I'm not some big fan of MSNBC regular Jonathan Capehart because frankly the man regularly just glosses over or minimizes just how crazy the Republican Party has become these days and chalks a lot of it up to just politics as usual, when I don't think there's anything normal about how far the GOP has fallen off the cliff to the right, but the treatment he received by both host Joe Scarborough and guest New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on this Thursday's edition of Morning Joe just sickened me.
As most people who visit this site probably already know, Gov. Christie vetoed the gay marriage bill in New Jersey and that ended up being the main topic of discussion during this segment. When Capehart tried to pin Christie down about why he thought it was acceptable to put a civil rights issue up for referendum with the voters, he ended up being bullied and talked over and interrupted by both Christie and Scarborough.
Christie is trying to have it both ways with this debate and deflect how rotten it is that he had a chance to single-handedly give a group of people in New Jersey the right to be married by signing that bill into law, and blamed his decision on the Democrats, because they claimed that a majority of people in his state wanted it, while not wanting it subjected to the will of the voters. So naturally it's all their fault because he had no other choice than to decide to try to prove them wrong instead of doing the right thing. He also tried to claim that both he and President Obama have the same stance on gay marriage.
When Capehart attempted to explain that that's not true since Obama has instructed his Justice Department not to defend DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act and that he has never issued any veto threats if the Congress would actually pass a law allowing gay marriage, Christie decided it was best to just talk over him and hammer him about what Obama's stance is on gay marriage. I'll give Capehart credit for this much though and that is he got Christie to admit that civil rights should not have been put up for a vote a half century ago. He didn't have that same luck trying to get him to relate that struggle to those wanting marriage equality for the LGBT community today.
Scarborough chimed in and did the tired comparison where tried to make the ridiculous analogy that if gay people weren't being hosed down, or had dogs attacking them as we saw during some of the protests during the 60's over civil rights, that it's not "morally equivalent" to compare the struggle over gay rights to those of blacks and minorities in America. Which is of course completely ridiculous and when John Heilemann pointed out that Scarborough was making a completely unfair analogy, he just yelled over him and got aggressive with him as well.
Scarborough is apparently oblivious to the fact that there is unfortunately a lot of hostility and violence perpetrated against the gay community by bigoted fearful people that would rather harm or kill someone than be accepting of the differences among us. And I've got to wonder why that is a standard that should be set for anyone that is a minority or not treated fairly under the law to have their grievances taken seriously. Does Scarborough think that because women didn't have fire hoses and dogs used on them when they were protesting for the right to vote that it detracts from our struggles over the years as well? The next time he brings this up, and this is at least the second time I've heard this sort of nonsense out of him, I'd love for someone to ask him that question. Just how much violence does any group have to put up with before they meet the Joe Scarborough standard as qualifying for someone being oppressed or discriminated against that deserves to be respected or taken seriously? I'd love to know.
I'm sure the right wing loves bullies like Scarborough and Christie, but I found it really disturbing to watch these two brow beat a black gay man and talk over him instead of allowing him to defend himself when discussing whether he and his partner should not be treated like second class citizens. Truly disgusting.
And one last side note for anyone who watches the clip, Harold Ford Jr. should be ashamed of himself as well because all he did here was to validate Scarborough and Christie's bad behavior. This show truly belongs on Fox in the morning and what's sad is Fox & Friends is so bad, these guys all look like Rhodes scholars compared to the average IQ level that's aired daily on that show.
Sadly we've got Chris Hayes and now Melissa Harris-Perry resigned to the weekends where right wing hackery doesn't rule the day and there's respectful, intelligent discussions going on, and three hours of this along with Chuck Todd and Chris Jansing in its place during the middle of the week. If MSNBC actually cared about their ratings and not just promoting right wing talking points, Scarborough would be toast along with a lot of their daytime lineup and Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes would have David Gregory's spot on Meet the Press. That's likely to happen when hell freezes over.