MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough clashed with a guest during a debate over whether the Republican Party had become a fascist movement.
Author Shadi Hamid and MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan resumed their discussion on the future of American democracy Wednesday on “Morning Joe,” but Scarborough bridled at his guest’s assessment of GOP authoritarianism and the investigation of Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
“That’s why I said you can have two thoughts as once, and why can’t we look inward and consider our own faults because that’s what we should do in a democracy,” said Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and author of the forthcoming book, “The Problem of Democracy.” “The Mueller investigation, I think there’s an argument to be made that it did try and delegitimize Trump, and that’s how conservatives perceived it. They saw there was an attack on their right to vote for Donald Trump. Yes, Hillary [Clinton] won the popular vote, and we base our elections whether we like it or not based on the Electoral College.”
Scarborough cut in to fact check Hamid’s claims.
“Let me say, as I say to my Republican friends, if you think there’s such thing as a Russian hoax, read the Mueller report and then read Marco Rubio’s intel committee report from the United States Senate that said Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign actually caused a serious counterintelligence threat to the United States,” Scarborough said. “So I understand, I really do, I understand what you are doing and I understand what you are doing because my wife tells me I do it too much, trying to find common ground, trying to figure out how to stitch this fabric of our country back together again.”
“I just got to say, though, and I want to ask you to do what he has been asking you to do in the debate, and let’s do this,” Scarborough continued. “Let’s separate the voters, let’s separate the voters of Donald Trump and let’s separate the Republican Party, and I want to look at some of the things Donald Trump has done and then we get back to the fascist question, and we can talk about the rallies and in the rallies Donald Trump saying beat up protesters, you know, get them carried out on a stretcher, I will pay for your legal bills if you do that. Praising a member of Congress for beating up a member of the press, simply because the member of the press asked him a question about health care reform, and all this violent imagery Donald Trump has celebrated.”
“Having rallies where he’s telling people of color who happen to be members of Congress to go back to where they came from, this ultra-nationalist worldview,” he added. “Then, of course, Jan. 6, summoning people to Washington, D.C. and giving a speech and pushing them up towards the Capitol, and while rioting sending out texts and attacking Mike Pence, knowing Pence was on the run with his family. I guess my question is, if this doesn’t fit the question of fascism, what does?”
Hamid agreed everything he’d mentioned was bad, authoritarian and bigoted, but he argued that it fell just short of fascist.
“Those things are not necessarily anti-democratic — the insurrection was, and other things Trump has done,” Hamid said. “He doesn’t believe in [or] respect democratic outcomes, no doubt about it, but all the other list of bad things, those are things that a lot of Republicans, just normal conservative Republicans, believe on anti-immigration policy or Muslims or people of color, and so forth.”
Hasan rolled his eyes, and Scarborough jumped back in.
“Wait, wait, what about — hold on a second,” Scarborough said. “I know, and I will let you finish. I forgot the Muslim registry, which, when he did it in December of 2015, I said, my God, this is out of Germany in 1933, is it not?”
Hamid agreed that, as a Muslim himself, had frightened him, and he expressed relief that Trump never followed through on that, but he insisted that voters had a right to vote for candidates who express “crazy ideas” like that, but Hasan heard enough.
“There’s a lot of strawmen here,” Hasan said. “Nobody is saying they don’t have a right to vote for crazy ideas, nobody is saying all Trump voters are fascists. You used the word authoritarian, and I’m fine with he word authoritarian, we’re not into pedantry here, but the other argument, these Trump voters would be upset calling authoritarian, but you’re calling Trump authoritarian, so let’s agree he’s something that is not normal, he’s a threat to democracy. He’s not just anti-immigration, and he wanted to build a moat and put alligators in it and shoot immigrants in the legs. If that’s not fascism, I don’t know what is.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
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