Friday, March 04, 2005


As you know by now, Senator Robert Byrd violated Godwin's Law when he compared the Senate Republicans' threat to disallow filibusters to the methodology of a certain German Chancellor. Byrd said, "Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."

Reuters reported that Republican leaders, ever the guardians of rhetorical decency, were outraged by the comparison. Sen. Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum of Pennsylvania, a member of the Republican leadership, said in a statement, "Senator Byrd's inappropriate remarks comparing his Republican colleagues with Nazis are inexcusable." And Republican Party Chairman Ken "What's a Guckert?" Mehlman said, "Senator Byrd's invocation of Hitler's Germany ... is reprehensible and beyond the pale."

But the ever resourceful Wonkette has found that the Congressional Record indicates that neither party has a monopoly on statements that are "inexcusable," "reprehensible," and "beyond the pale":
"Now, forgive me, but that is right out of Nazi Germany. I don't understand...why all of a sudden we are passing laws that sound as if they are right out of Nazi Germany."-Sen. Gramm, R-TX, September 5, 2002 (speaking in opposition to a Democratic tax plan)

"That, Mr. Speaker, is a modern-day equivalent of the Nazi prison guard saying 'I was just following orders.' It was all legal in Nazi Germany at the time."-Rep. King, R-IA, September 8, 2004 (speaking in opposition to a legal ruling on abortion)

"We certainly have all seen the rejections of Nazi Germany's abuses of science. As a society and a nation, there ought to be some limit on what we can allow or should allow."-Sen. Sessions R-AL, October 11, 2004 (speaking in opposition to stem cell research)

"He also said that imposition of the Kyoto Protocol 'would deal a powerful blow on the whole humanity similar to the one humanity experienced when Nazism and communism flourished.' And that was the chief economic advisor to Russian President Putin. The world has certainly turned on its head that we Americans must look to Russians for speaking out strongly against irrational authoritarian ideologies."-Sen. Inhofe, R-OK, October 11, 2004 (speaking in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol)
Now that we have established that each political party is guilty of analogizing the actions of the other to Hitler and the Nazis, can we all agree to retire this offensive -- and utterly ineffective -- rhetorical device.

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