I’m not sure how we can be any clearer about this. We’ve said it a million times at this point, and yet so many of the Trumpublican Right seem utterly incapable of getting it — looking at you Gigi Gaskins, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and of course our own Lauren Boebert, to name a few.
Here it is, once again, for the cheap seats in back:
Holocaust appropriation is antisemitism.
Comparing mask mandates and efforts to drive vaccine adoption to the atrocities visited upon the Jews in Nazi Germany is an absolutely abhorrent tactic that reeks of willful ignorance at best. To suggest there are more sinister motives at play — especially after this has already played out multiple times over the last year — is not a big leap.
But rather than listening and maybe adjusting their inflammatory rhetoric, the Oklahoma Republican Party decided to double and then triple down, under the bumbling, remarkably uneducated and antisemitic leadership of John Bennett, the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
The dustup started with the Okie GOP’s decision Last Friday to post a yellow Shoah Star of David patch on their Facebook page in reference to…. something about private employers and vaccine mandates? Honestly, it’s so poorly worded in their Facebook post that it’s hard to understand the point: “Politely request (Lt Governor Matt Pinnell) call for a special legislative session to address private employer VACCINE mandates, or their employees face risk of termination.”
Notice the photoshopping of the badge itself — specifically the addition of 666, commonly identified as the number of the beast/antichrist/satan, etc. in the Book of Revelations in the New Testament. Aligning Jews with the devil has a long and dark past as a means to stir up hatred and violence against Jewish communities around the world.
Predictably, there was backlash to Bennet’s utterly stupid decision to post the meme on Facebook — made even more stupid against the context of this already having played out numerous times over the last year.
And just as predictably, Bennet took to Facebook to post a video regretting his choice — oh wait, no, that’s not what happened at all. No, in this case, Bennett popped into his home office to give us all a video-recorded dressing down for daring to hold him accountable for his disgusting holocaust appropriation last Monday. And he did so in a pretty amazing fashion.
The video opens on a super-tight close up looking down the barrel of his sidearm which is carefully placed on his desk — a desk which is also bereft of anything else save for a piece of paper or two. It’s as if he’s saying, “This is where I spend my days, working hard for the GOP in Oklahoma, holding this gun and daring the communists to come do something, because freedom and guns!”
The shot pulls out and treats us to a better view of his office with some token “patriotic” wall art and then we’re entreated to a nearly 7-minute long wandering and nearly incomprehensible rant, the crux of which boils down to Vaccines = communism = Nazis. Feel free to double check me on the math if you like.
In his fustian failure of trying to connect the dots for his audience, he refers to the Jan. 6 insurrectionists as “patriots,” accuses the government of “using the private sector to do their bidding for them,” and proclaims that the backlash against his Facebook post — again, referring to it in the context of communism — is a bigger issue than COVID-19 itself.
“The bigger problem is whenever people speak out and speak the truth, like I did recently on a Facebook post about the communism and the forcing of the vaccine mandates, my own fellow Republicans came out against me!” He goes on to recap what happened from his perspective. “On my Facebook post, I urged the citizens (of Oklahoma) to contact Lt. Governor so he would call a special session…while the governor was outside of the country, so we could address and protect the citizens, healthcare workers and others who are being told they have to take the vaccine as a condition of employment.
“But their answer wasn’t in support of what I was advocating for. Their answer was to come against me because I used the Star of David as an example — to show — this is what we’re going through today. You see, the Star of David, they, when they put that on the Jews, they weren’t sending ’em directly to the gas chambers, they weren’t sending them directly to the incinerary (sic), this was leading up to that. They give ’em the star to put on ’em, they couldn’t go to the grocery store, they couldn’t go out in public, they couldn’t do anything without having that star on their shirt.”
Then, he pauses for a second and with a hint of a magician’s flourish in his voice, he concludes, “take away that star and add a vaccine passport!” as if to say, “VOILA! Don’t you see? This is a perfect metaphor! The logic is inescapable!”
The video then cuts to a CNN clip with Don Lemon talking about vaccines and then back to Bennett who AGAIN proves he undoubtedly has zero understanding or education of the history of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany: “This is communist, this is totalitarian, and if we don’t do something now, it’s going to end in the same exact result as we saw, when nobody stood up whenever the Jews were told that they had to wear that star.”
The video continues with more historical inaccuracies, utter and complete tone deafness and more manufactured self-righteous indignation, but really only serves to prove one glaring, obvious point.
That the Oklahoma GOP has appointed the least among them to lead the party.
Honestly, I couldn’t care less about an apology from this man. But it’s long past time the GOP deal with the devils in its ranks. He needs to be removed completely from anything remotely close to a position of leadership. Now.