Friday, February 01, 2013

The Hitler Comeback Tour

Since the election, I've been wondering when the American Right would come to some kind of unspoken agreement that, with the election returns pretty clearly demonstrating a rejection of the entire right-wing political and social agenda, they could dispense with niceties, scream, "SCREW YOU!" to America, and just push any and every crazy idea.  It would become a non-stop barrage of crazy, all the while Americans of sense would sit back and think, "Wow, these folks have really lost their shit, haven't they?"

We started to see a bit of that this past election cycle with not one but two Republican Senate candidates flaming out over the issue of rape.  It might have occurred to some folks at least that talking about rape in the way Akin and Murdock did wouldn't be a good thing; yet down in New Mexico, we have some Republican state legislators trying to restrict rape victim's access to abortion on the grounds that it would be evidence tampering.  So they're both crazy and incapable of learning.  Got it.

Since the election, the near-constant demand that the deficit be reduced by drastic alteration of our largest, non-budgetary entitlement programs has left me wondering if these folks are really that stupid, think Americans are, or couldn't care less.  Then, I breathe in and realize I don't have to choose.

Of course, there was the whole fiscal cliff nonsense that demonstrated how little these folks care about the deficit.  After all, the whole thing was an enormous deficit reduction plan just waiting for January 1 to take effect.  All that had to happen would be to let the tax increases and spending cuts take effect and, voila, the deficit would be cut!  Alas, the same folks who said that government spending did nothing to help the economy, and that cutting government spending was the only way to help it, suddenly lost their minds, claiming all those spending cuts would destroy the economy.  How these folks make it out of bed in the morning is a mystery until I realize that holding these two fundamentally opposed points-of-view simultaneously without having a nervous breakdown is a stupendous feat of emotional strength.  Walking and chewing gum must come far more easy for these people than I thought.

Then, of course, there's the general tendency to oppose pretty much anything and everything the President of the United States says and does.  Crossing from the absurd to the grotesque, National Review Online contributor Eliana Johnson wrote a short piece on Monday regarding Pres. Obama's customary statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day:
The idea that all violence is “senseless” violence is one that has taken deep root on the left; it’s also, unfortunately, one that poses a major impediment to understanding the world.  
Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” By the early 1930's, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.
First of all, I thought the right was always complaining about the left's insistence that we should understand the root causes of violence, a trait usually portrayed as inherent wimpiness among so many lefties.  So that first part contradicts decades of right-wing rhetoric about the American left.

Second, as a commentor at Wonkette wrote in response to their article on the NRO's journey past the point of no-return: "You would think that even on the National Review staff it might dawn on people to think "Wait a minute, I am defending Nazis! How the fuck did I end up here?"  But I am apparently giving them too much credit."  I should add that the comments on the piece at NRO differ little from those at Wonkette, both in tone and tenor; there is shock, but also a great deal of sense, something that one rarely sees these days in comment sections on the internet.

If this Nazi apologia whet's your appetite, all one need do is click here because there's another Republican comparing something Obama has done to the Nazis.  This time, it's universal health care and the requirement that states set up health care exchanges being compared to the Holocaust.  In an alternate universe I'd be joking:
Much like the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps” and that after the exchanges are formed, the federal government will somehow take everything over and “will pull the trigger on the insurance companies.” 
The invocations not just of Hitler and National Socialism, but also Stalin's Soviet Union, China under Chairman Mao, and other dictatorships have been rampant thanks to the gun control debate.  That any sensible person would feel the need to drag these mass murderers in to the discussion demonstrates that the qualifier I used in the subject of this sentence should be discarded.

So, I guess it hasn't taken very long at all.  Enraged at defeat, the American right no longer gives a shit.  They're just going to play monkeys in the zoo and fling not just handfuls but armfuls of poo at America, without even the pretense that it isn't what we think it is. 

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