Things got testy between Joe Scarborough and Howard Dean on today's Morning Joe over the issue of the Dem party moving left. In a particularly unkind cut, Scarborough accused Dean of spouting "Carl Bernstein nonsense," while Dean tried to shut Scarborough down, bleating "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Adding spice to the mix, Mika Brzezinski made clear her great regard for lefty Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying she'd make a "formidable" presidential candidate.
The fracas was detonated by a discussion of a Wall Street Journal op-ed by a centrist Dem group called "The Third Way," which argued that following proposals from Warren and far-left, newly-elected NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, would be electorally "disastrous" for Dems. That in turn engendered a New York Times article about infighting among Dems, reporting among other things that Warren is using "hardball" tactics to intimidate banks supporting The Third Way. View the video after the jump.
Watch the sparks fly.
Note: for weeks now, Mika has expresed her reservations about Hillary. She has repeatedly posed the question of just what Clinton stands for. Mika will of course be firmly in the Clinton camp should Hillary cop the 2016 Dem nomination. But today's comments made clear that Mika's liberal heart is in the Warren wing.
Note Dos: the "Carl Bernstein nonsense" which Scarborough cited was Bernstein's repeated bleat on Morning Joe accusing the Tea Party and conservative Republicans of "McCarthyism." It got to the point that before Carl could even open his mouth, Joe would jocularly invite him to level the "McCarthyism" accusation.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: There are signs that the unified front of the Democratic party may be cracking. A week ago a Wall Street Journal op-ed from a centrist think tank called Third Way targeted Bill de Blasio and Elizabeth Warren, saying economic populism will be, quote, disastrous for Democrats. The piece warns Senator Warren's plan to expand entitlements like Social Security and Medicare by raising taxes and closing corporate loopholes is a quote, dead end for Democrats. Liberal groups supporting Warren are now pushing back calling on high-profile Democratic members of Congress who serve as honorary chairs for the group to disavow the piece.
HOWARD DEAN: We don't really have a problem. I don't think. The Third Way are not really players, and so this is really a kerfuffle, they stuck it to --
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You mean the Democratic party is just going to go further and further left --
DEAN: No, oh no --
SCARBOROUGH: Which is awesome, by the way. I love that you guys are going to dart as hard left as you can.
DEAN: This is the straw man stuff.
SCARBOROUGH: It's not a straw man. We're talking about Bill de Blasio, we're talking about Elizabeth Warren we're talking about some mainstream Democrats who are actually trying to move the party back to the center and they get killed. I've just got to say, I love this.
DEAN: You're making this stuff up. Stop it. Stop it.
SCARBOROUGH: I'm not making this stuff up. It was in the New York Times.
DEAN: Stop it. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
SCARBOROUGH: So you sit here with your Carl Bernstein, Eric Cantor, Tea Party nonsense and then the second I talk about a New York -- you talk about [adopting a mocking imitation of Dean], oh, I was talking to so-and-so in a barber's chair and they said it was really bad. I bring up a New York Times article and you're freaking out, saying I'm making stuff up.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I say you all watch her [Elizabeth Warren.] Mark my words.
SCARBOROUGH: I hope that Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio and that wing of the Democratic party, they need to grow, they need to expand. I want Democrats --
DEAN: Finally we agree on something.
SCARBOROUGH: I want them to expand, Willie.
BRZEZINSKI: You guys are so wrong.
SCARBOROUGH: We Republicans will get back in the White House again.
BRZEZINSKI: You know what? You don't know what --
DEAN: The voters will have the final say.
BRZEZINSKI: I'm just saying you are underestimating, what I think, what will be a major player and that's Elizabeth Warren.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, no, I love her. You know I love her.
BRZEZINSKI: I think she could be a presidential candidate --
SCARBOROUGH: Her politics, man --
BRZEZINSKI: -- a formidable one.
SCARBOROUGH: I hope the whole Democratic party goes over there.
DEAN: Me too. I'm with you.
SCARBOROUGH: Those holes will be as easy to run through, Willie.