So the Nazis have goose-stepped back into our politics. Swell.
This time, it’s Iowans for Tax Relief chief Ed Failor Jr. who slipped a cameo appearance by the Third Reich into a speech he gave at a Republican Flag Day event in Boone earlier this month. One announced Republican candidate for governor, state Rep. Christopher Rants, and two potential hopefuls, state Sen. Jerry Behn and Ag Sec. Bill Northey, were on hand for the fun.
Yesterday, the Iowa Independent linked to coverage of the event posted by the Boone News-Republican. Failor apparently told the gathering that although Democrats aren’t Nazis, they’re sure acting Nazi-like. And someday, the Boone Republican Flag Day event may have to be held in a secret basement.
Yeah, I know. From the June 18 News-Republican:
Failor, while making sure to clarify that he was not referring to the democrats as Nazis, did draw the comparison between the two. He said that the Nazi party, which started as just another political party in Germany, began their massive rise to power by taking control of private business and means of production – which is exactly what Failor said the democrats are attempting to do.
“I challenge you to get out there, get your friends and neighbors involved and make sure that they are willing to talk in essentially harsh terms, because that’s what’s happening to us,” Failor said. “George Bush took a beating for eight years; we have to be willing to be harsh if we can back up what we are saying. If we don’t engage, 25 years from now, one of two things will occur: There will be a meeting of the Boone County Republicans on Flag Day and we will be in room like this, with 50 to 75 people, all enjoying ourselves…or, we will be in a basement with the lights off and blinds drawn – whispering our history. I challenge you to not let that be the case. Get engaged, get engaged.”
This morning, Bleeding Heartland links to a new News-Republican story that expands on Failor’s remarks. He talks about the night during the Legislative session when he and other ITR members were thrown out of a public hearing on tax changes by House Speaker Pat Murphy:
“And that’s what occurred. Now, I may have a bit of, I don’t know if temper is the right word, Christopher (Rants) might disagree, I don’t know. But, I am a passionate person, let’s put it that way. So as this was occurring and literally the troopers were moving these people, who were applauding politely, from the chamber. I went over to press row, and found it reasonable to describe to the press that the manner in which the Speaker of the House had just behaved, that he was behaving as a jack-booted Nazi.”
At this point, many of those in attendance at the event began to laugh. Failor continued:
“Sure, you’re all going to laugh now, but I challenge you to never laugh again when you hear that – and I will tell you why. In 1933, when the Nazi party rose to power in Germany, they were just another political party that seized all control of government. They began first by seizing the property, the methods of production and the factories, and they put them into government use. GM? I don’t know. I really looked like a prophet in April, but that’s what happened in 1933, and people didn’t understand. That’s what’s happened here now. I suggest that you don’t find that a laughable thing next time. Now, am I suggesting that Barack Obama or Pat Murphy or any democrats have any goal to extinguish a race of people? No – not at all. Pat Murphy is actually a relatively nice guy. But do I think the same financial things that could destroy this republic are occurring? Absolutely,” Failor said.
Instead of simply dismissing this as an obviously warped and overwrought viewpoint, Democrats issued a statement calling it “hate speech.”
Oh brother. What do we call it when liberals fling “Nazi” at conservatives? And they do.
Iowa Republican wonders why Democrats are so much more incensed about this use of an “N” word then they were when state Democratic Sen. Jack Hatch, used the other really awful “N” word.
So this is the state of our political discourse at this hour. Aren’t you proud? I know I’m not.
How about adopting a simple rule of thumb. No more Nazis.
People on both ends of the political spectrum need to remember that trotting out “Nazi” to tar the other side says more about you than your rivals.
It says you don’t really understand history. It says you have so little to say of consequence that you decide the best way to get applause and attention is to start throwing swastikas. It says that you’d much rather pick fights than articulate ideas. It’s the kind of rhetoric that makes ordinary folks want nothing to do with politics, and it poisons the well when the election’s over and the governing needs to begin.
There are all sorts of ways to rev up a partisan crowd that do not include a rhetorical stroll back to the Reichstag. Pick another one.
It’s not hate. It’s just really stupid. Stop it.