Morning Joe has its moments of lucidity, rather like an MSNBC version of Megyn Kelly, but Joe jumped the shark this morning by claiming that you can’t say Trump supported either the Iraq War or the Libya intervention, even though Joe said in May that Trump was “very clearly in favor of the Libya invasion.”
Why is Joe saying this now, when Trump clearly supported both? We can’t access his motivation, but we can say it’s a clouded bit of thinking going on behind Joe’s noggin: Trump “literally took all sides. So you can’t say he was for the war. You can’t say he was against the war. He was all over the place.”
Watch his convoluted thinking courtesy of Media Matters for America:
WILLIE GEIST (CO-HOST): The core of [Donald Trump’s] deportation policy has been effectively touchback amnesty, which means you send everybody out and then the people, even though they broke the law, “the good ones,” as he’s saying, get to come back in. A lot of people, conservatives in particular, are against that. Last night Kellyanne Conway was asked about touchback amnesty and she said, “There is no touchback.” Well that’s the core of his entire — so my point is we don’t know exactly know what his policy is on immigration.
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): That’s why [the Hillary Clinton campaign] go[es] with erratic. That’s why when you have people writing these articles saying, “Trump was for the war in Iraq,” or “Trump was against the war in Iraq.” Or “Trump was never” — I just sit there. What are you talking about? He took, he literally took all sides. So you can’t say he was for the war. You can’t say he was against the war. He was all over the place. It’s the same thing with Libya. You can’t say he was for the Libyan invasion. He was against the Libyan invasion. He was all over the place. He said he was against it. You’ve got the Instagram where he’s being, he said, “Hey, let’s go in. This is going to be easy.” And so I would — for the Clinton campaign, I understand. It’s hard to figure out exactly what his position is. It’s the same thing right now with immigration. Where does he stand? Everybody jumped on this softening line. But everything I saw from there last night suggests no change. That’s what Kellyanne Conway said last night.
So apparently, if you say a lot of different things, you’re not responsible for anything you said. That’s a neat trick. Try that in court someday. But that’s what Joe is selling. The facts, however, are public record and not open to debate. As Media Matters explains,
In fact, Trump clearly stated in 2002 and 2003 before the war started that he supported the invasion of Iraq, and there is no evidence of him opposing the war publicly until 2004. Trump was also consistent in his public support for the Libyan intervention right before and as it occurred in 2011.
This is some real sleight of hand here, because Hillary Clinton is always held up to blame for supporting the Iraq War. She apologized for that decision later (Trump has never apologized for his because he won’t admit it happened). So Hillary is still to blame, somehow, but Trump is not.
A lesson for future American politics: Trump has somehow pulled off a fix for the “Which Mitch” Conundrum. Romney could never shake off the quite accurate accusation of flip-flopping, but Trump gets away with it on a daily basis, now aided and abetted by Joe Scarborough.
A note to Joe: Lying about everything you say does not grant you immunity from accountability for what you say.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.