KANSAS CITY, MO — Commuters in Missouri traveling north to Kansas City on Highway 71 might see a yellow billboard likening President Obama to homicidal despots Adolph Hitler and Mao Tse-Tung.
A shadowy organization named after Francis Marion is raising funds to post these billboards in the heartland. This one shows pictures of Hitler under "National Socialism," Mao under "Marxist Socialism" and President Obama under "Democratic Socialism."
"In troubled times, the fearful and naive are always drawn to charismatic radicals," the billboard says. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Such comparisons are not merely on the fringe of American politics. Writing about the White House's dealings with BP after the oil spill, conservative writer Thomas Sowell in June compared President Obama to Hitler and former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin recommended the column to her followers on twitter. Palin did not respond to a tweet asking if she was comfortable with the Hitler comparison.
Last month the North Iowa Tea Party displayed a similar billboard in downtown Mason City, comparing the president to Hitler and Russian despot Vladimir Lenin. "Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive," that billboard read. The North Iowa Tea Party took down that billboard after national Tea Party leaders criticized it.
"When you compare Obama to Hitler, that to me does a disservice to the Jews who both survived and died in the Holocaust and to the Germans who lived under Nazi regime rule," said Tea Party Patriots official Shelby Blakely.
This Missouri billboard provides the website address for the shadowy organization, www.francismarion.biz, an organization that lists a P.O. box at a UPS store in Cumming, Georgia, as its point of contact. No one at the group responded to an email request for more information.
Marion was a South Carolinian who fought against the British and is considered one of the founders of guerilla warfare. Mel Gibson's character in the film "The Patriot" was modeled after Marion, called "the Swamp Fox."
FrancisMarion.biz's mission statement says "We can honestly say that, we (the 'Angry Americans') are tired of the socialist abuse of our kindness. Hence, it is our mission to identify those socialist leaders, allow them to face the scrutiny and humility of America and educate our citizenship on their distructive (sic) purpose and goals."
It could not be immediately determined who owns this Missouri billboard, though a small caption reads: "the views of this advertisers do not necessarily reflect those of the advertising company."
The Francis Marion group also claims to be behind a billboard on Highway 35 West in Elmwood, Kansas, which calls the president a "LIAR" since the "V.A.T. raises taxes on EVERYONE!!!"
The president has not endorsed a the Value Added Tax, though it reportedly has been one of many ideas up for discussion on his debt reduction commission.
– Jake Tapper