If you want to piss off a Republican, nothing will do it quicker than calling the Bushies fascists or Nazis.
Rarely does their self-righteous rage run hotter. The neck and face instantly go beet red, the chest puffs out, and a table-pounding session will begin, usually with the words, "How dare you...."
As amusing as this spectacle is to watch, I'm usually not a big fan of calling Republicans Nazis. It is usually a gross oversimplification and exaggeration, one that tends to diminish the level of barbarity reached by the real article. And it demonstrates the same lack of imagination displayed by redneck GOPers who constantly compare liberals to Communists.
But these days... well, perhaps it isn't such a stretch after all. The establishment of a concentration camp at Gitmo and the acceptance of torture under the guise of military necessity were certainly big steps down that slippery slope.
And as we slip further, the words of some become downright chilling. It is one thing when a blowhard propagandist like Ann Coulter spews fascistic venom ... it is quite another when United States Congressmen start down that path.
Fascists, for example, believe it is appropriate... indeed, a necessity... to execute political opponents.
Exhibit A: Rep. Peter King, R-New York, appearing on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country"
SCARBOROUGH: The last thing you want to do at a time of war is reveal the identity of undercover CIA agents.
KING: No. Joe Wilson, she recommended-his wife recommended him for this. He said the vice president recommended him. To me, she took it off the table. Once she allowed him to go ahead and say that, write his op-ed in "The New York Times," to have Tim Russert give him a full hour on "Meet the Press," saying that he was sent there as a representative of the vice president, when she knew, she knew herself that she was the one that recommended him for it, she allowed that lie to go forward involving the vice president of the United States, the president of the United States, then to me she should be the last one in the world who has any right to complain.
And Joe Wilson has no right to complain. And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they're the ones to be shot
, not Karl Rove. [Emphasis added.]
Slip of the tongue? Maybe. But remember that a Freudian slip is not a pure accident... it is the accidental statement of something that the person is really thinking, but normally would not say publicly.
But let's move on...
Fascists believe that terror-bombing civilian populations and non-military targets is an appropriate and effective tool of war. The Nazis were particularly big believers in this, as anyone who lived in Rotterdam or London in 1940 can tell you. Fortunately, the Nazis never got their hands on nukes.
We, however, have more than enough nukes to go around... and some members of Congress are getting real itchy to use 'em.
Exhibit B: Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado, appearing on an Orlando radio talk show
. Host Pat Campbell has just asked how the United States should respond in the event of a nuclear terrorist attack on a U.S. city.
CAMPBELL: Worst-case scenario - if they do have these nukes inside the borders and they were to use something like that, what would our response be?
TANCREDO: What would be the response? (pause) Um, you know, there are things you could threaten to do before something like that happens and you may have to do afterwards (unintelligible) draconian.
CAMPBELL: Such as?
TANCREDO: Well, what if you said something like, "If this happens in the United States and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims." You could take out their holy sites. CAMPBELL: You're talking about bombing Mecca? Tancredo: Yeah.
What if you said, "We recognize this is the ultimate threat to the United States, so this is the ultimate response." I'm just throwing out some ideas because you would be talking about taking the most draconian measures you could possibly imagine. [Emphasis added.]
Is this a slip of the tongue? Of course not. This is a United States Congressman, in a public forum, endorsing attack (presumably nuclear) on a city of no military significance, but one of enormous religious and cultural significance to one out of every six persons on the planet.
It is worth noting that Mecca is one of the largest cities of a U.S. ally. One of al-Qaeda's highest goals is the overthrow of the ruling government of this ally, the House of Saud. Tancredo apparently believes the appropriate response to an al-Qaeda attack is to destroy the most important city under the rule of the House of Saud.
Finally, lest we forget -- there are just under one million people living in the city of Mecca. Presumably 99.9 percent of them have nothing to do with al-Qaeda. But a nuclear device makes no such distinctions. If a nuclear device is detonated over Mecca, hundreds of thousands of civilians will die, regardless of how they feel about bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
There's a word for that: Genocide. And the fact that it would be a response to the mass murder of American civilians justifies it not one damn bit. Slaughtering innocents to retaliate for the slaughter of innocents is still genocide, and still evil.
But did Tancredo apologize? Nope. From the Denver Post:
I'm not suggesting we do it. I have nothing to apologize for in that respect. I'm simply saying to have a good discussion on this issue, a thorough discussion on what is perhaps the most serious kind of possible situation we could face as a civilization, that you cannot simply take things off the table because they are uncomfortable to talk about.
Like mass murder. That is a perfectly appropriate topic for discussion in Bush's America, apparently.
Here's a nickel's worth of free advice for the GOP. Don't like being called fascists? Stop talking like them.