Former Republican congressman and current right wing MSNBC host Joe Scarborough appears to have been replaced by a clone cooked up by Bernie Sanders.
In a surprisingly progressive column for the Washington Post, Scarborough urges voters to not blame Donald Trump for paying so little in taxes, rather, he urges us to be angry at Congress for creating a separate tax code for the rich:
But let’s not hate the player. Let’s save our contempt for the game.
In this confounding game, Congress has pieced together a collection of rules for billionaires that give massive tax breaks to real-estate developers, hedge-fund titans and trust-fund babies who spend their lives moving money from one financial institution to another instead of sweating away in jobs where they pick up paychecks every few weeks for a job well done.
It's tempting to think that Trump's former top cheerleader was, to mix my metaphors, running interference for him by taking the focus off of Trump but the next paragraph might as well have been written by Bernie himself and does Trump no favors.:
Trump, Romney and Obama are doing what you and I try to do every year by paying as little legally to the IRS as possible. But a system that allows these powerful leaders to skate past the tax man on April 15 is deeply offensive and even immoral in these times when the wealthiest Americans get richer by the day, the poorest sink deeper into despair and members of the middle class wage a war against technology, globalization and growing debt that they are sure to lose unless Washington wakes up.
Considering Scarborough's usual full-throated defense of conservative ideals, this is much closer to mainstream angst than usual.
Even so, Trump's aggressive use of loopholes, "creative accounting" that keeps resulting in audits by the IRS and bragging about how he evades taxes speaks to a kind of disdain for the social contract that most millionaires/billionaires either don't share or are loathe to publicly voice. And if, as Scarborough says, the system that allows it is deeply offensive and even immoral, what does that say about a man who wallows in that system like a pig in mud?
The real reason Trump not paying taxes is such an issue is that it directly undermines his talking point about how the system is rigged against the people that he's pretending he cares about. While his white supremacist voters only care about making America white again, the other "basket" is full of people legitimately angry at a system that is, in fact, rigged. But how loyal will they be to a man that is a creation of that system and will do anything and everything to preserve it for his own benefit?
Joe Scarborough may or may not be trying to provide a bit of cover to Trump, but he made it clear that Trump is still worthy of all of the considerable scorn the taxpayers can muster.