Good Godwin

A few days ago, I wrote about the recent Midlands Business Journal editorial in which publisher Bob Hoig compared Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler. It’s perfectly normal for Hoig’s editorials to make Harold Andersen look like Rainbow Rowell, but that was a particularly shameful move worth drawing attention to. And then I figured that was the end of it.

Well my jaw literally dropped this afternoon when I saw this week’s editorial, entitled “Obama embraces socialist remedies, Hitler’s hoopla.” Hoig not only revived last week’s dip into what is perhaps the most ill-advised argument in all of logic, but pushes this argument even further!!

He uses this week’s column (and the words demagogue [twice], demagogic and demagoguery) to illustrate the ways in which Obama seems to be consciously emulating the steps taken by Adolph Hitler in the Third Reich’s rise to power.

Like Hitler, Obama is a great organizer. Hitler created the Hitler Youth, hiking clubs, travel clubs, culture clubs. Obama already is busy with plans to create corps for various forms of national and community service.

Hitler produced torchlight parades to delight crowds, but he could add nighttime book burnings and street violence when it was deemed the crowd needed converting into a mob. It will be instructive to learn if or how Obama orchestrates the crowds he assembles, starting with Denver.

Warning to all hiking clubs: you are now likely on Hoig’s shortlist of potential Nazis.

He goes on to explain how Obama’s call for more public service is actually a plan to create a secret army, which “…could, with obvious ease, convert under improper guidance into a Brown Shirt national army of government rent-seekers, political hacks, and thugs.”

He segues that into a paranoid rant about the Democracy Alliance. Members of the Alliance are guilty of the following things — wanting Obama to win the election, hoping to establish representation in all states and urban areas, and wanting to voice their opinion regarding the appointment of Supreme Court justices. “These cells worry some, and should worry a lot of others,” Hoig states. He tells us that this resembles the Nazi Gaue, but doesn’t actually explain how this special interest group resembles anything the Nazis did any more than any other special interest group (but this one supports Obama, Obama is like Hitler, and therefore the Democratic Alliance is like the Nazis — duh).

Perhaps the highlight of this column, however, is the kicker.

Fate loves a bit of irony and one that we noted was that Obama launched his run for president from the Illinois courthouse beloved by Abraham Lincoln.

Abe said it best, “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the only person Hoig is fooling is himself.

To his credit, he states clearly that Obama is not Hitler; that mendacious line might salvage some credibility out of context, but when the remaining 1,100 words point out how the Democratic candidate for President is emulating the career of arguably the worst human being of the 20th century, Hoig will have to forgive any readers who interpret that disclaimer as a disingenuous attempt to cover his back. Either that, or he’s just being extremely literal, in which case: thanks, Bob.

A friend pointed out that these pieces function as brilliant satire, but the laughs fade a little when you remember that the author is dead serious. I said it in the previous post but I’ll say it again, because it applies here too — the logical leaps made in this column speak more about the author than the subject. For example, according to Hoig, Obama has apparently betrayed his similarities to Hitler by having the nerve to appeal to a broad base of supporters (I’m not kidding — it’s in the column).

The selective application of past and present in the attempts to create some damning pattern are extremely successful — if a writer is attempting to paint himself as a frightened, paranoid creature. This dishonesty serves little else.

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