Mika Finds 'Friend' to Blame Bush for Bhutto

Call it the Brzezinski Variation of the Some-Say Gambit. In the wake of the Bhutto assassination, Morning Joe panelist Mika Brzezinski has broken out a "friend" to put the blame on George Bush.

Joe Scarborough spoke with Mika from Florida, where he has been spending the week.

View video here.

Excerpts:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Clearly this event plays into Giuliani's strengths, supposed strengths, some would say. He is the hero of 9-11 in the eyes of many. But in terms of his politics couldn't you argue that his foreign policy may, while it may appear to be the safe choice, it's also very much in line with what we've seen over the past eight years. And it may just be more of the same, which is, potentially antagonizing nations like Iran or Pakistan?

. . .

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I speak for red state America here because that's where I live. People are comfortable with leaders like Rudy Giuliani, they're comfortable with leaders like George W. Bush, they're comfortable with leaders like Ronald Reagan that don't sit around wringing their hands, asking the question what will Switzerland think about us, what will the United Nations think about us if we move forward aggressively to protect our national interests, to keep America safe?

. . .

[Visiting friends in Florida yesterday], they were all talking about the same thing. They were talking about how dangerous the world was, they were talking about Rudy Giuliani, and as I moved to different rooms, it was very interesting, I even heard people talking about, believe it or not Mika, waterboarding . . . The sentiment was a very simple sentiment: keep us safe.

BRZEZINSKI: Right, we don't care how it happens.

. . .

BRZEZINSKI: I agree with you Joe. I actually hear the same thing among my circles that I've been talking to about the story. Having said that though, the one thing that does come to my mind, when you look at this campaign, and you look at all the different choices out there, and all the different visions in terms of what our place should be in the world, I just wonder if some voters will look back at post-9/11, and -- [NB: it is here that Mika, on the brink of expressing her own partisan opinion, deploys the Brzezinksi Variation of the Some-Say Gambit] I have a friend who made a decision right after 9-11, holding her baby, in the polling booth, and she decided to vote for George W. Bush because she thought she would, quote, be safer. She now regrets that decision because she doesn't feel like America is safer and she feels like this President has brought us down a path which is leading us to this very moment right here, which is massive destabilization in Pakistan.
Let's consider for a moment Mika's questionable time-line. Her friend made a decision "right after 9-11" to vote for George Bush "in the polling booth"? You mean, in November 2004, more than three years after 9-11?

Be that as it may, Joe rose to the occasion, marshalling facts and passion to respond to Mika in the most impressive display I've seen him make during his tenure as show host.
SCARBOROUGH: You can't blame George W. Bush for what happened yesterday! Pakistan was destabilized in 1997 when they gained nuclear weapons; they had a military coup in 1999 [NB: both events occuring during the Clinton admin]. I mean this country has been unstable for years. But you know what's so ironic about your friend that was holding that baby voting for George W. Bush? That friend right now is able to wring her hands. She's able to be concerned about America's foreign policy, and whether they like us at the United Nations and whether they like us in France, and whether they respect us in Turkey right now because there has been seven years without an attack on American soil.
Good on Joe.

Aside: I highly recommend to our readers Mark Steyn's observations at the National Review's "Corner" about Bhutto and the situation in Pakistan:
Miss Bhutto could never have been a viable leader of a post-Musharraf settlement, and the delusion that she could have been sent her to her death. Earlier this year, I had an argument with an old (infidel) boyfriend of Benazir's, who swatted my concerns aside with the sweeping claim that "the whole of the western world" was behind her. On the streets of Islamabad, that and a dime'll get you a cup of coffee.

As I said, she was everything we in the west would like a Muslim leader to be. We should be modest enough to acknowledge when reality conflicts with our illusions.
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.