I suppose this is improvement considering that Republicans tend to not apologize for anything, including when they extremely offensive, and hurtful, Nazi and Holocaust comparisons. It was one of those weaker apologies that comes with the standard "anyone I may have offended" line, this time appended at the very end:
While explaining my position on an important Constitutional issue I regrettably used an extreme example as a comparison that was ill-advised and inappropriate. I should never use something as horrific as the Holocaust to make a political point, and I deeply apologize to anyone I may have offended.but, shockingly it was something from a political party that never apologizes for this crap. Still, I come from the school that if you believe you did something wrong, you apologize. You don't say "I apologize to anyone I may have offended." You say, "I'm sorry." You don't apologize because someone may, or may not, have been offended. You apologize because you committed a wrong, you are cognizant of that fact and you seek to atone for that wrong.
This is what Roscoe Bartlett said that said started it all off:
“Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans; it certainly is a good idea to give them loans,” Bartlett said. “But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”Even though he did make that weak apology, there is an even bigger point here. That is the fact that the Republican Party has played fast and loose with the Nazi comparisons and the Holocaust comparisons for the past four years. They see evidence of an impending slide to Nazi Germany under every rock and a Holocaust waiting to happen in every piece of legislation. It comes from both the rank and file members who hold up their signs and from talk radio and from their leaders who speak in front of those signs and give a prominent public stage to those comparisons.
For those that need a bit of understanding on the issue, the Holocaust was a truly unique crime. It was the systematic, planned, genocide of European Jewry along with the murder of other "undesirables." In six years, Hitler, the Nazis and their evil henchmen and henchwomen, murdered two-thirds of European Jewry. Nearly every Ashkenazi Jew, and many Sephardim too, have relatives that were murdered in the Shoah, whether they be mothers and fathers or brothers and sisters or nieces and nephews or cousins. It took six years to take centuries of European Jewish history and send it up through the chimneys of crematoria as smoke and ashes.
There are very few instances where it is appropriate to compare something to the Holocaust. They are crimes that see the systematic slaughter of other human beings. The Armenian Genocide? Yes. Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge? Yes. The Rwandan Genocide? Yes. Darfur? Yes. Student loans? No.
The issue here isn't Roscoe Bartlett's weak apology. The issue is that he made the comparison in the first place and that it's reflective of a party that has no problems making such comparison. The issue is that the Republican Party goes out and says that they're trying to win Jewish votes and that their positions are better for Jewish Americans and then they disrespect us in such an egregious manner. The issue is that when they make these comparisons it's indicative of a party which has no innate sense of decency. If you don't like someone — call them a Nazi; if you don't like a policy — say it will lead to a holocaust.