‘Competence Is Actually at the Helm’: MSNBC Regular’s Laugh Line of the Day

News & Politics

In a line that was one where you had to rewind the show a few times to make sure it was real, MSNBC regular and Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr. appeared on Monday’s Morning Joe and, in trying to explain Americans’ relatively positive mood nowadays, got off this laugh line: “We cannot underestimate the importance of competence…Competence is actually at the helm.”

Seriously? Try this thought experiment, if you dare: Imagine Joe Biden at the helm of the Ship of State. Estimated time to capsizing — over/under 30 seconds!

For the record, Glaude was reacting to a recent Harvard/Harris poll showing Biden with relatively high approval ratings and the suggestion that Biden’s ratings are due to the country (and specifically cable news consumers) aren’t spending every waking moment fixated on Donald Trump.

Just prior to Glaude’s remarks about Biden’s supposed competency (which came following a brief gas crisis, businesses struggling to find workers to sufficiently reopen, the possibility of tax increases, and rising inflation), host Joe Scarborough provided some inadvertent humor of his own about the poll and what it means for Americans as consumers of news (click “expand,” emphasis added):

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SCARBOROUGH: I’m the wrong person to deliver this message since we’re the hosts of a three-hour show, Mika and I, about politics, I mean, it’s not good for this country to be talking about politics 24 hours a day. That’s not who we are.

MIKA: Or fighting about politics

SCARBOROUGH:  Or even talking about politics, obsessing about politics: people looking at MSNBC or Fox 24 hours a day. Or CNN 24 hours a day. I feel, like — like, then to Ferris Bueller, what are you still doing here? Like, do something. Get out. you know, and Donald Trump had people talking about Donald Trump, including us, 24 hours. I think this return to normalcy cannot be overrstated and you look at these numbers and the right track, I wonder, Eddie, if that’s one of the things that are pushing these numbers up.

At least when it comes to MSNBC and CNN, finally something we can agree on!

Also on Monday, our friends at Townhall published a column from Jeff Crouere entitled “Joe Biden Is Sick” that made these incontrovertible assertions:

The 78-year-old President of the United States, Joe Biden, is not well. He is suffering from an obvious mental decline . . . Clearly, Biden does not exhibit the same mental acuity that he did as a United States Senator. Comparing videos of Senator Biden versus President Biden shows he is a shadow of his former self . . . President Biden often stumbles through his speeches, having to repeat passages that he could not communicate correctly. Even more troubling, he frequently forgets what he is doing or where he is going, showing a much more severe decline than the normal aging process.”

MSNBC regular Eddie Glaude Jr. risibly saying of President Biden that “competence is at the helm” was sponsored in part by IHOP, Volkswagen, and Untuckit.

Here’s the transcript.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe
05/31/21
6:07 a.m. Eastern

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: New numbers from a Harvard/Harris poll show President Biden’s approval rating sits at 62 percent. That is the highest mark for his administration so far. His disapproval rating also reached a new low of 38 percent. The same poll also shows 47 percent of Americans believe the country is on the right track. Back in January, just 27 percent said the country was headed in the right direction, so Joe Biden banking some good numbers here in his presidency.

(….)

6:09 p.m. Eastern

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I’m a skeptic. You know, I — I beat the crowd early and tweeted, I — probably back in early October of last year. I don’t believe any polls and I didn’t believe any of those polls that were saying Biden was so far ahead. But in this case, then — yeah, so — but in this case, something’s happening that seems to be quite different than what the House GOP caucus is thinking or doing.

(….)

6:13 a.m. Eastern

SCARBOROUGH: I’m the wrong person to deliver this message since we’re the hosts of a three-hour show, Mika and I, about politics, I mean, it’s not good for this country to be talking about politics 24 hours a day. That’s not who we are.

MIKA: Or fighting about politics

SCARBOROUGH:  Or even talking about politics, obsessing about politics: people looking at MSNBC or Fox 24 hours a day. Or CNN 24 hours a day. I feel, like — like, then to Ferris Bueller, what are you still doing here? Like, do something. Get out. you know, and Donald Trump had people talking about Donald Trump, including us, 24 hours. I think this return to normalcy cannot be overrstated and you look at these numbers and the right track, I wonder, Eddie, if that’s one of the things that are pushing these numbers up.

EDDIE GLAUDE JR.: I think, Joe, I think you’re right in this sense, right? We cannot underestimate the importance of competence, and in some ways, the displacement of spectacle. Under the Trump administration, every single day, as you rightly describe, we were dealing with the circus and P.T. Barnum. And our politics felt that way, right? And there’s this sense in which the — the seams of the country were coming — were coming undone. And there was this intensity. And then you combine that with the reality of Covid-19, its devastation. And of course, incompetence was on display every single day. So we cannot downplay the comfort that some of us feel in the country, that government is actually working, or at least trying to work. That competence is actually at the helm.

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