Hour 1: Limbaugh: "Adolf Hitler, Like Barack Obama, Also Ruled By Dictate"

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This hour of the Limbaugh Wire was an exercise in reductio ad hitlerum
By Simon Maloy

You'll have to forgive us, but we're still a little shell-shocked after yesterday's exercise in - well, we're not sure how to describe yesterday's show except to say that it couldn't have been angrier, more mendacious, or more venomous. As such, we can't quite bring ourselves to come up with yet another insightful and incisive intro, so we'll just point this out -- Salon.com's handy-dandy five-point health care bamboozlement takedown is definitely worth a read, particularly for you Limbaugh Wire regulars, as the five lies they take down are the foundation of Rush's anti-health care reform mantra.

Rush got things rolling this afternoon by saying he is happy, honored, and proud to be considered the "Mobfather," the leader of the unruly mobs protesting the health care town halls. It might be helpful to keep a list of all the things these mobs are, said Rush -- right-wing extremists, unruly members of the mob, people who dress too nicely, idiot shills for big insurance, people who are trying to destroy Obama, people who do not like change and want the status quo.

Rush then told us that he isn't an economist, but something with this Associated Press article doesn't make sense. The AP reported: "The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, the government said Thursday, a sign that the job market is making gradual improvement. Over half a million people lost their jobs, said Rush, and this is being portrayed as good news. Rush, however, zeroed in on this sentence -- "The number of people continuing to claim benefits rose, however, by 69,000 to 6.3 million, after having dropped for three straight weeks -- evidence that job openings remain scarce and the unemployed are having difficulty finding new work" -- to claim that jobless claims were actually higher than the previous week, because you have to add those existing claims to the new claims. Because in Rush's mind, apparently, new jobless claims and existing jobless claims are the same thing. Remember, folks, he told you he's not an economist, so you should trust him on that.

Rush then aired audio of Nancy Pelosi saying that the people protesting the health care town halls are Astroturf, and have been wearing swastikas. She is the Speaker of the House, said Rush, she's very powerful, and now she's running around claiming that we're Nazis! Rush said: "The Speaker of the House accusing people showing up at these town hall meetings of wearing swastikas -- that is not insignificant, folks. That is -- this woman is deranged. They're unraveling, but that is not insignificant. You have the Democrat Speaker of the House saying that people, citizens who are concerned about health care are now wearing swastikas. She's basically saying that we are Nazis." We're going to point out here that Pelosi is right. The teabagger protests at he town hall meetings have been steeped in Nazi imagery, including SS symbols and comparisons of Obama to Hitler and Mengele. But nonetheless, Rush proclaimed this outrageous, and promised to enumerate later on the various ways in which the Democratic Party bears much more resemblance to Nazis than anything the Republicans have ever done. That should be special, and we can't wait for that.

Rush then pointed to the right-wing blog Sweetness & Light, which claimed that it's Obama's health care logo that actually looks like a Nazi symbol. You know, it's amazing how simply slapping a swastika on something makes it look all Nazi-ish -- great catch, Sweetness & Light! In reality, Obama's logo incorporates the caduceus -- the ancient symbol for medicine. If Sweetness & Light want to say that looks Nazi-ish, fine, but that's more the fault of Hippocrates than Obama. Anyway, Rush said that the Obama health care logo is damn close to a Nazi swastika logo, and that Pelosi has some major apologizing to do. Then he ripped of Sweetness & Light's lame joke: "The only excuse - I know that numerous, repeated Botox injections can cause blurry vision. But I don't think Miss Pelosi can use that as an excuse."

Leading into the break, Rush said that Mary Katharine Ham has put together a brilliant piece of work on the Weekly Standard blog demonstrating that the left's "smoking gun" memo on the Astroturfed health care protests is a fraud. It has been literally made up.

After the break, Rush read extensively from Ham's piece. We don't have time to get into the details, but we will make this one point -- Ham's entire piece is based on the erroneous assumption that the FreedomWorks memo is the only piece of evidence that the health care town hall protests are orchestrated. That's not at all true, once you consider that national-level groups the Conservatives for Patients Rights are taking credit for the outrage at these meetings, and that the insurance industry is distributing talking points for use at the meetings, and FreedomWorks is sending out August recess "action kits" on health care town halls.

Then Rush offered another thing he wanted to point out -- we keep talking about Obama's health care plan, but he doesn't even have a plan. The only bill out there is from the House, and Obama doesn't even know what's in it! That's why he doesn't talk about it specifically, that's why he won't debate anyone on it. There is no guiding principle other than make the government bigger, take away liberty, and throw sops to the union bosses and tort lawyers, who are all socialists. This is a circumstance that Rush is ecstatic to see. Community organizers can't bitch when communities organize.

Another break, and Rush came back saying that Obama's poll numbers are "crashing." There is no public furor or support for health care reform, said Rush. How did this happen? Obama's smile is as friendly as ever, he's as cool as ever, the media still love him -- why are his numbers fading? The more he goes on TV and sells it, the more it craters. Why is this happening? Well, he closed Club Gitmo, but it's still open. He got us out of Iraq, but we're still there. He stimulated the economy, but unemployment is going up. He's fading in the polls because people are catching on that he keeps saying things and it's just words. There is no hard evidence to back up anything Obama has said.

Then Rush gave us the promised "Democrats are the real Nazis" rant:

LIMBAUGH: They accuse of us being Nazis, and Obama's got a health care logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook. Now, what are the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany? Well, the Nazis were against big business -- they hated big business. And of course we all know that they were opposed to Jewish capitalism. They were insanely, irrationally against pollution. They were for two years mandatory voluntary service to Germany. They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working, one of which was the Autobahn. They were against cruelty and vivisection of animals, but in the radical sense of devaluing human life, they banned smoking. They were totally against that. They were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables, as we all know, and they were for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare.

This is why I have always bristled when I hear people claim conservativism gets close to Nazism. It is liberalism that's the closest you can get to Nazism and socialism. It's all bundled up under the socialist banner. There are far more similarities between Nancy Pelosi and Adolf Hitler than between these people showing up at town halls to protest a Hitler-like policy that's being heralded like a Hitler-like logo.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Oh, another similarity. Obama is asking citizens to rat each other out like Hitler did. Obama's the one that's got the snitch website right out of the White House, flag@whitehouse.com, asking citizens to report people who are saying weird, odd things. You know the White House responded, "No, no, no, we're not taking names here. We're not taking names. We're just taking people who are putting up faulty arguments and refuting them." Well, that's not the intention. Ted Kennedy's dad, by the way, Joe Kennedy, sympathetic to Hitler, sympathetic to the Nazis.

That was very special, Rush. Thank you.

Then it was monologue time, as Rush said that Obama earned the trust of a majority of the American people in the election, but those who looked at him with "clear eyes" knew what he was. He's a hard-left radical, and he's racially bigoted, as evidenced by his -- sigh -- attendance at Jeremiah Wright's church. The American people trusted Barack Obama, but that was then. And then Rush launched into the rote litany of the various ways in which Obama is destroying the country. Seriously, you've heard this all before, there's no need for us to summarize it, but we have to wonder how listeners continue to find this same rant interesting day after day. Anyway, Rush said the town hall protests are a manifestation of America's lack of trust in its leaders, and the man who has lost our trust has started an "enemies list." Obama is not who he said who he was -- this is a betrayal of trust. The problem Obama faces which is destroying his presidency is that the American people no longer trust him.

Another break and Rush was back marveling at how no one can have an honest disagreement with the Democrats. If you disagree with them, said Rush, you're Nazis and you're racists. Then Rush read from a Washington Times article reporting: "A day after the White House dismissed protesters at town-hall events as people sent from opposition groups in Washington, the administration's political wing began mobilizing millions of its own supporters." Rush responded: "It is Obama who is astroturfing, it is Obama who is manufacturing right from the White House, sending out his brownshirts to head up opposition to genuine American citizens who want no part of what Barack Obama stands for and is trying to stuff down our throats." The President of the United States is mobilizing against over half the country! Rush said he's never seen anything like this. "So who is the mob leader? The mob leader is Barack Obama, the man trying to assemble mobs to counter genuine, heartfelt opposition to his policies." Then Rush read from a Huffington Post article reporting: "The nation's largest federation of labor organizations has promised to directly engage with boisterous conservative protesters at Democratic town halls during the August recess." So Obama organizes a mob from his office in the West Wing of the White House, and he's joined by a union leader. Do you believe this? A showdown between unions and genuine conservative grassroots organizations.

Closing out the hour, Rush had one more thought on Nazis for us: "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate. His Cabinet only met once. One day. That was it. Hitler said he didn't need to meet with his Cabinet; he represented the will of the people. He was called the messiah. He said the people spoke through him."

Greg Lewis and Zachary Pleat contributed to this edition of the Limbaugh Wire.

Highlights from Hour 1

Outrageous comments

LIMBAUGH: The Speaker of the House accusing people showing up at these town hall meetings of wearing swastikas -- that is not insignificant, folks. That is -- this woman is deranged. They're unraveling, but that is not insignificant. You have the Democrat Speaker of the House saying that people, citizens who are concerned about health care are now wearing swastikas. She's basically saying that we are Nazis. She is saying that the people who oppose this are Nazis. And I'm gonna tell you what, I'm going to run down a list here later on the program, but this party -- the Democrat Party, and where it's taking this country, the radical left leadership of this party bears much more resemblance to Nazis' policies than anything we on the right believe in at all.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Ms. Pelosi has some major apologizing to do. The only excuse -- I know that numerous, repeated Botox injections can cause blurry vision. But I don't think Miss Pelosi can use that as an excuse.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: It is Obama who is astroturfing. It is Obama who is manufacturing right from the White House, sending out his brownshirts to head up opposition to genuine American citizens who want no part of what Barack Obama stands for and is trying to stuff down our throats. It would be one thing if this were just the leader of some website trying to -- this is the president of the United States who is mobilizing against over half the people in his own country. I have never seen this in this country.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: So who is the mob leader? The mob leader is Barack Obama, the man trying to assemble mobs to counter genuine, heartfelt opposition to his policies.

"Fascism" watch

LIMBAUGH: They accuse of us being Nazis, and Obama's got a health care logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook. Now, what are the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany? Well, the Nazis were against big business -- they hated big business. And of course we all know that they were opposed to Jewish capitalism. They were insanely, irrationally against pollution. They were for two years mandatory voluntary service to Germany. They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working, one of which was the Autobahn. They were against cruelty and vivisection of animals, but in the radical sense of devaluing human life, they banned smoking. They were totally against that. They were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables, as we all know, and they were for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare.

This is why I have always bristled when I hear people claim conservativism gets close to Nazism. It is liberalism that's the closest you can get to Nazism and socialism. It's all bundled up under the socialist banner. There are far more similarities between Nancy Pelosi and Adolf Hitler than between these people showing up at town halls to protest a Hitler-like policy that's being heralded like a Hitler-like logo.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Oh, another similarity. Obama is asking citizens to rat each other out like Hitler did. Obama's the one that's got the snitch website right out of the White House, flag@whitehouse.com, asking citizens to report people who are saying weird, odd things. You know the White House responded, "No, no, no, we're not taking names here. We're not taking names. We're just taking people who are putting up faulty arguments and refuting them." Well, that's not the intention. Ted Kennedy's dad, by the way, Joe Kennedy, sympathetic to Hitler, sympathetic to the Nazis.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate. His Cabinet only met once. One day. That was it. Hitler said he didn't need to meet with his Cabinet; he represented the will of the people. He was called the messiah. He said the people spoke through him.

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