Ad hominem attacks supplanted thoughtful discussion yet again on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." On Monday, co-host Joe Scarborough chastised Republicans as "genuinely stupid" for criticizing President Barack Obama's handling of the BP oil spill, adding that the GOP must think the American people are "dumb as hell."
"The Republicans blaming Obama look genuinely stupid because of eight years of deregulation," scolded Scarborough, who is developing a penchant for favoring personal attacks over rational debate.
"Is Mitt Romney suggesting he's more hostile to the oil industry than Barack Obama?" Scarborough sardonically asked an amused Mike Allen, Politico's chief political correspondent. "Do we want to go back and look at the money? And again, I'm not just knocking Mitt Romney, but when Republicans come out like Sarah Palin and suggest the President is too cozy with the oil industry, this suggests that they think the American people are dumb as hell."
Always eager to elevate the dialogue with enlightened commentary, co-host Mika Brzezinski characterized Republicans more bluntly, as "stupid."
Descending into a bizarre abyss of rants and insults, the "Morning Joe" regulars are becoming increasingly irrelevant as serious political analysts.
The transcript of the relevant portion of the segment, starting at the 24 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour mark:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Also, looking at Mitt Romney, hitting the president hard on how he's handled the oil spill. What's the angle here?
MIKE ALLEN: That's right, Mika. The White House has thought for a while that Mitt Romney is the most likely opponent to the president. You never know a couple years out, but just looking at Republican Party history you kind of think that. And Mitt Romney's been quiet, everybody knows him, he doesn't need to establish his name ID. But you're seeing him start to take some whacks at the president in very high-profile forums. This weekend he was at the state Republican convention in the state of Washington, and he really went after the president on his handling of BP, saying that it shows his inability to lead- he questioned his leadership ability. And of course that's what Mitt Romney tells voters he has to bring to the table.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So, what did Mitt Romney say exactly he would have done that Barack Obama is not doing?
ALLEN: He doesn't of course. And when President Bush does interviews about his book this fall you can bet that that's one of the first questions he's going to be asked.
SCARBOROUGH: Is Mitt Romney suggesting that he's more hostile to the oil industry than Barack Obama?
SCARBOROUGH: Do we want to go back and look at the money? And again, I'm not just knocking Mitt Romney, but when Republicans come out like Sarah Palin and suggest the president is too cozy with the oil industry, this suggests that they think the American people are-
SCARBOROUGH: Dumb as hell.
ALLEN: They may not want to go there. Democratic staffers are looking at polling that shows that voters are very receptive to the idea of saying we need to crack down on the companies that took advantage of the government. So, especially with swing voters, there's not a lot of sympathy for oil companies obviously.
BRZEZINSKI: Alright, Mike Allen thank you very much, we'll see you in just a little bit.
SCARBOROUGH: And by the way, really quickly, nobody's going to be able to play this-really-come the fall, saying "oh, it's all the Republicans" or these Republicans saying "it's all the Democrats." The Republicans blaming Obama look genuinely stupid because of eight years of deregulation. But as Dee Dee Meyers and other Democrats have admitted, that deregulation started in the 1990's under Bill Clinton. You've had three administrations that have basically given oil companies a free pass. And Mike we always talk about the Wall Street Journal article. Five minutes-
MIKE BARNICLE: Five minutes for an approval.
SCARBOROUGH: For approval for some of these BP regulatory waivers.
-Alex Fitzsimmons is a News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow him on Twitter.