From a reader:
“But those comparing Bush to Hitler and the Republican Party to Nazis aren’t saying that conservatives are akin to Nazis in some abstract sense, they are saying conservatives are Nazis. It seems to me this diminishes the Holocaust a hell of a lot more than some abstract syllogism.”
Bingo. Whenever I see a silly comparison to Nazis (or fascists, as you’ve noted in an earlier column), my first reaction is to say that the comparison does more to diminish Naziism than it does to enhance the horror of the comparee. Saying Bush = Hitler does more to dimish the evils of Naziism than it does to amplify the horrors of Bush. Another good example of this phenomenon is the radical feminist argument that viewing pornography is comparable to rape. That argument does more to diminish the real horrors of rape than it does to expose (heh) the supposed horrors of porn, a result that feminists ought to be more concerned about.