In today's column, John Brummett eviscerates Rep. Nate Bell, the Mena state legislator who recently compared state Democrats to "Nazis."
Some of these Arkansas Democrats’ proposals — like the one banning texting while driving through a school zone during school hours — are “way easy” to compare to Nazi initiatives, Bell wrote in a Facebook follow-up.
Alas, this ought to go without saying, but, apparently, it doesn’t: Nazi is an unspeakably insensitive and offensive label to invoke in regard to anything American, indeed in regard to anything human.
What the child Anne Frank was enduring in Amsterdam, keeping a powerfully dramatic diary as she and other family members hid because Hitler would imprison or kill them simply because of their religion, and eventually dying of disease in a concentration camp — that occurred in an entirely different galaxy of human horror from what someone endures in American suburbia today when denied the privilege to take his or her hand off the SUV steering wheel and send a thumbed-out text while accelerating across an elementary school crosswalk.
Jason Tolbert jumps to Bell's defense and says Democrats are overreacting. It's important to point out that it wasn't just Bell's initial statement that looked bad, but his defense of it in subsequent comments.
UPDATE: State Democratic Party Chairman Will Bond has now called on his Republican counterpart Doyle Webb to condemn Bell's remarks. Webb and the state party have been silent on the issue thus far.
“At a time when Arkansans and Americans need serious dialogue amongst their leaders, the Republican Party of Arkansas cannot even bring itself to denounce one of its own for likening Democrats to Nazis,” Bond said. “It is time for both parties to step forward when the rhetoric gets out of line and demand that elected officials act like leaders not extremists.”