On Tuesday afternoon, Sean Spicer made perhaps the stupidest comments anyone in this administration has made, and that is quite an accomplishment with the level of stupid being thrown around from the White House on a daily basis.
Spicer was making a “lesser of two evils” type comparison between the Assyrian Assad Regime and Hitler’s Nazi Germany (in which Hitler was the lesser, according toe Spicer), when he said that even Hitler didn’t stoop to using chemical weapons. Which is, of course, absurd. Holocaust experts suggest that an average of 6,000 Jews per day were killed in gas chambers by the Nazis.
Spicer tried to backtrack a little, but calling Nazi Death Camps “Holocaust Centers” was probably not the most sensitive term he could have used:
I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no … he was not using the gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is doing. There was not … he brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. But what I’m saying is the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them, the use of it — I appreciate the clarification, [denying that Hitler used gas] was not the intent.
The backlash has been firm and swift, with the Anne Frank Center calling for Spicer’s termination, and iconic newsman Dan Rather unleashing this epic post condemning Spicer:
Dan Rather said, “It is with sadness that I do not know where to begin. Today in a briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement that is so far beyond the pale, so tone deaf and blind to history and our precarious moment in world affairs, that it is with only a heavy heart that I even bring attention to it. There can be no joy in such incompetence.
In trying to make the case for the Administration’s policy in Syria and vis a vis Russia which is confused to be generous, and wildly chaotic to be more precise, Mr. Spicer said, “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” He continued, “So you have to, if you are Russia, ask yourself: Is this a country and a regime that you want to align yourself with?” When asked to clarify, Mr. Spicer said, ““I think when you come to sarin gas, he (Hitler) was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.” Mr. Spicer went on to mention “Holocaust centers,” in an apparent reference to the Nazi concentration camps.
This line of rhetoric is so unhinged, so amateurish, so lacking in the context and perspective necessary for statesmanship and diplomacy that I do not see how Mr. Spicer can be allowed to continue in his current position. But in the end, this is less about him and more about an Administration that is inserting itself in a civil war and now is plunging into a drastic reformulation of American foreign policy without any clear sense that they have a plan. When you try to explain such a situation, it is understandable that your words don’t make sense.
A bar, already set low, continues to drop.”
It’s only par for the course with this administration. The ignorance, stupidity and insensitivity with which they govern will go no doubt go down as the most egregious in American history.