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Ed Driscoll

Martin Bashir on MSNBC today: “So this afternoon, we welcome the latest phrase in the lexicon of republican attacks on this president: the IRS. Three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean:”

You see, for Republicans like Darrell Issa – who knows something about arson – the IRS now stands for something inflammatory. Those three letters are now on fire with political corruption and malfeasance burning hot just like that suspicious fire that engulfed Mr. Issa’s warehouse back in 1982. And, despite the complete lack of any evidence linking the President to the targeting of Tea Party groups, Republicans are using it as their latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House.”

And in case you didn’t, this headline at the Corner sums it up: “MSNBC’s Martin Bashir: ‘IRS’ Is the New ‘N****r’.”

Huh. It was only two years ago that guns were the new N-word on MSNBC:

National Journal’s Michael Hirsh wants to raise the bar on decorum to an entirely new level. On Thursday’s MSNBC airing of “Hardball,” Hirsh told host Chris Matthews certain “gun” terms should be stricken from political discourse and referred to instances where Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Republican Nevada senatorial candidate Sharon Angle used such off-limits language.

“Well we don’t want any more duels and thankfully that was the last one,” Hirsh said. “[B]ut the point I was trying to make is you can draw a line particularly in the use of certain kinds of metaphors. The use of gun metaphors – killing, murdering, taking out, which was another metaphor for a – Michele Bachmann used in one of her statements, Sharon Angle – the Nevada Senate candidate’s now infamous comment about quote, unquote, ‘second amendment remedies’ to deal with the problem Harry Reid, her opponent.”

His proposal? Make such language inappropriate in the same racial slurs are inappropriate.

That’s the kind of language I think we got to have a hard think about now,” Hirsh said. “Do we really want to continue to use that kind of language at these levels? Or, should there be kind of a social sanction, not a legal one, but a moral sanction in the way that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums. Stop using that kind of language, those kinds of metaphors.”

And of course, it was only last August that golf and “Chicago” were the new N-Word on MSNBC:

Chris Matthews “came to the conclusion that reminding people of the President’s roots in Chicago politics is racist.”

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson set the tone of the exchange.

“It’s all part of this Barack Obama as ‘other’ sort of blanket campaign that has been waged by the Republican Party for some time now. It may be gaining some traction now, though I wonder why now as opposed to a bit closer to election,” he said.

“Yea, well let me ask you about that, gentleman,” Matthews responded. “What about now, is this constant barrage of assaults, saying the guy is basically playing an old game of demagoguery politics, where you take the money from the worker bees and give it to the poor people to buy votes. That’s basically what they’re charging him with. Old big-style, big-city machine of 50 years ago.”

“They keep saying Chicago, by the way, you noticed?” he asked.

“Well, there’s a lot of black people in Chicago,” said New York Magazine’s John Heileman.

The same day, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell claimed that a reference to Obama’s golf outings was also racial code.

“For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems, he hasn’t been working to earn re-election. He has been working to earn a spot on the PGA Tour,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said.

Naturally, O’Donnell saw racism in the remark.

“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,” he said.

Martin Bashir, another MSNBC host, asked O’Donnell to clarify his remarks.

“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?” Bashir asked.

Bashir talked self-declared socialist Lawrence O’Donnell off that racist cliff, but fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and eventually, everyone associated with MSNBC has to let their inner racist out eventually. Why should Bashir be any different?

There’s a hilarious list of everything that’s been speculated to be caused by global warming whose humor derives from its sheer endless length. The list of everything that MSNBC anchors claim to be racist code words since 2009 is rapidly approaching that length. And of course, it’s a reminder, as James Taranto quipped last year, if you’re hearing dog whistles — you’re the dog.

A statement that MSNBC also probably considers racist, paricularly considering their number one viewer’s unfortunate past dining habits, come to think of it.