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Ed Driscoll

The Reich Stuff

Newt Gingrich Loses Crucial Green Endorsement

December 2nd, 2011 - 4:24 pm

Kermit the Frog reminds us that he’s still very much beholden to public television and its ultimate patron, declaring this one of his potential opponents in 2012 is, like the muppet himself, all green. “Kermit The Frog On CNN: ‘Newt Is From The Swamp:’”

As a member of Generation X who grew up in the glory days of Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to see an icon of my childhood politicized on CNN.

Liberal defenders of Kermit’s appearance  on CNN will dismiss this as a harmless joke.

Tell me, is it a coincidence that Kermit just helped Obama light the White House Christmas Tree?

There are no coincidences when you’ve made the rainbow connection, my friend. None whatsoever.

But it does make the point that PJTV alumnus Steven Crowder makes in his new video about the National Broadcasting Corporation sliming Michele Bachmann: for every person — or muppet — who slimes a conservative politician on the air, there are dozens more in meetings, behind the scenes, shouting, “way to go, keep up the good work!” rather than, as Crowder notes, questing if it might be such a good idea to trash a sitting congresswoman or, to tie in with the item above, politicize everybody’s favorite childhood memories:

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While the left believes that “the personal is the political” — a euphemism for saying that everything is political — if there’s a sliver of good news in these sorts of stories, at Big Hollywood, John Nolte links to a rare more-or-less pro-conservative story in the Hollywood Reporter that asks, as John paraphrases, “Did Liberal Sucker Punches Kill ‘Happy Feet Two?’”

Director George Miller acknowledged five years ago that he reworked the script for the first Happy Feet to amplify the environmental themes, and conservatives who weren’t turned off by them the first time around expected similar messages in the sequel. Some, though, complain that Happy Feet Two ramped up the liberalism to the point of propaganda, and these disenchanted right wingers are getting the word out to like-minded moviegoers.

Kyle Smith at the NY Post, for example, says he loved the first Happy Feet but he wrote that the sequel promotes collectivism, feminism, international bailouts, vegetarianism, same-sex marriage, the United Nations and even Occupy Wall Street, which he acknowledges didn’t exist during the moviemaking process.

“Well played, lefties: This is Kiddie Karl Marx,” Smith writes of Happy Feet Two.

There’s about 123 million adult conservatives in the U.S., so if Hollywood insists on inserting liberal messages in its family fare, it risks alienating a huge chunk of its potential audience. And many conservatives are accusing Hollywood of doing just that.

After Pixar head honcho John Lasseter revealed ahead of the opening of Cars 2 that the oil industry would be the “uber bad guy,” a blogger at LonelyConservative.com wrote this: “We conservatives and believers in free markets are accused of being paranoid when we say the Hollywood industry is trying to indoctrinate our children with left-wing propaganda. But now movie directors and producers are coming out and admitting what they’re doing. I’m just glad I found this out before I allowed my kids to persuade me to take them to see the movie Cars 2.”

Cars 2 this year, by the way, took in 22 percent less at the domestic box office than its predecessor did in 2006.

I would have happily paid to see Cars 2 this past summer when it was playing at Santana Row, but I had read — and promoted — the sucker punch warnings and decided “Include me out.” As John Nolte responds at Big Hollywood:

Hollywood’s dealing with a whole new world. New Media can now get the word out days before the hugely important opening weekend begins. And if Hollywood thinks this right-of-center nation is outraged over the dozen-or-so box office bombs they produced in order to give aid and comfort to our jihadist enemies, the targeting of our children with their noxious leftist lies is going to be an even bigger problem.

“Happy Feet Two” cost 600 people their jobs.

Since it’s a global warming-themed movie, presumably the producers consider that to be good news, right?

Ron Vibbentrop Could Not Be Reached for Comment

November 26th, 2011 - 7:47 am

Landlady: Come on in, Mr and Mrs Johnson and meet Mr and Mrs Phillips.

Mr Phillips: Good afternoon.

Johnson: Good afternoon.

Landlady: It’s their third time here; we can’t keep you away, can we? And over there is Mr Hilter.

(In the corner are three German generals in full Nazi uniform, poring over a map.)

Hilter: Ach. Ha! Gut time, er, gut afternoon.

Landlady: Oho, planning a little excursion, eh, Mr Hilter?

Hilter: Ja, ja, ve haff a little… (to Bimmler) was ist Abweise bewegen?

Bimmler: Hiking.

Hilter: Ah yes, ve make a little hike for Bideford.

Johnson: Ah yes. Well, you’ll want the A39. Oh, no, you’ve got the wrong map there. This is Stalingrad. You want the Ilfracombe and Barnstaple section.

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(Via Kathy Shaidle, who writes, “There really IS a Python sketch for everything…”)

“Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said today that the new Republicans elected to the House of Representatives last November came to Congress ‘to kill women.’ She also likened Republican efforts to prohibit federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is endangered to actions taken by Nazis.”

Because when you think of the Nazis, the phrase that invariably comes to mind is “Pro Life.”

The Manolo quotes an earlier news article concerning John Galliano, the fashion designer fired today by Christian Dior after being caught on video saying, “I love Hitler” and contrasts that with a quite stylish-looking dress that Galliano designed, along with a caption: “How can this be?”

So, how does one enjoy the transcendent clothing of John Galliano without feeling that one is somehow patronizing the bigot?

How to sanction the artist, while admitting that his art brings beauty and joy to the world?

The Manolo, who loves the poetry of Ezra Pound, the music of Wagner, and the clothing of John Galliano, has no easy answer to this question.

As Woody Allen once told biographer Eric Lax:

“Talent is absolutely luck,” he said one day while talking about his early fear of performing. “And no question that the most import thing in the world is courage. People worship talent and it’s so ridiculous. Talent is something you’re born with, like Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] is born tall. That’s why so many talented people are shitheels.”

And yes, that quote dates to a book released about five minutes before the layers of irony apparent within it would be obvious for everyone to see.

Update: Welcome to the readers of the Manolo — I only wish we were discussing a much more fun topic than this.

‘Mubarak gets Hitlered’

February 1st, 2011 - 4:52 pm

“Because it’s just not a real protest until someone whips out the Hitler card.” At the Tatler, Bryan Preston links to your photo of the day:

It’s here, at the Christian Science Monitor. Because it’s just not a real protest until someone whips out the Hitler card.  In this case, though, there is a strong Hitler connection, just not one that has anything to do with Mubarak.

Al-Banna was a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. During the 1930s, the Brotherhood became more political in nature and an officially political group in 1939.

In 1942, during World War II, Hassan al Banna set up more Brotherhood branches in Transjordan and Palestine. The headquarters of the Syrian branch moved to Damascus in 1944. After World War II, Egyptian members took violent action against King Farouk’s government. When the organization was banned in Egypt, hundreds moved to Transjordan. Many also participated in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-1949.

You know what else this means, right? Lyndon LaRouche’s followers are everywhere.

Springtime for Ebert

August 22nd, 2010 - 11:55 am

Nicholas Stix writes that “At Entertainment Weekly, The Word ‘Hitler’ Is Verboten In Comments!”

Late Wednesday night I posted a brief comment to a 1990 Entertainment Weekly (EW) review by the late Walter Clemons of Gavin Lambert’s biography, Norma Shearerr. (The lack of any previous comments suggests that EW only recently posted the review on line.) My uncensored comment follows. [Bolding in original post -- Ed]

Mr. Clemons’ otherwise readable review is marred by two jarringly off uses of language: 1. “Her career was a triumph of will”; and 2. “We feel the impact of a sacred monster.”

For anyone of the reviewer’s generation, the phrase “triumph of [the] will,” was indelibly associated with Hitler. However, since Mr. Clemons did not depict Miss Shearer in a Hitlerian manner, his allusion was poorly chosen.

Likewise, though the reviewer was straining for irony, outside of his phrase, he in no way depicted Miss Shearer as monstrous. For that matter, he didn’t depict her as “sacred,” either.

Although the reviewer was a veteran writer, he twice strove for effect in a clumsy, amateurish manner.

The censorship filter or humanoid replaced “Hitler” with “*****.” (The censor even got the number of asterisks wrong!) Oddly enough, she/he/it left “Hitlerian” untouched.

I have no idea if the Chicago Sun-Times employs a similar strategy in its comments section. But while not actually dropping the H-word himself, Roger Ebert goes for the argumentum ad Hitlerum approach in his latest column, in which he once again eschews what he’s best at for wannabe political punditry, loaded with paranoia, including viewing Sarah Palin as a Crypto-Nazi speaking in code. Was Gore Vidal on vacation this week? [Bolding in text mine -- Ed]

5. The Bill of Rights has a parallel with pregnancy. You can’t be a little pregnant, and you can’t be a little free. Nor can you serve yourself from it cafeteria style.

6. Somewhere on the Right is an anonymous genius at creating memes. Sarah Palin floats a suspicious number of them: Death Panels, Ground Zero Mosque, 9/11 Mosque, Terror Babies. Her tweets are mine fields of coded words; for her, “patriot” is defined as, “those who agree with me.” When she says “Americans,” it is not inclusive. These two must have been carefully composed in advance to be tweeted within 60 seconds of each other:

[Screen caps of two tweets by Sarah Palin appear at this point in Ebert's column. Here's the text of them--Ed]

Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!

Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence”isn’t American,not fair”)

By using the evocative word “shackles” she associates Dr. Laura’s use of the N-word with the suffering of slaves. By implying Dr. Laura was silenced by “Constitutional obstructionists,” she employs the methodology of the Big Lie, defined in Mein Kampf as an untruth so colossal that “no one would believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” She uses the trigger word “reload” to evoke her support of Second Amendment activists while attacking “activists” for evoking the First.

7. Many Americans and a great many politicians have either never taken a civics class or disagree with what they should have learned there. The major opinion sources in America that seem to devote the most attention to the Bill of Rights are Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, all distorting it as an everyday practice. Bill O’Reilly, to his credit, doesn’t indulge in this.

8. A meme is infecting our society that Muslims are terrorists and hate America; they are the enemy. It is a cliche to say, “the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful,” but is true. When Muslim nations are bombed by America, can those nations be expected to applaud? In Iran after 9/11 there were candlelight marches in sympathy with the United States. [And in the Palestinian territories...there weren't. -- Ed]

Of course, when it comes to American democracy, Roger’s a staunch populist defender of the will of the people:


Meanwhile, regarding Ebert’s day job, Benjamin Kerstein reviews the legendary reviewer on the Pajamas homepage.

Related: “Hey! Remember last month, when we were hyper-sensitive about the problem of taking quotes out of context?”

Related: “Robert Reich Falsely Accuses Newt Gingrich Of Saying ‘Muslims Are Like Nazis.’”

As opposed to saying Alaskans are like Nazis, of course. But then, “In the present, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes…”

Related: Flypaper.

Update: In “Cinematic Illusions of Progress,” we look at Hollywood and Valerie Plame, an MIA Richard Armitage, the Big Lie and its forerunner, the Sorelian Myth.

‘The Age of the Zipped Lip’

July 19th, 2010 - 11:27 am

Welcome Michael Totten to PJM! In one of his new posts, Michael spots a jaw-dropping moment from a Middle Eastern politician. But first, here’s the back story:

Paul Berman takes the thesis of his outstanding new book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, to the pages of the Wall Street Journal and dubs the age we live in that of the Zipped Lip.

“You are not,” he writes, “supposed to observe that Islamism is a modern, instead of an ancient, political tendency, which arose in a spirit of fraternal harmony with the fascists of Europe in the 1930s and ’40s. You are not supposed to point out that Nazi inspirations have visibly taken root among present-day Islamists, notably in regard to the demonic nature of Jewish conspiracies and the virtues of genocide.”

As he said to me on the phone when I interviewed him in May, the mere mention of Nazi Germany’s foreign policy in the Arab world and its lingering effects in our day “gets people red in the face.”

Lest you think there aren’t any lingering traces of Nazism in the Arab world, along comes Wiam Wahhab, a former member of Lebanon’s parliament, and confirms that there are. “I like the Germans,” he says in an interview on Al-Jadid/New TV, “because they hate the Jews and they burned them.” Then he laughs like it’s the funniest thing he’s heard in a week.

Now, this man isn’t mainstream. He belongs (of course) to the Hezbollah-led “March 8″ coalition, which is apparently incapable of winning an election or getting its way except by using or threatening violence. And he claims that the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon — which was set up in 2005 to investigate the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri — is an Israeli-American plot to destroy the country. He’s firmly in the minority camp.

Still, can you imagine any American politician from either the House or the Senate, from either the Republican or Democratic party, saying something like that and yukking it up on TV? It would be the instantaneous mother of all career-enders. Wahhab’s career, though, won’t suffer one bit as a result of his saying this.

I used to be disgusted…Oh wait, unlike Elvis, I still am:

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Joe Biden does the Blitzkreig Bop

July 1st, 2010 - 12:12 am

What a smart-ass.

Joe Biden joins earlier Democrats FDR and Harry Truman in violating Godwin’s Law, though without the gravitas of actually, you know, winning World War II along the way:

Vice President Biden is out with an alarmed e-mail cash appeal warning that the GOP will mount a “blitzkrieg” against Democrats in the fall.

Comparing GOP tactics to the fast-striking forces of Nazi Germany, Biden warns in a message sent by the DCCC today: “As things heat up, you can expect House Democrats will be hit with a GOP blitzkrieg of vicious Swift-Boat-style attack ads, Karl Rove-inspired knockout tactics, thinly veiled attempts at character assassination and tea party disruptions.”

And while the GOP is mounting a blitzkrieg, Democrats are the allies.

“Our Democratic allies in the House need your help, and the President and I hope we can count on you to come to their defense so we can hold onto our Democratic Majority and continue moving American forward in a new direction,” Biden writes in the appeal.

Subtle? Not so much.

Update: Republicans were not amused by the implications of the e-mail.

Kevin Smith, spokesman for Minority Leader John Boehner, e-mailed a comment that seems sure to get under Democrats’ skins: “When will Democrats learn that invoking the Nazis’ crimes against humanity in a political debate is simply inappropriate?”

When asked about his intelligence in a famous 1988 clip from his Neil Kinnock-plagiarizing, grade inflating days, “It seems to me that if you can speak, you’re at a liability in the Democratic party anymore.”

No wonder Joe’s risen to the second highest office in the land.

(And he couldn’t have done it without the media. In 2008, Katie Couric let his FDR on TV in 1929 gaffe slide; back in the mid-1980s, Joe had People magazine telling him how unbelievably sexiful he looked: “Hot, Handsome Joe Biden Is the Dems’ New White House Hope,” a headline from back then read. No, really!)

Springtime For Jerry Brown

June 10th, 2010 - 6:43 pm

On the Drudge Report:

Note that the journalist who stumbles over Jerry comparing Whitman to Goebbels has an old media resume an mile long. But doesn’t work Brown’s Bronsweiger moment into his headline, despite being handed a killer quote, but Drudge, reviled by a media which he helped to render increasingly sclerotic and antediluvian, does.

Keep rockin‘, MSM!

Allahpundit spots Glenn Beck asking, as Allah puts it, “Remember last week when it was wrong to call your opponents Nazis?”

Ace made this same point earlier, but has the left ever claimed that it’s flatly wrong to kick the word “Nazi” around? It’s wrong to kick it at them, but when it comes to you, they’ll happily play hacky sack with it all the live-long day. In fact, among our thoughtful professional pundit class, the main challenge these days when writing about the right is whether to go the full Godwin or stop just short with some similar pejorative. Eugene Robinson was content to label Arizona’s law a racist abomination but Richard Cohen got more creative in calling it the “Anglos’ last stand.” Bolder still was Linda Greenhouse, who upped the ante with an apartheid analogy in her analysis of what turned out to be the wrong version of the bill. (Ahem.) With the bar set that high, can Frank Rich clear it on Sunday? If he does, he’ll be the Dick Fosbury of bottom-feeding left-wing demagogues.

Meanwhile, as Matthew Balan writes at Newsbusters, “Rick Sanchez Forwards CAIR’s Implication That Opponents of Islam are Nazis.”

And sometimes, so are their allies.

So, “did you hear the one about where Jimmy Gestapo walks into a Jewish club?”, Ezra Levant asks. You know what to do next.

(H/T: Kathy Shaidle, who dubs this “The most American story you’ll read today, on about six different levels.”)

Springtime For Naomi

April 3rd, 2010 - 9:22 pm

Reason’s Michael Moynihan catches Naomi Wolf’s latest reductio ad Hitlerum:

In her monumentally stupid book The End of America, feminist author Naomi Wolf predicted that the Bush years would end in a full-blown fascist dictatorship. (I detailed the many errors of fact and logic in Wolf’s book here. My favorite claim in The End of America is this one: “The Communist revolutionaries of 1917 were opposed to torture, having suffered it themselves at the hands of czarist forces.”) But the interminable Bush years ended as planned—and to Wolf’s evident disappointment, without a putsch.

But paranoia is a stubborn thing, and America’s most successful anti-fascist is keeping hope alive. In this interview with Alternet, Wolf has kind words for the libertarian participants in the Tea Party movement, accuses President Obama of being like Hitler, and explains how she and Glenn Beck are, in fact, very different. When she says that “Obama has done things like Hitler did,” she does it with an academic degree:

Every time I use those analogies, I am doing it with a concrete footnoted historical context. When people like Glenn Beck throw around the word Nazi without taking that kind of care, they are engaging in demagoguery.

So “Obama has done things like Hitler did.” Well, photos suggest that the two men share a bipedal similarity, and evidence strongly suggests that both have certainly taken in oxygen and exhaled carbon dioxide, that’s fair enough. But who else conjures up similar images of the 1920s and ’30s in Naomi’s little brown book? Let’s flashback to 2008:

Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah “Evita” Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state.

You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand “Palin Power.” A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections — but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control.

* * *

I realized early on with horror what I was seeing in Governor Palin: the continuation of the Rove-Cheney cabal, but this time without restraints. I heard her echo Bush 2000 soundbites (“the heart of America is on display”) and realized Bush’s speechwriters were writing her — not McCain’s — speeches. I heard her tell George Bush’s lies — not McCain’s — to the American people, linking 9/11 to Iraq. I heard her make fun of Barack Obama for wanting to prevent the torture of prisoners — this is Rove-Cheney’s enthusiastic S and M, not McCain’s, who, though he shamefully colluded in the 2006 Military Tribunals Act, is also a former prisoner of war and wrote an eloquent Newsweek piece in 2005 opposing torture. I saw that she was even styled by the same skillful stylist (neutral lipstick, matte makeup, dark colors) who turned Katharine Harris from a mall rat into a stateswoman and who styles all the women in the Bush orbit –but who does not bother to style Cindy McCain.

* * *

She uses mafia tactics against critics, like the police commissioner who was railroaded for opposing handguns in Alaskan battered women’s shelters — Rove’s style, not McCain’s…

…Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal…

…I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future…

…Look at the RNC. This is supposed to be McCain’s America. But you see the unmistakable theatre of Rove’s S and M imagery — and you see stages eight, nine and ten of the steps to a dictatorship as I outlined them in The End of America. Preemptive arrest? Abusive arrest? “Newly released footage, which was buried to avoid confiscation, shows riot cops arresting and abusing a giant group of people for nothing.”

…The riot police wore the black S&M gear of the Rovian fantasy life and carried the four foot batons cops carry in North Korea. All this is not John McCain’s imagery or strategy: it is Karl Rove’s…

…In McCain-Palin’s America, citizens who are protesting are being charged as terrorists. This means that a violent war had been declared on American citizens. A well known reporter leaked to me on background that St Paul police had dressed as protesters and, dressed in Black — shades of the Blackshirts of 1920 — infiltrated protest groups…

Naomi famously worked as an advisor to Al Gore in 1999 and 2000, reportedly recommending that Gore switch to earth tones to affect a hypermasculine alpha male status against the much more metrosexual George W. Bush.

So if Obama is Hitler and Bush is Hitler and Palin is Evita Peron, what is it about Gore that allowed him to escape Nazi status in Naomi’s gimlet eye and crisp academic mind?

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Whew, good thing he wasn’t calling for something truly scary, like a smaller, more laissez-faire government and individual choice when it comes to healthcare.

Don’t Be Stupid, Be A Schmarty

March 31st, 2010 - 12:53 pm

A couple of weeks ago, Greg Gutfeld wrote an amusing item for Big Hollywood which tried to, as Gutfeld put it, “Explain The Sexes:”

So forget health care, the wars, the rampant unemployment. The big story in my life? Jesse James, the biker husband of Sandra Bullock, got busted cheating on the delightful, mega-rich actress.

Here is a picture of Sandra Bullock:

Here is a picture of the woman James cheated with, Bombshell Magee.

So, who would have thought that if Jesse cheated, it was going to be with Marilyn Manson?

Who`s next?

Pete Wentz?

Chriss Angel?

Take a look at Chriss.

Yep, my money is on Chriss Angel.

Anyway, this reveals one essential truth about life, humanity, the world:

Men are scum; women are stupid.

First – let`s take the “men are scum” part. Sadly most men on this planet would stick their dick in anything as long as it didn`t electrocute them. Although, I`m not even sure that`s true. If you put an Oreck upright vacuum cleaner in some fishnets, chances are Bill Maher would bang it. And then, not even buy it breakfast.

Fact is, it doesn`t matter who you`re married to – men desire sexual novelty more than anything, and it`s up to them to rein it in. Many of them can`t. Case in point: this dirtbag James cheats not just on a lovely woman, but a lovely, charming one who happens to be worth millions. But that`s what separates dirtbags from non-dirtbags. Nondirtbags make the effort.

Onto the “women are stupid” part. As much as I sympathize with Sandra Bullock – who I`ve had a crush on since “Love Potion No. 9,” she should have known better. She should know the difference between dirtbags and nondirtbags. Her husband is a dirtbag. He used to date porn stars. As an expert in red flags would say, “Holy fuck – that`s a red flag.” What does this mean? Well, there are millions of good men out there, millions who would have been happy to make Sandra happy for the rest of her life. But she chose this creep. Why? Because the way men find sexual risk-taking exciting, women find emotional adventures equally a thrill. Good women choose bad men all the time. And all the good men are left wondering, “what`s wrong with me?”

Flash-forward to this week, where the story gets worse (and possibly NSFW if you click on the following two links):

Here’s a photo of James from Us magazine.

Here’s a similar photo of Magee.

If Bullock ever dumps James, clearly, there’s only one actress left in Hollywood worthy of his obvious charm and taste.

And the future is now!

Fort Worth Star-Telegram sportswriter Gil LeBreton “Compares Vancouver 2010 To Berlin 1936.”

Canadian pride at the 2010 Olympics equals the second coming of Hitler and the 1936 Olympics?

But of course! At least if you’re a “liberal” sportswriter on deadline and you see swastikas behind every display of civic pride.

And speaking of argument ad Hitleriam, MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan really earns his paycheck from GE: “Ratigan Goes Nuts: Accuses Tea Party Organizer of Including People who Want to ‘Kill Blacks and Jews.’”

One of Glenn Reynold’s readers spots this:

In an MSNBC TV spot that ran during the Winter Olympics, Mr. Ratigan claimed that he wore a t-shirt that read “Question Authority,” a mantra that he claims informs his work as a journalist. Yet, with his harsh attacks against the Tea Party Movement, Mr. Ratigan zealously attacks the what has now become the nation’s foremost movement in questioning government authority. This Lincoln Steffens wannabe is nothing more than a ham and a phony.

As Glenn Adds, “Apparatchiks who pretend to be revolutionaries — that’s an awful lot of the press these days.”

And just to round-up these latest examples of the Reich Stuff, in the midst of the Lullaby of Broadway, they’re hearing the the rattle of the Axis, instead of the the rattle of the taxis, John Podhoretz writes:

I’m sure you’re looking forward to the new off-Broadway musical, “Signs of Life,” which offers what promises to be a wonderfully tuneful look at the Thereseinstadt concentration camp. But it turns out, according to tomorrow’s New York Times, that the musical really isn’t about the Holocaust after all, which is probably a wise thing, since The Producers got there first with its signature number, “Springtime for Hitler.” No, it turns out, the Holocaust exists as a dramatic trope to teach us lessons about America in the age of Bush:

That show, which had its premiere on Thursday, centers on Lorelei, an artist who agrees to create pretty pictures of the camp for Nazi propaganda but who, with other prisoners, schemes to get her drawings of the real horrors to the outside world.

“The message of our show is not ‘Killing Jews is bad,’ ” Mr. Derfner said. “It’s: ‘What do you do when you find out you’ve been lied to? What is telling the truth worth?’ In the last 30 years this question has been vital to American life and especially so in the last nine years.”

No, this is not, as they say, from The Onion.

As Malcolm Muggeridge said over 50 years ago, “We live in an age where it is no longer possible to be funny. There is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not be enacted, promptly, before your very eyes, probably by someone well known.”

Update: At Big Journalism, a simple solution: whenever the Hitler card is played against conservatives, remind the attacker what exactly the word “Nazi” is an abbreviation for.

Bernie Sanders Cheapens The Holocaust

February 23rd, 2010 - 12:17 pm

The Politico catches Bernie Sanders, Vermont’s far left (even for that region) senator borrowing a page from the Al Gore playbook:

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is comparing climate change skeptics to those who disregarded the Nazi threat in America in the 1930s, adding a strident rhetorical shot to the already volatile debate over climate change.

“It reminds me of an event that took place in this country and around the world in the late 1930s,” said Sanders, perhaps the most liberal member of the Senate, during a Senate hearing Tuesday. “During that period of Nazism and fascism’s growth-a real danger to this country and democratic countries around the world- there were people in this country and in the British parliament who said ‘don’t worry! Hitler’s not real! It’ll disappear!”

So fluctuating temperatures equals invading Europe and killing six million Jews. Al must be so proud:

In his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, he wrote that “today the evidence of an ecological Kristallnacht is as clear as the sound of glass shattering in Berlin.” He repeatedly refers to the unfolding “ecological holocaust” and invokes Martin Niemoller’s famous quote (“When the Nazis came for the Communists, I remained silent; I was not a Communist. … When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew. …”) to label himself and other environmentalists “the new resistance.”In An Inconvenient Truth and in interviews, Gore sticks to his guns. He quotes Churchill’s warning about the gathering storm of fascism and declares: “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequence.”

Fortunately, the bills appear to be coming due on such moral equivalence.

Update: “Given his politics, it’s nice to know that there’s at least one war in American history he thinks was worth fighting.”

Pete Seeger could not be reached for comment.

Megan McArdle responds to her Atlantic stablemate, far left blogger Andrew Sullivan (and/or his ghost bloggers), but ends an otherwise estimable post on a growing conservative tolerance towards homosexuality by violating Godwin’s Law:

Andrew Sullivan has been doing a lot of blogging about Ryan Sorba, the [expletive deleted] who got up on stage at CPAC to condemn them for inviting GOProud.  Andrew’s mostly given a lot of space to illustrating what a [censored] [redacted] Ryan Sorba is, and I fully agree.  One can only cherish the hope that thirty years from now he will writhe in shame at this performance, and given the vagaries of youth, there is a good chance that eventually, he will.

But [expletive deleted]s getting up at political conferences and saying asinine things are not exactly a surprising happening.  To me, the news story was this:  Sorba got booed off the stage.  At CPAC.  This seems like great news.  So why focus on the sad truth that yes, there are still homophobes out there?  Maybe this is just heterosexual privilege, but this seems like a genuinely great moment in gay rights–and the gay conservatives and libertarians who sent met that clip seemed to take it as such.  The culture war may not be over, but the allied forces are advancing on Berlin at an astonishing pace.

Ironically, Sullivan, who in 2007 described George Bush as “The Weimar President” and recently equated Sarah Palin with the Hitler Youth in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret, would certainly approve of that last analogy.

Man, I wish the left would make up their mind — based on the round-up of ad hominem attacks that have come over the transom recently, it’s almost impossible to tell which hate group I’m supposed to be a part of this week:

  • Frank Rich of the New York Times: “The G.O.P. Stalinists Invade Upstate New York” — October 31st, 2009.
  • Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, February 2nd: “I’m putting the finishing touches on my new book, American Taliban, which catalogues the ways in which modern-day conservatives share the same agenda as radical Jihadists in the Islamic  world.”

And an oldie but a goodie:

  • President Harry Truman “Likens Dewy To Hitler As Fascists’ Tool”, New York Times, October 26, 1948, adding, “A Republican victory on election day will bring a Fascistic threat to American freedom that is even more dangerous than the perils from communism and extreme right ‘crackpots,’ President Truman asserted here tonight.”

To be fair, it is true that in recent years, the Republican party has sought to make itself more diverse and inclusive. And based upon the above headlines, I’d say the Strawman-American group in its myriad of forms is exceedingly well represented there.

Did FDR Know Better?

January 29th, 2010 - 6:46 pm

At the Volokh Conspiracy, Randy Barnett writes:

Jack Balkin thinks FDR’s lengthy analysis of the Constitution in his address to Congress is equivalent to President Obama’s drive-by 72 word inaccurate polemic about Citizen’s United. But Jack is a master of appreciating context–not to mention modern media–and the context here makes all the difference. In addition to being a substantive constitutional critique, which the President Obama’s remarks assuredly were not:

FDR did not launch the attack on live national television, with the justices there under the glare of cameras, having given them no advanced warning of the impending attack on the Court. (I sincerely doubt Supreme Court justices attended state of the union addresses in those days.)

FDR did not foment the Democrats in Congress who surrounded the six seated justices–and the Attorney General a few feet away–to spring to their feet applauding his critique of the Court (note Harry Reid and Dick Durban enjoying themselves directly behind the justices).

FDR did not even mention the “Supreme Court” but referred to “The Judicial Branch” many paragraphs in.

But when it comes to State of the Union addresses, Roosevelt wasn’t above adding a certain amount of polemics when it suited his mood. From 1944′s SOTU:

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis—recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this nation. Any clear-thinking business men share that concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of fascism here at home.

As Jonah Goldberg wrote the day after President Obama’s State of the Union address this week:

Somehow that line didn’t make it into my book, but it’s a great illustration of many of my arguments. First of all, the argument is wrong and disgusting and the whole speech marked one of the great low-points of FDR’s presidency and his war leadership (contrary to many contemporary liberals like Cass Sunstein who think it was among FDR’s finest moments). It should also reassure those who think today’s politics are uglier and nastier than ever.

Second, it’s a good reminder that for generations of liberals,  the “return to normalcy” in the 1920s was America’s real moment of fascist temptation.   But the “return to normalcy” slogan was actually a rebuke against the fascistic regime and policies of Woodrow Wilson (the thought crimes, the propaganda ministry, censorship, the economic rationing, the corporatism etc.) FDR, a Wilson retread, shared the view that all it took for fascism to succeed is for progressives like him to lose control of the state. That idea endures to this day.

Hey, at least he didn’t hand out Iron Crosses to Republicans in Congress. (Including those pesky neoconservatives whom Tina Brown wrote in 2003 were so vexing to Roosevelt…)

Great Moments In Christmas Retailing

December 23rd, 2009 - 4:26 pm

YouTube Preview Image

There do seem to be more retailers willing to wish the small minority of 90 percent or so of their customers who celebrate the holiday a Merry Christmas this year, but not all of course.

Every year I get the otherwise handsome Brooks Brothers “Holiday” catalogs, and every year, I wonder why they can’t be bothered to put out at least one catalog with the word Christmas on the cover, as L.L. Bean, located in the post-capitalist wastelands of Vermont does. [Update: well, near-ish, I suppose -- Ed] On the other hand, perhaps I should be thankful for small favors — it could always be worse. Far worse:

(Above video from 2007; one man’s easy solution to catalogs whose proprietors can’t bring themselves to utter the C-word.)