Tennessee State Senator: Obamacare is like the Holocaust

For the second time, a Republican State Senator is in trouble for comparing Obamacare to the Holocaust, a practice that people should REALLY engaging in.

Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield (R-7) runs a blog and made this post:

Camp4u

Holocaust and Obamcare comparisons have been made before, and it just never goes well.  This ridiculous comment was condemned by anyone who spoke about it.  Roy Herron, Chairman of the state Democratic Party, called the comments, “outrageous, pathetic and hateful.”  Chris Devaney, Chairman of the state Republican Party, also resoundingly condemned the comments:

“While Stacey Campfield routinely makes remarks that are over the top, today’s comments are ignorant and repugnant. No political or policy disagreement should ever be compared to the suffering endured by an entire generation of people. Those comments have no place in our public discourse. He should offer an apology to members of the Jewish faith immediately.”

Campfield also found himself on the receiving end of this letter, from the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.  For the record: If you are getting letters from the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, and the fact that it comes from the daughter of a holocaust survivor is the featured point, you are doing something wrong.

Initially, Campfield stood by his comments:

I think Jewish people should be the first to stand up against Obamacare. When you have government deciding who gets health insurance and who doesn’t, what services they get and what services they have to provide, they’re really deciding who lives and who dies. It’s a slippery slope.

When asked about the criticism from his own party Chairman, Campfield responded:  “He never called me. If he wants to apologize to Obama, he can.”

Under attack from all sides, Senator Campfield relented, to some extent, issuing a non-apology apology on his blog in an entry titled “Here you go“:

In no way was my post meant to diminish or detract from the pain, suffering and loss of human life that occurred during this dark time in human history. Instead the post was meant to draw attention to the loss of freedom that we are currently experiencing. I stand by my steadfast opposition to Obamacare.

This is a pretty clear non-apology apology. He never says sorry.  He never says he regrets his remarks.  All he says is that, “I regret that some people miss the point of my post. It was not to offend. It was to warn.”

Interestingly enough, Senator Campfield did not delete the blog entry – it’s still available.

By the way, Senator Campfield has previously been a lightning rod for controversy.  In 2011, he sought to ban teaching about gay issues in public schools (commonly referred to as the “Don’t say gay” bill).  In 2012, he told a radio host that HIV/AIDS originated from a man having sex with a monkey and that it was nearly impossible for AIDS to be acquired through heterosexual sex.   This brings me back to one of my more basic points about social media.  To a limited extent, I think that social media makes it easier for people to say silly things.  Quick tempers and poor judgement, combined with devices that have access to the internet, are terrible combinations.  However, by and large, I think most (not all, but most) social media errors occur when people with poor judgement say dumb things.  Senator Campfield is clearly a master at saying things that are inaccurate and over the top.  His remarks are in no way reflective of the potential of social media.  He is just one of many people with poor judgement that has access to the internet.

What do you think – do I have this right? Let me know in the comments!

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