February 23, 2016
SUDDENLY, WE’RE NOT ALL SOCIALISTS NOW AT THE WASHINGTON POST – “WashPost Columnist: Trump’s Rise Explains How Hitler Came to Power,” as noted by Tom Blumer at NewsBusters yesterday, who spots Danielle S. Allen, “a political theorist at Harvard University and a contributing columnist for The Post,” penning a column in which she writes that America has reached – insert trademark Monty Python Spanish Inquisition giant orchestra sting here – “The moment of truth: We must stop Trump,” in which Allen asserts:
Like any number of us raised in the late 20th century, I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany.* Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand. Leave aside whether a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler is accurate. That is not my point. My point rather is about how a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country.
See also, the 2008 election. After which, at the beginning of 2009, Newsweek, then-still owned by Washington Post, famously declared “We Are Socialists Now.” A few months later, the Post’s E.J. Dionne pretended to be shocked, Claude Rains in Casablanca style, that some were now calling President Obama a socialist who believes in nationalization, or heck, even a National Socialist. “Media Amnesiacs Suddenly Appalled at Hitler Comparisons” Lachlan Markay of NewsBusters wrote in November of 2009, after everyone from MoveOn.org to Al Gore to John Glenn spent the last eight years comparing President Bush and the GOP to Hitler and the Nazis:
A liberal Washington Post columnist laments today of the loss of civility in the public discourse. Strange that he is suddenly outraged that Americans would dare call Obama a socialist or a fascist, given that Bush-Hitler comparisons were widespread during the previous administration.
Liberals in the media spent the summer and early fall bemoaning signs at town hall protests and tea party rallies calling Obama a socialist or communist comparing him to Hitler (incidentally, many of these signs were actually created by supporters of uber-leftist Lyndon LaRouche, as reported by Seton Motley here and here). These pundits had no such admonitions for signs at anti-war rallies during the Bush administration comparing him to Hitler and the Devil, and calling the president a fascist.
So the Post’s E.J. Dionne’s complaints about the loss of civility in the debate over federal politics fit right in with the narrative liberal pundits have been pushing since last year: comparing an American president to a murderous dictator is unacceptable…if that president is a Democrat.
Wrote Dionne in The New Republic yesterday:
The most surprising and disappointing aspect of our politics is how little pushback there has been against the vile, extremist rhetoric that has characterized such a large part of the anti-Obama movement.
President Obama’s administration has largely ignored those accusing him of “fascism” and “communism,” presumably believing that restraint in defense of dignity is no vice.
Dionne quotes former Congressman Jim Leach, R-Iowa, to illustrate the horrific degradation of the national discourse:
There is, after all, a difference between holding a particular tax or spending or health care view, and asserting that an American who supports another approach or is a member of a different political party is an advocate of an ‘ism’ of hate that encompasses gulags and concentration camps.
Interesting advice. Let me know when it apply to Washington Post columnists as well.
* Buyer beware: Parents who are about to shell out $60K a year to send their kids to Harvard, here’s a heads up that they’re being taught by professors who are still “perplexed” by that whole WWII thing.