Friday, August 7, 2009

One of These Things Is Not Like The Other…

Joan Walsh in Salon.com:

Just when you think political discourse can’t any uglier, Rush Limbaugh is comparing President Obama to Hitler and calling all Democrats Nazis, while the frothing right-wingers turning Democrats’ town halls into “town hells” routinely refer to Obama and his supporters as “brownshirts.” Right-wing blogger Steve Gilbert has transformed Obama’s healthcare reform logo into a Nazi symbol by cleverly adding a swastika; meanwhile, some Republicans insist Democrats are lying about “town hell” rowdies carrying signs with swastikas, but they’re the ones with a problem telling the truth.

If you thought right-wingers’ claim that Obama is a racist was projection, here’s another case study for psychology students everywhere. At district meetings Democrats are being shouted down by angry mobs inflamed by corporate interests spewing lies about healthcare reform — Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil was hung in effigy. Rep. Tim Bishop needed a police escort to his car, Rep. Brad Miller reports death threats, while Republican Todd Akin of Missouri joked — to cheers from his GOP audience — that his Democratic colleagues “almost got lynched” by the “town hell” rowdies. Glenn Beck is joking about poisoning Nancy Pelosi’s wine — but it’s the Democrats who are Nazis, fascists and brownshirts. Got it.

It was just a few years ago that MoveOn was pilloried — by the mainstream media, not just the right — when a couple of filmmakers used Bush-as-Hitler imagery in a video contest. MoveOn quickly took the videos down and apologized, but the controversy boiled for days. Sure, some on the left continued to refer to the administration as fascists or as Nazis, but they were mostly marginalized. Now two of the biggest right-wing pundits, with huge megaphones on the radio and Fox News, call Obama Hitler, and the media mostly shrug.

Maybe it’s because we’ve gotten used to it. Glenn Beck froths and Rush Limbaugh rumbles; just another day in right-wing paradise.