It's official -- I'm an Ed Schultz fan.
OK, well, "fan" isn't exactly the right word. Let's just say I'd be crushed if MSNBC canceled "The Ed Show." After all, nowhere else on cable does one find such a consistent stream of idiocy that never fails to amuse. Not even from Schultz's colleague Al Sharpton, though the man is certainly a contender. (video after page break)
Here's Schultz on "The Ed Show" Tuesday night, lamely comparing Teamsters president James Hoffa's vulgar thuggish threat aimed at the tea party with -- ready? -- the GOP labeling three of its aspiring leaders "the Young Guns" --
SCHULTZ: Now, let's just turn the tables for a moment. If you don't believe (House Majority Leader Eric) Cantor and (GOP congressman Paul) Ryan use violent rhetoric themselves, let's go back to the commercial they cranked out just last year.
REPUBLICAN AD: There is a better way and a new team is ready to bring America back -- Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan -- joined by common-sense conservative candidates from across the country. Together, they are ready to make history. Together, they are the Young Guns.
SCHULTZ (initially echoing ad): They are the Young Guns. What do you do with a gun? Just kinda hang onto it or do you use it?! I mean, c'mon folks. We all know that James Hoffa was talking about middle classers fighting back and going after the ballot box to get rid of the very people that have attacked labor that were in that commercial. Now where was the outrage when that commercial came out? They're the Young Guns. Ever heard of a congressional member being labeled a young gun?
Where was the outrage when this commercial came out, Schultz belatedly demands. Indeed, where was your outrage when it came out, Ed? There was none, not that I recall, nor was anyone else outraged -- since there was nothing to be outraged about.
It's worth noting this feigned indignation is coming from a liberal who often boasts that he is an unapologetic gun owner and hunter. No matter -- Schultz is incapable of distinguishing between the valid uses of a gun and those that aren't.
"What do you do with a gun," Schultz asks. "Just kinda hang onto it or do you use it?!" Depends. If you are a police officer, you might work your entire career, especially in a small town, and never once fire your gun in the line of duty. If you are a woman being stalked by an enraged ex-boyfriend, you might "just kinda hang onto it" and that makes all the difference. Or the person wielding the gun could be homicidal and intent on murder. You do see the differences here, Ed, right? If this is too complicated I can type slower.
As for James Hoffa, those of us over a certain age hear his name and think instead of his father -- the Teamsters leader who was, uh, taken out in the summer of '75 and hasn't been heard from since. The younger Hoffa may think it no big deal to engage in vitriolic rhetoric that can be easily interpreted as threatening, then wonder what the fuss it about during the uproar that follows. You think there might be a reaction if Hoffa suggested Teamsters take tea partiers "for a ride" to the polls?