QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) can be unintentionally amusing sometimes.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), an outspoken conservative and member of the House GOP leadership whip team, on Thursday refused to condemn the harsh rhetoric used by conservative “tea party” protesters amid the health care debate.

Asked whether she would pledge to no longer endorse the language of protesters who accuse President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats of being “socialist” and “evil” because of their health care reform plan, Blackburn paused before saying, “I’m happy to tell you the American people are very frustrated and what I can speak to is for me.” […]

Blackburn, a speaker at the Bloomberg Washington Summit, dodged several questions about whether her support for the rhetoric used by protesters helps or hurts her party.

She concluded, “Many of us would appreciate having a more civil tone here in Washington.”

If she’d like a more civil tone, why would Blackburn fail to criticize the Teabaggers’ right-wing vitriol? For that matter, wouldn’t she tone down her own over-the-top rhetoric?

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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.