Guy Cecil, director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), charged in a fundraising email that attendees at a tea party rally waved signs with Nazi symbols and that the violent fervor of tea partiers is resulting in a “full-fledged resurgence” for the small-government movement.
“At one tea party rally this week, mobs chanted ‘Waterboard Obama, Waterboard Hillary,'” according to Cecil’s fundraising email, which he sent to supporters May 24. “At another, radicals waved signs with Nazi symbols.”
“A surge of tea party rallies is spiraling into a full-fledged resurgence,” Cecil wrote. “If we don’t respond, we’ll see a Republican takeover reminiscent of 2010 — and the Senate will look like the tea party House. The election may seem far away. But if we can’t raise $500,000 before the [Federal Election Commission] FEC end-of-month deadline, it will be impossible to keep pace with the Republican machine.”
Cecil’s statement about the Nazi signs was reportedly based on an “out-of-context” interpretation of a recent New York Times article.
When confronted on Twitter about his claim, Cecil linked to a May 21 Times story that reported that tea partiers compared the scandal-plagued IRS, which admittedly targeted the tax-exempt nonprofit status of conservative groups, to the Nazi party.
“On Tuesday, rallies across the country to protest the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status recalled those glory days, drawing colorful crowds in three-cornered hats, with members singing patriotic songs and waving provocative signs like ‘Fire the Liars’ and ‘I.R.S.S.’ — the last two letters drawn like the lightning bolts of the Nazi SS,” The New York Times reported.
Conservatives sharply criticized Cecil’s remarks.
“It’s amazing that during a time when the IRS is embroiled in a scandal for illegally using its taxpayer-funded offices and personnel to target the very tax payers affording its existence, the DSCC attempts to smear again the victim of this targeting with unproven Nazi sympathizer allegations as a way to raise money — especially as the DSCC has tried to use the IRS to before target the right,” conservative commentator Dana Loesch wrote for RedState.
As The Daily Caller has reported, the IRS formed a “team of specialists” to review conservative and tea party tax-exempt nonprofit applications in April 2010 (page 13 of the Treasury Inspector General’s report).
The tea party movement, then in its early stages, made national headlines with an organized Capitol Hill rally against Obamacare on March 21, 2010 — mere weeks before the IRS formed its “team of specialists.”