In a segment on NPR’s “On Point” Friday, a fellow guest compared me to an Adolf Hitler supporter because I said something positive about President Trump’s tenure in office. Yes, seriously.
After I said some of Trump’s norm-breaking actions are good — namely his call for civil service reform and attempts to curtail some agencies’ powers and regulations — Norman Eisen, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and, ironically, co-founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said my support of Trump reminded him of the people who have supported authoritarian, mass-murdering regimes.
Our conversation begins around the 31-minute mark, here,where you can listen to what I said about President Trump that prompted this characterization from Eisen:
When Bre was speaking…I couldn’t help but think of those who greeted, don’t take offense, please, Bre, but those who greeted the other tyrants of the past 100 years. Whether they were of the left, like Lenin and Stalin, or the right, like Hitler — not saying Trump is Hitler, making those same claims about the evil that needed to be swept away and the change that needed to happen.
My favorite part of this is that he told me not to be offended right before he compared me to enthusiastic Nazis or Joseph Stalin supporters. He also says he’s “not saying Trump is Hitler,” then proceeds to make precisely that comparison. While Eisen is saying this, you can hear the host, David Folkenflik, try but fail to stop him. It’s like watching — or in this case, listening to — a car crash in slow motion.
I am writing this to draw attention to the tone from some of Trump’s critics. To them, everything merits a comparison to Hitler, and to make the “mistake” of saying a positive thing about President Trump — even when that positive thing is sandwiched between skeptical comments about him — is labeled as tantamount to helping the Nazis construct concentration camps. That’s so detached from reality and people who cannot see that should have no credibility.
So what is and what is not allowed to be said in public about the president without being called a Nazi? I said I wish Trump could tweet less and focus his lib-owning powers on regulatory rollbacks and taking down the administrative state. To Eisen, for some reason, that sounded like support for Nazis. One of us needs a reality check, and it’s not me.
Wouldn’t help any. Again: their argument isn’t with us. It’s with reality. They more of it they get, the harder they run from it, fingers stuffed deeply in ears every step of the way.
What amuses me here is Eisen’s gutless, cowardly attempt at having his cake and eating it too. By trying to forestall or at least deflect any righteous, wholly justified anger at these outrageous slanders (“Don’t take offense,” I’m not saying Trump’s a Nazi,” immediately before doing precisely that), Eisen establishes himself as King Of The Fucking Pussies.
Wear the crown proudly, Poindexter. It all leads me to ask yet again: how in the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed world did we ever allow such mincing nincompoops to steal our country from us?