“Politics and governing aren’t for the stupid or the fainthearted,” Joe Scarborough wrote in the preface of his book The Right Path. But is Harry Reid trying to prove him wrong on the former point? It depends on whether one considers Kochsteria a round of truth-telling, or just a desperation play to get Democratic donors into the mix. On yesterday’s Morning Joe, Scarborough dominated and dedicated a segment to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to call him a liar, equate him with “those cheap, dirty political consultants, and declare him “embarrassing.” The Blaze notes that his panel didn’t exactly rush to Reid’s defense, either:
Co-host Mika Brzezinski, and in-studio panelists Jim Vandehei of Politico, and “Morning Joe” regulars Willie Geist, and Katty Kay were silent for much of the segment, speaking only when called upon to join the uncomfortable conversation.
At the 7:00 point of the clip, Joe actually referred to the leader of the U.S. Senate by saying, “He’s like one of those cheap, dirty, political consultants you stay away from because they would embarrass you.”
Not a voice was raised to object to Scarborough’s argument.
The usually unapologetic Democratic supporter, Mika Brzezinski said nothing for most of the segment. In fact, it was 10 minutes into the clip before Mika finally shared her feelings on Reid’s relentless attack on the Koch brothers by saying, “I cringed watching it,” and then criticizing his comments’ “destructive tone.”
But what is the “bigger strategy” in play, and is it as “stupid” as Scarborough says? Michael Steele and Chuck Todd explain the strategy as a fundraiser and distraction in the next segment, and Todd tells the panel that he’s heard nothing from Democrats dissenting from Reid’s strategy. In the end, Scarborough just isn’t buying it, and even David Gregory acknowledges that demagoguery may be Democrats’ “only hope” in motivating their base and their donors:
If you want to hear Reid (accurately) described as “McCarthyite” on MSNBC, you’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning. Scarborough still isn’t impressed at the end of this explanation, suggesting that anyone backing this strategy might be too stupid to be trusted with household appliances. Perhaps voters will conclude that, at the least, they shouldn’t be trusted with control of the Senate.
As for turning the Kochs into Bain, let’s not forget that the Bain attacks didn’t do nearly as much damage as Mitt Romney’s “47%” comments, and Bain related directly to the Republican nominee. On top of that, Obama only eked by Romney as an incumbent President, with his massive GOTV organization the key difference. If nouveau-Bain really is the Democratic strategy in 2014, then Gregory’s right — they really are more desperate than we knew.
Besides, one has to wonder about this as a fundraising strategy. Are all of the wealthy donors on the Democratic side taking notes about the McCarthyism launched against their opponents, and perhaps wondering if certain precedents are being set in politics that might come back against them down the road? Because the more Democrats embrace Reid in his Kochsteria, the more likely Republicans are to return the favor when they take control of the Senate floor, and that’s not going to be good for anyone’s interests.