Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Craziest Republican of the Day: Paul Broun

By Michael J.W. Stickings

(Sorry, I meant to post this yesterday.)

The AP has the craziness:

A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may — may not, I hope not — but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."

Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military.

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."


"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential."

So Obama's not Hilter, but sort of, possibly? And he wants to do "exactly what Hitler did," but he's a Marxist?

Broun is clearly an idiot -- only an idiot would make such idiotic remarks -- but this is precisely the sort of fear- and smearmongering we're likely to get a lot more of going forward. McCain and Palin and their surrogates may have taken the anti-Obama lead during the campaign, with their mob-crazed rallies seething with hate and anger, if not outright bigotry, but anti-Obama rhetoric of this kind is all-too-common on the right. And, as Steve Benen noted, it's not like Broun is "some random nut" at some random right-wing blog. He's a member of Congress!

It should come as no surprise that right-wingers are embracing Broun. Check out RedState, for example: "Let me be the first to congratulate Representative Paul Broun to be the first to fire a shot at the Obama Agenda!" They're all crazy, it seems, and craziness will about in the "Guerrilla Congress."

The title of Jay Bookman's blog post at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution yesterday says it all: "U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Crazy." Broun is "the point at which the lunatic fringe and Republican officeholders intersect." All I must add is that that intersection is densely populated.

In actual fact, by the way, what Obama was proposing was not some sort of newfangled American Gestapo but rather "a civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts such as rebuilding infrastructure -- an idea endorsed by the Bush administration."

And, for the record, sincere or not, Broun has backed down: "I regret putting it that way. I apologize to anyone who has taken offense at that."

It wasn't offense that was taken, though, it was craziness that was called out.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home