Tea party rhetoric, Nazi comparisons - and our own culpability
07/18/2010 - 10:25
James Besser

Get ready for a whole lot more hyperbole comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler. That's the word from the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, who cites chapter and verse about the Tea Party's fascination with the absurd comparison, starting with the now-removed billboard in Iowa featuring Obama, Hitler, and for good measure Joe Stalin.

And it's not just the tea partiers, Milbank warns: “The vile sign in Mason City was not a one-off by a fringe group. It was a logical expression of a message supported by conservative thought leaders and propagated by high-level Republican politicians.”

He cites Thomas Sowell of the conservative Hoover Institution and the ever-popular Sarah Palin, then moves on to Fox News personality Glenn Beck:

“Consider these tallies from Glenn Beck's show on Fox News since Obama's inauguration: 202 mentions of Nazis or Nazism, according to transcripts, 147 mentions of Hitler, 193 mentions of fascism or fascist, and another 24 bonus mentions of Joseph Goebbels. Most of these were directed in some form at Obama -- as were the majority of the 802 mentions of socialist or socialism on Beck's nightly 'report.'”

He concedes that the Holocaust allusion tsunami is not just a Republican phenomenon, pointing his finger at California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) - who is Jewish.

“But at the moment, the anger pendulum has swung far in the conservative direction, and accusations that once were beyond the pale -- not just talk of Nazis and Marxists but intimations of tyranny, revolution and bloodshed -- are now routine,” he writes.

This, of course, worries Jewish leaders who recognize the danger of extremist rhetoric entering the mainstream.

But our protests don't carry a lot of weight, given the proclivity of some in our own community to describe almost anything they don't like as akin to the Nazis – despite our assertions that the Holocaust and the political events leading up to it were unique in human history.

Ditto the charge of “blood libel,” which we hear from some Jewish activist or fringe group just about every day.

Yes, it's tempting to use this form of rhetorical overkill. But if we keep it up, we shouldn't be surprised if one day we mention the Holocaust, and people just yawn and say, “yeah, right.” And we shouldn't be surprised if our democratic system becomes completely dysfunctional as every last one of our political opponents is transformed into a paragon of absolute, Hitlerian evil.

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Bush never outright blamed a whole working sector of society, even to the point of giving them dehumanizing nicknames.
This current Republican party is all about that though, they encourage their listeners to look down on those who do not walk in lock step with them and ask for active persecution of politicians or even citizens who disagree.
If you are not a STRONG PARTY MEMBER, you are a "Rino" (republican in name only)
a NON republican worthy of their verbal abuse.

common of their attack ads would be the tag line "Call ********** and ask him to stop raising taxes etc. along with their telephone number.
I called one of the people they targeted and wished the secretary a good day. She was thankful for a reprieve from the bombardment she was getting.
The target of those ads never even got the phone calls.

On Union workers, the ads say: "SO they can be like us" But the problem with that is a Union worker will NEVER be like a private worker because Union workers are "Greedy" So they will only be like private workers when they quit or lose their job.
The Republican party today is using people to harrass other people and using the language of dehumanization to make it all right.

It's a frightening trend that IN IT'S CURRENT INTENSITY has no paralell in modern America.
If you spoke up against it, maybe they'd listen.

Talk radio is the Mr. Hyde to the politician's Dr. Jeckyl, talk radio is their true voice saying the things they want to say but dare not in public. But that is the true pulse of the 21st century Gop.

Ron - Yes, frequently. As I have noted in every blog/story on the issue, this is a disease Democrats and Republicans alike are susceptible to.
All critique of the PARTY is RACIST...that is until Hillary is elected in 2012...or maybe 2016...then All critique of the PARTY will be SEXIST... unless a Progressive like Mr. Levin gets in, then of course any questions will be anti-semetic. (for the slowbies out there...I'm saying that progressives shamelessly use identity politics, this distorts the historical record for short term political gain)
Mr. Besser, Did you ever condemn leftists for comparing Bush to Hitler? Have you ever thought of condemning those who misuse the term "far right"? And this is hardly new. In 1948, Truman falsely suggested that Dewey had been unwilling to fight Hitler. Martin Luther King Jr. famously slandered Goldwater: “We see dangerous signs of Hitlerism in the Goldwater campaign.” 16 years ago, Reverend Jesse Jackson said of the Christian Coalition : “The Christian Coalition was a strong force in Germany. It laid down a suitable, scientific, theological rationale for the tragedy in Germany. The Christian Coalition was very much in evidence there.” And this isn't even unique to America. For over 60 years, the Israeli left has been calling Revisionist Zionists and Religious Zionists fascists. By all means, condemn this, but condemn it on all sides instead of depending on a partisan hack like Milbank.
Interesting....did you publish an article about the dangers of this when Bush was the target of these accusations???? Keith Olberman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTP2gs-NUtc George Soros: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DuafAqAHrc&feature=related Whoopie Goldberg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yli3BxBEwOw&feature=related Go to You Tube and type in Bush Hitler and just see the hundreds of videos making this comparison. Where was your outrage????????? How about the movie entitled "The Assassination of George Bush"????? Imagine the outrage if a movie was released today called "The Assassination of Barack Obama"? I'll bet that would rate an article from you. How do you spell DOUBLE STANDARD? Hypocrisy????

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