He’s No Hitler

I don’t know why some Tea Party protestors want to compare President Obama to Hitler. I never liked it when liberals compared President Bush to Hitler either.  Why do angry, political powerless, protestors feel they are using their trump card when linking their enemies to Hitler?  The protest placards are far more damning to their makers than those they target.  Few leaders in history can be compared to Hitler.  His evil qualities are so extreme that its simple-minded to use Hitler as any kind of measuring stick to gauge the average politician.  It’s like comparing firecrackers to H-bombs.

If the Tea Party people want to make comparisons they should compare Obama to a previous President they think pursued the same goals they hate.  I would imagine that would be Lyndon Johnson, or even FDR.  Strangely, the reason why I didn’t like President Bush was because his Iraq War was a whole lot like LBJ’s Vietnam War.  Our political landscape needs no comparison to Germany, Russia or China, we’ve been fighting our own unique issues since George Washington became President.  What’s sad is the Tea Party people scream so much about 1776 but they can’t see how we got from then to now and why we can’t go backwards.

The political right’s seeing red over Obama actually has little to with the man, but is just a continuation of a long term Hatfield and McCoy like feud.  Obama is just the liberal figurehead that sits in the Oval Office at the moment.  The righteous indignation of the conservatives always thinks liberal leaders, especially strong ones, are as evil as Hitler or Stalin.  Conversely, extreme liberals compare strong conservatives to Hitler when they are in office.  We need to analyze why?  (And who was the ultimate evil bad guy before WWII used in insults?)

Shouting the name Hitler is about as creative as people who use both phrases: “that’s some good shit” and “that’s some bad shit” in their day-to-day lives.  Comparing people to Hitler is only meaningful is you’re talking about Stalin, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao, Idi Amin and to a lesser degree, Saddam Hussein.

The Tea Party movement is really just sore losers crying over spilt milk.  Sarah Palin has nothing constructive to say politically.  What Obama has done while he is in office is not significantly different from what a conservative President would have done except for the healthcare bill, and if Republicans won the White House every term even they would have had to passed healthcare reform sooner or later, and it might not have been that much different from what the Democrats created.  The healthcare bill had no public option and is built around private insurance, an idea originating with Republicans.  Changing times force political changes, not ideology.

The momentum of economic reality rolls on no matter which party is in the White House.  So far we’ve been lucky and had no real Hitlers.  If Obama was like Hitler, Fox News would be shut down, and all their commentators dead.  Also, if any of our Presidents had really been like Hitler, the U.S.A. would have collapsed.  Our diversity could not support such extremism.

It’s much too early to tell how good or bad a President Obama will be.  Anyone blaming Obama for our present situation really needs to blame hordes of politicians, from both parties, going back decades.

What we have to worry about is the educational level of people comparing any of our Presidents to Hitler.  In fact, I think we should discount any political protestor or commentator who can’t reference a realistic comparison to past American political leaders and policies, and make reasonable links to previous problems and solutions.   People who use the name Hitler in protest are just people who have forgotten history, or never really knew it in the first place.

Evoking the name of Hitler is a kind of terrorist tactic, or Chicken Little exclaiming that the sky is falling.  It depresses me.  I’ve seen TV coverage where Tea Party people are outrage at the media coverage they get, and are even becoming critical of their own who go to extremes.  They don’t like being call racists or crackpots, and who can blame them, but it’s the extreme protest signs and rhetoric that get them on the news.  I’d take their protests more seriously as a third party if they didn’t make those extreme attacks on President Obama. 

The policies of any President are always open to criticism, but comparing any President to Hitler or Stalin is low IQ.  I’ve always hated Michael Moore political tactics too.  People have really sunk to a low point if they use Sacha Cohen’s tactics to attack one another.  It’s strange when conservatives follow in the footsteps of Abbie Hoffman, but then I’m sure there have always been mean spirited, underhanded, attackers protesting the power holders in Washington.

I guess I’m just overly sensitive to hot blooded, emotionally charged people.  I found it amusing the other day on the news when a roving reporter asked a Tea Party protestor about his sign comparing Obama to Hitler.  The guy said quietly that he meant no disrespect.  I wondered if he was actually embarrassed.  I bet he’d wished he had created a more creative slogan, equal to “Don’t tread on me” or “No taxation without representation.”  I guess the Tea Party has yet to find their Tom Paine or Ben Franklin.  It’s a shame the best they can do is a brunette Ann Coulter.  

JWH – 4/17/10

6 thoughts on “He’s No Hitler”

  1. Any Democrat in the White House would have to put up with some of this, especially during an economic collapse. But the hysteria about Barack Obama is because of his race.

    Only 41% of Tea Party members recognize that Obama is a native-born American (can you imagine anyone doubting this if Obama were white?). They say that Obama doesn’t share the values of real Americans. One quarter of them think he favors blacks over whites. Most think that “too much” has been made of the problem of racism in this country, while three-quarters think that blacks and whites have an “equal chance” of getting ahead. In this day and age, racists are cautious about their language, especially in public. But their attitudes are pretty clear, don’t you think?

    Tea Partiers are rabidly anti-immigrant, too, and for the same reason. Note that they’re not hurting economically. They actually tend to be pretty well off, in comfortable circumstances even in this economic downturn. (All this from the recent NY Times/CBS News poll.) Their rage comes from the feeling that they’re losing “their country” to blacks and Hispanics. It’s no longer a place where a white Christian man automatically gets precedence. (Of course, they tend to think that Obama is a Muslim, too. He’s not one of “us,” so he must be an enemy.)

    And it doesn’t help that non-white births in America are supposed to become the majority any year now. Demographics are leading us further and further into a more diverse nation. It’s not just that a BLACK MAN is president, though that has hit them hard. But a woman is actually speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi gets almost as much grief as Obama). And the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee is gay.

    Tea Partiers are overwhelmingly older, white, straight (presumably), Christians (and 59% men, to boot). They vote the GOP ticket, but they’re even more conservative than the average Republican. They’re relatively comfortable economically (many get Social Security and Medicare, and feel fiercely entitled to that particular “government socialism”). But this isn’t the 1950’s anymore. And every time they see Barack Obama, they’re reminded of that. That’s where the hysteria and the rage come from.

    1. Bill it’s hard not to think of them as racists when you see films of their rallies and there are no black people attending. Actually, there seems to be no people of color at all among the Tea Party. How can they think they represent America. Thanks for posting those figures. The U.S. has always had a ethnically diverse population, so it’s bizarre that some people can’t see it even after centuries. I also find it weird that the Tea Party people hate big government and healthcare reform but many are on social security and medicare, and quite a few on unemployment benefits.

      I find Obama to be the most likeable President we’ve had in a very long time. I wonder if he was white if the Tea Party would see that he’s actually an exceptionally reasonable guy, not an extreme liberal, willing to find compromises, hard working, anxious to solve problems, caring, brilliant, and a good family man. Nothing he has promoted has been very far the middle politically.

      The Tea Party people depress me. They depress me in the same way as all the people who refuse to accept evolution as obvious. I can only assume these people want the world to be like it was in the distant past, before science, when people thought in simple concepts. I’m sorry our reality is too complex for them, and I hate to see them suffer, but they cause more suffering with their beliefs.

    1. How bizarre. I had never heard of that book. Calling people fascist is different from equating them with Hitler. Normally fascism is positioned on the extreme right of the political spectrum but I’m willing to accept that an extreme left kind of fascism is theoretically possible. However, there is nothing close to fascism in this country and thinking so is as simply-minded as comparing Obama to Hitler. Over regulation and excessive law making does not equate to fascism, and I can understand why conservatives think liberals create too many laws and think our government is too big. But they ruin their honest criticisms by making extreme attacks. It’s like a kid claiming his parents are fascist dictators because they make him brush his teeth. I’m all for a smaller government and fewer taxes, but specific hows are needed, not heated rhetoric.

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