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Huckabee, Bachmann Warn of Holocaust Over Taxes, Debt

May 4, 2011

Back in 2008, Republicans for a fleeting moment held high hopes of making inroads into the monolithic Democratic voting block that is Jewish Americans. Fleeting, it turned out, in no small measure due to the selection of Sarah Palin as the GOP VP choice. Now, the leading lights of the Republican Party are once again helping to remind Jewish voters why they are Democrats. On the same day, would-be GOP White House hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee casually compared federal taxes and debt to the Holocaust.
Not to content to cast Jews as End Times cannon fodder ushering in the second coming of Christ, evangelical favorites Bachmann and Huckabee appropriated the Shoah to score partisan political points on taxes and spending.
Rep. Bachmann's abomination came two days after her Red State op-ed declaring, "I believe you are taxed enough already and President Obama needs to recognize that." Despite the conclusion of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and a host of other analysts that the federal tax burden is at its lowest level since 1950, Bachmann instead likened it to the Holocaust. As the AP described her appearance Saturday before an audience of New Hampshire Republicans:

Bachmann recounted learning about a horrific time in history as a child -- the Holocaust -- and wondering if her mother did anything to stop it. She said she was shocked to hear that many Americans weren't aware that millions of Jews had died until after World War II ended.
Bachmann said the next generation will ask similar questions about what their elders did to prevent them from facing a huge tax burden.
"I tell you this story because I think in our day and time, there is no analogy to that horrific action," she said, referring to the Holocaust. "But only to say, we are seeing eclipsed in front of our eyes a similar death and a similar taking away. It is this disenfranchisement that I think we have to answer to."

While Michele Bachmann was in Manchester wondering, "what will you say to that next generation about what you did to make sure that wouldn't be their fate?", Mike Huckabee was in Pittsburgh asking the same thing.
As the Daily Beast reported, the former Arkansas Governor and Baptist minister told the National Rifle Association that the mounting U.S. national debt is akin to, you guessed it, the Holocaust:

He spoke of how, at Israel's Holocaust museum, he looked over his 11-year-old daughter's shoulder as she wrote in the guest book, "Why didn't somebody do something?" Then he said, "We cannot afford to be a generation that leaves our children with nothing but a huge debt and the very erosion of the freedoms that our founders and our fathers died and gave us so valiantly. And that's why I say, 'Let there never be a time in this country where some father has to look over his daughter's shoulder and see her ask this haunting question: Why didn't somebody do something?'"

But when the Anti-Defamation League decried his analogy as "highly inappropriate," Huckabee lashed out:

"Foxman's remarks are not only factually wrong, but they are hurtful to me personally in light of my unequalled friendship with members of the Jewish community, and I ask Foxman to retract his statement as publicly as he issued it, and apologize for his lack of accuracy in issuing it and for the harm done by attacking the very strongest advocates for the Jewish people and Israel."

Of course, Huckabee's notion of friendship to the Jewish people is a very unique one. After all, Mike Huckabee didn't merely vow to "take this nation back for Christ." During his last presidential run, Huckabee called for a faith-based Constitution, declaring "we need to do is amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards."
Apparently, God's standards call for an End Times conflict at Armageddon in an Israel free of Palestinians. And on that point, Minister Huckabee has been only too happy to comply. As it turns out, Huckabee doesn't merely oppose the consensus around a two-state solution in the Middle East. (As he put it last year, "The two-state solution is no solution, but will cause only problems.") In Israel to support extremist Meir Kahane acolyte Dov Hikind to raise funds to expand Israeli settlements, Huckabee in August in essence backed de facto ethnic cleansing as the answer to Palestinian aspirations for a national homeland - somewhere else:

"The question is should the Palestinians have a place to call their own? Yes, I have no problem with that. Should it be in the middle of the Jewish homeland? That's what I think has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic."

Of course, it is the prospect of large GOP gains among Jewish voters which "has to be honestly assessed as virtually unrealistic" as long as the Republicans' best and brightest continue to trivialize the Holocaust in the name of partisan politics.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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