From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
Hey, Everybody, It’s Not Okay to Denounce Trump Anymore!
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, back on February 29:
Donald Trump’s failure to explicitly disavow the Ku Klux Klan and former Grand Wizard David Duke is “disqualifying,” Joe Scarborough declared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday.
“It’s breathtaking. That is disqualifying right there. To say you don’t know about the Ku Klux Klan? You don’t know about David Duke?” the co-host said during the opening segment of the show after remarking upon Trump’s feigned ignorance of the group and Duke during an interview with CNN on Sunday, two days after he explicitly disavowed the group in a news conference.
The “most stunning thing” about the latest development, said Scarborough, a southerner himself, is that the latest maneuver “isn’t buying him a single vote.”
“I mean is he really so stupid that he thinks Southerners aren’t offended by the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke? Is he really so ignorant of Southern voters that he thinks this is the way to their heart — to go neutral, to play Switzerland when you’re talking about the Klan?” Scarborough asked. “And to say he doesn’t know enough information about the Klan to condemn them — exactly what does Donald Trump expect to learn in the next 24 hours about the Klan.”
Scarborough also wrote that day:
Why would the same man who claims to have “the world’s greatest memory” say “I don’t know anything about David Duke” just two days after he condemned the former Klansman in a nationally televised press conference? And with that amazing memory, how could Donald Trump have forgotten that he himself refused to run for president as a Reform Party nominee in 2000 because “Klansman” David Duke was a member of that same party?
These are questions that have no good answers for a Republican Party on the verge of nominating a man who sounds more like a Dixiecrat from the 1950s than the kind of nominee the GOP needs four years after losing Hispanics by 44 percent, Asian Americans by 47 percent and black Americans by 87 percent.
Sunday’s distressing performance is just the latest in a string of incidents that suggest to critics that Donald Trump is using bigotry to fuel his controversial campaign…
The harsher reality is that the next GOP nominee will be a man who refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan and one of its most infamous grand wizards when telling the ugly truth wouldn’t have cost him a single vote.
So is this how the party of Abraham Lincoln dies?
One month later, and Joe Scarborough is a lot madder at conservative critics of Trump than the candidate himself – even though the arguments mirror the ones the MSNBC host made back at the end of February. He writes this morning:
Actually, what is most astonishing is the rising level of rage among Trump’s political enemies from inside the Republican establishment. Many of my conservative friends are sounding as arrogant and unmoored as left-wing pundits let loose on MSNBC during the Bush years.
Suggesting that faithful Christians and life-long conservatives like my brother cannot support Trump while believing in Jesus is offensive enough. But denigrating millions of working-class Americans let down by a quarter century of Bush-Clinton rule as drug addicts or white supremacists is even more destructive to the conservative cause.
See, when Scarborough denounces Trump for sounding like a “Dixiecrat from the 1950s” or “running on bigotry”, it’s different.
The conservative movement, the Republican Party and our constitutional republic will survive Donald Trump’s candidacy. Maybe it’s best to hold off on the political purges for now and believe, like Reagan, that our best days just may lie ahead.
Wait, a month ago, this was how the Party of Reagan died, and now it’s time to hold off on a purge, the GOP will survive?