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Historian of Nazism Explains Why GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Is the 'Gravedigger of American Democracy'

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Browning, a specialist in the areas of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany,  explained:

(McConnell) stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. ... Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments. Systematic obstruction of nominations in Obama’s first term provoked Democrats to scrap the filibuster for all but Supreme Court nominations. Then McConnell’s unprecedented blocking of the Merrick Garland nomination required him in turn to scrap the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in order to complete the “steal” of Antonin Scalia’s seat and confirm Neil Gorsuch. The extreme politicization of the judicial nomination process is once again on display in the current Kavanaugh hearings.


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At www.alternet.org

 

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
 

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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I see McConnell as the destroyer. He would have all 3 branches of government run by his party and him!

He is th devil!

Submitted on Friday, Oct 5, 2018 at 9:19:24 PM

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George King

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Meryl Ann, this is very troubling. Although not in the way the article is portrayed regarding an insidious evil but in the half truths directed for the political gain of divide and conquer. Let us have a deeper, insightful and more truthful look into this insidious evil. The article's title, "Historian of Nazism Explains Why GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Is the 'Gravedigger of American Democracy'" is nothing more than a hit piece to accomplish for the (false) opposition what it could not by other open means achieve.

A couple of notes on the article you pointed to and then a more honest explanation by the author of note in a book by the same author, Christopher Browning.

This is of note here, "a significant reduction in government-sponsored health cares (though not yet the total abolition of Obamacare they hope for)".

Dear Meryl Ann, let there be no misunderstanding on this as it was Rob Emanual (Chicago good ole boy) Democrat who railroaded and derailed single payer health care, when the Democrats controlled the Presidency, the Senate and the House!

I will say that this is a truthful statement but must include both parties and those who control them. Two sides of the same coin indeed! "However long they stay in power, they will eventually leave -- but the damage done to democracy and American institutions may persist for generations".

An Insidious Evil

Christopher Browning, the author of The Origins of the Final Solution, explains how ordinary Germans came to accept as inevitable the extermination of the Jews

This book goes into the minutest details about the unfolding of the Final Solution, focusing on everything from the train schedules to the different kinds of gas tested by the Nazi technicians. What is the value of quantifying evil in this way, breaking it down into small details rather than only looking at the bigger picture?

"It's always easy to identify the Holocaust with Hitler, which is certainly not wrong. He was, as I argue, the prime decision maker and instigator in this. But if we want a fuller picture of how these things came about, we then need to get at the layered, complex reality in which all sorts of people made incremental contributions. It's important to see the impulses toward the Final Solution as having come not only from Hitler from above but from many other people below".

We may, in the end, conclude that the Holocaust has very unique characteristics among genocides. But to be unique in some ways is not to be unique in all ways. The various perpetrators who became involved in the Final Solution and their decision-making processes were not unique. In fact, I would argue that many of the elements in this were a coming together of quite common factors and ordinary people. That, I think, is very important to recognize if we don't want to place the Holocaust apart as some kind of suprahistorical, mystical event that we cannot fathom and shouldn't even try to understand.

Most genocides are conceived by their perpetrators as actions of self defense: "We must do this now because, if we don't, they will do it to our women and our children later." Mass murder is then justified as a preventive measure. I think this is just part of the mentality that makes genocide possible. First you divide people between "us" and "them." Then you cast the other -- "them" -- as a terrible threat. In turn, you justify your doing terrible things to "them" as self defense".-- Christopher Browning

Now where else are we seeing this being perpetrated on the world stage and by whom? If the first two, US and Israel do not leap out then you have not been paying attention. This is not directed at you personally as you have published articles on the Palestinian genocide including the newest Palestinian heroine Ahed Tamimi, an inspirational heroine and an international symbol of Palestinian resistance to Israel's occupation, who rivals Ann Frank in every aspect in their experiences of genocide.

Submitted on Sunday, Oct 7, 2018 at 2:18:59 PM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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Reply to George King:   New Content

Good points, I appreciate your thoughtful comment!

I don't, of course, agree with everything proposed by the authors of all the Quicklinks I post...(and in fact I think I have posted some links to articles with which I hardly agree at all)...but I post them when it feels like it's good to know what other writers are writing and thinking! ;-)

Submitted on Monday, Oct 8, 2018 at 2:30:57 AM

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George King

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Of course, without discourse all is lost. Thank you for the many articles and Quicklinks you point to for those very good reasons you state.

Submitted on Monday, Oct 8, 2018 at 3:29:20 AM

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BFalcon

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I slightly disagree.

It is not so much "they are dangerous" as excuse for genocide as "they are not human/equal to us".

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018 at 1:55:29 PM

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George King

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Reply to BFalcon:   New Content

I do not disagree with you but let me clarify; most genocides are conceived by their perpetrators as actions of self defense. However first you divide people between "us" and "them and fear is one way of course ("be afraid, very afraid") but you also bring attention to another tool (of many) of division to reach the same Casus belli.

You bring one forward here that indeed accomplishes the same thing by appealing to thinking one is of being exceptional or above (superior race) creates the "us and them", these are not the only two used to manufacture consent by any means.

The result accomplished by the many means of manufacture is to bring the same result.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 3:22:37 PM

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Like the 1930's, the craziness isn't just in one country. Nationalism, xenophobia and racism are on the rise again in Europe too. And in Brazil, a Trump-like character is on his way to winning the presidency, largely as a result of backlash against corruption on the left.

The "Hitler can be controlled" argument was echoed by " 'Trump can be controlled' and far preferable to 'Hillary the Hawk' ", sometimes on this very site. How's that working out, so far?

Scary times indeed.

Submitted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018 at 8:52:35 PM

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Maxwell, I addressed "Nationalism, xenophobia and racism are on the rise again in Europe too" in the above response to BFalcon.

Regarding "Hitler can be controlled" argument" and "winning the presidency, largely as a result of backlash against corruption on the left", I think there has been a consensus by many if not most that the Trump Presidency is the result of "throw the bums out" against both parties (two sides of the same coin led by neocons and others such as the Council on Foreign Relations and their sponsors). The voters aim for the most part was to dethrone the Empirical Royal linage of the Bushes and Clintons (controlled by others and "pay to play" were the target, not the faith in Trump but the destruction of the status quo.

Note the "independent, nonpartisan member organization"

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan member organization, think tank, and publisher.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 3:38:35 PM

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