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Hasner mining for fear

Former Florida state Rep. Adam Hasner, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, raises the specter of the Third Reich.


Former Florida state Rep. Adam Hasner, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, raises the specter of the Third Reich.

At some point almost every political campaign enters the parallel universe phase where black becomes white, day is confused with night and interpretations of history can take on a Casey Anthony-esque approach to the truth telling.

That brings us to former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who wants to be the Republican U.S. Senate nominee in the worst possible way, even it means rebranding himself as the Shih Tzu of the tea party.

Hasner, who when it comes to scholarship will never be confused with Plutarch, took the occasion of his Fourth of July gospel missive to his supporters to link the nation's economic woes to the threat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich posed to the world.

"Today the biggest threat to our liberty is not a foreign government, but our own," the sage of Boca Raton opined, adding: "We face more restrictions on our liberties from stifling bureaucrats than from threats abroad."

Okeydokey, then.

There are, to be sure, many problems facing the nation today — a stumbling economy, a stubborn unemployment rate, foreclosures, Washington infighting and, of course, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the kinda, sorta, almost war in Libya. These are restive times.

However, there is no evidence Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrikakorps is getting ready to invade Wauchula. Nor have 6 million Jewish men, women and children been rounded up and murdered. Nor are V-1 rockets hurtling over Two Egg.

It is always a dangerous thing to attempt to connect the terror of Nazi Germany to the travails of American society. Kristallnacht is not the same thing as a partisan tiff over the debt ceiling.

This holds true especially for Hasner, who is Jewish. You would think he would appreciate that associating the darkness of the Holocaust to America's economic challenges diminishes the horrors of Hitler's reign and dulls public sensitivities toward the history of World War II. But then again, Hasner would have to actually think.

There is zero evidence anyone's liberty is being stifled by a paper pusher working within the bowels of government. Nobody from the Department of Agriculture is telling you that you can't worship, or assemble, or speak your mind, or own a gun.

But Hasner, when he isn't playing the Triumph of the Will meets the Potomac card, has been grazing in the pandering fields of fearmongering and religion-baiting for quite some time.

In his appeal to his tea party base that he is capable of being more addled than the Koran-burning Terry Jones, the candidate proudly notes that during his time in the Florida House he once walked out of the chamber when a Muslim imam showed up to deliver the day's opening prayer.

Now there's a profile in tolerance. Perhaps Hasner will entertain a simple question. If he is unwilling to sit in a room and politely listen to an invocation delivered by an Islamic cleric, does this suggest if he were to be elected he would not acknowledge or serve his Muslim constituents?

It's a fair point since Hasner has predicated much of his campaign attacking Islamic sharia law, darkly hinting it is only a matter of time before that dark hand of Mohammed will have Miss America beauty pageant contestants walking the runway in burkas.

It is reasonable to assume the Islamic community won't be contributing to a politician who won't bother to pray with them. Then again, it seems not too many other people are willing to pony up a check for the man of the people — the people excluding those guys over there in the mosque. Hasner has raised a fairly modest $560,000 for his Senate bid, which will probably be enough to pay for some statewide television spots at 4 a.m. on cable's Knitting Channel 892.

But like any huckstering glad-hander, Hasner proclaimed he was proud that he didn't raise much money since the apparent lack of interest in his political ambitions by people who could help him validates his image as a grass roots candidate fighting against dealmaking Tallahassee "insiders."

If anyone would know how to take on "insiders" it would be Hasner, who served as a Tallahassee insider for eight years, including his stint as a dealmaking insider's insider majority leader from 2007 to 2010.

Interesting, isn't it, how some politicians decry the evils of "insiders," while they shill and kowtow and grovel away any scintilla of self-respect or intellectual honesty to gain entry to the world's most exclusive club of insiders?

Hasner mining for fear 07/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 7, 2011 5:31pm]
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