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.