Those were the days!
Perhaps it's best to regard Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison as someone stepping into the long-vacant straitjacket of Governor Ventura.
On Sunday, July 8, Representative Ellison compared the 9/11 attack to the burning of the Reichstag in 1933.
In another article about his "Reichstag" remark, I learned that Congressman Ellison has clarified his remarks.
Tuesday, July 10, speaking to Katherine Kersten of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he said that he thought Osama bin Laden was responsible for the Twin Towers going down. His Reichstag reference was intended to make the point that, "in the aftermath of a tragedy, space is opened up for governments to take action that they could not have achieved before that."
The actions of President Bush which he said were equivalent to the German chancellor's decree ending protection of political, personal and property rights was the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence and some provisions of the Patriot Act.
These are debatable actions, but a careful observer might find subtle distinctions between these actions of the Bush administration and what happened after the German chancellor and his party took power: "Truckloads of stormtroopers roared through the streets all over Germany, breaking into homes, rounding up victims and carting them off to [Brownshirt] barracks, where they were tortured and beaten." (William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," as quoted in Kersten's column.)
I agree with the sentiment expressed in Kersten's headline: Katherine Kersten: Ellison's use of Reichstag fire goes overboard.
Kersten's column is the first place where I've seen mention of Representative Ellison's colorful background:
- 1990s Connections with Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam
- Defense of Kathleen Soliah, planter of pipe bombs under two Los Angeles police cars
- Praise for Assata Shakur, convicted of killing a cop, and who now resides in Cuba.
Let's give Representative Ellison credit: aside from a brief lapse during his first few months in Congress, he hasn't abandon his beliefs.
Keith Ellison posts:
- Keith Ellison, Iraqi Sheikhs, and Islam's Image (August 3, 2007)
- This Keith Ellison Story Might Take Off (July 27, 2007)
- Congressman Keith Ellison and Islam (July 22, 2007)
- Rep. Ellison's Misconstrued Reichstag Remarks (July 17, 2007)
- There's a New Loon in Minnesota (July 16, 2007)
- Another Islamic Voice in the Debate (July 16, 2007)