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Janeane Garofalo makes a Nazi salute on MSNBC to mock Republicans who dipped their fingers in ink

Actress and liberal talk-radio host Janeane Garofalo is taking issue with congressional Republicans who dipped their fingers in ink for President Bush’s State of the Union speech as a sign of solidarity with Iraqi voters, likening it to a Nazi salute.

Garofalo actually made the salute this morning as she provided post-speech commentary on MSNBC’s “After Hours” program.

“The inked fingers was disgusting,” said Garofalo, who is one of the hosts on the Air America radio network.

“The inked fingers and the position of them, which is gonna be a ‘Daily Show’ photo already, of them signaling in this manner [Nazi salute], as if they have solidarity with the Iraqis who braved physical threats against their lives to vote as if somehow these inked-fingered Republicans have something to do with that.”

Iraqi citizens who voted in last weekend’s elections dipped their fingers in colored ink to indicate they had voted.

During numerous standing ovations, television cameras showed many members of Congress displaying a finger which had been dipped in blue ink, as a sign of solidarity with the Iraqis who braved violence over the weekend to cast their ballots for the first time in a post Saddam Hussein-era.

“This blue finger is a sign of incredible courage on the part of the Iraqi people,” House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said after the speech, noting the ink stays on for a week in Iraq.

Garofalo was among several guests on “After Hours,” which also featured former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Ron Reagan, the son of the late president, and former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, now a host on MSNBC.

A transcript of the exchange leading up to the salute has been posted today by the Media Research Center.

Buchanan had asked Garofalo about jeers Democrats uttered in the course of the president’s address.


Buchanan: “Janeane, do you think what Mike Barnicle described as ‘Animal House’ behavior in the Congress helps the Democratic Party when you got a State of the Union, solemn occasion, Supreme Court there, both houses, first lady, and they’re hooting and jeering the way they would at, you know, at some rock concert when they were in college? Do you think that’s helpful?”

Garofalo: “No, what I don’t think is helpful is a Republican Party that has been nothing but partisan and dishonest in service of this president who lied about weapons of mass destruction, has lied about Social Security –”

Buchanan: “I’m not sure if that’s addressed to my question.”

Garofalo: “Yeah, I am answering your question. It wasn’t ‘Animal House’ behavior, and it was a very short, vocal response. And the inked fingers was disgusting. And the standing ovations were such mediocrity. You guys are so easily impressed, it’s shocking. But the inked fingers showing solidarity –”

Joe Scarborough: “I’m glad we could shock you.”

Buchanan: “You got the whole gang, you got the whole gang you’re going after now.”

Garofalo: “Yeah, except for Ron Reagan, who actually is the only one who is being reasonable there –”

Scarborough: “God bless you, Ron. That’s why we have you on.”

Garofalo: “The inked fingers and the position of them, which is gonna be a ‘Daily Show’ photo already, of them signaling in this manner [does the Nazi salute], as if they have solidarity with the Iraqis who braved physical threats against their lives to vote as if somehow these inked-fingered Republicans have something to do with that. And also, the bit of theater about the very distraught parents of the soldier who had died, the point is not if this was a real moment, if it was staged, if it was PR. The point is, is those parents and their son were misled about why that young man went into Iraq. And when he wrote a letter to his mother saying, ‘It’s my job to protect you now,’ protect her from what? The imminent threat of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction? So don’t bring up, ‘Is it helpful if the Democrats make some noise’ when they’re being lied to. That’s not helpful, that’s not helpful to pundits like you maybe, but it is not helpful to the country when a Republican President and his partisan Republican Party continue to perpetuate myth and dishonesty on the country.”

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