The liberal blogosphere is cheering one of its heroes for insulting a former Republican member of Congress on national television who as a result walked off an MSNBC set in disgust.
Appearing on Friday's "The Ed Show," Daily Kos owner Markos Moulitsas said to former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, "I did not get a deferment because I was too depressed to fight in a war that I supported in Vietnam."
Tancredo asked for an apology, and when one was not forthcoming, he took off his microphone and earpiece, and left (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Mediaite):
DAVID SHUSTER, HOST: Ok, so how about the veterans administration? The Veterans Administration is a single-payer system. Everybody in the military who was treated yesterday; so the military members, their health care system, that`s also a threat to our freedom?
TOM TANCREDO, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Talk to every veterans group I ever went and talked to complained about the Veterans Administration and the way it was a bureaucratically run program that didn`t serve their needs. They would rather have vouchers that would allow them to go out and buy their insurance in a private marketplace.
They`ve talked about it and at least you`re laughing. David, talk to the veterans. They talk to me and that`s what they said.
MARKOS MOULITSAS, DAILY KOS OWNER: I`m a veteran, Tom -- Tom, I`m a veteran.
MARKOS: Ok? I did not get a deferment because I was too depressed to fight in a war that I supported in Vietnam. I`m a veteran.
TANCREDO: Yes. Well decade, people want - they don`t any more stupid things...
MARKOS: They want a more effective -- they want a more effective VA. That`s more money.
TANCREDO: No, 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.
MARKOS: I`m not pretending anything. I told you straight up.
The issue here, what the Republicans are afraid of, this is a threat to Republicans. They built an entire ideology predicated on telling people that government does not work. They are terrified of government programs that work because then people will realize that the government is not the enemy and that they`re going to work -- they`re going to vote Democratic because Democrats are the party who realize that people need help and government can sometimes offer solutions.
SHUSTER: Thank you Markos Moulitsas and also Congress Tom Tancredo for the time that he was with us. I think he left a little bit early. But the congressman is always welcome on this show. We always appreciate hearing his point of view. And it`s a feisty one. And that`s what we like around here.
Markos, thank you as well.
For those unfamiliar with Moulitsas's reference, the Denver Post reported in 2005:
As a Republican student activist, Tancredo spoke out in favor of the Vietnam War. After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado 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 "1-Y" deferment.
With this in mind, was Moulitsas out of line, or should Tancredo have stood up for himself and addressed his detractor rather than walking off the set?