“You’re ranting,” DCCC chair Rep. Sean Maloney says in an attempt to rebuke Joe Scarborough, but it only made the host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe angrier. Scarborough wanted to know how House Democrats planned to defend their razor-thin majority in the midterms next year while progressives keep pushing socialism and “Defund the Police” messaging — which led to unexpected losses last year. Scarborough argued that those messages never got toned down or contextualized effectively — and that he sees the same disaster unfolding already.
“My argument is what are you doing about racial justice?” Maloney responded in an attempt to set up DCC strategy in 2022. “Our party is going to do something about it,” Maloney said, which Scarborough argued would play right into the hands of the GOP:
Joe Scarborough blasts Democrats for embracing socialism.
"You did such a poor job of answering socialism questions." pic.twitter.com/vqCasPQFCx
— Jonathan Turcotte (@Turcotte_JPT) April 16, 2021
“It’s not the question that I’m asking, it’s the question that Republicans will continue to ask, do Democrats support defunding the police?” Scarborough asked.
Maloney responded by saying the host was “repeating Republican talking points.”
“The answer is no,” Maloney responded. “And you are asking the question and you’re repeating a Republican talking point for reasons I don’t know.”
“I’ll tell you why I’m repeating it: because you all did such a damn poor job of answering that, such a poor job of answering socialism questions, such a poor job of answering cancel culture questions,” Scarborough said, raising his voice.
“That’s why I’m repeating it, because if you believe [House Republican Leader] Kevin McCarthy should be Speaker of the House, keep pretending that none of that happened, and keep saying that the House did a good job in 2020 because they did not, House Democrats did a poor job. So my question is, are you going into 2022 with eyes wide open?”
The answer is: clearly not. Maloney looks a bit shell-shocked behind his mask. House Democrats ran on “racial justice” in 2020, too, thinking it was a winning message in the aftermath of the George Floyd event in Minneapolis. Instead of scoring big in an election where their party won the White House, Democrats became the first party in modern American history to lose seats while defeating an incumbent president. The suburban seats they won in 2018 disappeared, and Hispanic voters in particular deserted them.
It doesn’t take divination to see how little that lesson sunk into Democratic consciousness. House Democrats have spent their first few months of this session pushing radical agenda items like court-packing, the federalization of elections, massive tax-and-spend policies, and cheering on Defund the Police efforts. Scarborough sees the backlash they are courting with this embrace of socialism and radical deconstruction of institutions like federalism and the Supreme Court, especially in an election cycle that traditionally works against the governing party. Scarborough is frustrated that Democratic leadership can’t see it, and likely won’t until it is far too late.