Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Self-delighted arrested-development case Kevin D. Williamson posted a joking-but-not-joking piece at National Review yesterday that essentially called Bernie Sanders a Nazi. Talking Points Memo has a rundown in case you don't want to read the original, but the gist of the piece is that Sanders is a socialist (obviously true, as Sanders would be the first to tell you) who's also an economic nationalist. Nationalist plus socialist equals national socialist. Get it? Get it??

Williamson writes:
In the Bernieverse, there’s a whole lot of nationalism mixed up in the socialism. He is, in fact, leading a national-socialist movement, which is a queasy and uncomfortable thing to write about a man who is the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and whose family was murdered in the Holocaust. But there is no other way to characterize his views and his politics. [There is] incessant reliance on xenophobic (and largely untrue) tropes holding that the current economic woes of the United States are the result of scheming foreigners, especially the wicked Chinese...
Of course, as Williamson himself noted in 2011, Mitt Romney has been known to say very similar things about the Chinese:
I certainly hope Mitt Romney is as insincere as he appears to be. The alternative is that he really does, as he says, “see eye to eye” with Donald Trump on the question of China. In case you’ve forgotten Trump’s position on China, it is:

“Listen, you m----f----s” (and he didn’t say “muffins”) “we’re going to tax you 25 percent.”

... If I thought Mitt Romney were just being a Machiavellian calculator, I might be a little more kindly disposed to him: I am all for Machiavellian calculators in the White House, provided they are ruthlessly pursuing our national interests. But I half-suspect that Mr. Romney half-believes what is coming out of his mouth, which is worrisome. If he really intends to slap a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods, he is embarking on a dangerous and destructive path.
So does Williamson also consider Mitt Romney to be a Nazi? Or, at the very least, does Williamson believe that Romney ticked the "nationalist" box when he criticized China and need only put a check mark in the "socialist" box to be a full-on goosestepper? And given the fact that Mitt signed Romneycare into law, shouldn't Williamson have called for a Nuremberg trial years ago?


If you read Williamson quickly, he can almost seem to be making some sort of sense. But watch how he does it:
... criminalizing things is very much on Bernie’s agenda, beginning with the criminalization of political dissent. At every event he swears to introduce a constitutional amendment reversing Supreme Court decisions that affirmed the free-speech protections of people and organizations filming documentaries, organizing Web campaigns, and airing television commercials in the hopes of influencing elections or public attitudes toward public issues. That this would amount to a repeal of the First Amendment does not trouble Bernie at all. If the First Amendment enables Them, then the First Amendment has got to go.
Williamson, of course, is referring to the Citizens United decision. Savor the clever little word games he plays when he says the decision "affirmed the free-speech protections of people and organizations filming documentaries, organizing Web campaigns, and airing television commercials in the hopes of influencing elections or public attitudes toward public issues." Of course, the decision was about the ability of corporations (not individual people) to pay to broadcast (not film) documentaries -- or, more likely, thirty-second attack ads -- sixty days before a general election or thirty days before a primary. And even if you violated the law that Citizens United overturned, you weren't sent to the camps. But: Nazis!

And what would happen as a result of the constitutional amendment proposed by Sanders? Well, here's the text:
SECTION 1. Whereas the right to vote in public elections belongs only to natural persons as citizens of the United States, so shall the ability to make contributions and expenditures to influence the outcome of public elections belong only to natural persons in accordance with this Article.

SECTION 2. Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to restrict the power of Congress and the States to protect the integrity and fairness of the electoral process, limit the corrupting influence of private wealth in public elections, and guarantee the dependence of elected officials on the people alone by taking actions which may include the establishment of systems of public financing for elections, the imposition of requirements to ensure the disclosure of contributions and expenditures made to influence the outcome of a public election by candidates, individuals, and associations of individuals, and the imposition of content neutral limitations on all such contributions and expenditures.

SECTION 3. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to alter the freedom of the press.

SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to enforce this Article through appropriate legislation.
If this were to pass, the secret police would not be breaking down the doors of documentarians (or political-ad hacks) and dragging fthem to secret torture prisons. But if you actually believe that's the likely outcome of the amendment after a few minutes with Williamson's demagoguery, then he's done what he set out to do.


Leo Artunian said...

Actually, if Sanders is both a socialist and a nationalist, doesn't that make him a social nationalist? That's as logical a conclusion as Williamson's, and a lot closer to the truth.

mlbxxxxxx said...

Not a lawyer, but [so?] never understood why Citizens United wasn't decided on the freedom of press not speech. Seems to me that freedom of press has always been a corporate, as well as an individual, right and is inviolate, at least as it pertains to political speech. Didn't think then, nor do I think now, that a corporation can, or should, be prohibited from publishing something political. And that, IRRC, was what was at the heart of CU -- a group that wanted to publish political information in the form of an anti-Hillary film.

If you look at it as a freedom of press issue, it seems to me, the whole money=speech nonsense evaporates. I'm sure I'm missing something.

Victor said...


What a load of crap!
You could grow an entire farm's worth of produce, with what that idiot wrote.

But, he's found his niche - providing stupid people with word-turds that make them sound like they're not actually all that stupid!

Yes, Bernie is a Socialist.
Yes, he wants a strong America.

You have to be completely ignorant of post-WWI 20th Century German politics to draw the conclusion that Bernie is a Nazi!

It takes an idiot to tell the village that they have to fear an older Jewish man because he's a secret Nazi!
The "TEH STOOOOOOOOOOOOOPID," it burns with the heat of a trillion-billion-million suns!

Mugsy said...

Bernie, in no way, meets the definition of "Nationalist"... someone that believes in the superiority an infallibility of the nation they live in.

With apologies to Godwin, Hitler believe Germans were "the Master Race", superior to all other nations and could do not wrong. This FAR better describes the Tea Party and the belief in "American exceptionalism."