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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

It wasn’t long ago that Matt Taibbi called the Morning Joe crew Donald Trump’s “lapdogs,” for their eager doting on the then-frontrunner. At the time, damning audio tape had just been published of Trump praising Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. “I watched your show this morning,” Donald Trump said. “You have me almost as a legendary figure, I like that.”

Since then, the duo seem to have made a concerted effort to harden their coverage of the presumptive nominee. And Joe Scarborough, the show’s anchor and a former Republican congressman, has taken the opportunity to defend his party from what, it has become increasingly clear, is an existential crisis.

“You’re acting like a bush league loser,” Scarborough starts. And it doesn’t get nicer from there.

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

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