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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hitting Thomas Sowell Over The Head With Palin Derangement Syndrome

The latest meme being pushed is that Sarah Palin somehow, someway, compared Obama to Hitler. Think Progress started it off with:
Palin encourages followers to read column warning that the BP escrow fund could lead to a Nazi-like dictatorship
Greg Sargent at The Washington Post promptly took time out from smearing Sharron Angle with the "Birther" epithet to post a similar headline:
Sarah Palin tells followers to read article comparing BP escrow fund to Nazism
Andrew Sullivan joined the act, awarding Palin a Hugh Hewitt Award, as did Alan Colmes, who wrote: Palin Jumps on the Sowell “Obama As Hitler” Bandwagon.

So what is all the firestorm about?

Sarah Palin sent a tweet recommending that her supporters read Thomas Sowell's column Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

Sowell is a leading conservative thinker and writer, affiliated with the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford.

In the column, Sowell used multiple historical analogies -- including but not limited to Nazi Germany -- to show what happens when the rule of law is abandoned in favor of the rule of one man. But Sowell did not call Obama Hitler or compare Obama to Hitler. Conservatives4Palin has more debunking this allegation.

The impetus to Sowell's column was Barack Obama's unilateral decision announced on television that Obama would "instruct" "inform" British Petroleum how much money to set aside in an escrow account.

The prospect of a President unilaterally taking it upon himself to usurp the judicial function was unseemly, even if you liked the result. I made this point in my prior post, The Bully's Pulpit.

I think Sowell's analogy to Nazi Germany was unfortunate, but an all too common argument which is a favorite of left-wingers when talking about George Bush or the Arizona immigration bill. There were more recent and relevant analogies Sowell could have used, such as Richard Daley Sr.'s Chicago.

But why the hysteria on behalf of the Think Progress crowd over an unremarkable event?

First, it's Sarah Palin. And the Democratic media machine never misses an attempt to smear her. What counts for them is the headline, not the details.

Second, and equally important, Palin is being used as the means of ostracizing and attacking Sowell. Think Progress and the others want to declare Sowell off limits, to isolate and target him so that others will think twice before linking. What better way than using their visceral hatred of Palin as the means of attacking Sowell?

Just think, from this point forward the headline will be "[insert conservative author or politician's name here] supports the author who called Obama Hitler." It's false, but again, it's the headline that counts.

Isolate, freeze and attack. They've found their weapon to use against Sowell.

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  1. I read Sowell's comment as about bringing and then manipulating low information voters who had not previously been involved in politics.

    If you dig into what is coming out of the Dept of Ed and the analyses of these Common Core Standards states are being bribed to adopt, there does seem to be a national movement to use the public schools to keep American young people without much knowledge or analytical skills. A voting majority without the knoledge to get beyond rhetoric.

    Also Salazar did something similar in response to Feldman's moratorium ruling. He simply rejects the interp of the federal judiciary on what the exec may do.

    How imperious. "We will be relying on our executive powers". How is that not tyranny.

  2. Thomas Sowell is perhaps he most intelligent writer in America today. The left has not gone after him (so far) because he is impossible to refute. In addition, his race and age have probably kept the sharks at bay. It's interesting that the left now attacks Palin for the article and not Sowell.

    It just proves the left's intellectual dishonesty. They really have nothing to say about what Sowell wrote, but since Nazis were mentioned and "that gawd-awful-Palin-woman" mentioned it, they have all gone apoplectic.

  3. Also to consider -- the left is desperate to cut off comparisons with Hitler. That's their ground (at least, since the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and Stalin said Hitler was right-wing), and they resent any intrusion upon it.

  4. Sounds like they got a new version of JournoList up and running pretty quickly.

  5. If the 'stache fits . . . .

    Honestly, and clearly we're interested in intellectual honesty, what is wrong with Sowell,or anyone else because Sowell really didn't, making comparisons between this administration and the early days of Hitler? Hitler, too, sought to circumvent and bypass the constitution of his country in order to grab more and more power; he, too, was thought to be an outstanding orator; he,too, was bent on a socialist utopia at the cost his people's civil liberties; he, too, understood the power of free speech, the nature and use of propaganda, and the need to "mold" the youth starting as early as possible (mmm mmmm mmmm!); he, too, pushed big government solutions to every crisis, manufactured or not; he, too, spoke of the common good, of the interests of the workers/unions, and of social justice. Likewise, useful comparisons can be drawn to Stalin and definitely to Lenin. Should we pretend they don't exist? That there is no echo here of 1930's Germany? Of early 20th-century Russia?

    If we don't study history, including the unsavory parts (especially the unsavory parts?) and try to think about how it applies today, if at all, then we'll end up with a generation of youth who think Mao and Che are really really cool, who are taught to sing songs of praise to the president, who are educated in community organizing and social justice, who are being recruited to "serve" the state via "mandatory volunteerism," who are urged to read Alinsky before attending a youth camp offered by the government (um, wait, never mind, that couldn't happen here in America, right? But we all know that can and is happening here. Now. That and more.).

    I don't like this idea that no one can discuss Hitler in conjunction with any contemporary leader, including conservative leaders. That shuts down discussion that could actually be quite useful in educating the left about exactly what Hitler did, how he did it, what socio-economic and political conditions allowed him to rise to and keep power, and why he was so successful in his goals. Hitler didn't spring up in or work in a vacuum, and the social, economic, and political climate today is not really that different than that in a late 30's Germany steeped in socialism and communism, with crisis after crisis occurring and being used to the advantage of Hitler and the people he used. There is nothing wrong with looking at that, talking about it, and drawing whatever conclusions we wish. There is very much wrong with pretending that Hitler is somehow "off limits" in any discussion of socialism, communism, and fascism. All of which, I'm sad to say, are gaining ground in the U. S., so his example is one that begs to be studied.

    I, for one, will not be silenced by far left loons who with one breath shriek in horror at the very name "Hitler"--when attached to BO--and in the next sing praises of Mao and Che, grovel at Chavez's feet, and stand back in silence while Iranian citizens are crushed, tortured, and murdered trying to take back their country from Ahmadinejad (who is busily building nukes to destroy Israel, finishing off Hitler's life's work). The leftist loons worship people very much like Hitler, so perhaps we should start asking why they don't want us looking more closely at him?

  6. When the left used the Hitler analogy about Bush and CHeney everyone thought it was just dandy. Now when a consrvative intellect uses Hitler to characterize the rise to power through democratic means, they flip their little cookies. The question that was not asked or even discussed due to Palin derangement, was just how right is Sowell and just how uncomfortable did that make the left. Remember Thomas Friedman decryng the fact that Obama couldnt' be a dictator ala China. Me thinks the lefties do protest too much.

  7. I thought the Sowell piece was extremely well done and frighteningly close to our situation today. It should be brought to the attention of a lot of our people in America, although most would not have the knowledge of history to really appreciate it.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong about making the comparison between Obama and Hitler; it is very, very close and highly instructive. We have much to learn here.

  8. If you haven't read Sowell's Intellectuals and Society, buy it.

  9. Sarah Palin and Thomas Sowell are very dangerous to Statists. Palin because she so energizes the Hoi Polloi; and Sowell because he expresses thought so cogently.

    Must stop! Attack! Damn the truth, full speed ahead!

  10. I think Sowell's analogy to Nazi Germany was unfortunate

    Why? FuzzySlippers got it right.

    "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free."

  11. Sowell should not back down, nor should anyone feel it was an unfortunate comparison. The similarities are there: Hitler and Obama appear to have carried disappointments in youth into adulthood; Hitler rose to power during an economic crisis (as did Obama); the emotional/religious atmosphere of a mass movement; the focus on indoctrinating the youth, the intolerance of others (Jews, and today it also seems Jews); the perversion of science by public dollar support; the use of logos (Nazi cross; obama is the only US president I know that had an office of the president elect, and his own personal logo, which he still uses); the control of the press (gobbels; MSM, especially in light of the journolist scandal); eugenics (Hitler: anti smoking campaigns, pursuing a superior race, Obama; health campaigns, eugenics of elimination of the weak through either abortion or health rationing); a people's car (Volkswagon, Volt); neither man seems to be of an identifiable faith other than in themselves; but especially the fact that in the end Hitler provided an inept leader; and Obama seems to be following a smiliar path. The American people are different from the Germans from an historical perspective, which is the biggest reason Obama cannot be compared exactly to Hitler. Hitler was not German, but Austrian; and a promenient writer for the WSJ just described Obama as an alien in the WH. She was NOT advocating the birther conspirancy, but as someone who is out of touch or tone deaf to the public.

    The alternative to describing Obama's political career to Hitler is Jimmy Carter, and it is commonly stated that is the best that can be said.

    It is not that we are going to attack the world, or Obama wants world domination but wouldn't mind one world government, but that he believes the world can be bought a coke (or beer) and then we can all get along, no fighting necessary. Same end, different means as far as military goes.

  12. I highly recommend this book: "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America," by Hilmar von Campe.

    You betcha there are parallels.