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September 20, 2007

Comments

Dan Chmielewski

Chuck -- that's not what the I wrote at all; I cited an article in a magazine and asked if it reminded you of anyone. You chose the Nazis from a list of common traits of several examples of facist regimes. If you see yourself in any of the examples, I can't help you there. But come over and read the post at the LiberalOC; we love the hits. I can actually turn this around and suggest that *you* equate the US with Nazis because rather than analyze the common points of facism, you pulled your Nazi card quickly.

Chuck DeVore

Riiiight, Dan... You wrote:

"I came across an article by Lawrence Britt in the publication Human Secularism; he outlines the 14 points of facism through an analysis of these regimes: Nazi Germany..." in a piece entitled "The 14 Points of Facism: remind you of anyone?"

You then wrote:

"The 14 points are listed below; and after reading it, I can but help to draw similarities between these chracteristics and the Bush administration (and their supporters)."

That is pretty straightforward. You conflated Nazi Germany with the Bush Administration.

It is exactly what you wrote -- no straining on my part to understand what you meant at all.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District

Here he goes again

Question: Does the Bush Administration = America?

Chuck DeVore

Re: Question: Does the Bush Administration = America?

Interesting question. The Bush Administration is the legally constituited authority in the U.S.

Similarly, you might ask, was Nazi Germany equal to Germany?

Dan he couldn't help but to "draw similarities between these chracteristics (i.e. of Nazi Germany) and the Bush administration."

So, my leftwing friends, which ones of the 14 characteristics of nazi/fascist regimes does America most resemble? Dan made the comparison -- I just don't see it myself.

Your America must just be a hellish place to live in, what, being facist and all. Perhaps that's what John Edwards is always talking about when he mentions "two Americas."

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District

Long-time politico

This sort of comparison together with the Moveon.org ad in the NY Times will not help the left in persuading the key votes in the middle to give them the White House. Let's all just be quiet and let them hang themselves. I will send a nice hand-written thank you note to Dan after the '08 elections.

Dan Chmielewski

"Interesting question. The Bush Administration is the legally constituited authority in the U.S."

Interesting; I thought the Constitution was the legally constituted authority. Congress is the legally constituted authoity for legislation. The courts are a legally constituted authority as well.

and since you asked 5, 8, 11, 13 and 14. And since you brought up the MoveOn.org ad, please note there was a question mark after the headline. The same one you see on the news scroll from Fox News to say any sort of whacked out premise as news punctuated with a question mark. Since there the number of Americans who want out of Iraq increased after the Petrauos testimony, either his report was ineffective or the ad was very effective.

Bladerunner

Assemblyman Devore---

I'm not sure Dan did what you claim. You seem to skip over the other dictatorships--like Franco Spain or Pinochet Chile--that were mentioned in the article perhaps because they show that Dan wasn't trying so much to compare Hitler with Bush but indicate there were some common characteristcs that the author said existed in various dictatorships.

In reading Steve Greenhut's comment on Liberal OC he seems to agree that there has been substantial erosion of civil liberties brought forth by Republicans(he also stuck a civil libertarian fork in Bill Clinton and the Democrats). Steve's making the same point in a different way. You always need to be concerned about civil liberties. Perhaps instead of casting a stone at Dan's observations, why don't you respond to his actual take--that there are numerous similarities between what's happening here and what happened in these various dictatorships. Frankly, I'm not sold on some of the points but there are some that hit close to home. Why not deal with the substance?

But now that you mention poor comparisons, did you rush to condemm Rush Limbaugh when he compared former Senator Tom Dashle with Satan? How about the Montana's GOP House leader who comared the Montana Democrats with Communist Russia and Red China? Or a former Washington Times writer who compared Nancy Pelosi with Hitler and Stalin? Or are attacks on Democrats in season, no limits and no license required?


Patricia

If we are a fascist state, why hasn't Bush disappeared one person from the lunatic fringe, which has been shrieking about Bush=fascism for the past six years?

Pretty ineffective fascism.

Chuck DeVore

Exactly, Patricia, and that’s what is missing here, any sense of proportion whatsoever. Bladerunner makes some good points, but they are lacking in a sense of history.

For instance, President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and other basic civil liberties in his struggle to maintain the Union. At the other end of the scale, Hitler and Stalin purposefully killed millions of people. (I was interested to note that Stalin’s Soviet Union was not listed under the list of guilty states, although I would argue that communism is a kind of religion when practiced by its followers.) In between these two extremes would be President Franklin Roosevelt’s wartime interning of U.S. citizens of Japanese-American heritage, as well as German-Americans, Italian-Americans, and a few thousand member of the American Bund, a U.S.-based branch of the Nazi Party. Of course, the Bush Administration hasn’t come even close to this latter action, not that one could tell by the hyperventilating on the Left.

Has the current Administration increased government power at the expense of civil liberties? Yes. This always happens in times of war. Do I like it? No. Neither did I like the attacks of 9/11, but they happened and now we have to deal with the aftermath. Are some of the security measures needed? Yes. Interestingly, the ones that are Constitutionally suspect are being challenged and debated as they should be. This is hardly suggestive of some police state as Dan Chmielewski intimated in his first post on TheLiberalOC.com.

As for the U.S. being patriotic and religious, we have always been thus; even Alexis de Tocqueville noted so in Democracy in America (points 1 and 8 in the original post on TheLiberalOC).

Part of Bladerunner’s critique has nothing to do with the original post. Rush Limbaugh is not part of the government – he is an entertainer. I feel no responsibility to police his statements. Montana’s Republican Leader of the House is also not my concern. I never heard of his statements so I also do not know the context of his statements. Further, as there are 100 House members in Montana with a population of 944,632, he represents a whopping 9,400 people. He is hardly a major leader on the scene – he represents about 1/50th the constituents as do I. Lastly, a former Washington Times writer? Please, Bladerunner, a former journalist? He has the freedom under the First Amendment to speak his mind, doesn’t he? How is he my concern and how does this even remotely relate to the discussion?

Rather, I think you should be more concerned with the national Democrats proposal to resurrect the “Fairness Doctrine” – now that is a major infringement on our First Amendment rights, is it not?

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District
www.ChuckDeVore.com

Dan Chmielewski

Chuck -- the Fairness Doctrine was designed to ensure that multiple viewpoints would be expressed over any medium using public airwaves by broadcasters licensed to operate in the public interest. It was done away with by President Reagan in the 1980s and dealt a further blow by Bill Clinton fo the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Its really not that hard to represent multiple viewpoints in news or public affairs programming (I am a former radio broadcaster, radio news director.

Cable and satellite news doesn't require the Fairness Doctrine, neither does the Internet or any printing press. But with the limited spectrum of the public airwaves, I believe there is a place for the Fairness Doctrine.

Most radio stations and TV stations are owned by large corporations; there is progressive talk radio but it usually resides on stations further down the dial with smaller power outputs and smaller coverage areas. So in this respect, progressive talk radio would be more competitive if on a station with stronger frequency or one further up the aisle.

But most stations, tasked with ensuring multiple viewpoints, often opt not to air public affairs programming at all which actually serves to limit and stiffle debate. The reason that they won't is because it would be too costly. And if its too costly, I'd ask why they were given a license to broadcast in the public interest in the first place.

Bladerunner

Gee Assemblyman, last time I looked Dan Chmielewski--like Limbaugh--is not part of the Government. Yet you were hot to trot to police his statements. And like the former(late) Washington Star columnist Belint Vazonyi, Dan has a first amendment right to speak his mind and yet you cracked down on him. I was just asking if this is a two way street or are you just looking for reasons to avoid applying the same standards to Republicans that you like to apply to Democrats.

I get your point on proportionality by the way. Analogy is usually the worse form of argument and comparisons aren't much better. But the reason I look at these things(remember I said I didn't buy some of the points) is that unlike the dictatorships we need to be vigilant to protect liberty. Erosion can result in ruin .

Chuck DeVore

Bladerunner,

I agree with your comment about "erosion can lead to ruin" in reference to liberties. That is one of the main reasons I am uncomfortable with Guiliani and am instead supporting Fred Thompson who believes in federalism.

As for me commenting and blogging on DanC's post, remember, DanC dragged me into the argument first by mentioning me by name -- something that certainly gives me the right to respond. Therein is the chief reason I directly engaged him.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District

Dan Chmielewski

Chuck -- You're exaggerating. I referenced Matt too and in respect, it was a line about how a debate with you is always a history lesson, referencing your Greek city-states discussion with Chris Prevatt; it was hardly a bait for a response but a good lead in to show historial context of multiple facists regimes. It was a set up line that worked pretty well.

Bladerunner

Assemblyman Devore--I didn't say you threw the first punch, just that your right cross to Dan's chin could have easily have been thrown at Rush and fellow travlers. I certainly don't expect you to jump into blog fights with Reps(and in fairness Dan did call you out)but it would be nice to see you acknowledge the same sins when lashing out against Dems. As you did in your last response about why you are supporting Thompson.

Dan- Any idea why Stalin wasn't included?

Spanky

Dennis Prager...hmmm. Who else does Chuck listen to for mental stimulation?

tamrik

The original list is interesting to me - I find the comparisons work equally well with the liberal left:

2 Disdain for the importance of human rights. (abortion and euthanasia. )
3 . Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. (Rush Limbaugh, Bush, Christians, etc)
6. A controlled mass media. (CNN, PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, The AP)
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. (Secular humanism)
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. (should be changed to read Disdain and suppression of opposing views. read: fairness doctrine)
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. (William Jefferson, Pelosi's husband and military contracts, Harry Reid - land deals, Clinton - Norman Hsu - the list goes on...)
14. Fraudulent elections. (Registering dead and non-existent voters, eliminating absentee ballots from the military, physical attacks on opposing campaign headquarters...)

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