Joe Scarborough: I totally called that Cain would be an embarrassment

posted at 3:05 pm on November 15, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Joe Scarborough is growing increasingly frustrated. What he predicts nearly always comes to pass, he says, but, when he’s saying it, nobody believes it — and he’s tired of it. He’s been calling Herman Cain out as a weak candidate for weeks — but it’s only now, after Cain failed to answer a predictable question about the U.S.’ involvement in Libya and an even more predictable question about his position on collective bargaining for public employees, that conservatives grant Scarborough any credence for his position. This morning on “Morning Joe,” Scarborough vented his exasperation in no uncertain terms:

“The thing is, when I started criticizing Herman Cain early on, of course all the right-wingers started attacking me,” Scarborough said, citing defenders of Cain among conservative bloggers and commentators. …

“You know, I was embarrassed about this weeks ago,” he continued. “I was embarrassed that Herman Cain was the standard bearer for the Republican Party. That man that can’t answer a basic question about foreign policy is the standard bearer for my party and that embarrasses me. That didn’t embarrass a lot of people a couple of weeks ago when they should have been embarrassed. Guess what, I think they are embarrassed now.” …

“Mika, I don’t mean to underline this, but you have been sitting here for four years as I have said things about Republicans and then I have been bashed by the far right for telling the truth about weak Republican candidates and then what I say happens,” he said. “And I hate to say, ‘Look, look,’ but this happens too much — so much that I’m just getting really tired of it. Four years later my conservative credentials being questioned because I tell the truth about somebody before the rest of the world tells the truth about somebody.”

Here’s what is important to note about this: We have the entire primary season for this very reason — to see the candidates in their entirety, not just under the lights of the debate stage, not just in the midst of their own campaign events, not just at the seat of the editorial board. No sense in growing upset when someone doesn’t see what you saw right away: Some other situation will reveal it again. Until the GOP selects its nominee — and even after that — the discussion will continue, with constant accusations of RINO thrown. But, at some point, it softens the whole experience to start to trust fellow conservatives, to begin from the assumption that everybody wants what’s best for the country and is seeking the candidate who will fight for that.

Everybody wants to have a candidate. It makes the race more fun to follow, just as a football game is generally more fun to watch when your favorite team is playing. But, in seeking a candidate, we have to be careful not to ignore the weaknesses of those we like and equally careful not to magnify the weaknesses of the other candidates. Best to just let the primary play out. Excited Newt Gingrich is now at the top? Despondent that Herman Cain has stumbled? Wishing Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann would pick back up? Agreeing with Glenn Beck that Rick Santorum is another George Washington when what we need is Abe Lincoln? Never forget the wise man’s motto: This too shall pass away. Better not live and die by this stuff because next week it’ll all be different anyway.

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