The Slatest

Alabama Congressman Quotes Mein Kampf While Criticizing Democrats and the Media

Mo Brooks casts his eyes downward as he walks in the Capitol.
Rep. Mo Brooks in 2013.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mo Brooks, a five-term congressman from Alabama, cited an anti-Semitic argument pushed by Adolf Hitler while condemning Democrats and the press for their “big lie” about collusion during a speech on the House floor Monday.

It appears Brooks was attempting to draw parallels between President Donald Trump’s critics and Nazis. But the language he used, directly citing Mein Kampf, instead positioned himself, the president, and his party as the Nazis in his analogy and the Democrats as the Jews—victims of a vilification effort rooted in part in the Nazi insistence that Jews were malicious liars.

While the “big lie” is now thought of as a propaganda technique used by the Nazis—the propagation of a lie so enormous it is given credence because of its brazenness—the term was actually coined by Hitler and his followers. The big lie, according to Hitler, was by traitorous Jews who blamed the violently anti-Semitic German Gen. Erich Ludendorff for Germany’s defeat in World War I.*

Brooks, apparently thinking reading from the book would drive home the similarities between Democrats and Nazis, quoted Hitler’s Mein Kampf verbatim during the Republican response to Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Robert Mueller’s report:

A “big lie” is a political propaganda technique made famous by Germany’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party, but more on that later. For more than two years, socialist Democrats and their fake news allies … have perpetrated the biggest political lie, con, scam, and fraud in American history. Attorney General Barr’s executive summary of Mueller’s report has publicly confirmed what many of us have known for a long time: The accusations of collusion between President Trump and Russia in the 2016 elections are nothing but a big lie. …

The Mueller report vindicates President Trump and his 2016 campaign from the socialist, baseless, reckless, and false big lie charges of Russian collusion. … Socialist Democrats and their fake news media allies were shameless, shameless in their big lie scam that has inspired hatred against President Trump and violence against Americans who support America’s foundational principles. If socialists in the fake news media had any honor, they would cleanse their souls and atone for their sins. … More likely, however, they will double down and propagate even more big lies because doubling down is essential to big lie theory. In that vein, I quote from another socialist who mastered big lie propaganda to a maximum, and deadly, effect.

Brooks then began to directly quote from the 10th chapter of the first volume of Hitler’s autobiography, reading a full paragraph-long excerpt that began:

In the big lie, there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie.

With the drama of a big reveal, Brooks then concluded:

Who is this big lie master? That quote was in 1925 by a member of Germany’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party—that’s right, Germany’s socialist party—more commonly known as the Nazis. The author was socialist Adolf Hitler, in his book Mein Kampf. Mr. Speaker, America can either learn from history or be doomed to repeat it. When it comes to big lie political propaganda in America, as the Mueller report confirms, America’s socialists and their fake news media allies are experts and have no peers. Regardless, America must reject their big lies or succumb to the danger that lurks, and horrific damage that results.

Brooks is not the first Republican to falsely describe the Nazis, a fascist and right-wing political party, as a socialist, leftist one, and many in the GOP have gone out of their way to emphasize the “socialist” part of the party’s name.

And it’s not the first time Brooks has made historically dubious and racially charged claims about a group of people. He has compared border crossings by Latin American immigrants to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and he has accused the Democratic Party of launching a “war on whites.”

Correction, March 26, 2019: This post originally misspelled Erich Ludendorff’s last name.