Taking to the Senate floor Thursday to defend America's labor unions Thursday, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, claimed the Republican Party and conservatives were working to outlaw unions, pit workers against one another and compared the GOP to "some of the worst governments we've ever had," including the brutal regimes of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.
"As a nation, I look back in history and some of the worst governments we've ever had, you know one of the the first thing they did? They went after the trade unions," Sherrod said. "Hitler didn't want unions, Stalin didn't want unions. [Former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak didn't want independent unions."
He then tried to clarify his remarks, claiming he wasn't comparing the debate in Wisconsin to Hitler and Stalin, "but I am saying that history is teaching us that unions are a very positive force in society that creates a middle class and protects our freedom," he said.
"We've seen a real play on fear. They're trying to pit the private sector workers against the public-sector workers," Sherrod continued. "That is the most base Karl Rove-type politics to turn working-class people one against another."
Sherrod's heated rhetoric comes as protests continue against "anti-union" bills being considered by a number of state legislatures, most notably in Wisconsin where Democrats have fled the state rather than participate in an up-or-down vote. GOP-backed bills in those states seek to limit public employees' ability to collectively bargain with the state to help cut costs.
The inflammatory rhetoric doesn't stop with Sherrod, however. Earlier this week, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., claimed that abolishing collective bargaining rights was akin to re-instituting slavery.
"Collective bargaining is something that is so close to slavery in terms of abolishing it, that it is not an American concept to tell people that they cannot discuss their economic position," Rangel said Monday.