Joe Scarborough's shameless man-crush on Trump has turned the best show on cable television into a completely unwatchable and embarrassing mess. As an early riser, it used to be part of my daily routine to turn on Morning Joe and let the sounds of Joe, Mika, and panel permeate my apartment as I got ready for the day. If I ever overslept, I listened to the podcast on the way to work. It's been months since I've found the show watchable at all, and Joe and Mika's open shilling for Trump is the direct cause.
We've covered the extent to which Scarborough's admiration for Trump has clearly blurred whatever lines of journalistic ethics might have once existed on the set of Morning Joe pretty extensively here before, from their agreement not to ask Trump difficult questions during his Townhall to (allegedly) watching the New Hampshire returns in his hotel room.
You would have thought that, like most other Trump supporters, literally nothing could dissuade Scarborough from basically defending everything Trump says. However, it appears that playing footsie with the KKK is a bridge too far, even for Scarborough.
They weren’t hard questions to answer.
“Do you condemn David Duke? And the Ku Klux Klan?”
A simple “yes” would have worked. But on Sunday, Donald Trump swatted away the easy answers and instead feigned ignorance about the KKK and its most infamous Grand Wizard. The Republican frontrunner’s failure to provide what should have been a simple answer has raised even more disturbing questions about the man who is on course to lock down the GOP’s nomination for president.
The first question is why would Trump pretend to be so ignorant of American history that he refused to pass judgment on the Ku Klux Klan before receiving additional information? What kind of facts could possibly mitigate a century of sins committed by a violent hate group whose racist crimes terrorized Americans and placed a shameful blot on this nation’s history?
Why would the same man who claims to have “the world’s greatest memory”say “I don’t know anything about David Duke” just two days after he condemned the former Klansman in a nationally televised press conference? And with that amazing memory, how could Donald Trump have forgotten that he himself refused to run for president as a Reform Party nominee in 2000 because “Klansman” David Duke was a member of that same party?
Read, as they say, the whole thing. Scarborough is apparently just now coming along to what virtually the rest of the world has been saying this entire time - that Trump is openly courting white supremacist voters on purpose. I don't know for sure if Trump is one himself (although it would not surprise me to learn that he was), but he knows good and well what he is doing with his repeated retweets of white supremacists and regular dog whistles to their signature issues.
The truly disturbing thing, which Scarborough won't say, is that Trump must surely already know that he has virtually all these people locked down already. Nothing he says can make them go away now. And yet he still can't make himself say that he opposes them on national TV, when doing so would be the easiest thing in the world to improve his chances of victory.
That lends creedence to the idea that Donald Trump isn't just actively courting the white supremacists for political reasons (which is obviously 100% true at this point) but also that he really is one of them.