Republicans are anti-Obama-- no question. But now they are comparing his requiring folks to buy health insurance to Nazi tactics.
In his weekly radio address Saturday, Paul LePage, governor of Maine (and a Republican) said, "We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo, the IRS."
Of course, the IRS could use some fixing (like implementing the oh-so-fair flat tax), but to call them "Gestapo" is a bit much. Yes, they may seem to operate without court oversight like the Nazi police, but you don't see them rounding anyone up and making them disappear.
Still, Governor LePage didn't really want to back down from his comment, saying, "It was never intended to offend anyone. And if someone's offended, then they ought to be God-damned mad at the federal government."
As you can guess, Jewish groups were not amused. "To compare a modern day United States government to a genocidal regime is just... it crosses all boundaries," said Emily Chaleff of Portland, Maine's Jewish Community Alliance.
Meanwhile, LePage's communication diretor Adrienne Bennett scrambled to do damage control, saying "He did say 'the new Gestapo.' He was not referring to the old Gestapo. I think that's important to note." It's probably not so important to the families of the six million Jews and countless other folks murdered by the Nazis.
Since the Gestapo comment last Saturday, LePage has apologized privately to some groups who were offended, and says he intends to address the issue in this weekend's radio address, "You never want to hurt anybody's feelings, but I am very, very passionate about American freedom and the American dream."
Passion is great but when you spout off and offend millions trying to play politics, you're spitting in the face of the very Americans whose dream you claim to hold so dear.