I assume Kathryn Jean Lopez posted a snippet of Jack Reed and Chuck Schumer's conference call on "Islamofascism" to poke the Democrats in their eyes, to point out how silly they are. That's funny; this is the most perceptive thing I've ever heard Jack Reed say.
You know, I think if one carefully has looked at the history of fascism, which was a political movement in western Europe that actually, in the two principal cases, came to power through democratic elections—at least in Germany it did—I think the analogy is very, very weak.
And what they're looking for is a kind of a connection, a symbolic connection, between the struggle against Nazism and fascism in Italy. And I think, again, it misperceives the nature of the threats we face today.
This is not a nationalistic organization that is trying to seize control of a particular government. It is a religious movement. It is motivated by apocalyptic visions. It is something that is distributed. Most of these terrorist cells seem to be evolving through imitation, rather than being organized.
And again, I think it goes to the point of that their first response is, you know, come up with a catchy slogan, and then they forget to do the hard work of digging into the facts and coming up with a strategy and resources that will counter the actual threats we face.
Of course, the very fact that Democrats are discussing a ridiculous buzzword popularized by the great political philosopher Michael Savage is, in itself, a victory for the pro-war right. I'll be curious to see polling done on the "Islamofascist" and "Islamic fascist" buzzwords. People in the beltway are split 50/50 on whether it's a ridiculous term; are people in the rest of the country, utterly fed up with the slog in Iraq, eating up this talk of an endless crusade against an international gaggle of Hitlers?
UPDATE: The shameless Michael Ledeen comments:
Dingy Harry Reid doesn't know the first thing about fascism, since he says that Hitler came to power by winning an election. Wrong. The NSDAP did well in an election, but the Conservatives formed the government.Hitler became Chancellor via parliamentary action. His electoral success came later. Ditto for Mussolini.
It's nice to know that Very Serious Iran Scholar Michael Ledeen throws around Rush Limbaugh nicknames when he discusses American politics. It's also nice to know that he has to misstate his opponents' points to make even a half-baked argument. (I could make something of his conflating "Harry Reid" with "Jack Reed," but I originally did the same thing.)
Reed says that fascism was a "political movement" that "came to power through democratic elections," which it was. Fascists didn't take over by bombing planes or hold Bundestag members hostage. They were just another political fringe group until, starting in 1930, they polled incredibly well in Bundestag and presidential elections. The Nazis came to power by winning votes, building coalitions, and gaming the Weimar constitution until they had sufficient power to supplant it. That comports with Reed's claims, as he never said "Hitler came to power by winning an election." Ledeen, unserious as ever, made that claim.