If you’ve been following along, you might be aware that state Representative Larry Pittman, R-Carrabus, who recently introduced a doomed bill to make gay marriage illegal no matter what the Supreme Court says, has revealed his true colors yet again—this time, via a Facebook post that claimed Abraham Lincoln was the “same sort of tyrant” as Adolf Hitler and said the Civil War was unnecessary and unconstitutional.
As a quick recap, here's how it played out: yesterday, Pittman decided to update his 988 Facebook followers with a “legislative newsletter” outlining some of his recent progress on issues like abortion, guns, and getting rid of Common Core. Exciting!
Things picked up when commenters began taking apart Pittman's proposal to reinstate a ban on gay marriage. That led to a back-and-forth with Pittman, which (naturally) led to a discussion on states' rights, which led to a commenter quipping, “The Civil War is over. The Fed won. Get over it," which led to Lincolngate.
Within an hour or so of the INDY and then other media outlets reporting on Pittman’s comments, the North Carolina Democratic Party responded gleefully (and predictably): "Time after time, Rep. Pittman and his fellow ultra-conservative legislators have made outrageous statements, or have proposed ridiculous legislation, that embarrasses our state. Despite this, Speaker Moore has consistently failed to speak out against their actions.”
Indeed, there has been radio silence from House Speaker Tim Moore. (Moore has said Pittman’s gay-marriage bill is DOA.) Same goes for the N.C. Republican Party. We reached out to both seeking responses to Pittman’s comments, and neither responded. We also reached out to Pittman yesterday, to no avail.
Still, let’s be fair. Pittman is his own person—a special little snowflake on the fringe end of the fringe spectrum. You might remember him from such classics as calling for public hangings for doctors who perform abortions; introducing legislation to remove the ban on state secession; and jokingly wink-winking at President Trump's birther conspiracy theory that former President Obama was born in Kenya.
So, if the fringe beliefs espoused in Pittman's Facebook post don't represent the N.C. GOP, why haven’t Republicans put out a statement disavowing his comments? After all,the GOP is quite fond of calling itself the Party of Lincoln, whom Pittman—a Republican—just called a tyrant on par with Hitler, a genocidal mass murderer.
To be fair again, some Republicans have. Take, for instance, state Representative Chuck McGrady of Henderson County.
Wonder if he boycotts our annual Lincoln Day dinners? https://t.co/nf1PwinsNC— Rep. Chuck McGrady (@ChuckMcGrady) April 13, 2017
There is no other Republican Party than the party of Lincoln. If you don't like it, leave it. And don't let the door hit you on the way out. https://t.co/CxvFXST1Or— Brent Woodcox (@BrentWoodcox) April 12, 2017