What does that say about them: In the wake of Joe and Mika's silly op-ed column, we liberals need to get clear on a few basic facts:
Within the political realm, Trumpism got here long before Trump. Many other people were Donald J. Trump before Trump came along.
In 1999 and 2000 (and beyond), Chris Matthews was Trump-before-Trump. Maureen Dowd was also Trump. Because of her dominant role at the Times, no one was willing to say so.
When they spent two years inventing crazy claims by Candidate Gore, the mainstream press corps was Trump-before-Trump. Joe and Mika have been Donald J. Trump pretty much since they went on the air.
We'll grant you this—Trump is even more disordered than these earlier Trumps. In effect, he's the 800-pound, poo-flinging Sasquatch of the Trumpist world.
That said, the others were Trump before Trump. Having established that point, here's the ugly fact about our tribe:
Until the 800-pound Sasquatch arrived, we were simply too lazy and dumb to see the Trumpism around us. They were eating our culture alive. We were too dumb to see this.
(The press corps never said that Gore was bleeding from a face lift. Until the statements get that dumb, we're too dumb to notice.)
Joe and Mika are grasping circus clowns, not unlike Donald J. Trump. Their column today is childish and silly, as their work frequently is.
When Trump announced in 2015, they worked and slaved and pandered and fawned to the greatness of their friend. Trump had already been the nation's Birther King for four gruesome years at that point.
What kinds of people would fawn to Trump four years into that reign? Duh! The kind who wanted their ratings to climb so their fat bloated salaries would follow! Here's what this silly, ridiculous pair has phonily written today:
JOE AND MIKA (6/30/17): We have known Mr. Trump for more than a decade and have some fond memories of our relationship together. But that hasn't stopped us from criticizing his abhorrent behavior or worrying about his fitness. During the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, Joe often listened to Trump staff members complain about their boss's erratic behavior, including a top campaign official who was as close to the Republican candidate as anyone.Really? The chronology breaks down like this:
They met Trump in maybe 2005. In 2011, he turned himself into the Birther King.
Four years after that, in 2015 and early 2016, they fawned to him as few others did. Apparently, something "stopped [them] from criticizing his abhorrent behavior [and] worrying about his fitness" at that particular time.
It isn't just Joe and Mika. We've rarely seen as much pious hypocrisy as Anderson Cooper displayed last night. Consider this heartfelt exchange with Jeffrey Lord, who had an especially unhelpful night:
LORD (6/29/17): Everything we're talking about tonight has in a sense been litigated already. We had the election. This may be the latest episode, but these episodes have been had many times during the campaign. This discussion was had and he won the election.Inspiring! Unfortunately, Cooper did serial interviews with Candidate Trump in which he basically functioned as Donald Trump's caddie and pool boy. Now that the nation is reaping the whirlwind, he's decided to stand up and be decent.
COOPER: Right. But that doesn't make it right.
LORD: I'm not saying it's right.
COOPER: I mean, when somebody says something disgusting, you know, I think it is incumbent on decent people to stand up, point it out and say, "You know what, this is not normal."
What was he doing back then?
The press corps is crawling with people who have chosen to profit off Trump's disordered behavior. The tabloids made money off him back in the 1980s. In 1990, Diane Sawyer scored the interview with Marla Maples and asked her if sex with the Donald was the best she'd ever had.
Starting in 2004, NBC scored off his goony entertainment show. When he finally threw his hat in the ring, our biggest stars threw their withered souls away in pursuit of the ratings gains which occurred when he went on their programs.
Joe and Mika were among the worst. They're among the worst today, even after they've flipped.
Our tribe was too dumb to see what was happening within our discourse until the 800-pound Sasquatch arrived. In particular, we were too dumb to see the way our leaders were conning us as they accepted all the Trumps who arrived on the scene before Trump.
Matthews was Trump; Dowd was Trump. Chait and Marshall and Robinson simply weren't willing to tell you.
Rachel Maddow even tried to sell us Greta Van Susteren! For all those years, Greta had been Fox's designated enabler of the deranged Birther King. She and Rachel were drinking pals!
Our tribe has been conned for decades now. We've been played by the likes of Mika and Joe. It seems we're too dumb for this game.
A final point about Trump: Donald J. Trump seems to be highly disordered. We would assume that he is some form of "mentally ill."
If so, that's a terrible problem. But it's also a very serious matter.
It should be discussed in a serious way. Yesterday, Joe and Mika, but especially Mika, were just throwing their noise all around.
(By the way, was Donald J. Trump abused as a child? Is that a possible explanation for his disordered behavior? As caring, empathetic liberals, would we know how to tell? How to care? How to stop berating him on a moral basis once we've said he's mentally ill?)
Joe and Mika aren't super-serious people. Mika is very poorly suited to be a political pundit—unlike, for example, Kirsten Powers, who was especially sharp on Cooper's program last night.
(Much sharper than Ryan Lizza, who is, to our surprise, being pushed beyond his depth by his reactions to Donald J. Trump and to those who defend him.)
As is the case with Comey the God, Joe and Mika only seem serious when they're compared to the very large beast who's currently thrashing around. Did you catch them back in their "Bickersons" days? They were a version of Donald J. Trump years before Trump came along.
They were great pals with the Birther King. What does that say about them?