Yesterday, Red Phillips relayed word of a controversy in Georgia that revolves around a comment by GA Libertarian Party Operations Director Brett Bittner. In a Facebook comment, Bittner had noted that Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal is on the same side of the immigration issue as members of the National Socialist Movement, and linked to a post at IPR on a neo-Nazi anti-immigration rally recently held in Los Angeles.
A number of Georgia Republicans took offense, with one calling it “extremely offensive and inappropriate” that the Libertarian would state that “Nathan Deal and everyone associated with the Georgia Republican Party are white supremacist Naizs because they’re against illegal immigration.” (See the post by Red Phillips above.) The problem, however, is that this is not what Bittner had said, nor is this equation even implied by his comment. Bittner had rather pointed out that Nathan Deal and the National Socialist Movement share the same position on immigration policy, ironically stating that Deal was in “good company.”
As it turns out, members of the white supremacist movement have been supporters of GOP gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal for years. From my post on this “controversy” at Poli-Tea:
Nathan Deal is a vocal and active opponent of illegal immigration. As a member of the House of Representatives, the Democrat-turned-Republican introduced a bill to rework the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in order to eliminate birthright citizenship . . . in the present context it is worth noting that white supremacists and Nazis do support Nathan Deal because of his stance on illegal immigration . . .
A search of the web forum Stormfront demonstrates longtime support for Nathan Deal in the white supremacist and Nazi community. A post from 2005 carries an “Urgent” announcement regarding the bill introduced by Deal mentioned above, urging readers to pressure their representatives to support it . . . Others in the forum voiced support, saying, for instance: “This sounds good to me! This would get rid of the “Anchor baby” that all Illegal aliens try to foist on us as “They are Americans” Baloney!” [sic.]
Deal’s bill has received fairly regular attention, and an almost wholly positive reception, at Stormfront over the years. From 2007: “I like this mans thinking. Anchor babies must go to. I concider them illegal as well.” [sic.] More recently, Deal received an “Amen” for advocating that Georgia adopt an immigration policy modeled on Arizona’s controversial new law. Contributors to Stormfront have also appreciated Nathan Deal’s efforts to obtain a copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate . . . [See original post for source links.]
In response, Gene Berkman commented on the reasons why extremists would back mainstream candidates:
Extremists back mainstream candidates, and praise actions of mainstream politicians for several reasons.
(a) on any issue, the direction of an action is important, even if it does not go far enough for the extremist. So a Communist will back a Democrat that favors nationalized health care, even if the Dem. does not want to nationalize steel factories. A Nazi will favor conservative candidates who are for restricting immigration, even if they don’t go as far as the Nazi will.
(b) Extremists seek support from the same constituencies that back mainstream parties and mainstream candidates. The Communist Party does not just back Democrats – they attack other left wing third parties that might split the vote. . . .
no mainstream candidate, and no third party candidate, can avoid having crazy people among their supporters, so keep that in mind when discussing political controversies.
But why was Bittner’s comment picked up and trumpeted by likely supporters of Nathan Deal to begin with? One Georgian political observer argues that Georgia Republicans fear a strong showing by GA Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Monds. SWGA Politics writes “Of Brett Bittner and Erick Erickson”:
Erick is seeking to discredit the Libertarian Party of Georgia because he sees that it is entirely possible that John Monds could get 20% of the vote on November 2, thereby earning LP-Ga the same ballot access that is currently enjoyed by only the Democrats and Republicans in Georgia. Erick doesn’t want that to happen, because it would threaten his Party’s deathgrip on this State – even though Republicans over the last 8 years have shown themselves to be little better than the Democrats before them or their National counterparts when it comes to fiscal conservatism and individual liberty.
John Monds is currently polling 5% support and may force a runoff in the Georgia gubernatorial race.