft bigotry of low expectations...you praised the President for sitting in a room and listening to people. That’s pretty basic responsibility of a President to sit in a room and listen to citizens.” It looked like even some of his co-panelists were caught by surprise when Scarborough actually praised the 45th President of the United States.
Not surprisingly, Goldberg also criticized the President’s idea of arming teachers, saying that such a proposal demonstrates the “civilizational failure” of the United States. He then came forward with the standard liberal talking point of “you have to understand how people in other countries look at this.”
Even more surprisingly, Mika came to the President’s defense, saying “the low expectations comment is actually totally out of line right now because this President, who I am against on so many levels and find to be profoundly insulting to this country, did something very right yesterday.” When she praised the President for giving people who have “lost loved ones, babies, sisters, brothers, friends” a platform to beg for change on national TV, Goldberg was equally dismissive, saying “Mika, that’s what Presidents are supposed to do.”
For one day out of the first roughly 400 days of his first term in office, President Trump has found unlikely defenders in Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. He should savor the moment, we’ll see how long it takes before the left-wing lovebirds go back into attack mode.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So Jeffrey, what, what we’re all trying to figure out – because yesterday was a remarkable day. I mean, regardless of what your political ideology was, what the President did...
COKIE ROBERTS: It was his job.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The town hall meeting...
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: But he did it.
SCARBOROUGH: But you know what, Cokie Roberts? If Presidents, but if, but if Presidents all did their jobs, then we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq, there wouldn’t have been so many people dying in Syria and this President wouldn’t be doing...
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: I’m sorry, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Let’s give credit where credit is due.
GOLDBERG: But Joe, this is, to borrow a phrase, the soft bigotry of low expectations here. The President, you praised the President for sitting in a room and listening to people. That’s pretty basic responsibility of a President to sit in a room and listen to citizens. I’m not knocking what happened but I would say that the headline out of that was his proposal to arm teachers. That was the policy headline and I have to say that, that the idea of arming teachers is a sign of civilizational failure. I mean you have to understand how people in other countries look at this.
GOLDBERG: People think that we are insane to think that the only solution to our problem is to give teachers guns.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, he didn’t say that was the only solution.
BRZEZINSKI: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no, no, no, no. I can’t believe I’m about to say this but I disagree with you and I think that...
GOLDBERG: You’ve disagreed with me before.
BRZEZINSKI: ...the low expectations comment is actually totally out of line right now because this President, who I am against on so many levels and find to be profoundly insulting to this country, did something very right yesterday. He put the faces and the names and the people who lost loved ones, babies, sisters, brothers, friends, to gun violence in front of national cameras inside the White House on live television and listened to them beg, beg for change.
GOLDBERG: Mika, that’s what Presidents are supposed to do.