Frank Rich isn't the only concerned patriot who hates facile Hitler comparisons almost as much as he hates the Kristallnachters making them. For instance, here's Richard L. Fricker, writing about his confrontational experience with Tea Party protesters for Consortium News:
In their strange world, there are endless numbers of Communists, Socialists and Nazis who must be discovered and exposed, though it didn't seem to me they really knew which was which. [...]
It's my fear that the Tea Party movement will continue its campaign of intimidation, much like the Brown Shirts of pre-war Germany or the armed right-wing American militias in the 1990s, until there is serious destruction, injury or death.
And these two are certainly not the only ones who, like E.J. Dionne during the last spasm of establishmentarian Tea Party panic, see the brownshirt menace on the march.
Caroline Myss, Huffington Post:
The recent visitation of a busload of Tea Party Brown Shirts to Senator Harry Reid's home state of Nevada, threatening to oust him in the next election, revealed a crowd of angry, raging people on the verge of a fight. All they needed was a lighted match - the right or wrong word said by an opponent and all hell would have broken out. Apparently these Tea Party Brown Shirts are traveling across the country, taking their rage state-to-state, led by Court Fool Palin [...]
Here's the bottom line, folks: The Republican right-wingers are dangerous. They should be considered homeland and homegrown security threats and we - those of us who live and vote on the other side of the aisle - are their targets. How do I know if one of these gun-toting hysterics won't let loose and "shoot to kill", following the orders of their leader, Sarah Palin? [...]
If ever there was a reason to rally support around this administration to ensure it stays in office for two terms, it's not only because President Obama is a visionary saddled with cleaning up the mess of a post-Fascist administration, but you are now witnessing the true Republican creed in action: When they don't get their way, they get violent. They believe in the use of threats and they order their constituents to "shoot 'em between the eyes".
Here's a warning to all freethinking Americans: You Could Be The Next Republican Target. After all, this is the party that introduced homeland spying, the Patriot Act, and the end to all personal privacy. Given those achievements, it's not all that far-fetched that they would incite another Civil War, is it?
Robert Greenwald, Pacific Free Press:
Tea Party Brown Shirts Usher End to Democracy in America
Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive:
This Is What Neofascism Looks Like
Deborah Dupre, Examiner.com:
Neo-Nazis started the Tea-Party movement, unbeknown to many "Patriots" attending its meetings and events.
"How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think," Adolf Hitler once said.
Stephen Pizzo, OpEdNews:
[T]he GOP, in a desperate bid to regain power, has energized that 15%-20% of genuinely and willfully stupid citizenry. And, if we've learned anything from modern history, from Germany circa 1930s, the former Yugoslavia in the 90's to the genocide in Rwanda during the Clinton years... it's that once you get the moron-demographic "energized" and they become an angry mob, it's impossible to control them.
The early signs of trouble are already there. The ball's rollin' and, unless it stalls and soon, someone(s) going to get killed. Already we are seeing a rash of Kristallnacht-like incidents at Democratic Party offices around the country[.]
And then there are the slippery slopers in the mainstream media, such as the Kansas City Star editorial board:
It's true that most tea partiers want nothing to do with violence and hate speech. But the "government is bad" message now attracting followers is a milder version of what has long been a rallying cry for far darker forces in this country.
And evidence is growing that those darker forces are involved in the tea party groups, see them as fertile recruiting soil and hope to turn the movement toward their agendas.
Consider the quotes of "Whites Forward" on the neo-Nazi white supremacist website Stormfront: "We don't have to be 'fringe'. There are potential allies in these tea party type groups...even though they aren't WN (White Nationalist) material yet."
And Randy Schultz, in The Palm Beach Post:
Just this month, for example, [Dick] Armey said in a speech at the National Press Club that Democrats and others "do not cherish America the way we do." From there, it's a short trip to the comments this week by Dale Robertson, an ex-Marine and the self-proclaimed founder and president of the "Tea Party of 1776."
Mr. Robertson referred to "the Obama putsch," an obvious comparison of the president to Adolf Hitler, whose first, failed attempt to take power in Germany was the 1923 "beer-hall putsch." If the nation doesn't rise up to "halt the bleeding of our freedom," the next move of the "national socialists" — an obvious comparison of the Democratic Party to the Nazi Party — will be to "come for our sovereignty, and our beloved nation will be flooded with millions of illegal aliens converting America into a socialist state."
There's a reason why Dale Robertson's name keeps coming up in these stories: He claims to be a Tea Party spokesman, he loves talking to the media, and he shows all signs of being a racist dickhead. He has also, as the noted right-wingers at Mother Jones have repeatedly pointed out, been serially condemned and shunned by...Tea Party organizations! Particularly in his home state of Texas.
I will say it again: I would love to never see another facile comparison to Adolf Hitler or Nazi Germany in my lifetime (unless, of course, it's really funny). But their staying power does suggest that, in addition to alarmist, opponent-demonizing hyperbole, Americans of almost all stripes share a more positive common trait: They really do hate Nazis.