Mary Miller, our newly elected representative in Congress, could have drawn from the collective wisdom of countless thoughtful Americans as she addressed the group “Moms for America” in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

Inexplicably – inexcusably – she invoked Adolf Hitler instead.

She must apologize, and she should be censured by the U.S. House of Representatives, the body into which she had been inducted just two days before making her remarkably tone-deaf and insensitive remarks.

“Each generation has the responsibility to teach the next generation,” Miller, a Republican from Oakland, told the group of moms gathered near the Capitol. “You know, if we win a few elections we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said whoever has the youth has the future.”

The comment rightly drew harsh criticism from both sides of the political divide, according to The Associated Press.

Illinois Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger and state GOP Chairman Tim Schneider, condemned the comments.

“That language is wrong and disgusting. We urge Congresswoman Miller to apologize,” Schneider said in a statement.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat who is Jewish, called the remarks “unfathomable.”

“Let me be clear: Hitler got nothing right,” he told reporters Wednesday. “This reprehensible rhetoric has no place in our politics.”

The head of the World Jewish Congress, an international organization, blasted Miller’s comment as “simply outrageous.”

“One might expect this from white supremacists or neo-Nazis, but hearing the words ‘Hitler was right’ from the mouth of a member of the United States Congress is beyond acceptable behavior by any standards,” Ronald Lauder, the group’s president said in a statement.

We agree with and amplify that criticism. The Effingham Daily New asked Miller to respond and explain, but has not heard from her spokeswoman.

What’s so hard to understand is that there are so many better people than Hitler for a U.S. congresswoman to quote. (That’s a sentence we never dreamed we’d have to write.)

“An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends,” said Benjamin Franklin.

“Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults,” said Abraham Lincoln.

Heck, the late comedian George Carlin weighed in with: “Don’t just teach your kids to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything.”

We question what Mary Miller could possibly have been thinking.

Trump’s violent mob

The Effingham Daily News editorial board endorses this editorial by our CNHI sister newspaper, The Daily Item of Sunbury, Pennsylvania.

What happened in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday was anarchy.

It was sedition.

It was as close to a coup d’etat as we have ever seen in this nation.

Make no mistake. President Donald Trump was responsible.

He incited the storming of the Capitol building with his irresponsible comments during an hour-long invective to thousands of his fervent followers. They responded to his words by marching to the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump even put a target on the back of his vice president, Michael Pence, by lying to the crowd that Pence had the constitutional authority to overturn the Electoral College results and declare Trump the winner. Pence immediately issued a statement saying he had no such authority and would not do so.

This disgraceful frightening spectacle was sown from the seeds of Trump’s erratic and dangerous rhetoric over the past four years and in particular over the last two months.

Trump’s inability to accept the vote of the electorate, his disregard for the foundational elements of American democracy and his continued stoking of the fire of those who support him no matter what led to this awful moment.

The shame of what happened in our nation’s capital at our seat of government, the Capitol building, on Wednesday is unprecedented. It is shameful. It will never be forgotten.

It shouldn’t be. Every American should be embarrassed and frightened.

All of the lawmakers who have continued to object to the electors — when the election was clearly over and litigated — are no less culpable than Trump. They abetted his false narrative about a rigged election.

Each one of them helped give these terrorists legitimacy.

Each one helped put lives at risk, most especially those of law enforcement officials who tried to restore calm from chaos.

When the almost inevitable insurrection unfolded at the Capitol, Trump was for much of the time nowhere to be found.

He was the spectator-in-chief, likely still surrounded by sycophant enablers who helped bring us to this awful day. And when he did speak briefly on a video, he only made matters worse.

President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, Wednesday’s events not-withstanding, called on Trump to go on national television now “to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”

While Trump did urge his supporters to “go home,” he also continued to claim election fraud and called the rioters “very special.”

There have been many terrible days in our nation’s history.

Wednesday may have been the worst — mostly because it was a self-inflicted wound from a leader who campaigned on a promise to make America great again.

America was not great on Wednesday. Not even close.

The Daily Item, a CNHI newspaper

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"Our View" on the Opinion Page represents "the voice of the Effingham Daily News." It results from discussion by the editorial board: Publisher Amy Winter and Editor Jeff Long.

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