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Hitler on the Campaign Trail

Republican and Democratic politicians are reviving a favorite Nazi debating point this election season

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This is the debut installment of the Righteous Gentile, a monthly column by Michael Moynihan.

Voters are routinely told by politicians that they should be wary of other politicians, those preternatural liars who want to abscond with your money and freedoms. It’s the electoral version of the Epimenides paradox: If all politicians are liars, and the person saying so is also a politician, then he too must be a liar. But there are different degrees of lying, or supposed lying. There are white lies, half-truths, and apparently—at least according to a significant number of pundits and politicians this presidential election—campaigns of out-and-out fascist deception.

If you are unfamiliar with this last category, recall the many recent claims that one politician or another is mimicking the tactics and techniques of Adolf Hitler and his propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, by employing the “Big Lie theory”: the more grand the lie, the more likely the credulous voters are to believe it. It’s a common charge these days—and one that unwittingly resuscitates one of the Nazis’ favorite anti-Semitic debating points. But more on that in a moment.

On Monday, the gruff and charmless chairman of the California Democratic Party, John Burton, made headlines when he became the latest party hack to invoke the “big lie,” when describing the allegedly fascist methods of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his speechwriters: “They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie. [Like] Joseph Goebbels. It’s the ‘Big Lie,’ you keep repeating it.” A convention speech that many commentators thought deserved a rigorous fact check, apparently needed de-Nazification, according to Burton.

The following day, Pat Lehman, identified by the Wichita Eagle as the “dean of Kansas Democratic delegates,” spoke to a reporter from the floor of the Democratic National Convention and described Republicans in similar terms, while shifting attribution to a slightly more recognizable monster: “It’s like Hitler said, if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big lie, and if you tell it often enough and say it in a loud enough voice, some people are going to believe you.”

Back in January, Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen decried Republican attacks on President Obama’s health-care legislation, saying his critics were advancing the “‘big lie’ just like Goebbels. You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it.” (Glenn Beck, annoyed that Cohen was competing in the illiterate historical comparison business, blasted the congressman—while invoking Mao, Hitler, and Stalin, and adding that “Nazi tactics are progressive tactics first.”)

The modest backlash against such rhetoric framed the debate as yet another example of the triumph of crudity in American political discourse. But while the squadron of fact-checkers parse the claims of the Obama and Romney campaigns, no one bothered to explore the origins of the “Big Lie” theory, which is regularly conjured on Twitter, blogs, talk radio, and cable news.

A little detective work reveals the Big Lie to be a rather big lie.

In fact, there is only a single reference to the “big lie” in Hitler’s collected writings and speeches—most contemporaneous usage capitalizes the phrase in order to underscore its Nazi ancestry—and it is this slight and unremarkable passage from Mein Kampf:

By branding [General Erich] Ludendorff as guilty for the loss of the World War they took the weapon of moral right from the one dangerous accuser who could have risen against the traitors to the fatherland. In this [the Jews] proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big.

Like most of the ponderous anti-Semitism found in Mein Kampf, this isn’t a terribly sophisticated or original point. It was a sinister cabal of Jews—those who controlled the German press and manipulated public opinion—that propagated a “big lie” about Germany’s humiliating defeat in World War I. In other words, it isn’t a recommended method of propaganda, but an accusation by the Nazis against German Jewry.


Nevertheless, providing historical context for the recent spate of “big lie” accusations, the Associated Press told readers that “Nazi leader Adolf Hitler believed the ‘big lie’ had a greater chance of being believed.” Well, not exactly. Hitler believed that the Jews believed the “big lie” had a greater chance of being believed.

Nor can the reference be attributed the to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, whose only reference to a “big lie” comes in a 1941 speech attacking Winston Churchill: “The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” This is only at slight variance with the Hitler citation, as Goebbels’ ministry routinely argued that the English government and media were manipulated by Jewish power.

As historian Randall Bytwerk, an expert in German propaganda, observes in his brilliant excavation of the “big lie” myth, “only an incompetent propagandist warns his audience” that he will embark on a massive campaign of manipulation and lying. Bytwerk, who tracks the proliferation of the bogus Goebbels quote on his blog, explains that while it is “widely believe[d] that the Nazis brazenly proclaimed their duplicity, they in fact proclaimed the opposite” in their propaganda.

Indeed, the Nazi film industry, obsessively micromanaged by the propaganda minister, who saw cinema as the most important medium for political communication, largely avoided Leni Riefenstahl-like propaganda in favor of treacly melodramas, historical epics, and lighthearted comedies. (Direct and sustained attacks on Jews were actually quite rare in German cinema, with the notorious productions Der Ewige Jude, Die Rothschilds, and Jud Süß the exceptions.)

While fascism is a major political force almost nowhere, it is inaccurately referenced everywhere. The “Big Lie” myth is bipartisan, popular with excitable representatives of both political parties and all ideologies: Sen. Chuck Grassley, Rush Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough, and Chris Matthews have all accused their enemies of planning to lie loud and lie often—just like the Nazis. And the fear of impending American fascism, a charge made most recently by Rep. Ron Paul during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, are distressingly common. Even the recent kerfuffle over an anti-Obama cover story in Newsweek led one Huffington Post blogger to dismiss the author, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, as a “British fascist.”

If an American politician playing fast-and-loose with the facts is indistinguishable from an editorialist for Der Stürmer, than how does one distinguish between Paul Ryan and Heinrich Himmler? If Niall Ferguson is a “British fascist,” what would one call Lord Haw-Haw, Oswald Mosley, or the bald-headed street brawlers of the British National Party? “Rather severe British fascists”?

Slate’s Dave Weigel argues that “the idea of the ‘big lie’ is useful, and it’s odd to think that its users literally think their foes are like the Nazis.” But sustained lying in politics predates fascism, wasn’t deployed in any unique way by fascists, and, as Weigel acknowledges, wasn’t an acknowledged fascist propaganda technique. So, why the constant invocation of Nazism instead of, say, Stalinism?

Beyond the ugliness of comparing a political opponent to genocidal racists, and the anti-Semitic etymology of the phrase, the less-remarked-upon problem is that such arguments pervert and simplify the historical record. In defending himself, Cohen, the Tennessee congressman, argued that he actually said, “Goebbels lied about the Jews, and that led to the Holocaust.”

This statement reinforces the long-debunked view of a hypnotist Führer, repeating the catechism of anti-Semitism, and convincing a pliant nation to commit genocide. By flatly stating that it was Goebbels’ “big lies” that led to the Holocaust, Cohen minimizes the breadth and depth of anti-Jewish feeling prevalent in prewar Germany.

The “big lie” wasn’t a Nazi propaganda “technique.” It wasn’t “invented” or “pioneered” by either Hitler or Goebbels. Nor was it the backbone of an anti-Semitic media strategy that precipitated the Holocaust.

If the ubiquitous and industrious fact-checkers bothered to check the claim, they would have gotten a two-for-one: the irony of supposedly truth-seeking politicians perpetuating a historical myth, and the satisfaction in helping rid the Internet of junk history. And perhaps most important, preventing a uniquely evil regime from being banalized by wildly inaccurate historical analogy.

***

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ajweberman says:

Good article. Went right to the source

Saint_Etienne says:

Excellent piece! Keep up the good work.

Kalonymus says:

“Hitler believed that the Jews believed the “big lie” had a greater chance of being believed.” Oh really? That’s what you conclude from the Mein Kampf passage? That ignores two rather important words in the quotation: “In this [the Jews] proceeded on the SOUND PRINCIPLE that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility.” Hitler wasn’t ascribing the principle to Jewish belief – he was affirming the validity of the principle (and incidentally providing a basis for his own lie about what Jews did.) He then proceeded to give his own explanation of why the Big Lie works, not why the Jews believe it works.

Further, Der Ewige Jude, Die Rothschilds, and Jud Süß were phenomenal successes in German cinema. To think of them as exceptions to the rule is to misunderstand their significance.

    David Allyn says:

    Excellent point. None of the points mentioned in the article actually contradict the proposition that the Nazis employed the “Big Lie” technique or advocated its efficacy. The fact that anti-Semitism was pervasive in German society doesn’t mean that Hitler didn’t play upon it and re-inforce it through hyperbolically false rhetoric. The author leaves us with the impression that Nazi PR was terribly conservative and restrained. Listen to any of Hitlers speeches and you’ll see this wasn’t so. What is more, Hitler was not appealing solely to the German people, he was also trying to enlist the sympathies of a wide network of potential sympathizers throughout Europe and the Middle East for whom the racist mythologies of the Nazis – especially their anti-Semitism – was very appealing (note the correspondence of the Palestinian leader and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, with Hitler). Just about all of Hitler’s rhetoric was soaked in lies – about the Jews, about the Democracies, about Germany, itself. The author seems eager to “miss the forest for the trees”.

      Yes, the right wing industrialists were Hitler’s prime target for success – he had to appeal to them and their consideration of the bottom line, which demonizes the human factor in favor of higher production, etc. – i.e. – more money.

      Bayer aspirin anyone?

        HannaH43 says:

        Hitler’s party was a national Socialist party. He hated the ruling class . He believe in socialism for the German people racial socialism, but socialism. But like all great socialist he saw himself Victimize. of capitalism and of course the Jews. just like that idiot in Venezuela

This is a bit of hair-splitting… Hitler said it was a “sound” principle. The idea that all politicians lie isn’t exactly news. The question is: to what end? The biggest similarity between the current political climate in the U.S. an the one that existed in Nazi Germany is that the right-wing, nationalist propagandists have convinced the privileged majority that they are the downtrodden, and that all their problems are being caused by the disadvantaged minority. THAT’s the big lie.

    Agreed – as we now see with the upsurge in hate crimes directed toward immigrants – almost as if it were a cover for despising their nationality.

    Here locally in the Central Valley of California, the latest most applauded opinion is to shoot farm workers as they are dying of thirst while crossing the border.

    And it’s getting worse – propagated by the local media giving particular emphasis on the crimes committed by Latinos and their excuse being that Latinos are now exclusively committing the crimes.

    And of course there are the outright NAZI methods that are being deployed against the homeless in my community, which I have been pointing out. I was even published in a positive light recently for calling a council member, a NAZI by citing his desire to “eliminate human blight from our city”.

    One of the many articles that I wrote bringing attention to this “NAZI” is here:

    Homeless in Modesto – The new crime of the NAZI regime

    Of course, I am not attempting to align the individual with any type of actual “NAZI party” – it is just a way to bring people’s attention to the immorality of his legislative treatment of people that have the same rights as I do, despite having papers that prove that I have a residence. They are actually considering having the police demand papers from those they suspect to be homeless to avoid prosecution. If that’s not fascism in it’s most horrendous totalitarianistic form, then my Grandparents were liars.

    And I know the latter to be untrue.

    Nice of you to ignore that like the Nazis the DNC removed God & Jerusalem from it’s platform. And the leadership had to put it back. You do know that you libs BOOED God three times right? SO much for your left wing ‘input’.

      Kalonymus says:

      That’s NOT what they were booing. Read any thoughtful account of what happened by someone who was actually there.This comment is a perfect example of the misuse of Nazi metaphor.

      Some of us “libs” are very religious, believe it or not. We just don’t necessarily think that religion should be the basis for a government. The places where it is are mostly places we wouldn’t like to live.

Its been awhile for me but I seem to remember a “drash” anent the creating of Adam and all the interested angels got into a little discussion among themselves whether creating him was a good idea -some were in favor and some definitely were not. The Angel of Love(?) said let him be created because he will bring love to the world; the angel of Truth said not to do it because he will bring falsehoods, the angel of Righteousness said yes for he will do good deeds, and the angel of Peace said no thanks for he will bring war. And so “the Lord” in thinking over these opinions of his angels decided to throw “Truth” out – threw him “to the ground”. And the other angels asked god why did you do that and god said something, something let it-truth- grow from the earth. If anybody remembers this let me know but that’s the outline I remember anyway. The other thing I wanted to add is this: why does it matter that its a Lie and shown to be a thousand times over when people will believe it anyway no matter what anyone’s say. Either they don’t care or its part and parcel of their dna-they still see the horns.

I seem to recall that it was FDR who coined the big lie phrase in reference to German propaganda

enricoblastiniIII says:

Outstanding first effort. I’ve saved a copy to read again later. Think of the technological background — from a mass communications POV — that backdropped all efforts to perpetrate THE BIG LIE, as opposed to THE GRAND LIE, or the ALL-ENCOMPASSING METAPHYSICAL LIE…. those giant FOLDBACK speakers that emerged in the late Twenties and early Thirties are everpresent in public squares, train stations, building forefronts… and who hasn’t actually seen the cinematic coverage of the day that starts with, “Achtung! Achtung!’ And today we have another massive extension to global proportions with TV/The Internet and digital technology generally that elevates The Great Shouters to primetime importance that… in turn… makes them very wealthy. Think of Mr. Beck, etc. The speakers are now mounted with giant TV screens and the impact is extremely pervasive; we willingly turn on our TV sets in High Def, listen to endless channels of radio, read color-charged imagery and words and gfx from magazines and newspapers… Wow. It makes the 20K cassettes dropped weekly by Ayatollah Khomeini’s agents into Iran before that revolution look very insignificant. Mutual accusations by Republicans/Democrats of Nazism suggest America may be weary of the sawoff between two ideologies who rush to the great middle imitating each other. Foldback speakers blaring….

Here’s the thing. In what direction does the causal arrow go. Brain science is teaching us that:
– Leaders echo status quo beliefs and do not create them
– Our minds will not pay attention to ideas and rhetorical tropes, we don’t already “believe”. In fact, our minds actively repeal new ideas.

The main trait of a con man, marketing and popular ideologies is they never tell you anything you would ever disagree with. It seems that the extremeists of WWII were mainly different by getting to use industrial techniques for mass communications and radio mainly. The messages are eons old. The main one being – “the outsider is inhuman and will kill you, if you don’t kill them first.” Kill or be killed hysteria.

By definition, you can’t sell something the buyer doesn’t already want, but maybe not consciously. The Big Lies aren’t put in our minds, they lie there already. Pun intended.

    Mike Murray says:

    Whoops, I meant to go to the next page when I hit the down arrow – yours was at the bottom. I did not mean to vote negative. Actually I agree with you. Most people, if not all, carry inward prejudices. Realizing we have a problem is one of the first step in addressing the problem.

I am looking for an example of when a Republican politician used ‘Nazi’ tactics, but I could not find any. Yet, the subheading subtly implies that ‘Republicans’ are guilty of this practice.

The fact of the matter is it is the Democrat Party that uses Nazi-like tactics in attacking and deriding anyone and everyone who disagree with the liberal ideology.This was made clear at the DNC convention when they removed and then restored (sort of) references to ‘Jerusalem’ from the party platform.

    Is that like “death panels” or how about Obama was not born in the U. S. or anyone of hundres of lies that the repubs and tea baggers repeat every day even though they know they are not true.
    How about the repubs and tea baggers refusing to negoitate on ANYTHING! then they turn around and say the dems didn’t include us. There’s that lie theory again. They did include the repubs and many of the things that the dems have been able to get through including health care (which was a repub idea) the dems included the repubs and tea baggers, but the repubs and tea baggers refused to negotiate and then the dems were forced to do it by themselves. The repubs and tea baggers went to the party but then said if you do not take 100% of what we are offering we are leaving. That is no way to negotiate!
    The repubs and tea baggers ran on JOBS, JOBS., and more Jobs, but have not introduced a single solitary jobs bill. They will tell you that their tax reductions bill is a jobs bill, but the people are still waiting to get a single job from any tax reduction. The repubs and tea baggers have refused to pass infastructure measures because they know it will create a massive amount of jobs and in order to continue to make Obama fail, they cannot afford to help American gain jobs, so they do not pass this measure.
    If (g-d forbid) willard wins, you will see how fast the repubs and tea baggers will pass an infastructure bill because it will bring much needed jobs.
    Lastly, if you believe that not including Jerusalem (for any reason) in the party platform and then putting it back is any more Nazi like tactics than having a platform that rams through and eliminates abortion in any case (including rape and incest) and making invasive ultra sounds mandatry is every bit as nazi like.

The LaRouchebags who block the entrance to the post office seem to think it’s funny to have a black man holding a poster of another black man (The President) with a goddamn Hitler mustache. As if Hitler wouldn’t have killed him too….

Dana Gordon says:

The article makes some good points, but it’s main point is misleading. The Nazi campaign against the Jews was obviously a big lie, supported by many big lies. And all propaganda is based in convincing people of the message regardless of the truth. The Nazis made the most intensive use of it in modern history…. This of course doesn’t absolve the majority of Germans for accepting the lies and supporting them.

Troy Riser says:

Nice way to somehow blame both parties for violating the daylights out of Godwin’s Law when accusing the other side of Nazi-like behavior has been pretty much the purview of the Democrats.

HEIL OBAMA!

    You are an idiot! It is the repubs and tea baggers who lie like hitler it is the repubs and tea baggers who take away your freedom It is the repubs and tea baggers who want to bring back slavery and anti semitism will be the norm Be careful of what you say and how you act, you could get your wish and then who will there be to protect you?

Buck Bradley says:

Everything about Obama is a lie and he is the supreme current practitioner of the Big Lie–can’t even tell the truth about where he was born, for chrissakes…..

    Pam Green says:

    Agreed! The ‘birther’ thing is a perfect example! Anyone who dared request Obama’s college records or a hard copy of his long-form birth certificate was ridiculed and abused by everyone, including the media – and still is! And we still don’t have a hard copy of the birth certificate to be authenticated by an expert. We still don’t have the college transcripts. And he’s never explained the many lies he’s told – for instance, about his relationship with the Weathermen.

    He claimed in his autobiography that he had no personal recollection of the Weathermen because their heyday of violence occurred when he was 8 years old. But in fact, as demonstrated on the excellent website, http://www.tenc.net, some of the most heinous Weathermen crimes were committed in New York during precisely the years that Obama said he was a student at Columbia. So the Brinks hold-up and the grisly murders did not make an impression on him? Even though the Weathermen safe-houses – where tons of explosives, bombs, weapons and lists of assassination targets were found – were only a half-mile away from where he claimed to be living?

    In addition, the accusation that Obama committed perjury has not been rebutted by the president. What of the fact that he went by the name Barry Soetero when adopted by his step-father in Indonesia? Allegedly, he told the draft board that he had never gone by any other name than Barack Obama. Care to explain this discrepancy, Mr. President? If you have nothing to hide, then call a press conference, and put us out of our misery! And what about the fact that he has used a Connecticut social security number? Another stupid ‘birther’ conspiracy, Mr. President? If so, then answer it!

    Obama is supposed to have been a teacher, right? Well, as I recall from my student days, teachers always said, “There are no stupid questions”. But apparently the President has so little respect for the people of this country that he has not deigned to respond to these concerns. He purses his lips, sticks his nose in the air, and dismisses such trivialities with a wave of his imaginary scepter. At best, he is ridiculously arrogant. At worst, he is an imposter, a sham, and a dictator in waiting.

    Why wasn’t he forced to cough up his records? Why didn’t the media hound him as they’ve hounded Romney about his tax returns? We probably have less verifiable information about this President than any president in our history! What is he hiding? Bad grades? One suspicion is that he applied to colleges as a foreign student to get foreign aid. Did he even go to those universities? Why hasn’t Columbia confirmed that he was a student?

    This is disturbing not merely to conspiracy theorists, i.e. wackos. Many respected people are asking these questions. Even Rabbi David Algaze said of Obama, “We don’t know where he came from, what he stands for, or where he’s going.”

    We know one thing. In his first term, he signed more executive orders than all other presidents combined. And he gave himself dictatorial powers greatly exceeding what is allowed by our Constitution. And he did it secretly, without congressional approval, without public debate. And he has passed draconian laws that he won’t even let anyone see! Even our military brass is deeply troubled.

    This has to be stopped.

      Robert Nardin says:

      You had me in the first sentence and then you went down hill. I thought you were going to write about how the birther movement was an example of the big lie.next thing I know your a proponent of big lies. If Obama wasn’t black would you ask to see his birth certicate? Why don’t you ask Romney to show his birth certicate? How do we not know he wasn’t born in Mexico. I seriously doubt any empirical evidence would sway you. Ignorance is a choice.

        Pam Green says:

        Why does he refuse to release his records? We have a right to see them. Even Rabbi Algaze went on television to point this out. Are you calling ignorant too?

      bobschwalbaum says:

      Best of all so far, Pam
      But mostly falling on deaf libera’ ears.
      these people are like the Polish Jews living in fear in the shtetls.. waiting for the next pogrom.
      SAD.. very SAD!

        Pam Green says:

        Thanks Bob! I know, it’s pointless to try to persuade the Obamapologists. Unfortunately, I don’t think they even have the intelligence to feel afraid! I just hope there are some people here who are undecided.

    If you eally believe that, you are stupid!

southernyank says:

You failed to provide evidence that Republicans have called Democrats Nazis or alluded to prominent Nazi players, but the Dems have repeated their Hitleresque accusations over and over. Not very balanced.

    guess you do not remember right after the president was elected and the repubs and tea baggers held a rally on the steps of the Capitol with pcitures of Obama with hitlers moustache. It is the repubs and tea baggers who LIE ABOUT EVERYTHING EVERY DAY. Or did you forget about repubs and tea baggers lying about “daeth panels” Obama was not born in the U. S. or how about Obama is a muslim? or hundreds of other lies they tell just to scare people against them.

      HannaH43 says:

      they did show Obama with a Hitler mustache. How many times did the Democrats show President Bush with a mustache and Nazi uniform.something the Democrats do much more often. Both are silly but the death penalty were true.in Europe and Canada. You cannot get certain medicines for breast-cancer because they cost too much money. Even a person living on the streets in America would get the medicine. They are death penalty

1crappie2 says:

“… the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility…”
Or as C.S. Lewis says of Satan (Shhh, he’s not supposed to exist) he puts a pint of poison into a lake of truth.
Sort of like calling a “woman’s choice” a good thing.

Perhaps….You all have not seen this video.
Watch FDR explaining THE BIG LIE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=a03BQvMlJHA#!

sharinite says:

Anyone on this planet that believes. by whatever measure, that the hatred for Jews has done away just needs to listen to the Democratic Party members! There is not a day that goes by that some nutty Dem exposes the hatred that bubbles within and spews regularly on anyone about almost anything. It is truly a large group of very sick people which, by the way, includes large portions of the Jewish communities. How about that for ironic!

1crappie2 says:

Turning a planned attack with talking points coming out of the Chicago-based White house into a deceitful moral equivalency of sorts, is in itself a big lie.
Think of lies as evil and only one party only dares to boo God and celebrate the casual destruction of His precious helpless human babies, preaching envy as economics and social justice, sexual perversions and obsessions as diversity, while corrupting the minds of innocent school children as part of an agenda to take apart America.
Stop pretending you don’t know which one that is.

kazzer66 says:

Which party has the support of media organizations who lie through omission, lie through their own fact checking (which isn’t fact checking at all)? Which assassinates the character of decent people with blatant lies, and even when their lies are proven to be lies, continues using those lies to push their agenda?

Which party wants to amend free speech? Which party threatens individuals and their businesses, for having differing opinions? Which party accuses half of the population of the US of racism simply because of their political affiliations? The color of their skin? Which party denigrates minorities of the opposition with racial epithets?

And which party persecutes private citizens, with all the legal and governmental authority that they can bring to bear, for their opposing political affiliations?

    of course everyone knows the party – the repubs and tea baggers!

      HannaH43 says:

      the tea parties members were of all races religions they did not want the government to control their lives. Big government little people

    Of course, everyone knows that – it is Edward Lobel’s party, the Democrats! They don’t know the capital of Israel, and they denied God three times. Let me tell you about my Republican Party. When it sees wrong, it goes all out to fix it. Case in point, Lincoln countermanding General U.S. Grant’s infamous General Order 11, obviously passed in the heat of the moment.

Eric Schwartz says:

Why is the subtitle of this article “Republicans and Democrats politicians are reviving….”? The author only sites examples of Democrat politicians accusing Republicans of practicing The Big Lie.

I am leaning toward Obama because some of the things said in this interview make me
uncomfortable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92L4LHcT75s&feature=relmfu

Mike Murray says:

I subscribed to this site due to the interesting articles, and I was hoping to understand the viewpoint or mindset of the Jewish community – especially the liberal leaning Jewish thought. Today I am venturing out to post a comment.
First of all, it seems the country has become extremely polarized with the rhetoric very caustic. I hope this site maintains a high degree of spirited debate versus insults and name calling which reflect a shallow lazy mind. It seems the high art of cordial debate and communications has been left behind. I was reading some American Civil War correspondence between a Union General and a Confederate general demaning the Confederate side surrender since they were hopelessly outnumbered. The Union general ended his demand with, “Your most obedient servant,” My , how times have changed.
Actually, the country needs both Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans need the Democrats for their compassion and concern for the less fortuanate while the Democrats need the Republicans for their organizational and managements skills.
Concerning the “Big Lie” I only see the Democrats repeating a big lie from Pres Obama down to precinct worker. There are other lies on both sides but only one big lie which is the mantra of the Democrats this election cycle, and they should be called on it. That lie is that the Republicans were the ones who created the housing and financial mess of 2008.
Bill Clinton in 1999 signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act which was passed in 1933 which mandated the separation of commercial and investment banking. Yes, the repeal was championed by Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, but 38 of 45 Senate Democrats voted for the repeal including Kerry, Kennedy, Reid, Schumer, Dodd and Joe Biden.
Repeal enabled Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros, etc to get into commercial banking including mortgage banking. It was Goldman who came up with the mortgage backed securities which was an investment that had a lot of “good” mortgages along with a few bad ones in the security. When more of the good loans turned sour a financial seizure occurred in 2008. Add to this the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 which lowered credit standards which got the time bomb ticking. HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo got Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pledge 2 trillion to buy affordable mortgages which encouraged banks to lower their standards even more. Later Pres George W Bush’s attempts to audit Fannie and Freddie were rebuffed by Barney Frank and Chuck Dodd saying it was a high tech lynching of Mr. Raines.
So, you can’t just blame Republicans – both parites are at fault. Bush had no veto proof Congress as Obama had during his first two years. Plus, the big Wall Street banks supported Obama – not McCain. Now they are turning against him because he is pointing the blame finger at them.
Give me a common sense Democrat like Hubert Humphrey and I will vote for him versus the eloquent far left Progressive Mr. Obama.

Mike Murray says:

I subscribed to this site due to the interesting articles, and I was hoping to understand the viewpoint or mindset of the Jewish community – especially the liberal leaning Jewish thought. Today I am venturing out to post a comment.
First of all, it seems the country has become extremely polarized with the rhetoric very caustic. I hope this site maintains a high degree of spirited debate versus insults and name calling which reflect a shallow lazy mind. It seems the high art of cordial debate and communications has been left behind. I was reading some American Civil War correspondence between a Union General and a Confederate general demaning the Confederate side surrender since they were hopelessly outnumbered. The Union general ended his demand with, “Your most obedient servant,” My , how times have changed.
Actually, the country needs both Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans need the Democrats for their compassion and concern for the less fortuanate while the Democrats need the Republicans for their organizational and managements skills.
Concerning the “Big Lie” I only see the Democrats repeating a big lie from Pres Obama down to precinct worker. There are other lies on both sides but only one big lie which is the mantra of the Democrats this election cycle, and they should be called on it. That lie is that the Republicans were the ones who created the housing and financial mess of 2008.
Bill Clinton in 1999 signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act which was passed in 1933 which mandated the separation of commercial and investment banking. Yes, the repeal was championed by Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, but 38 of 45 Senate Democrats voted for the repeal including Kerry, Kennedy, Reid, Schumer, Dodd and Joe Biden.
Repeal enabled Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros, etc to get into commercial banking including mortgage banking. It was Goldman who came up with the mortgage backed securities which was an investment that had a lot of “good” mortgages along with a few bad ones in the security. When more of the good loans turned sour a financial seizure occurred in 2008. Add to this the impact of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 which lowered credit standards which got the time bomb ticking. HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo got Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pledge 2 trillion to buy affordable mortgages which encouraged banks to lower their standards even more. Later Pres George W Bush’s attempts to audit Fannie and Freddie were rebuffed by Barney Frank and Chuck Dodd saying it was a high tech lynching of Mr. Raines.
So, you can’t just blame Republicans – both parites are at fault. Bush had no veto proof Congress as Obama had during his first two years. Plus, the big Wall Street banks supported Obama – not McCain. Now they are turning against him because he is pointing the blame finger at them.
Give me a common sense Democrat like Hubert Humphrey and I will vote for him versus the eloquent far left Progressive Mr. Obama.

    Pam Green says:

    Excellent post. Thank you.

      Mike Murray says:

      You’re welcome and you’re very kind. I hope both sides on this forum can disagree without being disagreeable. To be able to disagree without being shouted down is greatly appreciated by me and indicates civility in our civilization.

        Pam Green says:

        I’ve been called everything from sick, crazy, and dangerous to racist, a rabid ideologue and a disgrace to Judaism. And other really vulgar stuff. It’s very demoralizing.

    Kalonymus says:

    A Republican wolf in sheep’s clothing. You pretend to position yourself as a thoughtful and reasonable commmentator and then go on to vilify Obama and the Dems as the only real pepetrators of the Big Lie. It’s a shameful denial of the obvious and observable facts. Did you watch the RNC convention? Have you been listening to Romney and Ryan? Have you completely forgotten W and his unbudgeted wars? Regarding the economic disaster there’s plenty of blame to go around. The question now is which side is more likely to institute regulation to prevent the reckless, greed-based adventurers from doing it again.

I have another news for Edward Lobel – DEATH PANEL is real, my friend. If you read ObamaCare (I have read it in its entirety), you will find several provisions for such a panel. But I do not expect Democrats to read it now. (Your pols never did). So here is an audio clip for you. A neurosurgeon called talk show host Mark Levin one day and discussed ‘death panels.’ Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wsnHGI5K-E

The characteristic associated with hitler;the nazis and the arabs is how they minimized the Jewish people and tried eliminating men;women and children! Obama appears to have: socialism;Arabs and a party much like hitlers!

FRED a. kAHN says:

i ama Holocaust survivor and I am the person who was the early proponent of the presidential election debates. Since jewish media like Tablet is adamant in ignoring what I did, please see the Washington jewish Week, September 20 issue, anc check me oot/ Also the Washiongton Post , Sunday September 30, 2012,. NPR Allthingsconsidered, Bethesda andWashingtonoan agazine, simply type i n Fred Lahn and presidential elecvtion debates on google and you will getto what The tabletis hiding from you.Yesit is a Herman Jew, Holocaust survivor who jimp started the debates with the endorsement among others of the first lady Eleanpor Roosevelt. Read what The Tablet does not want you to know. As ypoui know most Jews on Tablet , ARE NOT CRAZYABOUTY A GUYLIKE ME,., A gERMAN jEW… LOL!!

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Hitler on the Campaign Trail

Republican and Democratic politicians are reviving a favorite Nazi debating point this election season