Politics & Policy

The Nazi card, &c.

It’s not nice to call people Nazis, when they’re not. Did your mother ever tell you that? On the other hand, if people are like Nazis — let ’er rip.

In my experience, people who are called Nazis, aren’t. And many who are Nazi-like — they don’t get called Nazis. Let me get into this for a second.

#ad#At the Democratic convention, at least three leading Democrats tarred Republicans with the Nazi brush. Let’s count ’em off:

1) The chairman of the California Democratic party said that Paul Ryan practiced “the big lie.” “That was Goebbels, the big lie.”

2) The head of the Kansas delegation said the same thing about Mitt Romney. “It’s like Hitler said . . .”

Yeah, it’s like Hitler said, you know? Yeah, yeah!

3) The chairman of the South Carolina party likened Governor Nikki Haley to Eva Braun.

Okay, I’ll give you a bonus — outside the Democratic convention: In Ohio, Senator Sherrod Brown ran an ad calling his challenger, Josh Mandel, “the candidate of the big lie.” (There we go again.) Mandel is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, but what the hell . . .

You may have been told — it is one of those Rules to Live By — that you must never, ever compare anything to the Nazis. Because the Nazis were unique. Anyone who says, “It’s like the Nazis,” is a moron, and an offensive moron, at that.

It is certainly true that people are promiscuous with the Nazi card. Better to call no one a Nazi, ever, than to call people Nazis when they’re not the least bit like Nazis.

But guess what? There are people in the world like Nazis: Saddam Hussein’s Baath party; the Assads’ Baath party; the Iranian dictatorship; Hezbollah; Hamas.

And you know? Democrats such as the ones I cited above, who so freely call the liberal democrats in the Republican party Nazis, almost never call Assad and the rest Nazis. They are far tougher in their rhetoric on Republicans than on these Middle East actors: who openly admire the Nazis, and imitate them.

Strange, no?

‐Two days ago, Dennis Prager had a column. It relates to the above: “Have you noticed that the Left regularly condemns alleged conservative ‘hate speech’ but is almost completely silent on the most pervasive hate speech in the world?”

Oh, yes.

‐A headline: “Analysis: Prophet film diverts gaze from Syria.” (Article here.) Well, of course it does. Look, what’s the murder of thousands of human beings — Muslims, as it happens — when compared with the videographic efforts of some schlub of an American?

A cracked world, we’re talking about.

‐And you know what’s more important than either the video or Syria? Mitt Romney’s comment on what the Egyptian-embassy staffer said!!

Cracked.

‐Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal published a column by Bret Stephens: “Muslims, Mormons and Liberals.” It is possibly the greatest column in the history of columns.

On Broadway, there is a show called The Book of Mormon. A huge, huge hit. Has raked in millions of dollars. The show mocks Mormons and their religion, in vile ways. People can’t get enough of this show, including our secretary of state, who attended last year. They’ve laughed their a**es off.

But when a pathetic, amateur videomaker is rude about Islam . . . Secretary Clinton said “disgusting and reprehensible.”

Cracked. Absolutely cracked.

‐People, especially conservative pundits, can’t stop griping about Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, the country is going down the tubes. The other day, I saw a man on the street in Manhattan, wearing a suit and tie. He held a sign that said, “Please Hire Me.” And the sign listed his experience.

That is a long way from what my colleague John Fund has seen in Greece: men in business suits, pawing through garbage. But still — disquieting.

‐Yesterday, the Associated Press noted a development: “The Army is testing the first body armor specifically tailored to fit women’s physiques.” The AP characterized this as “a sign of diversity on the battlefield.”

Really? Is that what it is? A sign of diversity?

Ay, caramba.

‐Headline (over this article): “Panetta: New Asia focus not aimed to contain China.”

I do hope he’s lying.

#page#‐In an article last week, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote, “Personally, I rather admire the team of Hu Jintao (without wishing to get into the Tibet issue) and premier Wen Jiabao.”

Personally, I think that is a revolting sentence, and a perfect emblem for our age. Though maybe I should be grateful that the man even mentioned Tibet? (Maybe next time he can be even bolder, and mention the gulag, laogai.)

#ad#‐Headline: “Study: Military drinking ‘culture’ now a ‘crisis.’” (Article here.) This reminded me: The other day, I saw a routine reference to alcohol as “adult beverages.” And I thought, “It’s amazing that people think they’re adult when they’re on alcohol. Usually, they’re at their least adult. If only they could see themselves!” (And smell themselves.)

‐How do you get fined 4,000 bucks? You insult the president of the European Council, by saying he has “the charisma of a damp rag.” You might also say that he comes from “pretty much a non-country” (Belgium). Don’t believe me? Check out this news article.

‐Along with people far abler than I, I have for years decried one phrase: “social justice.” It is one of the slipperiest, most nonsensical, and most dangerous phrases in the entire human repertoire. What horrors have been committed in the name of “social justice”!

So it was with a heavy heart that I received the news from a reader: Stetson Law School, in Florida, has a new concentration — in “social-justice advocacy.” You can read about it here. And weep, maybe.

This new concentration is to be led by two professors. One of them is known for “the protection of women’s reproductive rights” — i.e., abortion on demand. That’s “justice” for you, whether “social” or not.

(The other professor-leader, incidentally, has the last name Bickel. Son of Alex? Don’t know.)

‐In a recent issue of National Review, I had an essay called “A World of Labels: ‘Moderate liberals’ and other interesting creatures.” A reader wrote to give me a gem from the AP — a gem from 2009. Have a look at the first two paragraphs:

NEW YORK — Chanting “Whose street? Our street!” hundreds of people rallied on Wall Street Friday to protest the billions of dollars in federal bailout money to big business.

Monica Moorehead, managing editor of the left-leaning newspaper Workers World, said the crowd gathered to protest the capitalist system which helps AIG and other companies that steal money from us.

Forget, for the moment, “companies that steal money from us.” (This is a wire-service report, remember, not an editorial somewhere.) How about that “left-leaning newspaper”? Left-leaning! Workers World is Communist, of course.

As I said, a gem.

‐Let me give you a vision of hell — a little vignette: You’re sitting at 5-Napkin Burger, on the Upper West Side. You’re alone, so at the mercy of other people’s conversations. Sitting next to you are two women, very close. Very close to you, that is — practically touching.

They’re talking about the dismaying fact that some people will actually vote against President Obama this November. President Obama is the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world, of course. How could anyone vote against him?

One woman says to the other, “People here in New York, they’re aware of the world. They know things. But people in other parts of the country — they’re too sheltered to know better.”

I’ve heard talk like this my entire life, needless to say — starting in Ann Arbor. In fact, these two ladies were very familiar to me, from my youth. They’d have made perfect Ann Arborites.

But there was a saving grace about them: They had children (who were with them). Kind of nervy of them, to enlarge their “footprint” that way. I sort of liked them for it.

And here was another saving grace — well, two, actually. First: Their bill came pretty quickly, and off they went. But second: The restaurant’s S’mores milkshake is maybe the most delicious thing ever. Along with the S’mores ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s.

Oh, can those Vermont lefties make ice cream!

 

To order Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.

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