History

Roger Ebert, Hypocrisy, and “the Big Lie”

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The J. Goldberg Effect

As I observed on Twitter last night (which you would have known if you were following me), the strangest thing about Markos Moulitsas's stupid new book American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right is that it is blurbed by David Coverdale, the leather-faced former Whitesnake front man. Quoth Mr. Tawney Kitaen, "American Taliban shines a blinding light on the conservative right's dark agenda. Anyone who genuinely cares about America should read this book."

The title of Moulitsas' book is pretty self-explanatory, but according to the promotional materials provided by the publisher, the DailyKos founder "pulls no punches as he compares how the Republican Party and Islamic radicals maintain similar worldviews and tactics." To my comrades on the left, congratulations on the acquisition of your very own Dinesh D'Souza. But today I noticed a few other effusive blurb writers praising the Republican-Taliban connection:

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is, I am often told, a paragon of reason on cable news. Indeed, she opined to Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.): "Do you feel like it's possible to have a constructive debate, even about hot-button issues like abortion, like some of the other things that have attracted some of the most extreme rhetoric? Or do you feel like things have now been so heated, for so long, and there's been so many exaggerations that the prospects for civil discussion are dim?" Yes, purge the extreme, over-heated rhetoric from the debate…by providing a blurb for a book comparing the Republican Party to the Taliban! Because, as Maddow says, "It isn't possible to understand American politics now without understanding the worldview and arguments of Markos Moulitsas."

In a recent blog post upbraiding Glenn Beck for his reckless invocations of Nazism and Communism, Roger Ebert, the boring movie critic turned heavy-breathing political blogger, laments the "increasing tendency of the extreme right to automatically describe its opponents in negative buzz words." Couldn't agree more, Roger. But wait! Here he is, offering a warm encomium to American Taliban and Moulitsas, who "alerts us to a clear and present danger in America: radical zealots who disregard our Constitution and our freedoms and who disguise themselves as patriots."

In Ebert's post on Beck, he rightly bemoans the lazy use of Nazi references, "This whole argument is described by a term widely familiar on the internet (sic), the (sic) reductio ad Hitlerum. It is also known, Wikipedia explains, as playing the Nazi card." But that's only when the other side calls people fascists; when Ebert does it, it's with a certain measure of precision and élan. So in a more recent post, Ebert writes that, in her silly effusions on the so-called Ground Zero mosque, Sarah Palin "employs the methodology of the Big Lie, defined in Mein Kampf as an untruth so colossal that 'no one would believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.'" No need to explain the implication.

A few things about the frequent invocation of the "big lie" theory, which Ebert, like many others, imply was a Nazi tactic outline by Hitler in Mein Kampf. When dumping on those when deserve to be dumped on for historical illiteracy, it is probably worth knowing that the "big lie" was an accusation against political enemies, not a tactic to be employed by National Socialists. It is a bipartisan mistake, but one that needs to be corrected. So here is Rush Limbaugh, back in February:

In his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf, the expression was coined by Hitler "to describe a lie so 'colossal' that no one would believe that someone 'could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.'" The Big Lie had to be so big that nobody would believe that anybody would have the audacity to lie that way.  If you're going to lie, go big, put your lie on an Atlas rocket and launch and fire that sucker….That was Hitler's theory, because "For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying." 

Or this story in the San Jose Mercury News, explaining that former California Governor Jerry Brown described Meg Whitman's campaign as using "the tactics devised by Nazi Josef Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister and the inventor of the Big Lie principle in politics." Note that this time it's Goebbels who "invented" the "Big Lie principle." NPR host Neal Conant cites "the big lie theory, practiced by Nazi propagandists in the 1930s," also attributing it to Josef Goebbels. Naomi Wolf, who knows less about fascism than your average 14-year-old Call of Duty obsessive, also invokes the "big lie" as coming from the fascist playbook. And so on.

But the "big lie" theory, mentioned only once in Hitler's rambling manifesto, is part of a larger argument about the supposed Jewish betrayal of Germany in the First World War. It isn't the blueprint for a Nazi media strategy, but a mad exposition on what is considered a "Jewish" way of media deception; i.e. the Jews, via socialist newspapers like Vorwärts, have spread a "big lie" that the First World War was lost militarily when, in fact, said those on the radical right, it was lost in the salons of Berlin and Munich. So here is the important context of the "big lie," from Mein Kampf:

By branding [General] Ludendorff as guilty for the loss of the World War, [the Jews] took the weapon of moral right from the one dangerous accuser who could have risen against the traitors to the Fatherland. In this they proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitives implicity of their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big.

So while it might seem a nitpicking detail, it is a rather important distinction, especially when lampooning the historical illiteracy of others.

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246 responses to “Roger Ebert, Hypocrisy, and “the Big Lie”

  1. So… who are the Jews in this psycho-drama?

    1. The American people who, because of Obama, will soon be lead to the ovens.

      Yes I did write that.

      Fuck you Moynihan! Hyperbole is teh sh*t!!

      1. Are you implying that Jewish people are made out of heavy metals? Are there a lot of Jewish rockers?

        1. AHEM

          1. Oy! What are we, chopped liver?

            1. That sounds nice.

      2. I love that you said “Fuck you Moynihan!” and then put an asterisk in “shit”

  2. Yes, that was a nitpicking detail. What was the point?

    1. I was hoping you knew. I can capture lighting in a jar, but I can’t figure out what the fuck Moynihan just said.

    2. STEVE SMITH PICK NITS FROM HIS FUR! NOT UNDERSTAND WHY HAIRLESS HUMAN LIKE MOYNIHAN ATTEMPT TO PICK NITS IF HAVE NO FUR! THIS ENRAGES STEVE! STEVE RAPE NITS NOW!

      1. I like how he changed his name to Steven. ME CHANGE NAME! ME FOOL THEM! THEN RAPE!

        1. THIS NOT STEVE SMITH! THIS STEVEN SMITH! CAN YOU NOT TELL DIFFERENCE? RAPE STYLES MUCH DIFFERENT!

        1. But only in the Biblical sense?

          1. Only in a Lovecraftian sense.

    3. Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what the column is all about. The Big Lie has, itself, become a big lie.

  3. The Limbaugh quote is supposed to be the lead example of a “big lie” usage that needs correction, right? The “Or…” after it seems to mean that. But he doesn’t credit Hitler with using the tactic. He attributes the observation about it that gives it its name to Hitler. That’s right, right?

    Is it hard to find the right kind of character to fit the template you’re following? The world is full of people who rely on the folk etymology of “big lie.” At least one of them must be a Republican.

    GBTW

    primitives implicity

    That’s cool.

    1. I know I hark on false equivalence a lot as well, but I don’t think this was really an example because I recall Limbaugh getting some press for his quote, so it was apt to quote him. Also, the other uses of the Big Lie from the leftist MM quoted were much more simplistic and lacking any signs of intelligence compared to Limbaugh’s use of it even if it is the same mistake being made.

      Limbaugh is a smart guy whom I disagree with a lot.

      Huckabe is a smart guy who I vehemently disagree with a lot.

      Most leftist are leftist because they are lazy ass motherfuckers.

    2. Want an example of the “BIG LIE”?
      How about “The Summer of Recovery”
      Or “ObamaCare won’t raise medical costs”, or “Obama will bring Hope and Change”

      I could go on, but why….

    3. Ebert likes to talk about “The Big Lie” because it lets him put on his professor cap and start lecturing and talking down to his readers instead of actually engage the opposition’s arguments. He really should stick to reviews and save his political rants for his predictable 4-star review of the next Michael Moore movie.

  4. Dang y’all, this is like giant ol’ Godwin head ‘sposion!

    YEEEHAWWWWWW!!

    And, yes, you are all racists as well.

  5. As I observed on Twitter last night (which you would have known if you were following me)

    You’re becoming more entertaining rather than just annoying every day Moynihan.I like the “heel” persona.

  6. is ebert the fat one, or the skinny one?

    1. He’s the one with no face.

      1. I think Ebert is the one that hasn’t died of cancer. Yet.

          1. Oh crap i meant this one:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

        1. So that makes him the fat one then.

  7. I personally would not watch or vote for anyone who sinks into the “they’re Nazi/commie/Hitlerian etc”. It’s just too intellectually lazy to liken people to the worst possible people/ideologies.

    No one on the American political scene can seriously be compared to Hitler/Stalin or seriously be compared to a Nazi. And there are some real fuckheads in American politics. First of all, I think you’d need a body count of at least 5-10k before you could possibly compare to those 2 guys.

    I believe there are politicians and commentators who have socialist tendencies, but to call even Obama a socialist is probably less exagerated than calling him Hitler, but still not really accurate.

    1. Calling Obama a socialist is bs, he’s a corporatist.

      1. If you socialize a big chunk of the economy and nationalize companies, I dont see the problem with calling you a socialist.

        1. robc, the problem is that some of these folks have no idea what a socialist is. If you don’t understand that Obama is a socialist (and Marxist) then you don’t know jack!

        2. Good point! So the fact that Obama has NOT socialized ANY part of our economy, and has nationalized exactly ZERO companies, would mean that he is not a socialist.

          thank you for proving the point.

      2. Calling Obama a socialist is bs, he’s a corporatist.

        You can be both. The combination of socialism and corporatism maps roughly to fascism.

        1. I compared him to Juan Peron, and I’m sticking with that.

  8. Tsk tsk, liberals aren’t supposed to engage in hyperbole and demagoguery like the right does every single day on every single topic. They must wear pocket protectors and use lots of pie charts and speak calmly so that we may better paint them as elitist east coast dweebs!

    1. The point is that they BOTH do it. And they BOTH say that the other are commies because they call us Nazis.

      At some point, you have to see that the red team/blue team thing doesn’t work. You end up calling the other guy a Nazi and calling your own fuckhead fair and balanced. Neither are.

      1. I disagree with your false equivalence. Team red is vastly superior at demagoguery.

        1. No, you are. W00T, FACED!!!

        2. yeah, keep thinking that, it’ll keep you happy.

        3. No they aren’t. They try, but their efforts are weak and transparent.
          Team Blue has a lot more practice and a lot more skill. Their lies are subtler and more devious.

          1. Anyone who can recognize demagoguery for what it is will see it as transparent. If it’s subtle, it’s not demagoguery. And you only think they’re lies on the left because everything you believe is bullshit informed by the rightwing demagoguery you claim to find so transparent.

            1. Tony, please watch your language.

            2. “And you only think they’re lies on the left because everything you believe is bullshit informed by the rightwing demagoguery you claim to find so transparent.”

              Hyperbowl much, Tony? See, leftists do it too. You just proved it. Good boy.

              1. Hyperbowl? Does that come after the Superbowl?

                1. IT’S THE MEGABOWL!!!! THE MEAGABOWL!!!!

            3. If it’s subtle it’s not demagogury?

              Depends on how you define it, I suppose, but subtlety doesn’t make a lie less of a lie. It just makes it harder to spot. Except to the slightly more intelligent than others.

              What I believe is informed by Hayek and Friedman, neither of whom are plebian enough to be considered demagogues.

              Unlike Al Franken.

              1. Tony won’t cop to it, but both Teams suck.

        4. TURD SANDWICH IS WAY BETTER THAN GIANT DOUCHE

        5. Interesting! A quick Google reveals:

          Bush is Hitler
          About 6,230,000 results (0.20 seconds)

          Obama is a communist
          About 3,440,000 results (0.18 seconds)

          Bush is a nazi
          About 4,580,000 results (0.11 seconds)

          Obama is a nazi
          About 5,900,000 results (0.20 seconds)

          Obama is a liar
          About 3,400,000 results (0.13 seconds)

          Bush is a liar
          About 3,330,000 results (0.08 seconds)

          1. John Hawkins: What do you say to your critics who claim that you attack liberals just as viciously as you say Conservatives are attacked by liberals?

            Ann Coulter: Our insults are true.

            1. Is that quote real?

              If so, +1, Ann, +1 indeed.

              1. It’s a good line but Coulter is a stupid (also ugly) bitch. She also has fascist tendencies. Is that going too far? Did I mention she is stupid (and ugly)?

                1. She’s probably smarter than either one of us, but I admit that her mouth isn’t as pretty as yours.

                2. Also, her elbows can cut glass.

              2. An Interview With Ann Coulter
                http://tinyurl.com/laf4f

          2. Is the discrepancy due to the fact their are more people who identify themselves as conservatives than those who identify as liberals.

            What percentages do libertarians/independents insult liberals and conservatives? Equally, liberals more etc… ???

          3. Although it seems that Tony is correct about demagogues inasmuch as my quick Google searches indicate, IMO as far as “honorable” pols in positions of power using demagoguery I’d say the Left demagogues far more. In other words you could point out outrageous things said by Harry Reid and the lefties typically counter with Ann Coulter.

            1. How so? If you add up the numbers it looks pretty even with the edge going to the left. I guess if you divide by the 8 years Bush was in office (or 16 if you count his Dad’s days as VP and Prez) and by 2-3 years for Obama then the edge goes to the right.

              1. I guess if you divide by the 8 years Bush was in office (or 16 20 if you count his Dad’s days as VP and Prez)

          4. All that proves is that there are a lot of idiots on the web.

            1. Internets you dolt!

              All that proves is that there are a lot of idiots on the web Internets.

          5. RichN, there is a problem with your search results. I don’t think you used quotes around your phrase so it was pulling things with just Hitler, and just Bush without an connection. Here’s what I found.

            “Bush is Hitler” – 494,000
            “Obama is a communist” – 613,000
            “Bush is a nazi” – 124,000
            “Obama is a nazi” – 282,000
            “Obama is a liar” – 9,000,000
            “Bush is a liar” – 3,080,000

            Whatever that suppose to mean.

            1. “Obama is Hitler” – 479,000
              “Bush is a communist” – 726,000

            2. I think it means another historical first for Obama.

        6. Think back to anytime anyone has tried to bring up putting Social Security on a more sound footing in an election year.

          No attempt is made to have a serious discussion. It’s always “they hate the old people” BOTH sides do it constantly. Depends on the issue who does it more. Of course to really know, at least one of us would have to be omniscient and/or we would have to agree on what the “truth” was in a given situation or else we would not know what was hyperbole and what was a critically important warning. I know I am not omniscient.

        7. No, Tony, both Teams are a) great at deagoguery, b) great at elitism, and c) in dire need of a mass purging from public office.

          Where’s a plane crash when you REALLY need one?

      2. Do the left ever call conservatives Stalinists?

        1. The conservatives ever call the left anything but such names?

          The ‘reasonable’ conservatives in today’s political reality are the fucking Bushies who TORTURED PEOPLE AND STARTED PHONY WARS.

          1. So torturing people and starting phony wars is more ‘reasonable’ than opposing a health care bill that forces people to buy deliberately ober-priced health insurance?

            It’s more ‘reasonable’ than opposing blowing hundreds of billions of dollars on bullshit ‘stimulus’ packages?

            It’s more ‘reasonable’ that being against bailing out banks and taking over the auto industry?

            Okay, good to know what you consider the important issues.

            1. “It’s more ‘reasonable’ that being against bailing out banks and taking over the auto industry?”

              Gee, two good questions. Does it mean ANYTHING to you that, in fact, it was the Bush administration that “bailed out the banks”, and that the Obama administration specifically DID NOT “take over” the auto industry, but rather took an equity interest in exchange for the bailout?

              Are you smart enough to understand the difference? Do you even CARE, or do all you care about is coming up with a juicy talking-point with which you can bask liberals??

              1. “bask” should read “bash”.

          2. The ‘reasonable’ conservatives in today’s political reality are the fucking Bushies who TORTURED PEOPLE AND STARTED PHONY WARS.

            Well I will agree David Brooks fits that bill….but he also never calls lefties, Socialists, commies or Stalinists.

          3. The Iraqi Kurds I know don’t think it was a phony war. But that doesn’t fit your bullshit narrative so whatever.

            1. The positive outcomes for certain groups don’t counter the false pretenses under which we invaded…

              1. the false pretenses under which we invaded…

                Bush to Cabinet: “Okay, we know there aren’t any WMDs in Iraq. But let’s lie and say there is and then go in which will then reveal to everyone that, er,…there…aren’t..any….WMDs there.

                Who’s with me?”

              2. Read the bill congress voted on -the Authorization to Use Military Force against Iraq from 2003 again. WMD’s were a part of the reason, but by no means the main reason. The vast majority of reasons listed in the reasons for passing the AUMF were undeniably true.

                Again, it doesn’t fit the narrative, but whatever.

          4. I get it, Tony: righties=BAD; lefties=GOOD.

            Party RED = evil, lying, hyperbolic, distorting, name-calling, bad guys.

            Party BLUE = honest, hard-worked, pure as the new-fallen snow, leaders for our time.

            Color me unimpressed. You so are blinded by your devotion to your hatred of “the right” that you apparently are unable to see the simple fact that BOTH SIDES DO IT.

            The left is full of big fat liars, name callers and hyperbolic hyperventilators. There is no way to quantify, scientifically who does it “more”; much less should anyone care. Is that how you choose which candidate to vote for? By determining which party you perceive as being the biggest liars?

            You really are an ignorant little fuck, aren’t you. Contemptuous prick.

            1. Basically, you’ve hit on all the right notes here, BSP.

    2. You got it. The liberals are just like the right.

  9. Whatever happened to that Hitler guy?

    1. I’m not sure but I heard that his sperm survived and was used to father several children around the world. We’ll see how that turns out.

      1. I believe they’re originally from Brazil.

        1. Until last week, I thought Boys from Brazil was a gay porno.

          1. Maybe you are being cute, but that comment really doesn’t surprise me.

          2. It’s not ?

        2. I thought they spread them around the world, I remember one was in England.

          1. “Do you not understand English? We are not at home.” [SLAM]

    2. I heard they saved his cock.

      1. I was just going to post that

      2. The Angry Samoans shall live forever!

      3. . . . no homo

        1. That was implied. It’s not liked I saved it.

  10. “MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is, I am often told, a paragon of reason on cable news.”

    You’ve been misinformed.

    1. I think that was sarcasm, IH.

      1. Why is it ok for Moynihan to use sarcasm and irony but hyperbole is a no no?

        Saying the exact opposite of what you mean = ok

        Exaggerating your meaning = bad

        Weirdness.

    2. “It isn’t possible to understand American politics now without understanding the worldview and arguments of Markos Moulitsas.”

      I love the way she delicately tip-toed around that shit though.

      1. Actually I would agree with Rachel there. To understand modern American politics you have to become one with the idiots.

  11. Sooo…

    American politics is at this very movement freaking the fuck out.

    and because of a few bipartisan misinterpretations Moynihan, while in reason’s vast library, lifts his nose from a great 2000 page work of genius to tell everyone that they misquoted Hitler….

    Moynihan you have been telling us for well over a year how political rhetoric should be used. How about instead you stop telling us how messed up we are and get out there and show us how it should be done.

    Cuz now would be a good time to do it.

    1. American politics is always in a state of freaking out, especially during crappy economies. In the 90s, Clinton murdered Vince Foster and there was a VRWC. Before that, Reagan was a racist warmonger that was content to watch gays die on the streets. Before that Carter/Nixon were history’s greatest monsters. &c.

      Much like sportswriters think players and games today are the greatest EVAR, political writers believe that we are uniquely crazy times. Which is how people can say idiotic things like “Iran is more dangerous than the USSR ever was” or “George Bush is going to subvert the Constitution and will refuse to step down from the presidency” with a straight face.

      1. Much like sportswriters think players and games today are the greatest EVAR, political writers believe that we are uniquely crazy times. Which is how people can say idiotic things like “Iran is more dangerous than the USSR ever was” or “George Bush is going to subvert the Constitution and will refuse to step down from the presidency” with a straight face.

        That is not what i meant.

        In 1994 there was a shift in parties
        in 2006 there was another
        in 2010 there looks to be another.

        Before 1992 the house was controlled by one party for a long long time.

        The rise of the independent voter is new in our life time…and its effects are interesting.

        Does this mean the end to political hyperbole?

        No.

        Only the dead have seen the end of hyperbole.

        Which makes Moynahan’s focus on it all the more frustrating.

        He is a good writer and he has good insight….but him pointing out every every single Godwin that hits print is about as interesting as watching a child pointing out every pile of dog shit in the park.

        1. Ahh, in that case. I agree 100%. There’s a reason I don’t watch cable news, it’s because I don’t care about the shouting matches and the craziness.

      2. And long before any those there was Jefferson vs Adams.

        Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

        “The 2004 campaign may seem tame after historian Ferling’s riveting account of the 1800 presidential race.”
        ?USA Today

        “A contentious presidential race that makes the 2000 debacle look like a schoolyard hissy fit.”
        ?Entertainment Weekly

      3. “Much like sportswriters think players and games today are the greatest EVAR…” In baseball the sportswriters tend to think that the 60s and 70s represented the most perfect and pure level of play EVAR!

  12. Indeed the Nazi’s belief that the masses were unwitting dupes of the Jewish conspiracy closely paraellels the left’s own views of the proles vs. the mainstream media, that we’re recently discussed on these boards. Only instead of the Jews playing the role of sinister bad-guy that pulls the strings it’s the “Corporations”.

    This makes a lot of sense since the Nazis WERE socialists. They just narrowed their focus from international bankers and capitalists to just “Jews”.

    1. Eh, the right does it too with the “educated East Coast elites”. Which is odd because the people who say this the most went to top schools and reside in NY and DC.

      1. Mo

        You could save some typing by just changing your handle to:

        the right does it too

        1. .

      2. Yeah, but the right doesn’t hold a systematic belief that the entire economic system is structured to benefit “educated east coast elites”.

        The paranoia about capitalist manipulation isn’t just a side effect of the left’s long war against the right. It’s a fundamental feature of their worldview.

      3. All the more reason to believe them — it isn’t an accusation, it’s a confession.

      4. Then they would have first hand knowledge, wouldn’t they?

    2. That always takes me back to the Great Gatsby when that occurs, like the other day with McCain’s remark. Kind of funny that F Scott played up that theme given the origins of the love of his life.

    3. The Jews are the bourgeoisie.

  13. OFFS, why don’t Marcos and Jonah just get a room. They’re basically two sides of the same coin that only hate each other because of the team they root for.

    1. the right does it too

      See what I mean?

      1. .

      2. Uh, my point is that the demagogues are the same thing and the hate is more akin to a sports rivalry than anything else.

        1. Nope. The hate is more akin to Professional Sports players than anything else.

          It’s a bizness.

    2. In fairness to Goldberg, the point of his book was more to illustrate the “family connection” and idea exchange between international progressives, socialists, and fascists, and the less often mentioned policies enacted by fascist regimes, none of which is particularly controversial or new to historians.

      I haven’t read Marcos’ book, so I’ll reserve final judgement, but it seems to be more of a comparative piece than one showing a historical connection between the Taliban and social conservatives.

  14. There does seem to be a divergence on an important point of orientation on the left/right axis…

    People on the right tend to think truth is more important by itself–that doesn’t mean they won’t lie to get what they want, but the people the right tends to reverberate with do tend to dismiss leaders on the grounds that they’re lying…

    For people on the left, for whatever reason, you have to explain to them why lying to get what they want is wrong. Because the truth really doesn’t matter to them as much–by itself. Show me a true believer on the left who wouldn’t lie to save the world…

    I’m talking about the voters who tend to support the left or the right here, rather than the politicians–who always lie. But on the left, I don’t think most of the true believers would even recognize lying to save the world as a dilemma. Many more of them seem to equate a reluctance to lie with stupidity.

    People I know on the right? Lie to save the world from the left? I think a lot more of the true believers on the right would want some time to think about that.

    1. I was forced under pain of not graduating to take a Sociology course in college. I remember one class where the professor explained that liberals were more ethically advanced than conservatives because while conservative parents would rely on authority and dogma, for instance telling their children not to steal “because stealing is wrong.” On the other hand, liberals would actually explain the reasoning behind moral precepts, and tell their children not to steal because “people get upset when you steal from them.” I raised my hand and pointed out that the liberal version didn’t rule out (literally) robbing people blind, but she dismissed my point as a superficial nitpick.

      So, by their own admission, liberals believe every moral precept is up for debate at all times.

      1. Or, simply, that they (liberals) believe that there is VALUE is explaining to children WHY stealing is bad, and not simply pronouncing rules and insisting obediance to that rule handed down from on-high.

    2. I mean, look at MNG. His favorite character from Watchmen was Ozymandias. That tells you all you need to know.

      1. would you have guessed mine to be the Comedian?

    3. It is because they are all amoral Utilitarian Consequentialists who will do whatever it takes to get their desired result

    4. KenShultz says: “People on the right tend to think truth is more important by itself . . . For people on the left, for whatever reason, you have to explain to them why lying to get what they want is wrong.”

      REALLY? I must say that this comment is 180 degrees separated from what I perceive as reality. From “death panels” to “Obama is setting up FEMA concentration camps” to “Iraq as WMD’s, it’s a slam dunk”, if I had to accuse one party of being more likely to lie for partisan political gain, it would be the RIGHT, and hands down – it’s not even a close call!

      Of course, things like this are always open to personal opinion. So I would love to hear some actual examples of the left’s inclination to lie (as opposed to the right’s) as you see it.

  15. “A few things about the frequent invocation of the ‘big lie’ theory, which Ebert, like many others, imply was Nazi tactic outline by Hitler in Mein Kampf. When dumping on those when deserve to be dumped on for historical illiteracy, it is probably worth knowing that the ‘big lie’ was an accusation against political enemies, not a tactic to be employed by National Socialists.”

    True, Ebert is confused about the origin of the term. But not everyone who uses the term, even to refer to Hitler’s modus operandi, is making an error. From an OSS psychological profile of Hitler:

    “His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

    http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/peo…..03-02.html

    1. Sounds a lot like Obama.

      1. Hey! you stole my line.

      2. I was going to say that it sounds a LOT like the GOP playbook!

  16. I could never trust a man that gave the new Karate Kid movie 3.5 out of 4 stars. Sorry. Never.

    1. I haven’t bothered to watch it yet. Is it that bad?

    2. wow

      3.5 stars for the new Karate Kid. The movie staring the Smith-Pinkett kid who was clearly three or four years too young for the part for him to be able to make the roll anything close to convincing. I watched maybe fifteen minutes worth of his acting on a sneak preview before deciding I couldn’t put myself through that much suspension of disbelief for an entire movie.

      Ebert packs a lot of stupid in a head that small.

      1. .

        1. Yep, I’ve seen a lot of interviews with Jada and Will, and they sound pretty right wing. I suspected that of her early in Jada’s career when she starred in a horror movie with a lot of heavy metal music. A lot of guns, a lot of heavy metal, it’s either right wing or Woody Harrelson coming to frag your ass.

      2. Ebert packs a lot of stupid in a head that small. – That is a great line!

        1. Thanks! I should post while binge drinking more often.

      3. He doesn’t actually have a head that small, you know. He just likes to walk around on his hands.

  17. Probably would surprise Moynihan if he reads these threads but he is just about my favorite editor on the board. Sure, my perspective is quite different from his, but I like his technique. He has one rhetoric method, and he uses it extremely well. He takes a bucket of cold water and aims it as the face of his target. Night in, night out, and very consistently.

    1. You know where they could use a bucket of cold water? GAZA!

  18. I think most people respect the views of those who a.) avoid ad hominem hyperbole, b.) use facts and logic to support their arguments, c.) aren’t afraid to admit when their wrong and d.) never compare anyone to Nazis that isn’t actually a Nazi.

    More and more folks from both sides seem to fall short of these standards lately. But I guess you sell more books if you call people terrorists and Nazis.

    1. Most supporters in the Team Red/Team Blue dichotomy resort to one simple mechanism and call it a day: the caricature.

      It’s sick and infinitely intellectually lazy as fuck.

      1. It isn’t caricature when they actually lack three dimensions of humanity, like my professor during 1991 recession who would drone on and on about ‘trickle down economics’ goat faced and quote fingers at high mast, and, say, stupid shit like, ‘some economist believe instead of cutting taxes like George Bush is doing, during a recession you should raise them’

        Bush did raise them you motherfucking dumbass! Not even Keynesians believe you should raise taxes during a recession! Where do you get this shit! EIEIEIEIHHHH!

        Flashbacks. Flashbacks. The horror. I just set there, aghast, clinching my teeth while this idiot kept talking this stupid, stupid shit . . . . Thanks a lot Hobo Chang Ba for poking those repressed memories out of me in that other thread.

        1. Yeah, well console yourself with the fact that anyone teaching their subject that poorly would soon end up fired.

        2. Just checked. The jack ass is still there. However, the one guy I could have an intelligent conversation about Hayek with now runs the department. Scary though that in twenty years there has been so little turn over. I recognize half the names on staff.

        3. Funnny you should mention that. The Obama admin wants to raise taxes during a recession. Do you think they are stupid shits? (for the record, I do)

          1. I am on record wailing against their stupid shit on a near daily basis, so, yes, that would be an affirmative.

    2. Shut up, you Nazi!

  19. One thing that is interesting is that everyone calls their political opponents Nazis. But you never hear the left calling the right communists or Marxists or Stalinists or socialists.

    Often it is supposed that because everyone hates Nazis that is why everyone calls their opponents Nazis.

    I disagree. Although this is partially true, I think there are particular characteristics of Nazism that motivate people to call their enemies Nazis, and more importantly depending on ones political views will determine which characteristics one wishes to attach to their enemies.

    For the left many probably think it is their racial characteristics this is true now but the origins of the lefts animosity is actually very different. when the nazis rose to power Jim Crow was the progressives darling. They had no problem with racism. What bugged them was that the Nazis were nationalistic. Nationalism to the left was despised. Instead of socialism being a class struggle that knew no borders Nazism changed that to an internal class struggle for Germany. The Nazi socialist state had no problem with fucking over the workers of France so long as the workers of Germany got their hands on the levers of industry.

    The right on the other hand tend to call the left Nazis for pretty simple reasons. The Nazis advocated for a strong state and limited liberty. So when the right calls the left Nazis they are saying the left want a strong state with limited liberty. The right is of course being hypocritical. They just want a slightly smaller state and different liberties limited then the left

    Libertarians call everyone Nazis because everyone but them are Nazis. This is an absolute truth.

    Anyway back to why the left never call the right socialists or Stalinist….the simple reason why is because, although hypocrites, the right are less socialistic and less Stalinistic then the right. The left also actually like socialism, communism and Stalinist…so to them calling someone a Stalinist is not an insult.

    1. The Republicans are of course being hypocritical. They just want a slightly smaller state and different liberties limited then the left

      FIFY

      The ‘right’ wants next to no government and total liberty. Most political parties and ideologies are to the ‘left’ of the right. Only total anarchy, in which every person is utterly self sufficient for all needs, wants, and desires is to the ‘right’ of the ‘right’.

      The basic ideas behind ‘right’ and ‘left’ have fairly obvious endpoints. On the one hand, there are the self sufficient individuals I mentioned before, and on the other is a hive. Choose.

    2. But you never hear the left calling the right communists or Marxists or Stalinists or socialists.

      Well, I understand you’re generalizing but Frank Rich had a number of columns stating that Palin and Beck were “re-enacting Stalin’s purges” (his exact words) when they opposed a Republican congressional candidate in New York for being, in their view, insufficiently conservative.

      For example is not proof but I offer it up.

      [Yes, rhetorically opposing a candidate in an election is “re-enacting Stalin’s purges.” Chew on that one a while.]

  20. There’s no point getting upset at idiots like Kos, Maddow, and Ebert — they have zero influence outside their own private echo chamber.

    1. Exactly. Ebert has always been an insufferable elitist. Back in the day, I made it a point to avoid his movie reviews like the plague.

    2. Colin advises: “There’s no point getting upset at idiots like Kos, Maddow”

      Agreed. I give similar advice to my leftie friends, about not getting mad at Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, and their fellow travellers either. It’s not that easy, though.

  21. Kos has a point (not enough to sustain an entire book, but not like I was planning to read it anyway). Yeah, there are a lot of right-wing militant Christian political ideas that are just as liberty-killing, if not as personally dangerous, as much of the Taliban playbook. Oh, here’s a few off the top of my head:

    * Any parts of Creation (non)Theory in or anywhere near publicly-funded schools.

    * Dem gays cain’t be marryin’!

    * Birth control should be agin’ the law!

    * One good Christian soldier gets to decide what 10,000 kids in a school district are or are not allowed to read.

    * Terminally ill people have to suffer until God decides it’s their time to go.

    * If we don’t like the content of your media/TV show/video game/music, then nobody gets to have it. We ban it.

    And here are some examples of how the left is like the Taliban, which I’m sure Kos doesn’t discuss in his book:

    * You can’t use that term in media/on college campuses/at work because I’ve decided it’s offensive. I’m inventing the right to never be offended.

    * If we don’t like the content of your media/TV show/video game/music, then nobody gets to have it. We ban it.

    * Only women get reproductive rights. Men will luuurrve the baby once it’s here.

    * You have no right to decline to hire, treat, educate, or serve anyone. You also have no right to fire anyone.

    * If we decide something is good for society, you will pay for it. There doesn’t need to be any evidence that it’s any good, or any cost-benefit or ROI analysis. We just need to say that it’s good. The people who decide it’s a good thing don’t pay for it.

    * You will eat only those foods that we approve of, from approved sources, and in approved amounts.

    * Guns can be used to kill people, and cold medicine can be used to make drugs. So you can’t have them. Never mind that knives and ant bait can also be used to kill people. Shut up.

    Occasionally, you get a wingbat eco-terrorist who bombs laboratories, or a fundie nutjob who shoots abortion providers. But generally, neither of our Talibanistic extremes in this country does near the damage that the actual Taliban does. Nobody here stones young girls to death for talking to a boy, or blows up girls’ schools, that I’m aware of. Nobody requires burkas here, or shoots people who dare to eat during Ramadan. But again, no plans to read Kos’ book, so I couldn’t tell you how strident his rhetoric comparing the two. Just seems it would be way, way overblown.

    1. * If we don’t like the content of your media/TV show/video game/music, then nobody gets to have it. We ban it.

      Yep. Just like those wingnuts Al & Tipper.

      * Guns can be used to kill people, and cold medicine can be used to make drugs. So you can’t have them.

      This doesn’t jibe with my recollection of the Religious Right.

      1. This was part of his “Left” examples…not the religious right.

      2. This was part of his “Left” examples…not the religious right.

      3. This was part of his “Left” examples…not the religious right.

        1. WTG Firefox. Now I have to get a new handle.

          1. Click “submit” once.
            Wait.
            Do not repeat.

          2. Yeah, I was thinking that only a Nazi would post 3 times in a row. YOU ARE HITLER.

  22. Frankly, it seems to be that ‘American Taliban’ is past it’s sell-by date already.

    I mean, who the fuck cares, anymore? You guys already won the election and got your guy in office and the Iraq war is drawing to a close.

    We’re all a little more concerned right now about the stagnant economy and Obama’s seeming lack of any idea what to do about it except borrow more money and blow it on useless shit.

    1. “and the Iraq war is drawing to a close.”

      lol

    2. I guess you could say he has a lefty’s understanding of the free market. It’s almost like he’s trying to purposefully reduce sales.

  23. ADAM CURTIS DID IT!

    Power of Nightmares- likened the neo-conservative movement to the Islamic fundamentalists.

  24. They probably have it confused with Socrates’ “Royal Lie”

  25. This is the book based on the poll that Kos himself admits was fraudulent.

    He’s filed a lawsuit against the pollster, but still claims his book is valid.

    1. Stop it with all the facts.

  26. “It isn’t possible to understand American politics now without understanding the worldview and arguments of Markos Moulitsas.”

    She keeps using that word. I do not think it means what she thinks it means.

  27. a constructive debate, even about hot-button issues

    …to the left, is when their opponents go, “Yes, I am a homophobic racist who wants to destroy the environment and exploit the poor, but, see the thing about abortion is…”

    The meme on the left is that they are always the only ‘rational’ people in any debate, because any rational person would of course come to their particular ideological conclusions, now wouldn’t they?

    One time this guy and I were talking about how @#$(@ed up Cony Island was during the 80s and most of the 90s, and how its been slowly bouncing back… and he was like, “Yeah, the City Parks Department should have just taken over the whole area and …” blah blah. I was like, “Hey: the reason the place got so fucked up in the first place is because Robert Moses (the inventor of NYC’s monstrous Public Authorities) took it over, and rezoned the whole area into #(@$ low income housing projects, which turned the area into a ghetto, and drove away private investment for 40 years!””

    He sniffed, “you must be one of those people who thinks ‘more capitalism’ is the solution. Get with the real world!”

    Keep in mind we’re talking about one of the most garish monuments to capitalism in history: a decrepit amusement park and carny-style boardwalk… and he’s convinced the only proper place for it is as a city-run landmark, maintained by tax dollars. There is some kind of irony there.

    1. It’s not irony, it’s stupidity.

  28. The meme on the left is that they are always the only ‘rational’ people in any debate, because any rational person would of course come to their particular ideological conclusions, now wouldn’t they?

    Have you ever watched Sean Hannity? I mean for 3 minutes because anymore than that, your brain would bleed.

    1. It is more his Mickness than his ideology that makes him a sentimentalist, cry baby asshole.

      1. Well, we’ll take the niggers and the chinks.. But NOT the Irish !

    2. The meme on the left is that they are always the only ‘rational’ people in any debate, because any rational person would of course come to their particular ideological conclusions, now wouldn’t they?

      You mean like Objectivists?

      1. Good comment, OddBarker! I laughed out loud at how Randian Greer’s comment about liberal sins sounded.

    3. Have you ever watched Sean Hannity?

      Actually, no. Is he on network TV?

      I have never had cable TV and have never wanted it. Well, ok, in college we had it…but it was there that I was completely convinced I would be better off staying away from it.

      I’m not sure the connection of Sean Hannity to what you quoted from me… are you saying, “its a shared trait of *everyone* on cable news, not just the libruls?” I’d buy that.

      My point was broader though: what I tend to get from the liberals I live among (everyone, basically; I’m a NY’r) is this kind of, “My left-leaning opinion is really just conventional wisdom; ‘*anyone* with a brain knows x…’-type attitude. Every now and then when I share a differing POV – like, “we should privatize the MTA and break up the Board of Education, end the regulatory disincentives towards small-business” etc – people look at me like I’m a naked crackhead singing show-tunes on the corner. The funny part is that the people who most often agree with me are people like dominican bodega owners, pakistani cab drivers, russian landlords, etc. Anyone who has a non-union job and who isn’t some white, bourgeois, college-kid who just moved here to work in, like, graphic design or something, basically. ‘The poor’ tend to be a lot more conservative than the middle class white kids. They also have much more direct contact with the corruption and gladhanding produced by urban liberal politics. They are also the main victims of the #@($@ crappy school system run by the Teachers Union.

      My point was that – at least in my experience – conservatives sometimes at least assume they need to convince you of their particular point, while the left just goes, “Du-uh! *Everyone* knows Milton Friedman was evil! He worked for Reagan!”

      And re: “Mickness”… Ay, watch it there, boyo.

      1. It is not like I’m making it up. The ‘gift of gab’ is just another way of saying ‘bullshitter.’

        Think Hannity,
        Think Ted Kennedy.
        Ideological opposites,
        yet the same disease.

        Oh, and don’t forget Bono.

        1. no, its called “marketing”

      2. Yes, well said. I would agree with you that the left tends to have an “every one knows” attitude where the right has a more embattled “everyone would agree with us if it weren’t for the evil media”.

        My only point was that the idea that “any rational person would agree with me…” is endemic on the right as well. Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck etc.

        But since you don’t have cable, you don’t know who these people are. Lucky fucking you!

        1. I’m in the same boat.

          I actually find it quite infuriating that so much political discourse is shaped by reactions to what TV personalities say.

          Mostly by people hating Glenn Beck and then generalizing it to the entire right.

      3. And, of course, it can be charming as all Hell out coming from Ronald Reagan or Tip O’Neal (recalling his episode from Cheers), but in the three others that I mentioned, there is something squalid, impoverished and emotionally manipulative in their rhetoric for which I have a strong negative reaction.

  29. Moynihan conveniently forgets mentioning that the Nazis often employed the very own tactics and strategies they accused their enemies of. And the circle closes…

    1. I don’t think so; he was just pointing out the origin of the particular expression “Big Lie” is incorrectly cited/misunderstood by the majority of people who engage in Nazi-fying their political opponents.

      Speaking of which, your point also holds true for both political parties (re: co-opting the tactics of your enemies)… you big terrorist-appeaser you.

  30. I bet you’re lying.

  31. All you guys are JUST LIKE Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg!

  32. The democrats incompetence(Mayor & Gov) in regard to Katrina and the demagoguery against Bush IMO could be used as an equivocal analogy to Hitler’s use of Reichstag fire against the red shirts.

  33. I dont like Molitsas, but he’s right about comparing the religious right to the Taliban (Islamists). They do agree on a lot of social issues (anti gay, creationism, ban porn, ban abortion, no separation of church state….).

    Msybe a unintended positive that will come out of this book though is liberals will start to realize that Islamists are really an enemy (since theyre so much like the religious right). That woudl be a good thing.

    Also as… exaggerated as this book may be, conservatives deserve it after Goldbergs “Liberal Fascism”.

  34. Can you say, “moral equivalence” boys and girls?

  35. — Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

    — Disgust and alarm with the federal government’s unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

    — Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

    — Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

    Now we know why the country has become “ungovernable,” last year’s excuse for the Democrats’ failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

    http://tinyurl.com/2vuo2ol

    1. is your name charles?….seems to me, I read this same rue yesterday. Well at least your can type………

  36. The right is of course being hypocritical.

    I prefer the right becuase they are hypocrites. To be a hypcrite, one has to at least know what is right and what is wrong. The left, on the other hand, thinks whatever they do to be right.

    Corrupt and unethical Republicans, though they may need some pushing, resign or go to jail. ex: Duke Cunnignham.

    Corrupt and unethical Democrats get ships named after them or put on Obama’s cabinet. ex: Rep. Murtha (sp?) The DB representative from PA, that died a year or so ago.

    1. A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It is better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

      1. Thanks CS,

        Now how about a sequel to the Screwtape Letters…

      2. Beautiful…………

  37. Here’s a helpfuul hint to “liberals:” If you don’t want to be compared to fascists, stop fellating the State and always trying to make it bigger and more powerful.

    1. Also, decorating your bedroom with posters Michelle Obama dressed as Ilse She-Wolf of the IRS doesn’t help, either.

  38. Moynihan, you have been kicking ass lately. Seriously, good, intensive reporting.

  39. Perhaps the issue is separating political debate from ideological debate.

    In arguing over political philosophy, ad hominem attacks are an implicit statement that the speaker has a losing argument.

    In politics, however, what is “appropriate” is whatever works. Demonizing one’s opponents definitely works. And it’s not exactly some new-fangled political device, as Mrs. Andrew Jackson could have attested.

  40. I don’t understand this article. Why does Beck deserve ANY criticism for historical illiteracy? Why are you castigating Limbaugh for doing something and then you demonstrate conclusively he didn’t?

    Is Reason so desperate to maintain an equal attack on the left and right that they are now making up stuff to attack the right with because the left is being especially idiotic?

    The left and right are not the same.

  41. Neither Goebbels, Goering, nor Hitler were the first political proponents of the theory of the “Big Lie”. It was elucidated years earlier by another famous political figure of the early 20th century:

    “A lie told often enough becomes truth.” – Vladimir Lenin

    Now, considering this fact, I wonder why it is that whenever Leftists accuse the Right of employing “Big Lie” tactics, it’s the Nazis that are “credited” with creating the concept and not the Soviet communists? Especially when you consider that the Soviets killed about 3-5 times as many people as the Nazis.

    Weird, huh?

    1. I’m pretty sure I read about ‘big lie’ in in Poli-Sci 101. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave…

      1. The Big Lie in the Republic isn’t the Allegory of the Cave but the myth of origin.

        1. What was he doing in that cave, anyway?

  42. mmm, i think what happened was something like this. Hitler wrote what he wrote, and some others reasonably said Hitler was projecting his attitudes upon others. And that led to other believing that Hitler had personally said he would do this sort of thing.

    That being said, Ebert didn’t technically contradict you. He wrote that hitler described it as such. He didn’t say Hitler did it, or advocated its use.

    Mind you, there is alot stupid in what ebert said. but that statement is not even technically inaccurate.

  43. “Anyone who genuinely cares about America should read this book.”

    I wonder if he read it.

  44. The left, and people like Rachel Maddow and Roger Ebert (who exactly is this movie reviewer) are laughable.

    Markos Dullitsas is totally out of touch with present or historical reality.

    Don’t these doofus clowns realize that they are caricatures of the left-wing nonsense?

  45. In the still of the night I hear the moonbats honey – sniffing around your wallet

    In the still of the night I feel my wallet getting lighter – telling me I gotta work more

    1. haha…….moonbats…kudos.

  46. Markos, the scion of the Daily Kos echo chamber of hate, has been nothing but an extreme left-wing barking moonbat. His hyperbolic mendacity is only exceeded by his self-aggrandizing arrogance.

    It’s amazing to me that leftist kooks like Markos finds far more in common with so-called “moderate” Muslims – who still believe in Sharia law, beating wives, dhimmitude and an eventual Global Caliphate – than he does with mainstream conservative Judeo-Christian Americans who embrace the religious values of the American Founders themselves, that our liberties and our unalienable rights are a gift from God and not from government (Thomas Jefferson).

    Of course Markos is so far left than anyone to his right must be demonized as a “radical right-wing Christian” blah, blah, blah. Anyone who seriously embraces any of Markos’ culumnies against mainstream conservative Americans as being somehow “enlightened” are themselves a party to his pathetic uber-leftist evil.

    Markos own words proves him to be the stepchild of the likes of another brilliant propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. I guess national socialists have to stick together.

  47. Never forget, Nazis and Soviet communists were cut out of the same collectivist cloth. Despite six decades of disinformation from whackademia (which originally embraced Nazis during the early 1930s, btw), both were left-wing. Each governmental system was merely two different facets of the same socialist/communist gem that was most cogently foisted upon the unsuspecting world by Karl Marx. The Nazis were about creating a New Germany, there was nothing conservative or “right-wing” about a highly centralized governmental system that regulated everything within its reach.

    Racism? Some of the biggest racists I know are left-wing/liberal pandering racists who believe anyone of color isn’t up to the task of creating their own destiny but rather needs the help of smarter-than-thou white liberals to lead them to their velvet gulag. The Democratic Party is still the party of slavery in light of how they are warehousing potential voters of their government-run plantation called “welfare”.

    Liberals, Nazis, Soviets, Chi-Coms are, first and foremost, statists who see more government as the answer to all of mankind’s ills.

    1. Indeed!

      Socialism in all its forms (Stalinism, Nazism, Maoism, Obamaism, Marxism etc…) always starts with the premise that rights of the individual have to eb discarded for those of the collective or as Hillary said “we must stop thinking of the individual and do whats best for society”. Hitler etc… all rose to power on Hillary’s principle which is nothing more than paraphrasing of Marxism.

      As Ayn Rand said the tiniest minority on the planet is the individual. The FOunding Fathers clearly understood that concept.

      “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” ?Thomas Jefferson

  48. The title is also a bit rich considering that Kos’s publisher used to do PR for the Saudi Arabian ministry of the interior.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polipoint_Press

  49. Indeed Hankmeister, indeed!

  50. Great jumpin’ Jeezuz on a motorbike – in this election cycle, it’s hard to tell who’s Godwinned themselves first. I guess we have to go by sheer numbers, and the lefties seem to be winning (and therefore losing) the self-Godwin contest.

  51. Rodger,you remind me of a catfish,all mouth and no brains.

  52. The strangest thing about this book is that calling the right the American taliban is so played out (or whatever the kids say) that it’s amazing it’s the title he went with. You used to see it all the time, but now only the most fire breathing liberal, the kind who still goes into a rage at the mere mention of Bush 43, still uses it, everyone else gave up on it years ago.

  53. Hey Roger, don’t quit your day gig! Or did you?

  54. “It isn’t the blueprint for a Nazi media strategy, but a mad exposition on what is considered a “Jewish” way of media deception; i.e. the Jews, via socialist newspapers like Vorw?rts, have spread a “big lie” that the First World War was lost militarily when, in fact, said those on the radical right, it was lost in the salons of Berlin and Munich.”

    Haven’t read all the comments so correct me and fuck off if I am repeating… but Hitler was a leftist.

    1. this assertion has become so very tiring… here’s the thing: the rest of the political world, now and then, does not follow the US distinction of “left” and “right” — they have their own taxonomy which has nothing whatsoever to do with the minimally distinguished US parties. In Weimar, neither the Dems nor the Reps would have counted as “left” _or_ “right”.

      1. Oh.. well, that’s all right,then.

  55. Goebbels:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrar…..lslie.html

    CONCLUION: THE REASON SITE IS A MANIFESTATION OF THE CORPORATE STATE’S ‘BIG LIES.’

    1. Note that the Goebbels “citation” is never, never, never credited to a primary source…it’s simply “attributed” to him. I challenge you to find a primary source where Goebbels actually stated such a thing. Even the “Jewish Virtual Library” only links to another unattributed “source.”

      On the other hand, Hitler mentioned the “Big Lie” in “Mein Kampf,” and it’s clear he was a critic, rather than an advocate, of the technique:

      http://www.historiography-project.com/misc/biglie.html

  56. Yes, for 40 years the Left has race-baited, resorting to screaming “racism” whenever they’re losing the argument. But, like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, race-baiting isn’t quite as effective as it once was. Sooooo…now we see an increase in the use of terms like “nazi” or “fascist”, solely because the term “racist” no longer has the desired effect. Regardless, the Left engages in name calling because it’s all they have left. Their ideology is bankrupt, is proven not to work in the real world, and they’re on the verge of getting waxed in election.

  57. Okay, your magazine is called “Reason,” and you gesture towards reason several times in this piece. But let’s be a bit more careful, okay?

    First, on Maddow’s endorsement: “It isn’t possible to understand American politics now without understanding the worldview and arguments of Markos Moulitsas.” Anybody who knows book blurbs would see immediately that this is not an _endorsement_ — calling a book a “worldview” and linking this worldview to “American Politics” as hard to “understand” is the very opposite of an endorsement. Okay, it’s subtle, and perhaps many folks wouldn’t get it: but you, Mr. Moynihan, should.

    Similarly, on Ebert: “Ebert writes that, in her silly effusions on the so-called Ground Zero mosque, Sarah Palin ’employs the methodology of the Big Lie, defined in Mein Kampf as an untruth so colossal that ‘no one would believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.'” You then go on to very earnestly explain to us that the Hitler didn’t openly propose to spread “the big lie” but accused his opponents of doing so. You then go on to claim that “Ebert, like many others, impl[ies it] was a Nazi tactic outline by Hitler in Mein Kampf” — he does no such thing. In the very passage you quote, he says that Mein Kamp _defines_ the Big Lie that way. Exactly as you say.

    So. Any chance of careful reading in the future?

  58. Okay, your magazine is called “Reason,” and you gesture towards reason several times in this piece. But let’s be a bit more careful, okay?

    First, on Maddow’s endorsement: “It isn’t possible to understand American politics now without understanding the worldview and arguments of Markos Moulitsas.” Anybody who knows book blurbs would see immediately that this is not an _endorsement_ — calling a book a “worldview” and linking this worldview to “American Politics” as hard to “understand” is the very opposite of an endorsement. Okay, it’s subtle, and perhaps many folks wouldn’t get it: but you, Mr. Moynihan, should.

    Similarly, on Ebert: “Ebert writes that, in her silly effusions on the so-called Ground Zero mosque, Sarah Palin ’employs the methodology of the Big Lie, defined in Mein Kampf as an untruth so colossal that ‘no one would believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.'” You then go on to very earnestly explain to us that the Hitler didn’t openly propose to spread “the big lie” but accused his opponents of doing so. You then go on to claim that “Ebert, like many others, impl[ies it] was a Nazi tactic outline by Hitler in Mein Kampf” — he does no such thing. In the very passage you quote, he says that Mein Kamp _defines_ the Big Lie that way. Exactly as you say.

    So. Any chance of careful reading in the future?

    1. Those who erroneously insist, despite the fact that the primary sources all contradict them, that either Hitler or Goebbels openly advocated this technique ignore the fact that it doesn’t make any sense for any politician to openly admit they lie to their constituents. Take a step back and consider this matter practically for a moment.

      The repeated lie that Hitler and Goebbels advocated the “Big Lie” is perhaps the most audacious “Big Lie” of them all.

      http://www.historiography-project.com/misc/biglie.html

  59. like a give a rat’s rear what ebert has to say about politics. after decades on the take as a “movie reviewer”, he’d be better off crawling under a comfortable rock and waiting for the inevitable. everyone has sympathy for his personal physical issues, but the guy (along with idiots from the Koz, Huff post, garofolo, sean penn, the lead singer from whitesnake, ad infinitum) is a blooming idiot.

  60. For vacuousness consider Pelosi’s accusation: “….They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.” When what she saw was a sign with a red circle and slash , the universal symbol of NOT imprinted over a swasticka. Either she lies poorly or is feeble minded. Don’t rule out both.

  61. Well done, Mr. Moynihan. The Hitler and Nazi comparisons of late are eye-rollingly overdone and utterly anti-historical. However bad one might think President Obama or some right wingers are, they are not the authors of mass terror, ethnic extermination and world war. Let’s not minimize what the Nazis were by comparisons to peaceful (even if not entirely intelligent) political disagreements that date at least to the summer of 1787. Perspective, please.

  62. Is ebert still alive?

  63. Must say it is rather odd to see Roger Ebert invoking Leo Strauss nomenclature for support; this puts that “Passion of the Christ” review in a new light. Next thing you know, Brink Lindsey will be talking of the need to “heighten the contradictions”

  64. As several of your readers have informed you, what I wrote is completely accurate. I’m not comparing Palin to Hitler. I’m saying she uses a tactic “defined” by Hitler, as indeed it was.

    If such terms as “9/11 Mosque” and “Death Panels,” which project falsehoods, are not Big Lies, how would you define one?

  65. As several of your readers have informed you, what I wrote is completely accurate. I’m not comparing Palin to Hitler. I’m saying she uses a tactic “defined” by Hitler, as indeed it was.

    If such terms as “9/11 Mosque” and “Death Panels,” which project falsehoods, are not Big Lies, how would you define one?

  66. Does anybody other than the extreme left read the Huffington? I mean let us be honest, if as the left says the fringe of the right subsists on the National Review and Weekly Standard what does the left read?

  67. This is complete nonsense………

  68. “socialist newspapers like Vorw?rts, have spread a “big lie” that the First World War was lost militarily when, in fact, said those on the radical right, it was lost in the salons of Berlin and Munich.”
    The Nazi Party was not “the radical right”. It was the radical left ie. National Socialism. Please do not re-write history with this Big Lie.

  69. wow, this is the least thoughtful, most superficial review I have ever read . . .

  70. OK, so the Ebert blurb was quite a bit silly. But what I was really HOPING for in this (as in all) book review was an ACTUAL REVIEW OF THE BOOK.

    Don’t get me wrong. We know what the author thinks of the book. He called it “stupid” in the very first paragraph. What he has failed to tell us is WHY IS THE BOOK STUPID.

    Oh, yeah, we get it that some of the blurbs are stupid. But isn’t it even remotely of concern to you that there is not ONE SINGLE DETAIL presented as to why the book being reviewed itself is “stupid” as described?

    Frankly, one of the ONLY THINGS that Dinesh D’Souza ever wrote that I agreed with is that he thinks the American far-right has more in common with the Muslims than it does with it’s fellow Americans who happen to be secularists. Kos appears to agree, and the author of this review does NOT. It would have been nice to learn the basis of that disagreement, but I suppose that would have been too much work!!!

  71. You lost me when you called Roger Ebert ‘the boring movie critic’. Huh?

    Potshot anyone?

  72. Heh. This article actually says “the big lie” was not a method to be employed by the National Socialists. Really?

    Maybe you missed the part of what Hitler said about “the big lie” in which he states that the concept is true, that it works, and that the masses always do fall for it.

    The principal relevance of Hitler’s statements is the fact that he so clearly and absolutely believes in the validity of the concept, and that despite the fact he accuses other people of doing it, he was the damn poster-child for doing it.

    How do you not get that? Hitler talking about “the big lie” was Hitler describing the central premise upon which almost the entirety of Nazi propaganda would in fact be based! What, you didn’t notice Hitler ran around pointing the finger making accusations about other people being responsible for exactly what HE was really doing?

    When Ebert says “Hitler said X, Y, and Z about ‘the big lie’ “, he’s right. Hitler did say it. And Hitler did absolutely mean it and believe in it and have total faith in it as a method. And then Hitler set about constructing a government that relied absolutely on it as the basis for propaganda.

    When some folks, like San Jose Mercury News, got it wrong regarding Goebbels as the originator of the term, Ebert and — I hate to defend this guy, but it’s necessary here — Limbaugh for example both accurately described what Hitler said and meant, and it’s not inaccurate of them to note that the concept was the centerpiece of Nazi propaganda.

    You could even consider that “the big lie” as presented by Hitler in his ramblings was ITSELF a “big lie” — there’s Adolf, pointing a finger at other people and accusing them of some monumental wrong behavior that in fact HE is guilty of through the very act of making the accusation.

    Hitler defined “the big lie” precisely as several of those people accurately said he did. And he stated that it was a totally successful methodology, and he went on to explain why it is destined to typically work as a method. Then he used it — including in his initial assertion about “the big lie.” Nowhere did Ebert for example claim that Hilter described “the big lie” as something the Nazis would do etc.

    Perhaps we should coin a new online “rule” about Nazis and Hitler — anyone who tries to accuse someone of being guilty of false comparisons and assertions about Nazis or Hitler, but who in fact makes up the complaint or gets it totally wrong, should immediately be ignored and considered to have lost the debate.

    Or better yet, how about “I’m tired of trendy grasping of the Hitler ‘rule’, since the rule is stupid in light of the fact that legitimate similarities and comparisons are made of lots of things and are entirely valid in a discussion or debate.” If a comparison to Nazis or Hitler is stupid and lacks rational basis, that can be pointed out as easily as the online myopic chorus of “nuh-uh, the Hitler rule means you just lost!”

    Oversimplification of discourse has gotten bad enough without supposedly reasonable, intelligent people trying to help dumb it down further by asserting goofy “rules” to stand in for actual arguments. Think the comparisons are wrong? Then demonstrate it with more than some trendy “rule” you heard about on Facebook one time.

    The primary valid point of this article is that on both sides of political debates, people will complain about the other side using Nazi comparisons etc and then use the same sorts of comparisons. So the problem is called “hypocrisy”, and nobody’s discovering the wheel by pointing out there’s hypocrisy on both sides of polarized political debates. But yeah, on this topic, point absolutely taken — a lot of people can be hypocritical at times in their comments about their opponents. Stunning insight you have there.

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