It was via Twitter that I found out that County Executive Chris Collins made a tragically inappropriate “joke” at a Republican function last night. I think that this epic gaffe may very well forever cloud any chance that Collins may have had for securing a statewide office of any sort.
To this day, Rev. Jesse Jackson is answering for his “Hymietown” remark – a dumb thing he said in 1984.
It’s probably a bad idea for any politician to discuss the prophecies of Nostradamus at any political event, if the politician intends to be taken seriously. Even if it’s a joke. It’s an even worse idea to suggest that a contemporary political figure is the third in the trilogy of anti-Christs prophesied by Nostradamus; Napoleon and Hitler widely regarded as the first two. To suggest that an Orthodox Jewish New York State politician is the anti-Christ is a failure of massive proportions.
As promised and predicted, here’s the link to the post you link to when someone compares someone to Hitler. Just substitute “Obama” with “Silver”.
The joke wasn’t funny, and it was massively offensive and inappropriate. It’s cringe-worthy, like something written into a Ricky Gervais comedy. Like when the Office’s Michael Scott quotes a Chris Rock routine. Collins was right to apologize, and it’s good that he’s being called out on this not just locally, but statewide.
Now, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is a lot of things, mostly not good. He’s an entrenched machine politician who is no friend to Western New York. He is a big part of the problem that is Albany. He is not a good government guy; he’s a power guy. He is a person I’d very much like to see electorally removed from his position of power in Albany. But he’s not Hitler. He’s not the anti-Christ. Silver is, apparently, rightfully incensed at Collins’ insult.
And this gets back to Collins’ shtick, which was worn thin on day one. He may be a brilliant businessman, and a savvy political tactician. But he has yet to learn that the kinds of things he evidently likes joking about in the clubhouse or with his teabagging pals have no business seeing the light of day.
If this is what he says in public, imagine where his mind goes in private.
Collins’ shtick plays well up here because people are so desperate for anything that sounds reasonably like “WNY isn’t going to suck so bad anymore” that they’ll buy into it. “Running government like a business” is like that. It was always going to be an uphill battle for a wealthy, unlikeable, obscure technocrat from upstate New York to make any waves in statewide politics. Now, it’s next to impossible. He’s damaged goods. How will a Rick Lazio or a Rudy Giuliani explain to the huge downstate Jewish population that he’s picking a lieutenant governor who compares a contemporary Jewish politician to Hitler? Collins explains,
While we may disagree strongly on policy matters, my statement had no place in our political discourse and I am truly sorry to both the speaker and to anyone else who I may have offended.
You’re right, Mr. Collins. Your statement had/s no place in political discourse, and you should be sorry. You should have also have had the foresight, intelligence, and decency to, I dunno, avoid saying it in the first place.
What’you want? A cookie?
One of those attending Saturday’s dinner called the statement “unbelievable.”
“It was staggering,” said the Republican, who asked not to be identified. “It took my breath away. You just don’t say something like that.”
Collins’ inner circle also was acknowledging the seriousness of the gaffe today, especially in view of the importance of New York City’s Jewish vote in any statewide election. They pointed out that his juxtaposition of Hitler and the concept of the anti-Christ with the orthodox Silver was not seen as any help to Collins’ statewide ambitions.
This kind of crap plays nicely on the Tom Bauerle Paranoid Dummy Hour™, but in the real world – among normal people – it is frankly unheard-of.
Perhaps finally, at least locally, that new chic thing of comparing everything one disagrees with to Hitler (or worse) has just jumped the shark. It’s a facile and ignorant thing that people with small minds like to do. It’s lazy. It’s beyond stupid. I hope this is the end of this ridiculousness.