Apparently unconcerned about being hypocritical or lacking intellectual honesty, in the same program today MSNBC's Martin Bashir celebrated the over-the-top partisan smarminess of former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and blasted GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney for his decidedly tame quip about President Obama's economic (mis)management.
The mid-afternoon host proudly featured the ex-congressman in a segment entitled "Sunshine State of Mind," proudly reminding viewers that it was Grayson whose hallmark achievement in Congress was charging during debate on the House floor that Republicans want sick Americans to "die quickly" because they opposed ObamaCare. [video follows page break]
"If you think he's taken the gloves off, think again," Bashir gushed as he introduced Grayson.
The bombastic trial attorney failed to disappoint partisan audience members in the segment, making cracks such as, "Newt Gingrich is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person looks like."
Grayson, calling to mind the pot that called the kettle black also groused that Gingrich "spews nothing but nonsense and hatred" and is "unappealing and crotchety."
Despite Grayson's predictable sideshow act, in all seriousness Bashir asked Grayson, "...is there anything you think that could be done to change the way that government functions?"
It wasn't all that long ago that MSNBC's party line was that uncivil political rhetoric was precisely the reason our political system is dysfunctional.
About a half-hour later, closing his program with his "Clear the Air" commentary, Bashir devoted the segment to carping about Mitt Romney's latest quip about Obama -- that President Obama's "idea of a hands-on approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club."
It is what it is, a witty one-liner that's red meat for the Republican primary electorate, and yet Bashir thought it necessary to devote a 2-minute editorial to debunking it.
"Today's award for fabricated nonsense, labored repetition, and vacuous comparison goes to Mitt Romney, who clearly spent an immense amount of time preparing his latest attack on the president," Bashir groused as he opened his closing monologue.
"This one, centered on Mr. Romney's claim that President Obama will be spending 17 days on holiday over Christmas playing golf, a suggestion that Mr. Romney has clearly exaggerated," Bashir complained, adding, "there's no official commitment to such a lengthy vacation."
But wait, there's more. In all seriousness, Bashir suggested the Romney had flip-flopped from an early joke line about the duffer-in-chief:
BASHIR: But as with everything that Mr. Romney says, there's never any consistency to his position. Even when it comes to golf. Because this is what he said a year ago!
ROMNEY: I think the country's probably better off when he's listening to advice from his caddy than from his economic advisors.
BASHIR: So then the president should be playing golf, but now he shouldn't.
Bashir was annoyed by Romney's use of "a perfectly timed sound bite," never mind that he gladly celebrated Grayson an half-hour earlier.
"Say whatever you like about Mitt Romney, he is always shamelessly inconsistent," Bashir argued of Romney.
Maybe it's time that Martin took a good long look in the mirror.