This has just got to the most disgusting characterization I’ve seen during the back and forth on the health care discussion over the past several months. I started this last week after seeing the signage below at the tea party ‘press conference’ tea party attended by Michelle Bachmann, John Culberson, Boehner among others.
My assignment to the 30th Field Hospital, Flak Kaserne, was in Augsburg, Germany and was approximately 25 or so miles from Dachau. We did visit – once. Once was enough. The picture shown above, making the rounds of blogs, is similar to one I have in slide form taken while visiting the museum at Dachau. Enormous boards had pictures plastered on them and were scattered throughout the ‘old’ museum at Dachau, along with pictures of Hitler in various setting where in most, Hitler’s face was scratched over – like a car that’s been keyed. Nothing at Dachau provoked any humor.
There was the obligatory film on the rise of Hitler with speeches he made at places we were familiar: Munich, Garmisch, Berchesgarten, Nuremberg – before making it around the camp. Even then, it was no longer in its original form but resembled more of a summer camp. Nice, clean wooden buildings with nice, clean wooden tables, chairs, bunks. That in itself spoke of the evil that had been there because there was such a concentrated effort to make it palatable. Although much couldn’t be down with the ovens and showers.
So, this shit isn’t even close to funny. Of course the picture here doesn’t accurately depict those who have or will die from any form of health care for those who cannot afford it or even ”nationalist socialist health care.’ The comparison is sick; there is no comparison. Their point is manufactured drama to bolster a lie using the imagery of an evilness that can only be defined (as one poster somewhere called it) Satanic. They’ve taken something that’s the polar opposite of the health care debate to illustrate a “consequence” of what we will get if health care for all comes to “their Amerika.”
It’s time to call out the likes of Dick Armey, Fox News, et al, who have run across the line of decency. It’s past time to push them back across the line as it’s becoming quite evident the boundaries are so blurred for those on the right that truly anything goes. The Unrepentant Old Hippie had something up about Elie Wiesel tweeting about the signage at the tea party on Wednesday. That I missed until I happened to catch David Shuster sitting in for Ed Schultz Friday, the 7th.
Shuster’s condemnation became particularly pointed when he called out Republican Congressman John Boehner for refusing to denounce some of the offensive signs that were prominently displayed at the rally, including a picture from a Nazi concentration camp that read “National Socialized Health Care.”
“Is there no shame anymore on the conservative right?” asked Shuster. “Is there no decency anymore?…When anybody compares a health care proposal to the murders at Nazi death camps it’s offensive, and it diminishes all of us by diminishing just how evil the Holocaust really was.”
And then this discovery by Andrew Sullivan is just contemptible to which he issues this warning.
But when real anti-Semitism emerges, it is hard not to miss it. And if American Jews do not see it in the current Populist right, a faction that loves Israel primarily to bring about the Apocalypse, they need to open their eyes. From the comments section on Ben Smith’s story on Elie Wiesel’s concern about Dachau being a salient image for universal health insurance:
Just seeing the words: “Elie is a whiner. She should stop her whining. You didn’t not complane when the libs were calling Bush Hitler.“ has me itching to drive somewhere and slap the shit out of whoever this might be.
Rumbling around the blogosphere this evening, I ran across Tara thoughts at The Political Game on this sorry imagery as well.
Intelligent and sensitive members of humanity everywhere should be disturbed and disgusted by the signage and rhetoric that is being used in protest of Obama’s policies and health care reform. This is no longer about Democrats vs. Republicans, liberals vs. conservatives, it’s about truth and sensitivity vs. misinformation and hate.