Throughout Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough, along with a number of other MSNBC personalities, blamed the overall dysfunction of Washington for the House GOP’s failure to pass a border crisis spending bill. The bill, which was tabled by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday when it became apparent he didn’t have the votes for it to pass, offers a fraction of the funding that the President requested weeks ago and basically only assists with quicker deportations of those detained at the border. Boehner also planned on another vote for the House floor that would have stripped funding for DACA. That did not materialize because it was tied to the emergency funding bill.
In typical false equivalency mode, Scarborough provided cover for Republicans by blaming both sides for the GOP’s complete and total inability to do even the simplest of things. Scarborough constantly pointed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) and claimed he is the one that prevented Republicans from passing this bill due to his actions in the past few days regarding the Senate bill that would address the border crisis. Joe claimed that because Reid was looking to get elements of the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate more than a year ago added to any emergency funding legislation, some House Republicans decided it wasn’t worth voting on any bill that was brought up in the House.
Below is video of Scarborough constantly playing the false equivalency card, courtesy of MSNBC:
At least during this segment, The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein was around to throw a little water on Scarborough’s claims. Stein thankfully pointed out Boehner’s contradicting statements about President Obama and his use of executive actions and also reiterated that the House wasn’t able to pass even the smallest and simplest of border spending bills, regardless of what Reid planned to do in the Senate. However, Scarborough was able to get further validation for his ‘both sides do it’ argument when MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt came on and essentially agreed with Joe.
‘Both sides are to blame’ was the running theme throughout the show. While talking to former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Scarborough was able to get Rendell to play along and say multiple times that both Democrats and Republicans share the blame for this particular situation. However, it really went into overload when both Chuck Todd and David Gregory showed up. The unholy triumvirate of Todd, Gregory and Scarborough created a black hole of false equivalence that offered no escape.
Below is video of this segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
Todd used his time to claim that Democrats had absolutely nothing to run on before Republicans shot themselves in the foot by voting to sue the President and then failing to pass even a bare-bones border bill. The basic gist of Todd’s argument is that Democrats had no accomplishments whatsoever to campaign on ahead of the midterm elections. It is only because Republicans did damage to themselves do Democrats have a chance to hold onto the Senate and maybe grab seats in the House. Meanwhile, Gregory kept his wishy-washy image intact by saying that it is all about the elections and that Democrats really aren’t interested in substance or meeting the challenges that the country faces. Instead, this is just how politics is done in Washington, essentially playing the ‘both sides’ game.
Overall, even though we’ve seen time and time again that Republicans are almost exclusively to blame for the current inaction in Washington, due to the party’s hard-swing to the right and their unending hatred of the President, compliant member of the mainstream media are there to provide cover for them with the American public. Guys like Scarborough, Gregory and Todd, along with other like Andrea Mitchell, Wolf Blitzer and John King, are constantly reminding their viewers that Democrats and President Obama are just as much to blame for the atmosphere on Capitol Hill.
The GOP gets a free pass when it comes to not moving on comprehensive immigration reform, infrastructure and/or jobs bills, minimum wage, equal pay or dozens of other legislative actions that can be taken right now. Instead, the MSM just figures that it is perfectly OK for them to never compromise or work with the President and that it is his audacity to actually exist that causes Republicans to act this way.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).