Godwin’s law and the New Right

Investor’s Business Daily = Der Sturmer? Who knew?

I know that supporters of the currently ruling coalition of crooks, warmongers, torturers, incompetents, and theocrats are deeply, deeply hurt when they and their pet politicians are compared to Nazis. But could someone suggest to them &#8212 politely, of course &#8212 that it would help if they stopped borrowing Nazi iconography and phraseology?

Here, for example, is a German cartoon, circa 1924:

Dolchstoss.jpg

And here is a recent cartoon from Investor’s Business Daily &#8212 not some obscure website, but the second-largest business newspaper in the country, with a daily circulation of more than 200,000:

stab_in_the_back.gif

Any questions?

H/t: Oliver Wills, who points out that Regnery (which owns the Redstate site) just published a book by Rowan Scarborough accusing the CIA of operating a “secret plan to lose the war,” via Nervous Buddha, which found the two images.

Update This post seems to have struck a nerve. In the unfair way the Blogosphere operates, the links seem to be coming to me, and not to Oliver Willis or Nervous Buddha.

Kevin Drum points out that “stab in the back” is a fairly common metaphor for betrayal, that 99% of the people who see the cartoon won’t think “Nazi iconography,” and that Ramirez didn’t intend them to think about Der Dolchstoss.

All true. My point was that if the New Righties can’t make their case without looking and sounding like Nazis, it’s not unfair to compare them to Nazis. That’s not language policing; it’s just snark. (Kevin’s commenters are much rougher on him than I would have been, but one of them makes a good point: imagine the reaction from the wingnuts if the same cartoon were published, but with the knife labeled “Bush” or “GOP” instead of “Congress.”)

Matt Yglesias points out that he was on the developing Iraq-war version of the Dochstosslegende way back in 2004. So was Kevin Baker.

Meantime, John Hawkins at Right Wing(nut) News has detected a conspiracy so vast

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