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Invoking Hitler: Only bad when Republicans do it

July 14. 2012 11:12PM

After the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said this: 'We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo - the IRS.' Last week, after the national media made hay with his words, he apologized. Sort of.

'The Holocaust is probably a bad example. Americans should not forget that it did happen,' he told a Vermont weekly, the liberal website Talking Points Memo reported. 'I apologize to the Jewish Americans who feel offended. I also apologize to the Japanese Americans who were put in prison during World War II, and I also apologize to those people who were accused of being Communists under McCarthyism because that's not the American way.

'What I'm trying to say is that the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad. Yet.'

Maybe? The Gestapo was Hitler's national police force, which he staffed with loyal Nazis and dispatched to find and arrest 'enemies of the state.' The Gestapo later was tasked with rounding up Jews and killing them. Its members guarded the concentration camps. 'Maybe' the IRS isn't as bad? The governor needs a history lesson.

Liberals and the national media had a lot of fun pointing out LePage's ridiculous comparison.

LePage, of course, is a Republican, and Republicans can never get away with using Nazi references. Liberals, though, well ... .

In May, the Concord Monitor ran an editorial cartoon that depicted House Speaker Bill O'Brien as Hitler.

The Monitor is a liberal paper; O'Brien is a Republican. Did the left and the big media denounce the Monitor? Of course not.

LePage is a governor, so he gets more national scrutiny. But even the left within New Hampshire did not denounce the Hitler comparison. Some applauded it.

It ought to go without saying that unless someone is advocating genocide, Hitler comparisons are not just inappropriate, they are outrageous - no matter which side makes them. No one should get a pass.

Politics Editorial