Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-MN) is out with a new book this week titled “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” an autobiography that from its very beginnings is as bombastic as the progressive politician himself.
In Representative Ellison’s introduction, he discusses racism and bigotry in American history. Citing an example from his hometown of Detroit, he notes that during the 1930s:
“Father Charles Edward Coughlin was perhaps the most influential and vocal anti-Semite in the country…His Sunday afternoon radio show…was one of the first to command a huge national audience, estimated at forty million listeners. Coughlin was the Rush Limbaugh of the Great Depression. He appealed to the “common man”–the white working class–railing against “the Jews” and defending the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in Germany. The radio priest’s hateful philosophy was spreading like a plague, but a few courageous leaders shone a light on his hatred, providing a beacon for good, decent Americans.”
Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, goes on to note that our “new national strain is hatred of Muslims.”
This is not the first time that Rush Limbaugh was compared to the infamous Father Coughlin in recent years.
In her 2011 book, “The Change I Believe In,” Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Editor and Publisher of The Nation, draws a parallel between Father Coughlin’s criticism of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and President Obama’s critics. Vanden Heuvel states, “Like Obama, Roosevelt also confronted well-funded business lobbies. And in the Catholic demagogue Father Coughlin, Roosevelt had his Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck in a Roman collar.”
Coincidentally, Vanden Heuvel follows this statement with a supporting quote from Representative Ellison.
His book, published by Simon & Schuster, was released on January 14th.