At the top of the 1 pm hour of the Ed Schultz Show today on the radio, Schultz declared "The country does not feel the same way the teabaggers do." Picking up on video showing a woman at a tea-party meeting demanding book-burning at universities, he added: "Welcome to the House Unamerican Activities Committee, 2009 version...I can just envision Senator McCarthy somewhere in the depths of Hell just smiling about all of this." But the real ardor came out when he asked Rep. Chris Van Hollen out of the blue: "Do you think that Fox News wants the government to be overthrown? Cause they’re sure acting like it." Van Hollen denied that Fox was some sort of Bill Ayers network in reverse. Here’s the exchange:
VAN HOLLEN: Americans understand there are certain things we have to do together, which we cannot do alone. And that’s the purpose of having government of the people, and by the people, and it has to be supported. We have to be able to support our troops. We have to be able to support our veterans. You can’t provide that support without providing the resources to do it. So you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say let’ s make sure our veterans who are coming back from serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, to make sure they’re well taken care of, and then at the same time, suggest that anyone who wants to provide the resources to do it is some kind of Marxist. It’s a total disconnect with reality.
SCHULTZ: Do you think that Fox News wants the government to be overthrown? Cause they’re sure acting like it.
VAN HOLLEN: I don’t think anyone wants to see the government overthrown, but the rhetoric, as you mentioned. What you’ve got going on here is overheated rhetoric, and apparently, it’s the only thing that some of these guys will get the fires on the far right wing. They’re talking, as you said, to a very narrow group of Americans. Because it’s totally detached from everyday lives. People are struggling to make ends meet. The president understands that. That’s why we’ve got this recovery plan, and to have this sort of teabag events around the country with this overheated, outrageous rhetoric just shows once again that these guys are out of touch and may not be getting back in touch for a very, very, very long time.
It was slightly amusing when Schultz tried to set up Van Hollen to state that there are no tax increases on the table right now (forgetting, for example, the cigarette tax hike in the S-CHIP bill). Van Hollen seemed detached from reality when he said Bush's tax cuts "expire on their own at the end of 2002."
When Van Hollen claimed there were "no tax increases whatsoever" in the Obama era, Schultz remembered the tobacco tax, but then oddly claimed: "That was voted on by the Congress. So there hasn't been any tax increases that were voted on by the Congress since Obama's taken office, which I think is a pretty vital point to all of this."
On February 5, The Washington Times reported that President Obama signed the SCHIP bill, which passed both houses this year:
The measure authorizing the $32.8 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, passed the House earlier in the day by a 290-135 vote. Forty Republicans supported the measure, and 133 rejected it. Only two Democrats voted no: Reps. Bobby Bright of Alabama and Jim Marshall of Georgia.
The Senate approved the measure last week by a vote of 66-32.