Congressmen Tom Tiffany (R-WI) and Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI) are asking for your money to prevent President Joe Biden from doing to America what Hugo Chavez did to Venezuela.

No, really. We can’t make this stuff up.

“It took Hugo Chavez years to push Venezuela’s once-prosperous economy to brink of collapse,” Tiffany and Fitzgerald wrote in an email to their fundraising list. “But just over 100 days into Joe Biden’s term, he and Nancy Pelosi’s ‘rubber stamp’ Congress are taking our country down that same dangerous road.”

The “road” the congressmen then describe is the shutdown of an oil pipeline due to cyberterrorism, which they claim is the fantasy of Biden, Pelosi, Michigan Governor Christine Whitmer and the rest of the Democratic Party.

“If they get their way, the gas lines and fuel shortages gripping parts of our country today could go national tomorrow,” Fitzgerald and Tiffany wrote.

Let’s remember what Chavez actually did in Venezuela. He declared “economic war” on wealthy opponents, nationalized industries, used mobs to attack his opponents, violently suppressed the previously-free press, and arrested his critics. In addition, Chavez ran up deficit spending and instituted prices controls, resulting in shortages across the country (including food). In directing Venezuela’s foreign policy, Chavez preferred the support of dictatorships. At home, Chavez expressed his admiration for past dictators in South America and even employed Cuban and Peronist advisors.

To compare the failure of the Biden Administration to prevent the hacking of a private company’s oil pipeline with the Venezuela dictatorship is beyond hyperbole. And, given the current political atmosphere which Tiffany and Fitzgerald helped create, the comparison is completely irresponsible.

As Fitzgerald and Tiffany are well aware, many of their supporters believe the Q-Anon, My Pillow Guy and Rudy Giuliani conspiracy theories that somehow Venezuela was at least partially responsible for the “theft” of the 2020 presidential election. By invoking Chavez, Fitzgerald and Tiffany (both of whom voted to decertify the 2020 presidential election results) are probably hoping that the paranoid wing of the party comes through with some cash. The congressmen are probably hoping the rest of the GOP donor base just stops at “socialism” without following the implications of what Fitzgerald and Tiffany are saying to their supporters.

But comparing Biden to a murderous authoritarian Marxist regime is just adding fuel to the same fire of the attempted violent insurrection on January 6. As we have repeatedly pointed out, when one side believes the absolute worst about the other side, any action is not only possible but permissible. Fitzgerald and Tiffany, whether it is their intent or not, are giving their followers justification for any action by their supporters that might follow their equating Biden’s presidency with one of the worst regimes in the Western Hemisphere.

We suspect Fitzgerald and Tiffany are missing the irony of their fundraising email. After the attack on the Capitol on January 6, Fitzgerald and Tiffany did exactly what the domestic terrorists wanted: supporting the attack on the peaceful transfer of power in the United States by voting to decertify the election results. Chavez’s violent mobs attacking his opponents found an echo on the Capitol steps, and Fitzgerald and Tiffany just supported hiding the evidence by voting against a bipartisan commission to look into what happened on January 6.

Now Fitzgerald and Tiffany are looking to cash in using the same level of rhetoric that inspired the violence at the Capitol. They should resign from their offices in shame, if they were capable of feeling any.

Maybe we should be grateful they didn’t compare Biden to Stalin. Oh, wait, that whole Russia thing might be awkward.