Wednesday, June 22, 2005

 

GOP Hypocrisy With Nazi References

Thanks to the fine folks at Raw Story!

Questions of hypocrisy in Republican attacks on senator who raised Nazis in Guantanamo comparison

John Byrne

GOP has used Nazi, Hitler references on stem cells, abortion, taxes and the environment

An array of senior Republican officials and activists—including the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign—have invoked Hitler or Nazi references, raising questions of hypocrisy for recent attacks on Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) for referencing “Nazi” tactics at Guantanamo Bay, RAW STORY has found.

Republicans criticized a speech that Durbin made recently in the Senate citing mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, calling on the Illinois senator to apologize. Durbin read from an FBI email which complained about “torture techniques” used at the facilities, saying "you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings."

Durbin’s remarks were quickly snapped up by conservatives and the media.

But senior Republicans—including Chairman of the Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman—have not apologized, and have in fact defended, comparisons of Democrats to Nazis in the past.

Last June, then-Bush campaign manager Mehlman defended an ad that contained footage of Adolf Hitler interspersed with images of Democratic leaders Al Gore, Dick Gephart and John Kerry. The campaign defended the images, saying they were taken from a video on MoveOn.org.

Mehlman said it was used "to show the depths to which these Kerry supporters will sink to win." The video was later removed.

Mehlman is not alone. A raft of Republicans in Congress have invoked Hitler and Nazism on issues from stem cell research, to abortion, to taxes and the environment.

White House confidante Grover Norquist, known for his blistering attacks on U.S. taxes, likened the estate tax to the “morality of the Holocaust” in October 2003.

"The argument that some who play to the politics of hate and envy and class division will say is, 'Well, that's only 2 percent -- or, as people get richer, 5 percent, in the near future -- of Americans likely to have to pay [the estate tax],” he told NPR. “I mean, that's the morality of the Holocaust: 'Oh, it's only a small percentage. It's not you; it's somebody else.’”

After being criticized for his remarks, Norquist expanded them in 2004 to include Democrats.

"The Nazis were for gun control, the Nazis were for high marginal tax rates.... Do you want to talk about who's closer politically to national socialism, the Right or the Left?" he told the Jewish newspaper The Forward. He also "told the Forward that he would not hesitate to use Holocaust comparisons in the future."

A Republican senator invoked Nazism when criticizing stem cell research last year.

"We certainly have all seen the rejections of Nazi Germany's abuses of science,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) declared regarding his opposition to stem cell research last October. “As a society and a nation, there ought to be some limit on what we can allow or should allow."

In response to a ruling on abortion last September, Congressman Steve King said following law on reproductive rights equivalent to a Nazi guard saying he was following orders.

“That, Mr. Speaker, is a ‘modern-day’ equivalent of the Nazi prison guard saying 'I was just following orders,’” he said on the House floor Sept. 8, 2004. “It was all legal in Nazi Germany at the time.”

Another senator even compared the Kyoto climate treaty to Nazism, repeating a quotation from a Russian official.

Sen. James Inhofe said Oct. 11, 2004 that Kyoto "would deal a powerful blow on the whole humanity similar to the one humanity experienced when Nazism and communism flourished."

The Oklahoma Republican added, "The world has certainly turned on its head that we Americans must look to Russians for speaking out strongly against irrational authoritarian ideologies."

Sen. Tom Cole (R-OK) dragged out Hitler to hit Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

"Cole Claims a Vote Against Bush Is a Vote For Hitler," KTOK radio in Oklahoma blared last year.

"Republican Congressman Tom Cole claims a vote against the ‘re-election’ of President Bush is like supporting Adolph Hitler during World War Two,” the station reported. “It's what he said recently before a meeting of Canadian County Republicans."

Cole later codified his statement, saying through a spokesperson: "What do you think Hitler would have thought if Roosevelt would've lost the election in 1944?”

Others, too, have likened Democratic policy to Nazism. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) compared a Democratic tax plan to Nazi law in 2002.

"Now, forgive me, but that is right out of Nazi Germany,” Gramm said. “I don't understand ... why all of a sudden we are passing laws that sound as if they are right out of Nazi Germany."

And just last month, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) compared Democrats with Adolf Hitler during the filibuster battle.

"Imagine, the rule that this is the way we confirm judges has been in place for 214 years, broken by the other side 2 years ago, and the audacity of some Members to stand up and say, How dare you break this rule, it 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," Santorum said May 19. "This is no more the rule of the Senate than it was the rule of the Senate before not to filibuster."

Maria Leavey contributed to this article.
Comments:
THANK YOU for puttting this on. Everyone should print this and show to anyone who is on the fence to expose the hypocrisy of this magority!
 
I'm linking to your post on this -- you're so right! And I'm so glad I found a way to get you back in my life, after missing you out here in Southern California for so long. Now if only I could get the streaming to work on my Macintosh...
 
Strange, I heard Bernard Goldberg complain on C-SPAN that liberals were calling conservatives nazis. I guess he's not the objective source he claims to be. lol
 
It's ironic the Administration is referring to the Nazis, when they have used the exact tactics that Herman Goering described as "easy to" lead a nation to war.
Gustave Gilbert interviewed Goerring during the trials. This link is to the excerpt from the book, "Nuremberg Diary"
http://buffaloreport.com/030324gilbert.html

The following is a quote:
Herman Goering on patriotism, pacifism and manipulating the people in a time of war

Psychologist Gustave Gilbert had extraordinary access to the Nuremberg defendants during their trial.The passage below is from Gilbert's classic Nuremberg Diary (1947). It refers to a conversation the two had in Goering's cell on 18 April 1946 during a three-day Easter break in the trial. Goering committed suicide the following October 15.

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
 
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