Oh how I love when Ed Schultz criticizes anyone else as unhinged.
Schultz did this for much of last week, lashing out at rocker Ted Nugent's gung-ho rhetoric at the NRA convention. (audio clips after page break)
But typical of Schultz, he couldn't stop himself from making a ludicrous analogy, comparing Nugent as an embarrassment to Mitt Romney on a par with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign (audio) --
What (Nugent) is saying, just so we're all on the same page, is that he is advertising violence. He's not promoting it. He's advertising what is going to happen. When you advertise, you tell somebody something. You tell them, you know, what you have, what you're going to do, what's going to happen, that's advertising - hey, there's a sale coming up next week or something like -- that's adver-, he's advertising that he is either going to be dead or he is going to be in jail.
It's the same thing when Rev. Wright said God damn America. The right wing took it serious and told us that words matter. But now, well, wait a minute, it's at an NRA convention, the convention that Mitt Romney spoke at, it's the guy that Mitt Romney wanted to get his endorsement because we want to make sure that everybody knows that all of a sudden Mitt Romney is a gun hawk.
In case anyone missed it, Schultz compared Nugent to Wright again several minutes later (audio) --
They get away with it. (Schultz complaining of conservatives held to lesser standard than liberals). And Romney sought the endorsement of a guy who has (chuckles) an unparalleled background of trashing women! We can do that story if you want. I believe then-candidate Barack Obama gave a huge speech and disavowed Rev. Wright. What do we get from Mitt Romney? Lame duck city. Nothing.
Wrong, Ed -- Obama hardly "disavowed" Wright in the speech you are citing, delivered by Obama in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008 after the uproar over Wright threatened to derail his campaign. "I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Rev. Wright that have caused such controversy," Obama said in the speech.
But "as imperfect as he may be," Obama said, "he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. ... I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother -- a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."
"These people are a part of me," Obama said. "And they are a part of America, this country that I love."
Also worth mentioning is that a phrase from one of Wright's sermons -- "the audacity of hope" -- provided the title for Obama's second book.
It wasn't until Jeremiah Wright went over the top in the weeks following Obama's speech, most especially at a National Press Club press conference in April 2008, that Obama broke with Wright.
Perhaps if Romney named his book after a Nugent song ("No Apology for Cat Scratch Fever," for example), if Nugent's band performed at the Romneys' wedding reception, and if Romney's sons worked as roadies for Nugent, Schultz could reasonably make this analogy.
Schultz also gets it wrong as to why Wright's extremism nearly ended Obama's candidacy. It wasn't just what Wright said during his incendiary sermons at Trinity United Church of Christ, with Obama in at least occasional attendance going back 20 years. It was the widespread suspicion that Wright was yet another in a long line of leftist radicals closely tied to Obama -- starting with his parents -- and continuing through college, law school, Alinsky-inspired community organizing and Chicago politics.