For the second time in as many days, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough took issue with a Washington Post Obama-apologist for blaming all that ails the nation on the Republican Party.
What made Friday's "Morning Joe" more delicious was the Post's Eugene Robinson was present this time, and after predictably defending the current White House resident while pointing fingers at the GOP was marvelously asked by the host, "Isn't there also though a larger context that the United States citizens may have just elected a president that was not ready to run the most complex economy in the world?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOE SCARBOROUGH, CO-HOST: I've got two words for you Gene: hope and change. Anything is possible. You've just got to believe.
EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST: Well, that’s, and sometimes that hopey changey stuff works out for you.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST: Oh, I'm just surprised given what Gene wrote in the Washington Post. I mean, seriously, you’d think…
SCARBOROUGH: What did he write?
BRZEZINSKI: Well he wrote this. It's called "Bad Memories."
“The Bush administration took Reagan’s tax-cutting, government-starving philosophy much too far. Today’s Republican Party takes it well beyond, into a rigid absolutism that would be comical if it were not so consequential… Perhaps they’re just cynically trying to keep the economy in the doldrums through next year to hurt Obama’s chances of reelection. I worry that their fanaticism is sincere — that one of our major parties has gone completely off the rails. If so, things will get worse before they get better.
“Having Bush and Cheney reappear is a reminder to step back and look at what Obama is up against. You might want to cut him a little slack.’
JOE SCARBOROUGH, CO-HOST: Really?
ROBINSON: Well, look, you know, we get caught up in whether the speech is on Wednesday or Thursday, which properly we talk about because we're into the back and forth and the minutia of how things get done in Washington or don't get done in Washington and who is up and who is down in politics. But there is a larger context here, a horrific economic situation, an even worse fiscal situation, and a political situation in which one party is, the opposition party is determined to thwart, for ideological or political reasons, anything the president is trying to do. That's, you know, we need to remember that context, I think.
SCARBOROUGH: But Gene, isn't there also though a larger context that the United States citizens may have just elected a president that was not ready to run the most complex economy in the world? You're focusing on the Republicans, and yes, we all focus on the speech, but isn't the larger context not the speech or the opponent of the president but the president himself and whether he knows what to do in this time of crisis?
Indeed. As Scarborough said on Thursday's program in response to E.J. Dionne's silly column, Obama had two years of total control of Washington, D.C.
It's only been eight months since the Republicans took over Congress, but the Democrats still control the Senate and the White House.
At some point not only do the president and his Party have to take some responsibility for what's going on in the country, but also his fans in the media have to question whether Obama was and is qualified for the office he holds.
Not if you're a pol like Robinson:
ROBINSON: Well, this time of crisis. The president takes office, the financial system has collapsed and, in fact, we are on the precipice of something akin to a great depression. In fact, he averts the great depression, and the word stimulus has become a dirty word now, but in fact it does keep us from falling off the cliff. We now enter a sour and unsatisfactory recovery, and I put that in quotes because it doesn't feel like a recovery, but, in fact, the bleeding in terms of hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost every month and foreclosures on every block, the bleeding has been stanched. Now I, maybe somebody could have come in and done all that and also got the economy revved up and roaring, but I think it is more probable that this is a different kind of recession. And I wonder who could have done better.
SCARBOROUGH: That’s it. Who could have done better?
Actually, at this point in time, the question isn't "Who could have done better?"
It really is "Who could have done worse?"