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House Call: Landes 'Nazi' Comment Causes Stir

Sandhya Somashekhar

For this week's examination of the House of Delegates races, we pick up on the controversy stirred up by our blog post last week that quoted Del. Steve Landes (R) comparing White House actions to those of "the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany."

During a speech at a local GOP picnic, Landes said some supporters of Republican causes are "afraid their neighbors are going to tell on them. When you've got a White House that's keeping names of people that don't agree with them, that reminds me of what went on in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany." (A longer excerpt can be found after the jump.)

Landes's opponent, Greg Marrow (D), has called for Landes to apologize for his statement. On Friday, the Waynesboro News Virginian reports that Landes has no plans to do so and posts a full nine-minute video of his remarks from the Aug. 29 Augusta GOP picnic in Fishersville, Va.

During his speech, Landes remarked on the fear of intimidation felt by some Republicans he had met on the campaign trail. He encouraged committee members to proudly display their yard signs and bumper stickers because "that shows other people, 'Hey it's OK, I can be a Republican too.' "

"You know I had -- I'll tell you one quick story. I went door to door in Waynesboro two weeks ago. And I had a lady and she says, 'I support Republicans. I always vote Republican. And I'm afraid to put a yard sign in front of my house. I'm afraid to put a bumper sticker on my car.' And they're afraid because they're afraid their neighbors are going to tell on them. When you've got a White House that's keeping names of people that don't agree with them, that reminds me of what went on in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany. And that's exactly what's happening.
"So what we've got to do is encourage them, tell them it's going to be alright. We're going to be there to work with them. We'll come by and put the yard sign in your yard, and if somebody takes it down we'll bring another one. If someone says something to you, we'll come and tell you what you need to do to combat that so that you've got the ammunition, so you've got the information."

In the News Virginian article, Landes said he believes the White House and other groups are keeping track of what is being said about the White House. The article, by Bob Stuart, continues:

Fears in conservative corners have grown since Macon Carter, the White House director of new media, posted a blog last month on the White House Web site directing people to e-mail reporting "fishy" information spread through e-mail and on the Web about health-care reform.
"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there ... " the Aug. 4 White House blog reads. "These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to"

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  September 11, 2009; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2009 , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Typical Republicans. With no evidence, they're afraid that "'ve got a White House that's keeping names of people that don't agree with them..."

Probably the same people who, when this was ACTUALLY HAPPENING during the last administration, were ok with it.

Posted by: dkorn | September 11, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I did not support Bush nor did I vote for him, same goes for Obama.
The White House has been keeping names since Bush was in office why would Obama be any different?

Posted by: elesteban | September 11, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, we already know that loyalty oaths for bush-conservativism WAS a part of the last administration, so it is not inconceivable that some adminstration could act this way. The only question is what proof does this candidate have that the current WH occupant is doing the same thing? If no evidence, then keep quiet.

Posted by: familynet | September 11, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Im sick of all this political correctness BS and intolerance of others opinions.

If you dont like something someone says, tough cookies. Get over it and learn to change the channel on the TV for yourself without waiting for the government to do it for you.

If you prefer that system of government and culture, move back to England or any other nation on earth...


Posted by: indep2 | September 11, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing compared to the intimation that the Bush administration used with anyone that opposed them. The Republicans just don't like it now that the tables are turned.

Posted by: mdembski1 | September 11, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives win votes by whipping up fear. Liberals win votes by promising to give out more and more government benefits. As a liberally-minded centrist, I wish we could get rid of both extremes in our politics but unfortunately we can't.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | September 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like that fear mongering RePIGlican Landes needs to put on another layer of tin foil to his helmet.

The GOP really has become a laughing stock of lunatics and freaks. Mr. Buckley must be so proud.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | September 11, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid this is typical of Republicans these days. Absent any new, meaningful ideas themselves they resort to name-calling and uncivil behavior in their never ending attempt to block the duly-elected Democratic President and his Administration from achieving what they were elected to do. All they can seem to do is say No to everything or call Democrats either Nazis or Communists. How creative.

Del. Landes joins the other uncouth, boorish, uncivil, unimaginative Republicans like Rep. Wilson.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | September 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Republicans just get sillier with each passing day.

The president wants to talk to school kids about the value of education. No, he's really going to indoctrinate them into his communist world view.

He would like to find a way to provide health care to all Americans. No, he must be organizing a government take over.

He was born in Hawaii. No, the birth certificate is fake, his parents planted birth announcements in 1961 in Hawaiian papers in readiness for the day he would be president and - somehow - literally hundreds of people who are in on the conspiracy have kept quiet about it.

The GOP should start requiring an IQ test and psych profile for every prospective member of the party, because this crew looks nuttier than my aunt's fruitcake.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | September 11, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

In an editorial in his hometown paper, Del. Landes was quoted as saying: "'I'm a student of history, and (the Soviets and Nazis) are the two that are the most egregious examples of those who used those tactics. I'm a history buff and I use the most relevant and strongest example of what people do.'" He might also have added that only the history that reflects his own inane point of view is relevant to him. Guess that's why he forgot Republican Richard Nixon's Enemies List and Republican Senator Joe McCarthy's Enemies From Within. Yeah, I'm sure that's the reason.

Posted by: Richmonder1 | September 11, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Landes ... another freakin' ignorant moron from land of the goons ... what an idiot.

One ignorant boob after another fight their way to the front of the Republican line ... the room temperature IQs seem to a firm grip on the party leadership and "the base."

Posted by: fendertweed | September 11, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I frankly don't see what all the fuss is about. Del. Landes' comments are well within the bounds of reasonable discourse. The White House had no business asking citizens to notify them of so-called "fishy" e-mails.

It sounds to me like Greg Marrow and his allies at the pro-Democrat Washington Post are blowing things out of proportion.

Posted by: austinrl | September 12, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

My fellow Americans, My fellow Republicans, I too am disappointed and hurt by the loss of the Presidential election to a wonderfully gifted and talented candidate and President. We have only ourselves to blame. It is time for introspection and reflection to ask why this happened.

Projecting on the President will not solve the problems that exist in our country. Our party shares equal blame and responsibilty for the mess the country is in.

Let us work the problems, and this country has many, and not cause more of the same, and that problem is being divided.

Now we may differ on how problems get solved with the Democrats, but the fact is we as a country are not going to solve anything unless we solve these problems together. Let us talk more with each other, including Democrats, and gain a better understanding and incite to become a better Nation, a Nation less divided, for the betterment of all the citizens of the United States of America, and not just for a single group or party.

After all, we are all in this together like it or not. Just do it and let us all get along to continue to make our country the best. All THE BEST

Posted by: godinmaster | September 12, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

We need not go further back that the Nixon White House to know "enemies lists." As a Republican, I am revolted over the lies of people like Landes. As one who know Holocaust survisors, I am doubly revolted over Landes' remarks.

Make no mistake: Landes is part of the "new" Republicanism -- a willingness tpo lie cheat and steal, a rejection of our democratic process. The vilification of non-white, non-protestant, non-male citizens.

Landes, in slinging the Nazi term (usually slung by radical socialists) is a deviant attempting to divert attention from his, quite frankly, National Socialist aka Nazi, views.

Real Repubicans are aghast, fake Republicans cheer this immoral Boob.

Posted by: ChrisW1958 | September 12, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

To 'godinmaster': I am a Democrat and thank you for the first thoughtful comments that I've read in days! Maybe EVER! Wish more people like you were running BOTH parties.

Posted by: rfr63 | September 12, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Let's see--Republicans arrest people who wear antiwar t-shirts at Bush rallies, then bring guns to Obama rallies. They appeal to racist fears through demagogic propaganda. They continuously lie about nearly everything. They rant against immigrants, start gratuitous wars, subvert the constitution, steal elections. Then they call the Democrats "Nazis." Meanwhile the Republicans are acting like little Nazis.

Posted by: scientist1 | September 12, 2009 3:39 AM | Report abuse

The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer is an imperical study of the right-wing and its leaders. It is free. You can find it by googling or by using the link below.

Posted by: gaidysozys | September 12, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I know the White House has done this sort of thing in the past. It was officially called an "Enemies List". Now who was that president.....

Posted by: dfnsatty | September 12, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm betting that what the lady in "Waynesboro" actually told Mr. Landes was that she was too embarrassed to put one of the Party of NO"s signs in her front yard because today Republican Party is just chock full of crazy people. Needless to say, I'm calling this guy a liar.

Posted by: lobo404 | September 12, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

these same people that are taking names are the same ones looking to process your health care requests...
still think this is a good idea?...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 12, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Well, the current Whitehouse is strongly centrist and controlling, much like the Nazi or Soviet regimes were. Now there are no deathcamps or casualties, but the class warfare and strong-handed rule are very similar to those examples of past history.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | September 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

If you bother to read the comments posted here, you may note that it's the Liberal side that does most of the name calling. While pundits, bloggers, and even politicians on both sides have their fanatical elements, right now it's the current Administation that is training people in tactics to stop dissent (fact), to avoid dissent in the media (fact), labeling dissenters as "domestic terrorists" (fact). At the same time, this Administration is passing bills that are taking over more rights and spending more money than all other presidents that have come before. Both Democrats AND Republicans should be very concerned.

Posted by: TexasScholar | September 12, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Any faith I had in America is slowly dying away. The crazies and their favored demagogues have begun to rule through stupidity, fear , ignorance and subversion.
Politcal discourse that is honest and open is dead, Limbaugh and his like have killed it for their own profit.

Erich Ludendorff, once said after learning of Hitler's appointment as Chancellor, he expressed his disappointment to German President Paul von Hindenburg: "By appointing Hitler Chancellor of the Reich, you have handed over our sacred German Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action."
Limbaugh, Beck, O'really are just the type of self promoting huslter that the little Corp. Hitler was and I predict will cause much damage to this once great nation.

Posted by: jpenergy | September 12, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

ah the wonderful irony of people expressing their outrage of insults and perceived hate speech and slander by using equally outrageous language...

practiced equally by folks from both sides of the political spectrum...

Posted by: jhorstma | September 12, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

gaidysozys provided this link:

It contains an entire book, by Robert Altemeyer, that provides the best scientific study of the difference betwen conservative and liberal personalities. It points out, for example, that study after study have shown conservatives (compared) to liberals to be higher in prejudice, intolerance, racism, projection (of course), and other traits (not all negative).

I strongly suggest reading it, and thanks gaidysozys. This is the kind of real evidence that we need.

Posted by: dougd1 | September 12, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Attention racist, xenophobes and all other right-wing-nuts:

Barack H.Obama is President of the US of A.

Learn to live with reality!

If you want Bubba Bush, move to Texas and start your revolution there.

Posted by: yamamah | September 12, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The last couple of election cycles in virginia proves that this state is moving swiftly away from the landes' type of pol and voter. They are quickly becoming an anachronism in this state, and this transformation can't happen quick enough for me and my neighbors. Landes doesn't get it and neither do his acolytes.If you want to see these types of republicans in the future you'll have to head to dc. But not to the capitol. you'll have to go to the museum of natural history, and when you get there ask for the paleontolgy section, you'll find them all there.

Posted by: dandaman606 | September 12, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

You can't argue with history. That's what happened in Germany, like it or not.

Posted by: baseball99 | September 12, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Who started an "enemies list"?

No other than Richard M. Nixon who began a long series of embarrassment for Republicans continuing today with Wilson and Landes.

Tin foil hat Huckabees who listen to too much Limbaugh hate radio and RNC Fox News swallow this kind of thing hook, line and sinker. There ought to be a law against deceitfully misleading the mentally deficient. But then we wouldn't have "Conservative Christian" churches either.

Posted by: coloradodog | September 12, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm originally from that area (Augusta County) and majority of those folks (Particularly in the county) are reflexively Republican. The reality of two democratic US senators from Virginia plus a mixed race Democratic President in the White House has really challenged their view of the world, hence their "Its an organized socialist plot" mentality. They just can't wrap their heads around the fact that the world is changing and the Democratic party is more in step with those changes than the Republican party. They invent plots or act out or both rather than do some sorely needed introspection.

Posted by: LurayDemocrat | September 12, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

What did Del. Landes say when repeatedly George W. Bush and Dick Cheney tried to get the TIPS program implemented, which called on neighbors, postal workers, UPS drivers, family members to spy on their fellow citizens, as in East Germany, Iraq, and the former Soviet Union? And, for all we know, it STILL may be in place. George W. Bush certainly lied about other crimes such as illegal wiretaps that he knew his administration was committing. People -- even some Republicans -- may recall that this program was being headed by Adm. John Poindexter, who had been convicted of, essentially, attempting to subvert the government of the United States.

Posted by: edallan | September 12, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

As Susan Eisenhower said last year, President Eisenhower wouldn't recognize the Republican party. I've always been an Independent. I've voted in both directions, but the Republican party has gone crazy. They're afraid of everything and everyone. Their leaders whip fearful people up into a frenzy by telling lies and half truths. How did the party of Lincoln and Ike ever become such a party of reactionary cowards? There's nothing to fear but fear itself, but fear is the central force of the new republicans. It's shameful. Out of the fear, they have created a group of people who want to shoot first and ask questions later. They have no men or women of substance to be their statesmen. All they have are Limbaugh and Beck and Hannity. What a sorry state of affairs.

Posted by: karela | September 12, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

And where were these people when Bush confiscated more than 10,000,000 phone records of American citizens without a warrant? Where were these people when Bush's FBI harvested financial records, medical records and emails of more than one million people, of which only a few hundred were being investigated for anything? Where were these people when Bush decided he could detain ANYONE, citizen or not, for any reason or no reason, never file charges, never provide any evidence whatsoever, and never let them go?

And what has Obama done that comes anywhere close to those assaults on the Constitution? NOTHING!

They want to be a big nation with a tiny government and rely on big business for their handouts, paltry as they are. Maybe we should just disband the entire government and play "every man for himself". I can guarantee you this; the Democrats would fare far better than those folks because we DO believe in taking care of our own and we DO believe in paying for it.

Posted by: windrider2 | September 12, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

In defense of all the knuckle-dragging, compulsive liars who call themselves Republicans I suspect their root problem may be medical rather than psychological. Each and every one of them should contact their family proctologist as soon as possible to arrange for a brain scan.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | September 12, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Im sick of all this political correctness BS and intolerance of others opinions.

If you dont like something someone says, tough cookies. Get over it and learn to change the channel on the TV for yourself without waiting for the government to do it for you.

If you prefer that system of government and culture, move back to England or any other nation on earth...


Posted by: indep2
So what you are saying is no one should challenge a liar? Especially if that liar is a "leader"?

This has nothing to do with "don't like". This has to do with a deliberate campaign of lies to spread fear, rancor and animosity. And those are the tactics of Nazis. Just ask the Jews.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | September 12, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the republicans are a bunch of whiny sore losers.
They should save the Nazi comparisons until Obama kills millions of republicans in death camps.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | September 12, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

well I tried and my message came back to me, so this was either an urban legend or has since been taken down.

Posted by: richmondlawyer1 | September 14, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

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