Sherrod Brown Compares GOP Governors to Hitler, Stalin

Last year while governors across the Midwest worked to reform broken public union laws, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) slandered them in a speech that could have easily been written by one of the millionaire “leaders” at SEIU, NEA, or AFSCME.

During one of his stemwinders about the wondrous things unions do, Sherrod dropped a reductio ad Hitlerum on Governor Kasich (OH), Governor Walker (WI), and Governor Christie (NJ):

Bizarrely, Sherrod claims he’s not comparing Kasich, Walker, and Christie to Hitler, Stalin, and Mubarak in the middle of comparing them to Hitler, Stalin, and Mubarak. While he’s conflating overdue reforms with mass murder, Sherrod also repeats one of his favorite deceptions by pretending government unions are the same as private industry unions.

Several media outlets noted the dictatorial portion of Sherrod’s rant, and the next day he apologized for stepping in it:

“But in speaking about this, I should not have mentioned the hostility of tyrants like Hitler to unions,” Brown said. “I don’t want my mistake to distract from the critical debate in Ohio, and I apologize for it.”

Sherrod didn’t want “to distract from the critical debate” over public union reform! Even now, slamming Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 as an “attack on workers” is the cornerstone of Sherrod’s stump speech – yet he always runs out of time before debating any of the critical specifics. Big Labor’s opponents are evil because it’s evil to oppose Big Labor.

Sherrod Brown is desperate to get additional mileage out of the union bosses’ $40 million smear campaign, but remember what was actually in Ohio’s union reform bill:

  • Replace automatic step increases with merit pay for public workers.
  • Require public employees to pay 10% of their pension costs and 15% of their health insurance costs.
  • End forced payment of “fair-share” fees for public workers who don’t want to join a union.
  • End last-in, first-out firing policies, requiring considerations other than tenure when local governments must make layoffs.
  • Public workers retain the privilege of collective bargaining for wages & working conditions, but may no longer go on strike against the public.

No less the Progressive than FDR, patron saint of caring Democrats, knew public unions are an awful idea. Either Sherrod Brown is too dense to recognize government and private industry are different, or he’s been lying for years to protect his favorite interest group.

Footnote: This clip is from the same speech where Sherrod claimed public union reform violates Christian principles. Refer again to the bullet points above; those are the sort of hateful reforms that get you slandered on the Senate floor as a tyrannical heathen by Sherrod Brown.

Transcript of the C-SPAN clip follows.

Sherrod Brown: Because we, as a country, we stand for a more egalitarian workforce. We stand for worker rights. We believe workers should organize and bargain collectively, if they choose. We believe in a minimum wage. We believe in workers’ compensation. We believe in worker safety. We believe in human rights, and all of that is about the labor movement, and, you know, you can support labor rights in Guatemala, but you better damn be sure you’re supporting labor rights in Wilmington, and Columbus, and Cleveland, and, and Detroit, and Dover, Delaware, and everywhere else.

And that’s, um, that’s, those were, those were some of the words Secretary Clinton said – I’m obviously expanding on them – but, as a nation, you know, I I I I look back at history and some of the worst governments we’ve ever had, you know one of the first things they did? They went after the trade unions. Hitler didn’t want unions, Stalin didn’t want unions, Mubarak didn’t want independent unions. These, these autocrats in history don’t want independent unions. So when I see, when I see in Egypt, or if I see in, in the old Soviet Russia, or I see – history tells me about Germany – I, I, I’m not, I’m not comparing what’s happening to the workers in Madison or in Columbus to Hitler and Stalin, but I am saying that history teaches us that unions are a very positive force in society that creates a middle class and that protects our freedom.

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