And Opposing Tort Reform Is Like Inhaling Zyklon B:
Damn, it's good to have Nazis and the Holocaust around to use for your trite metaphors and analogies. Otherwise, really, what else would convey the emotion you need to make your cause seem so much more important than it actually is?
Take, for instance, the recent ad from a Wal-Mart funded group (approved by Wal-Mart's corporate office), Protect Flagstaff's Future. In a brilliant concept, the newspaper ad featured a picture of people burning books in 1933 Nazi Germany. The ad's copy read, "Should we let government tell us what we can read? Of course not . . . So why should we allow local government to limit where we shop? Or how much of a store's floor space can be used to sell groceries?" 'Cause, you see, Wal-Mart wanted zoning laws in Flagstaff, Arizona changed so that the local Wal-Mart could expand to include a grocery store. Local grocers didn't want that. The ad implies that to deny a major immigrant and worker-abusing corporation the right to expand is akin to the Nazi purges of "un-German" books through giant bonfires of books by Jews and others. Students participating in the book burnings often pillaged the fire's fuel from libraries, personal and public, as well as stores. Joseph Goebbels loved the fires, you know, and spoke at a huge rally in Berlin, saying, "German men and women! The age of arrogant Jewish intellectualism is now at an end! . . . You are doing the right thing at this midnight hour—to consign to the flames the unclean spirit of the past. This is a great, powerful, and symbolic act. . . . Out of these ashes the phoenix of a new age will arise. . . . Oh Century! Oh Science! It is a joy to be alive!" Of course, Goebbels meant a new age of lower prices on Fruit Roll-Ups and corn flakes. And, you know, no Jews.
That rally on May 10, 1933? The same one pictured in the Wal-Mart ad. Wal-Mart has apologized for using the image, not realizing that the book burning was a Nazi one (apparently, a random book burning would have been fine). Said one corporate lackey, "We did not know what the photo was from. We obviously should have asked more questions."
But, c'mon, why bother apologizing when the right is so fuckin' fond of trottin' out the Holocaust whenever they want to forcefully make an "argument." Remember when Grover Norquist compared the "fairness" of the estate tax to "the morality of the Holocaust"? That was sooo clever. 'Cause, see, with the estate tax, the government "discriminates" by taking some money from really, really rich dead people; and in the Holocaust, the Nazis "discriminated" by killing millions of men, women, and children and burning their bodies. You can see how readily the two are analogous.
This past Saturday, on CNN's The Capital Gang (and wouldn't we all love to see the Capital "Gang" in a rumble with the Latin Kings?), Bob "Behold the Permanent Sneer of Contempt On My Lips" Novak made the following argument against a Democratic offer to allow votes on some filibustered judges: "[It's]like going to a concentration camp and picking out which people go to the death chamber. You're not going to let the Democrats do that, say, We're going to -- we're going to confirm this person, we're not going to confirm the other person." (You can see the video at the invaluable Crooks and Liars.)
You get it? If the Democrats offer to allow votes on only some of the ten judges they are against, it's like getting off the train at Dachau. For Priscilla Owen and William Pryor, it'll be just like this: "After deportation trains arrived at the killing centers, guards ordered the deportees to get out and form a line. The victims then went through a selection process. Men were separated from women and children. A Nazi, usually an SS physician, looked quickly at each person to decide if he or she was healthy and strong enough for forced labor. This SS officer then pointed to the left or the right; victims did not know that individuals were being selected to live or die. Babies and young children, pregnant women, the elderly, the handicapped, and the sick had little chance of surviving this first selection." Except, you know, Owen and Pryor won't be led to buildings to be stripped and gassed to death.
Just think if the Nazis hadn't come to power and committed genocide. Christ, Wal-Mart might have had to make an ad with a photo of a woman's bloody corpse from a botched illegal abortion, saying, "Should we let the government tell us what we can do with our bodies?" Bob Novak might have said, "Choosing which judges to filibuster is like walking into a prison in the South and figuring out which nigger to lynch."
When Elie Wiesel (who, yes, is trotted out whenever anyone wants to make a point about the Holocaust, but, still . . .) visited refugee camps in Macedonia, he refused to compare the Kosovo tragedy to the Holocaust. "I don't believe in drawing analogies," he said. One doesn't need to contextualize horror in the shadow of other horrors. Each genocide can stand on its own.
Would that the right, with their feminazis and more, have such grace and restraint.