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?