On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer toasted what few crumbs of credibility he had by committing a mortal sin of political discourse — Saying “Hitler” In Any Conversation Not About Hitler.
The Fuhrer of the Third Reich is the Platinum Standard for Evil. Colon cancer polls more favorably. Comparing any tyrant or atrocity to Hitler or the Holocaust mocks history, humanity and the systematic slaughter of six million Jews under the direction of a messianic lunatic who would have burned down the world if the Allies hadn’t stopped him.
To make this comparison during Passover is astoundingly tone-deaf. Spicer did just that, suggesting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is worse than Hitler, “who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
Thrown a lifeline by a reporter offering a chance to chance to clarify his remarks, Spicer fashioned it into a noose and jumped into his mouth with both feet.
“I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no — he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad (sic) is doing…There was not, in the, (Hitler) brought them into the Holocaust centers…”
Spicer has been apologizing since, and half the planet is demanding he be fired from a cannon. Prominent Jewish organizations like the Anne Frank Center took it a step further, accusing Spicer of malicious anti-Semitism.
“On Passover no less, Sean Spicer has engaged in Holocaust denial, the most offensive form of fake news imaginable, by denying Hitler gassed millions of Jews to death,” executive director Steven Goldstein said.
“Spicer’s statement is the most evil slur upon a group of people we have ever heard from a White House press secretary. President Trump must fire him at once.”
As I write, Spicer is still employed, but this week’s “Saturday Night Live” season finale will likely star Melissa McCarthy in a “Farewell to Spicy” skit. If he is fired, Spicer will be just the latest victim of the Trump camp’s ruinous disdain for competence.
If a self-obsessed man-child with zero political or government experience can be president, how hard can the press secretary job be?
Hard. Really, really hard. Especially if you’re as unprepared and intellectually lazy as Spicer long ago proved himself to be. I was appalled at the stupidity and insensitivity of Spicer’s comments, but I didn’t hear the malicious anti-Semitism others did. I don’t think Spicer could spell “Holocaust denial,” let alone engage in it.
What I heard was an inept employee talk himself into a hole and keep digging. It may cost him his job, but not due to chronically poor performance. If performance mattered, Spicer would have been canned long ago.
Incompetence is a key qualification in the Trump administration. If you can demonstrate absolute unsuitability for the job, you’re hired. If Sean Spicer is fired, don’t be surprised if he is replaced by the CEO of United Airlines, or whoever wrote that Pepsi ad.