Maine Gov. In Trouble Because Apparently Health Care Reform Isn’t As Bad As The Holocaust Or Something

METAPHOR FREEDOMDid you know that the Gestapo, in addition to hauling away political dissidents and Jews and Gypsies to die in camps, also were a law enforcement agency, that enforced the law, of Nazi Germany? That’s all Maine Governor Paul LePage is saying, man. Don’t get all worked up. He’s just saying that, much like the Gestapo enforced the the laws in Nazi Germany that you weren’t allowed to be Jewish, on penalty of death, so too the IRS will be enforcing the laws of America that you aren’t allowed to not have health insurance on penalty of, like, a fine or something. That’s all he meant when said that the IRS was just like the Gestapo. GOD. So whiny, all of you.

Your Comics Curmudgeon is going to use his Jewish Privilege to announce that he honestly doesn’t get offended when people, even people he disagrees with, use Nazi Germany as a metaphor, because if you can’t use Nazi Germany as a metaphor for a dictatorship that arose surprisingly quickly out of democratic institutions, what the hell good is it? Still, it’s always fun to see some jerk repeatedly apologizing for some dumb overblown thing he’s said, without actually apologizing:

The story began on July 7 when LePage — a tea party-leaning Republican — used his official weekly radio address to warn that the Supreme Court ruling upholding the health care law would turn the IRS into “the new Gestapo.”

That prompted criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and an organization representing IRS employees.

Apparently caught off guard by the outrage, LePage offered his first apology to a Maine TV station on July 9.

“It was never intended to offend anyone,” he said on camera. “And if someone’s offended, then they ought to be goddamn mad at the federal government.”

On July 12, LePage was asked again about the July 9 remarks by an alt-weekly. That’s when he expressed regret at offending anyone — but doubled down on the claim that the IRS will kill people like the Gestapo in Nazi Germany did.

“What I’m trying to say is that the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated,” he said. “Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad. Yet.”

You know when a politician is taking the bold stance that the Holocaust is bad and quite frankly it would be for the best if it never happened again, you are dealing with a real leader. Anyway, LePage finally apologized for real after being whisked away to answer to a cabal of Maine Jews (how many of these are there, exactly?). But if wants to court this powerful constituency, he needs to know what they really want, like Angela Merkel, leader of the home of the non-metaphorical Holocaust, does:

Blatant pandering

Aww, yeah, that’s the stuff. See, governor: Leadership. [TPM]

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About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger

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152 comments

  1. CapnRadio

    A spokesman from the LePage administration, a Mr. Godwin, surprisingly opted not to comment.

    1. sewollef

      Er, why is this naked chick bending over next to a car — again? To the right, here.

      It's nice and all, but awfully distracting when you're trying to snark… know what I mean?

      1. Callyson

        Had Governor LePage had this ad to distract him, he might have kept out of trouble in the first place. Just sayin'…

  2. Billmatic

    it’s always fun to see some jerk repeatedly apologizing for some dumb overblown thing he’s said, without actually apologizing

    he forgot to put #deadbabies at the end, though

  3. SorosBot

    What I’m trying to say is that the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the tea party-leaning Republicans are not quite as bad. Yet.

    1. Willardbot9000_V2.5

      Isn't it funny that the hardcore rightwing authoritarians abusively refer to anything they don't like as the Holocaust? I mean I know we all break Godwin's law from time to time but I'll defer to Sinclair Lewis: "Fascism in America will begin as anti-fascism" or in this case, pretend fascism. Word.

  4. coolhandnuke

    One way of determining the sociopath in an individual is how they apologize. Most sociopaths lack the empathy and conscience to execute any apology effective/affective.

      1. coolhandnuke

        Just toss a dart at it…I have no point really, other than I watch too much Dexter.

  5. Boredw/Gravitas

    You know who else used Gestapo tactics?

    Oh, never mind. The answer to all Republican teabaggery is "Hitler."

  6. BarackMyWorld

    “It was never intended to offend anyone,” he said on camera. “And if someone’s offended, then they ought to be goddamn mad at the federal government.”

    I know everyone suddenly decided after the Scott Walker mess that recalls just weren't an okay thing to do, but here is Exhibit A that they certainly are.

    1. HarryButtle

      Oh, what's the fucking point. Scott Walker also proved that the Koch brothers will simply buy the recall election anyway.

  7. OzoneTom

    So anyone who enforces the law is like the Gestapo?

    One more thing for Issa to go after Holder for.

  8. prommie

    Maybe the IRS isn't as bad as the worst crime in history? Ah, you have to hand it to the GOP, its not the party of insane idiots or anything, these are the words of a Statesman!

  9. CapnRadio

    I love that movie where William Holden determines that a member of his family is not really a dependent and he stages a breakout from his accountant's office.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Oh, yeah! And when it turns out that Peter Graves is really an auditor? Classic.

  10. proudgrampa

    “And if someone’s offended, then they ought to be goddamn mad at the federal government.”

    No, you fucking idiot. They ought to be goddamn mad at the goddamn asshole who made the offensive remark. Goddamn it!

    1. kittensdontlie

      I pity the poor Mainers who have had to suffer this fool…Indeed, there are a plentitude of ordinary p—–s(appropriate sex organ redacted) more qualified to govern than that dumb deek.

  11. C_R_Eature

    Wait- did LePage apologize because the Maine Jews threatened to have Angela Merkel circumcise him?
    If not I'm confused, because that makes a lot of sense.

    1. real_dc_native

      Ah… technically people who populate Iraq are considered Semitic. It's not just us Yids. Pretty much all brownish people of the mid-east.

      1. doloras

        No. "Iran" means "Land of the Aryans" (a name adopted in 1935 by the then-Shah who was a big fan of European fascism). The Persians are Indo-Europeans, just like most white folks except for Hungarians, Finns and Basques.

        1. Ducksworthy

          Unfortunately, the fact that bombing Iran would mean bombing blue eyed blond Persian girls is not well understood in Rightwingistan.

      2. Negropolis

        Iran. I know it's just a one-letter difference, but it makes all the difference. The Persians aren't Semites.

  12. johnnyzhivago

    I'm having my nails done today for the first time just so I can look down on the nail-lady and tell her how stupid she is for probably supporting Obama.

  13. SayItWithWookies

    Sure, affordable healthcare seems inocuous — nay, even helpful and cost-effective — now, but just wait until all those whose lives have been made better by the ACA are forced to wear yellow stars and live like rats in a crowded ghetto. It's a slippery slope, people!

  14. edgydrifter

    What he meant was the ACA is exactly like kidnapping people, chaining them up in the bowel of a ship and selling them at auction as chattel. He apologizes for any inadvertent confusion his prior remarks may have caused.

  15. OneYieldRegular

    "What I’m trying to say is that the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated."

    Okay, then. Thank you for your frankness, Governor.

    1. LetUsBray

      Uh-oh, looks like someone is challenging Neut Gingrich for the title of King of Frankly.

    2. NYNYNYjr

      I mean, I'm just speaking for myself here, and strictly off the record, but I would never want the holocaust to happen again.

  16. Billmatic

    I'm with this guy I'm tired of paying taxes for the roads I use, the defense system that I take for granted, the communications network i expect and the peace of mind that comes with a stable, successful government. The IRS is a despotic islamofascist hitleresque stalinist fantasy and I would really appreciate it if my neighbors stopped giving the stinkeye because I want to wear my yellow thong in the front yard.

    1. flamingpdog

      Thanx – you just made me have a mental image of Paul LePage in his front yard wearing a yellow thong.

      1. Billmatic

        Yeah well I drive past a crazy old man in a yellow thong blowing bubbles by the bus stop every day so welcome to my hell.

          1. Billmatic

            Well I don't drive past him every day but yes that is one of the many public loonies we have in Austin.

    2. coolhandnuke

      According to the IRS tax code 234 stroke 11 dash 6, you can deduct your banana hammock on your IRS 1040EZ–short form or long form.

  17. FlownOver

    So the police arresting drunk drivers are just like the Gestapo, because they're enforcing A LAW. To say nothing of taking away our freedom to risk the lives of all other drivers.

    I mean, where can a guy go for some FREEDOM these days?

    1. Billmatic

      I think they're going to Canada to get away from socialized medicine. I saw it on the twitters.

  18. mavenmaven

    In today's America, you may invoke the Gestapo, the SS, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, all day for any purpose, just don't dare say that Tri** is re***ded.

  19. neiltheblaze

    Be kind. Just remember. Governor LePage is someone's husband – someone's father – someone's embarrassing Thanksgiving uncle.

    1. widestanceromance

      He's someone to someone else who wishes he was not, but he's really no one to everyone else (or what). My brain hurts.

    2. bobbert

      As I recall, he is the father of a young lady who just happened to get a State O' Maine jerb shortly after he was elected.

  20. flamingpdog

    Holocaust? Teatards like Paul LePage make me wonder about the caust of a Holo-point bullet … WITH VOTES!!!

  21. Sassomatic

    Oh man, he walked that back to admit that the IRS is not *quite* as bad as the Gestapo? In the eyes of the Tea Party, this is an act of treason right up there the John Roberts' turncoat failure to toe the party line on Obamacare.

  22. qwerty42

    I kinda think that learning everything you know about World War 2 and Nazi Germany from old war movies does not actually teach you anything about either WW2 or the Nazis. The Gestapo were not "mean guys", they were sadistic, brutal thugs. Just seeing the ruins of their former headquarters on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse gives you the creeps if you have any knowledge of the organization (you can see the cellar — the cellar of Gestapo headquarters — nice thought). When you have no idea what these organizations were, you can toss off "Nazi", "Gestapo", even "NKVD" because the terms have absolutely no meaning to you. Except for what you "learned" in old movies when you were a kid. And you still think that way.
    Cripes.
    Apologies, before I got into the field I'm in now, I did history. Especially Central and Eastern Europe. Things did not end well.
    Perhaps I will join some friends for a drink after work.

  23. JackObin

    Oh look, a fat, stupid, obnoxious Republican. What a rare sight. I'll bet he really admires Joe Paterno.

  24. ph7

    Tax hater is a tax cheat and freeloader. He owns two homes; one in Maine, one in Florida; declares them both personal residences and takes exemptions in both states, but lives in Maine; daughter claims, and pays, in-state tuition in Florida.

  25. Mumbletypeg

    Lord that man's neck is thick. Give him a beaver-butt haircut and send him to the Lizard Lick set. They could use a cranky grampster type, the show is seriously lacking in an Uncle Jesse or Granny Hillbilly elder spare for spitting nails.

    Oh yeah, that was the 70s. People were still nimble and fit on into their golden years, back then. But when the Museum for Artifacts of Homophobic Heritage opens for business finally I'm sure this lumpy grump will fit right in.

  26. Toomush_Infer

    Um, Gov. LePage?… there's a Dr. Mengele on the phone for you, something about health care?….

  27. Guppy

    “It was never intended to offend anyone,” he said on camera. “And if someone’s offended, then they ought to be goddamn mad at the federal government.”

    Attention "journalists:"

    The preceding quote is a "statement," a "comment," perhaps even a "response." But this is, in no way, shape, or form, an "apology." This isn't even among the "I'm sorry you're offended" bullshit.

  28. LetUsBray

    What is it with these people comparing EVERYthing they don't like to the Nazis?

    "How are your eggs, dear?" "Chewy. Worse than Hitler". "And how did you sleep?" "It was too humid; like the SS."

    1. Mort_Sinclair

      I can't believe I'm the only one who thinks this is fucking hilarious. Best comment in group. You and I must share a unique sense of humor. Thanks.

  29. Poindexter718

    So then Romney is just like Hitler?

    (both put on whiz-bang Olympics and dye their hair)

  30. Callyson

    “What I’m trying to say is that the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated,” he said. “Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad. Yet.”

    You know what else was not as bad as the Holocaust? Yet?

  31. Antispandex

    If you would like to maybe discover other things that are a bit like Nazi Germany, you could browse a copy of The Arms of Krupp, by William Manchester.

    1. Dashboard Buddha

      You kid, but I once landscaped a Jewish brain surgeon's lawn in Auburn. He was a total douchebag…not because he was Jewish, but because when you reach such a rarefied level of skill, it makes you think that you everything about every trade and then behave accordingly.

      1. Chichikovovich

        As I've learned living with a physician, surgeons tend to have a bit of a reputation among other physicians for that kind of thing.

        1. Negropolis

          Well, that and the whole god complex thing, to boot. I'd expect it to be particularly pronounced with a brain surgeon.

  32. James Michael Curley

    Why are obese republican governors so oblivious to people needing health care coverage reform?

    Because the suckers are signed on to lifetime care merely because they got a few more votes then their opponents.

    Picture Nicholson dressing down Christie and LePage as ordinary citizens, "You want Health Care? You can't afford Health Care."

    1. TribecaMike

      Waitress: You want me to hold the tub of lard?

      LePage: I want you to hold it between your knees.

  33. NYNYNYjr

    The IRS hardly does anything— also, as per the Daily Show explication of the law- the bil stated that the penalty will not be enforced. Apparently it was written that if you don't pay the i-dont-want-healthcare fine, nothing happens.

  34. Dashboard Buddha

    My friends and I try to comfort each other by saying at least he's not Chris Christie (R- Cruller), but that's starting to wear thin.

  35. Negropolis

    used his official weekly radio address

    This is crazy. I thought he'd made the comment in passing. He actually prepared this remark and delivered it on his official weekly radio address.

    You know, I think I know what's up. The tea party knows that they are a passing fad, that their election was largely a mistake, that re-election was never likely for them, so they are just going to unleash their craziness all at once.

  36. Negropolis

    Someone is looking to be audited, aren't they? I'm glad I'm not president. I'd be so petty. I order them to go through his money with a fine-toothed comb.

  37. Willardbot9000_V2.5

    Yes you rich pasty fuck the IRS is like the Gestapo because OCCASSIONALLY they ask you to part with a small amount of your illgotten sweet, sweet grifter money for roads and schools and stuff…real final solution-like. I swear to god Americans are the biggest bunch of whiners in the entire world…okay, not all Americans, but these fucks for sure. I remember studying Russian history and being impressed with the resiliance of the Russian people to handle one shitbag government after another and still keep trucking. These fucks cry like a bitch with a skinned knee at the prospect of paying 3% extra of the millions of dollars they make by moving money, not creating anything or actually working..just insider trading. Which is why I'm glad the cold war never went hot…I have absolutely no illusions that with a nation of these fucks Russia would have kicked our lilly-livered asses…unless black people saved us. Pasty whining fucks…and I feel better.

  38. CogitoErgoSumo

    New IRS billboard "Despite what you've heard, we're not the Gestapo. That's the FBI, They try harder."

  39. Zombie_Reagan

    Yes, because comparing systemic murder of a religious group [Holocaust] to a systemic health care program is right on target.

Comments are closed.