Fake Shock of the Day: Nazi’s

6 Aug

Three points:

1) John McCain is absolutely right (from Twitter/Facebook today):

Town hall meetings are an American tradition – we should allow everyone to express their views without disruption – even if we disagree!

Town hall meetings, in my opinion, should look like this:

Freedom of Speech

Being rude and disruptive is obnoxious at best, and detrimental to democracy at worst. Everyone has their say, and then the best idea wins. Disrupting is wrong when Code Pink does it, and wrong when anti-healthcare screamers do it. And whoever pays for Code Pink or the anti-healthcare folks to scream doesn’t matter – money is speech, and the super rich and drug corporations have an equal right to free speech.

2) As Pundit points out, comparisons to Nazi’s should be saved for, well, Nazi’s. Or Slobodan Milosevic. Or other similarly horrible destructive hateful evil-filled institutions. You don’t call someone a Nazi simply because they disagree with you. America works because there is a basic assumption that both Dem’s and R’s love this country and want the best for it – we just disagree on how to get there. Let’s not fuck that up.

3) Having said all that, I threw up a little bit in mouth today watching the shock (SHOCK) from liberal commentators about Nazi allusions from anti-healthcare protestors.

Where was the shock (SHOCK) from these anti-war commentators when their anti-war brethren did the same thing?




Rush is an idiot, and shouldn’t compare Obamacare to Nazism. But where was the shock (SHOCK) during seven years of Bush-Hitler comparisons from the left? I’m going to get pissed if I have to spend the next 4 years pointing out how everything the Left is mad at the Right for doing now, they did themselves while Bush was President.

16 Responses to “Fake Shock of the Day: Nazi’s”

  1. Alan Bedenko August 7, 2009 at 5:16 am #

    In re leftist use of Nazis: It was stupid. But just as stupid as earlier usage of, e.g., “Hitlery”. We can go on all day, but the point is that it’s just wrong, regardless of who does it. You’ll note that in my post I was exquisitely careful to make that exact point.

  2. Ethan August 7, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    wait, wait, are you kidding me? False Equivalence.

    When the de facto leaders of the party, not a handful of pissed off individuals, are dredging up the analogy, we have a whole different ballgame. Sorry. Yeah, you can find some signholders at anti-war rallies from 2003-4 with Bush=Hitler signs, but tell me which MAJOR MEDIA OUTLET was making the charge?


  3. Brian Castner August 7, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    @ Alan: Yes, you did make the exact point. I am not lumping you into the shocked (SHOCKED) liberal commentators I see on the teevee or on teh internets.

    @ Ethan: Put down the Maddow kool-aid, and just say using Nazi symbols is wrong whether its on the right or left. When the anti-war protests of 2003-2008 were going on, the left claimed “The American People want us out of Iraq” and cited tons of polls. You don’t get it both ways now, and can say those were just a couple of individuals. And Rush isn’t the de facto leader of the party – he’s an idiot with a big microphone. And which major media outlet was making the charge? Check my link to lefty groups who made the comparison of Bush to Hitler – its over 100 and includes groups like Air America and Moveon.org.

  4. Christopher Smith August 7, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly reach tens of millions of people each day through their radio shows, print columns, websites, television shows and appearances.

    In every city, there is a local right wing moron talk show host (like Bauerle) who take their lead and then gin up the angry rhetoric to an irresponsible level. For instance, on Bauerle’s show today, he said that Obama is organizing mobster elements in labor unions (the new Brownshirts, as he calls them) to break the legs of health care protesters. No, I’m not kidding.

    We essentially have the top cable network running a 24/7 right wing propaganda operation on which continual charges of our President being a terrorist sympathizer, socialist, communist, muslim sleeper agent nazi are leveled.

    I’d say that’s a wee bit different than left wing protesters and fringe commentators making the comparison during the Bush administration. Was it dumb then? Yes. Is it dangerous now? Absofuckinglutely.

  5. Jackstraw August 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    Obviously the propoganda is working wonders seeing that the Democratic party controls both houses and the presidency. I think it was great with both presidents. There’s not much difference between the two they’re basicly the same thing Obama’s just more of it. Thought Obama was gonna end the war…hmm.

  6. Ethan August 7, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    I don’t need Rachel Maddow to tell me about objective reality, Brian; by it’s very nature, it is self-evident.

    MoveOn didn’t generate nor endorse the analogy, but I guess your memory is selective. They had a contest, received a single video (out of hundreds,) and suffered a mighty inundation of invective for it from the very same people who are now making use of the same analogy. So, no: False Equivalence.

    And sorry, yes: Rush and Bill and Drudge are the de facto leaders, because the Rs have none otherwise. I mean, name one. Michael Steele obeys Rush, not the other way around, last time they butted heads iirc.

  7. Starbuck August 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    In re leftist use of Nazis: It was stupid. …You’ll note that in my post I was exquisitely careful to make that exact point.

    @BP – If I’m correctly interpreting Brian’s 3rd point, he was noting there was a noticeable lack of criticism back around the time of the examples he gave.

    From my POV, it’s fine that blogs like yours, Geek’s, Harding’s, and Colin’s _usually_ aren’t more balanced or bipartisan or semi-equally critical of left and right. There’s no good reason anybody should expect you to do that. But then what sounds weird is when several of you guys lately whine that Rus, for example, isn’t more balanced or bipartisan. -shrug-

  8. Brian Castner August 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    @ Chris: Jakstraw stole my thunder: if the right-wing propaganda machine is so great, where were the voters in November? Its not the big bad enemy it used to be: stop fighting it, and just pass some healthcare.

    @ Ethan: I guess your memory is as selective as mine: if you can explain away moveon.org, how do you explain away the other 99 groups making the Hitler=Bush comparison? Is it so hard to just say “Its dumb and bad whichever side does it.”

  9. Ethan August 9, 2009 at 10:45 am #


    I looked at your link, and I don’t even know what those quotes are, they’re pretty unsourced. Are you trying to make the case that democrats.com is somehow like Rush in terms of reach, or stature? Stranger, some of those citations in fact, indict Republicans, not “the left”, e.g.

    Terry McAuliffe said he would be personally monitoring the Republican National Committee’s website anxiously waiting for Chairman Ed Gillespie to repudiate comments made by a right wing columnist comparing Senate Democrats to Nazis. Gillespie recently took to the airwaves to express outrage over an ad posted at the Moveon.org web site that used images of Adolph Hitler. Despite giving the ad more play on the RNC web site than it had in its entire existence on MoveOn’s site, Gillespie called it: ‘the worst and most vile form of political hate speech.’ National Review writer Timothy Carney in a column on Friday, compared Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to Nazis and Senator Orrin Hatch to Neville Chamberlain… The Nazi charge stems from a decision by Hatch and the Republican leadership to allow the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to investigate Republican theft of Democratic documents for more than a year.”

    As you can read, in this case it was Republicans pulling the Goodwin, in response to the Move-on debacle (in which MoveOn, itself, did not generate nor endorse the hated analogy.) So, if that’s one of your so-called “other 99” instances, you’re down to 98. But really, it doesn’t matter if you find me one, 99 or 99,000 examples of the left making a Hitler-Bush analogy.

    Why not “just say it’s bad whenever either side does it?” Because that’s an overly simplistic treatment of a complex issue, which in fact presents a false equivalence between various instances of the analogy. Whether you care to admit it or not, comparing “Administration X,” or “Regime X” to Nazi Germany can be more or less apt, depending on which elements of the analogy your are drawing on, and which administration you are talking about. Of course Hitler is most reviled for conducting a genocidal campaign, (neither the first nor last of those in history,) but he also built Fascist police state, and some elements of Bush’s policies (many of which Obama has decided to own as well, I’m dismayed to have to say) do in fact resemble elements of what the Nazis (and others) did. Look into the expansion of Executive power, secrecy, dismantling of habeus corpus, etc. Consider just how far into the White House the reach of huge corporations are, it’s sort of Fascism-in-reverse. Etc.

    So… it’s nuanced. In many, possibly most cases, the analogy is made thoughtlessly and so forth, that’s certainly true. But it is not de facto inapt, and moreover, it makes a certain amount of sense coming from the left and aimed at the right. It is disingenuous, and serving an agenda quite disdainful of truth, in the reverse direction. The Nazis were not “leftists,” they weren’t “socialists,” and they certainly were not black American presidents circa 2009.

  10. Brian Castner August 10, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    @ Ethan: Thanks for providing the most nuanced, elitist and partisan evidence yet for how over-the-edge lefty Bush haters are. It seems your argument is “Well, but Bush really is a totalitariam Nazi.” Or, to put it another way, “I know you are but what am I.” Your inability to condemn inappriopriate Nazi-baiting tells me all I need to know.

  11. Ethan August 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm #


    mmm, thanks for the substantial repudiation of my points!

    Or not. But, here’s something you *could* do: tell me that you find these to be equivalent in the depth of their analysis:


  12. Brian Castner August 11, 2009 at 12:06 am #

    Your point deserves no repudiation because of its blind thoughtless ideology masquerading as critical thought. Should I offer a point by point rebuttal on how Bush’s policies differed from Hitler’s? Do you expect me to offer a list of the ways the Obama Administration currently mirrors Nazi Germany? Government owned major industries? Military Industrial complex over 5% of GDP? State directed economy? It accomplishes nothing, and embodies everything that is wrong with the current debate. If you want to have a substantive conversation of all the ways Bush is like Hitler, call someone in your liberal echo chamber.

  13. Ethan August 12, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    But Brian,

    If you had read me carefully, I didn’t ask you to evaluate the _claims._ I was rather making the point that “not all uses of the analogy are equally inapt.” You didn’t bother following the links, because if you had, you would have had to agree that
    is a load of crap which could have been put together by anyone with a rudimentary understanding of video editing, while
    is a thoughtful piece written by an academic historian with cited references and all the rigor you’d expect of someone with a PhD who is an expert in historical fascism. It is not shrill, it is not a screed; it is a scholarly, balanced work.

    I don’t expect you to agree with either, nor did I ask you to. But you cannot tell me they are equivalent invocations of the analogy. And _that_ was my thesis; not that “Bush/Obama = Hitler,” which is of course, too simplistic to bother with. I will & do “condemn inappriopriate Nazi-baiting,” but not every invocation of the analogy meets that description.

    And oh, by the way, you’ve got your head in an echo chamber as much as I, or anyone… where’d you get that democrats.com link/talking point, anyway?

  14. Ethan August 12, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    Why doesn’t my reply seem to be posting?

  15. Ethan August 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Ah, spam moderation… always a winner.

  16. Brian Castner August 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Ethan – you are right, I didn’t follow the links, because I didn’t want to get into it. I will now, though. And as for the echo chamber, I purposely stay off the right-wing email lists, and read very few right-wing blogs. I prefer RealPolitics, and read the main columnists (Will, Krauthammer, Brooks), I admit, but not the crazy stuff. And as for where I got democrats.com? I put “Bush Hitler” into Google, and it was one of the first things that pop up. The site itself is garbage, but it links to real left-wing groups that have the Bush=Hitler trash all over them.

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