Monday, March 21, 2016


The “Big Lie” has been around for over fifty years

“Except for Adolf Hitler's extermination of the Jewish people, the American bombardment of defenseless peasants in Indochina is the most barbaric act of modern times.”

That quote didn’t come from some Soviet hack coughing up copy for Moscow, but from Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. (Some years later, McGovern would compare the Communist massacres in Cambodia to the Holocaust and call for some of that barbaric military intervention.)

Vice President Hubert Humphrey also brought out Hitler when running against Nixon, declaring, “If the British had not fought in 1940, Hitler would have been in London and if Democrats do not fight in 1968, Nixon will be in the White House.”  Chicago Mayor Daley had accused Nixon of “Hitler type” tactics.

McGovern had set a record for comparing Nixon to Hitler, which made him very popular with the left, but he hadn’t originated it. Comparing any Republican presidential candidate to Hitler had been a standard Democratic political tactic for some time no matter how inappropriate it might be.

Before McGovern was comparing Nixon to Hitler, he was comparing Barry Goldwater to Hitler. Goldwater had a Jewish father and a distaste for Socialism, which would have made him unwelcome in the ranks of the racially and politically pure National Socialists, but that didn’t stop the Hitler accusations from being hurled by the Democratic party and its political allies in the press.

Governor Pat Brown of California said, “Goldwater's acceptance speech had the stench of fascism. All we needed to hear was Heil Hitler.” Mayor Jack Shelley of San Francisco claimed that Goldwater strategists got all their ideas from Mein Kampf.

Even though Goldwater had been an early NAACP member, NAACP leader Roy Wilkins warned, "Those who say that the doctrine of ultra-conservatism offers no menace should remember that a man come out of the beer halls of Munich and rallied the forces of rightism in Germany. All the same elements are there in San Francisco now."

The NAACP accused Goldwater of appealing to “fear and bigotry”. Martin Luther King said, “We see danger signs of Hitlerism in the candidacy of Mr. Goldwater.”

Union leaders launched a national campaign to denounce Goldwater as Hitler II. "I have drawn a parallel between Goldwater and Hitler and I make no apology for drawing that parallel," George Meany of the AFL-CIO declared. While Goldwater wasn’t Hitler, the CIO part of the AFL-CIO had strong Communist influences and after the Hitler-Stalin pact, some unions within it staged strikes to sabotage production and prevent aid from reaching the Allies who were fighting Hitler. Not only was Goldwater not Hitler, but some of the organizations represented by Meany had aided Hitler when Stalin told them to.

Accusing Republicans of being Hitler for assorted petty reasons dates back to the time when Hitler was still around. FDR accused Republican candidate Wendell Willkie of using “Hitler tactics” by repeating his slogans frequently. But it was the frequent associations of Republicans and Hitler by Democrats that was the true Big Lie. Its only purpose was a senseless association through the repetition of ridiculous and baseless accusations that every single Republican was just Hitler in a better suit.

Typical of this tactic was Senator Tom Lantos ranting, “If you overlook your involvement in the KKK, or the Nazi party, or the Republican Party, you are lying.” The issue at hand had nothing to do with Nazism. It was about Clinton’s Secretary of Agriculture taking bribes. The goal was to associate Republicans with Nazism by classing the two together as frequently as possible regardless of relevance, decency or truth.

In the Iran-Contra trial, Oliver North was accused of “following Adolf Hitler’s official strategy”. What did one have to do with the other? Nothing. But this sort of lazy accusation had become typical and routine. William Shirer, who had also compared Nixon’s bombing of Hanoi to the Holocaust and called Nixon an “apt pupil” of Hitler (Pentagon spokesman Jerry Friedheim was Goebbels), compared Reagan to Hitler for intervening in Grenada. Then Shirer compared Bush I to Hitler for trying to outlaw flag burning.

By the Reagan years, the left had achieved a banality of Hitler analogies. Everything Reagan did was just like Hitler. All of Reagan’s associates were just like Hitler. It was Hitlers all the way down.

President George W. Bush inherited this banality of Hitlers. To left-wing Truthers, open and covert, 9/11 was the Reichstag fire, the Patriot Act was the beginning of a national dictatorship and Bush was a dictator. As Kurt Vonnegut quipped, “The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected.” Hitler wasn’t elected, Bush was, but you can’t expect a left-wing loudmouth to know history.

Congressman Charles Rangel compared the Iraq War to the Holocaust. “This is just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed." (Rangel had also claimed that the Contract with America was worse than Hitler.) Senator Durbin compared Gitmo to Nazi concentration camps. Senator John Glenn compared Republican arguments to Nazi propaganda. “It’s the old Hitler business… if you hear something repeated, repeated, you start to believe it.” Like repeatedly accusing Republicans of Nazism.

Congressman Keith Ellison, a former Nation of Islam supporter who had defended its anti-Semitism, compared the September 11 to the Reichstag fire while hinting at 9/11 Trutherism.  Al Gore claimed that “The administration works closely with a network of rapid-response digital Brown Shirts”.

Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, a former Klansman, compared Bush to Hitler stooge Herman Goering. Byrd, who had filibustered the Civil Rights Act, also compared efforts to block Democratic filibusters to Nazi Germany. The “nuclear option” that Byrd was denouncing became a reality under Obama and Reid, but by then using it did not make Senators Democrats into the successors of Nazi Germany.

To most people, Nazi analogies summon up images of the Holocaust and a ruthless dictatorship. To the left however, any populist reaction against their rule is Nazism.  In their world, there is a battle between progressive and reactionary forces. Any movement that dares to run for office by challenging progressive policies is reactionary, fascist and the second coming of the Third Reich. Republican victories are lazily attributed by liberal hacks to mindless public anger being exploited by right-wing demagogues.

And so the only thing we can truly be certain of is that any Republican nominee will be Hitler. It doesn’t matter what he believes. It doesn’t matter if Democrats considered him a moderate 5 minutes ago. Accusations of Nazism remain the default argument for a Democratic Party turned far to the left.

Republicans aren’t progressive. Therefore they’re Hitler. It’s really that simple.

Optimists thought that the Democrats had reached “Peak Hitler” under Bush. But for the left there is no Peak Hitler. The same tired line of attack has been trotted out for fifty years. It will go on limping around the liberal corral for another fifty years or a hundred years. The Big Lie will continue being repeated to indoctrinate each new politically active progressive with the conviction that anyone to the right is Hitler and that every election is a brand new battle to stop Hitler 2.0 from taking over America.

Goldwater was Hitler. Nixon was Hitler. Reagan was Hitler. Bush was Hitler. None of the latter three men declared the Fourth Reich, made themselves dictators for life and ran concentration camps. But the Big Lie retroactively rewrites the past by claiming that last decade’s Hitler was a decent moderate while the latest Republican Hitler is a terrifying monster. Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan were all resurrected as moderate contrasts to each other and then to Bush. The process of recreating Bush as a moderate has already begun. And so each Republican makes the electoral journey from Hitler to a political moderate whom a latter generation of liberals mourns while complaining that this latest Republican really is Hitler.



GOP Should Use Trump, Not Abuse Trump

Maybe it's because I'm a latecomer to Republicanism, having first pulled the R lever in 2003 for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the California recall election, but I'm confused.  I thought one of the first duties, if not the first duty, of a political party was to win.  If you don't win, everything else, every policy, every theory, every idea, is air.

That was until I joined the GOP.  I had read about the Spanish Inquisition and the Black Death, but now  I know what real bloodletting is about.  The attacks on Donald Trump by his fellow Republicans have been, to put it bluntly, waaaay out of proportion.  If -- as Trump himself said in his press conference Tuesday after winning handily in Mississippi and Michigan -- Mitt Romney had attacked Obama with half the vitriol he has attacked Donald Trump with, Romney would be president today.

And then there's the conservative punditocracy, so many of whom seem to be suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome -- or perhaps it's Trump Envy (for which I wouldn't blame them).

But I ask -- as someone who would gladly vote for any Republican candidate still running and probably any of the thirteen who dropped out -- what exactly do they find so terrible about Donald Trump? Yes, Lord knows, he can be embarrassing (though I suspect we will be seeing less of that) and maybe he isn't the most conservative of conservatives (wasn't John Roberts supposed to be that?), but he is clearly one of the more politically shrewd candidates to come along in a while -- and not just for a non-politician.  Just the way he is turning post-primary victory speeches into quasi-press conferences, monopolizing the media, reinvents the game. And he is expanding the Republican vote.

What most surprises me, however, is the approach taken to Trump by his enemies, those known under the rubric #NeverTrump and those better heeled who have blown millions on nauseating and evidently useless attack ads painting Donald as Mussolini with a bad haircut. For a group of smart people, in some cases very smart, they seem to have skipped Psychology 101 in college, making them curiously oblivious to the blowback from their assaults. Or maybe, more simply, they have forgotten what we all learned  in the school yard in the second grade -- if you can't lick em, join 'em. (Personally, I find it hard to resist someone who finally spoke a truth at that press conference that the media seems deliberately to have ignored all year: "I don't think there is such a thing as an establishment."  There isn't -- and who would want one?)

The best approach to someone like Trump, who is at heart a business pragmatist without rigid  ideological convictions (convictions that would make it extremely difficult for a businessman to function), is to love him to death. That way you bring him over to your side, politically and ideologically.  It should be obvious, like Willy Loman, Donald only wants to be "well-liked." He doesn't even make a secret of it. He wants to make a deal and fairly invites co-optation.

Trump himself, in that press conference or whatever you want to call it (press-infomercial?), extended an olive branch of sorts to his opposition in the Republican Party at large.  They should take him up on it -- at the same time urging him to reciprocate and keep it up on his end.  Start a mutual admiration society.

Now I realize Ted Cruz, victor in Idaho, is still in the game -- quite legitimately.  And, as I have noted, I would pleased to vote for him if he wins.  But the Trump Derangement Syndrome has got to go. Ix-nay on the anger-ay.  We are headed to an epochal  general election and November is closer than it seems. Close your eyes and it's here. The time to start dialing down the internecine warfare is now. After all, Trump won Hawaii.



Sarah supports The Donald

Sarah Palin calls protests at Trump rallies 'punk-ass little thuggery' as she campaigned with The Donald in Florida

Sarah Palin said protesters at Donald Trump's rallies were committing 'punk-ass little thuggery' as she campaigned with him in Florida.

'We don't have time for all that petty, punk-ass little thuggery stuff that's been going on with these quote-unquote "protesters" who are doing nothing but wasting your time and trying to take away your First Amendment rights, your rights to assemble peacefully,' she told the crowd in Tampa on Monday.

'And the media being on the thugs' side - what the heck are you guys thinking, media? It doesn't make sense,' she added as the crowd booed.

Palin, who endorsed Trump in January, spoke at his town hall in Tampa on Monday afternoon before catching a flight back to Alaska to be with her husband Todd, 51, who got in a serious snowmobile accident the night before.

At the rally, Palin thanked Trump's supporters for their prayers for her husband, before launching into a pitch for the Republican front-runner.

'Thank you guys for your prayers for my husband who is recovering in ICU right now after a little wreck on a snow machine - big wreck,' Palin said.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- with news about IQ, immigrants and education


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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