Thursday, June 09, 2005


Bush Derangement Syndrome Hits A New Low

Perhaps it's naive of me, but I never expected to see this:
Top House Democrat Charles Rangel complained on Monday that the Bush administration's decision to concoct a "fraudulent" war in Iraq was as bad as "the Holocaust."

"It's the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country," Rangel told WWRL Radio's Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter. "This is just as bad as six million Jews being killed. The whole world knew it and they were quiet about it, because it wasn't their ox that was being gored."
Oh, really? I don't recall the whole world being quiet about the world in Iraq -- quite the opposite, in fact. (Or perhaps Rep. Rangel is referring to the fact that millions of talkers, spewing hot air as fast as they can, have not yet succeeded in stopping the war? If so, he certainly seems determined to do his part.)

Let's see if he'll dig himself a little further. (This is one of President Bush's time-tested strategies; when one of your political opponents starts foaming at the mouth, particularly about you, then give him as much room as he wants. Works like a charm, particularly among politicians and journalists.)
The Harlem Democrat charged that top Bush officials "made up [their] mind to go into Iraq long before 9/11. And every one of the players who made this decision - they were part of this plan to do it. From Rumsfeld to Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bolton, every one of them - Perle - [they were part of the] plan to put our kids in harm's way long before 9/11."

Rangel insisted that American blacks and poor whites are dying in Iraq, while those who supported the war aren't paying any price.
Hmm. Ever heard of Pat Tillman, Mr. Rangel? (Granted, he died in Afghanistan, not Iraq. But he volunteered after 9/11, he didn't get to choose where he'd be sent, and he certainly did pay the price.)

This is one of the beauties of an all-volunteer military force -- criticisms like that just don't make sense. The Americans fighting in Iraq are the ones who volunteered to fight. We're not sending poor black boys and white trash to Iraq; we're sending fighters to where the fighting is, period. If you want to fight, volunteer; if you don't want to fight, don't.

As for his conspiracy-theory notions of pre-9/11 plans... well, really. I thought you had to be smarter than that to be elected to Congress. I guess I was wrong.
Asked to clarify his Holocaust comparison, Rangel told Malzberg:

"I am saying that people's silence when they know terrible things are happening is the same thing as the Holocaust, where everyone would have me believe that no one knew those Jews were killed over there."
Oh, now I see. The Holocaust was A Bad Thing, and nobody stopped it; the war in Iraq is also A Bad Thing, and nobody's stopping that either.

Call this Rangel's Theory of Moral Equivalence: All Bad Things Are Equal (particularly if nobody stops them).

Kind of like the guy who said that, if one man pushes an old lady in front of a speeding bus, and another man leaps forward to push the old lady to safety, well, both men must be equally bad, because you just shouldn't push old ladies.

As Instapundit said (whence the link to this story): Bush really drives some people batty, doesn't he? I wonder how he does it. (I also wonder how he swallows it all with a straight face. I sure couldn't take the abuse he does and keep quiet about it, even if I knew that my opponents were digging their graves with their own mouths.)

More commentary on the subject from Arthur Chrenkoff, Polipundit, and Mark Coffey.

Side note: sometimes it's easier to laugh than to get angry. I take the Holocaust very, very personally, and when someone compares a pet peeve of the moment to the Holocaust, it blows my fuses pretty quickly.

As an addendum to Mark's pledge, let me just say this. If you want to compare an event to the Holocaust, stop and make sure first that it's an event in which millions of innocent people were brutally murdered; that this murder was systematic, with dozens of factories of death constructed from scratch in multiple countries, with massive assembly lines to bring thousands of victims to them; that a nation cold-bloodedly set out to destroy another nation, treating it as an accounting problem to make sure that not a single victim escaped. Show me your Dr. Mengele and his ghastly "medical experiments"; show me your equivalent of a camp commander who gives his eleven-year-old son fifty Jews, as a birthday present, to use as target practice. Show me people murdered wholesale for the gold in their teeth; show me an entire industry constructed around finding ways to kill masses of people more efficiently.

Then come and tell me that something was comparable to the Holocaust. Not before.

UPDATE: Slightly off-topic here -- getting away from Holocaust comparisons, that is to say, but still discussing Bush Derangement Syndrome -- Peggy Noonan hits it out of the park in her WSJ editorial today:

...let's do a thought experiment. Close your eyes and imagine this.

President Bush is introduced at a great gathering in Topeka, Kan. It is the evening of June 9, 2005. Ruffles and flourishes, "Hail to the Chief," hearty applause from a packed ballroom. Mr. Bush walks to the podium and delivers the following address.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I want to speak this evening about how I see the political landscape. Let me jump right in. The struggle between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party is a struggle between good and evil--and we're the good. I hate Democrats. Let's face it, they have never made an honest living in their lives. Who are they, really, but people who are intent on abusing power, destroying the United States Senate and undermining our Constitution? They have no shame.

But why would they? They have never been acquainted with the truth. You ever been to a Democratic fundraiser? They all look the same. They all behave the same. They have a dictatorship, and suffer from zeal so extreme they think they have a direct line to heaven. But what would you expect when you have a far left extremist base? We cannot afford more of their leadership. I call on you to help me defeat them!"

Imagine Mr. Bush saying those things, and the crowd roaring with lusty delight. Imagine John McCain saying them for that matter, or any other likely Republican candidate for president, or Ken Mehlman, the head of the Republican National Committee.

Can you imagine them talking this way? Me neither. Because they wouldn't. Messrs. Bush, McCain, et al., would find talk like that to be extreme, damaging, desperate...

Why don't Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean know this? And what does it mean that they do not know it?

For as you know, the color-coded phrases in the "Bush speech" above come from speeches and statements given by Sen. Clinton and Democratic chairman Dean recently. (Mrs. Clinton's comments are in green and Mr. Dean's in purple, and I changed "right" to "left.")
Damn straight. Bush may be able to take such rhetoric, but it gets a lot of people angry. (No doubt Bush is counting on those angry people expressing their feelings at the polls in 2006. I hope he's right.)

What was that I said about "giving them as much room as they want"?

UPDATE II: Many thanks to Jeff Harrell and Mark in Mexico for their links! (I'm still green enough at this that, yes, I delight in every trackback.) Check out Jeff in particular, if you haven't already; he's done his homework far better than I did.

UPDATE III: All over the Blogosphere, one can read about Dick Durbin's continuation of this theme; I don't feel a need to throw my own two cents in. I'm intrigued, however, by James Taranto's take on it all --
There's been a spate of stories lately about President Bush's poor poll numbers--the importance of which is a mystery to us, given that the next presidential election is almost 3 1/2 years away, and Bush won't be a candidate in any case. At the same time, the Angry Left seems to be getting less inhibited: witness Howard Dean's various bouts of logorrhea, Charlie Rangel's and Dick Durbin's outrageous Americans-are-Nazis claims, and now this.

We suspect there's a connection here: The liberal media are persuading liberal pols that President Bush is in trouble with the public. The pols therefore conclude that the public is on their side, and this emboldens them to . . . well, in our opinion, to behave like total jackasses. Although we find this all somewhat vexing, we're guessing that in the end it will not pay off politically for the Dems.
Indeed. And I suspect that Bush is doing his thing, yet again -- giving his detractors as much rope as they want, confident that they won't know when to stop. So far, they don't even seem to notice. (Scary thought -- how much further will this nonsense go? We're already seeing comparisons of American troops to Nazis, and this is taken seriously; comparisons of Bush to Hitler are old news. I don't see how much worse it can get. But no doubt there are Democrats with better imaginations than mine.)


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