Tennessee Republican State Sen. Stacey Campfield is sorry he’s offended… well, everyone, but—really, you missed the point!
Campfield on Monday morning likened Obamacare enrollments to the Nazis bragging about the number of Jews they’d sent to concentration camps, earning the ire of even his own party leaders.
The Holocaust was the systematic murder of six million Jews including 1.5 million children, while Obamacare is a system that allows people to buy healthcare through a government portal and regulates healthcare policies. Eight million people have enrolled in healthcare plans through the portal; those who are uninsured must pay a penalty if they choose not to purchase a healthcare plan. The comparison was made on the senator’s personal blog, “Thought of the day.”
The state’s GOP chairman quickly complained of the remark, citing Campfield’s history of “over the top” remarks (indeed, he has likened homosexuality to bestiality in his legislation.)
“Today’s comments are ignorant and repugnant. No political or policy disagreement should ever be compared to the suffering endured by an entire generation of people,” state GOP chairman Chris Devaney said in a statement to the Nashville Scene. “Those comments have no place in our public discourse. He should offer an apology to members of the Jewish faith immediately.”
Campfield later added a comment on the post, attempting to ameliorate his critics.
“I regret that some people miss the point of my post. It was not to offend. It was to warn,” he wrote in a comment on his own post. “In no way was my post meant to diminish or detract from the pain, suffering and loss of human life that occurred during this dark time in human history. Instead the post was meant to draw attention to the loss of freedom that we are currently experiencing. I stand by my steadfast opposition to Obamacare.”
The Anti-Defamation League condemned Campfield’s analogy, even writing a letter to the Republican.
“It has become too common to use comparisons to the Holocaust and Nazi imagery to attack people with opposing views, whether the issue is global warming, immigration or health care. The 6 million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of Hitler deserve better,” the group said in the letter, a copy of which was provided to msnbc. “Their deaths should not be used for political points or sloganeering.”
Campfield joins a questionable legacy of Republicans who have likened Obamacare to the Nazi regime.
During his fall 2013 all-night talkathon, Sen. Ted Cruz said his fight to defund Obamacare was akin to fighting the Nazis in Germany. And in April of this year another major GOP donor distributed a YouTube video depicting Hitler complaining about having to see a Jewish doctor under Obamacare.