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Study Break

Mein Humph

If  the late Thelma Ritter  looked at a list of Capitol Hill lobbyists – and the organizations they represent – she might quip that it includes every villain but the Nazis snapping at Congress’ rear end. Well, Thelma can now rest in peace, because just this week the American Nazi Party registered its first lobbyist with Congress. 

The new lobbyist is John Bowles, who – as you probably don’t remember – made a bid for the White House in 2008 on the white-supremacist National Socialist ticket. In his new position, he will be trying to meet with members of Congress to stress his party’s views on such topics as – get this – immigration, civil rights and ballot access. 

Something tells us that Bowles is not going to book a lot of meetings.

First, other than the complete dimwits in Congress, most senators and representatives probably have a vague idea of where the Nazi Party stands on these issues and they don’t need a refresher course from someone dressed up like Colonel Klink. Second, meeting with Bowles would just make their opponents in their next campaign way too happy. And third, ample members of Congress already seem to share what we can assume are Bowles’ positions on immigration, civil rights and ballot access.

So why should they listen to Bowles preach to the choir when John Boehner is handing out free cigarettes down the hall and British Petroleum is waiting to buy you lunch at the Four Seasons?

But still, it’s interesting. In just one week, Republican Rep. Allen West started seeing Communists around every corner of the Capitol and a real-life Nazi became a legal, registered Congressional lobbyist. As supporters of free speech, we think it’s great that crazy people like West and Bowles can spew their beliefs and conclusions without fear of persecution or prosecution. That’s supposed to be a cornerstone of our democracy. 

It’s just too bad that the same doesn’t always hold true for people who, say, believe in evolution, education or equal pay. Let’s remember to change that in November, folks.

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