MIKE ALLEN AND THE ‘REAL’ AMERICA…. Just because the Politico‘s Mike Allen appears regularly on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show does not necessarily make Allen a conservative. Hewitt is pretty far to the right, and has a history of saying some pretty nutty things, but that shouldn’t necessarily reflect poorly on Allen. (I’ve appeared on Oliver North’s radio show a few times, and I’d hate to think of anyone associating me with his views.)

It’s not unreasonable, though, to judge Allen by the comments he makes on the air.

HEWITT: Let’s turn to the other major story, it has been on talk radio, it will be on the cable channels tonight and it will probably go on for some time, the Washington Times story, Mike Allen, about the extremism assessment [from the Department of Homeland Security]. How big of a story is this?

ALLEN: I think it’s a big story — I don’t know, I think some bureaucrat who wrote this report like misstated in a way that doesn’t comport with your or my observations about the real America. I think it was somebody, who written inside the Beltway, who maybe has fantasies about what happens outside in the real America. But I think it was obviously overstated that I can only get so like excited about that.

We’re back to debating which Americans live in the “real America”? Didn’t the political world learn back in October that trying to delegitimize parts of the country isn’t exactly a healthy exercise?

For that matter, Allen concluded that the DHS report was “obviously overstated.” Really? Because that seems to be “obviously overstated.” What parts of the report did Allen find inappropriate? Did he even read the document?

My hunch is that Mike Allen has a similar problem to RNC Chairman Michael Steele — he tries to connect with the person he’s speaking to. In this case, Allen seems to want Hewitt to think they’re on the same page. The result was some pretty foolish rhetoric.

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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.