We're guessing Scott Wagner is a pretty bright guy.

It took more than luck to become the successful, wealthy businessman he is.

So we're a bit surprised our newest state senator has never heard of Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies, commonly referred to in Internet debates.

Created by American author and lawyer Michael W. Godwin in 1990, the humorous adage goes like this: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

In other words, it's inevitable.

As online forums flourished, a whole set of rules grew around the saying, also known as Godwin's Law.

Our favorite is the one that says whenever a Hitler comparison is used in a Web discussion, the thread is immediately ended and the person who used the comparison automatically loses the debate.

That makes perfect sense to us. Such an analogy is almost always inappropriate. In our opinion, the person who plays the Hitler card has little understanding of history — and apparently little in the way of facts actually pertinent to the argument at hand.

Wagner might have had something intelligent to add to the debate last week in the Senate about so-called "paycheck protection" reform, under which government employers wouldn't be able to automatically withdraw dues from union members' paychecks.

Instead, here's what everyone heard:


"The unions are about power and control. And there are two things that I continue to remember about power and control," the Spring Garden Township Republican said on the floor. "There was a gentleman by the name of Hitler, he was about power and control. There's a gentleman by the name of Putin, who's across the ocean, that's about power and control."

Wagner actually doubled down the next day while trying to explain his remarks, saying he also could add Joseph Stalin and Moammar Gadhafi to that list.

By Friday, the senator acknowledged his "unfortunate analogy," but he refused to apologize for his anger "about the injustice being done to my constituents."

After all, paycheck protection is, he said, his No. 1 priority.

First, let us say really? Preventing automatic union dues is Wagner's No. 1 priority?

When did that happen? When asked during his campaign, he told us property tax reform was at the top of his list, along with government efficiency and getting spending under control. Paycheck protection wasn't mentioned.

Maybe his priorities changed since March, when he won a special election to the Senate, or maybe he'd like to argue that high property taxes are directly tied to union dues.

But comparing union members to Nazis is offensive. Unions helped build this country's middle class and create safe environments for hard-working Americans.

Wagner said he doesn't intend to stop speaking his mind, and he encouraged constituents to vote him out of office if they disagree.

If what he says continues to be so off the wall, they should probably take his advice.