MSNBC's Shuster Assails GOP Leadership's Embrace Of Right-Wing Scare Tactics, Ex-GOP Congressman Storms Off Set After Insult
On MSNBC Friday night, David Shuster (filling in for Ed Shultz) addressed hateful signs at Thursday's Capitol Hill "House call" against health care reform. But the discussion escalated into a fight that led a Republican guest to walk off the set.
Shuster criticized GOP leadership for attending Thursday's anti-health care reform rally in Washington which, according to Shuster, "had all the trappings of a proverbial orgy of bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, and hate." Shuster's condemnation became particularly pointed when he called out Republican Congressman John Boehner for refusing to denounce some of the offensive signs that were prominently displayed at the rally, including a picture from a Nazi concentration camp that read "National Socialized Health Care."
"Is there no shame anymore on the conservative right?" asked Shuster. "Is there no decency anymore?...When anybody compares a health care proposal to the murders at Nazi death camps it's offensive, and it diminishes all of us by diminishing just how evil the Holocaust really was."
Earlier in the show, former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo refused to criticize Republican leaders for participating in the event, saying there were equally offensive signs at anti-Bush rallies in the past. He said they should talk about the policy, not the signs.
Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas defended health care reform, pointing out that the military uses government-run health care. Tancredo said veterans complained about their health care and would much rather have a private choice.
"Tom, I'm a veteran. Okay?" Moulitas responded. "I did not get a deferment because I was too depressed to fight a war I supported in Vietnam. I'm a veteran. They want a more effective V.A. ..."
"You're not going to do that. You're not going to try to insult me that way and then pretend like we're just going on and talk about that. You either apologize ..." When Moulitas did not apologize, Tancredo simply took out his earpiece and walked away.
As a Republican student activist, Tancredo spoke out in favor of the Vietnam War but did not serve.
After graduating from college in June 1969, he became eligible to serve in Vietnam. Tancredo said he went for his physical, telling doctors he'd been treated for depression, and eventually got a deferment.
"I think he left a little early," Shuster joked. "The congressman is always welcome on this show. We always appreciate hearing his point of view. It's a feisty one. That's what we like around here."
Watch both segments: