This is what is known among psychiatrists as "projection."
A couple of summers back, Ed Schultz was mightily perturbed to be overlooked in upcoming MSNBC promos and reportedly stunned co-workers by shouting that he would "torch this f***ing place!" (video after page break)
The pathology that produced such a revealing overreaction still hobbles Schultz, though now he'd have you believe that those who don't share his steal-the-wealth politics do share his incendiary tendencies.
There he was on "The Ed Show" last night, describing how the once proud city of Detroit is beset by an average of 30 fires a day (compared to 11 in Los Angeles with more than five times as many people), the city's beleaguered firefighters having fielded 30,000 calls in 2011.
Things have gotten so bad that Detroit's fire commissioner decided in April that firefighters would let blazes burn themselves out under certain circumstances. Detroit faces a $200 million deficit and its mayor, former NBA star Dave Bing, this week announced layoffs for 164 firefighters.
"The situation in Detroit could go from back to worse," Schultz said, just before attempting to torch the reputation of Mitt Romney --
SCHULTZ: But the federal government could step in. The mayor is applying for a federal SAFER grant (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) that would allow him to rehire nearly two-thirds of the laid-off firefighters. SAFER grants have been awarded by the federal government since the recession began. The grants have kept firefighters on the job across the country, from Newark, N.J., all the way to Sacramento, Calif.
Unless you're someone like Mitt Romney, it's pretty clear government is the answer in Detroit.
ROMNEY (June 8 in Council Bluffs, Iowa): Instead (Obama) wants to add more to government. He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did! It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people!
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney says hiring more firefighters is a problem. There's no doubt in my mind that that guy who said let Detroit go bankrupt would let Detroit burn to the ground.
First the cringe-inducing Joy Behar gushes about how she'd love to see Romney's house burn down, now this. What is it about left wingers and their pyro tendencies?
By what passes for reasoning from Schultz, Obama would also let Detroit burn itself out since he followed through on the managed bankruptcies for struggling automakers suggested by Romney.
Romney on June 8 wasn't suggesting we eliminate government. He's many things, but no anarchist. Romney recommends we cut back on unsustainable government and all the dire consequences resulting from it -- as the situation in Detroit graphically demonstrates. You don't want to live in a place where the only things being built are empty lots.
Whether Romney on his worst day would ever want Detroit -- the city where he was born, not incidentally -- reduced to embers is moot. Democrats and unions who've run the city for decades beat him to it long ago.