Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) shared his unique take on the Obama administration yesterday.

“We saw within a few days that this President was going to be heavy-handed, he was going to implement his agenda and pay back his political allies, and it just went on from there to ObamaCare and then to Dodd-Frank. It has been the most anti-business and I consider anti-American administration in my lifetime.

“Things that are just so anathema to the principles of freedom, and everything he has come up with centralizes more power in Washington, creates more socialist-style, collectivist policies. This president is doing something that’s so far out of the realm of anything Republicans ever did wrong, it’s hard to even imagine.”

Honestly, it’s as if Jim DeMint has suffered some kind of head trauma, which prevents him from perceiving reality. None of his condemnation makes any sense at all; the entire comment is just twisted.

But I’m also struck by how strangely routine this seems. Here we have an influential sitting senator, who has no qualms accusing an administration governing in a time of crisis as “anti-American.” And yet, it seems highly unlikely to me that this will become a scandal. Given Republican excesses, this is almost routine.

I’m trying to imagine a comparable scenario. What if, in 2003, then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) had called the Bush administration “anti-American”? Would this be dismissed as everyday political rhetoric, or would there be pressure on him to apologize? Would the media blow it off, or would Fox News use this as evidence of deranged Democrats going after a sitting president in an unhinged way?

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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.