Another Republican Cites Hitler – This Time Against Lincoln

Following White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s anti-Semitic and historically inaccurate Hitler-Assad comparison earlier this week, some Republicans have strangely been defending the embattled spokesman with one lawmaker going so far as to (inaccurately) claim Spicer’s Hitler propaganda had “some validity.” Now a North Carolina Republican is in the news for carrying that Hitler-centric logic to the next level by comparing Abraham Lincoln to Hitler arguing the former president was a “tyrant.”

State Congressman Larry Pittman – a North Carolina Republican – made the atrocious comparison in a (now-deleted) comment on a Facebook post on his official congressional Facebook page.

The original Facebook post – dated March 22, 2017 – served as a ‘legislative update’ and included many bills he’s proposed, will propose, or has interest in. Here are some of the more pertinent sections:

HB 62, Woman’s Right to Know Addition-Ashley’s Law: This would require that before an abortionist gives a mother the first pill in an RU486 abortion procedure, the mother must be informed that the process can be reversed, and must be given information about where and how to get help with that. It would also require that before the mother receives the second pill, she must be given proof that the baby is dead. I introduced this bill at the request of the doctor who devised the method for reversing the RU486 abortion process. Over 200 babies have been saved by this reversal process over the past ten years. I believe that if a mother changes her mind after taking the first pill, she deserves the chance to save her baby, and thus has a right to the information about how it can be done.

I have also cosponsored numerous bills, which I will not attempt to catalogue here. You can look on the NCGA website under my name and see all the bills I have introduced or cosponsored.

Please keep me in your prayers.

God bless,

Rep. Larry G. Pittman

In the comments, a thread this week began referring to the now-tabled bill Pittman co-sponsored that would attempt to nullify the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges that clarified same-sex couples are constitutionally entitled to the same right to marry as opposite-sex couples. Indy Week captured the exchange, including the now-deleted comment(s) Pittman made:

Here’s the continuation of comments about his legislation targeting LGBTQ marriage equality:

Basically, someone commented that Pittman’s law would attempt (unsuccessfully, because the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause is a thing) to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court in reinstating discrimination in North Carolina.

Angry over being called evil for explicitly targeting LGBTQ people’s rights, Pittman lashed out saying, “It would not be reinstatement. It would be upholding the law of this State in spite of the opinion of a federal court that had no business interfering.”

That comment garnered a plethora of responses including one saying, “the Civil War is over. The Fed won. Get over it.”

That apparently pushed Pittman’s buttons to the point of revealing his feelings about civil rights, slavery, former President Lincoln and more.

“And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort if [sic] tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

Responding immediately to the comment, North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin published a statement saying, “When American ultra-conservatives have come to believe beloved Abraham Lincoln is equivalent to Hitler, their politics have jumped the shark and gone from eye-rolling to dangerous for our democratic republic.”

Other than his statements comparing one of his party’s most revered leaders to one of history’s most notorious murders, Pittman is also an Obama birther and has called Planned Parenthood “murder for hire.”

Outside of the obvious crude nature of his comparison, Pittman appears to lack a basic grasp of the U.S. Constitution and how the Supremacy Clause works. Moreover, his comments seem to support pre-Civil War America where slavery was law and civil rights (as protected by the Civil Rights Act) weren’t a reality. His version of Tenth Amendment states’ rights is one of the most extreme in the nation based on this reading of his belief the Civil War was “unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

As Tom McKay at Mic noted:

While Lincoln did overstep his constitutional powers during the American Civil War, most notably by ordering the suspension of habeas corpus (right to fair trial) and declaring martial law, Pittman is engaging in some serious neo-Confederate revisionism. The Confederates launched the first shots of the war at South Carolina’s Fort Sumter, and were notably motivated by preserving by force one of the most atrocious institutions in U.S. history: industrial-scale slavery throughout the entire antebellum South.

Lincoln, of course, also freed the slaves. Though it took an entire abolitionist movement to convince him to do so, the whole Emancipation Proclamation thing seems rather antithetical to Hitler’s outlook on the matter.

Pittman’s remarks are seemingly in sync with the increasingly racially hostile tone of the Republican Party’s far-right factions amid the rise of President Donald Trump, which has energized white supremacists across the country. Some other prominent GOP officials like Maine Gov. Paul LePage have not abandoned Lincoln’s legacy, but used it as an excuse to whitewash Trump’s history of bigoted remarks.

It should come as no surprise that outside his legislative duties, Pittman serves as a pastor at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Much like his legislation, his priorities lean to Christian Dominionism instead of Constitutional protection of individual rights.

In fact, one of the leading mantras among the neo-confederate Dominionist right is the belief that Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant that launched an unwarranted attack on states’ rights.

If you’d like to reach out to state Congressman Pittman, you can reach him on Facebook or at his congressional offices.


Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.


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