No Labels Repudiates Nazi Analogy In House Health Care Debate
WASHINGTON—While Americans are deeply divided on last night’s vote to repeal health care reform legislation, citizens should unite in condemning a toxic analogy used during the debate on the House floor, according to a new national movement launched last month to combat hyper-partisanship and promote political problem solving.
No Labels today is throwing a yellow flag, repudiating a statement made by Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during the heat of the debate to repeal the health care reform law.
On Tuesday night, Rep. Cohen used an incendiary Nazi analogy to criticize opponents of health care reform legislation passed in the 111th Congress, saying:
“They say it’s a government takeover of health care—a big lie just like Goebbels. You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like ‘blood libel.’ That’s the same kind of thing. The Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it, and you had the Holocaust. You tell a lie over and over again. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care.”
The health care reform debate understandably evokes a passionate response in many Americans. But using an inflammatory Nazi analogy on the House floor to characterize the policy statements of your opponents does nothing to advance the health care debate and does plenty to widen the political divide we must bridge to achieve progress on urgent national problems. At No Labels, our members have remarkably divergent views on what to do about America’s health care challenges, but we are united in our belief that this kind of language is part of the problem, not the solution. We urge Congressman Cohen, a dedicated public servant, to choose his words more carefully in the future.