Nazi Rhetoric and the Democratic Party

Why does it keep coming up?

It's not everyone by any means. And it doesn't happen all the time. But in far too many occasions those in the Democratic Party (and those who are farther left than that) keep invoking the names of extremist political groups when referring to Republicans and Republican candidates.

The most recent incident? Next door in Minnesota. On Democratic Congressional challenger Colleen Rowley's website, her Republican opponent was pictured as fictional Nazi official Colonel Klink (as reported on Minnesota television station KARE11's website):
The photo of Kline as Col. Wilhelm Klink - a monocled, bumbling German prison camp commandant in the TV comedy that ran from 1965-71 - was inserted into a blog posting already up on Rowley's site that criticized Kline for supporting the replacement of President Grant's portrait on $50 bills with a likeness of President Reagan.

At the top of the blog, titled "Colonel Kline vs. General Grant," Rowley posted a note that said, "I support this excellent blog written by one of our best volunteers!"
Read it all here. I find this so disingenuous, because its mentality is that of just throwing out a racial epithet. To me, it's not much more than saying "I can't win the argument on an intellectual basis, so I'm going to call them a name."

Someone saying I'm equivalent to the Taliban or the Nazi party because I'm a conservative Republican? That's just low brow rhetoric at it's worst. And doesn't the process deserve a little better?

I'm Irish Catholic too. Why don't you also just call me a "Mick Papist" as well? (If my ethnic background was more diverse, I probably couldn't print some of the terminology and remain a family weblog. But you get the point.)

The closest slam that Republicans would use against Democrats of the same nature? Well, it's hard to cite an example, because it's not common. When was the last time a Republican elected official stood up and said at a rally "We need to win this race to beat back the communist wing of the Democratic party?"

It just doesn't happen. (Or at the very least, it happens so little that it doesn't make the news.)

Besides, when Democrats are out there calling elected officials Nazis, isn't all of that rhetoric misdirected anyway? Instead of calling Republicans Nazi's, why aren't the Democrats out there who throw these terms about directing their anger at the people they really should be mad at?

They shouldn't be mad at elected officials. They're typically doing what they promised to do on the basis of the views and ideology they espoused during the campaign. They aren't to blame for doing exactly as they said they would. If anything, candidates are supposed to do that.

If Democrats don't like the views of Republican officeholders, they should instead blame the people who put them in office. In rallies and press releases they should start coming out and addressing the voters who chose the elected officials and say "To you, the majority of voters who chose elected official X - We Democrats you are a bunch of morons. The party of the Donkey thinks you are easily swayed simpletons who don't know how to choose what's best for you. In short, we Democrats are calling you out as stupid, stupid, STUPID!"

But then again, why would they? Democrats know that calling voters stupid is probably not a good way for them to go about winning office.

It's about as intelligent as calling Republicans Nazi's.


Anonymous said…
You can admit, PP, that the current administration (GWB) has a certain ... shall we say ... authoritarian quality, can you not?

Here's a great article about Bush and Karl Rove, written a few years ago by Ron Susskind and published in Esquire magazine.

Here's a passage from the article. (Warning: profanity)

"Eventually, I met with Rove. I arrived at his office a few minutes early, just in time to witness the Rove Treatment, which, like LBJ’s famous browbeating style, is becoming legend but is seldom reported. Rove’s assistant, Susan Ralston, said he’d be just a minute. She’s very nice, witty and polite. Over her shoulder was a small back room where a few young men were toiling away. I squeezed into a chair near the open door to Rove’s modest chamber, my back against his doorframe.

Inside, Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!" As a reporter, you get around—curse words, anger, passionate intensity are not notable events—but the ferocity, the bellicosity, the violent imputations were, well, shocking. This went on without a break for a minute or two. Then the aide slipped out looking a bit ashen, and Rove, his face ruddy from the exertions of the past few moments, looked at me and smiled a gentle, Clarence-the-Angel smile. "Come on in."
Anonymous said…
"The closest slam that Republicans would use against Democrats of the same nature? Well, it's hard to cite an example, because it's not common."

Are you serious? Do you listen to some of the whacked out talk radio shows? How about the family policy council comparing Tom Daschle to Saddam Hussein? What about some of your fellow SD bloggers?

I understand getting upset at low brow political attacks but you can’t honestly think that this only goes in one direction. If so, you are doing serious damage to your credibility.
Anonymous said…
This has to be about the funniest post I've seen on this blog.
PP said…
(I must have been cranky this AM after reading the Republicans as Nazi thing for about the umpteenth time.)

Regardless, (Anon) I could give a fart less about the babblings of conservative talk radio pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Their only job is to entertain. In the realm of legitimate political discussion, they're at the same level of Jerry Springer - bizarre broadcast antics only worth tuning in for an occasional laugh.

I gave up on Rush Limbaugh about a decade ago because it never was about anything other than what crazy thing was he going to say next.

I didn't see it myself, but if the FPC did compare Daschle to Hussein, then I would agree it wasn't one of their finer moments.

But then again, I'm the guy who doesn't think much of the RINO term either.

I'd rather illustrate why someone's thinking is incorrect than just slap a label on them.

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