HUCKABEE EQUATES NATIONAL DEBT WITH HOLOCAUST, BRISTLES AT CRITICISM…. Over the weekend, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) raised a few eyebrows when she drew a parallel between the Holocaust and the U.S. national debt. The same evening, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) delivered the keynote address to a National Rifle Association gathering, and made nearly an identical argument.

[Huckabee] offered an anecdote that seemingly compared silence in the face of mounting debt in modern America to those who said nothing about the rise of the Nazis.

He recalled a family trip years ago to a Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. He said he was comforted when his young daughter, at the end of the tour, wrote unbidden in the guest book: “Why didn’t anybody do something?”

“Let there never be a time in this country when some father has to look over his daughter’s shoulder and see her ask the haunting question, ‘why didn’t somebody do something?’” he said.

As a substantive matter, this is deeply crazy. That Huckabee actually believes this nonsense is a reminder that, beneath the folksy demeanor, the guy is a deeply troubling ideologue.

But what was especially interesting about this story was what happened next.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman was not at all pleased at Huckabee equating the Holocaust and the national debt, and chastised the former governor for his remarks. Michelle Goldberg reports that Huckabee didn’t take the criticism well.

After all he’s done for Israel, Mike Huckabee does not appreciate being criticized for comparing American debt to the Holocaust. Thus on Tuesday, when the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman chastised him for doing just that, he responded with anger and a hint of menace, saying, “Israel and Jewish people need to make friends, not insult the ones they have.” Such words are unlikely to convince many Jews that Huckabee is their ally.

Worse, Huckabee then asked for Abe Foxman to retract the criticism and apologize to Huckabee for daring to question his remarks.

It’s a fascinating perspective — the former governor believes he’s a friend of Israel, which effectively gives him free rein to say what he pleases, even if that means equating the Holocaust to our national debt.

Even for Huckabee, this is ridiculous.

Update: Adding insult to injury, the estimable Steve Kornacki reminds me that Huckabee has likened the Holocaust to the debt before, including at a campaign event in 2007.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.