Last summer, when Nancy Pelosi observed that some tea party protestors were carrying signs bearing swastikas, the conservative media twisted her comments to claim she was comparing the protestors themselves to Nazis. As we pointed out at the time, this was absurd for two reasons. First, Pelosi clearly was not comparing the protestors to Nazis; she was merely making an accurate observation that was later confirmed by Fox News' own reporting. Second, conservatives' supposed concern over Nazi comparisons was belied by the fact that they regularly compare Democrats and their policies to Nazis.
Well, once again conservatives are accusing a Democrat of making a Nazi comparison, and once again it doesn't hold up to even basic scrutiny.
Their latest trip to the fainting couch was brought on by the following passage from a fundraising email sent out by the DCCC, in which Vice President Joe Biden says:
As things heat up, you can expect House Democrats will be hit with a GOP blitzkrieg of vicious Swift-Boat-style attack ads, Karl Rove-inspired knockout tactics, thinly veiled attempts at character assassination and tea party disruptions.
In an apparent attempt to prove Biden's point, conservatives have dishonestly twisted Biden's use of the word "blitzkrieg" in order to engage in exactly the type of "thinly veiled attempts at character assassination" Biden warned against by claiming, in Matt Drudge's words, that "Biden Compares Republicans to Nazis."
As we pointed out last night, prominent conservatives, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Fox News' Carl Cameron and Neil Cavuto, The Weekly Standard, and The National Review have all used the word "blitzkrieg" in a political context, often to attack President Obama and Democrats.
This morning, Fox & Friends, as they often do, showed how conservatives can twist a logic pretzel to attack Democrats. After Doocy and Carlson talked about the word blitzkrieg "going back to Nazi terminology," Brian Kilmeade explained that he "personally" has used the term before and doesn't think of it as synonymous with Nazis, yet was unsure why Biden would "go there."
Speaking of "going there," conservative media figures compare Democrats' and their policies to Nazis and Fascism on a regular basis.
When he isn't running "documentaries" trying to link progressives to Hitler, Glenn Beck invokes Nazis when discussing progressives and Democrats so often that Lewis Black proclaimed Beck has "Nazi Tourette's." Among many other examples, Beck has compared multiple administration officials and prominent Democrats to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, said that progressives' focus on "the common good" "leads to death camps," stated that Obama's call for a "civilian national security force" is "what Hitler did with the SS," and compared boycotts of his shows to the Holocaust while also likening the Obama administration's treatment of Fox News to the Nazi persecution of Jews.
Leader of the GOP Rush Limbaugh, who led the charge to twist Pelosi's words last summer, has, on multiple occasions, discussed the "similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany," twice said that the Obama health care logo "looks damn like the Nazi logo," and compared Obama's health care reform plan to Nazi policies. Last year, after a caller called in to complain about "the Hitler moustaches, the Nazi talk," Limbaugh claimed that "it's not hurting us." He has also explicitly defended Hitler and Nazi comparisons by asking: "Why can we not use Hitler?"
Want more examples? There are too many to list, but here's another large handful from the last year alone:
- While promoting his new book about the "secular socialist machine" on Fox News Sunday, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that Obama and Democrats are threatening America as much as "Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."
- While complaining about the $20 billion relief fund the Obama administration negotiated with BP, conservative columnist Thomas Sowell - in a column promoted by Sarah Palin and Matt Drudge - compared Obama to Hitler.
- Conservative radio host Michael Savage smeared FCC diversity officer Mark Lloyd as a "neo-Nazi" and a "Nazi czar." He has also compared diversity training to a "Nazi reeducation camp," and railed against unsubstantiated rumors of a "Hitler-like executive order" for amnesty for "illegal alien criminals."
- Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro has called the Obama administration "anti-Semitic" and compared Rahm Emanuel to the death camp prisoners who aided Nazis.
- Conservative radio host Mark Levin joined Limbaugh and Beck last year in making health care reform/Nazi comparisons by saying that the proposed health care policies were "Hitler-esque."
So before conservative media figures and elected officials feign outrage over Joe Biden's comment - which, once again, wasn't a comparison of Republicans to Nazis - they should probably take a look in the mirror.