In 2009 we were entering into a post-partisan world filled with the promise of ending the bickering and getting down to the business of running the world's greatest economy.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the new President's idea of the country's "business" was a government takeover of healthcare, suing sovereign states for wanting to be sovereign, circumventing the Congress to appoint powerful czars in charge of entire industries, and weakening our national defense, among many other things that threw the new era of post-partisanship in peril.
To say that the dialogue went downhill would be an understatement of astronomical proportions.
As we've all studied over the last two weeks, the media and the left are very comfortable laying the fault for this alleged uncivilized tone at the feet of Republicans and Tea Partiers. Interestingly, as Erick Erickson pointed out yesterday, even in the wake of the newfound calls for getting along and toning down the rhetoric, Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee found it appropriate to compare Republican interpretation of the Job-Killing Healthcare Bill to be on par with the "Big Lie" originating from none other than Adolph Hitler's famous screed Mein Kampf, later tweaked by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.
I find it doubly interesting that Cohen would use the "Big Lie" as his comparison, given his attempt to perpetuate the discredited notion that the Tea Parties are rooted in racism. When on "The Young Turks" in early 2010 he had some interesting things to say about the movement to restore constitutional principles.
The Tea Party people are kind of, without robes and hoods, they have really shown a very hardcore angry side of America that is against any type of diversity. And we saw opposition to African Americans, hostility towards gays, hostility towards anybody who wasn't just, you know, a clone of George Wallace's fan club. And I'm afraid they've taken over the Republican Party. (See Anderson Cooper questioning Cohen's commitment to civility at FoxNation.)
But Cohen's pattern of hyperbolic comparisons doesn't end there. Back in 2008 he not only compared Sarah Palin to Pontius Pilate, but threw Obama into the role of the Messiah.
For those of you without video:
Dem. Rep. Steve Cohen (TN) – I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the parties have differences. But if you want change, you want the Democratic Party. Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus, who our minister prayed about. Pontius Pilate was a governor. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
To be clear, it's my belief that Rep. Cohen can say whatever he wishes. I don't believe for a second that it would cause him to be responsible if a Tucson style incident were to happen tomorrow as I do not believe madmen need influence from a politician to be mad. But I also believe that to shake hands with this man and attempt to open a "constructive dialogue" with him is not only useless but insulting.
I consider any Republican who chooses to sit next to this guy at the State of the Union to be giving tacit endorsement to the belief that Obama is Jesus, Palin is his executioner, the Tea Party is made up of Ku Klux Klan members, and the Republican Party is the equal to the Wannsee Conference.
We need to target this guy's district and beat the pants off him when he's up for re-election, not hold hands with him for political theater.
Cross-Posted at Pundit League