Picture this -- a conservative is introduced to a person and told that he served in the military for more than 20 years. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, how does the conservative respond? With these words -- Thank you for your service.
Liberal radio host and high-maintenance MSNBC afternoon host Ed Schultz was presented with this scenario yesterday on his radio show. As if taking a direct cue from the Obama administration's shabby treatment of veterans during the government shutdown, Schultz proceeded to denigrate the caller before hanging up on him. (Audio after the jump)
It was among the most pathetic rants I've ever heard on a radio show, bar none. And once again, as when barrycades were erected to prevent elderly war veterans from accessing public monuments, the perpetrator of such conduct is clueless as to how revealing it is.
Listen for yourself to the four-minute exchange before Schultz bailed as he invariably does on the losing end of an argument (h/t for audio, Brian Maloney, mrctv.org) --
CALLER: Hey Ed, I just called to disagree with you about Democrats caring about veterans. I'm a retired veteran with 23 years of service and I don't know if you know it, but 1 October, 171,000 of us were kicked off our health care. And those evil Republicans, that you like to call them, passed a bill in June and it's been sitting in the Senate and Reid won't being it up. They also have a bill that's been sitting there since June to fund the VA that he wouldn't bring up.
SCHULTZ (pause): First of all, you have, uh, your facts wrong. Because there's a (crosstalk, Schultz quickly losing temper), I'm not going to freaking argue with you, Russell! You're full of crap, OK?! You're full of it! The government shutdown hurt the veterans! Is that wrong or right?
CALLER: It hasn't hurt us yet.
SCHULTZ: Oh, yet! OK, hasn't hurt you yet. Who shut the government down?
CALLER: You didn't say anything about ...
SCHULTZ (interrupts, desperate to change subject): No! No! No! No! No! I will get, I will, I am going to, I am going to break your idiot argument down piece by piece.
CALLER: I am one of the ones kicked off! I got a letter and I am not on TRICARE Prime anymore and there's 171,000 of us. The whole state of Minnesota was kicked off.
SCHULTZ: Wait, wait a second, Russell! Who's calling for the budget cuts? It isn't the Democrats! You have your facts wrong! The budget cuts are com-, you know what? You need a right-wing talker. You need to go drink some Kool-Aid because you have your facts wrong on veterans' benefits, OK? All right? (crosstalk) Let's go back, let's go back -- who shut the government down?
CALLER: I'm not calling about the shutdown.
SCHULTZ: No, I'm calling about it (Schultz here claiming he's calling his own show) 'cause veterans are affected by that. You know, Russell, there were 240 bills that were passed in the House under Nancy Pelosi that Mitch McConnell never took up. OK?! OK?! (Psst, Ed -- Pelosi should take this up with Majority Leader -- and Democrat -- Harry Reid instead of Minority Leader -- and Republican -- Mitch McConnell).
CALLER (conciliatory): I believe that.
SCHULTZ: OK, all right. So you can pin the blame on whatever bill you want to pin blame on. (Yes -- Schultz actually said this). The devil is in the details. (And I'm doing my darndest to ignore them). The buck stops with the dollar. (Whatever!). Who shut the government down? (Is there an echo in here?). The Republicans, the Republicans. Who is, who's hanging in the balance right now? That Vietnam veteran with his legs lost, in a wheelchair, his only hope is to get a VA check. (When constructing straw man, aim high). Who cut that off? And you're telling me that you're worried about health care when you've got a situation like that?! (You're worthless and weak!). And there's 170 (sic) that were thrown off?! Let me tell you how many hundreds of thousands have been thrown off from care because the Republicans have cut the funding to the VA! (dubious at best, even according to Puffington Host). You gotta get your freaking facts straight, dude!
CALLER: Hey sir ...
SCHULTZ (contemptuously): Don't 'sir' me, I'm not a sir to you the way you talk to me! (And you clearly aren't 'sir' to me!), the way you come in with this (you and your stubborn specific facts) . My wife is telling me to calm down (before I call you a slut). I'll just, you'll, look ...
CALLER: How many people were thrown off our, that tried to ...
SCHULTZ (again interrupting, talking over caller): How many Americans don't have, how many people are going to be thrown off health care in this country with the Republicans voting to take away health care in the House 43 times? (Answer: zero)
CALLER: I didn't retire for Obamacare. I retired for ...
SCHULTZ: Oh, OK. Yeah, well you know what? My tax dollars supplied you with your benefit. Right? (Caller laughs). See ya. (crosstalk). I don't want to deal with you. I just don't. (Schultz hangs up). Veterans, I don't know who got in between their ears to make them think that the Republicans are their best friend. It drives me nuts. It drives me nuts. I admit it.
Gee, where would veterans ever get the impression that liberals treat them with anything less than the respect and dignity they deserve? Aside from the obvious exception of a braying, bellicose buffoon named Ed Schultz.