Ben Stein long ago plunged into the cesspool of right wing extremism, but he dug even deeper on Tuesday (Jan. 22) by comparing Rep. Alexandria Ocaso-Cortez to Hitler.
It’s a disgrace to Judaism, not to mention general discourse, to mention the Nazi murderer of six million Jews in such a spurious context.
Oh, God. Dude, I'm deleting my copy of Ferris Bueller .
— Jeff Pulice (@jeff_pulice) January 23, 2019
What the fuck happened to Ben Stein? Fuck you, you POS.
— Bradley Anderson (@BJayAnderson) January 23, 2019
Ben Stein: I'm irrelevant, so I want to say something people pay attention to me again.
— The Devil (@LuciferBelow) January 23, 2019
Stein, 74, has been a jack-of-all trades throughout his career from Yale Law School lawyer and Nixon and Ford speechwriter, to comedian, actor and game show host.
But in his twilight years, Ben Stein has become a vindictive right-wing commentator. Throwing around Hitler is his latest affront.
In a commentary on Fox Business News, Stein attacked her for being a “Democratic Socialist,” with the following diatribe:
“We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is promising. And it led to mass murder, it led to dictatorship, it led to genocide. These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things.”
Ben Stein’s Fail Comparisons to Stalin, Mao, Hitler
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Stalin and Mao were avowed Communists who believed in centralized authoritarian states. Hitler was a dictator who oversaw a corporate oligarchy.
Ocasio-Cortez’s politics are directly akin to Social Democrats in places like Sweden, Norway, Holland, Canada and the United Kingdom, none of which has ever engaged in mass murder, dictatorship, or genocide.
Among some of her “radical” policies, she’s calling for universal health care, a living wage for low income workers and a minor redistribution of wealth.
Over the last 30 years, middle class wages have been stagnant, while the richest one percent has seen their wealth skyrocket.
Donald Trump and congressional Republicans passed a $1.4 trillion tax cut that mostly benefits corporations and the wealthy. They promised it would lead to greater capital investment, more jobs and economic growth. None of that has largely materialized.
Instead the Congressional Budget Office has projected that the tax cut will have only a short term effect. Growth rates will fall to about 1.3 percent a year, not the 4- to 6-percent Trump has promised. Meanwhile deficits will soar.
The government must borrow more than a $1 trillion in the new fiscal year, just to keep the doors open and cover tax receipts lost as a result of the tax cut, according to a fiscal year-end report by the Treasury Department.
Federal tax collections fell by 31 percent in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The federal deficit soared to $779 billion, a 17 percent increase over last year.
Ben Stein Trumpian Flip-Flop on Economics
To his credit, Stein was once no fan of Trump’s economic policies.
“Renegotiating trade deals with Mexico and China is just a way to start a gigantic recession. I mean, this is a very scary thing,” he’s said in 2016, before Trump was elected. Most mainstream Republicans were disparaging him at the time, as well.
Now, of course, Stein sings Trump’s praises and is a big advocate of trickle-down economics, even as his previous predictions have come to fruition.
The pundit says Trump isn’t stupid; the mainstream media is just making him look that way.
Stein has never hesitated to play the racism card. In 2015, he called Obama the “most racist” president in history.
Stein has also been one of the biggest shills for claims that African-Americans have been duped by Democrats. He says institutional racism doesn’t exist and says blacks are poor because they are lazy, or uneducated, or hooked on drugs.
Stein may exist in an alternate universe on racism, but invoking Hitler is beyond the pale, a new low for someone who is already a political bottom feeder.
“It’s not about ordering people around, putting them in concentration camps,” he says.
“What do you do if a person is a richer or poorer person? What do you do? Do you take him away? Do you shoot him? Well that’s what the communists tried, it didn’t work out very well for them.”
Stein should know better than anybody; if you have to invoke Hitler in an argument, you’ve already lost. The Nazi leader’s name has been thrown about so much in the age of social media, it’s been reduced to parody.
Once a reasonable voice for Conservatism, Stein has become just another right-wing screamer engaging in extreme partisanship and zero-sum politics. But for a Jew to invoke Hitler so casually denigrates the lives of Holocaust victims and denies the singularity of Hilter’s heinous crimes.
Of course, both sides are guilty of the same thing.
Last July, it was Donny Deutsch’s turn. The former host of a CNBC show and frequent MSNBC contributor said voters who supported Trump’s Mexico policy were tantamount to “standing at the border, like Nazis, going ‘you here, you here.’”
The North West Florida Daily News was one of a number of media outlets that scolded Deutsch. In an editorial it wrote:
No matter how much you may dislike or disagree with Trump, the warped practice of casually comparing him and other U.S. officials to the ruthless, merciless ghouls who executed 6 million souls and tortured and persecuted countless more simply for being Jewish or something else they despised is a disgrace and demonstrates massive, willful historical ignorance.
Ben Stein, of all people, should know better. That just makes his remarks even more untruthful, dishonest and deceitful.