Democrats are taking aim at House Minority Whip Eric Cantor to denounce Rush Limbaugh’s comments comparing Democrats to Nazis, but they might want to slightly tamp down the occasionally overheated rhetoric they’re using themselves.
As a top GOP congressional leader — as well as the only Jewish Republican in the House — Cantor is an obvious target for the Democrats. And they’ve jumped on a remark Cantor made earlier this month regarding Limbaugh. As the NJDC says in its Friday press release:
Recently, Representative Eric Cantor (D-VA), the lone Jewish Republican in Congress, said “we need … the Rush Limbaughs” in the GOP.
Yesterday, Limbaugh compared President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to Hitler – and today his website has the logo of the president’s health insurance reform plan morphing into a Nazi graphic replete with swastikas.
Limbaugh’s horrifying use of Hitler references and swastikas is deeply offensive and wildly inappropriate, and it has to stop – now. Cantor is wrong; we do not need anyone who abuses the memory of the Holocaust in our political discourse, period. It is incumbent upon Cantor and the Republican Party to condemn Limbaugh and these utterly contemptible tactics.
Cantor: after Limbaugh’s website antics today and comments yesterday, do you really still think you “need” Limbaugh?
The "we need … the Rush Limbaughs" remark comes from an interview he gave to Haaretz earlier this month, but it should be put in its proper context. When the words that have been replaced with an ellipsis are returned to the quote, it was not a specific embrace of Limbaugh but an appeal for a big-tent Republican Party. The full quote is "My sense is that we need the Sarah Palins, Dick Cheneys, Rush Limbaughs, the Colin Powells. We need all of them."
And to be fair, Cantor has been one Republican who did actually criticize Limbaugh’s statements earlier this year about wanting Obama to fail, saying back in March, "I don’t think anyone wants anything to fail right now."
Considering Cantor made the "we need … the Rush Limbaughs" statement less than a week before Limbaugh’s Nazi comments, though, it seems like fair game for Democrats. But Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan struck me as going overboard with this statement Friday: It’s disgusting that rather than condemning this hate filled symbolism and mob activity, the highest echelons of the Republican party from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck on down, are encouraging it — and that the likes of Michael Steele and Eric Cantor are fanning the flames of this is reprehensible."
Eric Cantor is "fanning the flames" of this? Cantor hadn’t commented on Limbaugh’s remarks as of Friday afternoon — he was in Israel all week — but how is that "fanning the flames" and making it worse? Sevugan didn’t really explain the quote, but made the argument that Cantor’s silence, as a leader, "speaks more loudly," and then said that "Eric Cantor found time while traveling abroad to criticiize the president but didn’t find time to criticize Rush Limbaugh," noting Cantor’s remarks Thursday taking issue with the president’s policies on Israel and the MIddle East.
Then there’s the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee, which has this press release up on its Web sitte twice calling Rush’s remarks an "anti-Semitic rant." Anti-Semitic? Such terms shouldn’t be thrown around lightly, and I have no idea how that term applies to Rush’s rant. Offensive and outrageous, particularly for survivors of the Holocaust? Yes. But showing hatred of Jews? Don’t think so.
Rush gave you an issue for a couple days, Democrats. Don’t overplay your hand with your own rhetoric.