Thomas Jefferson and other Nazis

No, Christine O’Donnell isn’t the craziest Republican candidate this year: not even in Delaware.

Thomas Jefferson, writing to the Danbury Baptists:

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

[emphasis added]

Glen Urquhart – Republican nominee for the at-large House seat in Delaware – ranting to his fellow wing-nuts.

The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. Next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis.

Ladies and gentlemen, your contemporary Republican Party. I doubt the voters want to ratify this.

Is it unfair to tar every Republican with Teahadist nuttiness? Not as unfair as tarring every Democrat with Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

10 thoughts on “Thomas Jefferson and other Nazis”

  1. Glen Urquhart just wrote the perfect synopsis for that book of Jonah Goldberg's. The whole point is to prompt lots of their followers to confront their 'liberal friends' with utterly random accusations of Nazi sympathies. These friends' baffled reactions will help make the loyal follower feel really smart and superior. It won't persuade anybody, but it will reinforce the commitment of the followers. That's often enough to 'win' an argument in politics.

  2. At Jon Stewart's Million Moderate March on Oct 30, you will be furnished with a poster (if you wish) that says, "I think you're wrong, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler."

  3. What's weird is that I have no republican friends. But I hope they aren't all like that because it won't help my prospects any! A man's got to have standards….

  4. "Is it unfair to tar every Republican with Teahadist nuttiness?"

    Hm, I notice you've already decided that it's cool to tar everybody in the tea party with whatever nuttiness you can find even one example of. Or maybe just decided that "fair" isn't an issue when it comes to your opponents, which I think more likely.

    Do I think that it's fair to tar "every Democrat with Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers"? Nah. But, of course, every Democrat hasn't associated with them for years. Obama, on the other hand, has. So, in his particular case, it's fair. If he didn't want to be tarred with Jeremiah Wright, there were lots of churches around.

  5. "Hm, I notice you’ve already decided that it’s cool to tar everybody in the tea party with whatever nuttiness you can find even one example of. Or maybe just decided that “fair” isn’t an issue when it comes to your opponents, which I think more likely."

    Perhaps I've missed it, but the only criticism of specific teabaggers I've seen here is of politicians and other leaders of the group.

    I guess that in the Big Book of Bellmore it's doubleplus unfair to make comments about groups based on their leadership and whom they elect.

  6. Lately I've been calling people who believe in conspiracy theories Nazis. Why? Because Hitler believed that Jews had conspired against Germany during The Great War's end and the Interwar Years. So belief in some evil cabal working to destroy a great nation and people propelled Hitler to power. Thus the underlying rational is the same for Nazis as for Birthers and other conspiracy theorists. Therefore, using the logic proposed by Glen Urquhart, Glenn Beck (a lot of Glens here), and others they are also Nazis for believing in conspiracy theories.

    If this whole political mess turns into a "No, you're a Nazi" shouting fest that is fine with me. They started it.

  7. I guess that in the Big Book of Bellmore it’s doubleplus unfair to make comments about groups based on their leadership and whom they elect.

    Unless the subject under discussion is "Muslims." Then it's not only fair to regularly switch back and forth without pause between Muslims, fanatics, imams, and suicide bombers, it's required!

  8. Also, Brett seems maybe inclined to believe that these crrrrAAAAAAzy people are winning Republican primaries without a plurality of Republican and conservative voters, you know, voting for them. Perhaps someone can explain to the boy how elections work.

  9. Lest anyone think the Republicans' problem here is just that it's lately absorbed a cohort of previously unknown lunatics, note that Glen Urquhart (the developer, not the geologic depression at Loch Ness) has been a figure in the Party for 30-40 years. He can fairly claim to have touched the Great Reagan's garment. I imagine this impulse to call people Nazis was pent up inside him all along. The tea partyists have given Party elites their heads & loosened their tongues.

  10. I keep visualizing 30 second spots that would punish these guys for what they say. How about one that shows an image of the Library of Congress' original copy of Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, including, in addition to "wall of separation," "I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church". Then the voiceover says "Who do you think wrote this letter? Do you think it was Thomas Jefferson? If you do, then Glen Urquhart thinks you are a Nazi. If he disrespects you that much, why should you reward him with your vote?"

    Time for a little hardball with these Tea Partiers.

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