Of "Hitler: and "Treason". Shut Up Already!

In blogs, Chattering classes/punditry, stupidity on June 30, 2009 by Editor Z

Found a cogent little bit on Andrew Sullivan that has been on my mind for awhile of this little spat in writing between John Cole and Nobel Prize winning Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

I mention this not because I simply want a new post to occupy space but because this has been my reaction for quite sometime. Two things that make my eyes roll in an almost reflexive reaction is the ease with which people are willing to hurl Hitler comparisons and labels of “treason” that divurge from the true meaning of treason. Enough already on all fronts. Whether it be the Glenn Beck comparisons to America becoming a bastion of Hitler-like Nazism (if you think we are in the early stages of Hitler’s Germany why don’t you just ask the survivors Glenn? After all I am sure Universal Healthcare was a warm-0up to the Holocaust), Ann Coulter’s haranges, those who compared Bush to Hitler, or Krugman who has recently accused those House members who voted against the “Cap and Trade” or clean energy bill who don’t believe in global climate change of “treason of the planet”.

Here is Krugman in his New York Times column on the dissenters in the Cap and Trade House Vote:

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

Now here John Cole at Ballon (H/T: Andrew Sullivan)

There needs to be some form of one of the corollaries to Godwin’s Law that applies to the word treason, in that anyone who accuses someone of treason for non-treasonous behavior automatically loses the argument. Yes, the climate change deniers are, in my opinion, wrong, and yes, they are making all sorts of ridiculous arguments, but after the last eight years, can everyone just knock it off with the accusations of treason? It is just a loaded term and does no good, and I assure you that even though Krugman is arguing for “treason against the planet” (whatever the hell that means), this will be used to justify future right-wing claims of treason because Dick Durbin mentioned Pol Pot and the US Army in the same hour, or some other nonsense like that.

Christ. Just stop it.

There are a sliver of lawmakers who don’t believe in climate change (one need look no further then Oklahoma’s Senior U.S Senator). Is it stupid? Yes. Against the majority of the scientific community? Yes. But treason? No. Enough with the comparisons to these two words that are loaded and used with such ease that they do a disservice to cases of actual treason. Through this hyperbolical language and grand standing, these figures may be invigorating thier listeners and readers, but they are reducing the horrors of horrific events like Nazi Germany and a crime of the highest severity to political rallying cries; and the accusers deminish thier own credibility in the process.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: