A nasty and dumb piece of work: Lawrence O’Donnell is a real piece of work.
Last night, he did a segment on the killing of Trayvon Martin. His basic misstatements were legion.
This will never stop.
But at least he stopped playing the Mormon card on last evening’s Last Word. On Monday and Tuesday nights, O’Donnell had toyed with this card, diddling himself as he did and showing the soul of the bigot.
O’Donnell’s a nasty and dumb piece of work—always has been. Let’s review his behavior on Monday night.
Earlier that day, a Ron Paul supporter had asked Mitt Romney “a very strange question about his religion” during a town hall meeting. That was O’Donnell's account of the question—but so what! Rather than ignore this “very strange question,” O’Donnell teased the topic all through Monday’s program:
O’DONNELL (4/2/12): In the “Rewrite” tonight, Mitt Romney was asked a question about sin today that he answered with one word—but the real answer just might be a bit more complicated.Oh boy—this was really going to be good! And finally, the segment arrived! O’Donnell played tape of that “very strange question,” after which he started to talk. As has been clear for a fairly long time, this guy is a dumb piece of work:
O’DONNELL: Coming up, a Ron Paul supporter asked Mitt Romney a very strange question today about his religion. Does Romney think it is a sin for a white man to marry and have a child with a black woman? Mitt Romney gave a one-word answer to that question, but Mormon teachings on that subject have been rewritten over the years. That’s in tonight’s “Rewrite.”
O’DONNELL: Next, Mitt Romney runs away from a somewhat complicated question about his religion today. That’s next in the “Rewrite.”
O’DONNELL (4/2/12): In tonight’s Rewrite, another episode of the politics of religion.As he continued, O’Donnell made it clear—he thinks journalists should ask Romney what he thinks about matters like this. What he thinks about statements by Brigham Young from 1863.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess my question is, Do you believe it is a sin for a white man to marry and procreate with a black woman?
ROMNEY: No. Next question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’DONNELL: That question is not as crazy as it sounds, especially when you consider the teachings of Brigham Young, who just happens to be the only Mormon leader Mitt Romney has ever publicly praised while running for president.
Brigham Young was president of the Mormon Church for 30 years. And Mormon belief holds that the president of the church talks directly to God. So when the president of the Mormon Church tells you what God is thinking, Mormons listen very carefully.
On March 8th, 1863, Brigham Young said in a sermon, "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man, who belongs to the chosen seed, mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty under the law of God is death on the spot. This will always be so."
So there is Mitt Romney’s hero, Brigham Young, telling him if he has sex with a black woman, he will die, on the spot. And this will always be so. Bret Hatch, the 28-year-old Ron Paul supporter who are asked Romney today if it is a sin to marry and procreate with a black woman, tried to quote something written by Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism.
Mitt Romney cut him off when he heard the beginning of these lines: Quote, "and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people."
Racism’s grip on Mormon practice has been so strong during Mitt Romney`s lifetime that it was not until 1978, 10 years after Martin Luther King was assassinated, 1978, that the Mormon Church suddenly decided to allow black men to become priests in the Mormon Church.
Mitt Romney was 31 years old at the time. If we had a candidate running for president today or any nominee facing Senate confirmation who belonged to a racially exclusive club until he was 31 years old, that man’s candidacy for the presidency or for the cabinet or a federal court would be doomed.
But in America, the politics of religion has spared Mitt Romney the embarrassment of having to address this issue because it is the virtually unanimous position of the political press corps that no candidate should ever be asked any challenging question about the candidate's religion.
Just for the record, Romney did “address this issue” in 2007, though O’Donnell knew he mustn't tell his viewers. On Meet the Press, Romney told the late Tim Russert that he recalled the day in 1978 when the Mormon church said that blacks could become priests.
O’Donnell could have played this tape Monday night. As a dumb, nasty hustler, he didn’t:
ROMNEY (12/16/07): I can remember when I heard about the change being made, I was driving home from—I think it was law school—but I was driving home, going through the Fresh Pond Rotary in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I heard it on the radio, and I pulled over, and literally wept. Even to this day it's emotional. And so it's very deep and fundamental in my life and my most core beliefs that all people are children of God. My faith has always told me that; my faith has also always told me that in the eyes of God every individual merited the fullest degree of happiness in the hereafter, and I have no question in my mind that African-Americans and blacks, generally, would have every right and every benefit in the hereafter that anyone else had and that God is no respecter of persons.O’Donnell could have played that tape. But he holds his viewers in low esteem, so he didn't.
More broadly, stop for a minute to imagine Lawrence O’Donnell’s America.
In Lawrence O’Donnell’s America, every dumb-ass in the "press corps" would feel free to ask White House candidates about the pronouncements of their church's leaders from hundreds of years in the past. Do you know how stupid this country would be if that was standard practice?
Pope Pius IX was the head of O’Donnell’s church in 1863. Do you know how many ridiculous things he said? Should Candidate Kerry have been quizzed on these matters in 2004?
If Candidate Kerry had been quizzed, what would Lawrence have done?
One more point about the small tiny mind of the instinctive bigot:
O’Donnell complained that Romney’s church didn’t allow blacks to be priests until 1978. O’Donnell’s church doesn’t allow women to be priests right to this very day! Such awkward comparisons will never occur to pieces of work like O’Donnell and Dowd as they display their instinctive bigotry toward The Other’s religion.
Should journalists have hounded Candidate Kerry about this matter? If they had, what would Lawrence have done? Trust us: He would have screamed and bellowed and yelled.
Trust us: That is precisely what this major dumb-ass would have done.
We recommend that you watch that whole segment from Monday evening’s Last Word. (To do so, just click here.) You’re watching the work of a genuine dumb-ass—and of a nasty man.
O’Donnell’s a very dumb piece of work. Corporate bosses on cable “news” channels will always put such folk in charge.