During the 2012 campaign, Joe Scarborough tried to play the role of the Last Reasonable Republican. He denounced Rush Limbaugh and other Republicans who set out to wage a culture war over contraception. He chided Todd Akin for his remarks about rape. He distanced himself from the things Mitt Romney said about the "47%." He tut-tutted after the election, when Romney said that the voters who chose Barack Obama did so because they liked "gifts."
So now that Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge is coming under fire, where does Reasonable Joe Scarborough stand?
He stands with Norquist:
... Scarborough said, "Grover's power doesn't come from Grover." He's selling an idea that people have already bought into, he argued....There you have it: According to Joe Scarborough, Grover Norquist's insistence that it would be unconscionable to raise the tax rate of hedge-fund billionaires, the Walmart heirs, Paris Hilton, and Mitt Romney is popular, mainstream, and centrist. Who cares that the polls say Americans don't agree? Joe Scarborough, the Last Reasonable Man, the man who's the self-appointed arbiter of when his fellow Republicans have crossed the line, says that this plutocrat/scion protection plan doesn't cross the line. It's moderate! It's centrist!
"The only reason why Grover has any power is because he chose an issue that guys like me believe in anyway," Scarborough said....
At the end of the segment, he answered the question that led the discussion: Is Grover over?
"Grover is over when Americans think they aren't taxed enough," Scarborough said. “That's when Grover's over."
This is why Republicans won't back away from the pledge. Some of them know that the culture-war stuff and the birtherism and the creationism are a bit too much. But they think this isn't too much. They think this is where they need to retreat to, not from, if they want to win back the public. They still don't get it.
(Scarborough on Norquist via Memeorandum.)