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Obama is Hitler? WTF?

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/1/08

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(Part II of "A President English Teachers Can Be Proud Of")

Unfortunately, this is not a headline from the satirical newspaper The Onion: Barack Obama, the first African-American president in U.S. history, who earned that position by building a broad coalition of people from all races and social classes, is being compared with genocidal nutcase Adolf Hitler, who would have been all too happy to put the President-Elect in Auschwitz for his skin color.

Seriously...are you 'effing kidding me?

Conservative columnist Thomas Sowell devotes an entire essay to the analogy which is first laughable, and then horrifying when one realizes Sowell is utterly serious: "To find anything comparable to crowds' euphoric reactions to Obama, you would have to go back to old newsreels of German crowds in the 1930s, with their adulation of their fuehrer, Adolf Hitler."

But Sowell isn't a longhaired kook with library access to the net; he is writer for a "mainstream" conservative magazine the National Review, a professor, and a fellow of Stanford's Hoover Institution.

And even more frightening, Sowell is not alone.

The Daily Show shed light on this trend, hilariously pointing out recent comments by Georgia Republican Congressman Paul Broun: "We can't be lulled into complacency...You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential." (Broun later apologized for his comments).

Jonah Goldberg, author of the book Liberal Fascism, also writes an essay arguing that Obama is essentially a fascist, and a cartoonist draws a strip depicting the Obama camp as Nazis.

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And the list doesn't end here.

Lest you think only conservative sharks are to blame, HuffingtonPost blogger Glynnis MacNichol shows us that extreme analogies aimed at Obama are bipartisan. Back in the primary, MacNichol associated Obama to another mass-murder Jim Jones, with an article titled "Obama and the Kool-Aid Test," a clear reference to the Jonestown massacre in which more than 900 people died. And while MacNichol makes it clear she is not calling Obama Jim Jones, she nonetheless bashes his followers, invoking fascism in the same breath: "There are no shades of grey where Obama is concerned. And not only is there no room for Hillary, but any mention of her is greeted with the sort of response that might lead one to believe I was in fact speaking of some evil Eastern European dictator."

But the award-winner for the most outlandish Obama analogies goes to an anonymous writer, for a website called "Stop the ACLU," which promises to beat them "with their own sickle and hammer." This writer is able to hammer Obama together with pretty much every mass murder in modern history in a single sentence: the "cult of personality" surrounding Obama leads to "situations that produce over 900 poisoned corpses because they drank Koolaid." The writer, not content that this association is extreme enough, compares Obama to Hitler and Charles Manson, who were "skilled at charming others to their ill will."

It's easy to dismiss each of these as incoherent rants from extremists, which are not worth our time.

But these attacks are worth studying, as they speak to a greater hatred, a greater fear than Obama himself: a fear of words, and of those who can use them well.

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Or, as one insightful commenter posted in response to an article I recently wrote applauding Obama's command of language: "You may be surprised how intimidated those with a high school education or less can be by someone with a vocabulary and a command of the language."

In the same circles that "fear" Obama, George W. Bush's legendary incoherence was an asset, as it suggested he was just a regular American (which doesn't, unfortunately, speak well of regular Americans), and not a "slick politician," who speaks in complete and sophisticated sentences. Sarah Palin, who rivals Bush in linguistic incompetence, had the same appeal, as Dick Cavett (of the classic Dick Cavett Show) pointed out in a wonderful article "The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla". In response, one commenter wrote that he appreciated Palin's "honesty," contrasting it against Obama, claiming that "i am soooo not impressed by those who speak properly with good grammar and know how to say the right thing for the right people at the right time....in street language we call them 'con artists..'" (Apparently, capitalization is for "con-artists.")

A similar sentiment is expressed on another website: "I still believe Obama has a secret agenda...that's the way it is with all the smooth talkers...just like Bill Clinton!"

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Adam Bessie is an assistant professor of English at Diablo Valley College, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a co-wrote a chapter in the 2011 edition of Project Censored on metaphor and political language, and is a frequent contributor to (more...)
 

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...there's alot of irrational exhuberance amon... by Richard Volaar on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 10:15:53 AM
MANDATORY National "volunteer" Service f... by steve scheetz on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 11:06:38 AM
"There are a number of similarities" - y... by Adam Bessie on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:12:29 PM
AdamThe 'conservative' pundits you have li... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:28:14 PM
I am just pointing out the policy similarities, be... by steve scheetz on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:32:04 PM
Google Godwin's Law.  Anyone who compares... by Beth McKinley on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 4:55:01 PM
"Anyone who compares Hitler to anyone or anyt... by Mr M on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 6:53:03 PM
Good job Mr. M,I have lost the patience for going ... by William Whitten on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 7:51:11 PM
... indeed time is short and I too have absolutely... by Mr M on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 9:33:21 PM
This is all bla bla bla.Obama is a legend, a desig... by William Whitten on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 6:44:41 PM
to what Mr M has eloquently laid out.  But I ... by jersey girl on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 7:22:32 PM
than those of other candidates before him. But I m... by Cheryl Biren on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 6:38:09 AM
that there was forboding then as well... Any ... by steve scheetz on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 8:38:07 AM
with you on this: "Any time a bunch of people... by Cheryl Biren on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 10:21:32 AM
Of course it's true that other politicians ril... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 5:45:21 PM
i think maybe you missed where i was going with th... by Cheryl Biren on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 6:27:37 PM
I'm not ready to compare Obama to Hitler but I... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 7:02:41 PM
First of all, you seem to have fallen for the medi... by Linda Milazzo on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 at 1:41:31 AM
I get my news everywhere BUT msm.  In order t... by jersey girl on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 at 6:36:37 AM
but Mr. Obama has the world at his feet. The masse... by john riggs on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 7:54:37 PM
Yes you are correct; All of these people that got ... by William Whitten on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 8:13:33 PM
Any movement in the direction towards a police sta... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 at 8:51:00 AM
Including dems & Obama himself.  Unfortun... by jersey girl on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 at 1:33:57 PM
When corrupt criminals are threatened they resort ... by Jeffrey Rock on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 9:33:59 PM
I am glad to see so many comments in response... by Adam Bessie on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 10:13:32 PM
I didn't mean to imply none of the commenters ... by Adam Bessie on Monday, Dec 1, 2008 at 10:29:39 PM
Dear OEN readers,You have the legal right to say m... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 12:10:40 AM
... oh, you think you do, you may even know, but f... by Mr M on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 12:44:51 AM
Oh, I've picked up a little Holocaust history ... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 2:28:49 AM
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-443054337... by Mr M on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 7:08:03 AM
I managed to watch about 10 minutes of this almost... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 9:39:27 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBcwAJZGXsk... by MARGARET BASET on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 at 7:22:10 AM
The following is from an article I wrote this past... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 12:13:05 AM
Are you kidding me?  Actors can sound empathe... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 5:48:00 AM
You're mistaken, Jersey Girl: Actors have the ... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 8:57:28 AM
As for snake oil salesmen, that has nothing to do ... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 5:55:50 PM
Adam, if you were interested in a fair discussion ... by maha aldoujaily on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 5:25:24 AM
Not that this is at all pertinent to my main point... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 7:45:12 PM
1. The author of the article legitimately expresse... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 8:31:04 AM
MARK, HOLD ON TO YOUR COMMENT AND POST IT AGAIN AT... by rich racer on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 3:41:16 PM
click here... by rich racer on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 4:16:51 PM
Excuse me I put the fact of hitler's jewish so... by maha aldoujaily on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 5:43:52 PM
You don't like to face facts about your govern... by maha aldoujaily on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 5:53:06 PM
including PDD51, Military Commissions Act, Patriot... by richard on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 8:32:12 AM
What is the matter with us progressives, liberals,... by Stickshift on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 10:30:34 AM
Mark's msm technique for silencing debate:1. W... by maha aldoujaily on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 6:20:18 PM
I used the word shame once and you deserve it.&nbs... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 6:45:27 PM
I see you still havent learned to read what people... by maha aldoujaily on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 7:49:44 PM
...?... by maha aldoujaily on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 7:56:03 PM
let it be an answer to both of  your comments... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 8:46:37 PM
that are noted in the article. Not only are there ... by Rady Ananda on Tuesday, Dec 2, 2008 at 7:58:02 PM
Well said and a hearty Amen from one in the tiny l... by jersey girl on Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008 at 8:04:58 AM