On November 13th, 2009, substitute hosting for Keith Olbermann on his MSNBC show Countdown, O'Donnell engaged in a favorite pastime of that show's regular host, bashing Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin as he managed to paint both of them as idiots in one single rant.
O'DONNELL: Breaking news; in our third story in the Countdown, Levi Johnston has seen Sarah Palin's Oprah prompted invitation to Thanksgiving dinner, and says, quote, "You can tell by her laugh that she was full of it." Meantime, Rush Limbaugh calls Palin's book, quote, "truly one of the most substantive policy books I've read," end quote. Rush, I believe you. I cannot imagine you, in full recline on your Gulfstream, Cuban cigar in hand, struggling to get through a more substantive policy book than Sarah's index and footnote free, score settling campaign memoir. No mind numbing charts or graphs, no big words, no scholarly Latin phrases, like caveat emptor. And I bet the pictures are, like, amazing.
O'Donnell is definitely not a fan of outspoken conservatives. In addition to Palin and Limbaugh, the new MSNBC host went after Dick Cheney on May 21, 2009, following a speech by the former Vice President that was aired live on MSNBC: "He came today to obviously to do nothing much other than defend torture, which he calls 'tough questioning.' This was as sleazy a presentation by a vice president as we've had since Spiro Agnew. This was an absolute abomination." Cheney, like most of O'Donnell's foils, is cast as a passionate liar:
He cannot, ever, frame the other side's position honestly. What you saw with Obama earlier was Obama describes the other side's position fairly. He then goes on to advance his position. Cheney comes out and lies about the other side, it's the only way he can talk. He says that Obama will not use the word 'terrorist,' when Obama does indeed use that word. He pretends that all we did was tough questioning. He says that 9/11 -- he says that 9/11 made everyone take a second look at the threat. That is a lie. Dick Cheney and the President were in possession of memos that said this threat was present, this particular methodology was going to come, that they were going to use airliners.
He and the President failed in their first nine months in office to pay any attention to the A.Q. Khan network, who he now wants to take credit for dismantling. What did Cheney do before 9/11? He denies, in this speech, that 9/11 changed him and then describes his very specific activities on 9/11, which were frightening for the Vice President. Then he goes on to say that he thinks about it every day. This guy just has to lie from beginning to end through his setup of his opposition's position in order to advance any of his ideas at all, none of which have any proof to them at all.
O'Donnell is not shy about revealing his liberal economic leanings either as he, on two separate occasions came forward to admit he's downright socialistic when it comes to fiscal policy. Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on February 12th 2010, he told host Joe Scarborough that "We're socialists, not Marxists," and when he guested on Scarborough's March 16th, 2010 radio show confessed: "We liberal Keynesians do not raise taxes in recessions; we raise taxes when you're making money. That's when we raise taxes. And we love to do it."
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Lawrence O'Donnell, you were part of the largest tax increase of all-time–
O'DONNELL: –The biggest.
SCARBOROUGH: –with Bill Clinton. 250 billion dollars. You say Barack Obama's health care bill will double that–
SCARBOROUGH: –and will raise almost 500 billion dollars.
O'DONNELL: And do so–and here's the really important economic principle that's shocking for anyone who's take the introductory course: they're going to do it in a recession. You know... [Laughter]
O'DONNELL: We, we, we liberal, we liberal Keynesians do not raise taxes in recessions; we raise taxes when you're making money. That's when we raise taxes. And we love to do it.