Scarborough Calls Himself An 'Institutionalist'—But Was Part of Failed Coup Against Gingrich!

October 4th, 2023 5:27 PM

Mika Brzezinski  Joe Scarborough  MSNBC Morning Joe 10-4-23 Concerns over Joe Scarborough's failing memory continue to mount.

Last month, we caught Scarborough trashing "fools" who would write Joe Biden off. Scarborough had apparently forgotten that in 2016, Scarborough had written a Washington Post column that amounted to Biden's political obituary. It came after Biden was thrashed in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary

Scarborough's weak grasp on his past was again exposed on today's Morning Joe. Scarborough repeatedly blasted the Republicans who succeeded in removing Kevin McCarthy as Speaker. In doing so, Scarborough actually described himself as an "institutionalist."  Joe said that yesterday, he had hoped that enough Democrats would vote "present" on the motion to vacate, thus causing it to fail and permitting McCarthy to remain Speaker.

This time, Scarborough seems to have forgotten that in 1997, as a firebrand conservative congressman, Scarborough was part of a failed coup to remove Newt Gingrich as Speaker. And how would such a coup have been carried out?

As per the Daily Beast:

"The plan, backed by newer lawmakers such as Joe Scarborough, was to force a vote on vacating the speaker’s chair."

In other words, although the number of votes needed was different, Scarborough wanted to remove a Speaker by using the same mechanism--a motion to vacate the Speaker's chair--by which McCarthy was removed yesterday! Troubling that Joe didn't seem to remember that when calling himself an "institutionalist!"

In the past, we have noted wife and co-host Mika's concern over Scarborough's mental state. At one point, Mika even gave poor Joe a two-week time out from the show, apparently to tend to his fragile frame of mind. Given his recurrent memory lapses starting to crop up, perhaps Mika might want to have her 60-year-old husband examined to see if he is suffering from a not-so-early onset of something.

Bonus Coverage

  • Taking his inflated sense of self-importance to new heights, Scarborough bragged that he had "warned a president or two, and incoming members of White House staffs in senior positions, that you need to understand that the most important relationship you can have is with the Minority Leader of the Senate."
  • Later, John Heilemann said that Gaetz had Kevin McCarthy's "political balls" in his pocket, after McCarthy had agreed to change the rules to permit a motion to vacate to be brought by just one congressman. Heilemann insisted that Republicans must "break" Gaetz, to prevent the same situation from arising again.
  • In his Bulwark column, Morning Joe regular Charlie Sykes didn't merely dance on McCarthy's political grave--he micturated on it, calling McCarthy "utterly and clownishly pathetic," and "particularly noisome" [i.e., having an extremely offensive smell.]

Joe Scarborough calling himself an "institutionalist" despite having been part of a failed coup against then Speaker Newt Gingrich was sponsored in part by Stanley Steemer and Abbott, maker of Ensure.

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:35 am EDT

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I've warned a president or two, and and incoming members of, of, of, White House staffs in senior positions. You need to understand: the most important relationship you can have is with the Minority Leader of the Senate. If you're a Republican and that minority leader is a Democrat, Or if you're a Democrat and that Minority Leader is a Republican, that's your most important relationship. 

. . . 

So, so Willie, there are a lot of reasons why Republicans and Democrats didn't trust Kevi McCarthy. Kevin Mccarthy last night had, had defenses for everything.

But you know, if you're a Democrat -- I will say, I am, I'm an institutionalist. There, there were moments yesterday when I said, man, I wish six, seven, eight Democrats would vote "present." Because what's happening to a Republican Speaker could happen to a Democratic Speaker. And you don't want to have one person be able to blow an entire institution up.

. . . 

WILLIE GEIST: John Heilemann, to David Drucker's point about getting the rules changed so this doesn't happen again. I guess the question is, why would Matt Gaetz and that group, why would they agree to a change, when that rule gives them all the power that they've been displaying for nine months?

In other words, whoever the next Speaker of the House is, may again face this same conundrum, which is that one member can raise the motion to vacate and therefore this tiny minority of the House of Representatives, eight or ten members of 435, wield all the power over the majority.

In other words, isn't this just going to potentially happen again to the next Speaker?

JOHN HEILEMANN: Well, it all depends, Willie, on whether anybody actually learns the lessons from Kevin McCarthy. I mean, whoever the next Speaker is cannot, if he expects to -- he or she expects to have a different fate than Kevin McCarthy, cannot allow -- be --capitulate completely to Matt Gaetz on this point.

This was the ultimate thing that showed that McCarthy would do whatever he -- anything. Had no limits of what he would throw away, was the agreement that this was the thing Gaetz wants.

Gaetz basically said to McCarthy, I want to have your political balls in my pocket. Please hand them over. Mccarthy did.

And that, if you do that, you know that eventually you're gonna get squeezed, right? And that's what happened to McCarthy throughout. The next Speaker has to say no to that. 

And if that means that a succession of speakers have to stand up and defy Matt Gaetz, he has to be broken. Gaetz has to be broken if the Republican party is going to be functional again.

It's not going -- it's still going to be the MAGA party largely. But you see people like Chip Roy, who literally was like calling out Gaetz late yesterday, launced an incredible screed, kind of challenging him to a fistfight!

It's like, that's what the Republican party needs. They have to break -- the Matt, the hold of Matt Gaetz and these eight terrorists on their own caucus. If they don't do that, this cycle will play out again and again. And if that means for a period of time, they have to endure having no Speaker in order to get that, back toward a more normal order, then I think they have to make that compromise and live with that pain and point the finger at Gaetz, that he's the person who is causing this, and that caucus, what's causing the chaos that unfolds. It's the only way back.