Calif. Democratic Party chair: Paul Ryan is like Nazi Joseph Goebbels

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, September 3, 2012 14:58 EDT
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Calif. Democratic Party chair John Burton. Photo: Screenshot via SFGate.com.
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The chairman of the California Democratic Party said Monday that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Republican National Convention (RNC) speech contained such a “big lie” that it seem to be ripped from the playbook of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie,” Calif. Democratic Party chair John Burton told San Francisco Chronicle reporter Joe Garofoli. “Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it.”

Ryan’s speech was widely criticized for a series of major inaccuracies, including a claim that President Barack Obama’s policies led to a General Motors plant in Wisconsin being closed down. Burton said that “horse’s ass” Ryan told “a bold-faced lie.” He added: “He doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”

“He lied on something that was just like, right there,” Burton added. “What that says is you don’t tell the truth. If you don’t tell the truth, people start wondering about anything you say.”

The plant Ryan referred to in his speech actually closed down before Obama took office, but the Republican vice presidential candidate continues to wrongly blame the president.

While Burton is right in his description of Goebbels’ propaganda techniques, any thinking person should recognize immediately there’s no comparison between the Nazi Party’s genocidal madness and the closing of a Wisconsin auto factory.

Obama spokesperson Ben LaBolt told The Los Angeles Times that Burton’s rhetoric “doesn’t have any place in the political discourse.”

Goebbels is a popular insult to toss around when politicos dip into Nazi references. A litany of Fox News segments have featured guests and even hosts comparing Democrats to Nazis, and Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said last December, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine.”

This video was published by The San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.

UPDATE: Burton has released the following statement.

“To correct press reports of my recent comments about Republican lies, I did not call Republicans Nazis nor would I ever. In fact, I didn’t even use the word. If Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, or the Republicans are insulted by my describing their campaign tactic as the big lie – I most humbly apologize to them or anyone who might have been offended by that comment.”

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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