Friday, January 09, 2004

Liberal Lighthouse: Matt Bivens and his 'Daily Outrage' - Bush=Hitler vs. Dean=Goebbels - I am a fierce critic of those on my side of the ideological divide who would stoop so low as to equate Bush with Hitler. It is just reprehensible and uncalled for. I am by no means a Bush supporter. I didn't vote for him in 2000 and rest assured that I won't vote for him this year. But I do, at least, think we should be 'civil' in our disagreements and debates. The Bush=Hitler comparison has no place in a civil debate. But Matt Bivens has a great little blurb in his blog at The Nation, an ultra-liberal magazine. This is what Bivens has to say about the hypocrisy of the rightwing outrage over the Bush/Hitler clips run on's website as part of a Bush in 30 Seconds Contest:

As The Nation's John Nichols reports, is being pounded upon hysterically by the Republican Party over two ad contest entries -- mailed in from the public, not endorsed by MoveOn and even apologized for and pulled from the website -- ads that compared George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.

MoveOn notes sourly, however, that none of this indignation was around when Democratic Senator Max Cleland -- a decorated veteran who lost both legs and an arm serving in Vietnam -- was smeared by the Republican leadership with television advertisements comparing him to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

And Timothy Karr at observes, even as the mainstream media has raised cries of shame at the Bush-Hitler ads -- which were mailed in to a "Bush in 30 Seconds" ad contest and promptly rejected -- there's been silence about the still-truculently defiant decision by The New York Post to run a column devoted entirely to comparing Howard Dean supporters to Hitler's Brownshirts, and Dean himself to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Kerr suggests you ask your favorite news outlet to explain the double- standard: Two citizens send in speech comparing the Bush Administration to Hitler -- speech that's promptly rejected by progressives, even apologized for, out of embarrassment to even be briefly associated with -- and it's a sordid national news event. But leading citizens and editors at a major metropolitan newspaper craft and print a detailed comparison of Howard Dean to Hitler -- they don't apologize -- they don't back down or disavow -- and there's smug silence.

While you're at it, ask them how it wasn't a national disgrace that a man who left three of his limbs on the battlefield in Vietnam could be called, in Republican Party-sponsored ads on television, an al-Qaeda lover -- just because Republican operatives coveted his Senate seat, and becase he had dared question the president's war in Iraq. That was probably the closest thing we've seen yet to a Goebbels moment -- where was The New York Post's crack Goebbels-watching team then? Maybe if the Republicans policed their own ranks, a minority of the American public wouldn't be entertaining dark fears about homegrown fascism. [Emphasis and links are in the original citation. -- JH]
Reprinted in full for your benefit; but check it out at The Nation anyway. Is Bivens being unfair? Is he trying to fight fire with fire? Not at all. He's not defending nor is he in any way supporting the Bush=Hitler comparison. What he is doing, however, is pointing out the hypocrisy of the right. What is really ironic is that on the comment boards of some conservative blogs that I visit regularly, this Bush=Hitler subject is met with outrage at the same time that The New York Post's article referenced above is either praised or ignored. Just to give one example ... If you go to conservative blogger John Hawkins's blog entry on the subject, and if you link on the comments section of this blog, and scroll down to my entry at time 2004-01-05 15:07:05, in which I write:
As a leftist liberal, I repudiate such trash no matter where it comes from. Comparing Bush to Hitler is flat-out wrong. For God's sake, the man is our president - agree with him or not, at least give him some respect for his office.
and if you compare this to a response I got on the very same comment board at time 2004-01-06 17:35:12 by a sincerely nice fellow (nom de web: decypher):
huckupchuck, you should read the editorial. It actually makes sense and wasn't in bad taste and made sense. The TWO ads that appeared on were trashy and tasteless. They used the holocuast as a political prop. And if Howard Dean doesn't want to be compared to Hitler, he should stop adopting his political methods.

Give it a read. I don't see anything that was untrue. And I don't see where in this editorial it says something anywhere near as bad as "What were war crime in 1945 is foreign policy in 2003."

Also, The NY Post is a newspaper, a minor media outlet. It does not raise money for the DNC and is not actively campaigning for a president.

Sorry, kiddo, but you got duped. And now you're doing their deflecting for them. is beneath contempt.

Also, I find it interesting that the left is still residing to typical deflection, trying to detract from their own horrific behavior by pointing out what they perceive to be other bad behavior.
you can see what I mean and to what Bivens is accurately referring. Partisanship blinds even the best of us ... that is, if we let it. Conservatives should see the hypocrisy of their outrage over the Bush/Hitler ad while at the same time giving the Dean=Goebbels article a pass, if not a thumbs up.

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