Today's Best Person in the World: White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs (Seriously)

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When MSNBC hosts aren't excoriating historically illiterate pundits for making historically illiterate comparisons between President Obama and former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain—they are both "appeasers," you see—they are likely to be found…making historically illiterate comparisons between President Obama and former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. So when not linking approvingly to real Nazis on his Twitter feed, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann can be found accusing Obama of acting like those who appeased Nazi expansionism at Munich. And if the oblique reductio ad Hitlerum wasn't enough, for good measure Keef went on to call those who support an extension of the Bush tax cuts both "traitorous" and "treacherous."

So today's "Best Person in the World" goes to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs (seriously), who makes a point that I have often made on Hit & Run. From Politico:

"Whenever you compare anything to what the Nazis did, if you ever get to that point in your speech, stop, because nothing does, and hopefully, God willing, nothing ever will,"

Watch Olbermann, who makes $7 million a year, denounce the "insatiable maw of capitalism" below. And make sure to check out Mediaite's top ten Olby Nazi references here.

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  1. “Whenever you compare anything to what the Nazis did, if you ever get to that point in your speech, stop, because nothing does, and hopefully, God willing, nothing ever will,”

    Oh, I’d say what Mao did compares, and Stalin came close. Still, point taken.

    1. What am I? Nothing?

      1. Genghis Kahn here! Hello…Hitler can’t even shine my shoes!

      2. Looks at Mao and Stalin knowingly, makes an “L” sign with his fingers next to his forehead.

        Also adds people who created threaded comments to the kids’ version of Mein Kampf.

      3. You’re chopped liver compared to those guys, you amateur.

        1. Sobs like a little girl.

      4. Lightweight. I eat pansies like you for breakfast.

  2. Looks at Mao and Stalin knowingly, makes an “L” sign with his fingers next to his forehead.

  3. I caught that maw comment when someone posted it a while back. I almost shot coffee everywhere when I heard him say it.

    The guy is an idiot.

  4. So is Olbermann a racist now?

    1. Yes, I expect Maureen Dowd’s column tomorrow to ponder whether Olberman’s rant had an implied “boy!” after all references to Obama.

      Good morning, America and The Today Show will show excerpts of Olberman and do a story asking whether some Americans just aren’t ready to accept a black president.

  5. Whenever you compare anything to what the Nazis did, if you ever get to that point in your speech, stop, because nothing does, and hopefully, God willing, nothing ever will.

    Me willing, I’ll wipe you all out.

  6. What we need is a Godwin Czar!

    1. You know who else had … Oh, never mind!

    2. Congratulations, you have now meta-Godwinned. You’re worse than Hitler.

      1. What’s deeply ironic is that in the Data Degradation Crisis during the 24th century, Mike Godwin’s name gets transposed with Hitler’s in all surviving historical documents.

        1. “Most video tapes from that era were damaged in 2443, during the second coming of Jesus.”

          1. If it’s the 24th century, then it should be 2343.

        2. A natural mistake, because Hitler was a Godwin Communist.

        3. I was thinking about that the other day… it’s easy to envision a future, say, 500 years from now, when history books list Mike Godwin as Hitler’s Minister of Internet Discussions. That is, until the UN Un-Nazied the world… forever.

        4. By the way, this is for you.

          1. I responded. Real Genius is relevant to so much, isn’t it?

            1. ProL, when you first started at Hit & Run, you were well on your way to becoming another NutraSweet. And then you know what happened?

              1. I got a haircut?

                1. That’s a wonderful story, ProL. I’ve noticed you’ve stopped stuttering.

                  1. I’ve been giving myself shock treatments.

              2. You realize, of course, that you’ve just named SugarFree the Einstein of Hit & Run. The implications are unlimited.

                1. ProL, there’s something you need to know. Compared to NutraSweet, you have the IQ of a carrot.

                  1. You two make such a cute couple.

                    1. Yes, we do. Why are you so bitter?

                    2. Why do you wear that toy on your head?

                    3. PL and Episiarch, sittin’ in a tree…

  7. Moynihan’s attacks on hyperbole are worse then ARSWITTZ!!!!

    1. Duh.

  8. I wonder if journalists for Das Reich could complain about Hyperbole?

    and aren’t you happy i got the spelling on this one reich?

    And yes puns are worse then Hyperbole.

  9. Benedict Arnold’s name gets inveighed a tad too often for my taste as well.

    1. I have never been to the UK but someone told me there is a statue erected there in his honor and he is called a patriot there.

      1. Someone lied to you.

        1. I did a Google search (in images) for Bennedict Arnold Statue and found this. Granted it is hard to tell where it was taken because it is from Flikr and the person who posted it did not provide much information other than it was part of a fort that had been turned into a museum. Interesting however, at least there is a statue of him somewhere on planet Earth. Could be in the UK somewhere I suppose.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/r…..327711764/

      2. I’m not sure about the statue, but a friend of mine who took a tour of (I can’t remember the exact location in London) said they spoke quite highly of him.

  10. “Whenever you compare anything to what the Nazis did, if you ever get to that point in your speech, stop, because nothing does, and hopefully, God willing, nothing ever will.”

    Just for the record? The Holocaust was by far the worst thing the Nazis did–but it wasn’t the only horrible thing they did.

    …and if the champions of liberty ever find themselves in a position where they can’t compare what some authoritarian is saying to the Nazis–because the Nazis took those authoritarian arguments to their logical extreme?

    Then the champions of liberty are gonna lose a lot of arguments.

    The Nazis made a cult of forcing individuals to make sacrifices for what they saw as the common good–that went for everything from anti-smoking campaigns to state censorship, from using catastrophes like the Reichstag fire as a pretext to suspend civil liberties, to…

    If Barack Obama or George W. Bush or anybody else doesn’t want to be called out for acting like Nazis?

    Then they shouldn’t act like Nazis–’cause this libertarian’s just gonna keep calling ’em like I see ’em. Every. Single. Time.

    If the only thing you think of when when you hear someone compared to the Nazis is, “How can that be–they’re not advocating genocide!”, then that’s your problem.

    Broaden your horizons.

    1. “If Barack Obama or George W. Bush or anybody else doesn’t want to be called out for acting like Nazis? Then they shouldn’t act like Nazis–’cause this libertarian’s just gonna keep calling ’em like I see ’em. Every. Single. Time.”

      Well stated.

    2. So you’re saying it’s okay to criticize Obama’s “Strength Through Joy” program?

    3. Yes, Ken, that was pretty good.

    4. “…because the Nazis took those authoritarian arguments to their logical extreme?”

      That’s the problem with a lot of libertarians. They take everything to the “logical extreme.”

      Sacrificing for the common good is a kind of a good, necessary thing, you know, if not taken to the “logical extreme.” If all restrictions of liberty for the common good = Nazism, then the metaphor is useless.

      Interstate High system? Nazi.
      No smoking in restaurants? Nazi.

      “Then they shouldn’t act like Nazis.”

      That’s why no one will ever pay attention to you.

      1. not equal to Nazism, proportional to Nazism.

      2. “That’s the problem with a lot of libertarians. They take everything to the “logical extreme.”

        Sacrificing the rights of individuals for “the common good*”–up to and including their very lives? That’s not what libertarians do–that’s Dachau. That’s Auschwitz.

        If you’re suggesting that we shouldn’t criticize people for acting like Nazis–unless they advocate genocide too? Then it’s you who’s taking things to an extreme–not libertarians.

        “Sacrificing for the common good is a kind of a good, necessary thing, you know, if not taken to the “logical extreme.”…”

        I agree that sacrificing for the common good is necessary–I do it every time I stop at a red light…people willingly make sacrifices for the common good all the time!

        The difference is the use of force, isn’t it. Using the power of government to coerce individuals into making sacrifices for the common good is the defining characteristic of the Nazis–and anybody who emulates them in that respect is fair game for comparison purposes.

        Just because the Nazis took that personal sacrifice to its logical extreme doesn’t give any US President any cover whatsoever. If the only difference between a US president and the Nazis is how far he or she is willing to go to enforce personal sacrifices?

        Then there’s nothing wrong with saying that the president is just like the Nazis–except for how extreme he or she is willing to go. …and if they don’t like the comparison?

        Then they should stop acting like Nazis.

        Seriously, can’t you imagine a fascist president who’s like a Nazi in every way–expect that he doesn’t advocate genocide? I can!

        If he shows up tomorrow, why shouldn’t we criticize him for acting like a Nazi?!

        *whether it really was for the common good is another question entirely–of course–but isn’t that always true?

        1. If you’re suggesting that we shouldn’t criticize people for acting like Nazis–unless they advocate genocide too?

          BTW The Nazis never advocated genocide. They used their control of the media to hide the holocaust from their citizens.

          Which reinforces your point.

        2. If you’re suggesting that we shouldn’t criticize people for acting like Nazis–unless they advocate genocide too?

          BTW The Nazis never advocated genocide. They used their control of the media to hide the holocaust from their citizens.

          Which reinforces your point.

        3. I agree that sacrificing for the common good is necessary–I do it every time I stop at a red light…people willingly make sacrifices for the common good all the time!

          What a nonsensical example.

          Just because the Nazis took that personal sacrifice to its logical extreme doesn’t give any US President any cover whatsoever. If the only difference between a US president and the Nazis is how far he or she is willing to go to enforce personal sacrifices?

          I think it’s actually quite disturbing that you seem to see genocide as the logical extension of…just about everything.

          If he shows up tomorrow, why shouldn’t we criticize him for acting like a Nazi?!

          Because it’ll help him get elected, because it makes people who oppose him all look like idiots by association to your accusations of Nazism.

          1. “What a nonsensical example.”

            I lived for a year in Mexico. I drove around for a long time in a place where getting a ticket for running a red light was highly unlikely.

            Yielding to traffic is an excellent example of people willingly making sacrifices. People willingly make sacrifices all the time for the good of everyone–sans government coercion. We all do it everyday. If you can think of better examples off the top of your head? That just proves the point.

            “I think it’s actually quite disturbing that you seem to see genocide as the logical extension of…just about everything.”

            Extermination camps really are the logical extreme of the idea that the government should force people to make sacrifices if those sacrifices are for the common good. That’s not my opinion–that’s what happened.

            If you don’t like the logical extreme of your pet theory or something? That doesn’t mean it isn’t the logical extreme. Maybe you style yourself some kind of moderate Nazi? Doesn’t mean your logic doesn’t end up where it does.

            Part of what I like about being libertarian is never having to argue that people should be forced to make sacrifices for the common good. …it means never having to make nice with moderate Nazis.

            Also, just so we don’t get hung up on semantics–I wasn’t saying that the Nazi’s extreme solution was logical. I was saying that the extermination camps were the logical end result of the Nazi’s logic–not this libertarian’s.

            …and I think everyone here but you seems to have understood that.

            “Because it’ll help him get elected, because it makes people who oppose him all look like idiots by association to your accusations of Nazism.”

            So, it’s a function of aesthetics?

            I can appreciate that, but more people should come out and say it like that then. They should say, “We shouldn’t compare politicians to Nazis–even if they act like Nazis–so long as they don’t advocate genocide. …because some people think it’s a turn off.”

            1. Yielding to traffic isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a selfish act. After all you don’t want to fuck up your own car do you?

              1. You should spend some time in a country where red lights and stop signs are seen mostly as just general recommendations–and traffic court is practically nonexistent.

                Ford’s India model is taking off, in part, because you can snap off the outer door without replacing the whole door. Comes in handy since getting sideswiped in traffic, etc. is so damn common.

                Anyway, people cooperate for the benefit of everyone without government coercion–all the time. Maybe they do it for altruistic reasons–maybe they’re selfish as hell. Either way–you guys don’t like my example? There are a thousand others.

                People restraining themselves minus the government coercion shouldn’t be a controversial idea on a libertarian website. Hell, I know people who’ve given 10% of their take home pay to their church all their lives. …and it has nothing to do with the government telling them to.

                Honest.

                1. Just with that other great controller of men’s minds.

                  1. You mean Urkobold?

                    1. The Urkobold asked me to thank you and to tell you that your cookie is in the mail

          2. The argument that Ken Shultz is making involves principles. Once you accept the notion that the government can and should force individuals to sacrifice “for the common good”, you’ve given the entire farm away. Because now you’ve rejected the principle of self-ownership, and substituted the principle that individuals are the property of the collective and those who control said collective can use–or dispose of–the individual as they see fit.

            If we don’t own ourselves, then what argument do you use when the government does want to commit genocide? That it’s icky?

      3. “…Sacrificing for the common good is a kind of a good, necessary thing,…”

        And your examples show you to be an ignoramus hoping for an automatic straw-grasper for Christmas.

  11. I think that it could be dangerous to place an historical figure “off limits” for political debate. I understand the pointlessness of the usual reductio ad Hitlerum but not every discussion of the wannabe painter is a reductio ad Hitlerum. For example, what if we were to have a discussion of the econominc ramifications of Hitler’s policies and compare those policies to the economic policies of a living politician? Why should that be off limits? Would you call that a reductio ad Hitlerum?

    1. Because Hitler’s baggage is not unknown to you or anyone else. For economic policies there are plenty of other examples you can go to that don’t, I dunno, immediately bring to mind the extermination of millions of Jews.

      1. Am I guilty of reductio ad Hitlerum?

      2. What if that economic policy is “let’s murder the money-grubbing Jews and take all their shit”? It’s just adding a racist twist on the typical socialist outlook.

      3. Perhaps we should also not bring up Truman because he, I dunno, immediately brings to mind the extermination of two entire cities in Japan.
        Tony, that “baggage” as you call it, was, from his perspective, at least in part. derived from that economic worldview. The old stereotypes of Jewish people being in control of finance played a roll in is socialist, yes, I said it, socialist, policies. I think this is important to point out. Have you ever read [or watched] the play “The Merchant of Venice”.

        1. That’s the biggest heaping pile of bullshit I’ve read all day.

          By your logic, American capitalism inexorably leads to the nuking of Japanese people.

          1. As the logical extreme, as Ken Schultz pointed out upthread. If the Japs didn’t wake the sleeping giant they probably wouldn’t have been nuked.

  12. Is Keith Olbermann capable of making a statement that doesn’t include an ad hominem, or is that just asking for too much?

    When Keith negotiates his next contract to be

    1. When Keith negotiates his next contract to be less than $250,000, then I’ll buy a box of his “tax cuts for the rich” w(h)ine.

      Motherfudging html tags!

      1. I watched about 30 seconds of his bile, and needed a Valium. I was ready to punch my monitor. The massive hypocrisy you pointed out was the major reason why.

  13. I interupt this comments section to bring you great news: A Taken sequel is to be made, with Neeson returning.

    FUCK. YES.

    *punches next commenter in the throat*

    1. I find it hilarious that in your link, Luc Besson has his greasy fingers all over The Transporter.

      I love Luc’s early work, but The Fifth Element really annoyed me.

      1. Yeah, the 5th Element wasn’t for me.

        Best thing in the avclub article is this comment on the possibility of a Taken TV show:

        This would be better if Neeson just showed up on existing television shows to punch throats. Some kind of American Idol voting system determines the show, but only Neeson determines the time, frequency and force of the punches.

        1. “Donkey Punch: The Series”

          All I care about is that Game of Thrones is coming in April. I love my HBO.

          1. Did you hear they’re combining the two? Game of Donkey Punch Thrones: The Series

      2. “The Fifth Element really annoyed me”

        It was fun you jackass.

    1. Jesus. I lost 5 IQ points watching half of Transporter 2. Are people really so fucking numb that they could watch that as a weekly TV show?

      1. Wait, I’m saying this on a thread about Keith Olbermann, who is still on TV. Nevermind, answered my own question.

      2. People watch Glee. Does that answer your fucking question?

        1. Hell, many critics act as though Modern Family isn’t another lame-ass, cliched sitcom.

          1. But it doesn’t have a laugh track! That makes it good!

      3. People read H&R comments. “Numb” is a relative term.

  14. Because we all know the Nazis are best known for their ruthless tax-cutting and government downsizing.

  15. Good God! Over 11 minutes of Olberdouche talking? That is comparable to a concentration camp.

  16. Michael, you just might be The World’s Worst Person tomorrow.

    Wear the title with pride.

  17. Your standards have truly fallen if you’re handing Family Guys a gold star for that original insight.

  18. So today’s “Best Person in the World” goes to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs (seriously)

    It is a coin toss on who is worse:

    A Neville Chamberlain apologist or a Robert Gibbs apologist.

  19. And not a comment?
    http://www.examiner.com/populi…..titutional

  20. Yea, I can’t take too much of Olbermann.
    I got about 2 minutes in before I wanted to yell Shuddup.

    Olbermann is a stupid little bitch who will STILL vote for Obama in 2012.
    Actually, he would vote for my last turd if it had a “D” by it’s name.

    1. “Actually, he would vote for my last turd if it had a “D” by it’s name.”

      Raaaaacist…

        1. Yea, I realized the apostrophe was wrong after it was already posted.
          My apologies for the annoying mistake, but I blame it on my seething hatred of everything Olbermann!
          And also….I must be racist!

  21. People watch this man(?)?

    He makes 7 million dollars a year for this?

    The most arrogant hypocrite EVER.

  22. Tony|12.13.10 @ 7:57PM|#
    “Because Hitler’s baggage is not unknown to you or anyone else. For economic policies there are plenty of other examples you can go to that don’t, I dunno, immediately bring to mind the extermination of millions of Jews.”

    That’s true. The failed economic policies you favor didn’t kill millions of Jews. They killed at *hundreds* of millions of Russians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Han Chinese, Tibetans, Cambodians, Koreans, Cubans and…
    And you’re bragging about that?

    1. Oh come onnnn sevo…

  23. Robert Gibbs is a moron.

    If you find yourself thinking “Golly gosh, this new program from the looks a lot like an old Nazi scheme, don’t stop talking about it.

    Only one of two things are occuring:

    1) You don’t really know what the Nazis were doing and are making a snap judgement based on ignorance,

    or

    2) The program really is Nazi like and you need to get your Congresscritter to begin the legislative process of getting it rolled back/defeated/etc.

    In both cases you need to keep asking questions for your own personal benefit. You’ll either learn something new about history (good thing) or you’ll figure out that you’re about to be crushed by ruthless oppressors (time to prepare, also a good thing).

    Question everything. Especially if it is in violation of some social taboo being preached to you from the White House.

    But don’t stop talking about one of the greatest mass murders in history and working your butt off to prevent it from happening again!

  24. You know who else engaged in hyperbole….

  25. Also, NICE comeback by the Texans, even though the Ravens drank your milkshake in the end. Exciting ending to the game.

    And will Brett Farrrrarrrrvvvrrre SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! SHUT UP, YOU WASHED UP DOUCHE!!! SHUT!! UP!!!!

    That is all.

    1. What the Farrrrarrrrvvvrrre you talkin bout.

  26. Hey, I’m gonna go over to MediaMatters and read all the articles and user posts excoriating Olbermann for his Nazi references. Be back in a few.

    1. Well, that didn’t take long… there aren’t any.

  27. I suppose since most people don’t truly understand the Nazi political system, Nazi references are considered hyperbole.

    Average Joe hears Nazi, he thinks Hitler, Jews, WWII, Auschwitz, etc…. But what he doesn’t think about is corporatism, propaganda, the nanny state, etc…

    Maybe we need a better example to compare against for clarity purposes.

    1. 18th Century British Empire? You, sir, are worse than King George III.

    2. Fascist?

  28. Why is it that entertainers don’t consider themselves capitalists? They always talk about the ‘rich’ as if it’s someone else.

    1. Probably has to do with the truly wealty who signs their checks and don’t have to worry about the next gig. In short for whatever reason they like to bite the hand that feeds them.

      1. If you’ve made $4 million or more a year for several years and still have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from, you need a new financial advisor.

  29. Well, look, yeah, Keefer is an imbecile and his comparison to the appeasement of Hitler is idiotic. On the other hand, there are things that occur in this country which do directly parallel the policies of National Socialism and with the old Eastern Block and I don’t have an issue with pointing that kind of thing out when it occurs. You can make a comparison to an authoritarian regime without suggesting we are at the point of gassing women and children and homos. It isn’t as though the Nazis were alright up to the point where they started blatantly persecuting and killing Jews and I think that pointing out parallels that are the hallmarks of authoritarianism is perfectly legitimate. Examples might be disarming the populace, the desire to control personal, undesirable habits and the recruitment of relatives and neighbors and citizens in general as agents of the state.

  30. to sum up my position:

    Y’all got on this boat for different reasons, but y’all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this – they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.

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