Throughout President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough called for people to give him a chance. Though he still criticized the president when criticism was due, he was still open-minded enough to hold out some hope that Trump would be good for America. After all, Scarborough was a Republican. Despite being on MSNBC’s flagship morning show, he had to give the man a chance. Trump was his party’s demigod.
However, Scarborough made an about-face when he announced that he was leaving the Republican Party and would identify politically as an independent. The move wasn’t altogether surprising considering the tirades Trump went on in which he insulted the show, Scarborough, and his co-host and fiancé, Mika Brzezinski. However, if any explanation was needed, Scarborough gave it in a severe op-ed printed in the Washington Post.
He began his op-ed explaining he wasn’t the one leaving the Republican Party, but in fact, it was the Republican Party that had left him, its senses, and the people who support it.
‘I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left its senses. The political movement that once stood athwart history resisting bloated government and military adventurism has been reduced to an amalgam of talk-radio resentments. President Trump’s Republicans have devolved into a party without a cause, dominated by a leader hopelessly ill-informed about the basics of conservatism, U.S. history and the Constitution.’
Ouch. He makes a major point, though. Conservatives have a bad habit of not really being on the up and up of U.S. history or the U.S. Constitution. As for the basics of conservatism, they have their own warped sense of conservatism, and that’s all that matters to them.
He then quoted Abraham Lincoln by including the quote, “Nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Many Republicans point to Lincoln as a Republican president. However, as Scarborough pointed out in his op-ed, Republicans rule Washington almost entirely having all of Congress to play with and the presidency. Yet, they are still doing a remarkably bad job at running things.
‘It would take far more than a single column to detail Trump’s failures in the months following his bleak inaugural address. But the Republican leaders who have subjugated themselves to the White House’s corrupting influence fell short of Lincoln’s standard long before their favorite reality-TV star brought his gaudy circus act to Washington.’
As a four-term Republican Congressman, Scarborough pointed back to his views of the Republican party when he left office in 2001. He said:
‘I concluded my last speech on the House floor by foolishly predicting that Republicans would balance budgets and champion a restrained foreign policy for as long as they held power. I would be proved wrong immediately.’
He went on to explain why that prediction was wrong. Despite what Republicans may want to yell from the mountaintops, the deficit did not start with former President Barack Obama. It started with former President George W. Bush. Scarborough recognized that in his op-ed.
‘As the new century began, Republicans gained control of the federal government. George W. Bush and the GOP Congress responded by turning a $155 billion surplus into a $1 trillion deficit and doubling the national debt…’
After Obama’s presidency, it must be noted that the deficit did increase. So, of course Republicans would adopt demolishing the national debt as part of their party platform. It was one of their key criticisms of Obama, so the promise to Republican supporters nationwide to get rid of the deficit was a major talking point at Trump rallies. As a businessman, he promised he’d whip the country back into shape.
However, he’s not managed anything of the sort, and according to Scarborough, he’s only served to make the Republicans who did support him regret the decision they made in the privacy of the voting booths.
‘Trump’s party was given a second chance this year, but it has spent almost every day since then making the majority of Americans regret it.
The GOP president questioned America’s constitutional system of checks and balances. Republican leaders said nothing. He echoed Stalin and Mao by calling the free press “the enemy of the people.” Republican leaders were silent. And as the commander in chief insulted allies while embracing autocratic thugs, Republicans who spent a decade supporting wars of choice remained quiet. Meanwhile, their budget-busting proposals demonstrate a fiscal recklessness very much in line with the Bush years.’
He then noted Trump had previously been a “longtime Democrat” who switched parties when he joined in and promoted the Obama birther conspiracy.
He ended his op-ed with a prediction of what a Trump presidency will result in.
‘Political historians will one day view Donald Trump as a historical anomaly. But the wreckage visited of this man will break the Republican Party into pieces — and lead to the election of independent thinkers no longer tethered to the tired dogmas of the polarized past. When that day mercifully arrives, the two-party duopoly that has strangled American politics for almost two centuries will finally come to an end. And Washington just may begin to work again.’
The only issue with this prediction is that for Washington to work again, America will have to suffer under a Trump presidency for however long it may take to get him out of office or get him impeached. During that waiting game, many will suffer as Republicans focus on repealing and replacing Obamacare, enacting a budget that will cut millions from vital social welfare programs, and the national security of our country will be in jeopardy as Trump plays footsie with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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