‘Morning Joe’ Still Doesn’t Understand Why Harry Reid Is Going After The Koch Brothers

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

If Harry Reid isn’t careful, Democrats might just lose the all-important “Morning Joe” vote this year.

On Wednesday, MSNBC’s purveyors of conventional wisdom once again panned Reid’s attacks on the billionaire Koch brothers. Joe Scarborough said the strategy is evidence that Democrats are “devoid of ideas” and “disconnected from America.”

“Harry Reid has lost his political mind,” the host declared.

Scarborough’s sidekick Willie Geist also questioned the effectiveness of going after the Kochs, wondering how “moderate voters” will respond. And Scarborough even suggested that liberals might be annoyed with Reid because the super rich siblings have made contributions to cancer research and the arts.

Eventually the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein was brought in to explain that Reid has been, in part, tossing red meat to Democrats. Dave Weigel made this point earlier this week, revealing that one Democratic campaign tripled its fundraising haul after it started mentioning the Koch brothers in emails to donors.

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent also offered a helpful explainer earlier this month. The Kochs, Sargent wrote, make it easier for Democrats to highlight the GOP’s actual policy priorities, similar to the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital.

Of course, the Bain attacks also drew negative reviews on “Morning Joe,” with Scarborough spending much of the 2012 campaign assailing the Obama campaign the same way he’s been assailing Reid in recent weeks.

When Obama’s team released an ad calling Romney a “job destroyer,” Scarborough scoffed and insisted that “Americans won’t buy that nonsense.”

But those Bain attacks probably did work, particularly in Ohio, where voters were blanketed with reminders of Romney’s time at the private equity firm.

Scarborough’s skepticism ultimately carried less weight than the encouragement from Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), who made it clear that the Bain attacks resonated in his state.

One assumes that Democrats won’t listen to Scarborough this time either.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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