Breaking news from the who-the-hell-cares department, but MSNBC token Republican Joe Scarborough, of the Morning Joe show, has left the Republican Party. . . I’m shocked, shocked I say!
Actually I really was shocked. I thought Scarborough left the Republicans years ago. He didn’t vote for the Republican nominee not just last year, in 2016, but the last go around, in 2012. If you never vote for Republicans, on what basis do you call yourself one? Well maybe he was an “MSNBC Republican.” If someone’s primary political issue is gun control and their most hated senator is Texas Senator Ted Cruz, you are either Senator Diane Feinstein or… “Conservative” MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. But Joe’s left leaning positions aren’t new. I used to think Joe was trying to just keep his job. MSNBC did fire Pat Buchanan for driving while conservative, so I figured, if you like those nice paychecks, you have to sing their tune.
When the network takes an editorial position, they can count on Joe to follow along loyally. The key to that is to join, or as is often the case, lead, the mob. Joe is the first one to pick up the torch and pitchfork and begin to emote, throwing logic and reason to the wind and just feel. He did it with Newtown, with Joe calling for tight gun control regulations (they did this daily on the show for almost 6 months after the shooting). If there is any incident that generates a purely emotional mob response Joe is there for it.
The Gabby Giffords shooting? He was there to warn the right to stop targeting innocent lefty politicians. He joined in blaming Palin and the Tea Party for the shooting.
Trayvon Martin? He joined the network in emoting about tea and skittles over and over again, even while his network was editing 911 calls from the shooting.
Ground Zero Mosque? He demanded that be built too.
So the reason why Joe Scarborough can make it on MSNBC as a Republican is because he has been a faithful team player. But now that he’s come out of the closet, he doesn’t need that. It turns out that he can now to be free to be himself: A confused guy undergoing a mid-life crisis. How else to explain first the affair, then divorce, and now engagement to co-host Mika Brzezinski? And now a ridiculous “music” career, including Manhattan gigs and music videos. Videos mind you, that he, without the least bit of shame, airs on his show.
As for Joe’s affair and divorce, each marriage is a mystery, so maybe I shouldn’t judge that, but I feel perfectly free to judge falling into the arms of Brzezinski. Without claiming any psychic powers, I can tell you that on his deathbed he’ll regard his affair and engagement to Brzezinski as his biggest mistake (assuming he didn’t kill that intern in his office in Pensacola).
And yet I’ve been a long time viewer to Morning Joe. For all the flaws of its hosts, it’s been different than any other dull and dumbed down morning show. It’s provided some drama, such as when Mika and Joe got into a fight when she called him a chauvinist (I didn’t know at the time it was flirtation), and Yuval Levin discussing the Burkean and Paine traditions of American political thought. You can’t get that on the Today Show. And Joe Scarborough did great work in eviscerating Paul Krugman on a debate on the Charlie Rose Show. It’s always entertaining when a University of Alabama grad, ex-Politician, and TV host, gets the better of a New York Times columnist and Professor of Economics in his own field.
So while I’ve enjoyed the longer conversational style aspects of Morning Joe; the show’s #nevertrump descent into pure snarkfest had ruined what was formerly a useful show, and turned it into a 3 hour morning long Cobert Show, only without the attempts at humor, all the while the main host acts out his mid-life crisis on live TV.
But as Joe pursues establishment approval that will never come, no matter how much he debases himself, he won’t be missed on the right, even if he takes all 12 or “Joe Scarborough Republicans” with him.
So bye Joe.
But, do we get anything in trade? If we’re trading Joe to the left, does the left have anything to offer us? Well as a matter of fact…
You may not have heard of Laci Green, particularly if you’re over thirty and don’t follow Social Justice Warrior intersectional feminism (and who does?) but in the world of YouTube, she’s a big star. Her feminist blogger YouTube channel has a million and a half subscribers and 146 million views. That’s a big audience for a lot of feminist yammering about Planned Parenthood and pansexuality. But then something weird happened earlier this year…
Suddenly Laci was talking about meeting some anti-feminist video bloggers and listening to different perspectives. “Listening to different perspectives” is exactly the opposite of what’s typical on the left these days, and particularly among the SJW set. Why oh why would she suddenly be interested in “different perspectives” that run counter to not just her world view and politics, but her business model?
You guessed it, she met a guy. And the guy she met is an anti-feminist you tuber who goes by the name of Chris Ray Gun. If you were a publicist, you could hardly craft a better Romeo & Juliet storyline. The MTV movie practically writes itself. In the world of you tube, Chris Ray Gun is a much smaller commodity than Laci Green is, but at almost half a million subscribers, he’s still a pretty big deal. But Chris shows no signs of reconsidering intersectional feminism, Laci is the one with her worldview shattered.
But that shattering is a long term process and as Laci struggles to deal with other perspectives on feminism than the ones she picked up at Berkeley, she’s dealing with the blowback of rethinking her worldview. One can’t predict where that will lead. With Joe Scarborough, once he began the process of status seeking among the establishment, the conversion was only going to go one way. But a move to the right is a different story. That’s usually with the understanding that, as Whitaker Chambers thought, that it’s a defection to a losing side. And you lose everything else as well, your old friends and your old, respected position. In Laci Green’s case, it could cost her a business. So the process of conversion isn’t assured. On the other hand, trading Joe Scarborough; for even a feminist who is willing to have a conversation; is more than a fair trade in my opinion.