Remember Richard Mourdock? The right-wing Indiana Republican defeated Sen. Richard Lugar (R) in a 2012 primary, condemned bipartisan policymaking, announced that pregnancies from rape are “something that God intended,” and then lost to Joe Donnelly (D) by six points.
The right-wing Hoosier did not, however, go away entirely. On the contrary, Mourdock returned to his day job: Treasurer for the state of Indiana.
And it was in this capacity that Mourdock decided to share his thoughts on current events at his party’s state convention over the weekend.
Reaction ranged from anger to shock to befuddlement after Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock compared the nation’s direction to Hitler’s Nazi Germany during a farewell speech at the Indiana Republican Convention on Saturday.“The people of Germany in a free election selected the Nazi Party because they made great promises that appealed to them because they were desperate and destitute. And why is that? Because Germany was bankrupt,” he said.Mourdock, who has stoked outrage with incendiary comments in the past, then alluded to the 70th anniversary last week of the D-Day invasion during World War II, saying, “The truth is, 70 years later, we are drifting on the tides toward another beachhead and it is the bankruptcy of the United States of America.”
The Indiana Republican Convention’s attendees gave Mourdock a standing ovation following his offensive remarks, though the Indianapolis Star’s report added that party officials were “distancing” themselves from the Treasurer’s comments later in the day.
Mourdock, who is prevented from seeking another term due to term limits, added in his speech, “Now I know some of you, especially some of the guests in the room, are thinking, there’s a wild-eyed Republican speaking craziness.”
Yep, the thought did occur to me.
There’s generally not much of a point in fact-checking “craziness,” to borrow Mourdock’s word, but it’s worth noting that anyone who sees the United States on the path to Nazi Germany knows very little about the United States and Nazi Germany. Indeed, the Indiana Treasurer, who presumably has to know something about finances, should probably realize that the U.S. is not, and will never be, “bankrupt.”
What’s more, while I realize Nazis and Hitler can serve as an occasional reference point for historical comparisons, the far-right’s preoccupation with this just isn’t healthy.
The Affordable Care Act? It’s like the Nazi Holocaust.
Concerned about growing economic inequality? “If you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany.”
Pursue a foreign policy the right disapproves of? Expect Neville Chamberlain comparisons.
American society in general? It’s “very much like Nazi Germany.”
There are other historical points of comparison. Perhaps the far-right should consider them.