A word to the wise: if you accuse President Obama of smoking marijuana and trying cocaine in his past -- which he openly admits in his book "Dreams From My Father" -- you are a racist.
During Monday's edition of MSNBC's "The Last Word," host Lawrence O'Donnell accused conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh of using "racist stereotypes" for advising presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to point out that while Obama was experimenting with drugs, he was contributing to the economy.
O'Donnell started by playing a clip from Limbaugh's radio show:
"Romney knows how to do this. He did it to Newt and he did it to Santorum. He knows full well how he has to do this. But I know what they think they're up against. They got the first black president, independents... It's easy to go after Newt or Romney, because they're conservatives and everybody hates conservatives anyway... But we can't go after poor old Barack that way, because he's a minority."
"And so Rush decided to teach Mitt how to go after a minority," said "O'Donnell. "Rush thinks Mitt should be hitting Barack Obama as a lazy, drug-taking beneficiary of affirmative action. Rush didn't use the word 'shiftless,' but Rush threw in every racist stereotype he could in his advice to Mitt."
The host then played yet another clip from Limbaugh's talk show. "Affirmative action" does not appear to get mentioned, but what does that matter to a mainstream media that is rarely fact checked. Limbaugh went on to give Romney advice as to what he should be saying about the president:
“'Okay so Mr. Limbaugh, since you have the answer to everything, then what would you suggest that Romney do, if he do?' Okay, fine!
'Look, pal, when I was out creating jobs, investing in businesses and growing this economy, you were at Columbia smoking weed and snorting coke. You write about it in your book, you talk about how you got into Columbia, the Harvard Law Review, and you didn't have to do anything. That was what’s great about it. You loved getting into Columbia because all you had to do was go to class, get your grades, and smoke a little weed while I was out building the country when you were doing that.'"
To be fair, Obama admitted to smoking weed and snorting coke in high school not college, but there is speculation that the president's drug use continued during his time at Columbia and Harvard. But because of that technicality, O'Donnell says Limbaugh is lying about Obama's drug use.
The president just used drugs to cope with the absence of his father, the host lamented.
However, notice how Limbaugh never claims Obama was doing drugs in college because he was black or even mentions "affirmative action" -- that all came from O'Donnell.
For Limbaugh to be using "racist stereotypes" one would have to believe that only black people do drugs while in college.
As NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard points out:
In fact, if you had read or heard that clip without knowing who Limbaugh was talking about, could that have just as easily been a white guy he was referring to?
Haven't lots of white kids smoked weed and snorted coke in college? They did at the two schools I attended.
So exactly what makes any of that racist?
Well, let's let O'Donnell explain to those of us who aren't intelligent enough to see the blatant racism. The host looped in two equally liberal guests to hammer Limbaugh.
“Joy, all of those racist stereotypes that Rush was using are things that Mitt Romney can't say," O'Donnell said to the Grio's Joy Reid. "Rush says very, very effectively. There's no mystery to what he's talking about there. Is it your sense that the Republican campaign is kind of, in a sense, relies on Rush for this?"
"The thing is that Rush Limbaugh is speaking to an average age 67, even older than Fox News," Reid replied.
So people of an average age of 67 are racist?
"So he's got a declining sort of product,” Reid explained. "He's got an angry, miserable base that feels they're the true victims of American history, right? The blacks got everything. The women got everything. They're so lucky. We've got nothing."
But wait, there's more.
Reid continued: "Rush Limbaugh had a privileged existence... He was born to an upper middle class family. He had every advantage, and he just couldn't get it done. This guy is president of the United States. Are you kidding? He thinks he's better than you. That’s what Rush Limbaugh's message is."
Watch the video of the segment via MSNBC here:
This type of reaction to criticisms of Obama is nothing new, but it sure is getting old.
O'Donnell actually replied to NewsBusters' Sheppard on Twitter after he posted the story:
He is claiming that because Obama has not openly admitted doing drugs in college, Limbaugh's entire premise is false. So for the sake of argument, here is exactly what Obama says about his previous drug use in "Dreams From My Father":
"I spent the last two years of high school in a daze... drank beer heavily and tried drugs enthusiastically. I discovered that it didn't make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmates white sparkling new van or in the dorm room with some brother you met down at the gym..."
"Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it."