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On Monday, Tennessee Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield posted a message reading, "Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory [sic] sign ups for 'train rides' for Jews in the 40s." As it turns out, the only thing more horrifying than Campfield's casual equation of millions of Americans obtaining health insurance to millions of European Jews being slaughtered in Hitler's death camp is that the analogy is now frighteningly commonplace for Republicans. From health care, taxes and the debt to public education, abortion and gun control, the GOP's best and brightest now routinely compare everything they hate to the Holocaust.

Senator Campfield was actually late to adopt the GOP's health-care-as-Holocaust analogy. State insurance exchanges helping millions of people in the United States obtain coverage, Idaho state Senator Sheryl Nuxoll darkly warned, are the equivalent of a final solution for health care:

"The insurance companies are creating their own tombs. Much like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps, private insurers are used by the feds to put the system in place because the federal government has no way to set up the exchange."
In Maryland, the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County explained five years ago that "Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common." Last summer, Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling upholding Obamacare:
"We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo -- the IRS."
Continue reading below about how everything is the Holocaust for conservatives.

LePage was not the first Republican to compare the Internal Revenue Service to Hitler's henchman. During the GOP's successful crusade to gut the agency in the late 1990s, Mississippi Senator Trent Lott decried the IRS's "Gestapo-like tactics" while Alaska's Frank Murkowski protested, "You don't need to send in armed personnel in flak jackets."

Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee couldn't agree more. Despite the fact that the total federal tax burden as a percentage of the U.S. economy hit its lowest level since 1950, presidential candidate Bachmann had a different story to tell New Hampshire Republicans in May 2011:

Bachmann recounted learning about a horrific time in history as a child -- the Holocaust -- and wondering if her mother did anything to stop it. She said she was shocked to hear that many Americans weren't aware that millions of Jews had died until after World War II ended.

Bachmann said the next generation will ask similar questions about what their elders did to prevent them from facing a huge tax burden.

"I tell you this story because I think in our day and time, there is no analogy to that horrific action," she said, referring to the Holocaust. "But only to say, we are seeing eclipsed in front of our eyes a similar death and a similar taking away. It is this disenfranchisement that I think we have to answer to."

While Michele Bachmann was in Manchester wondering, "what will you say to that next generation about what you did to make sure that wouldn't be their fate?" Mike Huckabee was in Pittsburgh asking the same thing. As the Daily Beast reported, the former Arkansas Governor and Baptist minister told the National Rifle Association that the mounting U.S. national debt is akin to, you guessed it, the Holocaust:
He spoke of how, at Israel's Holocaust museum, he looked over his 11-year-old daughter's shoulder as she wrote in the guest book, "Why didn't somebody do something?" Then he said, "We cannot afford to be a generation that leaves our children with nothing but a huge debt and the very erosion of the freedoms that our founders and our fathers died and gave us so valiantly. And that's why I say, 'Let there never be a time in this country where some father has to look over his daughter's shoulder and see her ask this haunting question: Why didn't somebody do something?'"
Why didn't someone do something is the same question that haunted Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) when it came to protecting the bottom lines of for-profit colleges. In her speech to National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the North Carolina Republican appropriated the famous Holocaust maxim to protest federal regulation of for-profit colleges. As Inside Higher Ed reported, Foxx complained that non-profit, private institutions should have joined in their defense:
"'They came for the for-profits, and I didn't speak up'...Nobody really spoke up like they should have."
For her part, Foxx was only following in the footsteps of her GOP colleague, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland. Federal student loans, he cautioned in 2012, weren't merely unconstitutional, but the first step to the gas chambers:
"If you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad...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."
The same kind of slippery slope, the National Rifle Association and its GOP water carries warn, which runs from commonsense gun safety legislation directly to the gas chambers.

"In 1939, Germany established gun control," GOP Congressional candidate Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher announced, adding ominously, "From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated." As Salon reported, Mr. Plumber has plenty of company within the ranks of the GOP in spouting the handguns-to-Hitler myth. Calling out Fox News, the Drudge Report and Ohio Republican Debe Terhar, the Anti-Defamation League lamented that "Holocaust imagery taints gun control debate."

Then there's the issue of abortion. Last January, Virginia GOP legislator Dick Black marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade by comparing family planning clinics to the Nazi's death camps:

I recall back to the days of Nazi Germany, there was a place called Auschwitz. And over the gates of Auschwitz was a sign, and the sign said "arbeit macht frei," which means roughly "your labors will make you free." People who went behind those doors never returned. Their labors didn't make them free. And I'm reminded that we refer to our clinics as "women's health clinics" and we talk about women's reproductive rights and so forth.
In 2011, the people behind Mississippi's failed "personhood" initiative distributed 600,000 DVDs declaring, "Saying it's OK to choose is the same thing as saying it's OK for Hitler to choose." Again, as Salon reported that year, the Holocaust analogy was one happily shared by some of the leading lights in the Republican Party:
Mike Huckabee, who supported Personhood USA's failed efforts in Mississippi, has often compared the Holocaust and abortion, saying of Nazi extermination, "educated scientists, sophisticated and cultured people looked the other way because they thought it didn't touch them." The day before Phil Bryant was elected governor of Mississippi -- at the same time the state's voters rejected the Personhood amendment -- he evoked the Jews of Nazi Germany "being marched into the oven," because of "the people who were in charge of the government at that time" as an argument to vote for it.
As it turns out, even a Republican can go too far when they target other Republicans with the Holocaust smear. In his now infamous "Uncle Sugar" speech, Governor Huckabee also protested that tea party conservatives who denounce "Republicans in Name Only" were following in the Nazis footsteps "when you start with the idea that people just aren't as valuable as you are." As Red State's Erick Erickson put it:
"I hope he seriously reconsiders these remarks in his disagreements with conservatives. That is really uncalled for. The establishment has no inherent right to re-election and supporting Matt Bevin in Kentucky does not make one a Nazi."
But for Erickson, supporting the Affordable Care Act or unions or just about anything else in the Democratic platform does.

Which is exactly what many Republicans and their supporters on the far right have been claiming for years. Protesting tax increases for the wealthiest Americans, Powerline declared, "First, they came for the rich." (Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins agreed, warning that scrutiny of America's 1 percent was leading to a repeat of Nazi Germany's Kristallnacht against the Jews while Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman complained that President Obama's proposal to raise tax rates on private equity firms is "like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.")  Michelle Malkin similarly argued, "First, they came for the Catholics." And during the last election, many social conservative leaders warned that voting for Obama could trigger another Holocaust. In so doing, they were just updating the nightmare scenario described by CBN founder and former GOP presidential candidate Pat Robertson after he was criticized by the Miami Herald over his involvement in the 1990 Florida governor's race:

"Do you also have a ghetto chosen to herd the pro-life Catholics and evangelicals into ? Have you designed the appropriate yellow patch that Christians should wear?"
Here's a friendly suggestion for the Holocaust peddlers of the GOP and its allies in the gilded class and the religious right. The next time you feel compelled to compare, say, Head Start, a carbon tax, food stamps or just about any other Democratic policy to Nazi Germany's extermination of six million Jews, just repeat this helpful phrase silently to yourself.

Never again.

That done, conservatives can get back to what they do best: comparing everything to slavery.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Mon May 05, 2014 at 12:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Full Godwin, is that the best they can do... (3+ / 0-)

    recycle the Larouchie 2008....and where's my damn check!


    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon May 05, 2014 at 01:00:44 PM PDT

  •  Is this a typo? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Perr, Gooserock, BMScott, blueyedace2
    Despite the fact that the total federal tax burden as a percentage of the U.S. economy hit its lowest level in 1950,
    Don't you mean
    Despite the fact that the total federal tax burden as a percentage of the U.S. economy hit its lowest level since 1950,

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon May 05, 2014 at 01:04:04 PM PDT

  •  Yep,... (5+ / 0-)

    ...the ACA is just like the organized murder of millions of people.  Hardly any difference at all.    

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Mon May 05, 2014 at 01:07:21 PM PDT

  •  Breaking 1982. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is a VERY long established practice of the rightwing.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 05, 2014 at 01:09:13 PM PDT

  •  More proof of GOP Delusional Conspiracy Cult (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, blueyedace2

    Earlier in DKos today was this diary by Vyan on Benghazi

    GOP'ers spin everything fanatically into a wild mess of lies.

  •  Not Always (0+ / 0-)

    Often they compare it to Chamberlain in Munich instead.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:38:39 PM PDT

  •  This is how the South tried to spin the Civil War (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as The War of Northern Aggression, because Lincoln tricked them into shooting back first, and because the North was incapable of civilization. (Unlike slaves, who were being civilized and Christianized by their benevolent masters.)

    Jefferson Davis' Speech at Jackson, Miss., December 26, 1862, delivered with no sense of irony:

    You in Mississippi, have but little experienced as yet the horrors of the war. You have seen but little of the savage manner in which it is waged by your barbarous enemies…the dirty Yankee invaders; where property has been wantonly destroyed, the country ravaged, and every outrage committed. And it is with these people that our fathers formed a union and a solemn compact. There is indeed a difference between the two peoples. Let no man hug the delusion that there can be renewed association between them. Our enemies are a traditionless and a homeless race; from the time of Cromwell to the present moment they have been disturbers of the peace of the world…

    The question for you to decide is, "will you be slaves or will you be independent?" Will you transmit to your children the freedom and equality which your fathers transmitted to you or will you bow down in adoration before an idol baser than ever was worshipped by Eastern idolators?

    That would be the Abolitionist "idol", the emancipation of the slaves of the Rebel states, which came just one year later. As an urgent matter of war strategy, it confiscated the major part of the wealth of the South just as though slaves were real people who would then have to be allowed to vote and hold office for a decade before Jim Crow could be built up and enforced without Federal interference.

    And, of course, from FDR to Goldwater Democrats and Republicans completely swapped places on what was then called Negro rights. At the recent 100th White House Correspondents Dinner the Association gave an honorary membership certificate for Harry McAlpin, the first Black White House correspondent, to his son. FDR insisted that McAlpin be allowed into the White House press room and took pleasure in calling on him to ask questions. McAlpin was never allowed to join the Association in his lifetime.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:39:50 PM PDT

  •  I do not wish to get ban-hammered (7+ / 0-)

    so I will not suggest that the GOP should actually endure what they are saying they endure.

    No kristallnacht for them.

    No...I just wish all of them, every damn one of them, had to live on minimum wage, without food stamps or any other kind of help, for at least two years.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:04:30 PM PDT

  •  What is wrong with those people? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, aitchdee, Matt Z

    Making it easier to get health insurance is not the same as being gassed.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:05:45 PM PDT

  •  I grew up in a neighborhood in NYC that (8+ / 0-)

    was home to a lot of survivors. Hey, Republicans, do you know what the Holocaust did to people? We are talking about the murder of millions of people. This is not the same as health insurance, student loans, and other government programs that are designed to help the 99%. If we had a real press, these Republican idiots would be called out every single time they compared the ACA to the Holocaust. The country has gone mad.

  •  That'll win them the Jewish vote...NOT! b/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Matt Z, Pariah Dog

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:15:16 PM PDT

  •  Obama and Hitler - two liberals or something? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, orrg1, bluezen, Matt Z, Rashaverak

    Just 3 days ago my brother posted up on his G+ that Hitler was an example of what happens when liberals go too far, because you see... Hitler was a liberal.

    I was like...


    Um... how do you even get from here to there? Did I miss the turn at planet Vogon or something?

    I pointed out that Hitler is actually a perfect example of Corporatism gone too far. The very definition of Fascism is the marriage of Corporate power to Military power - about as anti liberal as you can get...


    If this is what their preaching in their churches, its no wonder they keep making Holocaust analogies...

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:17:00 PM PDT

  •  So did any prominent Democrat ask (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Is Senator Campfield crazy?"

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:20:01 PM PDT

  •  Israel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, Yosef 52

    Health care in Israel is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory.

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:28:19 PM PDT

  •  Babi Yar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama is shooting everyone in the head with affordable health insurance?

    God gave you free will to define God, use it to make the best God that you can.

    by Dotty Gale on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:29:06 PM PDT

  •  Note to Republicans (and Democrats, too) (0+ / 0-)

    If you invoke Nazis, the holocaust, or anything associated with the two in an argument, then you lost the argument.

  •  It feels like a holocaust to them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this terrible erosion of their privilege and position as the sole arbiters of everything in the USA.  People of color asserting rights?  Women wanting to be treated equally?  And the last straw must be that "homo-sex-u-als" demand to cast off their shame and be accepted as normal human beings!  The horror!

    So they feel little restraint in invoking The Holocaust.  After all, they aren't Jewish.  That's just something that happened in that war between the Golden Ages, right?  Bunch of left wing fascists tried to overthrow Capitalism or something like that, and killed a bunch of people.  Bad stuff then, but good for riling the base in these desperate times right now.

    Who knows what could happen? If these masses keep on getting more uppity and don't get slapped down soon they could be coming for the money.  

    That's the real fear behind all the others, I warrant.

    "A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance." -- George Orwell, 1984

    by Treats on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:36:46 PM PDT

  •  the teapublicans have always used holocaust (0+ / 0-)

    comparisons for the aca. i remember back in august 2009 when sarah palin & glenn beck were screaming about the aca's nazi death panels.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. ~ J.K. Galbraith

    by bluezen on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:43:19 PM PDT

  •  Despite consistent Dem advantage, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, rfhusker, Matt Z

    Pubs have been able to rely on around a quarter of the American Jewish vote. If they continue their attempts to appropriate the Holocaust for their tantrum-of-the-week, I doubt they will be able to count on those voters.

    It really is a very specific word,  with very specific meaning and memories.

    Then again, I don't expect many Pubs to know enough history to grasp this.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:46:24 PM PDT

  •  Reagan let all the crazies out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    and this is what we got.

  •  Obama Macht Frei Stoffe (0+ / 0-)
  •  GOP= Fear& Hate (0+ / 0-)

    ~~ I'm not surprised at all that the talk is so negative .. they bring up all these fear issues & that's all the people need here to hate everything Obama has accomplished in his 6 years in office ..

      I'm a Progressive Kentuckian,  in a state that is Red, though we do have a Democrat Senate & Gov .. both Senators, most Rep's are GOP/T Party & the Dem are mostly Dino's .. not all! but a lot ..   you have to go back almost 10 years,  to find a Dem represnting the 4th district, Ken Lucas served from 1999 to 2005,  who said he would only serve 3 terms & that what he did ..

      Now, all of them are T Parters ..  they believe so deeply in everything GOP says is wrong for Kentuckian,( or insert any State conroled by GOP/TP ) & that's what they run on, it's Obamacare, he's coming for your guns, etc, etc ... fear & hate is how they've raised these people in Kentucky .. grew up seeing People vote against their interest, you can't get them to change their minds .. been conditioned for too long ..

     I am hoping Mitch loses this fall, but am not holding my breathe .. he's got a lot of important people behind in, so we this going to be a very dirty fight . imho!    ~~

  •  If there is an afterlife (0+ / 0-)

    this people are all going to Hell. They are going to be QUITE surprised about it too, which shows their level of intelligence.

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Tue May 06, 2014 at 08:51:23 PM PDT

  •  Given the long history (0+ / 0-)

    Of Republicans accusing others of that which they themselves are guilty, I think it's safe to assume that Republicans are Nazis.

    There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.

    by Phil T Duck on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:37:11 PM PDT

  •  So in 40 years or so we can expect a new Holocaust (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueKS, anshmishra

    movie about people living under the tyranny of affordable healthcare.  Images of trainloads of people being shipped off to hospitals.  Mass inoculations.  People holding onto their gold and their homes and their savings.

    Against which you have a few brave rebels striving to free the people so they can seek whatever healthcare they can find in the wild. Or die in a ditch or whatever, hey, it's a free market, you get what you pay for.

    Call it "Limbaugh's List" for a working title.

    #ALEC Brand Legislation now with new whitening agents! Dont like the color of your electorate?Just add #VoterID! Now with more suppression! @FAKEALECPR

    by Bandaloop on Tue May 06, 2014 at 09:51:00 PM PDT

  •  OK. Right-wingers, you're concerned about Nazism? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great! Here's a handy checklist for you. Does a movement:

    1) hate, fear and/or exclude those of a certain religion (like Judaism in the 1930s, or Islam, today)?
    2) hate, fear and/or exclude poor immigrants, and point out their differences as proving they don't belong (like east European Jews in the 1930s, or undocumented Latino immigrants today)?
    3) hate, fear and/or exclude a group they claim doesn't work hard enough (what the Nazis called the "work-shy")?
    4) reduce welfare payments (as the Nazis did)?
    5) launch wars of aggression and fetishize the military and deficit-spend like crazy on it?

    Congratulations! You've identified the modern Nazis! Get busy and criticize them with all your might!

    •  Oh, and do they legislate against labor unions? (0+ / 0-)

      As Hitler did, when he created the Reich Labor Front, headed by someone he picked, which was forbidden to negotiate for higher wages?

      And do they act in favor of well-connected industrialists, as long as they're married to the military-industrial complex, as the soon-to-be multi-millionaire (from Mein Kampf's book sales) Hitler did, especially when he sided with management during the metal-workers' strikes of 1930 (leading Otto Strasser to lead Socialists in a walkout from the party, publishing an article entitled "Socialists Quit the NSDAP")?

  •  Just gonna leave this here... (0+ / 0-)

    Formerly CO-2, Currently OK-4

    by GrantR on Wed May 07, 2014 at 01:06:34 AM PDT

  •  Dullards who failed (0+ / 0-)

    high school History should be banned from seeking elective office... and should never be quoted in the press.

    (Summer school doesn't count)

  •  "They came for the for-profits... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and I didn't speak up."

    I don't know that I have heard anything so stupid in all my life.

    And I follow politics in the age of our first black prez.   So that is saying something.

    Really, I wish I had written that line as comedy.  I am in awe.

    Since it's not comedy, however, I would like to deconstruct that, and ask the blithering dope who said it who in the fucking hell the "for-profits" ever EVER stood up to save?

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Wed May 07, 2014 at 05:11:45 AM PDT

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