Tea Party Leader: Wisconsin Liberal Protesters Are Modern-Day Storm Troopers

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/luna715/3445642935/sizes/z/in/photostream/">luna715</a>/Flickr

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


The Tea Party Nation is one of four right-wing groups touring Wisconsin this weekend in a last-ditch effort to bolster the six GOP state senators facing recall on August 9. It’s anyone’s guess if if the tour will make any difference—attendance at a Friday tour stop looked middling—but Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips won’t let that stop him from stirring controversy.

Writing on Tea Party Nation’s website Saturday morning, Phillips compares the Wisconsinites who recently protested Republican Gov. Scott Walker at the state fair (many of whom wore red t-shirts) to Adolf Hitler’s storm troopers in Nazi Germany. That’s right:

A few days ago, Governor Walker showed up to open the state fair. This was not a political event. It is one of those ceremonial events that a governor is obligated to do. His remarks were not political and in fact, consisted mostly of saying, “I declare the state fair to be open.”

The Wisconsin Red shirts, the left’s modern version of Brown shirts, were there to shout Walker down and generally ruin the fair for as many people as they could.

“Brownshirts” was the name given to the paramilitary wing of the German Nazi Party, known as the Sturmabteilung, or SA. The SA was founded by Hitler in the early 1920s. They earned their name because their uniforms were said to resemble those of Benito Mussolini’s “Black Shirts,” the armed squads who violently enforced Mussolini’s fascist agenda. The brownshirts attacked Jews and non-Nazi Germans in the streets and suppressed any hint of opposition; their violent intimidation tactics helped fuel Hitler’s ascent to power.

The liberals-as-Nazi-storm-troopers comparison wasn’t Phillips’ only attack in his Saturday missive, though it is his most incendiary. He also branded the people who protested the tea party tour as “not the brightest people,” “paid union protestors,” and as having “George Soros’ money in their pockets.” (Soros, of course, is conservatives’ biggest bugaboo.) On Friday, Phillips accused liberals of wanting to “break the back of conservatives here in Wisconsin” through the recall process while also pushing Wisconsin toward financial ruin.

Amazingly, Phillips isn’t the first to make this kind of comparison. In February, a posting on the site of Patriot Action Network, one of the four groups now touring Wisconsin, called the Service Employees International Union “Obama’s brown shirts.” And in March, Katherine Kersten, a fellow at a conservative Minnesota think tank called the Center of the American Experiment, asked in the pages of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune if the protesters at the Wisconsin state capitol in Madison were “Nazi brownshirts at work, busting up a meeting of political opponents in 1933 Germany?”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate