Well, that didn’t take long. If you were wondering how long it would take for a Republican to invoke Adolf Hitler in the made-for-Beltway-media controversy surrounding the White House’s nonattendance at the Paris Unity Rally over the weekend, you got your answer Monday evening. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) sent a tweet out Monday night comparing President Obama to the Nazi leader, stating even Hitler made it to Paris.
Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for right reasons
— Randy Weber (@TXRandy14) January 13, 2015
You have to love the fact that Weber couldn’t even spell Hitler’s name right. As one would expect, this isn’t the first time Weber has said something wholly inappropriate about POTUS. Prior to last year’s State of the Union, Weber sent out the following tweet calling Obama the “Kommandant-in-Chief” (another misspelling) and a “Socialistic dictator.”
On floor of house waitin on “Kommandant-In-Chef”… the Socialistic dictator who’s been feeding US a line or is it “A-Lying?” — Randy Weber (@TXRandy14) January 29, 2014
Anyway, over the past day or so, conservatives and media figures have been slamming the President over his failure to appear at the rally. The White House, for their part, acknowledged that they should have sent someone with a higher profile to appear with other world leaders in a show of solidarity. Josh Earnest, the White House’s Press Secretary, said that security concerns over a short window of time prevented Obama from appearing at the rally himself. However, with Attorney General Eric Holder already in Paris, they should have at least scheduled him to appear, or perhaps sent Vice President Joe Biden or a former president.
In the end, this is really a non-story made into a media-hyped ‘scandal’ because it is extremely easy to criticize the White House over an obvious mistake that even they recognize. And, as is typically the case, both media outlets and Republicans are overplaying their hand when it comes to attacking the President over this incident. Beyond Weber’s Hitler analogy, the crew at Morning Joe went overboard Tuesday morning with its condemnation of the White House.
During a discussion about the rally, host Mika Brzezinski claimed that this was much more serious than a simple situation of “optics.” Guest David Rothkopf, CEO and Editor of Foreign Policy, explained to Mika that there are bigger issues to worry about regarding foreign policy and this “is just optical.” Brzezinski, in a complete lack of self-awareness, responded back to Rothkopf with the following bit of unintentional comedy gold.
“I gotta tell you, I think that’s more than optics, though. I think that was a message that was missed. Look at these pictures, David. It’s not optics.”
Seriously, it’s not optics! Just look at the pictures! Totally not optics! (Other than that being the very definition of optics.)
CNN ran a story Monday night regarding the misstep by the White House regarding the rally. In the end, per foreign policy experts, the administration will not pay any real price for this faux pas. Basically, per those interviewed by CNN, this is mostly a Beltway media concoction and will have no lasting effects on the relationship between the United States and France. For their part, the French have completely downplayed the whole situation, knowing that President Obama and the US are the country’s strongest allies.
Despite it being a non-issue, expect pundits and lawmakers to continue to beat this horse dead for another few days, at least until they find their next ‘scandal.’
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).