Podesta likens GOP to Jonestown cult
Obama's most recent hire, former Clinton hatchet man John Podesta, compared the Republican party to the Jonestown cult earlier this year.
The administration's big comeback should "focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress," Podesta told Politico Magazine.
I don't think he was talking about Democrats.
Podesta may sound like your average liberal blogger at times, but his view of Repiblicans is actually pretty mainstream in the Democratic party.
Speaker Boehner's spokesman reminded people just what Jonestown was all about:
Speaker John Boehner's office ripped John Podesta, the incoming counselor to President Barack Obama, for comments he made to POLITICO, comparing House Republicans to followers of Jim Jones, who murdered five people, including then-Rep. Leo Ryan, before committing mass suicide in Guyana in 1978.
"For those who've forgotten, a Democratic member of Congress was murdered in Jonestown and a current one, Rep. Jackie Speier, was shot five times during the same incident," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement to reporters. "If this is the attitude of the new White House, it's hard to see how the president gets anything done again."
Amid calls for his resignation, Podesta eventually apologized:
A key conservative House Republican called on President Obama Wednesday to fire his new adviser, John Podesta, after Podesta compared the House GOP to members of the Jonestown cult who were responsible for 918 deaths in 1978.
In the interview, which occurred in earlier this fall, before he was tapped by the president, Podesta told Politico the administration should "focus on executive action, given that they are facing a second term cult worth of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress." Podesta, the founder of a progressive think tank and a onetime White House chief of staff under former President Bill Clinton, was advising the White House to sidestep a fractious Congress to enact its agenda, but his comparison, predictably, didn't sit well with House Republicans.
"It's disgraceful and telling that President Obama's new Counselor is not only comparing the Republican Party to a cult that murdered those who disagreed with them, but is also using that comparison as an argument in support of shredding the Constitution and governing like a third-world dictator," said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the influential chair of the Republican Study Committee, in a statement. "President Obama ran to change the tone in Washington, and it's time for him to live up to that promise by relieving Mr. Podesta of his official duties immediately."
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, chimed in with his own condemnation. "For those who've forgotten, a Democratic member of Congress was murdered in Jonestown and a current one, Rep. Jackie Speier, was shot five times during the same incident," Brendan Buck said in a statement to reporters. "If this is the attitude of the new White House, it's hard to see how the president gets anything done again."
Podesta apologized via Twitter on Wednesday after his combustible remarks caught fire. "In an old interview, my snark got in front of my judgment," he wrote. "I apologize to Speaker Boehner, whom I have always respected."
Glenn Reynolds snarks, "Hmm. Is it the GOP who's suicidally following a cult-like figure? . . . ."
Not hardly. But remember, this is the new Obama, the bi-partisan Obama, the kinder, gentler, softer, get-along-go-along Obama.
Looks like he's got the right man for the job.