September 23, 2019

Joe Scarborough talked about Republican non-response to Trump's attempt to extort the president of Ukraine.

" 'That would be very troubling,'" he said, quoting a tweet from Mitt Romney.

"The Wall Street Journal reported even before that tweet that it happened eight times. and Donald Trump admitted that he did it. and yet they decide to live in this Never Never Land."

"And, you know, history, there's no once upon a time, there's not going to be a happily ever after. But there can be actual moments where we face facts. Eleanor Roosevelt said that's the test of a great government, a great society is can you, in fact, face facts, however uncomfortable they are?" historian Jon Meacham said.

"And what I think is the great story of our time, honestly, is the extent to which 40%, 45% of the country, many of them Republicans, have suspended their critical capacities, have suspended their essential, dare I say it, patriotic instincts to follow this particular leader because of the will to power. So the party of Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush are comfortable with a president who conspires, whoever -- colludes, whatever word you want to use."

(Except for Iran-Contra, of course. Republicans were quite comfortable with that and still won't admit it happened. But whatever. He's on a roll.)

"No Republican complained when he told George Stephanopoulos that he would work, that he would collude with foreign powers to try to get dirt on his rival," Scarborough said.

"Here, another good word for you, extort. In this case, there are reports that he actually was extorting the democratically-elected president of Ukraine, who had already seen his country invaded by Vladimir Putin and there are reports that he extorted him, saying he was not going to get military weapons unless he dug up dirt, worked, cooperated with his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on his domestic political rival."

"One of the things that's happened here, I've been thinking about this all weekend, is there are a couple of really interesting entries in George H.W. Bush's papers through the years," Meacham said.

"In the '60s, he confronted the John Birch Society in Houston, he's looking at these folks and he says their eyes aren't focused. They're living according to a narrative in their heads that does not actually track with reality. And he saw a little bit later some in the '80s. think he's gone from being a fringe, the Birch society, which is what Richard Hofstetter was writing about when he defined the paranoid style in American politics, that was the occasion for that essay, but the paranoid style has gone mainstream," Meacham said.

"And I think one of the great questions of the era is gonna be, who wants to be Margaret Chase Smith? Who wants to be Joseph Welch, the lawyer who said to McCarthy finally, 'Have you no decency?' And I promise you, there's a historical legacy, a historical halo ready to be grabbed, if people stand up."

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We are currently migrating to Disqus

On May 14, 2022, we started migrating our comments from Insticator back to Disqus. During this transition period, some posts will have Insticator and some Disqus. For more information on the transition, as well as information regarding old C&L accounts, please see this post.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.