Welcoming in the first day of Spring is some pretty strong hyperbole from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn. President Trump and his family are the greatest threat to democracy in Clyburn’s long lifetime, you know. To explain his outrageous claim, Clyburn goes to the lazy default position of anti-Trump Democrats. He compares Trump to Hitler.
Clyburn was asked about President Trump’s latest remarks about deceased Senator John McCain and the comparison to Hitler and Nazi Germany sprang forth. That’s quite a leap but it’s not the first time Clyburn has compared Trump to Hitler.
“Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany. And he went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into” it,” he said. “Nobody would have believed it now. But swastikas hung in churches throughout Germany. We had better be very careful.”
McCain was a “hero of our United States armed services,” Clyburn said, adding that Trump was targeting him just like he’d sought to discredit previous presidents, the Congress, and the free press.
“We are asking for dire consequences. And I think it’s time for the Congress — House, and Senate — to grow spines, and do what is necessary to protect this democracy. This man and his family are the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime,” he said.
This isn’t just any Democrat spouting off about “the greatest threats to democracy” in his long lifetime, this is the House Majority Whip. Clyburn is a longtime right-hand man to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This is the second time recently he has made the comparison of Trump’s America and the current political atmosphere to Hitler’s rise in Germany. He spoke in those terms after the State of the Union address in January.
During a discussion with CNN’s Don Lemon, Clyburn said the current political climate is that of Germany in 1934, right after Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor.
“How do you see the State of the Union under President Trump?” Lemon asked Clyburn.
“Troubling,” Clyburn said. “I can only equate one period of time with what we are experiencing now, and that is what was going on in Germany around 1934 right after the 1932 elections when Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor.”
Clyburn said much of “what is going on in the country today” can be compared to what Hitler did as chancellor of Germany. The congressman cited Hitler’s silencing of the media, disruption of the judicial process, and the intertwined system of church and state, citing how swastikas were hung in churches.
“When I see, and hear, and experience what is going on in the country today, I think back to that time. And I really believe that we as Americans had better get a handle on things. If we don’t, we could very well see ourselves going the way of Germany,” Clyburn continue
Clyburn protested Trump by not attending the State of the Union address. What a strange way to show leadership skills. He chose to avoid a situation that was sure to provide political speech contrary to his political philosophy so he and other Democrats made a big deal about boycotting the address.
During the CNN interview with Don Lemon back in January, though, even anti-Trump biased Lemon gave Clyburn a chance to reel it back in a bit. Lemon reminded the senior Democrat that Hitler’s rise led to the Holocaust. Clyburn agreed and that’s when he revised his comparison a bit. Trump may not be Hitler but he’s certainly Mussolini. Oh. Ok. That’s better.
Clyburn clarified that in this instance, for the sake of comparison, Trump is more like the Italian fascist leader Mussolini, and Putin is Hitler.
“If I were making that comparison, then this president would be Mussolini and Putin would be Hitler,” Clyburn said.
Back to the NBC interview, Clyburn was asked about impeachment, as Pelosi has been downplaying that option lately. Clyburn calls on politicians to “to grow spines, and do what is necessary to protect this democracy.” By “what is necessary”, Clyburn means impeachment, of course.
Asked if that should include impeachment, a step that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said should not be pursued without greater political support, Clyburn said that House committees investigating the president should be allowed to continue their work.
“I think all of us know that impeachment is a political concept. And if the committees do their work properly they will be able to bring the public along with them,” he said. “They will be able to set the tone for impeachment if that is deserved.”
There has been no such evidence coming forth from Congress but never mind, I’m sure something will be coming out in no time now that Democrats are holding all those investigations in the House. Democrats have been beating the drum of impeachment since the president was even inaugurated. It’s all a part of their way of coping with an election that produces a Republican victory. They intend to use the court system and Congressional action at every opportunity. It must be really irritating that President Trump and the Republican-led Senate have placed so many conservatives on the bench during Trump’s first term.
I find it ironic that Clyburn, the third most powerful person in the House hierarchy bemoans the destruction of institutions by Trump’s rhetoric and actions while he calls Trump a Nazi and Adolph Hitler. Or maybe Mussolini. It’s another example that irony is dead in 2019.
The third-ranking Democrat in the House called President Trump and his family “the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime,” saying Congress needed to do more to respond to the president's attempts to undermine American institutions. https://t.co/65LvLiqeor
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 19, 2019
Does anyone remember the classic Mel Brooks musical The Producers? I can’t get “Springtime for Hitler” out of my head right now.