Imagine different lines of work for Mitt Romney and other Republicans, Ed Schultz asked his radio show guests and listeners on Friday.
The responses spoke volumes about Schultz, his guests and listeners. (audio clips after page break)
Here is what John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation, offered as a possibility (audio) --
NICHOLS: It's sort of like, Scott Walker looks like the assistant manager at a Wal-Mart. You know, everybody's got their place, everybody's got their role.
SCHULTZ (gleefully): Assistant manager at Wal-Mart?!
NICHOLS: I think so. Not the full scale, but the number two ...
SCHULTZ: Oh no, no, no! Scott Walker looks, you're right, you're right. You know what? And I can tell you exactly where Walker would be engaged.
NICHOLS: Uh huh.
SCHULTZ: Uh, you're at Wal-Mart and you're checking out. And you got, all of a sudden, the till screws up.
SCHULTZ: And, uh, the checkout clerk gets on the phone and, either over the loudspeaker or somebody in the back room, and then here comes Scott Walker with his, with his Wal-Mart vest on, he's running up to the cashier to get it to work.
NICHOLS: And he's got some kind of key attached to his belt.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Oh, he's got keys all over his belt! He's got keys hanging all over him everywhere! He's got, he's got his pad up in his shirt pocket, you know.
NICHOLS: And he's got something on his belt that somehow makes the cash register work.
SCHULTZ: Yeah. Yeah, he pulls it out and he does it.
NICHOLS: That's right and, you know, he's in charge. Well not, not in charge like he could actually make a decision, but you know, very much, it kind of fits the role. Because he's a guy who can carry things out but he does have to check with somebody higher up if he's going to do anything big.
A man doing his job ... what a loser! Not only that, he works for ... the largest employer in America! And if assistant manager at Wal-Mart epitomizes loser to Schultz and Nichols, safe to say they see those subordinate to the assistant manager as ... even bigger losers!
Not incidentally, have more than several minutes passed since you last heard Schultz and Nichols express their deep abiding concern for "average" Americans, "working" Americans, "working families," etc.?
Strange though this will sound to Schultz, I actually feel grateful toward that harried assistant manager who dutifully fixes a cash register so I don't have to wait in line any longer than necessary.
Then there's Schultz's odd disparagement of the worker with keys "hanging all over him everywhere!" In other words, someone trustworthy. That's why he has so many keys. He's not going to steal from you.
Later in the show, Schultz suggested this about Rick Santorum (audio) --
SCHULTZ: Santorum appears to me to be a guy that would come up to me in a hardware store.
CALLER (laughs): You know, Ed, more seriously though ...
SCHULTZ: I'm looking for some, for some enamel back in the paint section and Rick Santorum comes up to me.
The guy who works at the hardware store asking if you need help -- to which Schultz again responds -- loser!
John Lennon could see Schultz coming when he sang, "As soon as you're born they make you feel small ..."
Another of Schultz's radio guests on Friday, Democrat congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, suggested this (audio) --
Well, it comes off the top of my head, it comes as a halfway decent golfer on the PGA tour.
Insult -- or unintentional candor? As coincidence would have it, Schultz's son Dave is a professional golfer.