"My point was very clearly not trying to compare our president to Eva Peron or Juan Peron or Adolf Hitler," Sauerbrey told me. "My point was that when certain policies are implemented by any administration -- and I also said, I think later to the reporter in chatting with him afterwards, that I was equally unhappy with the out of control spending in the Bush administration -- when you start down this road of these kinds of policies, you are on the road to destroying what has made this a great country."
Sauerbrey said she probably did refer to a cult-like following, "because this is typical of any time you get a strong leader." But her discussion of Juan Peron's Argentina was an example of what happens when big government causes hyperinflation of a currency -- which she sees as a real danger here.
"I never mentioned Hitler's name other than when the reporter came up to me afterwards," she said. "And I said, look, I am not making a direct comparison Obama and Hitler. I'm making a comparison between policies in countries, and that history has a way of repeating itself."
So does she believe that Obama and his administration are fascists, as cited above? "I don't believe -- no, I'm not saying that they are fascists," she said. "I'm saying, if you said ideals -- yes I do believe, when you look at the definition of fascism. Fascism is not government ownership of business, it is government control of business."
As evidence, she pointed to the takeovers of the auto industry, the awarding of a majority share in Chrysler to the autoworkers and forcing the company's creditors to settle for less than they were due, and the efforts to control the health care industry. "I think that the definition of what the Obama administration is doing, from an economic definition standpoint, is much more closely described as fascism than socialism, because the government is not owning, it is directing and controlling the elements of the economy. would you disagree with it?"
I asked her if she agrees with folks like Alan Keyes, who has openly called Obama a communist and other such epithets. "No, no. I would say what I've said to you. I think that we have a government that is following policies that are socialistic and fascist," she said. "i would not personalize my comments to describe the president. I hope to Heaven he's not. But I think that he's following policies that are taking us rapidly in the wrong direction."
(Special thanks to Prof. Todd Eberly of St. Mary's College, and his PoliProf blog, who brought this to our attention.)