WORST. COMPARISON. EVER…. For crying out loud.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Glenn Beck posted copies of King’s Pledge of Nonviolence and his own nonviolence pledge — issued in the wake of the shooting in Arizona — on his website and urged people to “read both” and “see the similarities.”

As Media Matters has previously noted, Beck’s pledge is steeped in politics and contains a very thinly-veiled attack on President Obama. Moreover, Beck has a long history of violent rhetoric with which potential pledge-signers may not want to associate.

As a rule, comparing one’s work to that of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s is itself a bad idea. For a ridiculous right-wing media personality to do it is farcical.

But Beck using MLK Day to tout his “pledge against violence” is especially misguided. The “pledge” was unveiled last week, in the wake of the Tucson shootings, along with an appeal from Beck to politicians, effectively daring them to sign it. (That officials may not want to sign onto a document presented by a clownish Fox News figure, known for pushing the rhetorical envelope to the breaking point, is apparently unimportant.)

Alex Pareene explained the other day how Beck’s “pledge” is just another petty stunt.

Beck introduced the pledge knowing full well no liberal or Democrat would have anything to do with it. It was more or less designed to be the subject of a show about how no one would sign it. The pledge is, of course, not a simple promise to reject violence. It is a series of dog whistles to the people who watch his show and take it seriously. It is a pledge to reject the vast progressive conspiracy that is plotting even now to fundamentally change America. It is also a pledge that made an elderly college professor into a dangerous threat to the nation.

Even for Beck, equating his latest gambit to Dr. King’s Pledge of Nonviolence is insane. That Beck has tried to connect himself to King’s legacy before only adds insult to injury.

I can’t speak to what Beck actually believes, versus the garbage he spews for publicity, but it’s important his minions realize he’ claiming a legacy he doesn’t understand, and trying to lift a mantle that doesn’t fit on his weak shoulders.

As Leonard Pitts Jr. noted after Beck proclaimed that he and his followers would “reclaim” the civil rights movement, this kind of politics isn’t just shameless nonsense, “It is obscene. It is theft of legacy. It is robbery of martyr’s graves.”

I’m looking for the similarities, Glenn. They’re not there.

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.