AZ lawmaker's Facebook post draws sharp reactionPosted: Updated:
Arizona state Rep. Brenda Barton's post on Facebook comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler is now gaining her national attention.
Barton, R-AZ, wrote, "Someone is paying the National Park Service thugs overtime for their efforts to carry out the order of De Fuhrer."
She later doubled down on that when questioned by the Capitol Times and said the U.S. is starting to resemble Nazi Germany.
Barton also questioned the manhood of sheriffs in Arizona, who she says should "revoke the Park Service Rangers authority to arrest."
Her comments drew the attention of the Anti-Defamation League, who issued a statement that read, in part:
"No matter how strong one's objections to anything or anyone, invoking the Holocaust and the man who orchestrated it is offensive and has no place in civil discourse. While Holocaust analogies generate headlines and get attention, they do little in the service of truth, history or memory. The Holocaust was a singular historical event that's impact should never be trivialized by irrational comparisons. Rep. Barton's comments are profoundly insensitive to both those who lived through the Holocaust and the memories of those who did not."
Barton issued the following statement on Wednesday:
"As many are aware, some recent comments of mine on Facebook have touched a sensitive nerve with many people. Additionally, many have simply taken my posting out of its contextual environment. Had I chosen my words differently, or had the president offered to use the power of his office to lessen or mute the public impacts of this impasse in Washington, we might not be having this discussion.
"Let me clarify that I never used the word or said that President Obama was 'Hitler.' That was a creative assumption of the Capitol Times reporter, who also reported that I referred to our government as a 'Constitutional Democracy.' I would never use that description because, we are in fact - through law and history - a Constitutional Republic.
"What I did suggest, rather directly, was that the National Park Service enforcement personnel (referring to them as 'thugs' for their reported behavior) were simply following orders of 'their leader' - and I used the German phrase for emphasis, Der Fuhrer. I am referencing the Presidents behavior as indicated by his actions. The Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary defines 'Fuhrer' as '(2) a leader exercising tyrannical authority.'
"Consider that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) originated in the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Constitution directly states that laws establishing new revenues must originate in the House of Representatives, so the House closest to the people can decide if they want to pay for the new spending. The way the ACA was established was in direct contradiction to the Constitution.
"President Obama has unilaterally changed the ACA several times, through waivers and exemptions, without returning it to Congress. A president changing established law unilaterally? Is that Constitutional or 'exercising tyrannical authority?'
"Consider the reports of the U.S. Park Service Supervisor in Washington, who spoke to the media and said that the Park Service was told to 'make things as uncomfortable as possible.' I ask you, who has the authority to give such a directive?
"Please remember, that someone in the Administration directed the IRS to seek out and harass conservative groups and groups identifying themselves with the Tea Party. Is that not 'tyrannical authority' and did it not seem that IRS office personnel obeyed enthusiastically? What President of the people orders the NSA to spy on his citizens and sends the IRS against his enemies? Is this not behavior in accord with tyrannical authority?
"Arresting veterans for visiting their war memorials? Prohibiting Catholic priests from volunteering to perform the Mass for our Catholic men and women in uniform? Closing businesses on federally leased land? When did volunteering to minister to our armed forces become a bad thing in America? How would you classify that; Constitutional authority or Tyrannical authority?
"And tell me, how many times in eight years did the Progressive Left and the media depict President Bush with a funny little black mustache, or worse? Yet there was no indignant outrage shown by those who are today outraged at my choice of words. Actions speak louder than words; President Obama's actions are what I have to base my observation of 'tyrannical authority' on.
"Nancy Pelosi has called conservatives 'terrorists' and 'legislative arsonists.' If I had simply said 'the leader' in my Facebook post, would we be having this community discussion today? My purpose was to bring to the public's attention the actions and behaviors of our president and his administration since this government shutdown began.
"For the record, I was suggesting that President Obama was behaving as a tyrant. Didn't the Founders of our country call their king a tyrant and worse?
"The Declaration of Independence asserts that a government derives its powers and authority from the consent of the governed, and that governments are instituted among peoples to protect the people's inherent rights endowed by their Creator. President Obama's actions contradict these fundamental and foundational cornerstones of our Constitutional Republic."
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