He has been a voice in the wilderness for global warming realists, but now that he's taking on other issues put forth by President Barack Obama, some on the left's network, MSNBC, are suggesting Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is putting the president's life at risk.
Throughout the day of Sept. 3 on MSNBC, the place for liberal politics, a report from the Sept. 2 Tulsa World by Randy Krehbiel was cited and it was suggested Inhofe had gone too far with his criticism of Obama. Both MSNBC hosts David Shuster and Ed Schultz condemned Inhofe's comments that were very unfavorable toward the president's policies.
"I have never seen so many things happening at one time so disheartening to America." Inhofe said, according to the World.
That remark and others including his thoughts on global warming and his disappointment in that he thinks Obama "is obsessed with turning terrorists loose in America" inspired an angry Schultz to dedicate the opening segment of his Sept. 3 MSNBC show to attacking Inhofe.
"You know, I don't have to tell fair-minded, thinking Americans that this truly is psycho talk, but it's really more than that folks - it's really irresponsible," Schultz said. "When an elected lawmaker, a senator who has served this country for many years, says things like this to his constituents, you know that it does? It opens up the floodgates to these crazies that show up at town hall meetings. This is doomsday talk. How constructive is this? It's not - an elected senator is talking about survival, and people are bringing guns to town hall meetings to see the president. These things, in my opinion, they are very connected. The sound culture of America plays and it plays hard. The repetitive messaging is working on some, let's say, lesser challenged news consumers."
Shuster took a similar tact earlier in the day. In an interview with Krehbiel on Sept. 3, Shuster asked the World reporter if Inhofe had increased the risk of Obama being killed.
"Well, I guess here's the bigger picture - does Sen. Inhofe have the kind of dedicated followers that might include somebody who is crazy, who is something of a lunatic, who hears the esteemed senator saying, ‘President Obama is turning loose terrorists in America,' and therefore that crazy person thinks that it is my responsibility to take out the president?" Shuster asked Krehbiel.
However, Shuster had already made up his mind, from the sounds of the remarks he made after the interview with Krehbiel. In Shuster's judgment, nothing short of condemnation of Inhofe by the Republican Party would save the president from any pending threat.
"I think most sane people in this country legitimately want, they're concerned about the safety of the president regardless of who he or she is," Shuster said. "But when you hear this sort of stuff that almost sort of feeds the crazies out there, that's where it just gets so frightening, especially when you don't hear any of the condemnation that some mainstream Republicans would wish they could come out and say without inciting Rush Limbaugh, I guess."
Schultz called Inhofe's dissent and concern over the president's policies "hatemongering." The MSNBC and liberal radio host launched into a tirade about Inhofe and questioned his exercise of freedom of speech.
"It's not fear-mongering, it's hatemongering," Schultz rattled on. "It is hate speech. And it's not well-researched. It's just trying to get a reaction. Well, you got one senator. Oklahomans, you ought to be embarrassed that this stooge is your senator. He is off his rocker. He's not being fair to the troops. He's not being fair to the people who have laid down their lives for this country. That's not freedom of speech, that's hate speech. That's not what we are. That's not what America is all about."
But really? Take this 2004 speech from Al Gore - a former sitting United States vice president. Gore launched into an angry rant at the top of his lungs about President George W. Bush and the Iraq war on Feb. 8, 2004.
"He betrayed this country!" Gore shouted in a speech in front of a group of Tennessee Democrats. "He played on our fears! He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure, dangerous to our troops, an adventure that was preordained and planned before 9/11 ever took place!"
Gore, who held a much higher office than Inhofe and ironically holds the antithetical view on global warming to that of Inhofe, wasn't criticized for his harsh rhetoric. He wasn't attacked by conservatives who thought he might have put former President George W. Bush's life at risk, but was instead dismissed as a lunatic that was still bitter over his defeat in the 2000 election.