Like many Republican lawmakers, Brenda Barton is furious that the federal government shutdown has forced the closure of national parks.
Barton, an Arizona state representative, took to Facebook to express her fury in a series of status updates Monday. In one, she compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.
"Someone is paying the National Park Service thugs overtime for their efforts to carry out the order of De Fuhrer," Barton wrote. "[W]here are our Constitutional Sheriffs who can revoke the Park Service Rangers authority to arrest??? Do we have any Sheriffs with a pair?"
Fuhrer, the German term for leader, is most often associated with Hitler.
"While the POTUS continues to punish the American people," Barton continued, "he keeps open his golf course, he keeps open Camp David, and he retains his and his wife's excessive staff and stable of Czars! I'll bet he has kept in service his 3 food tasters!!!"
"The Chief Executive is acting as an Imperial President," she added, "without regard to his citizens, only caring about his agenda. With all the exemptions he has unilaterally bestowed on many interest groups, could he not delay the ACA Individual Mandate for a single year? Without regard for the elected House of Representatives. What do you call that?"
But it was the comparison to Hitler that drew criticism from many, including Arizona House Democrats.
"You owe an apology to the President, and Arizona for embarrassing us," Rep. Ruben Gallego wrote on Twitter. "You [are] potentially creating problems for many government employees. [W]hat you are saying is completely incorrect and illegal."
Ruben Gallego @RubenGallego .@Barton4Az You owe an apology to the President, and Arizona for embarrassing us.
3:51 PM - 7 Oct 2013
In an interview with the Arizona Capitol Times, Barton stood by the comparison.
“He’s dictating beyond his authority,” she said of Obama. “It’s not just the death camps. (Hitler) started in the communities, with national health care and gun control. You better read your history. Germany started with national health care and gun control before any of that other stuff happened. And Hitler was elected by a majority of people."
“It got your attention,” she added. “[President Obama is] doing something controversial. It’s not controversial that I’m criticizing him. I don’t think that’s controversial at all.”
Barton wasn't the only politician to connect the United States to the Third Reich.
In an interview with RT Spanish’ Entrevista, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa compared American exceptionalism under Obama to Nazi Germany.
“Does not this remind you of the Nazis’ rhetoric before and during World War II?" Correa said. "They considered themselves the chosen race, the superior race, etc. Such words and ideas pose extreme danger."