Indeed, O'Donnell's explication of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's speech at the Republican National Convention should be indicted for torture.
As might be expected from a career politician with next-to-zero personality and principles, the Kentucky Republican's talk is a standard-issue attack on President Obama's ineffectiveness. Among the few attempts at liveliness was this jibe at Obama's well-documented penchant for golfing:
For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation's problems.
He hasn't been working to earn reelection. He's been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.
Mitt Romney has spent his entire life finding ways to solve problems.
Here's O'Donnell talking with Martin Bashir on MSNBC:
O'DONNELL: Well, we know exactly what he's trying to do there. He is trying to align to Tiger Woods and surely, the — lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. They find every way they possibly can to –
BASHIR: Lawrence — don't you think — don't you think that what he's really trying to do is to suggest that the president is not paying attention to the central issues that come with the responsibility he has? Is he really – Mitch McConnell really making a connection with Tiger Woods who, of course, has become infamous for chasing various cocktail waitresses around Las Vegas and so on?
O'DONNELL: Martin, there are many, many, many rhetorical choices you can make at any point in any speech to make whatever point up want to make. If he wanted to make the point that you just suggested and I think he does want to make that point, they had a menu of a minimum of ten different kinds of images that they could have raised. And I promise you, the speech writers went through, rejecting three or four before they land order that one. That's the one they want for a very deliberate reason. That — there's – these people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches.
You got that linkage? Golf signals not indifference to work but racial solidarity between the first black president and the first great black golfer, who is also a well-known skirt chaser, which means, what, that McConnell and his speechwriters are trying to turn family man Obama—who has never had even the whiff of a sex scandal—into the familiar stereotype of an oversexed black man.
Such linkage, however clever, reveals exactly nothing about Mitch McConnell, his speechwriters, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, or anybody else. It does, however, reveal something extremely screwed-up about Lawrence O'Donnell. And helps explain why MSNBC is hitting the skids.
When Obama first entered office, I was not optimistic about any of his policy proposals but I did think his election would help put racial divisions behind us as a country. That clearly hasn't happened, not because of anything Obama has said or done but because of nutjobs like O'Donnell saying what they're saying.
O'Donnell has a knack for being wrong. Here he is, showing he's got no idea what he's talking about when it comes to Reason.
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.