Tuesday, September 27, 2011

North Carolina Democratic Governor Bev Perdue Jokes About Suspending Congressional Elections, But She Forgot A "Reichstag Fire" Is Supposed To Come First

All in favor of calling off the next election raise your right hand
On September 27th, 2011, while addressing a Rotary Club in Cary, NC, North Carolina's Democratic Governor Bev Perdue committed a major faux pas while expressing her frustration with recurring Congressional gridlock. She suggested suspending Congressional elections for two years so that Congress can focus on economic recovery and not the next election.

The complete quote:

"You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It's a little bit more contentious now but it's not impossible to try to do what's right in this state. You want people who don't worry about the next election."

Naturally, Republicans took her seriously, to include GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood, who questioned Perdue's commitment to accountability, and GOP House candidate Paul Coble, who characterized it as a proposal that only those politicians who have worsened our economic mess could appreciate.

Stung by the criticism, Gov. Perdue replied through her spokeswoman Chris Mackey, who said that Perdue was only using hyperbole. However, those in attendance at the speech and those who heard it said that her tone was level and that she asked others to support her on the idea. Dallas Woodhouse of the Americans for Prosperity’s North Carolina chapter explained “They may play it off as a joke now, but it was made at the Cary Rotary Club, not known as a hotbed of comedy...It’s a place somebody gives a serious policy speech. She was not at a roast for somebody, she was at a place where somebody gives a policy speech and she stated as a matter of policy that we ought to suspend elections.” Woodhouse thinks Perdue inflicted serious damage upon Democratic prospects in the state.

If Gov. Perdue knew her history, she would know that such remarks are usually preceded by a "Reichstag fire". That fire, believed to be deliberately set on February 27th 1933, led German President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany. With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates. With them gone and their seats empty, the NSDAP went from being a plurality party to the majority; subsequent elections confirmed this position and thus allowed Chancellor Adolf Hitler to consolidate his power through the Enabling Act on March 23rd 1933.

The Beaufort Observer suggests we not take these comments any more seriously than this lady should have been taken all along. However, were Purdue's remarks really a joke and a fluke, or were they actually a trial balloon? In The New Republic, Peter Orszag, a former Obama staffer, wrote in part "To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic".

When one considers all the hateful remarks the left has directed towards the Tea party, questioning their patriotism and advocating that they be silenced, I can't but believe that Gov. Perdue was actually floating a trial balloon. Perhaps it might be just as valid to compare the left with the Bolsheviks as it is to compare them to national socialists.

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