Iowa Tea Party Removes Obama/Hitler/Lenin Billboard

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 14, 2010 9:15PM

A sign a Tea Party group in Iowa commissioned that compared President Obama to both Hitler and Lenin has been covered up and will be removed. The billboard, seen above, was originally the brain child of members of the North Iowa Tea Party. But it seems this example of expression, which towered over the metropolis of Mason City, Iowa, was a bit too much even for fellow Tea Partiers, albeit only after the billboard drew criticism.

North Iowa Tea Party co-founder Bob Johnson said he and other leaders agreed with critics that the image of Obama between Hitler and Lenin was offensive. He said the images overwhelmed the intended message of anti-socialism.

"They are absolutely right in their criticism because the image of Hitler just totally wiped everything else and it misrepresents the tea party movement," Johnson said. "They were right from the standpoint that the image was not a positive reflection on the tea people."

Will other anti-Obama billboards have sprung up around the nation, none have apparently gone this far in their criticism. Johnson says a new billboard will go up soon but this one will feature a quote most attribute to Thomas Jefferson rather than compare our President to a leader most often associated with genocide. And so Tea Party leaders are trying to distance themselves from the billboard. John White, coordinator of the Iowa Tea Party movement, told the Globe Gazette, "At our last rally we saw some people with these kinds of signs and asked people to put them down. It’s borderline hate crime.” Of course, as he kept talking, White undermined any goodwill he might have established.

White said he understood the path a Tea Party sympathizer might take in comparing Obama to Hitler. He alleged that an incident last fall found the Obama administration encouraging people to contact government officials when friends or neighbors did not agree with Obama. He said as soon as the news hit the media, the administration apparently ended the practice. “It may not have even been Obama’s idea,” he said. But that kind of action could be considered “Hitleresque” by some, although he himself finds the images on the signs as “non-productive and slanderous.”

Of course, as the other images above show, we're, sadly, growing used to this sort of thing, even right here in Chicago. Tea Party Princess Sarah Palin hasn't commented as far as we can find; she was apparently too busy loading a shotgun.