I post the following observations on the assumption that somebody still watches Joe Scarborough on MSNBC and that another 20 or 30 Americans actually care what Joe Scarborough writes for Politico, which, yesterday, was this:
[T]he general theme that the tea party has been bad for the GOP is pure malarkey....
[W]hether opinion leaders like it or not, the tea party helped engineer a Republican landslide, reframed the national debate and put the president so far back on his heels that even Mitt Romney has a chance to be president.
Joe's argument is essentially an amoral one; were he writing 60 years ago, he would, presumably, argue that McCarthyism's defilement of traditional, midwestern Republicanism is a good thing, since, hey, it revs up the more malicious elements of the base--and whatever accomplishes that purely political objective is a good in itself.
Ask not whether reframing "the national debate" in 2010 away from health-insuring 30 million more Americans was a good thing, and naturally we should accept as a national good the unspeakable tragedy of so ruthlessly undercutting an honorable, sitting president that a subterranean rodent like Romney could become a real national threat.
It's one-dimensional cutthroats like Scarborough who give political pragmatism a bad name, and make me ashamed to be an adherent of it.