Friday, July 13, 2012

Maine Gov. LePage Calls IRS "Gestapo" -- Twice

I had vaguely heard of this before reading LePage had apologized, but I didn't really look into the specifics -- I just figured it was yet another case of embarrassingly overheated Tea Party rhetoric. But The Forward's more comprehensive coverage manages to shock even me.

Generally, casual Nazi references are done pretty thoughtlessly -- the speaker tends not to flesh things out too much because doing so would pretty rapidly demonstrate the absurdity (and moral depravity) of the comparison. But LePage was hardly being casual or off-the-cuff -- here are his remarks to a Vermont alternative paper after the original firestorm from the first time he called the IRS the Gestapo:
“What I am trying to say is 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,” LePage said.

Asked if the IRS was headed in that direction, LePage responded, “They’re headed in that direction.”

Asked if he knew what Adolf Hitler’s secret police did during World War Two, including the imprisonment and murder of millions of Jews, LePage said, “Yeah, they killed a lot of people.” Asked whether the IRS “was headed in the direction of killing a lot of people,” LePage answered: “Yeah.”

If I can have a moment of levity before I return to outrage -- "frankly", the Governor doesn't want the Holocaust to repeat itself? Why thank you -- I'm so glad you can be frank with us. It's so rare to have someone willing to boldly stand up for unpopular positions like "I don't want mass genocides to reoccur."

But anyway, Gov. LePage makes it very clear that when he is talking about the IRS-as-Gestapo, he is talking about mass slaughter, and that he does think that the IRS is "headed in that direction". The warrant for that is, naturally, the ACA -- I wouldn't say I was joking when I called the GOP's perspective on the ACA "taxing the rich to exterminate the poor", but I didn't expect a state governor to come out and say it so directly.

1 comment:

Marni Jane said...

During one of my last college courses (the topic was austrian economics) i got some interesting insights into the x financial body=nazis line of thought. I was surprised not necessarily that pre-nazi germany banking was brought up but at the weight the german mark's decline in value was given in the broader narrative. Basically, bad monetary policies, ???, holocaust. Mind you this information came from the lew rockwell supported mises institute.

I suppose if one really truly honestly believes that monetary policies are directly correlated to incidence of genocide then the nazi comparisons--and there are certainly many amongst certain libertarians--are responsible. But wow is it ever evidence of failing to learn history and being utterly oblivious to just how godawful such a comparison is.

Strangely, i've also seen the "yet" thing too. Which i always supposed was a sort of threat. Like "if we continue on this path soon we will find ourselves in a totalitarian society, invading poland and killing jews".