Let's—once and for all—put to rest Joe Scarborough's oft-repeated claim that he remains a conservative. Surely we can agree that anyone who thinks Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was a wonderful thing is, by definition, not a conservative. The New Deal is and remains the iconic body of liberal, big-government legislation. It is the antithesis of everything that conservatives and conservatism stand for. Not for nothing did Time depict [see Time cover below] the newly-elected Barack Obama, who had been the most liberal member of the Senate, as a born-again FDR and proponent of a "New New Deal."
With that as predicate, consider the statement that Scarborough made on today's Morning Joe:
"[FDR] passed Social Security, he passed the New Deal, he saved this country and saved poor people like my parents in the Deep South."
The New Deal "saved this country?" Wrong. To the contrary, it put us on the path to ever-bigger government that has stifled individual freedom and economic growth. And, contrary to what some liberals claim, the New Deal did not lift the country out of the Great Depression. In fact, unemployment and economic growth remained at Depression-era levels until sometime after the beginning of WWII.
Note: Scarborough made his FDR/New Deal as savior claim in the context of defending Joe Biden for having spoken of the way he had worked with segregationist senators back in his early Senate days. Scarborough pointed out that, to pass the New Deal, FDR had also worked with segregationist senators. So, argued Joe, good things could come, from working with people whose views you generally, and strongly, oppose. True, except that the New Deal was a very bad thing, both at the time it was adopted and in terms of the path it sent our country down.
Prefacing his objection to Kamala Harris's claim that Biden had coddled the reputation of segregationists, Scarborough said, "I love Kamala." Assuming that Joe didn't mean "love" in the Willie Brown sense of the word, why would a conservative "love" strident liberal Harris?
Here's the transcript.
6:18 am EDT
BILL DE BLASIO: I think the bottom line here is why on earth would a Democrat speak nostagialically of working with a segregationist?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: [dramatically wiping eyes]] Uhh, my lord. All right: how do we want do this? How do we want do this? Should I talk first and then everybody can yell at me?
STEVE RATTNER: Pretty much.
SCARBOROUGH: Pretty much. Okay, let’s do that. First of all, Kamala: I love Kamala, but Joe Biden didn’t coddle any segregationist in anything that he said. In fact, I think, he called one of them one of the meanest people he ever met. If that’s coddling, please, stay away from me, Joe. Don’t hug me, don’t coddle me. That's not coddling.
Also, he didn’t speak with adoration about these segregationists. His point was — I mean, it wouldn’t have been very persuasive, would it if he said, you know what, I have proven over the past 30 years I can work with Tom Carper and every member of the Delaware delegation. That’s not the point. He picked the people who were the most repugnant to him, who he disagreed with the most, and he said you fight on the battlefield with the enemy that's presented to you? Something like that, right?
Well, guess what? FDR, the brilliance of FDR was, he could work with Yankees from New England, and he could work with segregationists and racists from the South. And you know what happened when FDR did that? He passed Social Security, he passed the New Deal, he saved this country and he saved poor people like my parents in the Deep South. He also saved black Americans in Chicago. I mean, FDR didn’t sit there and go, you know what? I’m not going to deal with the racists in the South.