Beware of Brounshirts


Yes, Rep. Paul Broun is the Constitution-minded Republican I profiled earlier this year. Yes, I've seen this.

It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force. I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may — may not, I hope not — but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism. That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist.

There are so many points in there at which Broun could have shut up. Maybe the phrase "exactly what Hitler did"? Maybe the totally baseless claim that Obama's mulled-over "civilian security force"–still not a good idea, by the way–would be some sort of Chavista unit "answering to him"? This extra excerpt of the Broun interview is illuminating.

Broun theorized that after Obama creates this national police force he'll ban gun ownership.

"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential."

That's another fringe position, but it's one egged on by the NRA, which warned gun owners that a President Obama would literally rip their firearms from their warm, living hands.

Jake Tapper, in that last link, calls this "Obama Derangement Syndrome." I think this is some of the first anti-Obama wackadoodlry that isn't specific to the candidate. This was the language used to scare the fringe right about the last Democratic president, too. It's incredible dumb and off-putting, not to mention wrong.

UPDATE: The Angry Optimist says:

If someone wants to make the comparison of pre-Reich Germany and Obama, Mr. Weigel, it is incumbent on you to say why it is dumb.

OK. First, the Democrats didn't seize power through violence and threats against their enemies. I'm sure someone can point me to isolated stories of Obama supporters bullying McCain supporters, but I doubt any conservative are nervous about stepping outside without their Democratic Party membership cards. Second, the Schutzstaffel (which Broun appears to be invoking) was created as a personal guard service for Hitler. Obama is proposing a new civilian force that he'd command as he commands every branch of the military.