A very reasonable Lou Dobbs engaged in a spirited but civil discussion with Jon Stewart on Wednesday's episode of "The Daily Show." Had that been the same guy who was anchoring a program on CNN and hosting a nationally syndicated radio show, Dobbs would probably still be at CNN today.

Dobbs painted himself as an even-handed centrist, someone who had disdain for extremes on both the left and the right. But Dobbs had frequently aligned himself with positions that even made some conservatives uncomfortable, particularly his stubborn refusal to let go of the "birther" question and whether President Obama had produced sufficient evidence to prove that he's a U.S. citizen and thus eligible to serve.

It's only too bad that the most interesting part of the lengthy discussion aired only online (the clip is below), where Stewart again demonstrates his savvy understanding of how the media operates — namely, that people with signs saying "Be reasonable" are never going to take to the streets, which explains why the loudest voices garner the attention and are often the most shrill. He's also right that "People have lost their minds a little bit" in the over-the-top reaction to Obama's policies, seeing the loss of an election — and thus being out of power — as the imposition of tyranny.

As an aside, I still haven't quite recovered from Bill O'Reilly asking Dobbs earlier in the week, "Barack Obama: Is he the devil?" What sort of answer, exactly, did he expect to that — and was saying "No" meant to make Dobbs look reasonable?

Dobbs did look reasonable on Wednesday. That just isn't the Lou we've come to know over the past 10 months.

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