Any semi-politically literate progressive could spend an entire day talking about Joe Scarborough’s role in the rise of the extremist right, all the way back to his days in the House under Newt Gingrich and the impeachment of Bill Clinton, up and through his time at MSNBC and the number of times Scarborough underestimated the danger Trump represented, even promoting Trump’s rise through the ranks. Given this reality, it’s probably important to also credit Scarborough when he is entirely correct in both his assessment and its inherent dangers.
On Monday morning, Scarborough laid out the new reality in the GOP House caucus, namely, that it’s not run by Kevin McCarthy. At times, it seems as though McCarthy’s leadership is premised upon the consent of extremists like Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert.
Scarborough ranted this morning:
“It seems that Republican extremists now have control, they have effectively taken control of Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.”
“He hasn’t condemned Boebert’s bigoted comment, and I will say here, for myself right here, for myself right here, I’m glad she apologized and I’m glad that Steny Hoyer, from what I understand, took the call and is trying to facilitate a meeting between the two. I understand how heinous this statement is. We hope at some point this sort of hate speech will be isolated and members of the House, Republicans and Democrats, can debate on the issues. My God, there’s enough to debate on.”
It will not be isolated. It will be rewarded. It is unfair to expect Scarborough to say that on live mainstream television but we’ve watched this movement for over six years now and it goes one direction. The most extreme members are those who are most loyal to Trump; MTG, Boebert, Gaetz, Gosar, Cawthorn, all of them (with the possible exception of Cawthorn) are untouchable, and McCarthy knows it.
“McCarthy, though, he seems to be strategizing with extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene. I do wonder at what point do members of the caucus go to him and say, ‘You are actually crawling on your hands and knees and begging for the support of one member who’s actually supporting bigoted remarks?’
Again, Joe is right on track except he’s leaving out the 800 lb orange orangutang in the room, the one standing between McCarthy and the speaker’s gavel. Of course, the majority of the caucus hate that McCarthy is catering to Marjorie Taylor-Greene, but those same people also know that if they publicly call McCarthy out, they will have to deal with the orangutang. Evidently, they prefer Kevin having to handle it.
At what point does Kevin stop listening to the extremists?… How desperate are these people to be lined up behind a member of the House that is so desperate to be speaker of the House that he’s willing to embrace politically the most bigoted members I can remember being in the House of Representatives?… How desperate is Kevin?”
Kevin is desperate enough to grovel at Marjorie and Lauren’s feet, desperate enough to put up with Gaetz and Gosar, all because if McCarthy upends that dynamic at all, he won’t just be throwing away a possible shot at the gavel, but he further endangers his current relevance which seems to erode by the day anyway.
Joe nailed the situation as it stands. He just failed to fill in a few of the details as to why the situation won’t change. It will continue to grow more extreme, it always does in all things MAGA.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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