Thursday, July 15, 2010

Preying on the Fearful & Naive

When I think "Hitler," I think extended unemployment benefits and bank bailouts.  Oh, wait.  No I don't.  I think "murdered six million Jews" and "tried to take over Europe."  And for as much as people have a visceral loathing for Hitler, I'm pretty sure it's not because people associate him with socialism. 

And yet, Iowa Tea Partiers give us this:

Fearful and naive, indeed.  Yeah, no scaremongering going on here.  Hitler, Obama, and Lenin are all socialists who promoted change.  It's just natural to link these three together. 

The Message is Socialism

Curiously, it seems the Tea Partiers finally agreed to take down the billboard, so the stories I'm finding on this all mention how they took it down, quoting the group's spokesman saying:
They are absolutely right in their criticism because the image of Hitler just totally wiped everything else and it misrepresents the tea party movement.  They were right from the standpoint that the image was not a positive reflection on the tea people.
Not that that's such a great mea culpa, as he's saying it was wrong because of how it made the "tea people" look.  Does that mean he still stands by how it made Obama look?

And that's a little different from the justification he gave earlier in the day, when I first read the story:
"The purpose of the billboard was to draw attention to the socialism. It seems to have been lost in the visuals," Johnson said. "The pictures overwhelmed the message. The message is socialism." He said he didn't know of any plans to remove the sign.

Yeah, the pictures overwhelmed the message.  I'm sure the Wall Street Reform = Hitler connection made a whole lot more sense in the written form.

Hitler = Hitler

But of course, it didn't.  The reason you associate someone with Hitler is because you're saying they're evil.  And as I've said before, unless the person you're associating with Hitler intentionally exterminated millions of people while starting a war that killed millions more, it's not a comparison you get to make.

And seriously, aren' there maybe a few more recent socialists that Tea Partiers could associate with Obama, if their big message was that Obama was a socialist?  Maybe a few heads of state in Europe?  Or are we to pretend that Europe doesn't have socialism?  But of course they do and Tea Partiers have absolutely no problem reminding us about that.  But hey, if they think Europe's so bad, why not put up a billboard associating Obama with the sort of dreaded socialists he's supposedly trying to emulate? 

Oh yeah, because they were trying to scare people into thinking that Obama's the next Hitler.  You know, because Hitler got rid of co-pays for preventive medicine.  With holocausts like that, who needs breast cancer?

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