What Americans really need…

WHAT AMERICANS REALLY NEED…. Former CIA official Michael Scheuer has taken some provocative policy positions over the years, but I never thought he’d go this far.

Talking with Fox News’ Glenn Beck, Scheuer argues, “The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama Bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States — because it’s gonna take a grassroots, bottom up pressure — because these politicians prize their offices, prize the praise of the media, and the Europeans. It’s an absurd situation again, only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary.”

The context of this is a plan to send National Guard volunteers to the southern U.S. border to address the drug trade.

Instead of saying, “That’s completely insane,” Glenn Beck nodded along, in apparent approval of his guest’s ridiculous argument.

I was trying to think of how best to describe how spectacularly offensive this lunacy really is, but it looks like Adam Serwer beat me to it: “[U]nderstand, this is not unpatriotic. You can wish all manner of horrors on this country, but as long as these horrors might serve a specific political agenda, you’re not being unpatriotic. Unpatriotic is a public health care plan. Unpatriotic is a judge modifying subprime mortgage loans to keep a roof over someone’s head. Unpatriotic is phosphate free detergent. Patriotic is wishing for a terrorist attack on the United States.”

I’d just add that there will almost certainly be no consequences for this. Two nutty conservatives can talk about the advantages of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil — indeed, they can long for it — without facing any real pushback at all. There won’t be any suspensions or boycotts. No sponsors will withdraw. None of Beck’s or Scheuer’s allies will distance themselves, and neither one will be excluded from polite company.

It was, in other words, just another day on Glenn Beck’s highly-rated unbalanced national television broadcast.

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Steve Benen

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.