GOP nominee for Pennsylvania governor makes new Nazi analogy, this time about the Jan. 6 attack
Douglas Mastriano, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, implied last week that the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was a false flag operation similar to the Reichstag fire in 1933 that the Nazis used as justification to suspend civil liberties and go after political enemies. Mastriano has in the past invoked Nazi-era analogies in the debate over gun control.
In an interview with Republican economist Ben Stein June 10, Mastriano said he agreed with the host’s comparison to the Reichstag arson attack that was seized upon by Adolf Hitler to grab power. Stein called the riot a “ridiculously trivial thing.”
“I agree with the historic analogy laid out there — using something that was very suspicious in Berlin to advance their agenda, the National Socialists there,” Mastriano responded on “The World According To Ben Stein” podcast, which was streamed live on Mastriano’s Facebook page. “I do see parallels.”
Mastriano, a far-right state representative, has been subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot for his role in organizing buses to the U.S. Capitol, and attending the protest, according to new footage published by NBC News. He won the Republican nomination for governor last month following a last-minute endorsement by former President Donald Trump, and will face Josh Shapiro, the state’s Jewish attorney general, in the fall.
Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Marisa Nahem said in a statement that Mastriano remains obsessed with the past and should be considered “the most dangerous gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania history.”
Gun control and the Nazis
Mastriano, a retired Army colonel, recently defended past comments that likened gun control to Nazi policies before the Holocaust. Running for Congress in 2018, Mastriano called it “appalling” that Democrats were proposing gun restrictions to end mass shootings and likened it to the Nazis confiscating privately held firearms by political opponents and Jews before World War II and Vladimir Lenin’s actions in the Soviet Union. “Historically, this is accurate,” Mastriano tweeted after the Forward published a video of his remarks.
Stein, who is Jewish and a former speechwriter for presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, and who has in the past compared Democratic politicians to Hitler, called the Jan. 6 riot a “ridiculously trivial thing” on the podcast. “It was not an attempt to take over the government,” he said. “It was a demonstration by a group that felt frustration by the statistical impossibility of the vote having gone the way the Democrats said it did.”
Mastriano concurred. “It’s just really heartbreaking watching how quickly our country’s falling down, and that we have people being publicly arrested for show to send a message,” he said. “I think what we’re seeing in America now makes McCarthy in the 1950s look like an amateur.”