Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) recently stirred up a controversy when he inexplicably voiced his frustration with Republican opposition to health care reform by injecting Joseph Goebbels and Nazis into the conversation. Tonight, Cohen appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to face up to, but not back down from, his remarks – remarks Cooper was clearly none too happy about.
Cooper – rightly, in our eyes – seemed mystified above all else by Cohen’s insistence on the Nazi talk: “I just don’t understand why you have to bring the Nazis into a discussion about health care and your opponents.” Amazingly, Cohen still didn’t seem to see what the fuss was about, even as Cooper pointed out the hypocrisy in making Nazi references when Cohen himself had just penned an op-ed in which he said things like, “Reckless and hateful speech often has a terrible human cost.”
And Cooper didn’t stop there, citing comments Cohen made last year in which he likened the anger of Tea Partiers to the KKK. He tried to justify these remarks by saying the Tea Party and KKK rose to prominence is similar circumstances, not unlike how he tried to compare Republican methods in telling “lies” to Goebbels’ strategy in Nazi Germany. Cooper tried to shoot the KKK comparison down by pointing out the Tea Party could just as easily be compared to “any populist movement.”
Cohen again tried to make himself look better by saying Politifact (not him) that named the idea of a “government takeover of health care” as the lie of 2010. Cooper continued banging his head against the wall trying to get Cohen to realize what he was doing, but Cohen simply concluded, “I won’t say it again, but I was right.”