Brat's Hitler Comments in 2011 Whipping Up a Storm

Image: Brat's Hitler Comments in 2011 Whipping Up a Storm

Thursday, 12 Jun 2014 11:07 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Virginia's House Republican primary victor Dave Brat has been caught up in a storm over an innocuous essay he wrote three years ago warning that Adolf Hitler's rise "could happen all over again."

Wall Street Journal writer Reid Epstein has been attacked by Breitbart reporter John Nolte for his "attempts to manufacture from thin air a political controversy" involving Brat, who caused a shocking upset this week by defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a GOP primary.

In 2011, Brat had written a 13-page essay in an issue of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, which included comments about Hitler's Nazi Germany.

In a column titled "David Brat's Writings: Hitler's Rise Could Happen Again," Epstein said: "It is the reference to Hitler's Germany that is likely to turn heads during Mr. Brat's first full day as a tea party star."

But Breitbart's Nolte noted that Brat's comments were actually anti-Hitler, while reproducing the part of Brat's essay that included mention of the Third Reich leader.

Brat wrote: "Capitalism is here to stay, and we need a church model that corresponds to that reality. Read Nietzsche. Nietzsche's diagnosis of the weak modern Christian democratic man was spot on. Jesus was a great man … Jesus actually made people better. Then came the Christians. What happened? What went wrong? 

"We appear to be a bit passive. Hitler came along, and he did not meet with unified resistance. I have the sinking feeling that it could all happen again, quite easily. The church should rise up higher than Nietzsche could see and prove him wrong. If we all did the right thing and had the guts to spread the word, we would not need the government to backstop every action we take."

Nolte called Brat's reasoning "factually accurate and articulate," while condemning Epstein's comments, especially his "non-sequitur" connecting Brat's essay to the fact that Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in Congress.

Nolte added, "Thirteen full pages, one warning about how we have to not repeat the mistakes that made Nazi Germany possible, and from that … Epstein whips up a word soup about 'Hitler, Rise Again, Tea Party, Defeat, Jewish.'"

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