Former Politico reporter Reid Epstein just jumped to the Wall Street Journal but seems to have taken the worst of Politico’s instincts with him. In an uncharacteristically bizarre WSJ piece, Epstein attempts to manufacture from thin air a political controversy for Republican Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), the GOP House candidate who shook up the media and GOP Establishment bubble Tuesday night with his stunning defeat of Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader.
The title of Epstein’s article is “David Brat’s Writings: Hitler’s Rise ‘Could All Happen Again’.” The piece then opens with a non-sequitur connecting Brat’s writing about Hitler and the fact that Cantor is Jewish:
David Brat, the Virginia Republican who shocked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) Tuesday, wrote in 2011 that Hitler’s rise “could all happen again, quite easily.”
Mr. Brat’s remarks, in a 2011 issue of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, came three years before he defeated the only Jewish Republican in Congress.
Epstein then attempts to convince people to turn their heads by writing about how his article will turn heads: “But it is the reference to Hitler’s Germany that is likely to turn heads during Mr. Brat’s first full day as a tea party star.”
Except that this is what Brat wrote about Hitler — which you will be relieved to learn is anti-Hitler:
Capitalism is here to stay, and we need a church model that corresponds to that reality. Read Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s diagnosis of the weak modern Christian democratic man was spot on. Jesus was a great man. Jesus said he was the Son of God. Jesus made things happen. Jesus had faith. Jesus actually made people better. Then came the Christians. What happened? What went wrong? We appear to be a bit passive. Hitler came along, and he did not meet with unified resistance. I have the sinking feeling that it could all happen again, quite easily. The church should rise up higher than Nietzsche could see and prove him wrong. We should love our neighbor so much that we actually believe in right and wrong, and do something about it. If we all did the right thing and had the guts to spread the word, we would not need the government to backstop every action we take.
That perfectly reasonable, factually accurate, and articulate Nothingburger comes from a 13-page essay Brat wrote in 2011.
Thirteen full pages, one warning about how we have to not repeat the mistakes that made Nazi Germany possible, and from that…
Epstein whips up a word soup about “Hitler, Rise Again, Tea Party, Defeat, Jewish.”
Wednesday the Wall Street Journal lamented the loss of Eric Cantor for Wall Street.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC