August 7th, 2009

Atrios is making an excellent point.

In 2004, sponsored a contest called “Bush in 30 Seconds,” asking for people to submit 30-second ads which criticized the Bush administration. The videos were submitted in an automatic fashion and were not reviewed by before they were visible to the public. Two of the ads compared the president to Hitler and the Nazis. The reaction (Fox News story):

Republican groups and Jewish organizations expressed outrage over the ad, which has been removed from the Web site. The Republican National Committee (search) called on all nine Democratic candidates to condemn the ads.

RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie (search) called the ad, “the worst and most vile form of political hate speech.” … noted that those ads were voted down by the group’s members and the public, who submitted nearly 3 million critiques while choosing the 15 finalist entries.

“We agree that the two ads in question were in poor taste and deeply regret that they slipped through our screening process,” the statement said. “In the future, if we publish or broadcast raw material, we will create a more effective filtering system.”

Right-wing organizations such as issued ad campaigns demanding apologies. Other right-wing politicians and pollsters attacked the reference, calling it “hateful, vitriolic rhetoric” and worse. Right-wing pundits and representatives went ballistic–and claimed that Republicans would never stoop to calling the president a Nazi:

“[The Hitler references are evidince that] right now in America the Democratic party is being held captive by the far, far left.” —Bill O’Reilly

“You guys on the left are going so far over the cliff. You’re making comparisons to the president and Adolf Hitler.” —Sean Hannity

“If they stoop to the kind of despicable tactic like morphing a candidate into Adolf Hitler, yes, absolutely, I will tell you right here on the air. Have me back if any organization does that, I would repudiate it.” —Ed Gillespie, Chair of the Republican National Committee.

Republicans must really respect the office of the president; after all, this hyperbolic outrage was just because two ordinary Americans made 30-second videos which compared Bush to Hitler. MoveOn did not approve the ads nor did they air them (though Gillespie and other Republicans made sure the ads saw lots of air time), and no prominent liberal politician, pollster, or pundit even came close to endorsing them. MoveOn even apologized and made sure the content was taken down.

Well, Ed, time to get your soapbox out: four years later, the president is being called a Nazi again. Except this time, it’s not just by a few jokers with video cameras, it’s by a prominent radio personality, the unofficial head of the Republican Party, apparently with the full approval of his network, which is not punishing him:

“Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate. His Cabinet only met once. One day. That was it. Hitler said he didn’t need to meet with his Cabinet; he represented the will of the people. He was called the messiah. He said the people spoke through him. …

”Obama’s got a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook. Now, what are the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany? … Obama is asking citizens to rat each other out like Hitler did.“ —Rush Limbaugh

And Limbaugh is not the only one. Beck is making the comparison, and numerous right-wingers are making thinly veiled comparisons, some going with the outright message.

Ed? Ed? Where are you? Sean Hannity? Want to comment?

Of course not. Because It’s OK If You’re A Republican.

Categories: IOKIYAR, Right-Wing Hypocrisy Tags: by
  1. Tim Kane
    August 8th, 2009 at 00:44 | #1

    It is not a coincidence that Limbaugh is casting Nazi stones at the Democrats. It’s a pre-emptive defense to avoid Nazi stones being thrown at them.

    The fact is, sending goon squads to Town Hall Meeting is a page ripped right out of the Nazi play book.

    These people who are out of order at meetings need to be thrown in jail for disturbing the peace. Free Speech does not give anyone the right to drown out other’s rights to the same or to be informed or to have a reasonable discussion.

    The use of brown shirt goon squads led by Ernst Rohm to break up political rallies of the opposition was a Nazi tactic that helped it come to power. Limbaugh threw the Nazi stone first to avoid his own partisan goon squads being called the same.

    One can only hope that Limbaugh becomes compared to Rohm. Anybody with money can buy a squad of goons and sick it on the public.

    This is a big deal. This country is facing a fundamental test as to whether or not it will be a functional democracy in the future.

    As for the goons in the goon squad, they ought to recall what happened to them on the last day of June, 1934. Also known as the night of the long knives.

  2. Tim Kane
    August 8th, 2009 at 05:04 | #2

    One last thing: Perhaps the way to limit the goon squads is to limit attendance to members of a congressional district. Have people sign forms that they promise to exercise civil etiquette, assign seating, have a staffer discuss goon squad tactics at the beginning and explain that they won’t be tolerated and behavior that doesn’t conform to a substitantive debate will be charged with disturbing the peace, then show a movie at the begging on health care. People can’t yell at a movie.

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