Reductio ad Hitlerum: It Never Goes Out of Style


Now that Naomi Wolf's breathless tale of America's collapse into fascism has been further repudiated (unless, that is, Hitlerian countries routinely elect people like Barack Obama), perhaps it's time for the hysterics on the right to tremble in fear at the forthcoming machtergreifung. First, the psychopathic radio host and "world famous herbal expert" Michael Savage hosts former Hitler Youth member Hilmar von Campe "to discuss similarities between President-elect Obama and the rise of totalitarianism under Hitler." Not much you can say to that, except to point out that beyond the big, excited crowds, there are absolutely no similarities. And then we have 1990s relic Newt Gingrich bemoaning what he views as the thuggish behavior of those opposed to California's Prop. 8: "Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment." Gay fascism in America? Perhaps he's thinking of Austria.

After eight years of Bush, remember, it was deeply serious people like the New Yorker's  Steve Coll and New York Times columnist Frank Rich that, in the final months of the 2008 election, eluded to a Weimar-like atmosphere at John McCain rallies. But their guy won. And fascism is over, if you want it. No liberal Von Hindenburg will cede power to the forces of darkness! It is early yet, though, and expect much more of this nonsense of the fringes of the right this time around.