MSNBC Host Worries Trump May Use Health Crisis To 'Reign as a Monarch'


In a way, I’m almost comforted by the fact that Joy Reid is still saying crazy things in the midst of a global pandemic.

It’s the sort of thing that makes you realize life’s eventually going to go back to normal.

Sure, things are going to be rough for a while. But your neighborhood diner will go back to serving pancakes good enough to abandon your diet for. You’ll still be the worst player in your pick-up basketball league. Joy Reid will still be spreading crazy talking points.

And that’s the great thing about the last one: You can still enjoy it while you’re self-isolating!

Reid, whose “AM Joy” weekend show on MSNBC has long been a source of perverse entertainment, used last Sunday’s show to openly wonder whether or not President Donald Trump would use the coronavirus crisis to start “reigning as a monarch” in the United States.

Costco Customers Enraged After Chain Offers New Deal Americans Can't Have, Rivaling $1.50 Hot Dog

And here’s the thing you’ll never have guessed — according to Reid, he’s always wanted to rule as a king. This crisis just gave him an excuse to.

Now, with the help of Attorney General William Barr, whose “writings and actions point to a fundamental belief in an all-powerful presidency,” he’s going to make himself a king, or something.

Don’t think about it too hard, because that’s not what Joy Reid is about, either.

The occasion for the rant was the president’s proposed quarantine of the state of New York — a constitutionally dodgy idea to be sure.

Do you approve of the job Donald Trump has done handling the coronavirus crisis?

On Saturday, Reid had Harvard University constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe — a noted adversary of the president and occasional conspiracy theory nutter — on to talk about this very subject. In this case, Tribe was probably accurate: No, Trump didn’t have the constitutional authority to do this.

“And right on cue, Trump almost immediately backed down, tweeting that he has advised the CDC to issue a travel warning, but that he had determined a quarantine will, quote, not be necessary,” Reid said.

“Not necessary? Man, try not legally possible! But go off, Apprentice Guy, go off!” she continued, apparently under the impression that the reality TV jokes from four or five years ago are still funny now.

That’s when things got a bit strange.

“Of course, it’s hardly news that Trump has always had designs on reigning as a monarch with unlimited power, rather than serving as a mere president in a democracy,” she said.

MSNBC Lawyer Worried About What Two Trump Jurors Might Know

“But with the country facing an unprecedented public health crisis, what lengths might he, backed by an attorney general whose writings and actions point to a fundamental belief in an all-powerful presidency — at least when the would-be king is a Republican — what lengths might Trump go to, to expand his power under the guise of national security?”

So, several things, Joy:

a) “Apprentice Guy?” That’s the best you could do?

b) Do you really believe that Trump is going to use the COVID-19 crisis to become a king? I ask you this because elsewhere in the show, you also said the Constitution narrowly defines the role a president plays.

That means you still believe the president is bound by the Constitution, which includes elections. Kings aren’t elected, after all, and we have one of those elections coming up in a few months, as you may have heard in the course of doing your show.

Is Trump going to find a way to put that off indefinitely and blame it on coronavirus? That’d be quite the act.

Will the courts somehow cease to exist? Will Congress no longer be there? Will state governments no longer retain their rights under the 10th Amendment?

I understand what you said was vague, but unless this was just a tossed-off example of broadcast clickbait, you’re going to have to give us something a little less vague.

Or is this just another reiteration of the old trope that whenever a Republican is president, they want to be crowned sovereign? I suspect that might be it.

c) Do you want to have Trump to have more power or less? Because I’m slightly confused.

I again refer you to the video I linked above from the same show in which you said Trump had bungled the response to the emergency.

You said that one of the reasons we have presidents is to deal swiftly and vigorously. You also likened the president to the CEO of the country.

You called the president “the ultimate crisis manager” and said they were there “to set up our government to be able to handle crises when they occur.”

These are things that take a considerable amount of power. Not kingly power, mind you, but enough power I imagine you’d probably be uncomfortable with it — especially if you believe quarantining a state during the COVID-19 pandemic is constitutionally dicey.

So he’s either done too much or not enough. He’s a power-mad despot or he’s fallen asleep at the wheel.

I can’t tell. Neither can she. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one of us who cares about this, however.

Welcome back, Joy. It’s like you never left, if only because … well, you didn’t.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , ,
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture