Stalin, Pol Pot and even Bashar Assad - dozens of the world's deadliest leaders have been paralleled with the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, but a somewhat less likely candidate for comparison joined their ranks on Wednesday as Republican representative Larry Pittman called former president Abraham Lincoln "the same sort of tyrant."
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Pittman made the comments on Facebook, responding to a post he wrote last month. And though they were later deleted from his page, the comments managed to stir controversy.
"And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it?" Pittman wrote in furing a back-and-forth with other commenters on a variety of issues. "Lincoln was the same sort if tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional."
Pittman's point of view was not received kindly by others in the political arena, with North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin writing on his Facebook page, "When American ultra-conservatives have come to believe beloved Abraham Lincoln is equivalent to Hitler, their politics have jumped the shark and gone from eye-rolling to dangerous for our democratic republic."
The representative's comments drew particular attention in the wake of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's claim at a briefing to reporters that Hitler never used chemical weapons during WWII. The comment, along with his calling Nazi concentration camps "Holocaust centers" came as Spicer attempted to highlight the severity of Syrian President Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons in that country's civil war.
Pittman, however, is no stranger to controversy based on his public comments, like when in 2013 he defended then president Barack Obama against those on the right calling him a traitor saying "I haven't come across any evidence yet that he has done one thing to harm Kenya."