Republicans are a funny lot.
Yesterday, Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman and now morning blowhard on MSNBC, was adamant that Mitt Romney use the occasion of Todd Akin’s national stupidity as a “Sister Souljah moment,” a time to demonstrate his leadership over the extremists in the GOP by telling Akin “every day” to “get out!” of the race.
Well, Mittens failed to do that when given his first opportunity, of course, just as he has failed to assert any leadership over other extremists in his party—on the contrary he has essentially embraced them—whether it be Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Allen West or Michele Bachmann or, gawd, that list is almost inexhaustible.
But today’s Joe Scarborough was perfectly fine with Romney’s rather gentle suggestion that Akin,
take these next 24 hours to spend time with himself and his family and conclude what’s right for him and his family and also for the things he believes in for the country.
There was no Sister Souljah moment there. No demands that Akin leave the race and stop embarrassing not just his party but the entire country. Nothing like that. Oh, Romney did say Akin’s “comments about rape were deeply offensive,” but we got no sense of how deep was the offense. But we do know Romney’s comments fell way short of what Scarborough called for on Monday.
But this is Tuesday. Today Scarborough said,
I think Mitt Romney did what was, I think, politically best yesterday.
What would happen if Romney said, “I’m offended by this” and “Get out of the race today!’ and Akin goes, “Screw you”? What are the headlines the next day going into the convention? “He can’t even control a little congressman.” We would all be saying it. “Nobody respects Mitt Romney!” “He can’t even control a little congressman who is an extremist in his party.”
I guess leadership means never taking a risk that someone won’t follow your lead, right, Joe?
So, today, rather than calling for a Sister Souljah moment, Scarborough opts for Pee Wee Herman.