Monday, August 17, 2009

Health Care Hyperbole & Hysteria

There are lots of valid criticisms that can be made against the health reform plans moving through Congress -- I've made a few myself. But there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation.
Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health Care Reform
Propagating Falsehoods = TELLING LIES

Limbaugh is not alone in making the Hitler analogy. Demonstrators disrupting town hall meetings on health care reform have brandished images of President Obama with a Hitler-like mustache and signs with "Obama" written under a swastika. Earlier this year, the president of the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County in Maryland wrote on the group's Web site that "Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common."

...First they brayed his middle name, Hussein, and noted that Obama sounds a lot like Osama. Then they called him a Muslim. When that didn't stick, they accused him of "palling around with terrorists," and then of being a socialist and a communist, all to no avail.

That was conventional politics, albeit of the gutter variety. By comparing President Obama to Hitler, however, Limbaugh is sending his national audience a subliminal but clear message of a wholly different sort.

Limbaugh's Dangerous Rhetoric
Always at the front lines of ratcheting up hysteria and "misinformation"
Still, it's time to call for an end to the pollution of the debate with Nazi analogies that simultaneously trivialize ultimate evil while poisoning our national dialogue. We've got enough crackpot and conspiratorial clunkers on the road without manufacturing more. The problems that ail our country won't be cured by pernicious hyperbole.
Neither Bush Nor Obama = Hitler
"Outrageous, offensive, and inappropriate"
From a succinct commenter:

The GOP has this drill down cold:

  1. Use apocalyptic rhetoric with Christian religious and Caucasian racial subtexts to inflame fear, bigotry and extremism among the uneducated and intolerant.
  2. When liberals object, say you were only joking and accuse them of being humorless.
  3. Keep turning up the heat and act surprised when somebody finally heeds your calls for extreme action.
  4. If violence occurs, be sure to say you were only speaking figuratively and you are being unfairly blamed.
  5. Keep your subsequent celebrations behind closed doors.