Keith Ellison and Fake Moral Outrage

Republicans are making a fuss about Keith Ellison’s comparison of 9/11 to the burning of the Reichstag.  Tough.  That comparison holds.

Ever since that terrorist attack every other word out of Bush/Cheney’s conjoined mouth has been “9/11”.  And Bush and Cheney have a used that tragedy to justify every authoritarian action committed during their reign.  (Susie-Q):

“It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that,” Mr Ellison said. “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.”

This is exactly what Bush did.  He focused on a “useful enemy”, and has gained a position where he can do whatever the hell he wants.  The “decider” walks all over congress and the American people, and so far only the year 2008 has had the courage to stand up to him.

Republican whining on this issue falls flat:

Mark Drake, of the Republican party in Minnesota, said: “To compare the democratically elected leader of the United States of America to Hitler is an absolute moral outrage which trivialises the horrors of Nazi Germany.”

Let’s leave aside “democratically elected” and the 2000 elections for a moment.  Comparing a US leader to the leader of nazi Germany is a warning.  It does not trivialize the horrors of the nazi regime.  It says boldly with a much needed frankness “It can Happen Here“.  (JTA):

Defending his comments to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ellison said: “In the aftermath of a tragedy, space is opened up for governments to take action that they could not have achieved before that.” He cited the Iraq war and parts of the Patriot Act, which granted the government greater arrest and surveillance powers after the Sept. 11 2001 terrorist attacks.

Bush & Cheney predicated and entire war and a host of laws and unlawful actions upon that one event.  They have done so in a way that consistently increases their own power, and limits the power and rights of ordinary citizens.  This is more than calling a spade a spade.  It is an accurate diagnosis of executive abuse of power, and a warning against failing to check that abuse of power.

It is a warning we should take very seriously.

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3 Responses

  1. I think that the Rethugs are afraid that the comparison will stick to them like glue. I mean they use the same comparisons all the time, even using the term Islamofacist every chance they get (and getting heap of praise from “Chicken Little” Beck in the process). You can’t apply Goodwin’s Law if you already broke it.

  2. Oh and yeah here is my answer to the fake moral outrage from the far-right:

  3. Very good call. They have to aggressively fight that comparison. Using the tactics they do opens them up to attack on it, and to be defined as our own “reich wing” as Kay often puts it, would be permanently damaging to their electoral chances as a party.

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