How out-of-touch is the D.C. pundit class with the rest country? Look to John McLaughlin for the answer.

During part two of "The McLaughlin Group 2009 Year-End Awards," McLaughlin, who has hosted the program since 1982, declared the concept of freedom, at least from a political standpoint in the United States, is overrated.

"The most overrated is freedom," McLaughlin said. "When faced with economic uncertainty, people don't want freedom. When they can't see their economic future, they want the nanny state."

It's a response that might incite laughter, as it did from conservative pundit Monica Crowley and MSNBC paleocon talker Pat Buchanan. According to Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, the current problems facing the country and President Barack Obama are due to capitalism.

Clift, appearing on the syndicated April 26 "The McLaughlin Group" gave Obama high marks for his first hundred days and said Republicans were misguided for attacking the growth of the size of government.

"I give him a B+ because there's a lot of outcomes that haven't come in yet," Clift said. "But look, this isn't about the failure of government and the Republicans are on the wrong tact talking about big government. This is a failure of capitalism. He's trying to save capitalism."

See Update at foot: university says Mika will not "represent" Obama.

H/t reader Thomas S.  Despite her obvious liberal leanings, Mika Brzezinski prefers to play coy about her presidential preference on Morning Joe.  Mika often deflects co-host Joe Scarborough's accusations that she's in the tank for Obama by invoking the fact that her brother works for McCain.  And I have two beloved liberal Dem sisters: nu?

But Mika is apparently set to emerge from the political closet and let her Obama flag fly. Check out this report from the Fairfield [CT] Weekly about Brzezinski's upcoming participation in a debate at Fairfield University in which Mika will be "representing" Obama in a debate with formidable conservative pundit Monica Crowley [emphasis added]: