Monday, March 26, 2007

Tom Delay Equates Liberals With Hitler

Tom Delay, former Congressman, Cable TV darling and friend of Washington elites, says:

"By charging this big lie, liberals have finally joined the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler." (via Johnny America).

Atrios remarks:

Move On is a left wing extremist organization because it once held an open contest in which someone submitted an ad which compared Bush to Hitler which they promptly removed after it came to their attention.

Adolf Hitler, of course, is the singularly, most evil person in modern history. You can't help but think of the Holocaust whenever you think of Hitler. Thus, drawing comparisons to him for what, even if true, would amount to a much lesser wrong, minimizes Hitler's evil and is insulting to his victims. Though I'm not against trash talking in general, I believe there is an art to it (try to make it humorous) and there is a line where name calling crosses into hate speech. Racial epithets is one example. Hitler comparisons - such as BushHitler, Hitlery Clinton - is another.

On the other hand, I don't have a "hate speech" problem with calling people Nazis. The Nazi insult has a long history in this country that is not strictly associated with the Holocaust but with generally oppressive behavior. In school, we heard of particularly harsh teachers or principals called Nazis. Seinfeld had the Soup Nazi. Even with the right's long use of the term feminazi, I wasn't offended and understood the point they were trying to make. I would debate the substance of the charge but would not argue the righty trash talkers should never use the phrase because it equals hate speech.


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