Does Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have a ‘Hitler problem’? Apparently, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) thinks so because the 2016 Republican candidate had a fundraiser at the home of Harlan Crow, who happens to own some Nazi memorabilia, which is a small part of his vast historical collection. Crow houses his collection in a library on his property. The fundraiser was held on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, which sparked this non-controversy. Nevertheless, here’s the statement by Schultz:
In this Republican field, the sad truth is often stranger than the wildest fiction.
Today, as the sun is setting for Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement and the most holy day on the Jewish calendar – Senator Marco Rubio will hold a fundraiser in a home that features two paintings by Adolf Hitler, a signed copy of Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, and a cabinet full of place settings and linens used by the Nazi leader.
You really can’t make this stuff up.
“An event at a home with items like these is appalling at any time of the year. Adding insult to injury, Rubio is holding this event on the eve of the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. Holding an event in a house featuring the artwork and signed autobiography of a man who dedicated his life to extinguishing the Jewish people is the height of insensitivity and indifference. There’s really no excuse for such a gross act of disrespect. Mr. Rubio, who by the way, represents a sizable Jewish population in our home state of Florida, should cancel this tasteless fundraiser. It is astounding that the presence of these items that represent horror for millions of Jews the world over, would not stop Mr. Rubio or anyone on his team in their tracks when planning this event.” – DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
In April, the Dallas Morning News reported that Crow would be building an underground garage to accommodate visitors to his library. At the time, the only fear was that Crow would rezone his property and turn his private library into a museum, much to the chagrin of his neighbors who were not keen on the increased traffic in the area. Crow gave assurances that no such plans were being considered. Here’s what’s in his library [emphasis mine]:
Over the past 40 years, Crow has collected thousands of documents, manuscripts and works of art that span centuries. “Many people have their own hobbies and have vocations,” he said. “American history is mine.”
Among his favorites, Crow counts an Abraham Lincoln syllogism about the evils of slavery, a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac and a letter written in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, after his first trip to the New World. The collection has paintings by Renoir and Monet and by Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
A sculpture garden includes likenesses of Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, the late British prime minister.
It also has busts of dictators, including Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito. Crow has said the collection is not intended as a celebration of repressive regimes but to preserve a part of world history.
Crow said invited guests visit the library about once a week. They range from single visitors to groups of 50 or 60 people. The library drew one of its largest crowds last year, when several hundred people attended a Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society tour.
To make the DNC look even more ridiculous, the folks over at the Free Beacon reported that Crow’s mother survived a Nazi submarine attack. Now, I’m not a seasoned detective, but I’m pretty sure, like 100 percent sure– that Crow isn’t a fan of der Führer, nor is he a follower of national socialism.
The Republican National Committee responded in kind.
“Rather than manufacture a false controversy over a collection of historic memorabilia that includes a statue of Margaret Thatcher and effects belonging to Abraham Lincoln, Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have opposed the weak Clinton-Obama Iran deal that puts Israel’s safety in jeopardy,” said RNC National Press Secretary Allison Moore.
As with anything, it’s never good to go full Hitler during a debate, or on the campaign trail. No one running for president is like Hitler. No one in Congress is like Hitler. A Hitler-like, proto-Nazi is never going to be elected president of the United States–and this line of attack almost always comes off as over-the-top, ridiculous, and places the person making the accusation in a less than flattering light.
The DNC and Schultz made a poor error in hurling this baseless and absurd attack on Rubio, and pretty much everyone agrees (or they should). When you decide to attack someone for having a private historical collection, you look pretty desperate. Granted, we have a long ways to go before the 2016 cycle is over, which makes this move all the more puzzling.
Editor's note: Yeah, I had Debbie listed as a Republican. My apologies, folks. It's been corrected.
(H/T Alex Griswold)