Friday, November 17, 2006

Glenn Beck of Headline News got a lot of attention this week (e.g., Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" award for asking the newly elected Muslim congressman from Minnesota, Keith Ellison, to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies," but most people seem to have overlooked another Beck gem: his attempt this week to mainstream the linking of Hillary Clinton to Hitler.

A couple of nights ago, in discussing reports that that Church of England now believes it is sometimes appropriate to withhold treatment from severely disbled premature infants, Beck began to talk about Nazi Germany -- and then segued:

BECK: ... Hitler later signed a decree permitting the euthanasia of disabled infants ... and creating a panel of "expert" referees, which judged the infants and found out which ones were eligible for death.

Once he was through with the babies, the elderly were next. As it has been said over and over again with tragedies regarding the Holocaust: never again. So, when you see politicians making statements like this one yesterday --

CLINTON [video clip]: But the whole issue of health care is coming back. That may be a bad dream for some, but for others, it's a very welcome possibility, because we are on an unsustainable course. I think that we have to come up with a uniquely American solution.

BECK: OK. When you see statements like that, be afraid. Be very, very afraid. It's not a bad dream for me; it is a nightmare....

I don't really care that he walked the point back somewhat, suggesting after the clip that what really scared him about the Clinton health plan was its bureaucratic nature. Like Bush saying "Saddam" and "September the 11th" in the same sentence every chance he gets, Beck got his point across without actually having the integrity to say what he meant plainly.

If this is what we're getting now on a CNN channel, what do you suppose we're going to get if Hillary runs for president? What are we going to get if, by some fluke, she actually manages to win?

If Hillary is elected president, I have a feeling that the rules of "respectable" discourse in the mainstream media are going to be obliterated. I think calls for physical harm to the president are going to become almost routine. It'll happen gradually, and it'll be accompanied by suggestions that desperate measures may sometimes be necessary to deal with the "tyranny" or "totalitarianism" of her presidency. Don't hold your breath waiting for any denunciations of this talk -- what we'll get instead is serious consideration of the notion that her presidency is totalitarian ("Has She Gone Too Far?").

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