Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign manager, compared the lockdown protestors in Michigan to the Nazi Party’s original wing.
Schmidt said, “In America, we don’t usually care to see the presidents playing the role of victim. They are supposed to look out for and protect the country. He has utterly failed in the duty. It bears mentioning that 45 years ago, today is a moment of American humiliation. The image seared in the consciousness of the last helicoptering living off the roof in Saigon, bringing an end to the Vietnam war. Today, we see a similar disgrace with armed hoodlums, festooned in tactical gear occupying the Michigan state capitol. This is dangerous in a democracy, but this is what Trump has brought after three years in power.”
Host Ari Melber said, “You have Michigan state Senator Dayna Polehanki, ‘Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bulletproof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today.’ Your view of this, Steve?”
Schmidt said, “This is appalling. Someone needs to explain to me what the difference is between those guys and a bunch of brown-shirted Stormtroopers in 1925 is. I’m very serious about this. This is about the Second Amendment. This isn’t about gun ownership. These are temples of democracy, these buildings, where we with test the premise each generation, whether we retain the capacity to govern ourselves. Free speech is important in this country. They are not protesters. When you show up in tactical gear carrying a tactical weapon an AR-15, an M-4, an AK-47, you’re there to intimidate. You’re assaulting the tenants of our system, which is a system that exists to preserve the rule of law, that is the oldest constitutional republic in the world. We should not think for a second, as we’re at the dawn of a new moment in history, that because extremism didn’t rise in a way that was able to take over the country in the past that it’s not still here and it still doesn’t pose a threat. Nobody should be comforted by those images whether you’re a Trump supporter, whether you’re a Biden supporter, whether you’re not going to vote at all. We don’t do that in this country. That is an appalling image, and it makes us look like a basket case as they are beamed out around the world to our allies and to our enemies.”
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