NRCC Blasts Nadler For Calling Town Hall Protests A “Fascist Tactic”

August 18, 2009 6:24 a.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is now sticking up for the town hall demonstrators, firing back at Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) for calling the disruptions a “fascist tactic.”

The Huffington Post reported that Nadler said at the Netroots Nation conference:

“It is fascist. It is a fascist tactic,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, (D-N.Y.) said of the conservative town hall protesters. “That’s exactly what they did in Weimar, Germany. Let me put it this way. It is a fascist tactic not to disagree with you, or to say you are an idiot or whatever, but to try to shut you up. That’s what I mean. That’s a fascist tactic.”

In response, NRCC communications director Ken Spain has put out this statement:

“Apparently, when Democrats aren’t busy forming a circular firing squad, they are still shooting themselves in the foot. Democrats are so frustrated by the widespread opposition to their healthcare takeover that they have resorted to calling town hall attendees names like ‘fascist,’ ‘un-American,’ and relegating their views to racism reminiscent of the Jim Crow South. What was once promised to be an ‘August offensive’ to sell their failed healthcare agenda, has turned into an unmitigated disaster for Democrats who have now taken to attacking each other, including the Obama White House.”

I asked Spain for clarification about the Jim Crow reference, which wasn’t contained in Nadler’s comment. He said that it came from a line by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), from last week:

“I have seen this kind of hate before. I have seen this discussion before,” he said. “I have seen snarling dogs going after people who were trying to peacefully assemble. I have seen the eyes of people who were being spat upon.”

“This is all about activity trying to deny the establishment of a civil right. And I do believe that health care for all is — a civil right,” the House Majority Whip argued.

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: