Earlier this month we were treated to Rep. Allen West throwing around the “communist” insult for his fellow House members in the Progressive Caucus. As Ed Schultz reported here, now West has found himself being uninvited to speak at a Florida NAACP event. Not long after West's remarks, Fox host Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs decided to follow West's example, calling former Labor Secretary and professor Robert Reich a communist for some of his statements during an interview on The Daily Show earlier that week.
This Monday evening on MSNBC, Ed Schultz gave Robert Reich a chance to respond.
REICH: It's like being back in the 1950's, this communist witch hunt that suddenly has been launched. And the irony Ed is that there are not even many communists left in the world today. It would be one thing if we were back in the 1950's, but there's not a Communist threat. What are these conservatives, these right-wingers like Bill O'Reilly – they have nothing else to say. They have nothing else to do. They don't have arguments. They don't have logic. They don't have any analysis. What do they have? They don't have facts. What do they have? They just simply have the same old epithets and slurs they've been using for the last sixty years. […]
And for Bill O'Reilly to say that simply because I a suggesting that it is a role for government to invest in schools and infrastructure and basic R&D, that makes me a communist? Bill O'Reilly, you don't know what you are talking about. You have absolutely no sense of history. You have no understanding of government. You have no understanding of our society. Debate me, head to head, person to person, like a man! Or a woman.
As Reich noted, he's told O'Reilly he's willing to debate him anywhere, any time, name the place and O'Reilly won't do it. Reich also slammed the Republicans for wanting to take us back to the “dark ages” in America where anyone had even a modicum of economic security. Reich said he hadn't seen anything like the extremism we're seeing from the right in the modern ages and expressed his hopes that not only President Obama is reelected but that the Democrats get the Congress back from these extremists as well.