by John Hayward
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) dropped some high-powered verbal ordnance in front of reporters last week, as reported in Politico:
“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine,” West told reporters in the Capitol. “I think that you have, and let’s be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit in this, in enabling them to get that type of message out.”
West was responding to a question about Congress’s low poll numbers and the fact that public blame is centered more on the Republicans. A Pew Research Center poll released Thursday found two in three voters in favor of tossing out most members of Congress in 2012, with a larger share of the blame aimed at the GOP.
The freshman Republican, whose district is in heavily Jewish South Florida, said his reference to Goebbels wasn’t designed to link Democrats to the overall Nazi party.
“I’m talking about propaganda, OK,” he said. “Don’t start taking my words and twisting it around. I’m talking about propaganda. And I think that’s a very important thing. When you tell me that everyone thinks that the only people on Capitol Hill are House Republicans, it’s because that’s what’s being portrayed, is that there’s nobody else up here.”
“Once again, you guys will take whatever I say and you will spin it to try to demonize me or demagogue me,” West added. “What I’m talking about is a person that was the minister of propaganda. And I’m talking about propaganda. So please. I’ll be prepared to wake up tomorrow and you guys make up some crazy story. Whatever.”
That happened on Thursday, Dec. 15. West might have been able to wake up the next day without encountering any crazy stories, but he found one waiting for him on the House floor today, as described by the Palm Beach Post:
On what may be the final day of House business in 2011, U.S. Rep.Donna Edwards, D-Md., has introduced a resolution condemning U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, for saying last week that Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels would be “very proud” of Democratic efforts to blame congressional dysfunction on the GOP.
Reading from the resolution on the House floor this afternoon, Edwards said: “Such outrageous Holocaust analogies have no place in our political dialogue. They are offensive, they trivialize real historical events and they diminish the memory of the 6 million Jews and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust.”
The proposed resolution calls West’s conduct “repugnant” and says the House “disapproves of the behavior of the Representative of Florida, Mr. West, for bringing discredit to the House by offending the memory of those who died during the Holocaust.”
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