It’s the week after the big shakeup at Fox News and the network’s 8 p.m. slot that has been occupied by alleged serial harasser Bill O’Reilly is being taken over by the cherubic Tucker Carlson. And what better way to promote his new show than to have him join his former BFFs on Fox and Friends and say something stupid?
Carlson was his usual bundle of idiocy during the segment, which was mainly focused on immigration and Trump’s demand for a border wall. He was amazed that Democrats were upset at how much the wall will cost, and said this:
It costs too much? Really? From people who don’t care what anything costs? That’s not a real argument. Their real problem with it is this may stop the flow of cheap labor and new voters.
There’s plenty to unpack in that statement, but nothing really new — we’ve heard that from Carlson and others in right-wing media many times over the years. But then he added something we haven’t heard before:
Why do they dislike Trump so much in the first place? It’s interesting. I mean there are things to criticize about Donald Trump, but if you’re a Democrat Trump is the most politically moderate Republican in the history of the country.
Even though he said “politically moderate Republican,” he probably meant “politically moderate Republican president.” There were dozens of “politically moderate Republicans” in various offices in the 1950s and 1960s. More recently, George W. Bush wasn’t much of a moderate, nor was Reagan, even though he did some things that would get him booted out of today’s GOP for being too “liberal.”
But there were at least a handful of Republican presidents who were more moderate than Trump. Here are just a few examples.
Theodore Roosevelt greatly expanded the national park system and is often known as “the conservation president.” A short time ago Trump signed an executive order that will make it easier for oil and gas companies to drill in those national parks.
Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump’s proposed budget slashes so much funding for the EPA that even the right-wing Washington Times called the cuts the “harshest” in the agency’s history.
Dwight Eisenhower cautioned Americans about falling prey to the “military-industrial complex,” and despite being one of America’s greatest generals was in many ways a pacifist. Trump, who never served a day in uniform, wants to drastically increase the “defense” budget and in just three months in office has launched several military attacks.
Carlson’s comment about Democrats and the border wall is likely to get the most attention. But it’s what he said about Trump being a moderate is what we really ought to be talking about.
Here are Carlson’s remarks, via Fox and Friends: