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Tea Party Group Compares Obama to Hitler, Hurts Own Cause

07.15.10

Less than a day after Sarah Palin blasted the NAACP for blasting the Tea Party groups as “racists,” a billboard in Iowa has been taken down for its depiction of President Obama as being in the same vein as Hitler and Lenin.  The billboard – which displayed pictures of Hitler, Obama, and Lenin – was ordered by the North Iowa Tea Party.

In response to the universal outcry, North Iowa Tea Party co-founder Bob Johnson agreed that the billboard was offensive, saying that the imagery took away from the intended message of being anti-socialism:

“They are absolutely right in their criticism because the image of Hitler just totally wiped everything else and it misrepresents the tea party movement. They were right from the standpoint that the image was not a positive reflection on the tea people.”

Okay, so critics weren’t right in that the North Iowa Tea Party’s assertion that Obama is a leader on par with two of the worst human beings of the 20th century is beyond absurd and offensive and wrong; rather, the use of that imagery simply didn’t reflect positively on the tea people.  It’s not that they’re wrong, mind you.  Just that by being so blasphemous, they made themselves look bad.  That’s quite the mea culpa, Johnson.

As for my earlier reference to Sarah Palin defending the Tea Party groups as not being racist: in her note, she quotes South Carolina GOP congressional candidate Tim Scott, who said that

“the NAACP is making a grave mistake in stereotyping a diverse group of Americans who care deeply about their country and who contribute their time, energy and resources to make a difference.”

On the surface, yes, this is a compliment to the people who make up the various tea parties; but, these characteristics are not mutually exclusive.  One can be racist and still contribute plenty of time, energy, and resources to make a difference in our society.  It’s the nature of what kind of difference they’re seeking to make that should be questioned; not their efforts. People can care deeply about their country – or any number of things, for that matter – yet be misguided in their ways of showing that affection.  Simply saying that you’re doing something out of love, even if harmful or flat wrong, doesn’t excuse anything.

True, posting a billboard depicting Obama as a peer of Hitler and Lenin doesn’t mean that they’re racists — in fact, it’s asserting that Obama himself is a racist, which they very well may believe.  Perhaps the North Iowa Tea Party group posted this out of plain ignorance, not understanding the vast differences between Nazism and Leninism, but also not realizing that the political philosophy they accused Obama of espousing is called democratic socialism, not “democrat socialism.”

But, even if that were true, they still have no one to blame but themselves for the way people view their organization and their cause.  When you want to be taken seriously, you don’t go down the lowest (highest?) road of hyperbole and compare someone to Hitler.  Unless someone has systematically eradicated nearly an entire population of human beings and invaded numerous countries causing a world war, there should never even be a remote comparison between the two.

This isn’t the first time that a tea party group has likened Obama to Hitler (see above picture), and I’m sure that it won’t be the last.  It seems that Johnson and other tea party group founders should learn to focus on the real, everyday issues about which they feel the most passionate to change rather than marginalizing themselves with images like on this ridiculous billboard.  They have a chance to voice their opinion and let people know just what they’re truly about, to prove the haters wrong, to show that they are about actual policy issues, that they’re not racists or extremists, and this is what they come up with: more than just a failed opportunity to change the opinions of many Americans; this is the sort of thing that reaffirms people’s already negative feelings toward the entire movement.

Unless of course the current sentiments about the tea party groups that Palin and others fervently defend against really are warranted.  In which case, they should just keep the billboard up and own the backlash because if that’s what they’re really about, have the courage to stand behind it.  (Plus, for being so against wasteful spending, you’d think that this group wouldn’t blow their hard-earned cash on such a self-damning sign.)

Photo courtesy of elviskennedy’s Flickr Photostream

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One comment

  1. The Tea Bag Party are just “haters not debaters” or as others have dubbed them “screamers not dreamers”, with their failed attempts at stopping Healthcare reform, they say they respect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence but they do not mind passing laws, through weak Governors (no one voted for this crazy) who only cares about getting elected Governor, on the backs of undocumented workers, that will not pass Constitution muster.

    Brewer signed into law;
    1. S.B. 1070,
    2. No permit conceal weapons law,
    3. The famous Birthers law,
    4. Banning Ethnic studies law,
    5. Banning human-animal hybrid (aren’t most GOPers crossed with the Reptilian race?)
    or are they just giving Laurence Gonzales, some great promotion material for his new book “Lucy”.

    6. Could she be behind the Mural in Prescott, Arizona, ordered to be whiten,
    7. On deck to pass, no citizenship to babies born to undocumented workers,

    8. If she can read she should look up Arizona’s House Bill 2779 from two years ago (which was un-constitution and failed when legally challenged),
    9. The boycotted Martin Luther King Day, what idiots don’t want another holiday? Yes, you guessed it Arizona.

    Well Arizona, you can boycott new holidays and keep passing crazy laws and the rest of us will continue to challenged them in a court of law and continue to add cities to our Boycott of your state.

    I real cannot believe anything that comes out of Brewer’s mouth, in an interview she first said her father had died in Germany fighting the Nazi in World War II (war ended 1945) but of course we find out the truth that father was never in Germany and died in California in 1955. But we are suppose to believe everything else she says, right! No one voted for you for Governor, yet you keep listening to the tiny brains of the crazies and signing into law everything that comes into their feeble minds, it only make you look dumb, stupid or racist, or maybe all three.

    As for the Tea Bag Party, their phony patriotism is sickening; they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head? Let’s face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, energy (remember Cheney’s secret meetings with oil companies where loosening regulation and oversight were sealed), climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing “Follow the Leader” by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions).

    The Birthers and the Tea Bag party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now it’s about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called “Internet facts”. Let’s face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that is like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that. Yee Haw!



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