The fear-mongering surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has officially gone Godwin, people. Because mandating that everyone purchase private health insurance is *exactly* like the German secret police who would round up people deemed unsympathetic to the Nazi government and torture and/or kill them, amirite?
After expressing this breathtaking bit of beyond reprehensible bit of garbage, reporter Paul Heintz of 7Days checked to make sure that the tea party-backed politician had even a semblance of historical knowledge:
“Do you have a sense of what the Gestapo did during World War II?” Heintz asked.
“Yeah,” LePage said. “They killed a lot of people.”
“And the IRS is headed in that direction?”
“They’re headed in the direction of killing a lot of people?”
“Are you serious?”
“I’m very serious,” LePage said, later adding: “I’m saying the federal government is taking away the freedom of Americans to make choices.”
Okay, I didn't think this needed to be made explicit, Governor, but clearly some people have problems with analogies. The IRS is not going to kill anyone (although I think you ought to expect a very ugly audit in the near future), nor are they taking any freedoms away. You can choose not to purchase health insurance. But the cost to do so is the same "freeloader" penalty that you Republicans cheered when it was introduced by the Heritage Foundation twenty years ago.
To insinuate that there is any kind of apt comparison to be made is an insult not only to critical thinking Americans and IRS agents just trying to do their job, but to the memory of real victims of the actual Gestapo.
LePage's brain apparently caught up with his mouth a little later, and he attempted to walk back his words:
Seeking to douse a fire he started by comparing the IRS to the Gestapo, Maine Gov. Paul LePage issued a formal apology on Friday for his "insensitivity to the word" after a face-to-face meeting with representatives of several Jewish groups that had complained.
LePage hoped his apology in his weekly radio address would bring an end to the weeklong furor that started when he described the Internal Revenue Service as the "new Gestapo" while criticizing President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
LePage said it was "never my intent to insult or to be hurtful to anyone, but rather express what can happen by overreaching government."
"The acts of the Holocaust were nothing short of horrific. Millions of innocent people were murdered, and I apologize for my insensitivity to the word and the offense some took to my comparison of the IRS and the Gestapo," the governor said.