On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, host and Republican Joe Scarborough drilled Rush Limbaugh for cheering Chicago’s failed 2016 Olympic bid. Scarborough said, “I will tell you middle Americans that swing elections see that and go oh my God Republicans have gone off the deep end.”
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
After it was announced that Chicago did not get the Olympic bid, Limbaugh said, “Obama been “running around the world for nine months telling everybody how much our country sucks. He’s been running around the world apologizing for the United States of America. Why would anybody award the Olympics to such a crappy place as the United States of America?”
Scarborough replied, “I actually wrote something this weekend just asking a very simple question. What would have happened if liberals cheered had cheered against the United States getting the Olympics?…I would like Rush Limbaugh to tell me who is he helping there other than Rush Limbaugh, because I will tell you, middle Americans, Rush is smarter than that. Middle Americans that swing elections see that, and go oh my God, Republicans have gone off the deep end.”
While talking to Katty Kay of the BBC, Scarborough continued, “I was disheartened over the past eight years. If I was Paul Krugman, I probably wouldn’t cast stones regarding blind ideologues, but over the past eight years Democrats hated everything that Bush did. Bush was called Nazi, socialist, etc. etc. Now it’s turned, and now it’s Barack Obama. We Republicans did it to Bill Clinton for eight years. It always seems that one side feels the need to delegitimize the other side. This can not be helpful to our political process.”
Scarborough wrapped up the segment with, “You know what’s so interesting is, Katty makes a great point. About 40% of Americans call themselves conservative. Twenty percent of Americans call themselves liberal. This isn’t like the old split in the Republican Party where you used to have moderate Republicans against conservative Republicans. This has nothing to do with ideology. This has to do with the harshness of rhetoric. This is just intemperate people versus temperate people. It’s disgusting.”
Joe Scarborough is an endangered species. He is a non-radicalized Republican. I disagree with the vast majority of Scarborough’s stances on policy, but he understands that cheering a failed Olympic bid by a U.S. city does not help the GOP. The political environment was absolutely toxic during the Clinton/Bush years, and as a consequence, nothing significant and lasting survived the legislative process.
Republicans have learned this lesson, and are trying to poison the well again to stop Obama. Scarborough is correct when he looks at the big picture and concludes that the rhetoric of Beck and Limbaugh doesn’t help the political process or the Republican Party. The big winners here are Beck and Limbaugh. I can see conservative talk radio’s cheering against America being used in campaign ads in 2010 and 2012.
I am certain that talk radio has gone off the deep end, but I am not sure if this translates to the Republican Party in the minds of American voters yet. I can see Democrats trying to make that connection for them, and if they are successful, they could absolutely bury the Republican Party. Republicans need to start listening to Scarborough’s warnings, and stop follow Beck and Limbaugh off the political cliff.