Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Unreasonable reasonable Republicans

By Frank Moraes 

(Ed. note: See also Chait's follow-up, after Scarborough threw a tantrum at him yesterday morning, "Joe Scarborough Hates Moms, PowerPoint." -- MJWS)

Do you know who is a real Reasonable Republican? Joe Scarborough. And that pretty much explains why the search for the lauded Reasonable Republican is such a foolish errand. When you find them, they simply have all the stupid policy prescriptions of other Republicans but don't think that rape victims ought to have to carry their pregnancies to term.

Of course, in Scarborough's case, since he isn't in office, his thinking has been heavily influenced the Very Serious People in Washington. This was fully on display a couple of weeks ago when Paul Krugman came on Morning Joe to discuss the economy. Scarborough just could not understand what Krugman was talking about. How could the budget deficit not be the most important issue facing the nation when everyone Joe knows thinks it is?!

You think I'm kidding? After the show, Scarborough took to Politico to write a column, "Paul Krugman Vs. the World." In it, he wrote: 

But maintaining calm was not as easy for Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass, who agrees with former Joint Chief chairman Michael Mullen, that longterm debt poses the greatest threat to America's national security.

In other words: "I've talked to other people who know nothing about economics and they agree with me!"

On Monday, Jonathan Chait took Scarborough to task for his most recent rant, "Wow, Joe Scarborough Doesn't Understand Economics at All." In this case, Scarborough was attacking Nancy Pelosi for saying two things that are, you know, facts. The first thing is that going forward, we don't have a Medicare problem, we have a health-care problem. Unless we get health-care costs under control, in a few decades, Medicare will be the least of our problems.

But the biggest thing that Scarborough did was good-old-fashioned Republican deception. He argued that Pelosi was saying that there is no spending problem. And that Eric Cantor is the reasonable one. The truth is exactly the opposite. Pelosi is claiming that we have to deal with our deficit problem through spending cuts and revenue increases. (I disagree with this conclusion, but that's her claim.) Eric Cantor is claiming that we only have a spending problem and that we must cut the deficit through spending cuts alone.

That's a Reasonable Republican for you! If a Democrat claims 0 and a Republican claims 10, split it right down the middle: 10. What's most telling about all of this Joe Scarborough nonsense over the last couple of weeks, is that no facts seem to be able to make it past his protective barrier. Now if only women had that same defense against rapists' sperm, the Republicans might have something. 

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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