On Friday night’s episode of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” in a discussion about the Tea Party’s pushback against last Tuesday’s Mississippi Republican primary runoff between State Sen. Chris McDaniel and incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Max Brooks, author of the bestsellers The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, made a comparison between the Tea Party and the early origins of the Nazis movement in post-World War I Germany.
According to Brooks, who is the son of filmmaker Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft, there are similarities to be drawn between the modern American Tea Party movement and the Nazi movement because he says they both cling to ideology.
“You know this has happened before in history,” Brooks explained. “In Germany in the 20s and 30s, there was this right-wing reactionary element that was so terrified of anarchy and communism that they said, ‘You know what? There’s a group of street thugs that are real ideologues and they’re willing to take it and they’re willing to bloody themselves, and, you know, once they get into power, we can control them.’ And that was why they backed it – we can control this.”
Conservative talk show Andy Dean argued against Brooks comparison, noting that the left has its share of ideologues and the two went back and forth over whether or not the comparison was a valid one.
Partial transcript as follows:
DEAN: Isn’t that a stretch? Nazis versus the Tea Party, who just want smaller government?
BROOKS: What is true is ideologues are always loyal to ideology.
MAHER: And also, I don’t know —
DEAN: The Tea Party’s ideology isn’t to take over Europe. It’s for smaller government and less taxes.
BROOKS: But they are still ideologues. They don’t want to compromise. He literally –
DEAN: You can call Elizabeth Warren an ideologue. Both sides have ideologues.
BROOKS: When you don’t compromise, you’re an ideologue.
DEAN: What’s that?
BROOKS: When you don’t compromise, when you don’t reach across the aisle, when you don’t participate in the Democratic process.
DEAN: One could argue the opposite. One could argue that’s having a strong belief system. And you know Obama’s on TV all the time saying, ‘Oh you know I’m not going to compromise with Congress. I’m just going to do it myself. Why do you think that’s a good thing?
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