You Stay Classy, John Burton

California Democratic Party chair John Burton is an expert on Nazi propaganda. Just ask him:

Charlotte – Greetings from the California delegation breakfast at the DNC where before he had a cup of coffee Democratic Party Chair John Burton – much like his ol’ palGuv Jerry Brown once did – just compared the Republicans to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, for “telling the big lie,” a reference to several falsehoods GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan recently told.

“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie… Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it,” Burton said Monday before the Blake Hotel breakfast. He said Ryan told “a bold-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”

Reminded that Brown drew heat for comparing the messaging of Meg Whitman’s 2010 GOP gubernatorial campaign to Goebbels, he said sarcastically, “(Bleep) that’s right, she won the election!

Burton shrugged at Brown getting in trouble. “He won it big. Goddam he was in trouble.”

Burton is incensed by the distortions uttered by Ryan, who he referred to as a “horse’s ass.” (Although, as you’ll see in the below video, the Chairman is a bit off on his facts, too. Then-Sen. Obama was a candidate when he made comments about a GM plant.)

There’s a difference between lying and embellishing, Burton said. “Everybody who has run for office has embellished – except for me of course,” said the longtime politician. But if you can’t trust someone on the basic facts, he said, how can you trust them to tell you the truth on Medicare?

(Interesting coincidence: Brown originally dropped his Goebbels reference when he bumped into KCBS reporter Doug Sovern while jogging. It was Sovern — again– who was interviewing Burton with me when Goebbels surfaced again. We’ll be posting Doug’s full audio of the interview shortly.)


This is the same John Burton who resigned from Congress in 1982 due to his addiction to cocaine and alcohol. This is the same John Burton whose Congressman brother Phil may have been one of the nastiest politicians who ever graced the DC political scene. Calling anyone a “horse’s ass” triggers a desire to throw back the age old adage, “Takes one to know one” regardless of how juvenile it sounds. After all, if you’re going to make a high school comparison of Republicans to Nazis, may as well throw a sophomoric come back in his face.

We are apparently going to continuously hear the word “lie” as it is applied to Republicans this week in Charlotte. What we won’t hear is an explanation for why what Romney and Ryan are saying is a lie. This also was a favorite Goebbels trick: accuse the opponent of lying loudly and often when what they are saying is the God’s honest truth.

To be sure, Romney-Ryan are not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth about welfare and Medicare. The work requirement is not being eliminated — just made voluntary if states seek a waiver. And the $716 billion in Medicare cuts are also in the Ryan budget and, to be technically correct, was not being used to “pay” for Obamacare. They are, as Burton points out, “embellishing” the truth. But calling the charges a lie is ridiculous and saying that the GOP is using Nazi tactics is beyond the bounds of decency.


Yep — that’s John Burton all over.


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