6.10.2005

Bush = Hitler, and other things you should know

OpinionJournal on the Party who cried Hitler:

Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League is outraged over a comment Rep. Charles Rangel made the other day, the New York Daily News's Lloyd Grove reports:

The Iraq war "is the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. . . . This is just as bad as the 6 million Jews being killed," the 74-year-old Harlem Democrat insisted during a Monday radio appearance on the WWRL-AM morning show with Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter. "The whole world knew and they were quiet about it because it wasn't their ox being gored.

When interviewer Malzberg challenged Rangel's analogy, the congressman replied: "I am saying that people's silence when they know things terrible are happening is the same thing as the Holocaust." . . .

Foxman retorted: "It is so outrageous that I think he owes an apology not only to the families of the victims of the Shoah, but he also owes an apology to the soldiers who are fighting for freedom. . . ."

It's good that there are people like Foxman around who are paid to remind us that such comparisons are outrageous. For our part, we can barely muster the energy to roll our eyes. We have simply become desensitized to exorbitant liberal-left rhetoric. Bush = Hitler! Little Eichmanns! Guantanamo is a Gulag! By now what can one offer in response but a weary "whatever"?

This is a problem not only for those who resist the trivialization of evil but also for the liberal left itself. Shock can be a useful rhetorical device, but only if used sparingly--for the listener's capacity for shock quickly diminishes. That's why Republicans see Howard Dean as a laughingstock rather than a threat.

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