Thursday, March 04, 2010

Encountering a Tea Party Outrage

By Fabian Lieschke
March 4, 2010

As a young German, I feel responsible for keeping the memory of the Holocaust victims alive. I am determined that no one, whom I can reach with my voice or through my writing, will forget about what happened between 1933 and 1945.

Read on.


James Young said...

It's really too bad that the author is more offended by an arguably inaccurate identification of Barry with Hitler than she is by his naked violations of constitutional limitations.

Nat Parry said...

James, it's really too bad that your right-wing teabagger buddies invalidate any legitimate arguments they might have about constitutionalism (assuming they have any) by their ridiculous, over-the-top comparisons of Obama to Adolph Hitler. Because you are so ridiculous, no one takes you seriously.

James Young said...

Nat, if the measure of gravitas is being taken seriously by the likes of you, this nation is in more trouble than I thought.

Nat Parry said...

Yeah, as long as you are taken seriously by the likes of Sarah Palin, I guess we are in good shape.

Mike said...

James, I am sure that our pal Nat had his panties all in a bunch over similar images like this taken just a few short years ago.

The one of Ward Chuchill is my favorite.

Mike said...

As an interesting aside, the Obama=Hitler posters were being yielded by a micro-minority of Larouchies at only of few of the rallies. Considering how much Nat’s dad and the Larouchies have in common, you’d think this website would more sympathetic to them.

Nat Parry said...

Mike, James, I don't think that equating Hitler with whoever you don't like is particularly useful regardless of who it is, but there were serious differences between Bush-Hitler comparisons and the Obama-Hitler comparisons, namely that the former made some degree of sense.

The Bush-Hitler comparisons only became common when Bush was threatening to invade Iraq on false pretenses -- the comparison was primarily to Hitler's pre-emptive invasion of Poland. The comparisons became more common when Bush's torture policies began coming to light, as I described in this article at the time:

The right wing's current Obama-Hitler obsession is based on what exactly? Oh yeah, his attempts to reform the country's health care system. Right, that makes a lot of sense. The right wing has these fantasies that Obama is about to engage in a policy of mass euthanasia, similar to the Holocaust or something... really? That's the best you can do?

Mike said...

This entire post begins with the strawman that images and comparisons between Obama and Hitler are rampant within the tea party movement. The truth is, they were confined to a few protests and primarily among LaRouchies.

I’ll sum your argument up thus far: “the progressive movement has always been at war with inappropriate Hitler comparisons”

Fabian said...

Thank you for your comments.

I must admit that I completely forgot about the Hitler-Bush comparisons that were made at the time - especially in Europe.

I should have made it part of the article since I condemn both comparisons. Neither President Bush nor President Obama should be compared to an evil figure like Adolf Hitler. Both comparisons are equally outrageous.

Jason said...

i'm an innocent bystander here, but "nat's" comments require a reply. the "left's" laser-like focus on the wrongdoing of the "right," while being virtually myopic about the left's own wrongdoing, is the stuff that future civilizations will point to for anthropological fodder ("can you believe these primative creatures actually BELIEVED this stuf??"). let's see, so bush invades iraq under false pretenses, thus the hitler moniker "makes sense." yet under obama we have a continuation of that SAME illegitimate war, plus escalation of the entirely un-"win"-nable afghan war, plus exponential increases in drone attacks of pakistan, ditto re yemen, and ramped up belicosity, and perhaps imminent war, with iran. news flash: ALL OF THESE CONFLICTS ARE BASED ON FALSE PRETENSES TOO, and in some instances, outright lies (e.g., the canard re ahmadinejad declaring a desire to annihilate israel).

Mike said...

Fabian, thanks the thoughtful response and for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

Jason - Obama promised us an end to the Iraq War in August of this year. That will be the telling date. Anything sooner is not what he promised.

(That said, I'm not holding my breath. I think it will take a small miracle to bring our troops home. But I'm still praying for that miracle.)

Fabian said...

James, which constitutional limitations is the current President violating?

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

Notice that it's ineffective attempts at mild reforms that, at least symbolically, might benefit people who aren't multi-billionaires that make Obama "Hitler" NOT the fact that he maintains many of the totalitarian policies of the Bush administration like the PATRIOT act and the illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nat Parry said...

Jason, do you really think that it's because of Obama's continuation of Bush's wars and the Patriot Act that the right wingers are comparing him to Hitler? It seems to me that has nothing to do with it. The comparisons seem to have something to do with a national health program that the Nazi regime implemented. I'm sorry but that is just crazy.

Perhaps the Bush-Hitler comparisons were over the top, but at the time it really seemed as though Bush was setting us on a course that was similar to the Third Reich, particularly when it comes to endless war and global domination. The Bush White House essentially spelled it out in the National Security Strategy of 2002. That's what people were alarmed about, and hence the Hitler comparisons. These days they cry "Hitler" for the flimsiest of reasons, and it's totally inappropriate and ahistorical.

And Mike, it seems a bit disengenuous to say that this was some isolated incident of Larouchies at a tea party rally. Glenn Beck makes the Hitler comparison on a daily basis.

Nick said...

Know your enemy better, you might learn something.

Hysteria aside; the Right's comparison of Obama to Hitler has less to do with a literal comparison than with a figurative comparision of how Hitler gained power. The day he was elected was not when the deportations and deaths camps began, rather his election began a legal consolidation of power into the office of the Fuehrer and the centralized government. Then with no constraints came terrible consequences.

The Tea Party and certain pundits see similarities in both the actions and words of the Administration; It is clear that the Obama administration has a vision of an America that is modeled on a more socialistic premise. Remember that the NAZI party was the National Socialist party and that their tenants similar to those of the Obama Adminstration's words were what gained the NAZIs power. Moreover there is a fear that the government 'free lunch' mentality has overtaken a sense personal or public responsibility for ones actions. These also seems to be little hope from Congress (either Republican or Democratic Parties) that there is an sane presence (i.e. willing to restrain spending to definable defendable rational limits, and to provide leadership) in Washington.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? "Who will guard the guards themselves?"

Q1: Is it ones own responsibility to graduate with a degree, or it is the School's responsibility to graduate you with that degree?
Q2. If we pay people to have children and to not work, why should they work and not have babies?
Q3. Where is the line between government intervention and interference? Should the federal government own GM or rather regulate the auto industry? Own AIG or regulate the financial system?

John said...

The US radical right must absolutely rejoice in the name (however inaccurate) of Hitler's party. The "triumph" over the evil "Soviet-style communism" has otherwise left them only a few systems of the whimpy "old Europe" with which to politically terrorize their base.

The Bush-Hitler comparison "benefitted" from gran'pappy Prescott Bush's financial backing of the Nazis AND the now proven prediction that a shredded constitution was going to be difficult to reassemble.

The article suggests linking Obama with Hitler "has the considerable side effect of making American politics increasingly incapable of sound policy-making."

This implies a causal nature to the Tea Party. But said "linking" is not a cause, as implied, but one of the many effects of an "American politics increasingly incapable of sound policy-making" .

Further the article says: "If it is socially acceptable to so excessively exaggerate an opponent’s presumed 'threat,' then unfounded fear will be a constant variable in decision-making ..."

But, again, there is NO future tense involved. "Unfounded fear" has been the driving force for American politics for at least the last thirty years.

Note the latest illustration thereof: the current RNC fund-raising strategy characterized as: "aggressive campaign capitalizing on 'fear' of President Barack Obama and a promise to 'save the country from trending toward socialism'."

Of course, the legislation that catalyzed the Tea baggers to "action" has been accurately described as "a piece of sh*t specifically designed to change as little as possible and to preserve at all costs our malfunctioning system of private health care." (Altered slightly from Taibbi in Rolling Stone.)

The Tea Party phenomenon is hardly populist or causative but simply another example of exploitation of, in this case, racial fear, well-funded by those, the hyper-rich, who have the most to lose from any legislation that actually benefitted the general population.

Here they have simultaneously co-opted reform while at the same time are agitating for the status quo. Ah, the utter "flexibility" available to extreme wealth.




Anonymous said...

It probably wasn't "tea baggers" as you call them but LaRouche protesters. They seem to appear in places like that.
You need to know the difference because THERE IS ONE. I see you are from Germany? We love the US and if you want to change a country- please go back to Germany and do it. And take your carbon tax with you as well.

Nat Parry said...

Okay, you all really need to drop this meme that it was only a few Larouchies at one or two tea parties who made this comparison. Just google "obama hitler" and you get 6.2 million hits -- it is all over the web. (Incidentally, when you google "bush hitler" you get 6.4 million hits.) Are you telling me that it was just a few Larouchies who created this comparison? It had nothing to do with Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the right-wing blogosphere? Please...

Sophia said...


It's very clear that your debating skills haven't matured beyond elementary school. You obviously have no intelligent way to argue your point of view. 'Go back to Germany?' Really? How about you stop placing your bigoted views on the rest of America and make a comment with substance next time.

Your mindset is a perfect example of the U.S.'s near-sidedness. There is a world that exists beyond our borders, and it's not going to wait for us to iron out all of our partisanship problems and economic malaise. Nor is it going to stall it's renewable energy innovations that are increasingly making US cars and machinery less competitive. A lot of countries abroad get it and are adjusting accordingly to the needs of the future -- and Germany has a solid position at the vanguard. If anything, we should be taking a page out of their book.