A Reinhold Niebuhr award for Joe Scarborough

Amidst all the scandals erupting from New York (about which, more later–stay tuned), finally a big helping of ethics cheer: Joe Scarborough earns a (mythical) Reinhold Niebuhr award* for bringing good temper and integrity into the political fight.

Thanks to Samuel Jacobs for alerting us to Scarborough’s ethics heroism in his Daily Beast blog.

Scarborough, a conservative Republican former congressman from Pensacola and now co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, blasted Glenn Beck for hate-mongering:

“We’re going to have a conservatives’ honor roll on this show… I’m talking to you, Mitt Romney, and I’m talking about anyone who wants to be president in 2012. … You need to call out this type of hatred.”

The highest level of political ethics is to call out members of one’s own party. We’re not surprised when Republicans call out Charlie Rangel, or when Democrats criticize Appalachian Trail-trekker, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. That’s no contribution to the integrity of the political fight. But when a Republican calls out fellow Republicans like Scarborough did, he deserves kudos. And when he does it on national television he deserves a Niebuhr award. Nice going Joe.

Romney declined, through a spokesman, to take up Scarborough’s challenge.

______

*Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, ‘The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”

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