Back in 2004, WorldNetDaily joined others in the right-wing media in howling about a submission to a MoveOn.org promotion for videos critical of President Bush, which showed Bush morphing into Adolf Hitler. "Vile," "despicable," "depraved," "beyond the pale" and "outrageous" were among the terms used to describe the video, which was quickly taken down after the protest.
What a difference a few years makes.
The ConWeb's hypocrisy was always there, of course -- a raftload of comparisons of Democrats to Nazis have been made by WND and others. The smear has returned with new abandon, with WorldNetDaily leading the way in not just likening Barack Obama to Hitler and the Nazis but defending the idea of doing so.
WND loves to toss around the Nazi smear -- it has regularly likened critics of homeschooling and supporters of public education to Nazis, promoted the misleading assertion that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution directly led to the rise of Hitler, and embraced Hilmar von Campe's claims that Obama has Nazi tendencies. But von Campe is far from the only writer WND has published to make that same comparison.
Ellis Washington wrote on May 29:
How else could any political figure attract over 75,000 people standing for hours in the hot sun of Oregon just for a glimpse of this false political messiah named Barack Obama? An utterly vacuous man who just the other day said these sinister words that would make Goebbels blush with envy as the multitudes of "useful idiots" hung on his every word, saluting him with multiple ovations.
Washington struck again in a July 10 column, praising a college-bound student who wrote, "Just because Obama can write up and deliver a speech better than others does not mean he is the best candidate. If I remember correctly, Adolf Hitler and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick convinced mass numbers of people that they were respectable through dialogue." This statement, Washington asserts, "distinguishes" its author "as a valiant writer who isn't afraid to swim against the tide: a young philosopher who refuses to be shackled to the servile thinking by neither her forefathers of the past nor her peers of the present by taking on two cherished black icons of politics, Obama and Kilpatrick."
Such smears continued at WND throughout the presidential campaign:
The people who applaud this rhetoric and vote for this socialist candidate dishonor every veteran who has ever fought for freedom from socialism, fascism, terrorism and every other form of tyranny. Adoring Obama worshipers appear ready to give freely to their new messiah the same power to redistribute wealth that our soldiers took away from Hitler.
-- Henry Lamb, Aug. 9 column
Barack Hussein Obama is a nothing, not in the eyes of God, or in the sense of human worth, but in the sense of his tissue-paper resume, fair game because he and his people tout it so audaciously. He was a community organizer, a position many would reckon is less important than dogcatcher.
It could be said - albeit defiantly and with a cattiness more characteristically employed by the left - that Adolf Hitler was a "community organizer," as well. After all, between the loss of World War I and the state of the world economy in the 1930s, Germany had been dealt a terrific blow. Thugs, petty criminals, communists and anarchists freely roamed the streets. Those who did have money flaunted their means, careless of those who were trotting down the sidewalks with wheelbarrows full of worthless paper money in order to purchase the most basic of necessities.
Enter Hitler, another master orator, by the way. And guess what? He told people precisely what they needed to hear: The uplifting voice of "change."
Should a Hitler come along in America, rest assured that he will be hailed as triumphantly as Barack Obama. His shortcomings - like Obama's and Hitler's - will be purposefully overlooked, and he will sail to power with the pomp of a celebrated ocean liner coming into port.
And he will lay waste to some vital part of America, one left somehow intact prior to that point. Certainly Obama's ascendancy itself is a clear indication that some measure of what was America has already been lost.
-- Erik Rush, Sept. 18 column
Benito Mussolini was nearly worshipped by the left in his time. It was only Adolf Hitler who gave fascism a bad name with progressives - and then not until he broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact with Josef Stalin and their adored Soviet Union.
We got a whiff of this kind of fascism in Missouri last week when Obama partisans in various law-enforcement capacities pledged publicly to use their official police powers to go after anyone they believed to be unfairly portraying their candidate in political advertising.
-- Joseph Farah, Oct. 3 column
The 2008 presidential election in America is the most crucial election in this country's history, not because the issues are that critical but because of Sen. Barack Obama. The Democratic presidential candidate's language, posture and demeanor suggest that he may suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD.
NPD is the prime disorder experienced by all the madmen of history - from Hitler to Stalin, Mao, Kim, Pol Pot, Osama, Khomeini, Saddam and Idi Amin. These men wreaked havoc and killed millions. They looked normal. Few suspected their insanity until it was too late.
--Ali Sina, Sept. 30 column
The secret to selling bad ideas is to make sure they are the only ones available. This is how totalitarian regimes take power. Whether it was Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany or Vladimir Lenin in Communist Russia, the pattern is largely the same - totalitarian dictators come to power by enshrining themselves as cults of personality and then creating political monopolies through often less than delicate campaigns of indoctrination and censorship - especially censorship enshrouded in the intimidating aura of state power.
The great discomfort for many Americans as they watch the current presidential contest is that the scent of such totalitarianism hangs heavy in the air; the pattern so familiar in European dictatorships seems eerily present in Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
-- Shawn D. Akers, Oct. 10 column
Barack Obama is not only a Socialist but a true Marxist, which applies the police powers of a centralized state authority to force redistribution of property and fruits of labor onto unwilling people as well as to stifle and suppress any opposition - beginning with the churches. Lenin did it, Stalin did it, Khrushchev did it, Mao Zedong did it, Hitler (National Socialist Party, remember?) did it, Castro does it, and on and on and on.
-- Dave Welch, Oct. 30 column
Obama has already proposed the creation of a homeland police force that will no doubt terrorize those in the "ultra-right" who will become the most vociferous and active opponents of his socialist regime. Hitler had a similar police force called the Gestapo - Geheime Staats Polizie or Homeland State Police - that terrorized the opponents of the Nazi regime.
In 1933 a majority of Germans voted for a demagogue who promised "change" and seemed to be the answer to their economic and national problems. None of those voters could have foreseen that 12 years later Germany would lie in ruins and be occupied by foreign armies.
The young followers of Barack Obama have been well indoctrinated in our public schools to accept slogans rather than actual substance. The Nov. 3, 2008, issue of Time magazine has an extraordinary picture of Obama standing before a huge rally of 100,000 people under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, with his right arm outstretched reminding one of the famous Nazi salute.
-- Samuel L. Blumenfeld, Nov. 3 column (A Nov. 10 WND article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeated Blumenfeld's smear).
It's not just WND's homegrown columnists hurling the slur. A Nov. 12 column by syndicated writer Ben Shapiro noted that "There is no question that the Barack Obama Movement was led not by elder statesman, but by college students and twentysomethings," then added: "No political mass movement led by young people has ever resulted in good. In fact, the most murderous mass movements in history have been led by young people. Nazism became popular among the youth before it became the German national theology; Hitler, of course, cultivated young people by targeting them for service in his SA, or Sturm Abteilung, and later, his Hitler Youth." And WND published Ann Coulter's April column calling Obama's autobiography a "dime store 'Mein Kampf.'"
While other right-wingers have similarly likened Obama to the Nazis, no major right-wing outlet as embraced it as much as WND -- and it's the only major right-wing outlet to offer a justification for publishing them.
A Dec. 3 column by Jerry Kane begins by claiming, "Critics who denounce and slander their colleagues for comparing Barack Obama's meteoric rise to power with that of Hitler's are out of ideas or have too much time on their hands." Kane then defends likening Obama to Hitler: "The cult of personality and hysteria for a charismatic orator are frightening parallels between Obama and Hitler. Like Hitler, Obama too is a phenomenal political figure, extraordinary in American politics. No American politician has made such an impression on Americans. He receives excessive admiration and adoration from his admirers reminiscent of hero worship but with a messianic twist."
Kane plays with words by insisting, "Commentators do not say Obama is Hitler, but they do suggest that a dictator can rise in America and bring about a totalitarian state." But Kane ignores the fact that those making the comparison -- like the website that published him -- are doing so for denigration purposes, with the intent to undermine his presidency.
Having gone through this ritual of self-inoculation, WND writers continue to make the Obama-Nazi comparisons with impunity. A Dec. 12 "letter of the week" by Tim Hirota stated:
The Obama administration, working closely with unions, is doing away with "secret ballots." All votes will be a matter of public knowledge, so a person's personal political opinion will be open to be public. (In the '30s, the Germans did something similar: They made some folks wear patches that said "Juden" and tattooed serial numbers on them.)
Ellis Washington returned to the fetid well for a third time in a Dec. 20 column:
Returning to Nazi Dr. Goebbels, the master of spin and propaganda who continued the epigraph above with these sinister words: "It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
How are Goebbels' ideas exemplified today? Pick your contemporary political hack - Blagojevich, Obama, Bush, Kennedy, Clinton, Paterson, Schwarzenegger, Pelosi, Harry Reid, McCain, Kwame Kilpatrick - they all have in one way or another perverted truth as the "mortal enemy of the lie," thereby making truth (free-market capitalism, conservatism, Judeo-Christianity) "the greatest enemy of the State."
As [New York] Gov. [David] Paterson prepares to raise taxes and cut services in the Empire State, as Obama prepares for his coronation to be president of the United States where he will no doubt raise taxes and nationalize more private industry under federal control, instead of jubilation, all I hear ringing in my ears is the eternal lie of Joseph Goebbels who said, "Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character."
WND editor Joseph Farah followed up with a Dec. 22 column exhorting Rev. Rick Warren not to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration, citing Obama's "evil policies" and adding, "I'm sure you would not want to invoke God's blessing on the inauguration of a figure like Adolf Hitler, whose rise to power brought the destruction of millions of lives."
And there there was Henry Lamb's Dec. 27 column. He began by likening global warming to eugenics:
The eugenics movement and the global warming movement are similar in many respects. Both ideas were introduced by scientists, advanced by politicians, popularized by the media, embraced as a moral necessity, resulted in severe consequences and eventually rejected as harmful hogwash.
Eugenics, thankfully, has run its course. Global warming, however, is approaching its zenith, just before imposing severe consequences, and is, perhaps, still a generation away from being rejected as the hogwash it is.
The eugenics movement, carried to its logical conclusion by Hitler, killed millions of innocent people. Global warming, when carried to its logical conclusion, will kill far more people than eugenics, and cause incomprehensible agony to people who desperately need affordable energy to survive and prosper.
Then, apparently because he couldn't help himself, Lamb added:
Were President-elect Obama taking office 100 years ago, he would undoubtedly be filling his cabinet with eugenics experts. This is a reasonable conclusion because he has obviously bought into the popular global warming movement and is filling his cabinet with people who share his vision.
Likening Obama to Hitler, it seems, is just a reflex at WorldNetDaily. Who else but WND would take the time and effort to defend such a vile practice it once purported to abhor?
(Cross-posted at ConWebWatch.)