I’ll be the first to admit that after nearly a decade of wallowing in the swamp of right-wing political insanity, my sense of what constitutes “acceptable” rhetoric is entirely skewed, so much so that when I see things like these sorts of absurd assertions from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission that health care reform would lead to a Nazi-like elimination of the elderly, I barely even bat an eye any more:
This is nothing less than state sponsored euthanasia. Hitler began his reign of terror by his application of the brutal, Darwinian ethic, “survival of the fittest.” He started killing the disabled and infirmed because they were considered to be a burden on the state.
Hitler rationalized the killing of innocent people in an effort to advance his fascist, national socialist agenda. In the name of doing what’s best for the good of society, Hitler trivialized human life. Ultimately millions ended up paying with their lives.
In the name of the public good, Obama and the Congress are on the same anti-Christian, pro-death path.
And the reason I don’t even blink stems largely from the fact that this type of rhetoric is, in fact, perfectly acceptable to the Right – here’s Rush Limbaugh yesterday:
They accuse of us being Nazis, and Obama’s got a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook. Now, what are the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany? Well, the Nazis were against big business — they hated big business. And of course we all know that they were opposed to Jewish capitalism. They were insanely, irrationally against pollution. They were for two years mandatory voluntary service to Germany. They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working, one of which was the Autobahn. They were against cruelty and vivisection of animals, but in the radical sense of devaluing human life, they banned smoking. They were totally against that. They were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables, as we all know, and they were for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare.
This is why I have always bristled when I hear people claim conservativism gets close to Nazism. It is liberalism that’s the closest you can get to Nazism and socialism. It’s all bundled up under the socialist banner. There are far more similarities between Nancy Pelosi and Adolf Hitler than between these people showing up at town halls to protest a Hitler-like policy that’s being heralded like a Hitler-like logo.
As Glenn Greewald reminds us, just a few years ago when someone submitted an ad to MoveOn.org that compared President Bush to Hitler, MoveOn immediately removed the ad, everyone went completely insane. But now you have Limbaugh, the most influential voice of the Right in the entire country, literally comparing the Democrats to the Nazis and nobody says anything because this type of rhetoric is some utterly common that it is not even considered newsworthy.
And, on a similar note, just what exactly does Glenn Beck have to do to get himself yanked off the air? Apparently, joking about poisoning Nancy Pelosi is likewise perfectly acceptable:
I wonder what it would be like, seriously. I mean, if I could go, you know, to the speaker’s shindig, wouldn’t that be great? What would it — oh, look, here she — oh, she is — wow — you’re so much prettier and flatter and shinier in the face than I expected. It’s almost like you’re two people at once.
So, Speaker Pelosi, I just wanted to — you gonna drink your wine? Are you blind? Do those eyes not work? There you — I want you to drink it now. Drink it. Drink it. Drink it.
I really just wanted to thank you for having me over here to wine country. You know, to be invited, I thought I had to be a major Democratic donor or a longtime friend of yours, which I’m not.
By the way, I put poison in your — no, I — I look forward to all the policy discussions that we’re supposed to have — you know, on health care, energy reform, and the economy.
Hey, is that Sean Penn over there? I know it cost me more than $30,000 to get in here, but hey. Hey, I think I see Ed Markey, the author of cap and trade, right over there.
Like I said, my own sense of what sort of rhetoric is “acceptable” from the Right is admittedly skewed , so much so that, quite frequently, I don’t even bother posting certifiably crazy things precisely because they are so common as to not even warrant the coverage.
But even by my warped standard, this type of stuff from Limbaugh and Beck is completely insane.
And yet, at the same time, it is also perfectly acceptable.
And that is what is really insane.