A new low in campaign ads: Pulling the 'Hitler' card - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, June 17, 2021
HomePoliticsA new low in campaign ads: Pulling the ‘Hitler’ card

A new low in campaign ads: Pulling the ‘Hitler’ card

Candidate Paul Dale pulled the “Hitler” and “white supremacist” cards out of the deck in trying to flip House District 29 — Kenai — to the Democrats.

In what critics are calling the dirtiest gutter politics seen on the Peninsula this election cycle, Dale said Rep. Ben Carpenter believes Hilter was not a white supremacist.

That is not what Carpenter said, but the lawmaker learned a good lesson the day he gave an interview to the Anchorage Daily News. The story rolled out with the Hitler narrative and went around the mainstream media far and wide.

What Carpenter actually said was that fear drives bad decisions, and the Legislature was being driven into bad decisions over COVID-19 by their fear, in the same way that Hitler was driven by his fear of “others” who were not Germans. Carpenter could have said it more eloquently, he later admitted.

In fact, most of the people Hitler killed were some version of caucasian — many of them were gypsies, homosexuals and disabled people. The racial makeup of Jews is a complicated and fascinating story of the history of humanity.

But Dale didn’t want to discuss facts; he was busy smearing Carpenter as a racist.

Dale is running as a pretend independent for the House seat, but all of his supporters are Democrats and he is paying thousands of dollars to the Alaska Democratic Party for campaign support.

His “Hilter” accusations about Carpenter are such personal and vicious attacks that former Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock raised the question about why Dale has allowed himself to be used by the Democrats this way.

“Why are the Democrats not running on issues? Why is every Democrat campaign a personal attack on their opponents. It’s because the Democrat platform is deeply unpopular,” Babcock said.

It’s possible that the viciousness is matched by the odds of Dale winning: Only two districts in the state have fewer Democrats than District 29 — District 30 and District 8. It’s a safe seat for a Republican, which is why Dale may be reaching deep into the bag of dirty tricks to deceive voters.

Linking Carpenter to white supremacy because he understands history with more nuance than most is akin to calling Dale a supporter of child sacrifice because he supports state-funded abortion, Babcock said.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • From Kenai all the way up the Spur are Dale signs. But this is Carpenter Country and hopefully this will flood the airwaves all the way up the Northroad.

  • It seems to me Dale’s ad was bringing attention to an issue that we are dealing with at all levels of politics these days and that is a gross coarsening of the debate and dialog. Those granted their turn at the public megaphone should use it responsibly. (George Bush and Ronald Reagan come to mind) Personally, I am disappointed to hear anyone invoking the Holocaust in regards to what is a legitimate difference of opinion and public policy having to do with COVID restrictions. Was a Holocaust comparison and branding “with the Star of David” really necessary for Carpenter to get his point across on the floor of the legislature? Can we have a little less arm waving and belching of proclamations and a little more thoughtfulness? I didn’t think Carpenter was a racist when the ADN ran its story, nor did I think the ADN was “playing the Hitler card”, I thought Carpenter was being inartful to the point of being reckless, especially as a public servant. Words matter. Statesmen used to understand this. What happened to us?

  • Keith Olbermann thinks those of us who support Donald Trump or vote for Trump are maggots and should be eliminated or incarcerated. This is along the same line of discourse. That’s ok. I’m rubber & you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me & sticks to you. Even kids know that.

  • I’ll go one further….I have a really hard time understanding why the left or the right blame the media for anything, especially, of all things, bias. The “news” media is selling what consumers insist on, a steady stream of thinly veiled opinion, (usually interspersed with ranting indignation and wrinkled brows) that powerfully confirms what the consumer already thinks is true, or wants to be true. Tuning into Tribal TV, be it Fox or MSNBC, whichever is your dope, you can feel good that you were “right all along“. It’s called confirmation bias. For sure no one wants a closely held opinion of their very own upended, ever. It makes them think too much. No, we have exactly the mainstream media we all demanded by tuning in so religiously, cheering on “our side”, and paying the cable bill each month. We can’t get enough. If we didn’t want it, they couldn’t sell it.

    • I get you Bob and you are right. Yours was the opinion of reasonable people right around 2001 and it was Bill O’Reilly vs. CNN time when there were reasonable people watching and thinking, ‘is this the news now?’

      It’s 2020. We now have another generation or two (below you?) that has been fed an uninterrupted diet of lies, been indoctrinated in school then college and whose biases are confirmed every day by social media as well as every major public and private institution in America.

      To be in the middle in this tug of war is truly to be standing in the slippery and ineffectual mud. I hope we get back to arguments like yours. But right now, we conservatives, in big numbers, need to grab hold of the rope on its furthest comfortable end and wrestle the middle back to where it used to be.

      Maybe we can bring the middle back to the 90s…maybe back to the 60s. But whenever that day comes, I look forward to people on both sides saying the exact same thing as you.

      The uncomfortable thing for conservatives is that we will have to pull some of those more radical Democrats into the mud, as they have us, to be able to do that. We’ll see if we have the stomach for it.

  • A man named Paul Dale headed up the Alaska Salmon Alliance, an organization that advocated for the commercial fishing interests on the Kenai Peninsula. He took positions many times before the Alaska Board of Fisheries that would have practically eliminated the dip net fisheries and seriously restrict sports fishing. He would state as “ facts” things that were outright lies. He always would smile and try to sound reasonable but what he said was rarely truthful. An he had a subtle mean streak in how he said things.
    Now it sounds like the same Paul Dale trying to slander his opponent. He should be ignored.
    If Dale gets elected there is a good chance that Alaskan anglers and dip net fisher’s right to put salmon in their freezers and on their tables will be seriously restricted or lost forever in some areas on the Kenai Peninsula.

  • Regarding your synopsis of the Ben Carpenter campaign video, I would say clearly and loudly that it was not at all meant to demean his personal character. I have no doubt that Ben is a wonderful father, husband and neighbor. Unfortunately, sterling character does not preclude foolish and ill considered communications. I believe his holocaust observations were solidly in that category. Wikipedia has plenty to say supporting context. I noticed you didn’t run the actual ad which would have been more informative for your readers. My view is that my opponent lacks a filter when communicating with others, this is a problem for a state representative, it betrays a serious lack of judgment and makes this ad fair game. Thanks for allowing me to comment.

    • Paul, I appreciate your defense of my character although I’m perfectly capable of withstanding the political darts you throw without it. Perhaps it wasn’t so much my character you were worried about but the responses you have received. Choosing to use my admittedly poor choice of words, and other words taken completely out of context by a reporter, to discredit me is a cheap shot at best. It is certainly majoring in the minors. Everyone can relate to regretting their word choice at times. What you’re not talking about is what matters most. The people deserve to know where each of us stand on the issues and yet you’re fixated on tearing me down.

      Where do you stand on the PFD? On abortion? On actually improving education results? Are you going to help the state live within its means? Or raise taxes? How do you intend to accomplish anything fiscally responsible by aligning with Democrat legislators? Will you join their binding caucus and pledge your vote on the budget before you’ve had a chance to read it? Your Democrat friends will expect you to.

      What say you?

      • Ben, if it weren’t for cheap shots he wouldn’t have any shots at all !

        When you are taking flak you know you are over the target !

    • “I would say clearly and loudly that it was not at all meant to demean his personal character”.

      With Democrats it’s like a circus trick. Do something obvious and claim to people watching that it not what they saw. Nothing in your paragraph above indicates your political views or solutions to current problems.

      Even your apology is an attack.

      D vs R. If this was 30 years ago, yours might be an interesting conversation between two politicians.

      But in 2020, a vote for the Democratic Party is a vote for the destruction of America. It will not be you who ushers in globalism, socialism, etc. But it will be under the banner of your party. Your spectrum of thought is what is killing and dividing Americans.

      If you care about Kenai, Alaska or America, Mr. Dale, I offer you to switch parties to the people who, faux pas excluded, genuinely care.

      • Excellent comment, Dean C. I especially like your last sentence. I’ve had a hard time convincing others (including some family) that I don’t “love” or “worship” Trump. I’m painfully aware of some of his faults but right now we need to save our state and country. He is what we have and reality is reality. I never thought I was such a committed Republican as I’ve become this last year.

    • ” Unfortunately, sterling character does not preclude foolish and ill considered communications”

      ” Wikipedia has plenty to say supporting context”

      So does Democrat Underground but that doesn’t give it credibility !

    • It’s obvious that this entire article is partisan to the GOP. Thanks for responding and clarifying your position.

  • Paul Dale I find your assessment of Ben Carpenter inaccurate. I have worked closely with him in Juneau for 2 years. I haven’t found a single legislator who is more thoughtful, open minded or intelligent when assimilating & analyzing information and attempting to implement meaningful changes to help get Alaska back on a sustainable path through the morass of our state government. He’s intellectually honest – a rare bird in Juneau. Ben has clearly spoken to – and acted upon – his stance on critically important issues – many of which he asked you above – with no response. Attacking the messenger when you can’t attack his message speaks volumes. You speak to ADN about partisanship while picking one “soundbite” and go negative with a campaign attack ad. I would note, Alaskans are waking up regarding wolfs in sheep’s clothing candidates running as independent, undeclared or non-partisan when they are anything but. To put a “D” by their name means they won’t get that coveted seat in the legislature in the last frontier. It’s fast becoming the least hidden secret of the democrat machine in Alaska. Who will you caucus with and will you give your vote to a binding caucus? The questions, sir, only get harder from there. Candidates who refuse to answer – in my experience – have by default given us their answer. In closing, I find it fascinating you say he has no filter in communicating with others and this is a problem for a state representative. I have quite the opposite reaction – I find it refreshing Ben tells you honestly what he thinks without a “political” filter. Your comment leads me to believe you think political leaders, of which you have been in the past and wish to be again, should “filter” what they say to others. Frankly? It’s one of the things which got us here – politicians who aren’t honest and transparent about who they are and what they believe – and Alaska needs to do much better than that.

  • “[O]thers who were not Germans.” That sentence reveals a universe of ignorance where your knowledge of German history under the Nazis is concerned.

    Jews, deprived of their human rights and subsequently murdered by the Nazis, were first stripped of their citizenship. How? By the passage and implementation of the ANTISEMITIC Nuremberg Laws on September 15, 1935. Annihilation of the Jewish people was ALWAYS the first goal of the Nazis.

    The Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942, later established the faster “industrialized” methods the eagerly impatient Nazis would use — the”Final Solution” — for extinguishing 6 million Jewish lives. They actually schemed to destroy 11 million Jews, but were thwarted in achieving the full scale of their incalculable evil when Allied forces erased that regime from the Earth.

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