This is cross-posted at Leaving My Marc.
I wrote on Monday about comments that Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, made comparing the Obama administration to that of the Nazi’s.
Today, Stewart responded to his deeply offensive remarks by claiming that he didn’t “intend” to compare the Obama administration to the Nazi’s. Stewart went on to say, “Oh, that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous. Absolutely not.” He then said that he would continue to offer similar remarks.
Of course, he said all of this is a “typical liberal reaction.”
I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that he claims that he didn’t draw the comparison or that he defiantly insists that he will continue to use this sort of language.
I thought that Stewart would try to claim that he was taken out of context, so that is why I posted the entire video. Stewart was clearly trying to fan the passions of the crowd with this comparison. This was a common theme throughout the program. There is no doubt in my mind that he knew what he was saying. No doubt.
While this may be all fun in games for Stewart, the reality is that this sort of rhetoric may cause someone with violent tendencies to act out. It’s already happened with Congressman Tom Perriello’s brother.
Besides stoking violent tendencies, this also trivializes and diminishes the crimes perpetrated by the Nazi’s against 6 million Jews and countless others. As the Prince William Democratic Committee noted,
It is the height of insensitivity to both the survivors of the 6 million Jewish people slaughtered by Nazis, their families and to the millions of Americans who fought in World War II to end these atrocities for Stewart to make these comments.
Stewart’s dismissiveness on the subject reminds me of the recent controversy involving the omission of slavery from a Confederate History Month proclamation by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA); and, the subsequent comment by Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) that this whole controversy “doesn’t amount to diddly.”
Eugene Robinson rightfully noted in an Op/Ed on the subject that “they — and the rest of us, too – should know the extent to which the history of this country was shaped by what was euphemistically called the ‘peculiar institution,’ he went on to say, “McDonnell’s original proclamation, before he amended it, seemed designed to appeal to a fringe group for whom the Civil War is still an open question.”
History matters. Words matter. Folks need to understand this when addressing these time periods. Trivializing the role slavery played in history or the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi’s, to appeal to a fringe group, only serves to diminish the horror of these time periods.
This sort of historical insensitivity and ignorance has become a trademark of Virginia Republicans. This was on display most recently again with Gov. McDonnell’s essay requirement for felons who wanted to get their voting rights restored. Some have compared that essay to the “literacy test” Mississippi had in place before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which had the effect of preventing poor, illiterate African Americans from getting the right to vote.
Corey Stewart needs to understand that history and words do matter! To use the terrible atrocities perpetrated by the Nazi’s, to appeal to a fringe group, is not only in poor taste, but is also deeply offensive. Stewart needs to apologize and stop using these sort of incendiary comparisons.
If all of these comments weren’t enough for you, Stewart’s assertion that he will use taxpayer dollars to break the law is crazy. Stewart plans on introducing a resolution to order county staff to refuse to administer the new Medicaid benefits, under the new health care reform law.
He claims that the current cost to administer Medicaid in Prince William County is $10 million, which will rise to $15 under the changes in the current law. He argues that monies will be diverted from teachers, fire and rescue and police to pay for it (see video).
Let’s look at the facts, based on how things stand now in Prince William County. I talked to a source in Prince William County who provided the following information:
As of now, Prince William County only has 2 staff administering Medicaid – and half of their cost is picked up by a non-profit foundation. If the county determines that it would need to add some staff in 2014, that staff cost would be offset by the great gain to the county of most residents finally getting health coverage, and no longer passing their emergency room care on to other county residents in the form of higher taxes and higher health premiums. But the fact is, the county doesn’t know yet what the impact will be, based on how the state will handle both Medicaid and health care exchanges – which will make coverage affordable for more than 1 million Virginians.
How Stewart can make such outrageous claims is beyond me, especially when the state hasn’t even determined how they plan on handling things. The staff cost to administer Medicaid, thus far, seems far from onerous – not to mention that half of the cost is currently picked up by a non-profit organization. Stewart’s fears are completely unfounded and ludicrous. This has more to do with furthering a political agenda then doing what’s best for Prince William County residents.
He seems to be welcoming a lawsuit by blatantly breaking the law, which will undoubtedly cost Prince William taxpayer’s money. That’s a fact!
What’s worse is that he is emboldened by the fact that Virginia’s Attorney General (AG) Ken Cuccinelli won’t sue him, if he breaks the law. Cuccinelli’s statements and actions are setting a dangerous precedent in the Commonwealth, which will encourage other folks to break the law too. I thought the AG was supposed to enforce the law and not his political agenda!
Enough is enough.