When Rick Perry accuses Obama of "appeasement"

Is the Texas governor too ignorant to know the term is associated with placating and not fighting Adolf Hitler?

Published September 22, 2011 12:22AM (EDT)

Wow, the right-wing is angry because MSNBC's Chris Matthews and I reminded people of the history behind the term "appeasement" on "Hardball" today, after Rick Perry's accused President Obama of appeasing Israel's enemies. Of course "appeasement" most famously refers to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of placating Adolf Hitler as long as possible rather than fighting him, even conceding part of Czechoslovakia to Germany in order to buy peace. As we know, it didn't work.

Perry held a press conference with right-wing Orthodox Jews to accuse Obama of appeasing Israel's enemies in his dealings with the Palestinians – in the very city and on the very day Obama promised to do something quite unpopular in the Arab world, and veto any U.N. resolution acknowledging a Palestinian state. Perry also out-Israeli'd the Israelis, suggesting he'd cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority – which would rock their security forces since they rely on our funding. He also came out in favor of expanded Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories, breaking with every American president since Richard Nixon. Benjamin Netanyahu made Perry irrelevant by warmly and publicly thanking Obama for his veto threat Wednesday afternoon.

Of course Perry is pandering to Jews who will almost certainly never vote for him, but more importantly, to his evangelical Christian base, which wants to see the Jewish people return to the Holy Land so that Jesus can return – at which time the fate of Jews who don't accept Jesus as messiah is kind of grim. Newsbusters thinks it's a shonda that Matthews and I brought up the Chamberlain-Hitler reference in connection with Perry's use of the term "appeasement." Maybe they're saying Perry is too stupid to have known that history, so it's unfair for us to assume he was referencing it?

Here's our conversation with the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman:

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By Joan Walsh

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2012 Elections Rick Perry