In just their latest failed effort to peel away supporters from one of the Democratic Party's most reliable constituencies, Republicans in 2012 still lost among Jewish voters by over a 2-1 margin. The reasons for the GOP's consistently dismal performance are no mystery. Survey data show that Jewish Americans overwhelmingly reject the Republicans' reactionary social policies and mockery of education and science. Worse still, many of the right's hardline supporters of Israel see God's chosen people as biblical cannon fodder needed to fulfill End Times prophecy. And then, as Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) showed this week, Republicans routinely compare Democratic positions on guns, education, health, taxes, the debt--and almost everything else--to the Holocaust.
During a speech Tuesday to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the North Carolina Republican appropriated the famous Holocaust maxim to protest federal regulation of for-profit colleges. As Inside Higher Ed reported, Foxx complained that private institutions should have joined in their defense:
"'They came for the for-profits, and I didn't speak up'...Nobody really spoke up like they should have."
For her part, Foxx was only following in the footsteps of her GOP colleague, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland (video above). Federal student loans, he cautioned last fall, weren't merely unconstitutional, but the first step to the gas chambers:
"If you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad...The Holocaust that occurred in Germany -- how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope."
Virginia Foxx's previous claim to fame was her high-profile role in propagating the "death panels" slander of the Affordable Care Act that became Politifact's 2009 Lie of the Year. Democratic health care reform, she warned, will "put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."
And that, some Republicans suggest, makes Obamacare little different from the Holocaust. State exchanges helping to enable 30 million people in the United States to obtain insurance, Idaho state senator Sheryl Nuxoll darkly warned last week, are the equivalent of a final solution for health care:
"The insurance companies are creating their own tombs. Much like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps, private insurers are used by the feds to put the system in place because the federal government has no way to set up the exchange."
As it turns out, she's far from alone in crying Holocaust over health care reform. In Maryland, the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County explained four years ago that "Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common." Last summer, Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage reacted to the Supreme Court's ruling upholding Obamacare:
"We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo -- the IRS."
LePage was not the first Republican to compare the Internal Revenue Service to the Hitler's henchman. During the GOP's successful crusade to gut the agency in the late 1990's, Mississippi Senator Trent Lott decried the IRS' "Gestapo-like tactics" while Alaska's Frank Murkowski protested, "You don't need to send in armed personnel in flak jackets."
Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee couldn't agree more.