Jewish Democrats blast Palin, so what else is new?
06/27/2010 - 08:37
James Besser

I generally stay out of the 'hit-Sarah-Palin-for-the-stupid-things-she-says thing because ...well, it's just boring, there's so many of them.

And stories about the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) criticizing Republicans are real yawners. It's their job, after all.

But I can't help it; NJDC was right when it slammed the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate for her recent comments that endorsed a column suggesting President Obama's success in getting BP to set up an escrow fund to help compensate victims of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill could lead to a Nazi-like regime.

Palin, writing on Twitter, referred her followers to an article by Thomas Sowell entitled “Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?”

In that article Sowell, a conservative economist,  opened with these lines: “When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.”

The same thing is happening today, he said, as “American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.”

One example: the $20 billion BP escrow fund.

Sowell is indignant: “Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere. And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.”

OK, I get it: some people think the federal government should stay out of the affairs of private business.  It's a point of view. Some even think that the  interests of huge, globe-spanning corporations trump the interests of our nation and its people. 

But to compare Obama's actions seeking to make sure the federal government doesn't get stuck with the tab for fixing the mess that BP created to the rise of Naziism? Way off base.

Conservatives like Sowell and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who enraged his GOP colleagues when he apologized to BP during congressional hearings and argued the escrow fund is a kind of government shakedown, don't think the government should pressure BP to pay for the mess, and no doubt they don't think taxpayers should be forced to do so.

What's left? Louisiana fishermen? A Florida tourist industry that could be ravaged?

Maybe they think the Nature Conservancy should pay for rescuing dying birds, if their bleeding hearts are hemorrhaging over devastated ecosystems, and out of work fishermen should stop their whining and get jobs at Wal-Mart.

Not surprisingly NJDC, which has been having a field day with Republicans who think Obama is a kind of crypto-Nazi as well as secret Muslim, went after Palin.

“As a likely future candidate and GOP leader, Governor Palin should be speaking out against the use of this type of abusive rhetoric - not encouraging her supporters to read it,” said David Harris, the group's president.

No word yet from the Republican Jewish Coalition, but my guess is they're going to lie low on this one. Jewish Republicans are hopeful 2012 could be a breakthrough year for them – but you have to think the potential candidacy of Sarah Palin is the worst nightmare for many.

As I've written before, I think Obama has a lot to answer for in his handling of the oil spill crisis.

Republicans who think getting BP to pay some of the costs is a government shakedown can only help the Democrats deflect some of that valid criticism. And conservatives who see the specter of Naziism behind every administration action will inevitably make even many Jewish voters who have come to dislike Obama uncomfortable with his critics.

 

Get The Jewish Week Newsletter

Comment Guidelines

The Jewish Week feels comments create a valuable conversation and wants to feature your thoughts on our website. To make everyone feel welcome, we won't publish comments that are profane, irrelevant, promotional or make personal attacks.

Comments

You are being disingenuous by positing that Republicans, by opposing the escrow fund, are opposing BP having to pay for all damages. Republicans just think that we have legal, and time tested, means for forcing BP to pay every dollar they owe. They have said this repeatedly, but apparently you wish to ignore the facts and repeat the propaganda that the GOP thinks BP doesn't have to pay for the mess. This is bias at it's worst, and terrible punditry. And to not be able to use the rise of NAZI'sm as a lesson to all about how not to do things, is to remove and whitewash very important history. You jump on Palin just to try and tar her, not because she really is minimizing the holocaust, or any other such BS you wish to imply.
That Sowell article talked about Hitler and Lenin. It even mentions Roosevelt. It was an article about government power and the rule of law, not Nazism. Read before you write.
The problem with establishing the fund to be administered by the administration is just that, "managed by the administration." BP should be paying damages, but not doing so through an ad hoc approach by the administration. The government is already using this fund to cover the impact of issues which could have been mitigated through a fast and thoughtful response of the Administration, such as suspension of the Jones act, construction of berms, enabling the deployment of barges, boom etc. Also will the Administration use this fund to pay for what will be the devastating result of suspension of offshore drilling ? There has been no leadership in dealing with the oil spill, and the $20B fund photo-op will ultimately lead to a disaster in resolving claims. The process should be BP paying for claims it believes it is responsible for and for unresolved BP claims to be resolved in court. My larger question is when will the freedom loving Jewish Community give up on this big government, anti-Israel, anti-freedom, corrupt and inept Obama administration.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.