A Republican member of the Florida Legislature stood by the phrasing “mask Nazis” in response to a call to recant and apologize for the words.
The Anti-Defamation League of Florida urged Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican, to retract the description of advocates of mandatory mask policies.
“In a recent post, Sabatini used ‘Mask-Nazis’ to refer to those who support wearing masks to prevent #COVID19. Invoking the Nazis in an attempt to delegitimize political opponents has no place in civil discourse. We call on him to retract the tweet + apologize,” the ADL tweeted Tuesday evening.
Sabatini responded, for his part, with a depiction of the so-called “Soup Nazi” from the TV show “Seinfeld,” with the trademark phrasing “No soup for you.”
The suggestion was that he didn’t take the ADL call seriously. This continues a pattern of provocative statements from the lawmaker.
Last week, the legislator suggested reading material for what he called “mask Nazis” on Twitter.
He suggested slides from health websites of various Scandinavian countries discouraging mask wearing.
But those comments were of a piece with previous provocative statements that roiled most everyone but Republicans in the Capitol.
A Sabatini comment this Spring about AR-15s greeting “protesters” in his home county did not upset the Republican House Speaker enough to take action.
“Attention potential ‘protesters’ coming near Lake County, FL. This is an AR-15 — this will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business — FYI!”
Democrats flagged the tweet with appeals to House Speaker Jose Oliva to address the matter. However, the Hialeah Republican said Sabatini’s social media output was of no concern.
The AR-15 comment was “provocative,” Oliva said, but “directed specifically at a hypothetical party.”
Presumably, concerns about Sabatini’s latest will be dismissed in the same manner.
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) June 30, 2020