There he goes again. Joe Scarborough has once again taken to The Huffington Post for one of those look-at-me articles distancing himself from other conservatives: I’m so much less partisan! Our country is weakened by bitter partisanship, and I will not participate! In his article, titled "Thank You Mr. President," Scarborough takes the predictable tack of deeply thanking the Obamas for trying to bring the Olympics back to America. That’s a fine sentiment, even if you don’t have to get this treacly about it:
Nice try, President Obama. And thanks for taking time away from your young girls for the sake of your hometown and your country, Michelle. I know that's never an easy thing to do.
Scarborough lectures both sides about excessive partisanship. But wait – let’s recall how Scarborough showed his generosity to President Bush...or did he?
For 10 minutes, the talk show host grilled his guests about whether "George Bush's mental weakness is damaging America's credibility at home and abroad." For 10 minutes, the caption across the bottom of the television screen read, "IS BUSH AN 'IDIOT'?"
But the host was no liberal media elitist. It was Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman turned MSNBC political pundit. And his answer to the captioned question was hardly "no." While other presidents have been called stupid, Scarborough said: "I think George Bush is in a league by himself. I don't think he has the intellectual depth as these other people."
That’s the Washington Post delighting in how Scarborough typically drew attention to himself by saying something that would please his liberal MSNBC bosses, even semi-retired liberal Peacock advocates like Tom Brokaw. Get a load of Scarborough channeling Brokaw’s ridiculous notions on the Olympics debacle:
Today on Morning Joe, NBC News Legend Tom Brokaw remarked to Pat Buchanan about how the level of partisanship is even more intense today than during the depths of the Watergate crisis. Brokaw was commenting on Congressman Grayson's comments, but he could have easily been talking about Joe Wilson or death panels or the bizarre claim that the President "hates all white people."
Some of the rhetoric is dangerous. But what we saw from some conservative corners regarding the President's failed Olympics bid was just plain stupid.
Earth to Scarborough: are you really going to buy the notion that Michael Steele putting out a statement suggesting the president could better spend his time dealing with Afghanistan or the economy is somehow a new low in partisanship – a level of greater depth of bitterness than the Democrats impeaching President Nixon? Doesn’t that argument fall flat on its face after about five seconds?
Scarborough cannot fathom the idea that perhaps the Obamas did this for personal reasons, as Juan Williams suggested it would be a perfect "bookend" for the second term. Doesn't that suggest some personal arrogance, and that they were seeking this for more than patriotic reasons? Apparently, Juan Williams didn't get the Scarborough memo.
Scarborough’s lament that conservatives sought to "delegitimize" Obama over the Olympics suggests that any criticism of the President’s use of his office time isn’t fair criticism. Conservatives aren’t seeking to impeach Obama over the Olympics, and they aren’t suggesting he isn’t a legitimate president. Scarborough’s failure to figure this out suggests maybe he should consider the idea that he’s below George W. Bush on an intellectual scale.
If Strike-a-Pose Joe really believed the lines about "bitterness" that came out of his mouth or out of his keyboard, he wouldn’t have lowered himself to the bitterness of an "IS BUSH AN IDIOT?" segment. And answered the question with "hardly a no."
More on that and Joe's thin skin here.