Monday, June 28, 2004

Mary Beth Cahill has gone retarded
So, since I want to write my senior thesis on this election, I signed up for John Kerry's email list a while ago. Today, I received an email from Mary Beth Cahill, opening with the following:
Yesterday, the Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces.

The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.

Ok, so, why did Bush-Cheney use a Hitler face on the "Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" ad? Clearly, they're calling Democrats Hitler, and every sensible person should be insulted. Uh, no. They are simply pointing out that many of the most vocal Kerry supporters have compared Bush to Hitler. So, um, Mary Beth, shut up because you have no right to complain on this issue.


Sandals said...

Which most vocal Kerry supporters? I mean, if this is the standard, Senator Kerry should publish a rebuttal ad containing such highlights as:

"Everyone says liberals love America, too. No they don't. Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy."

"If [the Democrats] win this election thanks to a promise to undo the Reagan-Bush Doctrine, those cheering loudest will be the most evil-loving among us."

"Make no mistake -- The anti-war voices long for us to lose any war they cannot prevent."

"…liberals, whom I regard as traitors in this time of crisis…"

"A typical liberal cry baby faggot with no balls. I have been using you as the perfect example of a cowardly liberal cunt… What a pathetic little piece of shit you are. Remember my favorite advice for you liberal traitors: EAT SHIT AND DIE COWARDS!!!!"

(quotes taken from alicublog)

interspersed with video clips of Bush and DeLay speaking, and labeling them the "Faces of George W. Bush's Republican Party".

The Right spin on the Hitler ad has really been sickening. Any reasonable look at MoveOn's stance on the issue should clear that up.

It is not an unreasonable interpretation of the ad that John Kerry, et. al., are angry people just like Hitler. It's like claiming the President never said Iraq was responsible for 9/11. Well, obviously someone(=55%) thinks he said that, according to polls.

Sure, you can go down this path. Just don't get all high n mighty about the coarsening of the discourse.

Tanstaafl said...

I don't think it was a very good ad. I agree its stupid to be associating Kerry with some of the lunatic fringe... but, some guys on a blog are a bit different than Al Gore and, both of whom are major players in Democratic politics. Again, I don't think Kerry endorses the kind of awful muck that the crazies have been throwing about, but he and GW should both condemn some of the more outrageous stuff.

Sandals said...

After participating in a discussion on Political Animal (AKA Calpundit/Kevin Drum), I wish to clarify a little. I haven't changed my position, just that the discussion has let me describe it better. Plus I want to be honest. You guys are probably going to be all over me for this though...

The right has a kernel of truth when they say Liberals compare Bush to Hitler. In this they are correct on some level. However, there are varying degrees of that. Many liberals are concerned about the possible rise of Fascism in the US; and in the (from our point of view) Bush Admin authoritarian-personality-cult, we see a threat, the possible gradual acceptance of fascist views in the United States. Except that this threat likes to clothe itself in protestions of patriotism and freedom-loving. In Ashcroft we see an Attorney General who views detainees as guilty-until-proven-innocent; in the Republican power structure we see increasing centralization of authority. Frist and Delay increasingly ARE the voices of the Republican Party; what they say is what the Republican Party in Congress says. Party members who do not toe the line are punished, marginalized. They have expressed unprecedented hostility to the very concept of bipartisanship and seem to take the view more and more that outside threats are the opponents but Liberals and Democrats are the enemy.

In all that, we see comparisons to the rise of Fascism. Fascism typically has popular support; it isn't necessarily a dictatorship until later, if ever. Many of us are alarmed at this. Just as the Left is prone to supporting Communism and Socialism, the Right is prone to supporting Fascism and other authoritarian styles of government.

Part of the problem with Hitler comparisons is that Hitler is inextricably linked with anti-semitism, neo-nazis, and concentration camps. He is also "the enemy". That is why the ad submitted to Move On is entirely inappropriate, and indeed most comparisons with Hitler inappropriate. It is a "loaded phrase", so to speak.

Furthermore, it is not in the least bit civil to directly compare an opponent to Hitler, and definitely should be avoided. Again, there's too much knee-jerk attitude tied up in it. It's like the infamous Charlie Horton ad, but many times worse. It's simply not honest. Likewise it is difficult to publicly compare anyone to Nazi-ism for the same reasons.