July 14, 2010

The North Iowa Tea Party has buckled in response to criticism and has removed their billboard.

The North Iowa Tea Party has experienced cold feet. On Wednesday the group replaced a billboard comparing Barry Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin, calling the sign a bad decision that reflected poorly on the organization, according to the Associated Press. The billboard was in downtown Mason, Iowa,

Last week the 200 member Tea Party in Iowa decided to put up the billboard. It showed Hitler, Obama, and Lenin with the words “National Socialism,” and “Marxist Socialism.” It was decided to remove the billboard after other Tea Party groups and leaders criticized its message and images.

North Iowa Tea Party co-founder Bob Johnson said he agreed the images of Hitler and Lenin on either side of an image of Obama 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.”

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The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, a New York-based group, said the image of Hitler was inappropriate. “We ask that political groups do not trivialize our suffering in the future by making false analogies with Hitler’s horrendous crimes,” the group said in a statement.

The North Iowa Tea Party plans to replace the billboard with a new one featuring a quote from Thomas Jefferson. “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government,” the Jefferson quote purportedly says. Critics argue that Jefferson never made the statement.

“It’s going to be little more bland,” Johnson told the Associated Press. “We paid for a month, so we don’t want to waste the money.”

The Tea Party has been a “little more bland” since it was hijacked by establishment Republicans and former McCain running mate Sarah Palin was declared its unofficial leader.

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