It’s tough to keep track of all the instances in which Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has been an embarrassment to himself. Remember the time he said African Americans were better off under slavery? How about the time he described President Obama as an “enemy of humanity“? Remember when he asked the House Sergeant at Arms to start looking for Muslim “spies” on congressional committees? And who can forget Franks’ talk about impeaching the president over defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court?

But even for Franks, this kind of garbage is cheap and classless.

“You know, there are a lot of people that have sacrificed profoundly for this nation. There are people lying out in Arlington National Cemetery tonight, and I wonder what their perspective would be if they could come back among us for just a few moments. And while none of us knows that, Madame Speaker, I would suggest to you that they didn’t die so that we could spend our country into bankruptcy, so that we could weaken our nation on all fronts simply because we weren’t fiscally responsible. And they didn’t die so that we could put ourselves so deeply in debt that we sent tens of thousands for each little child born today so that they would have to carry that the rest of their lives.”

There’s a video, but I wouldn’t recommend watching it without a bottle of Maalox.

Honestly, where does Franks get the nerve to speak for fallen American servicemen and women? What kind of arrogance leads a dimwitted, right-wing hack to think he’s justified lecturing the rest of us on what they might have wanted in terms of federal economic policy?

On a substantive level, Franks obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. We’re not going bankrupt. The debt isn’t weakening the nation. If Franks were so concerned about fiscal responsibility, he shouldn’t have spent much of the last decade supporting a Bush/Cheney agenda without trying to pay for it. All of Franks’ policy claims are just gibberish.

But putting substance aside, the real offense here is the audacity of a man — who never even served in the military — suggesting that men and women died in support of Republican economic policies.

If Trent Franks were still capable of shame, now would be a good time for some.

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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.