Looking for Nazis in All the Wrong Places


Probably the funniest new right wing media meme, started by Jonah Goldberg but lovingly embraced by Glenn Beck and the Teabaggers, is that liberalism is somehow linked to Nazism.  Yeah, and down is up on Uranus.  Granted, Jonah and Glenn aren’t the brightest bulbs on the chandelier, but it seems to me that some of their followers, not to mention anyone with  high school education, knows better.  To review: Fascist leaders, Hitler included, were against, in no particular order: Socialists, unions, gays, ethnic minorities, intellectuals, liberals, artists, civil liberties, etc, and were maniacally pro-war, methodically repressive, solicitous of big business, and devoted to social and political conformity.  In short, the opposite of liberals, and a heck of a lot like the Bush/Teabag Right we know today.  This fact clearly isn’t lost on Teabagger in good standing Richard Iott of Ohio, as the video above demonstrates, and which you can bet will produce crickets, or perhaps ludicrous denials, from the Campbell’s Soup Kids of Liberal Fascism.

It’s frustrating, really, that historical facts of such blatant obviousness even have to be discussed, but they do, since the right wing media noticed that so much of what Bush did, from wars and torture to nationalistic propaganda and cheap theatrics might lead thinking people to remember der Fuhrer, so they hastily had to put their projection hats on.  Luckily, the intended audience was so dumb that they honestly believed that, say, making rich people actually pay taxes and perhaps keeping us down to one war at a time was redolent of the Third Reich.  Not so Richard Iott, aka Reinhard Pferdmann, or Portland’s own li’l Storm Trooper,  police Captain Mark Kruger. (h/t the Oregonian for its reporting)

Kruger, who has repeatedly been a target of federal lawsuits for using excessive force against  war protesters during the Bush years and was widely known to be intolerant of any “dissent from the left,” had already cost the city $300,000 in settlements when it was discovered that he adorned a tree in Rocky Butte Park with commemorative plaques of a guy from the Waffen SS and another guy who executed a whole lot of Greek prisoners of war, among others, and called it an “Ehrenbaum,” or tree of honor.  Kruger says he was honoring the men for their military exploits, not their political affiliations, which definitely makes him sound like a hippie to me.  In his defense, he did put up this undoubtedly touching memorial in his spare time; after all, he’s been on “administrative leave” a lot due to all the legal unpleasantness he attracts like hookers attract crabs.

Given that Republicans are no longer shy about promoting Final Solutions for atheists, environmentalists, gays, “union thugs,” Muslims, “illegal immigrants,” Democrats, and pretty much everyone else with whom they disagree, is it any wonder that so many of them are turning up wearing their swastikas on their sleeves?   What’s not to like, if you’re a Nazi reenactor?  When the teabaggers speak of taking our country back, they want to take it to Berlin, circa 1939, or maybe Savannah, circa 1863 or Birmingham, circa 1963, no matter what made-up piffle pours out of Glenn and Jonah, and every once in a while, this fact does get out, inconveniently.

As predicted, fascism has arrived in America, wrapped in the flag and carrying the Cross, not eating granola and driving a Prius.  Don’t expect Beck or Goldberg to notice, though.

44 Comments

  1. michlib says:

    A cross in one hand and a club in the other. The racist underbelly of the teabaggers is swelling more protruberantly the closer election day comes. Don’t ya just love it when the Beckster warns of violence coming from the left when we have ready examples of violence fomented by him and other reichwing blowhards ? A boatload of polling ” experts ” and handicappers will probably end up Nov. 3 with egg on their faces. Start the popcorn.

  2. dirigo says:

    Oh c’mon. These fellas just watched Hogan’s Heroes over and over again in their little clubhouse, just like all the masters of the universe who took notes while watching Gordon Gekko in his prime, over twenty years ago.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I guess they weren’t too sharp about who, exactly, the “heroes” were supposed to be…. Col. Klink?
      I think they also read Orwell as prescription rather than warning, too.

      • michlib says:

        Interesting – Orwell as prescriptive, and perhaps Ayn Rand as insirational. Wonder how the baggers would countenance her staunch atheism and absolute stand on guns ( the mantra in Atlas Shrugged was ” your guns for our brains ” – strict meritocracy with no coercive firearms allowed ). But we need look no further than the house fire in rural Tennessee to see the dead end of Galt’s Gulch – you must buy individual coverage for every possible calamity that may beset you in life – perhaps a lifeguard fee of $200 should you be observed drowning. If you didn’t buy it – oh well …

  3. retzilian says:

    I’ve never heard of Nazi reenactments, much less from the Toledo area. I can’t imagine someone doing it, never mind then later running for office. Surely he’ll lose.

    The first amendment allows these kooks to have their Nazi worship, but they really can’t expect to be elected to anything, can they?

    Like others, I believe the Republican takeover is wishful thinking. I think both houses will stay Dem in November. My oracle is rarely wrong!

  4. retzilian says:

    Fox News is throwing him under the Panzer:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/10/congressional-candidate-nazi-enactment-past/

    Iott is running against one of the more popular Congresswomen, Marcy Kaptur, who will crush him.

    Delusions of grandeur were always a Nazi characteristic.

    Incidentally, this effing moron took on a “german” name – Reinhard – saying it was German for “Richard.” But it’s not. “Richard” is German for Richard. Idiot.

    See also: Strauss, Richard

    • cocktailhag says:

      I wondered about that… His fake last name was “Pferdmann,” or “horse man.” I wonder what’s up with that. Et tu Fox? The poor ol’ Nazi just can’t catch a break.

      • dirigo says:

        Just a side note from an actual, very droll veteran. I am continuously fascinated and amazed – whether father/son bonding or no – with the fetish among grown men to dress up and walk around as soldiers, to go “camping,” or, in the case of politicians, to make up fake stories of military derring doo doo.

        From Mr. Iott, to Dick Blumenthal, to Phil Gramm (who was duded up, with whiskers, to sit in a group shot of Confederates in Ted Turner’s second Civil War epic: “Gods and Generals.”

        Pipsqueaks, every one.

    • timothy3 says:

      I think Reinhard is German for idiot.

      But then TeaBag is English for Lipton.

      This multiculturalism stuff — very confusing to an Aryan like me who detests Iranians and thanks God daily that they aren’t Aryans.

      • cocktailhag says:

        I personally think Iranians are kind of hot; much more so than, say, Maureen Dowd.

        • timothy3 says:

          Ouch.

          But remember — I’m a Type 1 diabetic with a probable vision shortfall.
          Maybe that explains the Dowd pout which is really a moue.

          But I second the hotness of Iranians — beautiful people with a prediliction for destroying the planet with nuclear weaponry.
          Or so I’ve heard from several unbiased and anonymous sources.
          Oh, and John Bolton, too, he of the bechamel mustache.

          • cocktailhag says:

            We all have our oddities of taste, T3, but I can’t help but make fun of it; like the scorpion, “It’s my nature…”
            PS… I had to look up “bechamel,” and I love it. (I went to those crappy gummint schools, after all…)

  5. The Heel says:

    As the (genetically) closest thing to the real McCoys, here, allow me to throw in my 5 cents.
    The fascination about the militaristic achievements of Waffen-SS divisions, especially on the Eastern front, I can clearly see. Those young men fought like Rambos on steroids for their “Fuehrer, Volk and Fatherland”. Imagine kids that from age 10 on were heavily indoctrinated in Hitler-Youth and similar orgs and when reaching their early 20s, were finally “called upon their duty”… of course they ran off with a big “Hurray” and took insane risks in action. Now give those Nazi Pitbulls state of the art weapons and lots of (on the job) training, and voila – you have the substance that many remarkable, and in a scary way fascinating, war hero stories are made from.

    However, now, in 2010, after we know the course history took (including the crimes that were indeed committed with these troops) and as we can reflect on the “merits” of fascism from a distance, it is beyond me, how chubby, US born, dough boys can take this fascination to such bizarre and awkward levels as participating in “Re-enactment games”.

    I guess he won’t get the Jewish vote, but he is not more or less kookoo than little Chrissy-Witch and he simply shows another angle of right wing values.

    Definitely curious about November…

    • dirigo says:

      “So fiction inherits the world of angels, but it is only through a moment of acute ‘attentiveness’ – a moment of literary criticism we might say – that any of this can be experienced, let alone understood. You have to read him to pick up the light, almost casual tone with which he follows this sequence to its conclusion. The scepticism is crucial, less style, something more like a warning. Nothing more deadly than a fiction that, losing its sense of belonging in time, tries to climb back up to the world of the gods. So anti-semitism was a ‘degenerate fiction’, the Third Reich the disastrous consequence of trying ‘to impose limited designs on the time of the world’, of believing that any system of thought could provide ‘a total and adequate explanation of things as they are’.

      “He thought of himself as a survivor of the war, lucky to have stayed alive in the navy ‘when more correct fellows who responded as bravely as their elders expected, were getting killed’ – . Later he was baffled that, after the war, those lacking that experience should be so impatient of those who had barely held onto their lives. ‘It is therefore possible,’ he wrote, ‘for survivors to be at odds with, to feel unqualified to associate freely with, the living as well as the dead.’ ”

      … Jacqueline Rose
      … from “Memories of Frank Kermode”
      … The London Review of Books, 9/23/10

      Kermode, perhaps the greatest literary critic since World War II, died in August. He was not a war reenactor.

      • The Heel says:

        You make an excellent point – none of the survivors of such nightmares as “Stalingrad” or any other war scenario had the least bit of romantic or nostalgic feelings about it. Quite to the contrary. I was assured many times by German WW2 veterans that war is the ugliest thing there is.

        It is exciting for chicken hawks and the mentally deranged, to put on the uniforms of the bad boys and then be bad boys between Sat 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
        Kinda nice to know that the “others” won’t shoot back and Mama is already marinating that rib eye steak at home…

        • dirigo says:

          The last line, quoting Kermode, about being “at odds” with the general population after service in a war zone, went right through me as I read it because that has been my experience. There really is no closure, and there are any number of aggravations, many recurring over time, such as when little men leap to their feet, all dressed up in a tunic, to rendezvous at the old campsite or the ball park, to talk big (or to tell lies) – or even run for office, posing in that context as warriors, or war leaders.

          It is amazing.

          • dirigo says:

            Somewhat related as a sort of glancing blow, is this week-end’s observation by Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, that a bit less libido and testosterone would help get the world economy going again.

            ABC’s Chrstiane Amanpour giggled at that, and Lagarde giggled back.

            Men of course don’t giggle while doing deals, and so out of consideration for their sensibilities it must be asked where they’d be if they couldn’t bust their buttons at the negotiating table?

    • cocktailhag says:

      We’ve probably talked about this before, Heel, but after reading Speer I did have a certain admiration for the, well, efficiency of your forebears. They had an Olympics, built a whole lot of big stuff, and managed to find time to conquer a continent (almost…).
      Bush, on the other hand, choked on a pretzel.

  6. retzilian says:

    I’m probably 2/3 German having both sides of the family allegedly hailing from Alcaise-Lorraine, 1/6 French and 1/6 Irish – although I am 4th Generation American, therefore none of my ancestors were in Europe prior to 1820. And, I lived in Germany for 2 months in 1979 and studied quite a lot of German history as well as its music, art, literature and philosophy. And, I had an eerie, Deja-Vu-Ancestral-Memory experience in Munich where I suddenly recognized where I was and could recall specific landmarks (some of which were still there) even though I had never been there or seen pictures of Munich before; unless watching the Pink Panther movie that takes place at the Octoberfest counts.

    Anyhoo, there are a lot of fine things you can praise and celebrate about the Germans that do not entail doffing an SS uniform. Anyone who has been to Germany in the last 50 years will tell you the last thing the Germans want you to reenact is the Waffen SS.

    This guy and his supporters are beyond fecking idiots – they are sadists.

    Meanwhile, despite my hours-long research, I have yet to see anyone playing the part of a Russian soldier in one of these reenactments. Maybe I’m just slow.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I was amazed at all the fascist architecture I saw in Rome and Paris… Back then, even bonkers governments were expected to do things.
      PS… I think you mean “donning,” rather than “doffing,” but your way is funnier and probably correct; you only put on the Nazi outfit so you can take it off, like the Nazi john in “Eating Raul,” from which comes the famous quote the Heel knows something about, “I’ll bag the Nazi; you get some rest.”

      • retzilian says:

        Of course, “donning” not “doffing.” That’s what happens after you spend 3 hours reading RW websites. Your mind turns to shit.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Find anything good? I’m idly casting about for blog topics, and skewering righties is always easy….

          • retzilian says:

            Well, the fact that the NYT did a story on both Ann Coulter and Pam Geller today is still making me want to vomitus.

            You could always analyze why they found it useful to provide multi-column articles on two mean-spirited, bigoted, insane gorgons instead of anything on strong, bright, positive, world-moving women on the left.

            Then there is the article about Pelosi….

            The NYT should just go ahead and annex itself to The American Prospect today.

          • cocktailhag says:

            I read them both, and I did get a bit of bile backup…. Hard to make anything that disgusting funny, but It does have possibilities. Sadly, it’s time to put the curlers and sleep off the booze, and I’m certain I don’t have an opus in me at the moment….

          • nancy says:

            This topic probably needs your comment—Drifty may have gotten there first but I’m guessing you may have some special insights.

            http://driftglass.blogspot.com/2010/10/art-for-arts-sake.html

          • cocktailhag says:

            Thanks, Nancy. I was thinking about writing something about DeFazio, but he’s down south and hardly ever in the papers here, and we certainly haven’t been barraged by the ads, so I’m a bit ignorant of the whole thing, and it might take me a bit of time to write something good. I’ll dig in.

  7. retzilian says:

    Correction: none of my German/French/Irish ancestors were in Europe AFTER 1820. Duh.

  8. retzilian says:

    Oh, and I watched the entire “Real Time” episode excerpted above with PJ O’R, S.E. Cupp and whatshisface from the Times and I have to say that PJ has become a blithering nincompoop and SE Cupp, while she is pretty and has a low opinion of O’Donnell, has a tenuous grasp of reality.

    Did anyone else see O’Rourke and wonder if he has some kind of alcoholic dementia setting in?

    Best part of the show was Joshua Green.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Alcoholic dementia? I’d say so, even a little worse than mine….
      Joshua Green was fine, especially because he was the only rational one, but he does Make Maureen Dowd look sexy.

  9. mikeinportc says:

    Speaking of projection, wasn’t that Prescott Bush that got caught handling(laundering?) money for his Nazi clients, in 1942? ( Of course, he did no time.)

    I personally think Iranians are kind of hot; much more so than, say, Maureen Dowd.

    Agreed. Wish I could remember her name. ;) [nothing happened :( ]
    It’s the high-fructose corn syrup corn sugar gap, that, according to Bill Kristol, they are trying to rectify. Evil bastards!

  10. retzilian says:

    I had a gorgeous Iranian Alegbra prof at OSU in 1982. It’s a wonder he was there, since it was fresh after the hostage crisis. The Persians are a fine looking group, I agree.

  11. mikeinportc says:

    I’m terrible with names, too, even when something did happen.

    Much of what I do involves remembering names, [ Plants are people too!? ;) ] although I do better if the subject has some chlorophyll. :)

    Re the idle casting, here’s some GOPer support for some current murderous RWA/fascist governance. ( Another case of The Great Socialist either caving, or giving lip service to his nominal philosophy, while carrying out his sponsors’ agenda- bringing back an old S./Cental American tradition – death squads)
    Meant to mail it to you, but it’s teh epic mail/fail today. *shrug*?

    http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/erin-rosa/2010/10/lawmakers-used-public-funds-back-honduras-coup

    • cocktailhag says:

      Great article, and hardly surprising… I remember that ol’ cocktailhag, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, after all.
      (I once knew the ANSI codes, by heart, of at least a thousand light bulbs, and can quote books at length, but I can’t remember the name of someone standing in front of me…. If I were a computer, I suppose I could reboot myself, but I’m not.)