WORST. COMPARISON. EVER…. As a rule, the right should probably try to steer clear of Martin Luther King comparisons. I don’t think they’re especially good at it.

This week, for example, National Review‘s Andy McCarthy said Rush Limbaugh treats people “in the Martin Luther King aspiration that the content of one’s character is what matters, not the color of one’s skin.” I think he was serious.

The next day, politician turned infomercial salesman turned CNN correspondent J.C. Watts went even further.

At a recent fundraiser in Tulsa, former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts compared Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to Martin Luther King, Jr. While it is not uncommon for people to compare those they admire to great historical figures, Watts’ reasoning behind the comparison is somewhat questionable:

Watts praised U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn as “a threat to the system” and said that “God is going to have a special place in heaven for Tom Coburn.” He compared the senator to Martin Luther King Jr., saying that, like King, Coburn could not be threatened or bought off.

That’s the standard for King comparisons? Coburn, one of the most right-wing Republicans on the Hill, is similar to MLK because he isn’t easily intimidated?


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.