Joe Scarborough was concern-trolling his own party this morning:
The National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre is out with an op-ed in The Daily Caller -- and Joe Scarborough minced no words when expressing his dislike for it during this morning's show. Hitting LaPierre for "racial overtones," the Morning Joe host went on to call out the "shameful" GOP for "blindly" following him....But Scarborough is missing the point. Sure, LaPierre makes unhinged, racially charged statements -- but at the same time that nice, affable Marco Rubio does the Republican State of the Union response, then jokes about his water consumption, which may not win over non-white voters but has an excellent chance of reassuring moderate white swing voters.
Scarborough exploded, citing LaPierre's arguments about the "terrible people in Brooklyn" and "Hispanic gangs."
...Given that the party is trying to gain ground with Hispanic voters, Scarborough questioned why they're "blindly following" LaPierre, whose latest op-ed is "racially tinged" and "very suggestive."
Speak out against him, he said. Walk away from him....
Republicans have long been very good at presenting multiple faces to the public. Members of the public -- except in presidential and Senate elections -- have not held the words of deeds of Republicans they didn't like against the Republicans they do like. Republicans still control the House of Representatives. At the gubernatorial and legislative level, Republicans control far more states than Democrats do. Nobody in New Jersey will refuse to vote for Chris Christie next fall because Wayne LaPierre is crazy or racist.
Brand proliferation -- GOP Inc. peddling different message products to different market segments -- generally works just fine. Right now it's working to block Obama appointees -- establishment figures are filibustering Chuck Hagel because of alleged inadequate fealty to Bush/Cheney/neocon interventionist ideas, while Rand Paul is putting a hold on John Brennan out of anti-interventionist, isolation concerns about drones. (And then, coming from the opposite direction, we have interventionists of the crazy, seemingly marginal variety -- World Net Daily, Glenn Beck, Bryan Fischer, Jerry Boykin -- floating rumors that Brennan is excessively sympathetic to Islam or is actually a secret Muslim convert. That's extremely useful to the GOP -- it keeps the rabid base fired up, it adds to the pile-on on the Obama administration, but it's so far below the radar that the mainstream media will never call the perpetrators out for it.)
LaPierre is doing little if any damage to the GOP brand. The notion that every Republican is responsible for any crazy thing a right-winger says has never, ever taken root -- even though the mirror-image notion, that the most extreme lefties are inextricably linked to Democrats, is well established among members of the right-wing base. So relax, Joe Scar -- LaPierre won't keep Marco out of the White House.