DeLay feeding frenzy (Joe Scarborough)
Lower the tank and drop in the political corpse of Tom Delay.
Democrats are whipping themselves into a frenzy — as are their allies in the press — over the impending political death of Tom DeLay. The Majority Leader is helping fan the flames by holding up rifles at NRA rallies while asking for more bullets.
But if you are scoring this one at home sports fans, expect to see a flurry of revelations coming out about the Democratic leaders in the coming days.
Even now we are learning that the very Democrats who are attacking DeLay for taking a foreign trip on a lobbyist's tab are themselves guilty of...you guessed it...taking foreign trips on lobbyists' tabs.
The media will slowly get around to reporting this fact but not in time to help DeLay.
The smear campaign has started, just like it did with Newt Gingrich. The Democrats and the media will keep throwing out any charge they can find even if the behavior attacked is legal, ethical, and practiced by other members in Congress.
A great example is what happened to DeLay's family a few weeks back when Americans were given the shocking news that Tom DeLay paid his wife and daughter for working on his campaign.
After the New York Times and other outlets howled to the high moon about the financial arrangement, breathless editorials slammed the Majority Leader and predicted his imminent demise.
A few days later, the Associated Press reported that many politicians on both sides of the aisle share the same arrangement with their family members.
But most Americans didn't read that story. Instead, they heard the first wave of DeLay attacks and read the editorials branding him as a political sleaze.
Now the same is happening with these foreign travel stories.
But do not fear.
The mainstream media will not let the facts get in the way of their anti-DeLay machine. You will keep reading stories as you did with Abu Ghraib, because it fits into the MSM's political agenda. And right now, their top priority is getting Tom DeLay.
The Majority Leader is no saint. But he lives in a town where his attackers live in large glass houses.
They need to watch out. Because the rocks are about to start flying, and before long, expect to see a full blown political war on Capitol Hill not witnessed since the ugly Impeachment battles of 1998.
If you want to read more from Joe Scarborough, check out 'Rome Wasn't Burnt In a Day'. See Joe each weeknight on MSNBC TV 10 p.m. ET.
The cardinals have spoken (Joe Scarborough)
"You" in this case would be the thousands of talking heads and scribes in the chattering classes who have said for weeks that Joseph Ratzinger was too old, too conservative, and too disliked to become the next pope.
That refrain was repeated ad naseum, and one commentator swore as late as Monday that the new pope had "kneecapped" too many church officials to ever get the votes needed to lead the church.
The cardinals' focus seemed to be less on what Andrew Sullivan or Christopher Hitchens thought of their work, and more on what God and the Holy Spirit wanted.
Now that the cardinals have proven the church's critics wrong regarding this election, let's wait and see if Pope Benedict XVI does the same thing with his papacy.
As Carl Berstein suggested last night on Scarborough Country, powerful appointments bring out interesting personality traits in people.
Just ask Dwight Eisenhower, who called the appointment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren "the biggest damn mistake of my presidency." The Republican governor of California was tapped to head the Supreme Court and became the most liberalizing force in the history of the court.
Or remember Nixon and China.
Only Nixon could have opened China, it was said. And perhaps only a Joseph Ratzinger can stare down all the challenges facing the Catholic Church.
God moves in mysterious ways. We will have to see which was the Holy Spirit moves this man of God and his remarkable church.
If you want to read more from Joe Scarborough, check out 'Rome Wasn't Burnt In a Day'. See Joe each weeknight on MSNBC TV 10 p.m. ET.
Killing won't make headlines (Joe Scarborough)
What would happen if terrorists launched a killing spree and no one noticed?
That's the question the supporters of Zarqawi must have been asking themselves this week between Thursday massacres and Friday prayers.
Eighteen civilians were blown up yesterday and the world hardly noticed.
Suicide bombings. How 2004.
Like a stale rerun, terror outfits are shooting video of an American contractor begging for his life. But for the terrible personal tragedy of the situation, this senseless crime will have no political impact but to further convince American citizens that the enemies we are fighting in Iraq are subhuman beasts who deserve killing.
Who is running the terrorist's public relations campaign these days?
Kidnappings, beheadings, car bombings are nothing more than sound and fury signifying nothing.
What do these terrorists take Bush for? An Italian PM?
He will not be blackmailed. He will not give in. In fact, he will only be helped by further terror attacks and civilian murders.
With every new terror strike, George W. Bush only grows stronger.
His enemies are vanquished. Michael Moore and the New York Times editorial page are historically irrelevant. The Democratic Party is in disarray. George Soros is busy planning ways to waste millions of his fortune on Hillary's 2008 loss.
The terrorists may still be killing a handful of Iraqi civilians. But all they are doing is strengthening their enemies in the United States and all of Iraq.
It is time for a new strategy. This killing thing just isn't making headlines anymore.
Revelations regarding the Left (Joe Scarborough)
A few days back I chronicled the left’s heated attacks on men and women of faith.
I noted how op-ed writers for the New York Times and other media elites bashed evangelical Christians, conservative Catholics, and Orthodox Jews.
You’ve read it before—Garry Wills comparing Christians to Osama Bin Laden and Maureen Dowd predicting the next dark ages because evangelicals voted for George Bush.
The Schiavo case and the death of Pope John Paul II only intensified the chattering class’s bigoted rhetoric.
Christopher Hitches, Air America, and a collection of “Moveon.org” types blamed the late Pope for Aids in Africa, genocide in Rwanda, and the oppression of millions in the Middle East.
Terri Schiavo, on the other hand, simply shouldered the blame for Barry Bonds, chicken weed and Michael Eisner.
This week has brought a new round of angry attacks centered upon—I kid you not—a fictional NBC miniseries called Revelations.
As usual, The New York Times’ Frank Rich weighed in with his Pavlovian response to the mere mentioning of the words “Jesus Christ’ thirty paces beyond a place of worship.
The talented New York Times Arts editor blasted the Christian-themed fictional series as anti-Semitic.
What an original charge.
Not to be outdone, Salon.com called the Christian series “the latest nugget in a hailstorm of fundamentalist invective.”
Maybe I am missing something but it seems that all the invective is coming from the left.
For a political set that has long preached tolerance and diversity, modern American liberals have neither for Christians who follow 2,000 years of teachings from the church.
As I explained in an earlier column, I suspect much of the anger is rooted in the mistaken belief that God died sometime after the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan and before Wavy Gravy took the stage at Woodstock.
From the end of Woodstock to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, most conservative Christians kept their mouths shut and surrendered politics and pop culture to the New Left.
That deafening silence began to break after the 1992 election of Bill Clinton. By 1994, Christians were actively demanding a say in their government.
The election of George W. Bush in 2000 further emboldened them.
With Washington under control, evangelicals and conservative Catholics set their sights on changing popular culture.
With the enormous success of the “Left Behind” book series and “The Passion of the Christ,” mainstream media outlets like NBC and CBS began looking for religious material to place in their prime time schedules.
But for many, the ascendancy of Orthodox Christianity is simply too much to take.
Like Christian activists before them, these left wing talking heads spend their days searching for every possible slight that will give them an opportunity to cry foul and launch a new blistering attack against the theocratic nut bar of the week.
This is all because many opinion leaders still cannot accept the fact that they had God buried in the 1960s, and somehow, someway, the Heavenly Houdini escaped his grave.
Now they are forced to endure an unenlightened age where rednecks and hayseeds like you and I believe that God is in his heaven.
I don’t know about you, but I am not trying to convert people by shoving them in my church. You won’t hear the next pope cite this doctrine but I often chant Saint John Lennon’s hymn “Whatever Gets You Through the Night.”
I have enough spiritual challenges of my own. I don’t need to tell you about yours.
However, after years of digesting mindless sitcoms and shallow plot lines on TV, my family and I should be able to sit back and watch a miniseries without being the target of childish insults from the mainstream media types.
Andrew Sullivan attacked me on his website today for explaining how the ascendancy of evangelical Christians was pushing elites into a mouth-foaming state. Sullivan accuses yours truly of saying Jesus was an anti-gay, pro-life Republican who supported George Bush.
I was also quoted under the subhead “Theocratic Watch.”
While the attack centered on the gay issue, and it always does with Sullivan, his snippy jab was, at the very least, intellectually dishonest.
Sullivan knows that most evangelicals read the teachings of Christ to promote life, discourage abortion, oppose gay marriage, and in America at least, vote Republican.
Democratic leaders like Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton have even begun admitting that their party has become too secularized and, in some cases, hostile to religion.
As one who blasts the GOP with the same frequency as I do the Democratic Party, I will not follow Andrew Sullivan’s rabbit trail. Though a discussion on why I believe Christ’s teachings lean Democratic in key areas will make an interesting column some day soon.
But for now, I will focus on what Sullivan always focuses on: gay marriage.
He is accurate to say that Jesus Christ never attacked gay relationships in the Gospels. That is left to Paul in Romans and to several Old Testament writers.
Christ instead spends much more of his energy attacking sinners like myself who went through a divorce and yes, Jimmy Carter, once looked upon women with lust in their eyes.
Why does Jesus similarly attack gossipers while remaining silent on gays?
But Sullivan’s suggestion that the same Jesus who preached that lusting after a woman is a damning offense would give gay sex a free pass seems suspect at best.
Still, as St. John sang, “Whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright, it’s alright.”
God will have the final word.
Until then, we will all have to endure bloggers.
If you want to read more from Joe Scarborough, check out
'Rome Wasn't Burnt In a Day'. See Joe each weeknight on MSNBC TV 10 p.m. ET.
Pope John Paul II: God is not dead (Joe Scarborough)
The world said goodbye today to a man already being hailed as John Paul the Great.The number of mourners at the funeral were epic. Many said it was the largest funeral in world history.
Across the world, a staggering two billion Christians watched as the greatest religious figure of our time was laid to rest.
And while millions were filling the streets of the Eternal City, some elites in Western newsrooms, on college campuses, and in Hollywood boardrooms were seething with contempt for the affection shown to this man of God.
Before he was even buried, a former Washington Post reporter blasted John Paul as "the Bully Pope," attacking him for being undemocratic, chavenistic, dogmatically dictatorial, and a man whose Christ-centered theology was "garbage."
Others, like Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens, went so far as to accuse the Pope of being the primary cause for the spread of Aids throughout Africa, the genocide in Rwanda, and the enslavement of millions across the Middle East.
The no-condoms-equals-Aids charge suggests that an African male who goes through scores of sexual partners each year is somehow shamed into refraining from wearing a condom because of the Holy See's teachings.
The argument is laughable.
But then again, no one ever suggested that these church-hating elites ever employed reason when launching polemics against Jesus Christ and his followers.
Understanding why these isolated creatures hate Jesus Christ's teachings so much is more important than ever because every few weeks it seems we are confronted with a national debate concerning Christianity and its impact on U.S. policy.
The mere name still elicits heated debates regarding life, death, law, politics, and domestic policy. But at its core, the Schiavo case launched a cultural war over two competing world views.
Christians found themselves pitted against America's cultural elites, who spent weeks blasting "right wing religious zealots" as the singular cause of the Schiavo controversy.
As with the Pope's passing, the public record is packed with thousands of instances of elites bashing conservative Christians for their power in forcing the President and Congress to do whatever it took to save the suffering woman's life. (Hitchens dismissed her as a "lifeless cadaver.)
George W. Bush's elevation to the presidency through the power of the evangelical vote is the main reason why the cultural and religious wars Patrick Buchanan predicted at the 1992 Republican National Convention have finally erupted in full view of the American public.
Historian Gary Wills compared the evangelical's support of George W. Bush to Islamic extremists' support of terror to promote their political goals. Wills breathlessly predicted that Christians' ascendency in American politics would lead to a radicalized, theocratic state that would have more in common with the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden than with our allies in Europe.
Pulitzer winner Maureen Dowd used her space in the New York Times to predict the coming of "the next dark ages" where religious superstition and religious bigotry will replace science and reason.
Whether the debate centers around a Presidential election, the right to die movement, the gay agenda, prayer in school, or simply letting our children recite the Pledge of Alligence, the teachings of Jesus Christ always seems to thwart the agenda of America's left wing elites.
Forget what you heard in the 1960s.
God is not dead.
In fact, he is very much alive and beating liberal elites on one political issue after another.
Maybe that is why so many of them hate the Prince of Peace.
Pope John Paul II: Staggering crowds in life and death (Joe Scarborough)
The numbers are staggering.
24: The number of hours pilgrims waited in line to say goodbye to John Paul II.
3: The number of seconds visitors were allowed to stand in front of the Pope to catch a fleeting glimpse of their spiritual hero.
2,000,000: The number of pilgrims from Poland who came to Rome to say farewell to the most famous Pole of all time. One suspects most of the 2 million came to thank their favorite son for helping free his country from the cruel grip of Soviet occupation.
4,000,000: The latest count on the total number of visitors to flood into the Eternal City to say goodbye to the leader of the Catholic Church.
1: The number of people who could unite our fractured world in a way that Pope John Paul the Great did in life— and now in death.
Senate playing games with soldiers' safety (Joe Scarborough)
The U.S. Senate is playing the most cynical of games.
Reports from Washington this morning tell us that Republican senators are going to attach part of the President's illegal alien amnesty program to an emergency-spending bill.
As a former congressman, I know how this scam works.
You pick the most offensive bill you can find and attach it to a piece of legislation that everyone knows must be passed.
So what have Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate decided to hold hostage?
The safety of U.S. troops overseas.
That's right, sports fans.
U.S. Senators are holding American soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan hostage because of this Illegal Immigrant Protection bill. And these politicians have done it by tying the Illegal Alien Protection Act with an $80 billion Emergency Funding bill aimed at funding our troops overseas.
Why would they do this?
Well, senators play these sleazy games because it provides them cover when they are back in their home districts explaining to a local yokel why they had to vote for that terrible amnesty bill.
"Those rascals in the Senate," I can almost hear him say to the star-struck constituent, "well, they attached the dad burn amnesty program to a funding bill for our troops. I had to vote for it because I couldn't leave our young boys over there without any support, could I?"
Of course not, the impressed voter mutters back, thinking to themselves that doing such an awful thing would make even Jane Fonda blush.
And our senator will get away with this legislative shell game because Americans rarely figure out who attaches offensive provisions to legislative bills. And when you do you find that it is usually a political heavyweight who will never lose at the polls.
The kicker is that the same senator who shouts from the highest mountaintop in his district how he opposes such legislative trickery then goes around the corridors of Capitol Hill whispering to concerned lobbyists about his brave support of the offending provision.
But this case, the Republican Senate is being too clever by half. Americans will blame them, their party and their president if this horrible provision becomes law.
With ultimate power comes ultimate responsibility.
And in this case, bet your bottom dollar that the American people will hold President Bush's party accountable.
What do you think? E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com
Spiritual truths not open to debate (Joe Scarborough)
The debate surrounding the Catholic Church's future has taken interesting turns over the past few days.
Since the Pope's passing, progressive Catholics have said their church must modernize its stance on gay marriage, gay priests, abortion, contraception, and other issues concerning sexual morality.
They claim the last Pope was too orthodox for the 21st Century.
Conservative Catholics have countered by declaring that their Church cannot modernize because eternal truths are not open to reinterpretation every few years.
They have a point.
Despite tortured readings of the scriptures, few Biblical scholars seriously suggest that homosexuality gets a free pass in the Old or New Testaments.
Neither does divorce or premarital sex, but there are not powerful lobbies working to change church doctrine for hormone-driven teenagers or frustrated middle aged men.
Let's face it. The last Pope really could not have cared less about what you and I thought about the sexual revolution when it came to him enforcing church doctrine.
This past weekend, Pat Buchanan told me with absolute certainty that the next Pope will never sanction abortion, gay marriage, or contraceptives because the Bible is not open to amendment.
I am sure many in the Episcopalian Church were saying the same thing before the elders of that denomination appointed a gay bishop.
Now, that Church is torn apart by a spiritual civil war.
The Catholic Church, like all institutions run by humans, is open to change.
It will be fascinating to see which way the winds will blow in the Vatican after the puffs of gray smoke rise above St. Peter's Square in the coming weeks.
In the end, I suspect conservatives will win the debate, at least for now.
It is not an easy thing changing the direction of a ship that counts as its cargo over one billion souls.
Pope John Paul II: Be not afraid (Joe Scarborough)
By now we know all the stories.
He studied his Bible under the shadow of Nazi occupation.
He survived Stalin's cruel reign.
He was the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years.
He helped dismantle the Soviet Empire.
He resisted the tides of public opinion and instead clung to the eternal truths of God's word.
And he lived as he died. Without fear.
That, in the end, is the lesson Pope John Paul the Great leaves us.
We will never possess his power to bend history. We will never understand the depth of his relationship with God. We will never own his reserves of compassion that led this man to forgive the terrorist who tried to end his life 24 years ago.
His compassion is just part of what made him so remarkable.
"Be not afraid."
That was Pope John Paul II's first message to the world when he became Pope in 1978.
And it was the message he left for us this week.
Pope John Paul II: Epic in life and death (Joe Scarborough)
Tonight, as the world watches St. Peter's square in Rome, over one billion Catholics worldwide remember the epic life of Pope John Paul II.
Born in 1920, the Polish native grew in body and spirit, enduring Nazi occupation and then laboring under the cruel Soviet reign of Joseph Stalin.
This was the same Stalin who once contemptuously asked of an aid, "How many military divisions does the Pope have?"
Stalin's successors would discover decades later that this Pope had enough spiritual divisions to spark a revolution that would bring down the Soviet empire.
It was Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope since the 1500s, who will be remembered as much for his political impact as his spiritual journey precisely because his life contributed to the liberation of 100 million Europeans.
The words he spoke in Poland, inspired a solidarity movement that in turn inspired millions.
Less than a decade after returning to his homeland as Pope, the Berlin Wall came crashing down as the once invincible Soviet empire lay on the dust-heap of history.
Surviving an assassination attempt, Pope John Paul II traveled more than all other Popes combined, reaching out personally to millions of Catholics worldwide.
But unlike other Popes before him, John Paul II was far more than the leader of his church. He was an historic figure to the entire world. As Chuck Colson once said, Catholics will have to learn to share him because he is our Pope too.
Tonight, Catholics and non-Catholics alike are coming together to remember epic life and proud death of Pope John Paul II.
Status quo morally bankrupt (Joe Scarborough)
I learned to play baseball in the suburbs of Atlanta, with my big brother teaching me the rules of the game.
"Tie goes to the runner, Joey!" he would shout every time his baby brother came close to tagging him out at first base.
"Why?" I would ask.
"Just cause. That's the rules."
I never really figured out why the runner got the benefit of the doubt, but in time I grew to accept it. You learn to mindlessly accept many things in this life that really don't make a lot of sense.
That's just the way it is.
This week, millions of Americans mindlessly accepted the verdict of newspapers and magazines that confidently concluded that Terri Schiavo was brain dead.
If I heard it once from media elites, I heard it a thousand times.
She is brain dead! All medical evidence proves it!
Doctors, lawyers, columnists, and comics came on Scarborough Country to state with absolute certainty that there was not a shred of medical evidence to suggest that Terri Schiavo was anything but a brain dead vegetable.
The arrogant belief that no rational person could conclude otherwise was quickly absorbed into the collective consciousness of the chattering classes.
When I dared to suggest that Terri Schiavo may have been more aware than a stick of celery, my Manhattan friends were aghast.
In the words of a shouting Christopher Hitchens, "She is brain dead, sir! D-E-A-D!"
But while the elites were listening to the ringing of their collective voices in the media echo chamber, someone forgot to whisper these facts into their ears:
(1) Judge Greer appointed five neurologists to examine Terri Schiavo. Three concluded she was in a persistent vegetative state. Two disagreed and said she could improve with therapy.
(2) A sixth neurologist recently reported that he also believed Terri was not in a persistent vegetative state.
(3) a radiologist testified under oath that scans of Terri's brain showed improvement from 1996 to 2002.
There are several ways to interpret these medical findings. But no one could reasonably conclude, as so many talking heads did this week, that all medical testimony pointed to the conclusion Terri was brain dead.
And yet that sick mantra was repeated time and again on news programs like mine.
The facts of this case were murky. And in a situation where a helpless woman's life was on the line, the tie should have gone to Terri Shiavo.
But that was not Judge Greer's brand of justice.
Now Terri's family is planning her funeral.
Unlike those summer days when I was chasing after my big brother with a baseball clutched in my hand, I no longer blindly accept things as they are.
Maybe that's because for those of us who believe the United States government should always err on the side of life, accepting the status quo in this case is nothing short of morally bankrupt.
What do you think? E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com
Terri deserved better from us all (Joe Scarborough)
In the time I have been in Congress and a member of the media, I have never worked on a story that has had the personal impact of Terri Schiavo's fight for life.
Why is that?
Thousands have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But no single death has drawn American's attention to their TV sets like Terri's.
Three thousand Americans were slaughtered on September 11th, but I cannot think of a single victim from that epic day whose death came close to grabbing the attention that Terri garnered over the past few weeks.
You probably would have to go back to the death of John Lennon to find a person who was not a president or a princess whose passing stirred up such interest.
So again I ask, why?
What was it about Terri's life and death struggle that divided families, political parties, and religious leaders?
I would like to be able to explain to you what it was about this story that got me more emotionally involved than any political election or vote that I ever took in Congress.
But I can't.
I have a few guesses.
First, the President's involvement in this case this month got the forces of the Left involved in a very personal way. This is, after all, a group whose own thought leaders had suggested of late that many in the movement hated George Bush so much that they were even cheering against American efforts in Iraq.
And then there was Tom DeLay.
Liberals despise Majority Leader DeLay in a way not seen since, well, since George Bush, or Rush Limbaugh, or Ann Coulter, or Mel Gibson, or anyone else with whom they disagree.
Add to the checklist the fact the evangelical and pro-life communities got involved, and suddenly it seemed inevitable that a political gangland war was waiting to happen.
My wife commented this morning that the real tragedy of this case is the fact that Terri Schiavo seemed to be a very shy, unassuming woman who would have deplored the kind of attention that was thrown on her the last few weeks of her life.
I explained to her that there was a bigger issue involved here. The government was allowing the killing of a young, helpless woman without clear and convincing evidence.
She stared at me as if to say that I was missing her point completely.
Sadly, I think Susan's point has been lost on most of us — even those who were fighting for Terri's life because of the shocking truths connected with her death.
This has been a tragedy for all concerned.
But on this day when the debate starts to wind down, it is important that we stop to remember the young woman who was caught in the middle of this ugly political fight.
You deserved better from us all.
Liberal leaders support Terri (Joe Scarborough)
When it comes time for America's elite to construct a straw man worthy of abuse, the Terri Schiavo case proves once again that conservative Christians remain a handy target.
Editorial pages have been filled with thinly disguised vitriol from opinion leaders who always seem to conclude that the decline of American culture began when pesky Christians began organizing themselves politically in 1980.
It is because of these whacked out Christians, elites reason, that Terri Schiavo is still alive. Yes. Further proof that the radical Right Wing Christians have taken over the Republican Party.
Been hearing that one for a quarter century now. If that were true, abortion would be illegal and kids would be praying in school.
And Terri Schiavo would be resting comfortably in her bed.
But the GOP is a diverse party in Florida and across America.
In both the Florida and US Senate, Republican lawmakers refused to take the necessary steps to save Terri Schiavo's life. Instead of blindly following the Christian Right, these politicians followed the polls.
What a relief!
But, interestingly enough, many liberal leaders have proven themselves to be more concerned with Terri's life than being popular among their peers.
The Village Voice's longtime liberal columnist Nat Hentoff wrote a compelling piece in America's premier progressive paper that makes Pat Robertson sound moderate.
Interesting stuff from a self-described atheist whose most recent columns have targeted Don Rumsfeld and America's war machine.
And other old time liberals like Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin have all come to Terri Schiavo's defense.
These men are obviously not listening to the Christian Right. Instead, one suspects they are remembering the words of Hubert Humphrey and doing all they can to protect one who has fallen into the shadows of life.
If the straw man fits, beat it.
But in the case of Terri Schiavo, there are those who are neither conservative nor Christian who think it is not such a wonderful thing that we live in a land that sanctions the starvation of the weakest among us.
What do you think? E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com
Political dustups give elites bad name (Joe Scarborough)
Every year or so, we have a cultural debate that seems to divide Americans into two camps. And as you have learned from this week's shows, it is not always Republicans fighting Democrats.
I know many Republicans who support Michael Schiavo's efforts to end his wife's life, and I know many Democrats who agree with me that starving Terri to death is inhumane and beneath us as a country.
But it is during these kind of dustups in American culture that elites earn their bad name.
Too many sniff and snort at any hayseed or redneck who dares to question their take on Jesus, Janet Jackson, or Terri Schiavo.
And they will, more times than not, go to ridiculous ends to prove you and me wrong.
I could name countless distortions trotted out by the mainstream media, Washington think-tanks or political organizations, but will instead focus on the media's claim that those of us who believe a state sanctioned starvation is immoral are, well, dead wrong.
The New York Times told us in a headline last week that starving to death was a most gentle way to die.
The Associate Press cited a study that showed that on a sliding scale from one to nine, experts believed that dying from a lack of food and water was all in all, a very good death.
Fascinating, isn't it?
If starvation is such a rocking trip, then why did the New York Times report pre-Schiavo that famine victims clutched their stomachs in pain?
And speaking of famines, are we now to believe that Bob Geldof and those meddling kids who put together Live Aid in 1985 were robbing African famine victims of a peaceful slumber, a most pleasurable death?
If so, then why worry about famine relief at all?
Elites have had no problem coming on my show telling me how Terri Schiavo has no quality of life so she would be better off dead.
Certainly the same holds true of starving children in Africa who are abused, raped, infected, and dying. Using elites' logic, feeding these children only prolong their pain.
Maybe Elton John should headline the next Live Aid concert and sing 'Funeral for a friend' and 'Better off dead.'
Or maybe, just maybe, elites should stop telling Americans how to live their lives, how to die, and how stupid we all are when we just don't see eye to eye.
Tone deaf to visceral issues (Joe Scarborough)
Liberals are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore.
I have been trying to get members of the political left to talk about the human tragedy of a young, helpless woman being starved to death.
But all they seem to want to do is change the subject.
Democrats and their allies have faithfully followed the party line and refused to answer questions about Terri Schiavo's sad physical state . And no one in the liberal spin cycle wants to discuss offering hope to this helpless woman.
Instead, they lecture us on the intricacies of Texas law, or how this is all to save Tom Delay's hide, or what a hypocritical pig George W. Bush is — none of which has a thing to do with Terri Schiavo's imminent death.
For too many, the death of Terri Schiavo has become deeply personal. And for the life of me, I do not know why.
I have always worked hard to understand the thought process of political opponents. And in most cases, I have grown to understand why reasonable people of good faith could disagree on issues as diverse as gun control, gay marriage, and abortion. On most issues, I have succeeded in walking in the shoes of those with whom I disagree.
But that's not the case with Terri Schiavo.
I can try to understand why many would side with the husband, but I will never comprehend why the same political activists that fight for the protection of the spotted oil and snail darter are so eager to see Terri Schiavo die.
Moveon.org, Air America, and a host of other left-of-center organizations have sprung to life to support the death of Terri.
Obviously, many Democrats see this as a political opportunity to attack the President and Tom Delay. But the intensity of their anger at any one who tries to protect Ms. Schiavo's life is disturbing at best.
It is also politically dangerous.
Does the liberal wing of the Democratic Party really be known for supporting the killing of helpless women?
Of course not. But that is the corner in which they are painting themselves.
And that should trouble a Democratic Party whose two public relations moves over the past year have been opposing the spread of democracy in the Middle East and protecting the life of a helpless young woman.
Liberals can cite polls until they are blue in the face. They can talk about Texas laws and legislative hypocrisy. They can attack every last person who is trying to save this young woman from starvation.
But in the end, Americans shocked by this macabre chapter in American politics will see the Democrats as the party on the side of death and see George Bush as the defender of defenseless.
Maybe that's not fair. But it's a fact.
Why is it that the Democrats are so tone deaf on these visceral issues?
What do you think? E-mail: JScarborough@msnbc.com
War leads to peace (Joe Scarborough)
War leads to peace. If you don't believe me, just ask the leaders of terrorist groups across the Middle East who are now suing for peace.
This weekend anti-war activists will take to the streets in New York and across the country to protest America's war effort in Iraq. This despite the fact that there is no doubt among all neutral political observers that removing Saddam Hussein from power led to the first-ever free elections in Iraq.
Even the dazed and confused editorial page of the NY Times reluctantly admits that.
Reasonable people simply cannot disagree on the geopolitical reality that those successful elections led to freedom marches in Lebanon, where this week, 1 million citizens demanded the end of Baathist rule and Hezbollah-sponsored terrorism. Today, we learn that the terror organizations Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are all declaring an end to terrorist attacks while they seek, for the first time ever, a peaceful settlement with Israel and the United States.
Like President Bush, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon has told the world that strength is the only way to bring terrorists to the negotiating table. He is being proven right. Likewise, George Bush learned from Ronald Reagan that thugs do not respect concessions, but rather, strength.
That simple truth has led to free elections in Afghanistan and the inauguration of the first democratically elected president there in the nation's history. U.S. troops also insured the same for Iraq, which led to a flowering of democratic activity in Lebanon, and Palestine, and even Egypt — who responded to US scolding by promising free elections and releasing from prison its most well known democratic activist.
Ironically, the same protesters who will be cursing this war of liberation, this president, and this country's troops are many of the same forces who opposed Reagan's liberation efforts in Central America and Europe. They convulsed in protest when Reagan dared to call nuclear weapons deployed to Western Europe the "peacekeepers." Millions marched in the streets and predicted Reagan's actions would destroy U.S. alliances with Europe and lead to WWIII.
Is there any doubt that if these liberals had their way, Communists would still be ruling tens of millions in Central America and hundreds of millions in Eastern Europe and Russia?
Of course not. And now that freedom is on the march again in the most repressive region in the world — the Middle East — it is disturbing that these left-wing radicals will take to the streets to condemn the very actions that have led to the spread of freedom across the world.
Sadly, it proves once again that too many Democrats and leftists hate the president so much that they would rather see American troops lose overseas than see George W. Bush win at home.
And that's today's Real Deal.
If you want to read more from Joe Scarborough, check out 'Rome wasn't burnt in a day'.
Progress in Prague (Guest blogger Erick-Woods Erickson, redstate.org)
The Czech Republic, from where I am writing, has made tremendous strides since the fall of Communism in the country. Just over a decade after the Velvet Revolution, the Czechs seek to both join the European Union and solidify their fledgling democracy.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a great example of the country's progress. Some buildings are on the verge of being a millennium old, while the skyline is littered with cranes constructing new, modern architecture. In between, drab monoliths of the Soviet era stand out as eyesores between baroque beauty and modern progress. After a decade of cleaning out communism — in the case of the environment, quite literally — the city is beginning to shine again.
Communism imposed on the country a harsh, atheistic, material way of life. Cars ran without catalytic converters and pollution was abundant. Even now, spending a few hours in the city turns the underside of fingernails grimy and black. Yet, with the restoration of true democracy, the Czechs have undertaken ambitious steps to clean the air, the water, the ground, and the buildings. Life expectancy has increased by more than ten years. A new wave of young people have taken to the streets who do not remember communism, but still bear the scars of atheism and materialism.
The youth carry their cell phones everywhere. Advertising for cell phone companies, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Coca-Cola litter the sides of buildings. Billboards for the latest and greatest electronics cover the remaining free space. Young people, dressed in their Levis and Adidas, make out on the buses, trams, and trains. Public displays of serious affection are out of control. It is readily apparent that just as the United States had a baby boom after World War II, the Czechs had a baby boom after the Cold War ended and freedom was restored.
Stumbling through the snow flurries, the pace of progress and feeling of freedom collide with the worst parts of sudden freedom after years of oppression. Pick pockets prey on unsuspecting tourists, graffiti detracts from the beautiful architecture, prostitutes lurch from the shadows asking directly, "Want Sex?" to the obvious tourists. It is as if the city and the country teeter precariously on the edge of chaos.
At the end of the day a tourist such as me can only help but appreciate this country. The Czechs are generally pro-Western and like the United States — the hostility of the French and Germans has not seeped into the national identity. The people, for so long enslaved to Soviet masters, have taken charge of their destiny and are on the march toward the future. The hope in the populace is as inspiring as the view from the valley of the city up to Prague Castle. This country is on the move.
Unleashing Freedom in the Middle East (Joe Scarborough)
A quick look at Sunday's New York Times reveals a revolution of political thought sweeping through the Middle East.
On the front page above the fold, the Times reported that the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah has recognized that democratic convulsions experienced over the past week make political involvement in that troubled country a necessity.
That means that campaign signs will replace bus bombs in Lebanon sooner rather than later.
On the bottom of A1, Times readers learn a few interesting things.
First, we are told that Hamas is a philanthropic group.
Mind you the NYT reporter didn't write in his lead that Hamas was a philanthropic group who also happened to blow up six-year old kids waiting to go to schools at their bus stops. But that discussion is for another day.
For purposes of this note, just know that the Times is also reported that along with giving to charities in a way that would make Osama Bin Laden blush, Hamas is also moving aggressively into peaceful Palestinian politics.
The charity-loving terror group recognizes that their recent attacks have won them no friends among fellow Palestinians, and that freedom is the future even in their bloody back yard.
Inside the A section, the Times also reported that terror groups stationed in Iraq continue to send out messages over the Internet meant to inspire fellow terrorists to continue fighting for their cause. But those statements are sounding more defensive by the day.
Read through some of Hitler's final messages to the German people while the US Army and the Soviet war machine was racing toward Berlin and you will get a taste for the desperate tone.
There were other news reports from Egypt, Iraq, and Iran but all articles in Sunday's Times point in the same direction: to the spread of freedom and democracy in the Middle East.
At the end of 2004 while few in the MSM were giving the Iraqi elections any chance for success, I told you in this space that the elections would succeed and that I was naive enough to believe that peace could break out among Israelis and Palestinians in 2005.
I predicted that 2005 could be remembered as a historic year for freedom.
Less than three months later, we already find ourselves in a revolutionary age.
Once freedom is unleashed in a meaningful way, that tide of liberty usually sweeps away all those who stand in its path.
So it was in Eastern Europe in 1989. So it will be in the Middle East in 2005.
Write me at JScarborough@msnbc.com
Be sure to watch Scarborough Country each weeknight at 10:00 p.m. ET;
Democrats starting to look for survival strategy (Joe Scarborough)
The Democratic Party continues sinking slowly in the waters of public opinion, but at least some of its leaders are beginning to understand that ignoring the rising conservative tide is no longer an option.
For the past four years, too many Democratic leaders and their allies in the mainstream press have convinced themselves that the problems confronting Democrats were external— a lying president, a corrupt Supreme Court, a rigged election.
After the 2004 election, Democrats and their allies stopped blaming Katherine Harris and Justice Scalia and instead aimed their wrath toward Jesus and God. Manhattan and Georgetown editorialists groused that an electorate stoned on the fumes of high octane religion had gone crazy and had taken America with them.
The New York Times ran post-election columns by historian Gary Wills, who suggested that the United States had more in common with al Qaeda than France because the majority of Americans believed in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
Times columnist Maureen Down bleakly reported that with the election of George W. Bush, evangelicals were marching America toward a new dark age.
Two months later, Democrats in and out of the media stopped suggesting that the president and his party were Jesus freaks and began ridiculing Reagan’s party by suggesting Republicans were utopian dreamers whose vision for the Middle East was dangerously in conflict with the cold realities of the region.
January was filled with exceedingly grim predictions for the Iraq election from the likes of Jimmy Carter and Michael Moore.
After the remarkable election turnout, the Democratic Party fell into yet another period of chaos and confusion.
Party leaders like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry whined through the epic events unfolding in the Middle East while Jimmy Carter and his ilk opted to keep their mouths shut rather than praise democracy’s flowering in the most oppressed region on earth.
Fear and loathing has continued to grip Democrats since the January 30 elections, but fortunately for the two-party system, a few intellectual forces within the party are offering constructive suggestions for a party no longer relevant to national politics.
Recently, James Carville and Stan Greenberg offered the radical suggestion that the Democratic Party stand for something other than obstruction.
"So, we ask progressives to consider, why have the Republicans not crashed and burned? Why has the public not taken out their anger on the Congressional Republicans and the president? We think the answer lies with voters' deeper feelings about the Democrats who appear to lack direction, conviction, values, advocacy or a larger public purpose.”
The liberal founder of the Washington Monthly admitted that too many of his ideological brothers and sisters were disappointed by the good news coming out of Iraq. Charles Peters reminded his fellow Democrats that they must reconcile themselves to the fact that they must support the troops and stop wishing them failure on a daily basis.
The same sentiment was expressed in this month’s New York Magazine. Kurt Andersen wrote of how good news out of Iraq felt like very bad news to Manhattan elites.
Andersen said he and his fellow liberals faced their toughest ideological and moral test since Ronald Reagan took down the Soviet Empire with policies mocked daily in the newsrooms and publishing houses of Midtown Manhattan. Andersen concluded that liberals had a Hobbesian choice to make: Support George W. Bush’s efforts in Iraq or support the terrorists. The author suggested that for too long, the Left has been in a de facto alliance with those killing U.S. troops and innocent Iraqis.
That American opinion leaders may have been siding with Arab terrorists may seem like startling news to many in Middle America, but nothing new to those of us who have been studying the way the press and the Democratic Party has been operating over the past three years.
Maybe a few intellectual leaders on the left are finally realizing that they can no longer make their livings attacking the commander-in-chief’s war on terror any more than they could continue quietly cheering for the Soviet Union during the early days of the Cold War.
We Middle Americans may believe in Jesus, but we ain’t stupid.
After a while, even we can figure out whose side politicians and reporters are on. And over the past few years, it has been clear that while most Democrats are not openly cheering for the terrorists killing our troops, neither were they in America’s corner.
For the survival of the Democratic Party, that has to change.
Write me at JScarborough@msnbc.com
Be sure to watch Scarborough Country each weeknight at 10:00 p.m. ET;
NY Times bows to Bush (Joe Scarborough)
The war is over.
The New York Times lost.
But they are not alone.
The Democratic Party, the Arab Street, the broadcast networks, National Public Radio, an odd assortment of college professors, and a slew of other pseudo-intellectuals join the motley crew of left wing elites who, by ignoring historical trends, became sad parodies of themselves.
This morning, the New York Times editorial page finally sued for peace in their bitter ideological battle with the Bush Administration. This war, like Reagan's against the Soviets, made the great Gray Lady seem increasingly detached and irrelevant.
But unlike too many other detractors of all things Bush, the Times editors, like Gladstone, had the courage to change their minds when they discovered that they have been wrong.
This morning the winds of change swept through Gail Collins' office. Her editorial page wrote the following:
"This has so far been a year of heartening surprises — each one remarkable in itself, and taken together truly astonishing. The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power."
The Times pointed to recent developments in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and the coming state of Palestine as evidence that freedom may finally be on the march in the Middle East.
I was surprised the Times noted the spread of democracy in Eastern Europe and Central America in the 1980s, considering the newspaper of record had looked upon Ronald Reagan's liberation efforts in those imprisoned regions with the same contempt they foisted on George W. Bush for his Mideast folly.
But once again, folly has become fact. And once again, war has brought the promise of freedom.
Still, this is no time for gloating.
Too many supporters of Operation Iraqi Freedom took a victory lap after the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, and we have spent the last two years regretting it.
As I have been saying for a year now, too many Americans are dying in Iraq. But we know the experiment with democracy will succeed because, with apologies to Ted Kennedy, only a fool would compare the situation in Iraq to Vietnam.
In this war, numbers and history are on our side.
As I said in a New York Times Arts & Leisure forum in early January, the fact that 60% of the population is Shiites and 20% are Kurds guaranteed success in the Iraqi elections.
The Shia had been told by Grand Ayatollah Sistani that bringing democracy to Iraq was a religious duty. And the Kurds had often fought in front of US soldiers during the early days of the war.
Besides numbers, history has also been a remarkable ally.
I remember a debate in a political science class I took at the University of Alabama in 1985, as students were arguing over the impact of Reagan deploying cruise missiles to Western Europe. Our insightful professor told us that the Soviets were far more concerned with the proliferation of Xerox machines than American missiles.
Professor Barbara Chotiner knew, even in the Age of Aha, that the coming information revolution was the biggest threat to the Soviet Union.
Add the fax machine, the Internet, cell phones, text messaging, video phones, satellite dishes, Blackberries, and a slew of other high tech devices, and suddenly you have an army of reporters projecting words and images from behind enemy lines in Iran, North Korea, China, Cuba, and the remaining closed societies still dotting the earth.
History is not on their side.
Iraq will be free.
Iran will be free.
Cuba will be free.
China will be free.
It is inevitable, and thank God the New York Times finally awoke to that reality this morning.
As for Democratic leaders and editorial writers that still haven't noticed the hurricane force winds knocking down their ideological house of cards, I simply suggest they cast their eyes to Lebanon or Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan or Gaza to see that the world they once knew has already been blown away.
That doesn't mean more American won't die at home and abroad. And that surely doesn't mean the terrorists in Iraq and across the world won't continue trying to kill all those who dare to exercise their political rights.
But it does mean that we have entered a new era in the Middle East and there is no going back.
The Democrats' solution (Joe Scarborough)
Yesterday I told you the Democrats' problem. Today, I provide the solution.
It's not a cure most Democratic activists and party leaders will want to hear. But then again that may explain why they've only elected one candidate to the White House in 25 years.
The Dean Democrats are veering wildly left in part because that is the way they are being pulled by grassroots forces.
The Washington Post's Dan Balz explained that groups like moveon.org, who almost nominated Howard Dean as their presidential candidate, remain convinced that John Kerry lost in 2004 not because he was too liberal, but because he was not liberal enough.
If you are a Democratic activist or leader who believes Kerry should have been more liberal, don't bother reading the rest of this blog. You are Karl Rove's best friend and delusional when it comes to the political realities facing your party.
For those with ears to hear, here it goes:
The Democrats' first target should be winning back the Senate in 2006. There are a number of "red state" Senate seats up for grabs next year and only a certain type of Democrat can win them.
Republicans have feasted for years on "moderate" Democrats running in these areas. Most Senate Democratic candidates who go up in flames in Middle America usually are almost pro-life, almost pro-gun, almost pro-public prayer, and almost pro-defense. But because of the radical nutbars running their party, these mid-American Democrats can't sync up with the sensibilities of the states they want to represent.
So national Democrats are faced with two options: (1) Continue feeling good about themselves by supporting candidates whose views are closer to those shared by voters in Manhattan, New York (not Manhattan, Kansas); or, (2) drop the litmus test and start playing to win.
Maybe a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-God will never win the Democratic nomination for president.
But there is no reason the party of Bill Clinton can't retake the Senate by winning in places like Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, and Wyoming.
To win the seats required to seize control of Capitol Hill committees, D.C. Dems are going to have to swallow hard.
Speaking of taking bitter medicine, I know it will hurt party activists, but Hillary Clinton must be avoided at all costs. She remains one of the most divisive figures in American politics. And while she may drive up voters in her base, that base is outnumbered by millions of Americans who consider her to be one of the most liberal forces in American politics.
She will be "borked" by her words, her actions, and her scandals while serving as our First Lady.
Instead, the Democrats must find a governor or senator from Middle America who canhold the base and bring a few states over to the Democratic camp.
The margin of error is so close on the national level that a Red State Democratic ticket— whose president and vice-president pick up their home states— is all that's required to put Democrats back in the oval office.
After winning the Senate in 2006 and the White House in 2008, the party can then turn its attention to redistricting in the House to make that process competitive.
You may be asking yourself why a former Republican Congressman would be telling Democrats that they can gain power through the power of moderation.
It's because I know their national leaders will be too stupid to take it.
Thoughts? E-mail me at JScarborough@MSNBC.com
May the ghosts of Roosevelt and Kennedy arise from their graves to save the tattered remnants of their party. Because apparently, there does not exist a Democrat with a beating heart smart enough to save the party.
The Washington Post is reporting today that left wing bloggers and other assorted nutbars are dragging the Democratic Party even further to the left. This is very bad news for politicians with a "D" after their name.
Because, regardless of what you may hear on Air America or read on Daily Kos, American voters are not wandering through the political wilderness in search of a liberal presidential candidate who really tells you what he/she thinks on taxes, gun control, abortion, and prayer in school.
The fact is voters are moving to the right faster than you can say "counter-revolution."
Hate to bring it back to Swift Vets, but American politics remains a battle over the legacy of the 1960's. If you don't believe that, then you must have been sleeping throughout the last six months of the presidential campaign.
The radicalism of the 60's may have thrilled liberals in newsrooms, on college campuses, and in Hollywood. But the decade left Middle America angry, off balance, and hungry-- hungry for leaders that could restore order to the world they were born into before Woodstock and Watergate.
Take out a political timeline and tell me whether Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton are really the future of American politics.
1980 brought us the Reagan Revolution, which author Craig Shirley correctly points out really began in 1976. Along with Reagan's landslide, the GOP posted gains in the Senate and House.
In the quarter century that has passed since that election, the only Democrat to be elected president was Bill Clinton.
Did you absorb that fact?
No Democrat outside of Bill Clinton has occupied the White House in 25 years. And despite his personal recklessness, Clinton was the most conservative Democratic president in modern times.
When it comes to Congress, Democrats are faring no better.
Few contest the fact that the Republicans have the closest thing to a permanent majority in the House because of redistricting and a number of other factors.
Democrats have been pathetic in their efforts to take back the Senate since they lost it in 1994. Only the momentary shift of power when James Jeffords traded his party membership for a chairmanship (good move, Jim) did the Democrats take control of the upper chamber.
2002 was bad news for Senate D's. 2004 was even worse.
Why? Because the heart of the Democratic Party continues shifting leftward even if its politicians do their best to sound reasonably moderate. But the net effect is a dissonance that makes party leaders sound like bloodless wafflers who do not know what they believe.
So who is the answer to the party's woes?
A younger version of Zell Miller.
That's right. Zell Miller.
Isn't it funny that while Democrats continued to mock the former Georgia Senator for his speech this summer in Gotham, nobody at the DNC has figured out that the crazy old man just happened to be right on all counts.
If Zell was crazy, he was crazy like a fox.
This was a Democrat who rolled up 80% of the vote, fought for education, the environment, civil rights, and other matters near and dear to Democrat's hearts. And Miller delivered one of the more stinging indictments of Bush 41 at the Democratic Convention in 1992.
He wasn't just playing for the crazies in Middle America. Miller meant it when he said that he didn't leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left him.
And with Howard Dean and the party grassroots lurching the party even further to the left, chances are great that the former Georgia senator and millions like him will not be returning to the Democratic Party anytime soon.
Tomorrow, I will tell you how the Democrats can retake the Senate in 2006 and the White House in 2008.
Update: Eason Jordan resigns
The CNN senior executive in charge of Iraq coverage resigned Friday amid controversy over comments he allegedly made. Outside pressure, particularly form the blogosphere, prompted Eason Jordan to quit the cable news network after appearing to suggest that U.S. troops deliberately targeted journalists.
Join 'Scarborough Country' tonight at 10 p.m. ET for an in-depth discussion on this matter and how new media is influencing old media.
CNN should rid itself of Eason Jordan (Joe Scarborough)
There is a cancer growing at CNN, and it's time it got cut out. It's time for the real deal.
Last night I told you about the noteworthy news coverage of Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper while reporting on the Iraqi elections last month. Some around here may consider CNN a competitor, but I believe all news outlets should be teammates in pursuit of the truth. That's why I praise media outlets when events warrant, or tell you how they betray consumer's interests when their bias becomes apparent.
We learned this week that one of CNN's most powerful news executives told a group of world leaders overseas that American soldiers had targeted reporters for assassination.
One of the top news executives in America spent his time before some of the most influential people on the planet telling them that American men and women deliberately targeted journalists for assassination.
Democratic Congressman Barney Frank told Michelle Malkin that after Jordan made the statements, he was so troubled that he tried to get specific examples from Jordan. But Jordan refused to provide an ounce of proof to support his outrageous charge.
Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, a democratic leader in the upper chamber, confirmed Jordan made the outrageous comments.
CNN supporters suggested that Jordan deserved the benefit of the doubt. But this is after all, the same Eason Jordan who admitted in 2003 that he turned a blind eye to Saddam Hussein's tyranny and torture so CNN could have access to the Stalinist leader's government and keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open.
But last year's charges, like those leveled this year, were not backed up by a single fact by Mr. Jordan.
But one fact is not in dispute: this CNN leader has defamed the honor and integrity of our brave men and women in uniform by reckless charges presented in the most cowardly way: behind closed doors in conferences packed by international elites.
If Jordan thinks U.S. troops are little more than hired assassins focused on killing journalists, it is time for him to name names. Otherwise his continued attacks constitute slander. I know troops in harms way in Iraq. I have heard their inspiring stories when cameras were turned off and their babies were sleeping in their laps. They believe are exporting liberty — not assassination squads.
Ironically, it is CNN's Eason Jordan who is the assassin. Blowing away the reputations of 150,000 troops who do not know whether they will see another sunrise tomorrow. They deserve better from the press, and CNN deserves better than to have to put up with the likes of Eason Jordan.
CNN's President Jonathan Klein has gotten off to an inspiring start these past few months. He should not allow Jordan to stain his reputation, stain his network's reputation, or stain the proud professional reporters who make CNN their home.
Eason Jordan should be fired.
The key budget issue is the growing deficit (Joe Scarborough)
Are you the type of person who likes order in your intellectual life? The kind of person who can read the morning paper and pretty much figure out what's going on in your neighborhood, your country and your world?
If so, you're not alone. Former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis was the kind of guy who would read books on Swedish land use when he went on vacations at the beach. He loved order and the lack of it drove him up the wall.
In 1988 it was reported that studying the confusing maze of nuclear treaties between the Soviets and America left the former Massachusetts governor so confounded that he was depressed for days.
Like Dukakis then, I find myself now in a confusing vortex of papers producing sound and fury but signifying nothing.
In today's edition of the LA TImes, we read a news analysis of President Bush's budget. The conclusion drawn? That Bush is spending too much money and that the era of big government has returned for good.
Meanwhile, the paper's ideological sister on the East Coast, the New York Times, editorializes today that the Administration's fiscal blueprint offers the cruelest of cuts. The targeted victims are the poor, farmers, and veterans.
On the very same morning the LA Times was talking about bloated budgets, the USA Today ran a screaming headline talking about how Bush's "big cuts" were going to run into fierce opposition on Capitol Hill. (Feel free to insert your favorite "sky-is-falling" quote from the Democrat of your choice here.)
For the President, it is the best of all worlds.
He can go to conservatives and say the liberals are after him for trying to protect taxpayers' money. And for those who say his cuts are cruel, the President can talk about how some of the most powerful media outlets are attacking him for not going far enough in his cuts.
For the most part, most papers this morning failed to discuss in detail the key issue: whether the growing deficit will lead to an economic collapse in the United States once the Asian central banks and Saudi royals decide to stop funding our debt.
What does that mean?
Well, your country is almost $8 trillion in debt. And over the past several years, the Chinese and Saudis have led the way in buying up the dollar. They still think it is a currency worth investing in. But as the annual deficit and overall nation debt continue to soar, countries will stop buying the dollar. When that happens, interest rates will explode in a way that will even make Jimmy Carter's days of malaise look like halcyon days.
Bottom line: without sustained economic growth of 4% or higher over the next four years, the President will not reduce the debt, foreign central banks will not buy up our dollars, and interest rates will skyrocket to unprecedented rates.
All three will cripple the US economy.
The good news? You don't have to sulk like Dukakis. You can go out and work harder to build our economy or you can start drinking heavily in the morning so not to be depressed by the morning papers.
If you choose the latter, I recommend vodka with a splash of cranberry juice. If you decide to build the economy, then stop playing on your computer and get back to work!
E-mail me at JScarborough@MSNBC.com
Why liberals will still criticize President Bush for this budget (Joe Scarborough)
Put on your wayfarers and pull out your St. Elmo's Fire soundtrack. It's time to get ready for a flashback to the 80s.
Today, George W. Bush will release his first moderately conservative budget since taking office four years ago. Actually, it is a fiscal blueprint that gives many a reason to hope that someone in Washington is finally facing up to the music.
And that music is as bad as the soundtrack to Rob Lowe's last major film performance of the 80s— unless you count the ones where he taped himself in bed.
Over the past four years, the deficit has shot up to $427 billion per year. The overall accumulated debt is approaching $8 trillion. And this is despite the fact that when I left Congress in 2001, the United States had a $150 billion surplus for that year alone.
As I wrote in my book last fall, Congress and the president went on a domestic and military spending spree of unprecedented proportions. By the end of last year, the president's own budget office admitted that the debt would increase by $9 trillion over the next ten years. ery bad news for a rapidly aging population that will not get their Social Security and Medicare benefits in full if both parties don't start acting more responsibly.
I guess that's the path the president decided to go down with the budget released this morning. I say "I guess" because we have not seen this kind of restrained behavior from anyone outside of John McCain and a few House members over the past four years. So it is too early to talk about trends.
Still, one trend you can count on is the press blasting the Republican president as heartless, cruel, and committed to killing seniors, kiddies, and young furry animals with his ruthless budget cuts.
I have seen it all before and like before, it is a joke.
Spending in Washington has exploded at such rapid rates that even slowing it down to a 3 percent increase in 2005 will produce a budget that costs taxpayers $2.5 trillion this year alone.
That's right. $2,500,000,000,000.00.
And yet reporters of all stripes (wildly liberal, moderately liberal, and mildly liberal) will bash this budget as the work of the American Anti-christ.
Film crews will run to granny and ask her how she feels now that Mr. Bush seems hell-bent on throwing her out in the street.
Viewers will see pictures of young, sweet babies and learn from an earnest, and yet quite dizzy blond that these little children will be left out in the cold with no medical care because of massive cuts in Medicaid.
And those poor farmers. They'll find the one guy who had a bad year last year and ask him what he thinks about the president slashing farm subsidies. And since the news ditz picked the farmer, you can be sure he will tell the world that he voted for George Bush in 2004, but boy, if he could only have that vote back now.
It's all intended to discredit the president, cast doubt on the election's validity, and to reinforce false stereotypes.
And as with Ronald Reagan, it won't work.
Speaking of stereos, I think it's time to take out my record player and slap on a 45 of "Tainted Love." It's starting to feel like 1982 all over again.
E-mail me at JScarborough@MSNBC.com
Time is up for radical professors like Ward Churchill (Joe Scarbough)
Radical college professors are finally being put on notice by middle America that anti-American views will no longer go unchallenged if a liberal arts professor mutters the words “academic freedom.”
But the question is whether our elected officials will have the guts to do anything about it.
For years, Americans have been led to believe that campus radicalism was confirmed to Ivy League institutions and left wing enclaves like Cal Berkeley. But the firestorm that has erupted over professor Ward Churchill’s anti-American 9/11 screed has proven what college students have known for years: That colleges in middle America have long been led by left-wing leaders who are radical by any measure when it comes to politics, culture, and faith.
I loved my years at the University of Alabama, but my college professors were almost to politically left of center. And that was in the reddest of all states.
Don’t get me wrong. I learned a great deal by having professors who attacked Ronald Reagan as a dangerous war-monger, who questioned my religious faith, and who openly mocked my family’s middle American values.
There were a few notable exceptions, but only one or two.
So the question you need to ask yourself is this: Why are my elected officials using my taxes to promote values that are radically opposed to my own views?
And if there is academic freedom and diversity of thought, why don’t those two principals apply to conservative professors?
A recent study showed that an overwhelming number of college professors are big government liberals, while conservative professors rarely get a chance to teach college courses. This ideological monopoly ensures that another generation of college students will be brainwashed to believe that the values parents spent 18 years instilling in them are quaint, obsolete notions.
Enough is enough.
It is time to call your state representative and demand action.
It is time to call your governor and demand a full investigation into the political bias that is infecting the state colleges that you keep open with your tax dollars.
It is time to put campus radicals back on their heels and tell them that simply chanting the words “academic freedom” will no longer cow us into accepting the status quo.
It is time to take your college classrooms back. And if our elected officials won’t do it, we will run them out of office and find someone who will.
This is not about free speech. It is about how your tax dollars being spent to promote agendas that the overwhelming majority of Americans would find deeply offensive.
Bush haters insist on their own version of the state of the union (Joe Scarborough)
As the President prepares for tonight's State of the Union Address , Americans are getting an up-close and personal view of his political enemies.
It's an ugly sight.
Leftists like Michael Moore and George Soros have spent years tearing down the President's plan to bring freedom to Iraq. But since the election, both have refused to discuss the remarkable democratic revolution that took flight this past Sunday.
Former President Jimmy Carter's response was even more pathetic.
Carter, who has been predicting for months that catastrophe would surround the Iraqi elections, has once again shown an unparalleled ability to wind up on the wrong side of history. From the Soviet Union to North Korea, the 39th President has once again shamed all of us Georgia natives.
But his greatest slap at the nascent democratic movement was not his insistence that the election be delayed or permanently postponed, but rather his refusal to offer immediate praise to those true "Minutemen" who dared to dip their finger in ink and cast their lot with liberty.
Can anyone seriously label the Carter Center a "human rights organization" when the events of the past several days prove the bitter ex-president to be a supporter of basic human freedoms only when such rights are advanced by a Democratic administration?
Of course not.
Forget what you've heard. Jimmy Carter is not only the worst president of the 20th Century. He may also go down as the worst ex-president of all time. Especially when you consider the deal he struck with North Korea may have provided the Stalinist regime with the cover needed to export nuclear technology to terrorist states like Libya. (See this morning's NYTimes cover story.)
So what does it all mean? Just what I have been telling you for months.
President Bush's most vocal critics hate him so much that they would rather see freedom fail in Iraq than let the commander in chief's policies be viewed as successful at home.
How sad it must be to be so driven by anger that you find yourself cheering for terrorists.
As for me, I once again quote Tocqueville: "In any other time I think I would have loved freedom. But in this time I am ready to worship it."
May God bless the people of Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, and the U.S. troops and Iraqi police officers who gave their lives so millions could vote in a free election.
Because of them, Iraqis live in dangerous but exciting times.
P.S. — Some praise should be offered to the often-maligned 'New York Times' editorial page. Gail Collins and staff appear to have turned a corner and are now offering cautious optimism for its readers. Because the stakes in Iraq and the Middle East are so high, I couldn't care less if they admit past mistakes. I just want to see them on the side of freedom.
Joe Scarborough will be co-hosting a special State of the Union edition of 'After Hours' with Ron Reagan at midnight on MSNBC. E-mail him at Joe@MSNBC.com if you want your questions answered on-air.
Politics over freedom (Joe Scarborough)
You would like to think that in the end, when all the political shoving and scratching is over, that Americans would come together for what is in the best interest of their country.
Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
Over the past week, Democrats like Ted Kennedy , Madeleine Albright, and Wesley Clark have done their best to downplay the importance of Sunday's Iraqi elections.
Why would they make such absurd statements about a process that will bring democracy to a traumatized country for the first time in history? Why can they not put aside partisan politics for a few days to celebrate the fact that for the first time since they were installed by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th Century, the Sunni minority will no longer be able to oppress the other 80 percent if the Iraqi population?
Why do they choose words that can only be seen as providing comfort to the terrorists who want to delay, undermine, and dismiss this historic election?
For one simple reason: Because success in Iraq means validation of the president's foreign policy goals. And too many Democrats and editorial writers would rather see America humiliated abroad than see the President succeed at home.
This is not easy for me to write. I have spent the better part of a decade in public service trying to explain to Americans that there are great leaders in both political parties. But I would be lying to you if I did not admit that I am ashamed of the actions of some of my Democratic friends.
The same holds true for some of America's great newspapers and news networks.
It goes without saying that were this an effort promoted during the Clinton Administration, press coverage would be almost universally positive and President Clinton would be up for a Nobel Peace Prize.
But since it is George W. Bush, our president is attacked as a war criminal and the press is almost universally negative. Coverage in Europe has been bitterly biased against the forces of freedom. (See Reagan's fight to win the Cold War for a historical parallel.)
If you stuck a gun to my head and asked me to name one good thing that would come out of a John Kerry victory, I would have told you that his win would have finally forced Democrats to get behind their Commander in Chief leading America in our war on terror.
But since their candidate lost, many have allowed their hatred of George W. Bush to put them in the tragic position to be cheering for the same result in Iraq as Osama Bin Laden and al Zarqawi.
I ask the same question to these politicians that John Lennon once asked of his former bandmates.
"How do you sleep at night?"
Bush has come to symbolize the divided political landscape (Joe Scarborough)
There's just something about George W. Bush that divides America into camps of reds and blues, lovers and haters, friends and enemies.
Despite daily protests, I am fond of the 43rd President both personally and politically. Unlike most powerful politicians I have met or worked with, George Bush is what he is. And he really couldn't care less whether you like it or not.
Maybe that approach is what infuriates 48 percent of Americans.
But after listening for years to pundits and talking heads bemoan the fact that all politicians are blow-dried, poll tested zombies, isn't it refreshing to have a regular guy who says: "This is what I believe. If you like it, vote for me. If you don't, vote for the other guy."
I suspect that if John Kerry had tried that approach, he may have been sworn in yesterday as America's 44th president.
But he wasn't.
Instead, America rehired a man who has come to symbolize the divided political landscape we inhabit today every bit as much as Bill Clinton did throughout the 1990s.
Anyone caring to view that faultline up close only needed to watch 'Scarborough Country' last night.
The show started with a bang when our great friend and former Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan suggested that American aggression in the Middle East led to the attacks on 9/11. Andrew Sullivan immediately took Buchanan on and the two spent the next thirty minutes engaged in a heated, yet thoughtful, debate. Buchanan argued that Bush 43 was a dangerous internationalist, while Sullivan stopped just short of suggesting he was a visionary liberator of men.
I suspect we will learn who has it right over the next four years. If Iraqi elections succeed as a poll published this morning in The Washington Post suggests, Bush's inaugural address will be seen as Kennedy-esque. If Iraq implodes, Bush may well be broken politically like another Texan who succeeded JFK— Lyndon Johnson.
Later in the show, Janeane Garofalo and Larry Kudlow almost came to blows over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Bush economic plan. Garofalo, whose feelings for me range from seething contempt to outright hatred, spent her hour in 'Scarborough Country' mad as hell.
The talented actress was so angry with the events of the day that she wasted most of her time snarling at the questions I asked, the jokes I made (not directed in her direction), and blasting me as part of the mainstream media.
She even steadfastly refused to laugh at a clip taken from David Letterman of President Bush stumbling over his words while trying to explain the details of Social Security reform to a clearly baffled audience.
After watching the soundbite, the entire panel broke into laughter. But not Janeane. It was if she thought that wiping the scowl off her face for more than a few seconds would somehow excuse George W. Bush's war crimes against humanity.
Later, she declared that she would not take my "olive branch."
I'm not exactly sure what the hell that means, other than she was ticked off that I was trying to maintain civility on a heated set.
But I have been in politics far too long to take anything said against me personally. Besides, I think Janeane's outburst last night had more to do with the fact that George Bush brings out the worst in blue state progressives than anything I said— that, or the fact that Janeane is secretly hot for me and is working through some very complicated emotions right now.
Her "Air America" co-host Sam Seder was bright, articulate, and on point last night while Larry Kudlow was magnificent playing the part of black-tied-industrialist's best friend. I love that guy!
I just wish we could elect a president who was loved by the overwhelming majority of Americans.
Eight years of division under Bill Clinton and the prospect of eight more under President Bush is wearing me down. And that's not a good thing for an old man with a bad back.
By the way, take a look at this morbid posting by ABC News, trolling for A Few Dead Men to develop a story by which they could embarrass the president:
Jan. 19, 2005— For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20. If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below...
Talk about hamfisted.
And why is it that news outlets are obsessed with protests during Republican inaugurations but give them little more than a fleeting glance when Democrats are sworn in?
History is on the side of freedom (Joe Scarborough)
Ever wonder how the Beatles' greatest hits would have sounded had your aging father been the lead vocalist instead of Lennon and McCartney?
Well, we know the songs would still be great, and the arrangements would be inspirational, but chances are good that something would obviously be missing.
The same could be said about President Bush's inaugural address earlier this afternoon from the western front of the U.S. Capitol.
The president's words could have been penned by Jefferson, Lincoln, or Kennedy .
Though the language was a bit sparse compared to those three giants of American history, Bush's theme borrowed heavily from former legendary orators.
Today, Bush challenged his generation to spread freedom across the globe in words that could have been lifted from JFK's 1961 address. And the almost missionary zeal by which he preached his message of global liberty was nothing short of Jeffersonian.
But George W. Bush is no Thomas Jefferson.
Nor is he JFK when it comes to speechmaking. But he doesn't have to be.
The 43rd president knows who he is, and knows that when it comes to addressing America and the world, he comes across as something less than a rock star.
But unlike his predecessor, Bill Clinton, Bush 43 has something else going for him. People know that when he speaks, he means what he says and says what he means. And if George Bush sends terrorists the message that freedom will not be trumped by fear, they know to take him at his word.
My prediction is that this presidential address will be remembered long after Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan's combined four inaugural speeches are forgotten.
History is on the side of freedom, and that story was told today in rich detail by the most underestimated president in recent American history. And even if he didn't sound like FDR, George W. Bush confirmed the dawning of a new era in American international policy. And his political opponents would be wise to work with him or get out of the way.
It is never wise to be on the wrong side of history. And events over the past quarter century show that the irreversible march of freedom has swept from Eastern Europe through Central America, across to Afghanistan and into Iraq.
One person supporting the president's efforts in this area is the ever-intriguing Hillary Clinton. Senator Clinton showed once again last night why she is ready to lead the Democratic Party back to majority status. Not only has the formerly leftist First Lady streaked to the center on national defense, but now she is telling Democratic audiences of the importance of God in public life.
Last night in Boston, the junior senator from New York shocked Democratic supporters by declaring that there must be room for religious people to "live out their faith in the public square."
Egad! What are the lawyers at the ACLU saying tonight?
Who knows? But Clinton's speech shows once again that she is the one person outside of the Republican Party who was listening to Zell Miller's speech at the GOP Convention.
From the nation's capital ( From the ScarCo Transmission newsletter)
Out there in the blogosphere people are calling Senator Boxer's treatment of Dr. Condoleezza Rice an embarrassment. Senator John F. Kerry and Boxer were the only two members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote her nomination to the full senate. The final vote: 16-2 .
So we have to ask, "If Democrats were going to overwhelmingly approve of Dr. Rice's nomination, why were they so nasty to her in the hearings? Could Democrats be setting a new tone in D.C.?"
Joe's in the nation's capital tonight. You won't want to miss his perspective on tomorrow's historic inaugural. What can we expect from president Bush? What about the next four years? Joe Scarborough brings you the Real Deal on the second term of President George W. Bush.
In the meantime, here's an excerpt of something from Pat Buchanan on the consequences of worshipping the golden calf of democracy. He'll be joining us on the show tonight.
Does Wilson’s fate await Bush? (Pat Buchanan)
Will George W. Bush be defending to his dying day, against the pitiless evidence of events, his “global democratic revolution”?
Contingent upon what happens in Afghanistan and Iraq, that may well be his fate. For, as Bush’s strength is Wilson’s strength, his flaw is Wilson’s flaw. Both men promised an earthly utopia through liberty and free elections. Both worshipped the golden calf democracy...
As with Wilson, Bush’s belief in the salvific power of free elections has become near-religious. He has told staff he believes that, fifty years from now, he will be remembered for his “forward strategy of freedom.” His inaugural address is to be about liberty. In the Oval Office last week, he elaborated on how democracy was going to transform the Middle East:
“I believe democracy can take hold in parts of the world that have been condemned to tyranny. And I believe when democracies take hold, it leads to peace. That’s been the proven example around the world. Democracies equal peace.”
But is this realistic, or utopian?
Bush has gambled his presidency, the lives of our soldiers, the prestige of the U.S. military, and our superpower standing in the world on the questionable proposition that democracy will, under our tutelage, take root rapidly in desert soil where it has never sprouted before.
Wilson did not live to see the consequences of the disastrous peace he brought home from Versailles. President Bush, however, will likely reap the fruits, or witness the futility and failure of his great gamble, before he leaves office.
E-mail Pat at PBuchanan@MSNBC.com