Joe Scarborough Lectures Fellow GOPers on Iraq: Stop 'Bitching and Moaning' Over Obama and 'Salute'

Amidst the discussion of ISIS’s offensive and Obama’s failed foreign policy with various political experts on the August 11 edition of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough took the time to berate his fellow Republicans for refusing to “salute the President for being involved.” The host whined that he is “so sick and tired of the same people bitching and moaning about this President not doing things” and then going “on the Sunday shows and bitch and moan” when Obama actually “does things.”

Scarborough even went so far as to lecture  former chief spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq Dan Senor: “Will you do what a lot of Republicans didn't do this weekend and salute the President for being involved?” According to the MSNBC host, Republicans should support the President for “doing what we all know, what realists, what neo-con alike understand we have to do, we have to confront ISIS.” [ See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

The former Republican congressman stated that the President had been shaping foreign policy in response “to a war-weary country that has said time and time again, we don't want to be involved in Iraq.” While Scarborough originally agreed with Obama, at this point, he conceded “even” he can “say we need to be involved.” The MSNBC host also made sure to point out to Senor that the public has “been a lot closer to my position on these matters than yours.”  

To his credit, Senor responded by calmly articulating the reasons that Republicans’ concerns are legitimate. While “we should applaud the President for taking the strike– for taking the action that he's taken,” the foreign policy advisor explained, the President also needs “take a step back strategically” and determine “the game plan for that huge swath of territory south of the Kurdish area” that ISIS still controls. He added that Obama also has not stated “a strategic case for the long haul” which is what “the American public” the “war-weary public” “needs to hear.”

Perhaps Scarborough should take some of his own advice and stop “bitching and moaning” about the President’s unfair treatment at the hands of Republican and focus on the unfolding foreign policy mess.     

See transcript below:

MSNBC    
Morning Joe
August 11, 2013
8:21 a.m. Eastern
2 minutes and 41 seconds


JOE SCARBOROUGH: Much longer and of course, this week we heard this weekend we may be in for months. Let's bring in Dan Senor. Dan, obviously this president responding to a war weary country that has said time and time again, we don't want to be involved in Iraq. We don't want to be involved in Afghanistan. Let’s face it Dan, they have been a lot closer to my position on these matters than yours. We've had these debates long and hard. But at this point, I can even say we need to be involved. Will you do what a lot of Republicans didn't do this weekend and salute the president for being involved?

DAN SENOR: I have.

SCARBOROUGH: I mean, I'm so sick and tired of the same people bitching and moaning about this president not doing things and when the president does things, instead of supporting things, when we're at a critical moment, a critical moment in this nation’s history they have got to go on the Sunday shows and bitch and moan about a president doing what we all know, what realists, what neocon alike understand we have to do, we have to confront ISIS. Will you salute the president for taking these steps?

SENOR: Yeah, I have. I've said several times over the last couple of days that we should applaud the president for taking the strike– for taking the action that he's taken. We have to ask the question, Joe, while these steps are important, obviously heading off -- trying to head off the genocide of the Yezidis on top of Mount Sinjar, just below that, heading off the march up to Erbil and the Kurdish areas and obviously protecting American personnel--all of those things and all of those objectives are critical and the president deserves credit for working to end them. But when you take a step back strategically, we, we should also ask the president what is the game plan for that huge swath of territory south of the Kurdish area. What about all those people living in the part of Iraq that aren’t Kurds, that aren’t Yazidis, or where there aren’t American personnel. Would we be comfortable with just a containment strategy with just ISIS just in that area. If ISIS weren't on the march up to Northern Iraq, if ISIS were not about to slaughter the Yazidis would we be content in letting Isis governing this ungovernable space on that side of Iraq's border. A strategic case for the long haul we haven't heard for the president. Now he began to lay the groundwork in talking about this is going to be a long haul as we discussed earlier and the steps he's taken so far are important. But I think what the American public needs to hear, we are a war-weary public. Consistently, look at every military action, just about every military action that the U.S. Government has taken since World War II, the American public has always been against it. And this is no exception. The president will have to make the bigger strategic case about what the threat of ISIS means, not just in Iraq, but what ISIS and its affiliates mean throughout the region.

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.