“There will obviously be limits, correct, for certain assignments women can do based on physical ability. [..] There’s a reason why there are no women are in the NFL… there’s a difference physically between men and women. Can we say that in 2013? [...] I hope the Pentagon thinks through this in a way that puts American lives at risk… I’m not saying I don’t want women in combat. … But I’ll be damned, if we find out that the Pentagon is lowering standards for politically correct reasons, then you know what, the blood of dead Americans will be on their hands. … ..” – Joe Scarborough
TODAY ON “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough once again revealed why he’s not capable of handling certain issues, at least not without his co-host Mika Brzezinski next to him.
The quote above is not the entire transcript, so I urge you to watch the whole video.
What the quote above does reveal is that Joe Scarborough actually entertains aloud that the Pentagon would even consider lowering standards in order to appease women’s equality through combat positions that would cost American lives. It turned a critically important discussion into another Joe Scarborough verbal train wreck.
Everyone on set from Richard Wolffe to Steve Rattner and Kelly O’Donnell did their level best to save the foot-in-mouth infotainment host, but Scarborough, as is his habit, arrogantly blundered on.
If Ms. Brzezinski was on set, she would have at least been able to check Scarborough’s spasm of deduction, which isn’t just about misogyny, but mostly about his unending inability to have opinions where women are concerned that don’t require a rewrite. It’s not even about being one of those cable hosts who hasn’t evolved enough to have completely let go of his learned southern sexism. It’s about his immaturity, even after all these years as a cable host, to be able to edit himself before he slams into inflammatory Sean Hannity territory.
When Scarborough’s good he’s good, but when he’s bad he’s nuclear.
It’s happened before. When President Obama instituted universal contraception, Scarborough compared that to the federal government demanding Southern Baptists ordain female deacons. Brzezinski tried hard to save him on that one, but he wouldn’t listen.
Oh, but Scarborough wants us all to know he isn’t against women in combat. He’s for it. It’s just he’ll “…be damned, if we find out that the Pentagon is lowering standards for politically correct reasons, then you know what, the blood of dead Americans will be on their hands.”
The notion that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta or any leader of the U.S. Armed Forces would allow the “lowering of standards for politically correct reasons,” but specifically to allow women in combat positions that would put Americans in harm’s way, is outrageous. That Scarborough would go even further to state aloud that the “blood of dead Americans will be on their hands,” meaning the leadership inside the Pentagon for allowing it, by expanding opportunity to women to be in combat is reprehensible.
From NPR yesterday:
At a briefing Thursday morning, Pentagon officials repeatedly stressed that there will be “gender-neutral standards” for combat positions. This could make it difficult for women to qualify in roles that specifically require upper-body strength.
For example, to work in a tank, women will have to demonstrate the ability to repeatedly load 55-pound tank shells, just as men are required to do.
Infantry troops routinely carry backpacks with 60 or 70 pounds of gear, or even more. The most common injury in Afghanistan is caused by roadside bombs. This raises the question of whether a female combat soldier would be able to carry a 200-pound male colleague who has been wounded.
NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman recently reported on the first two women allowed into the Marines’ grueling 12-week Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, Va. Both women were in outstanding physical condition, yet both dropped out early in the training.
A simple Google search would have led Joe Scarborough to this information or other facts on the change, which includes General Dempsey’s approval of it.
Good faith effort by everyone else on the set of “Morning Joe” couldn’t save or deter Scarborough from doubling down, then crashing.
Cable shows, no matter the network, are continually turning into an assault on viewers intelligence, not to mention doing the audience a disservice through misinformation or hyperbole. Dumbing down important debates in this country, including offering only hyper partisan views, while sacrificing facts and the truth to such a degree that most political cable shows have become unwatchable.