Some of the most inflammatory rhetoric in recent days surrounding the health care debate has come from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who excused the racist, homophobic slurs at the recent Capitol Hill Tea Party by saying that they were a justifiable response to Democrats’ “totalitarian tactics.” He has also said Democratic congressmen from California are “part of this totalitarian regime in Washington” whose “votes are for sale.” McClatchy reports that he is now comparing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to infamous international dictators:
Nunes said Pelosi and her lieutenant, Rep. George Miller, D-Concord, want to cut off Valley irrigation water because “they are radical environmental crazies,” and he explicitly likened the House leaders’ water policies to those of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the current Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe.
Saddam’s forces killed between 30,000 and 60,000 of the so-called Marsh Arabs in the early 1990s, following an uprising encouraged by the first Bush administration after the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War. Saddam’s campaign included destroying marshlands. Mugabe’s corrupt security forces practice torture and “politically motivated, arbitrary and unlawful killings,” according to the State Department’s annual human rights report. Some activists allege Mugabe’s repressive tactics include cutting off water supplies to dissident cities.
Nunes also took a shot at aides who work on Capitol Hill, calling them “‘staff thugs,’ who watch over lawmakers during votes.” Nunes’ comments are similar to those of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who urged bankers to lobby against financial reform and not be deterred by the “little punk staffers” who work in Congress.