Ed Driscoll

Two Atlantics in One!

“Why Do the Super-Rich Keep Comparing Obama to Hitler?” an Atlantic blogger asks today.

Yes, who on earth would compare the president of the United States to Hitler? Why, that idea would have been inconceivable!, as Vizzini from the Princess Bride would say, from 2001 through 2008.


But perhaps more specifically, someone at the Atlantic perplexed by this topic might want to consult Andrew Sullivan. In 2007, three years after proclaiming John Kerry the “the right man — and the conservative choice” for the presidency, and one year before going into uterine detective mode obsessing over Sarah Palin as the alien “Other,” Sullivan declared George W. Bush “The Weimar President” because of a foreign policy speech that the excitable one declared to be a “fascistic tactic designed to corral political debate into only one possible patriotic course.”

Sullivan did so during his stint blogging for…The Atlantic. As I noted back then, “I can only guess that Andrew believes that President Bush is an elderly figurehead leading a weakened but relatively benign quasi-socialist administration suffering the ravages of hyper-inflation and that Hillary, Obama or whoever his successor is, is the next Hitler, about to install a terribly malevolent war machine and concurrent massive welfare state?”

Which between Obama’s drone attacks and domestic spying, and cranking fiscal spending up to 11, and then some, seems rather prescient.

By the way, I’m not sure why someone at the Atlantic is obsessing over Tom Perkins’ Kristallnacht analogy, when plenty of leftwing pundits from Al Gore to Paul Krugman feel free to throw the K-word around with impunity — and the Atlantic itself allows its pundits to smear Perkins as a “1 percenter.” Nearly 50 years ago, journalist Henry Hazlitt wrote, “The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence:”


Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others.

Which is a reminder that if you’re going to use folk Marxist terminology to describe your ideological enemies, don’t be surprised when your targets take you at your word that a malevolent socialist force is out to get them.

Incidentally, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers quickly distanced themselves from its co-founder’s original remarks, presumably in the hopes that should Occupy Wall Street rise up again, it will devour them last. It’s vaguely reminiscent of the Occupy-friendly appeasement tactics of the Oakland Mens Warehouse in November 0f 2011, before their own storefront windows were shattered, during what might be described as an evening of wanton socialist violence and destruction characterized by million of crystalline shards of broken glass.

For lack of a better term, of course.

Related: Michelle Malkin, “Standing up against wealth-shaming.”

And at the Wall Street Journal, which ran Perkins’ email on Saturday, “Perkinsnacht — Liberal vituperation makes our letter writer’s point:”

While claiming to be outraged at the Nazi reference, the critics seem more incensed that Mr. Perkins dared to question the politics of economic class warfare. The boys at Bloomberg View—we read them since no one else does—devoted an entire editorial to inequality and Mr. Perkins’s “unhinged Nazi rant.” Others denounced him for defending his former wife Danielle Steel, and even for owning too many Rolex watches.

Maybe the critics are afraid that Mr. Perkins is onto something about the left’s political method. Consider the recent record of liberals in power. They’re the ones obsessed with the Koch brothers and other billionaires contributing to conservative causes, siccing journalists to trash them and federal agencies to shut them down.

President Obama’s IRS targeted conservative political groups for scrutiny in an election year and has now formalized that scrutiny in new regulatory “guidance” for this election year. Democratic prosecutors in Wisconsin unleashed a special prosecutor to target conservative groups allied with Governor Scott Walker. A judge threw out the subpoenas as baseless but only after months of legal harassment and dawn police raids.


Read the whole thing.

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