Joy Reid had on her show this morning not one, but two GOP stalwarts and the subject was “tone.” Since the shooting of Steve Scalise, many republicans (and democrats) have called for a more civilized tone in our political rhetoric. Many would agree with that, but what irked Reid was the “furrowed brow — tisk tisking” by the GOP towards the Democratic Party and media about their tone as if the left’s “incivility” was somehow equivalent or even greater than what comes from the GOP and especially Trump and his base.
Joy found it “ironic” to be polite.
First, she let GOP strategist Evan Siegfried have the floor. He took the bait from Reid’s set-up and went straight for the “bothsidesism” as she put it. Reid then unleashed a slew of examples of right wing hate vs. those on the left saying it is “insensitive” to do things like cutting meals on wheels, Sesame Street and going after Medicaid which hurts the poor.” She cited people like Chris Collins, Ted Nugent and others and their past and present comments either threatening to shoot Obama and calling those on the left to be the “real” violent types.
Regardless of what the surrogates and supporters say, Reid also pointed out that the “fish rots from the head” and that Trump has been leading the charge. She played two montages of Trump calling 70 to 75 percent of the media “scumbags,” threatening NBC journalist Katy Tur, and calling an ABC correspondent a “sleaze.” That in addition to threatening protestors with violence, calling his supporters on to carry out that violence, and promising to pay the legal bills of any that did.
There is no false equivalency there and Joy had one Republican defeated.
Later she turned to former South Carolina GOP chair (and current consultant to the GOP), Katon Dawson. Reid asked him about the “tone” and false equivalencies and Dawson took a different tact than Siegfried. He just changed the subject. Although Dawson didn’t defend the indefensible, he did end up at least speaking a little truth. He pointed out that the more vitriolic tones in various circles are all about motivating the base. In other words, the people who vote and vote in primaries, especially.
That point was agreed to by the final panelist, political and marketing consultant Tara Dowdell. She then flipped it on its head and reiterated Joy’s theme about the false equivalencies from the GOP about “tone.” Dowdell pointed out that Democrats should be criticizing policies that hurt the poor. Democrats should be criticizing the things this administration are doing and the policies that they embrace. Not to mention all the possible corruption including (but not limited to) the Russian investigations. Criticizing those things are not the same as calling for journalists and protestors to be attacked.
Check out the full segment with Joy Reid and her guests where she gives a clinic in taking down GOP talking points in a polite and civil way below:
Many will argue that we do need a more civilized tone in our rhetoric. But trying to chastise the left after the last eight years where Barack Obama was vilified and dehumanized in ways no other President has ever been — is not the way to get there. There are no equivalencies here. Both sides certainly make errors but eight years of accusing the President of being a fraud in regards to being born in America and part of a secret Muslim conspiracy with zero proof is a far cry from trying to protect Meals on Wheels, PBS and Medicaid. When those on the left go over the line, like Kathy Griffin did and Bill Maher did, they apologize. When those on the right go over the line they double down, tell everyone to get over it or deny they said things that sometimes are clearly on tape.