Joe Scarborough did his best to attempt to rewrite the failings of conservative governance we've suffered over the last few decades along with some of his own history, surprise, surprise with a big assist by some of his fellow panel members, Jon Meacham, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist.
While discussing some of the right's disdain for the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, Scarborough throws out the first whopper during the segment, that George W. Bush was not really a conservative. The New Yorker's David Remnick notes that the Republican Party doesn't seem to be the “party of ideas” any more and here's how Scarborough responds.
SCARBOROUGH: Two things have happened over the last decade. One, the election of George W. Bush... a man who claimed to be a conservative, but The New Republic had it right in 2000. Bush was for big government and he was for big business. The New Republic predicted it. I remember the cover of it.
And yet conservatives went along for the ride for the better part of eight years, they let him double the national debt without complaining. They let him engage in a Wilsonian foreign policy where he spent his second inauguration talking about ending tyranny on the four corners of the globe. They remained silent. They betrayed their values. They forgot everything they said in the 1990's and they sold their soul to have power in the White House. And then Barack Obama got elected. And then they lost their mind.
These Democrats have had the Bush derangement syndrome and they did. But then what did they get? Obama derangement syndrome. So it because less about ideas and it became more about destroying Obama and Jon Meacham, that's why they stopped focusing on balancing the budget, on having restraint.
Scarborough seems to have a pretty short memory because by his own definition here, he's part of that problem he's complaining about, and he apparently doesn't remember that he claimed that we won the Iraq War back in 2003 while berating anyone who dared to speak out against it. For a reminder of Scarborough's previous statements, go read Extreme Liberal's Blog here -- Joe Scarborough – A Look Back At His Previous Statements About War! Here are a couple of the quotes from Scarborough among many that they dug up in that post:
“Maybe disgraced commentators and politicians alike, like Daschle, Jimmy Carter, Dennis Kucinich, and all those others, will step forward tonight and show the content of their character by simply admitting what we know already: that their wartime predictions were arrogant, they were misguided and they were dead wrong. Maybe, just maybe, these self-anointed critics will learn from their mistakes. But I doubt it. After all, we don’t call them ‘elitists’ for nothing.”
(MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, 4/10/03)
“Sean Penn is at it again. The Hollywood star takes out a full-page ad out in the New York Times bashing George Bush. Apparently he still hasn’t figured out we won the war.”
(MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, 5/30/03)
And as they noted, he contradicted himself on that in 2007:
Isn’t that funny? We won the Iraq War in 2003 and I MISSED IT! So someone tell me why I should be listening to Joe Scarborough blather on, pretending like he’s a dove. So I looked a little further and found this from Mr. Scarborough in February of 2007…
Even if you agree with me that this war was worth fighting as long as we believed Saddam Hussein had WMD’s aimed at America, at some point you have to face the facts: the Bush administration was wrong about those weapons, wrong about the nuclear program, wrong about their refusal to quell rioting early, wrong about Bremer’s gutting of the Iraqi army and police force, wrong about refusing to kill or capture al Sadr in 2003, wrong to tell the generals not speak of the coming insurgency, wrong to stubbornly refuse to give generals the troops they needed to win this war, wrong to make the “Mission Accomplished” declaration, wrong for the VP to claim that the insurgency was in its death throes and wrong to push a surge plan that the president’s top generals opposed.
Joe Scarborough will say whatever the hell he wants as long as it suits his current situation. His photo should appear next to the definition of hypocrite in the dictionary. He seems to get away with it most of the time, though.
And here's more on Scarborough's previous flip flopping on Iraq from North Coast Blog -- Joe Scarborough and the Iraq War:
Joe Scarborough just wrote a column for Politico in which he discusses the Iraq War. As he acknowledges in the article, he was a supporter. [...]
I guess it’s nice to hear Scarborough acknowledge that he supported this fiasco, but this statement is somewhat misleading. Notice how he mentions that 75% of Americans supported the war. If you didn’t know Scarborough’s past, you might assume he was just one of many Americans who went along with the President. But he was much more than that, as he had his own cable show on MSNBC at the time, Scarborough Country, and he used that platform to become one of the loudest cheerleaders for the war. And, he enthusiastically mocked people who were against it. Joe Scarborough contributed to a climate that made it more difficult for rational voices who opposed the war and questioned the Bush/Cheney/Rove propaganda machine on WMD. He didn’t just go along; he helped lead the parade.
And here's Joe Conason from 2009 rebutting Scarborough's claims that it was the current health care bill that ballooned the deficit -- Conason Reminds Scarborough That The Iraq War and Tax Cuts Ballooned the Deficit.
And if Scarborough wants to talk about "Obama derangement syndrome", here he is comparing President Obama to Kim Jong Il.
This also seems to be a habit of Scarborough's with trying to pretend that conservative "principles" aren't bankrupt. They're just not being followed well enough by our politicians. Bob Cesca caught this bit from back in 2009:
With a straight face, Joe Scarborough was just telling Katrina vanden Heuvel that “Reaganism” isn’t bankrupt — it “just wasn’t followed.”
Yeah, okay, Joe. Massive defense spending, corporate deregulation, conservative social policy and tax cuts for the super wealthy “weren’t followed.”
Reaganism was followed quite faithfully and it’s been a colossal failure.
You can go watch that entire exchange on MSNBC's site here if you've got the stomach for it.
Okay, moving on and back to the segment. Next up, we get the "America is a center-right country lie which I'm not going to rehash again since it was already debunked in this post where Mrs. Greenspan was trying to redefine what a "centrist" is -- Andrea Mitchell Cites Recent Gallup Poll to Paint Romney as Centrist and Obama as Liberal where I linked the lengthy Media Matters report you can read here -- The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth. Here's Scarborough and Meacham from the clip:
MEACHAM: I think personally what you're seeing is that conservatives have won the essential argument, I believe.
SCARBOROUGH: They have. We live in a conservative nation now and there is... that's just the reality. We are a center-right nation.
Uh... no we're not Joe. They got some push back from The New Yorker's David Remnick, but par for the course it fell on deaf ears with Scarborough.
REMNICK: I really disagree on a lot of issues. This is the year of gay marriage being normalized throughout the country. This is an administration that got health care through no matter what you may think of it. I think there are a lot of issues where this is not a center-right... on social issues there's still Rick Santorum waving the flag. There are other candidates waving the flag, but generally...
SCARBOROUGH: If you're talking about gay marriage, that is a Libertarian strain. That is Americans saying get out of our wallets and get out of our bedrooms.
REMNICK: But it was a movement not initiated by Ron Paul.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, it is a movement, let's face it though (crosstalk). It is a movement that 80 percent of Americans don't really care about, don't want to talk about and when George Stephanopolous and other people...
REMNICK: Which you could have said about civil rights...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I wouldn't compare it to civil rights. I would not compare gay marriage to people getting beaten and killed and lynched in the South...
More revisionist history from Scarborough. Gay marriage and LGBT rights are a civil rights issue and if he doesn't think there's any violence against those communities, maybe he can spend a whole two minutes using the search engines and bother to read a couple of articles on the topic like this one -- Crimes against LGBT community are up, despite social gains and this one -- Violence Against Gays and Lesbians .
And Scarborough wasn't done with the hackery yet there. It continued with him trying to paint President Bush and President Obama as equally responsible for our debt and deficit. As we've noted here over and over again, our current deficit is primarily due to George W. Bush and not the Obama administration.
I don't remember Scarborough ever carping about Bush's record on anything until it was very obvious that he'd trashed our economy and the invasion of Iraq was a debacle, and even now, he continues to play the all sides are equal game with President Obama.
He wrapped things up with one of the most ridiculous statements of the entire segment which is that if President Obama just says he'll sign that god awful failed Simpson-Bowles plan that couldn't even make it out of the committee assigned to put it together, it will assure his reelection, with Brzezinski nodding in agreement.
The only reason Americans are “tuned into” the issue of the debt and the deficit is because of fear mongering that we see from the likes of Scarborough and his pals in our corporate media on their television sets everyday.
I think they may have set a record with this one with just how many B.S. talking points you can cram in between one set of commercial breaks and I didn't even include some of the beginning where they were making excuses for why no one likes the current crop of GOP presidential candidates. Quite a feat, even for this bunch.