Republicans are godless anti-government zealots responsible for a federal government shutdown that will literally kill people, MSNBC's Martin Bashir charged in the closing "Clear the Air" commentary on his Friday, October 4 program.
But in a not-so-clever twist, the ever-sanctimonious Bashir -- who has a penchant for selective Bible-thumping to push liberal agenda points -- sought to enlist the nonpartisan Senate chaplain, Dr. Barry C. Black, to condemn Republicans for him. The relevant transcript is below the page break, as is the video of the segment:
MARTIN BASHIR: But it's time now to clear the air. And as we've been reporting, this shutdown is no trifling matter. It's not a pinprick. It's not even as Senator Ted Cruz has suggested, just like a weekend, when some government facilities are closed.
For millions of Americans, this is going to prove catastrophic. And if Mr. Cruz and his kamikaze caucus won't listen to fellow lawmakers, then maybe he'll pay attention to the Senate chaplain. Because here's how he led prayers on Monday, just hours before the shutdown.
Dr. BARRY C. BLACK, Senate chaplain: As our nation stumbles toward a seemingly unavoidable government shutdown, keep our lawmakers from sowing to the wind, thereby risking reaping the whirlwind. May they remember that all that is necessary for unintended catastrophic consequences is for good people to do nothing.
BASHIR: Sadly, that prayer was not answered. Instead, the unintended catastrophic circumstances are now piling up.
For children who are awaiting cancer treatment, to those elderly folk whose Meals on Wheels have already been slashed because of the sequester, this shutdown isn't just another political fight. It may actually be the difference between life and death.
And so after the chaplain's first prayer wasn't answered, he got up again on Tuesday and sought to intercede for the victims of this shutdown, praying that those in positions of power would have their consciences stirred by the suffering they are causing.
BLACK: During this legislative stalemate, help our lawmakers to test all things by their conscience, seeking to do right, as you give them the ability to see it. Stir their hearts, making them bold to follow your ways.
BASHIR: Amen. And may god bring them all to their senses. As soon as possible.