There’s just no escaping once you crack open a can of Hitler. It really doesn’t matter how much you apologize, or how much crow you scarf down, or how far down your own throat you’ve jammed your metatarsals. Press Secretary Sean Spicer is going to be force-fed the whole can.
In a week loaded with the most awful gaffes I’ve seen since Chris Christie last appeared in public, Spicer may have eclipsed United Airlines, but only because he mentioned Hitler during Passover, in the context of chemical weapons, and gassing “his own people”–not the Jews. Mentioning Hitler in any context is bad politics; doing it during Passover is just dumb; doing it in connection with chemical weapons and the Holocaust is fantastically dumb.
To his credit, Spicer apologized during a forum sponsored by the Newseum moderated by MSNBC host Greta Van Susteren, the AP reported.
“To make a gaffe and a mistake like this is inexcusable and reprehensible,” Spicer said. “It really is painful to myself to know that I did something like that.”
We know he didn’t mean it the way it came out, but once you open a can of Hitler…
“That obviously was not my intention. To know when you screw up that you possibly offended a lot of people,” Spicer continued. “I would ask obviously for folks’ forgiveness to understand that I should not have tried to make a comparison.”
But it’s too late. The Germans have been triggered.
A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said comparing Nazi war crimes to present-day situations “leads to nothing good.” It might even be illegal in Germany to bring up war crimes and Hitler in the context of present-day situations. I’m not sure about that one, but I think Spicer should steer clear of Berlin for a while.
Listen, it was a bonehead move. It was a dumb thing to say. But calling for Spicer to resign over it is a bit over the top. It’s not like he dragged a bloodied and screaming McClatchy reporter from the White House briefing room so Breitbart could have his seat. I know–too soon, too soon.
I believe these things come in threes, and we’ve now fulfilled the gaffe quota for this orbit of Venus around the sun (that’s 225 days). When the planets align again, we’ll see which large corporations and politicos fall to the fickle gods of the ginormous gaffe.