LIMBAUGH’S JEFFERSON DAVIS ANALOGY…. Well, at least we know the budget fight can’t get any dumber than this quote, offered by Rush Limbaugh on the air today.

“If the troops still engage in battle, if they go to war and execute the orders issued by their commanders, if the troops are thus not paid by their commander in chief, are they his slaves? What would you call it? Can those serving in the military just walk off the job? I don’t think so. So if Obama does not sign the bill to pay his troops, then it sounds sort of like forced labor to me. I mean, it’s one thing, folks — and we can all agree on this — it’s one thing to have to pick cotton. But to be forced to risk your life overseas without being paid, that’s the worst kind of forced labor to me. Are you kidding me? […]

“If the president refuses to fund the troops, if the commander in chief refuses to pay the troops – and congressman Jim Moran in Virginia tells a voter who wants to know why the troops aren’t being paid to shut up and sit down, and if these guys expect these troops to stay on the job, it sure sounds like Obama has more in common with President Jefferson Davis than he does with President Lincoln.”

Seriously, that’s what he said.

Though it’s tempting to let the inanity of comments like these go without additional scrutiny, I’d just note for anyone who cares about the substance that (a) House Democrats offered several measures yesterday that would have funded the troops in the event of a shutdown, and Republicans rejected all of them; and (b) the surest way to make sure the military is funded is for intransigent House Republicans to take “yes” for an answer, avoid the shutdown, and move on.

As for Limbaugh’s preoccupation with race, comparing President Obama to Jefferson Davis, and equating servicemen and women doing their duty during a shutdown with slaves, is insane, even by right-wing standards.

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.