Morning Joe mounts unconvincing defense of Kay Hagan for missing ISIS hearings

In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is under attack from GOP Senate candidate Thom Tillis over her decision to attend a private fundraising event in New York rather than to take her place at an Armed Services Committee hearing on the Islamic State, and the hosts of Morning Joe have no idea why.

In fact, to hear it from the hosts of MSNBC’s flagship morning show, most committee hearings are a perfect waste of time and those who are subjected to them – like former Florida Congressman Joe Scarborough — are the true victims.

“I feel like asking people, ‘have you ever been to a hearing?’” Scarborough asked with mock indignation after noting that Tillis and Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) are both castigating their Democratic opponents for failing to attend hearings relating to the threat to American national security posed by the group ISIS – an organization with which the U.S. is presently at war.

He proceeded to adopt a Southern accent and droll on in a monotone fashion mocking the language used during a committee markup hearing. It is telling that he did not use language associated with a committee hearing on matters relating to American national security; it would have been far less dry and likely would have contradicted the tortured point he was attempting to make.

“If my member of Congress went to every hearing, I would, like, I would vote them out,” Scarborough continued, reaching with childlike dramatics to demonstrate just how absurd it is for members of Congress to take their role as defenders of the public and the constitution seriously. “This is just a cheap shot,” he continued.

Another MSNBC panel guest, Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, determined that the real offense here is that Congress refused to vote to authorize the president’s war in the Middle East – despite the fact that Obama has submitted no language on the nature, scale, or duration of the mission. The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein went a step further and indicted the whole damn system for making Kay Hagan attend a fundraiser in the first place.

They protest far too much.

“These things don’t work,” Scarborough said of the attacks on Democrats for failing to treat matters relating to national security with the seriousness they deserve. “How do I know? I know from experience. They don’t work. They were tried on me.”

Scarborough, who served in Congress from 1995 to September 5, 2001, managed to serve in the bubble that Francis Fukuyama called The End of History. Regrettably, history returned with a vengeance less than a week after Scarborough left office, and Americans have expected more from their elected representatives ever since.

Furthermore, if Scarborough & Co. had read up a bit on how seriously Democrats are treating these attacks on Hagan, he may not been so flippant.

“The Feb. 2, 2014 classified ISIS hearing she missed adds to a long list of Armed Services Committee hearings Hagan has already acknowledged skipping,” CNN reported on Thursday. “Her aides had previously explained she missed 27 of 49 public hearings over the last two years because of scheduling conflicts with other Senate business, such as hearings for different committees and meetings with North Carolina constituents.”

CNN also revealed that Beltway Democrats are not listening to Scarborough’s dismissive gut instincts and are, instead, actually polling on this matter. It seems that they don’t like what they are finding.

“Democratic campaign operatives in Washington, who are already battling headwinds in their effort to keep the Senate in Democratic control, conducted private polling on the question so they could fully understand its impact,” the report continued. “The results showed the issue is very potent and could damage even seasoned candidates.”

You might be surprised to learn that the hosts of an MSNBC show shot, once again, from the hip without requisite factual understanding of the matters they were mocking with such unearned superiority. It’s such a rare occurrence, and I’m sure you need to sit down lest you succumb to shock.

If all it takes to host a cable news morning show is to trust your instincts and your 15-year-old experiences, and eschew actually researching subjects in order to better inform your viewing audience, then sign me up. It sounds like nice work, for those who can get it.