Tuesday, April 05, 2011


I realize Joe Scarborough wrote this Politico op-ed sucking up to Donald Trump primarily because he wants Trump to throw some of his current ratings mojo Scarborough's way, but even beyond that motive the piece is a disgrace. You don't have to admire Ronald Reagan or even Sarah Palin -- I loathe both -- to see a difference between their C-student grasp of important facts and Trump's embrace of utter conspiratorial nonsense, either cynically or because he's as dumb an SOB as any mouth-breathing World Net Daily reader. Yet Scarborough writes about Trump as if he's just the tonic our political culture needs:

Throughout his remarkable political career, elites regularly treated former President Ronald Reagan as though he were a badly told political joke.

Reagan rankled the sensibilities of the polite political crowd when he fought the transfer of the Panama Canal during his 1976 campaign for president: "We bought it, we paid for it, it is sovereign U.S. territory, and we should keep it."

That position simultaneously horrified the foreign policy community and revived the former governor’s political fortunes.

A decade later, Reagan's support for a missile defense shield was ridiculed as science fiction, even as it brought Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's negotiators to their knees.

Presidential biographer Richard Reeves wrote that throughout Reagan’s political career, he "was dismissed as a lightweight with no strategy." It was a misperception that the former actor exploited time and again.

...anyone who believes political commentators' scorn for Trump will keep him from winning the Republican nomination need only read the nasty things Washington's wise men said about Reagan in 1979.

That is not to say that Trump is Reagan. He is not. But he isn't Palin either. That means a run by the New York billionaire would shake up politics in a way not seen since Ross Perot sought the nation's highest office in 1992.

Yes, that's just wonderful -- Trump thinks Obama was born in Kenya and believes (as Roy Edroso reminds us) that Bill Ayers wrote Dreams from My Father -- and all Scarborough can say is that what Trump's saying is a welcome gob in the eye of hoity-toity status quo defenders who deserve it.

I look forward to future Scarborough articles arguing that it would be a welcome challenge to snooty elite opinion if a Holocaust denier were a finalist for chancellor of the New York public schools, or if the next president's shortlist for head of the Centers for Disease Control included someone who thinks sex with virgin cures AIDS.

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