During the Tuesday broadcast of Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough claimed “climate alarmists” are denying science by opposing the extension of the Keystone oil pipeline. Scarborough made this statement during a panel discussion with former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), now the head of the Heritage Foundation, and Democratic strategist James Carville. It appeared that Joe was trying to flip the script on the left by using the term “science denialism,” considering the GOP is routinely attacked over its members claiming climate change is a hoax or not caused by man.
The segment was supposed to be about President Obama’s budget and what will or won’t be changed in it by Republicans in Congress. However, it became clear early on that Scarborough was going to team up with DeMint and attack Democrats over Social Security, MediCare, supposed rising deficits and Keystone XL. Earlier in the show, Scarborough had already set the narrative of the day by saying deficits will start ballooning and the President needs to “attack entitlements.” With DeMint sitting with him, it became a tag-team effort.
After an agonizing few minutes of pushing the right-wing mantra of austerity and crushing debt, Scarborough eventually moved on to another favorite pet project of the right, the Keystone XL pipeline. Joe started by complaining about the “lefties” in the Democratic Party who take it “to the extreme” when they should be worried about working-class voters. Carville countered that you can be concerned with science and the working-class and that “you don’t have to be stupid to appeal to working class voters.” The Morning Joe host responded to Carville with the following:
“I’m not suggesting you do. But at the same time when you get the AFL/CIO against you, when you get Teamsters against you because you take extreme positions on pipelines that actually make the environment safer, that’s denying science for your ideological left-wing fundraisers.”
Yes, you read that right. Even though we’ve seen a recent oil spill from a pipeline in Montana, and dozens of others over the past few years, Scarborough is still making the claim that the pipeline extension will make the environment better while claiming that the left-wing is full of science denialists. That is rich.
Thankfully, Carville decided to attack him where it really hurts for Scarborough. After Joe’s statement, the strategist pointed out that in the end, the “number one Republican economic program” would only create 35 permanent jobs, thus taking away Joe’s argument that the pipeline is needed for working-class people. At the end of the segment, Joe pivoted back to climate change, claiming he believes it is real, and they just need to find a policy solution that works. This was likely a way for him to try to insulate himself from impending criticism over his asinine remarks about anti-science “lefties.”
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
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).