"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bush = Hitler (again...sigh)

Sometimes with the American press, you don't even hear one side. It's on righty blogs like Power Line and LGF, but a quick google indicates that aside from his local paper, you'll have to go to the foreign press to find out what's happening in America. From the UK's Telegraph:

Bush like Hitler, says first Muslim in Congress

By Toby Harnden in Washington
Last Updated: 1:14am BST 15/07/2007

America's first Muslim congressman has provoked outrage by apparently comparing President George W Bush to Adolf Hitler and hinting that he might have been responsible for the September 11 attacks.

Addressing a gathering of atheists in his home state of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, a Democrat, compared the 9/11 atrocities to the destruction of the Reichstag, the German parliament, in 1933. This was probably burned down by the Nazis in order to justify Hitler's later seizure of emergency powers.

"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Mr Ellison said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because "you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box---dismiss you."

Oh, not if the US press continues to cover up for you, Congressman Ellison. You can say the most crackpot stuff and never have to answer for it. Being a Democrat in this country means never having to say you're sorry. Must be nice.



James F. Elliott said...

At the risk of violating Godwin's Law, the above historical analogy is only inapt if one isn't entirely aware of the actual history involved (which one would hope anyone with a second rate college education can grasp). After the Reichstag fire, believed at the time to have been started by Communists, Hitler took advantage of Germany's general anger, fear, and paranoia to have the parliament legislate sleeping executive powers to his office.

After 9/11, the Bush Administration has laid claim to sweeping executive powers. Rep. Ellison is hardly the first person to make the appropriate analogy to a "Reichstag-moment." Nor is that analogy "crackpot" simply because invoking anything remotely to do with Hitler by association becomes hyperbolic. Not all Nazi-era historical analogies are wrong; or is it only the Right, with "Chamberlain" analogies, that gets to do so? Bush clearly isn't Hitler. Hitler was a far superior public speaker.

And really, if a hatemongering, racist site like Little Green Footballs is promoting a story, decent people should quickly dismiss it.

Tom Van Dyke said...

But he does liken Bush to Hitler. That is hyperbole to the point of crackpot.

That LGF is noting the story is not the point; that the mainstream media has so far buried it is.

And if comparing Islamic radicals who kill Jews and want to rule the world to Nazis is also crackpot, then I'll plead guilty, then.

David S. Bloch said...

In response to JFE:

Those of us in glass houses ought not be throwing stones. If you're going to throw around phrases like "if one isn't entirely aware of the actual history involved (which one would hope anyone with a second rate college education can grasp)," you should check yoru facts. In the very next sentence of your comment, you write that the Reichstag fire was "believed at the time to have been started by Communists." Well, yes, it was indeed "believed at the time" to have been started by Communists. It also is believed EVEN NOW to have been started by Communists, or at least "a Communist." Indeed, I believe the near-universal consensus is that the Reichstag fire was started by Marinus van der Lubbe. Wikipedia: "Historians generally agree that van der Lubbe [a Dutch Communist] was involved in the Reichstag fire. The extent of the damage, however, has led to considerable debate over whether he acted alone." The only debate is whether he had accomplices, though it is now commonly believed that he was the proverbial "lone gunman." The irony here is that "it was generally believed at the time the Nazi hierarchy was involved in order to reap political gain"--a notion that has since been discarded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire .

So it's hard to know what Rep. Ellison is thinking here. Is he a closet Truther? There's support for that notion in his speech (as the guys at LGF point out): "The fact is that I'm not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box -- dismiss you." http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1291147.html . But, of course, that would be precisely the WRONG inrepretation of the Reichstag fire, which really WAS started by a Communist.

Or he could be arguing, as JFE seems to be, that the Reichstag event was used as a pretext for Hitler to obtain "sleeping [sic]executive powers." That argument would be massively historically ignorant. Following the Reichstag fire, the Nazis "suspended most civil liberties" (again, Wikipedia's words), banned the Communist Party outright, and soon thereafter pushed through the Enabling Act allowing Hitler to rule by decree. By contrast, I think you'd be hard-pressed to identify a single "civil liberty" that the President's Administration has even seriously impinged upon; when last I checked Muslims still had full civil rights in this country and the Democrats were a majority in both Houses of Congress; and far from "ruling by decree" the President can't sneeze without getting a subpoena from some Congressional nobody.

I don't think there's any conceivable sense in which Little Green Footballs is "hatemongering" or "racist." Evidence, please? Indeed, LGF is, insofar as I can tell, one of the most important voices of the blogosphere Right. But I *will* say this: Someone who, when comparing the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler, notes (in a very weak attempt at humor) only that "Hitler was a far superior public speaker" is in serious need of a history lesson . . . which one would hope anyone with a second rate college education can grasp.

tbmbuzz said...

Anyone who likens 1933 Germany to the oldest democratic republic in the world (and its Constitution), who likens POTUS to Hitler, who is unable or unwilling to acknowledge Chamberlain's philosophy and "contribution" to the world, obviously has not even a 3rd rate understanding of history.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, that could have gone better, JFE.

The fact remains that part of Reichstag Fire myth and lore is that the Nazis might have been behind it, and it's clear that Rep. Ellison touched on that with his intimation that the administration might have been behind (or had foreknowledge of) 9/11.

This is plainly a charge of murder, and is plainly crackpot. The most alarming thing is that this crackpotitude runs through a significant swath of the Democratic Party, and to them and apparently you it's not beyond the pale, or even the norm.

This is discomfiting. It's bad enough in the electorate but unsuitable and dangerous coming from an elected official.

As for the post-9/11 abrogation of civil rights, I believe Mr. Bloch's account of facts on the ground will withstand further scrutiny, but as always, you're invited, indeed encouraged, to scrutinize them all you want.