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I think Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to the House of Representatives, should think about taking a big fat chill pill. Maybe he should not speak in public anymore. Maybe he should look at early retirement.
He needs to do something drastic to avoid the error of confabulating an American president — any American president — with Adolph Hitler. Such a comparison shows you are not only a student who failed history, but you prove you never even read any history at all.
This is what Ellison, a Muslim convert, said to a meeting of atheists more than a week ago:
"9/11 is the juggernaut in American history and it allows... it's almost like, you know, the Reichstag fire. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."
So the congressman says 9/11 was the Reichstag fire, which was set by Hitler's people so he could seize power. Hard to imagine any other interpretation of that remark.
But Ellison responded in a letter to a Minnesota newspaper and tried to wiggle out of what he said. He wrote: "Obviously, Usama bin Laden and the hijackers who carried out the murderous events are responsible for 9/11."
Well, congressman, when you say it's the Reichstag fire, it does call into question whether you believe the man who has publicly taken credit for the terror attack: Usama himself.
Ellison then tries to shift blame back to Bush: "We may need years to shake off the taint of Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, FISA violations, Patriot Act encroachments and other Bush administration failures."
It's OK for Ellison to oppose Bush. Plenty of people do. Fine. Vote for somebody else. But to essentially accuse Bush of planning and executing the 9/11 attacks is not so much a political assault on Bush as an assault on the reason and the judgment of Ellison himself.
Mr. Ellison, you've explained why you don't like George Bush. But you haven't explained why you publicly articulated and endorsed the deranged thinking of the looniest among us. Until you take it back and apologize for dabbling in the craziest of 9/11 conspiracy theories, you truly call into question your fitness to serve in the U.S. Congress.
That's My Word.
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