DUMBEST. COMPARISON. EVER…. Erick Erickson, a far-right blogger at Redstate, argued the other day that President Obama is not only similar to Bernard Madoff, but is in some respects worse.

“We have a guy who ran a ponzi scheme that stole billions of dollars from people to fund God knows what,” Erickson argued. “Granted the American people elected him President, but compare what Barack Obama is doing to what Bernie Madoff did and I fail to see a substantial difference…. Both Madoff and Obama have put people out of work. Both Madoff and Obama have destroyed the financial health of lots of people…. The difference is that Madoff did it to powerful billionaires who are now millionaires. Obama did it to the rest of us.”

This is obviously some pretty twisted and insulting inanity. But to appreciate just how far gone today’s Republicans truly are, note that this idiocy is not limited to reasonably well-read conservative blogs. It’s also fodder for highly rated cable news networks.

Those “pro-America” folks at FOX News were spreading more love for their country yesterday during the two hour wall of Democrat-bashing disguised as a block of business shows, also known as “The Cost of Freedom.” But the attacks reached new heights, or, rather, lows, when FOX host David Asman “asked” whether Bernard Madoff or the Obama administration was the bigger scammer. […]

After Asman teased the segment, he opened the discussion by saying, “Think Bernie’s 65 billion dollar Ponzi scheme is the biggest scam ever? Think again! Steve Forbes says President Obama and his friends in Congress are ripping you off more than Madoff EVER could.”

While Asman spoke, a banner on the screen read, “Who’s the bigger money scammer? Bernie Madoff or Uncle Sam?”

Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley bureau chief for Forbes magazine, tried to push back against this, saying, “Comparing the government to an ongoing criminal enterprise is just silly and wrong.”

But Hardy was ignored and outnumbered. David Asman, the “journalist” in the discussion, pushed Hardy: “It’s not the legality issue, it’s who does more damage to the market? In that context, who’s worse?” When he tried to answer, the Fox News panelists laughed at him.

They seemed painfully unaware of the degree to which they were embarrassing themselves. Alas, on Fox News, that’s not an uncommon occurrence.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.