Pro tip for Joe Scarborough: If you want to deny that you're comparing Joe Biden to Neville Chamberlain, don't breathe Biden's name anywhere near that of Chamberlain's.
Sadly for Scarborough, he has ignored our tip. On Thursday's Morning Joe, Scarborough was commenting on Biden's disastrous suggestion during Wednesday's press conference that Putin ordering a "minor incursion" of Ukraine wouldn't merit a full-blown US response.
Scarborough made this non-analogy analogy between Biden and British PM Neville "Peace for our Time" Chamberlain, whose appeasement of Hitler helped precipitate WWII:
"If you are so desperate for peace, if you are so desperate. Neville Chamberlain was desperate for peace. I'm drawing no comparisons. I'm just saying, if you are so desperate for peace that you just won't consider war, or at least aggressive countermeasures. They need to start sending the right signals. They [Obama-Biden] sent the wrong signals in 2014. They're sending the wrong signals now."
Scarborough's broader message was that the bigger danger is not Putin and Ukraine. It's China's Xi and Taiwan: "It would send a message to the Chinese: hey guess what? You have a minor invasion of Taiwan, and everything's cool here."
Of course, being an obeisant Biden supporter, Scarborough couldn't resist trying to defend Biden, too:
- He claimed that Psaki et al. had successfully "cleaned up" Biden's Ukraine gaffe.
- He said that Biden's gaffe is not evidence that he has lost it mentally. Rather, said Scarborough, this is how Biden has been for 40 years. Talk about damning with faint praise!
- Finally, in a particularly rich bit of hypocrisy, Scarborough said that he was "really growing tired of people doing their analysis of where he [Biden] is in January of, of, you know, 2022" and predicting the President's political future by his current terrible poll numbers. This from the guy who gleefully touted every downtick in Trump's polling, starting much further out than the less than 10 months that separate us from the midterms.
When it came to Biden sycophancy, Ed Luce of the Financial Times outdid even Scarborough. Luce actually claimed that not only did the clean-up on Biden's "minor invasion" comment succeed, but that Biden's position on Putin-Ukraine was "mostly clear during the press conference" itself! If so, why did Psaki and her crew immediately rush to Aisle 5 to clean up Biden's mess?
And Luce literally painted poor Biden as a "victim" of "very, very overblown expectations from his own supporters." Hey, Biden's the guy who campaigned on a promise to be "the most progressive president in history."
Here's the transcript.
6:02 am ET
WILLIE GEIST: There were some things about Russia and Ukraine that obviously caused some consternation. The president predicted Vladimir Putin will invade Ukraine. But he raised eyebrows, to say the least, by saying, "a minor incursion," he would not present military force against that.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Wow!
GEIST: So that was that moment, Joe, that the White House after the fact went in and cleaned that up with a statement. Said, no, if there is a military movement of troops by Russia into the border, the United States will respond. But Joe Biden had said, if it's just a minor incursion, he's going to go in anyway, and that's going to happen. So the White House doing a little cleanup duty after the speech.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, it was a chilling moment. We're going to talk about this much, much more. But it was for people like myself I found that to be a chilling moment. There is no such thing as a minor incursion. An invasion by Russia would be their third invasion of a European country since 2008. It would be catastrophic. It would send a message to the Chinese: hey guess what? You have a minor invasion of Taiwan, and everything's cool here. So no, there is no minor invasion, and Ed Luce, quickly after the press conference, they cleaned it up and said an invasion is an invasion and they will regret it and it will be met with overwhelming force from us and our allies.
ED LUCE: Yeah, I think that that does probably clean it up. The position was clear before the press conference. It was clear afterwards. And it was mostly clear during the press conference.
SCARBOROUGH: It was cleaned up afterwards, and it was made very clear that Joe Biden misspoke. And by the way, for those saying this is Joe Biden losing his mental facilities. Where have you been for the past 40 years? This is just -- give Joe Biden two hours, he's going to start talking about 7-Eleven stores, and who's clean and who's not clean. I mean, it's just Joe Biden.
By the way, we're going to be showing an NBC poll. He's at 44%. I'm really growing tired of people doing their analysis of where he is in January of, of, you know, 2022. It is just extraordinarily irrelevant.
LUCE: I think we're all of a culture collectively overdosing on the apocalypse in many ways.
LUCE: We just felt apocaplyse on the brain. And Biden's obituary's being written by members of our profession is, I think, an example of that. But he's also a victim of very, very overblown expectations from his own supporters.
SCARBOROUGH: Xi is looking at Ukraine. And if they are as weak in 2022 as they were in 2014, they'll be dealing with Xi and Taiwan in a much more difficult situation six months from now. They cannot cede one inch of ground in Ukraine to Putin.
This is not even about Ukraine. This is about China. This is about Russia. This is about Taiwan. This is about Iran.
If you are so desperate, if you are so desperate for peace, if you are so desperate. Neville Chamberlain was desperate for peace. I'm drawing no comparisons.
I'm just saying, if you are so desperate for peace that you just won't consider war, or at least aggressive countermeasures. They need to tell Putin, if you go into Ukraine, oh, we're not going to send 100,000 troops in. But we are going to send 2,500 in here, 2500 there. We are going to send the same type of force that was in Syria that killed 300 Russians in about five minutes when you guys tried to rush our post. You don't want to go to Ukraine. Why do I say that? Am I a neo-con? No. Do I want war? No. But I don't want us to be talking about Taiwan six months from now. They need to start sending the right signals. They sent the wrong signals in 2014. They're sending the wrong signals now.