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Friday, August 07, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: Idiot Savant of Bloviating

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh compared Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler. The money quotes being widely repeated are from a fairly lengthy rant:
"Obama's got a health care logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook...they [Nazi's] were for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare....a Hitler-like policy that's being heralded like a Hitler-like logo...Obama is asking citizens to rat each other out like Hitler did."
Limbaugh has perhaps proven Godwin's Law for public discussion (in the context of the health care debate). Eventually, some doofus always compares an opponent to Hitler and the Nazis.

Remember just a few years ago when conservatives went crazy with outrage because two obscure videos produced by people entering an on-line ad contest compared then-President George W. Bush to Hitler? The video ads were originally hosted on the MoveOn website (along with 1500 from other competitors) and they quickly created a political firestorm.

MoveOn just as quickly denounced the ads, removed them from the web, and announced procedures to make sure the error could not repeated. The ads in question were not among the 15 contest finalists that received the lion's share of attention (and web traffic). In fact, most attention drawn to the ads came thanks to the Republican National Committee, which featured the ads on their website to highlight the evil of MoveOn.

Does anyone believe Limbaugh's reductio ad Hitlerum is going to create the same reaction -- from those on both the left and right outraged by the Bush comparison? To jar your memory, here's Fox News, January 2004:
RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie called the ad, "the worst and most vile form of political hate speech."
Of course, Limbaugh has used the term "Feminazi" for years without sparking this kind of reaction from RNC chairs and others, which likely means that the outrage about the Bush comparison may have been completely partisan and cynical.

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