August 16, 2019

Morning Joe's panel wanted to talk about the new op-ed from ex-Republican Tom Nichols.

"Tom Nichols has a new op-ed out in USAToday called 'Why This Never Trump Ex-Republican Will Vote for Almost Any 2020 Democratic Nominee.' 'I don't care if Senator Elizabeth Warren is a mendacious Massachusetts liberal, she could tell me that she's going to make me wear waffles as underpants and I'll vote for her." That would be quite a sight, I have to say.

"I don't care if Senator Kamala Harris is an opportunistic California prosecutor who wants to relitigate busing. She can tell me that I have to drive to work in a go-cart covered with Barbie decals and I'll vote for her. I don't care if Bernie Sanders is a muddle headed socialist from a rural class-warfare state that I once lived as one of his constituents. He could tell me he's going to tax used kitty litter and I'll vote for him.'

"Tom, you then write 'I have only two requirements from the Democratic nominee. First, he or she must not be mentally unstable and not be sympathetic or beholden to a hostile foreign power. This rules out Gabbard and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Although in his case it's hard to tell if he's unstable or just a terrible person. As for the rest of them, I'm willing to live with whoever is the Democratic candidate.'

"I decided to be more nuanced and leave -- leave people grasping for my meaning," Nichols said.

"Partly that was my frustration with some of my old comrades on the right, and I said, 'Never Trump means never Trump.' 'But what about Warren's treatment, what about Bernie Sanders, what about Kamala Harris' attacks' -- look, if we really believe that this is an existential crisis of government, if we really believe that Donald Trump is a threat to our constitutional order, you know, that the only remedy to this is voting then, you know, you put policy aside.

"You don't say it's an existential crisis but I can only treat it that way if I get universal health care or a lower tax rate, that is stuff, we can fight about all of that stuff a year from now, two years from now when this is all over. I've had it with the 'whataboutism' arguments, they were mostly coming from the right. I'm one of the people that has basically said -- I do think the president has gotten worse. I mean, to some extent, all kidding aside, I'm kind of concerned about the president. because he seems like he has become, you know, that this is getting to him in some way. He's becoming unstable.

"What do you mean by this, this is getting to him?"

"Just the pressure of governing and running and keeping up. I think i have always proceeded from the assumption that he never thought he'd win the election and he's treading water, no matter what he's saying. I have said for three years I think he's in fear of the Russians, I think the Russians hold a lot of his financial secrets and he's very worried about that.

"So I think, you know, we're really in an unprecedented moment where, you know, I am -- again, as long as we have a person that I don't think has any issues with the constitution, or with a hostile foreign power, you know, that's my exit ramp until we can normalize and stabilize our national politics."

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