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Jun 09 2014

PA Wingnut: Labor Unions Are Like Hitler

It’s a day ending in Y so we have another example of a Republican legislator saying something unbelievably stupid and offensive. This time it’s Pennsylvania state Sen. Scott Wagner, who says that labor unions are just like — you guessed it — Adolf Hitler.

“The unions are about power and control,” state Sen. Scott Wagner (R) said. “And there are two things that I continue to remember about power and control. There was a gentleman by the name of Hitler, he was about power and control. There’s a gentleman by the name of Putin, who’s across the ocean, that’s about power and control.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, Wagner later clarified that he wasn’t comparing unions to the strongmen, but merely “talking about the concept of power and control.” “I didn’t say the unions are out killing people,” he added.

But that explanation didn’t sit will with Pennsylvania State Education Association president Mike Crossey, who criticized the comments. “This kind of language is shocking, offensive and has no place in public discourse,” Crossey said. “It is so disappointing to see a powerful elected official making such an awful comparison. What a terrible example this sets for our children.”

I’d say this guy needs to take remedial history. One of the first things Hitler did when he became chancellor was outlaw labor unions and forbid strikes.

24 comments

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  1. 1
    Synfandel

    I wonder what Senator Wagner thinks the word “gentleman” means.

  2. 2
    frankniddy

    From Martin Niemöller’s poem, ‘First They Came …’
    “Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.”

  3. 3
    eric

    The unions are about power and control,”

    As opposed to the business owners and operators, who are about fluffy bunnies and ice cream clouds.

  4. 4
    Georgia Sam

    Not only did Hitler outlaw unions & strikes; he also imprisoned union leaders, confiscated their funds, & replaced them with the Nazi-controlled German Labor Force. The far right, not surprisingly, denies that Hitler outlawed unions.

  5. 5
    Chiroptera

    There’s a gentleman by the name of Putin, who’s across the ocean, that’s about power and control.

    I thought Putin was about protecting children from gay people?

    Do wingnuts have different speeches they give to different audiences? Or is Putin an example of rightwing doublethink?

  6. 6
    alanb

    It’s a day ending in Y so we have another example of a Republican legislator saying something unbelievably stupid and offensive.

    Well, maybe not today. Turns out the guy is not a Republican. He ran as a write-in candidate of the Tea Party and beat the Republican nominee.

  7. 7
    Brony

    Oh please. All human groups are about power and control on different levels. What matters is if the control is needed, and power is legitimately and rationally exercised with appropriate safeguards.

    Too many of our current problems are about power and control used to harm others with no consequences for that harm and that is a problem that spreads into religion, government, economics and many others including unions. Effective mechanisms to counter powerful people in multiple parts of society is what is lacking, not irrational dismantling of some of those mechanisms such as unions.

  8. 8
    Chris J

    X are about power and control,” state Sen. Scott Wagner (R) said. “And there are two things that I continue to remember about power and control. There was a gentleman by the name of Hitler, he was about power and control. There’s a gentleman by the name of Putin, who’s across the ocean, that’s about power and control.

    For X, fill in one of the following:

  9. 9
    Chris J

    Wow… tabs are dangerous. This should be appended to my previous comment:

    - Politicians
    - PACs and Super-PACs
    - Corporations
    - Lobbyists
    - The Military

    On another note, someone should put together a graph showing “frequency of mentions of Hitler” over time for various groups. I have a feeling it’d be rather informative.

  10. 10
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Corporations are totally not about power and control, and neither are politicians. So totally unlike Hitler, everyone just walks all over them.

  11. 11
    Modusoperandi

    When people below me band together: Hitler and Putin.
    When people above me band together: Freedom and Liberty.
    That’s just common sense.

  12. 12
    coffeehound

    Unions=socialists=National Socialist Party=HITLER! HA!
    You librul pinkos make it much too easy….

  13. 13
    timgueguen

    There’s a potential horror movie in this. A bunch of right wing politicians and talking heads travel to a resort on an isolated island. Soon they start to be killed in various violently gruesome ways. The survivors come up with all sorts of possibilities of who is doing it: Muslim terrorists, radical lesbian feminists, or the horribly liberal President’s secret death squad. But when the big reveal comes, it turns out to be a bunch of vengeful Nazi ghosts, upset that their beloved Nazi Party and Fuhrer are being compared to left wing groups and a President who is, horror of horrors, not a white person.

  14. 14
    democommie

    @13:

    Schwarzenhitler? No, that, THAT would be a horror film!

  15. 15
    Atheist Quotes

    People continue to make stupid Hitler analogies. I don’t think it will ever stop.

  16. 16
    D. C. Sessions

    People continue to make stupid Hitler analogies.

    You know who else made stupid Hitler analogies?

  17. 17
    lochaber

    Synfandel@1>

    I’ve heard that the word ‘gentleman’ originated from the word ‘gentile’, so if there is any truth to that, then it might not be that inaccurate for Hitler…

  18. 18
    Trebuchet

    @16: Frankenberger?

  19. 19
    democommie

    OT:

    The Bundy Ranch Hole-In-The-Head Gang apparently decided that not all yahooz wit teh gunz were welcome at Rancho Gummint Teat.

    This:

    “Cliven Bundy told the Review-Journal he didn’t recognize the Millers from their pictures on television, but “we do think they were here for a period of time.”

    “I definitely didn’t have any association with them except maybe meeting them,” he said, noting there were thousands of supporters at rallies held before and after the April 12 standoff.

    “I didn’t have anything to do with running them off the ranch,” he said. “There are some indications the militia said they should leave, and there is some indication they had been talking radical-type things although I don’t have any personal information on that.”

    is from here (http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/shooters-carried-arsenal-supplies-sunday-rampage).

    I’m thinking Ed will get to this sooner or later but I just can’t wait.

  20. 20
    dingojack

    Not quite:

    Gentleman
    Origin
    1225–75; Middle English; see gentle, man¹

    Gentle
    Origin:
    1175–1225; Middle English gentle, gentil ( e ) < Old French gentil highborn, noble < Latin gentīlis belonging to the same family, equivalent to gent- (stem of gēns ) gens + -īlis -le

    So from the Latin, with the meaning of ‘born of a good family’. (Sorry to burst your bubble).

    Dingo

  21. 21
    lochaber

    dingojack> nah, no bubble burst. I had my suspicions/doubts as to that, but figured it fit well enough it was worth mentioning.

  22. 22
    busterggi

    Chiroptera @ 5. “Or is Putin an example of rightwing doublethink?”

    Heck, they’re all the way up to quintuple think. They’d have gone for sextuple but they thought it was gay.

  23. 23
    somnus

    Of course unions are about power and control. As in, they exist to ensure workers have some power and control, because without them the employers have all of it.

  24. 24
    democommie

    @22:

    I think that they’re into Omnithink,

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