Last week, Tea Party Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) threatened to exact revenge for President Obama’s decision to recess appoint four officials by engaging in a scorched earth campaign of obstruction against each of the president’s nominees. In an apparent effort to cede what little remaining credibility he has on this issue, he then followed this threat up yesterday by comparing Obama’s decision to appoint four consumer and worker protection officials to an unprovoked attack that killed 2,402 Americans and thrust America into the final four years of a bitter world war:
Lee’s phrase “a day that will live on in infamy,” is nearly a word for word transcription of the opening line in President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech seeking a declaration of war following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Nearly 420,000 Americans would die in that war, and we were in many ways the lucky ones. Over 2.5% percent of the world’s population died in World War II — totaling more than 60 million lives lost.
It’s common, of course, to express outrage at this point in a blog post highlighting such a bizarre and offensive comparison as Lee’s analogy between Obama’s wholly legal appointments and America’s forced entry into an horrific war. And Lee’s comment is unquestionably outrageous. Nevertheless, the most appropriate emotion is pity. Pity for this angry little man who can’t tell the difference between an constitutional maneuver he disagrees with and a global calamity that ended only after humankind birthed and detonated a weapon that continues to threaten our very existence seven decades later.
Ultimately, however, far more pity should be reserved for the people of Utah who, for at least five more years, must be represented in the Senate by a man who confuses personal disagreements with great human tragedies, who confuses our Constitution with a mandate to destroy Social Security and Medicare, and who openly admits to using sabotage and extortion in order to push his dangerous agenda.