James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Archive for August 7th, 2009

Does Limbaugh think U.S. Marines are Nazis?

Posted by James McPherson on August 7, 2009

Let me make clear up front: I don’t think the idiots who are protesting proposed health care improvements are Nazis, nor do I think the morons who keep comparing Barack Obama to Hitler (or to Osama bin Laden) represent more than an ignorant minority of conservatives, representative of the “birther” loons.

Nor did I think appropriate when some liberal nuts compared George W. Bush to Hitler. Anything that brings Godwin’s Law immediately to mind weakens one’s argument, and the folks who make such statements (including the one on a conservative site who made me chuckle by referring to me in the comments section as “Herr Goebbels.”) tend to have problems with rational argumentation, anyway.

Unfortunately, the current nutball minority includes Rush Limbaugh, who inexplicably still has influence with a mostly mindless subgroup of Republicans–a fact that continues to help Democrats gain more sympathy than they would ever get for their own actions (or inaction).

Rush compares Barack Obama’s symbol for health care reform (and there’s no denying that the Obama folks love their winged symbols) to a Nazi symbol. For the record, both symbols are  below, as shared by Limbaugh–followed by the symbols for the U.S. Marine Corp and the American Medical Association (a comparison I saw earlier today on msnbc).

August 16 update: Because I have written strongly in favor of public activism, I assumed–incorrectly, based on one off-blog comment, so I apologize for my assumption–that readers would understand that I don’t consider all health care protesters to be idiots (or liars, either, for that matter). In fact, there is plenty to dislike about the various proposals from either the right or the left.

And I don’t even particularly care about the “Astroturf” nature of some of the protests. Anything that gets people off of their butts and out of the anonymous shadows of cyberspace is good for democracy–at least if those people are as willing to listen and to let others participate as they are to voice their opinions (especially if those opinions are based on what’s actually proposed, rather than on fictions such as “death panels” and social security cuts).

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