Friday, February 10, 2006

Soup Nazis

Enough already. Enough of comparing things to the Nazis. The only thing like the Nazis were the Nazis. Who is the latest embarrassment who thinks they're so clever? Republican Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele who is running for U.S. Senate in Maryland.

Speaking before Baltimore Jewish leaders at a Baltimore Jewish Council board meeting Steele was discussing his position on embryonic stem cell research and said, "You of all folks know what happens when people decide they want to experiment on human beings, when they want to take your life and use it as a tool." After the unmistakable comparison between stem cell research and Nazis the audience was stunned. I can only imagine a roomful of mouths hanging open. So congrats Lt. Gov. Steele. Not only did you make a fool of yourself using Nazi comparisons but you did it in front of a nearly exclusive Jewish audience. That's like a triple-play of stupidity.

But this tired and absurd comparison is not limited to Republicans. Just least month Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) reportedly said As I read the statements by the Justice Department, the power the president claims he has, if he were in Germany in 1933, he would not have required the Enabling Act to pass the Reichstag to claim the power. He is claiming absolute power that no one in American history has ever claimed. Bravo Congressman. You've joined the growing ranks of idiots whose mouths work faster than their brains. What the administration is doing is clearly illegal and unconstitutional. Making this an argument about whether it's lke the Nazi regime is a stupid as writing a daily blog. A monumental waste of time that only makes you look bad.

And who can forget Republican Rick Santorum (R-PA) saying about a potential Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees, "What the Democrats are doing is "the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.' This is no more the rule of the senate than it was the rule of the senate before not to filibuster." This was a few months after Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) said of the proposed Republican efforts to ban judicial filibusters, "Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality. ... Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."

So enough. There isn't a single policy, program or parliamentary tool that is like the Nazis. The only thing that rivals the pure evil of the Nazis is the pure idiocy of your comparisons. Wait. Does comparing the comparisons count as a comparison?


Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

The Daily Show had a funny trivia segment last night called "Who's Not Comparing Bush To The Nazis?" Turns out to be Fidel Castro. He simply refers to the Emperor as a fool. Belafonte, Nadler and I can't remember the third.

Hillary's nonsense that Congress is run like a plantation is up there with stem cell research being like the nazis. Who on earth thinks that this racial/religious pandering warms them to people?

11:08 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

No soup for you!

Any metaphor can be misused and overused to the point of absurdity, but I don't want to forget that there are techniques for turning constitutional democracy into demented totalitarianism, whether Hitler invented them, pioneered them or learned them from a book.

Bush doesn't have to be as demented or malignant as Hitler to play the same patriot game or the same scapegoat game or the same emergency power game, but that's the game he's playing.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

When people start throwing entire families and villages into ovens or machine gun hundreds of people standing in trenches then you can use Nazi comparisons. Until then it only diminishes what the Nazis did.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Kinda funny, though - whenever I type "NSA" in my blog, the spellchecker tries to change it to "Nazi."

8:44 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

So you mean you can't call someone a runner until he wins the race?

Taking power through fear mongering and rabble rousing may put a hitler in power, or start some other reign of terror. What set the nazis apart is that they did what they did in a democratic nation and with the willing help of an educated population - that's what makes Hitler worse than Pol Pot or Attila.

I don't think it's ever too early to condemn somone who uses Nazi tactics to take control. Wait until it's too late, and it's too late.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! As an admittedly amateur student of history, you're dead on. The only thing like the Nazis was the Nazis. This is an altogether different sort of fucked up.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

Yes. These guys are dangerous, secretive, drunk on power and have an epic disregard for truth, justice and the American way but they're not Nazis. Not even a cute Nazi like on Seinfeld.

9:23 PM  

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