... As potentially unpleasant as this Ohio business is, it is a democratic paradise in comparison to 1930's Germany - and to 1930's America, for that matter. And despite some rather facile analogies of manner one could make - totalitarian tendencies here and there; an upsetting predisposition to blind hero-worship of Bush in certain circles; and the fact that, were it not for unfortunate historical echoes, a decent 4-word slogan for the Bush re-election campaign would be "triumph of the will" - there is no reasonable analogy of scale between the modern-day Republican Party and the Nazis. The modern Republican Party leadership is much, much, much better than the Nazis, probably better than Vladimir Putin, and not too much worse than the Republican Party of Nixon and McCarthy 50 years ago. It is important to remember that in 2 short weeks these people are going to voted out of office, soon to be but a memory, and it will be much easier for everyone moving forward if we don't have intemperate charges of Nazism on our consciences.
But this is not the real problem; the real problem is this: shrilly comparing republicans to Nazis is not only too shrill - it is also, paradoxically, not shrill enough. It is, in fact, but a pale shadow of true shrillness, which can only come from contemplation of the mendacity, malevolence, incompetence and simple disconnection from reality of the Bush administration. Looking for Nazi parallels blinds us to the fact that the Bush administration is made up of dishonest, incapable, easily-duped buffoonish ideologues, and takes up free time that could be more usefully spent ululating mindlessly to the dead, uncaring stars...
The good news is we've only slipped back towards the darker parts of American history, not German history. The bad news is that the dangers ahead may exceed those of 1939 -- if only because modern weapons of mass mayhem dwarf those of 70 years past.
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