Aggrieved conservatives agree that name-calling is totalitarian. Look who's talking! VIDEO
(Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster/Salon)
Daniel Henninger has a very, very good column in the Wall Street Journal today that can be summed up thusly: “Do you know who else called people liars?”
The Obama campaign’s resurrection of “liar” as a political tool is odious because it has such a repellent pedigree. It dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s. It was part of the milieu of stooges, show trials and dupes. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition. Denouncing people as liars was at the center of it. The idea was never to elevate political debate but to debauch it.
Saying Mitt Romney lies simply because he frequently says things that aren’t true is precisely the same thing as fascist propaganda. Shame on you, Barack Obama. (For the record, calling people “liars” was not actually at “the center” of the Stalinist show trials. They actually involved much more serious phony allegations! Stalin did not say, “Bukharin intentionally misrepresented my healthcare policy.” He said “Bukharin conspired to assassinate Lenin and hand half of Russia over to our enemies.”)
Let’s go back to the first paragraph of this column, actually, because while “Obama is the same as Hitler-Stalin” is the sexy pull quote, the column is entertainingly divorced from reality from word one:
The election campaign of the 44th U.S. president is now calling another candidate for the American presidency a “liar.” This is a new low. It is amazing and depressing to hear this term being used as a formal strategy by people at the highest level of American politics.
Is it even worth trying to find examples that show how insane the idea that it’s unprecedented for a politician to call his opponent a liar is? The RNC’s “research room” in 2000 was dedicated almost solely to repeatedly (and falsely) calling Al Gore a liar. Hey, here’s Nixon accusing Kennedy of a “bare faced lie” in 1960, which led to Kennedy making a funny quip about Nixon and TV makeup. Hey, what was it that Mitt Romney said, one month ago? Oh right, he said Obama lies all the time in debates. Except Romney used a cutesy euphemism for “lying” (“the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true”) so in Henniger’s world, it’s perfectly acceptable and not fascist.
One more line:
To my knowledge, Mr. Krugman is the only columnist writing for a major publication in U.S. journalism who has so routinely and repetitively accused people of being liars.
Newsflash: The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger does not think The Wall Street Journal is a major publication. (Same goes for you, National Review. Sorry, just the facts: You’re all insignificant Nazi Commies.)
Speaking of things that are exactly like the USSR, Jack Welch recently said, in the Wall Street Journal, that people making fun of him on Twitter was also totalitarian:
Imagine a country where challenging the ruling authorities—questioning, say, a piece of data released by central headquarters—would result in mobs of administration sympathizers claiming you should feel “embarrassed” and labeling you a fool, or worse.
Soviet Russia perhaps? Communist China? Nope, that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense.
Oh no, not “labeling you a fool!” That’s exactly what Stalin did to Kamenev.
Here is an exclusive propaganda video from the Obama politburo: