Yeah, It’s Just Like That.

by Kevin Jon Heller

The depths to which the extreme right will sink to oppose offering quality healthcare to all Americans really knows no bounds:

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Disgusting.  Absolutely disgusting.

P.S. In case you can’t read the sign on your computer, it reads “National Socialist Health Care: Dachau, Germany – 1945.”

21 Responses

  1. Unbelievable……..But then in the age of Glenn Beck, anything is possible I guess.

  2. I do not understand how any Jew can look at this and support these freaks.

  3. Mr. Heller,  how many times have you compared Bush administration officials to Nazis in this blog?

  4. Jeff,

    That’s easy — zero.


  5. (1) Do you believe that the beliefs and sentiments of the protesters opposing health care legislation are typified by those of them who invoke  Nazi Germany?

    (2) Do you believe that Nazi imagery and analogies are more typical of the tea partiers and health care legislation opponents than they were of the anti-Iraq War protesters?

    (3) Do you believe that the anti-Iraq war movement and the numerous protesters of the Bush administration were civilly illegitimate – that their views were beyond the pale of reasonable political discourse – given the invocation of Nazi imagery and analogies at their rallies?
    (You can skip the commentary at the link and just scroll down)

  6. Nathan,

    Probably not, but the numbers are still extremely disturbing.  Yes, absolutely.  And the number of “mainstream” Republican leaders who happily appear in front of protesters carrying such signs dwarfs the number of Democratic leaders who did the same.  Yes, also absolutely — although using Nazi imagery to compare Bush’s wars of aggressions to Hitler’s, while not particularly helpful, are far less objectionable than comparing health-care reform to the systematic extermination of the Jews.


  7. I probably wasn’t clear enough on my (3).  I did not mean to ask whether you believe that the particular Iraq War protesters who invoked Nazi Germany were beyond the pale of reasonable discourse but rather whether you believe that the anti-war movement as a whole could be written off as having nothing legitimate to say because some of those in its ranks used Nazi imagery.

  8. No, of course not.  But that imagery was at the margins of the anti-war movement, whereas Nazi imagery — and racist imagery, and allegations of socialism, and allegations of communism, etc. — are at the very heart of the anti-health-care movement, as indicated by the fact that numerous Republican senators and representatives had no problem appearing at the rally, literally feet from the sign.

  9. Good point Kevin.

    The reason why Republicans have no problem with the sign is because they have close ties with the people who organize these rallies.

    If anyone resembles a fascist movement it’s the people holding up the signs.

  10. “Nazi imagery — and racist imagery, and allegations of socialism, and allegations of communism, etc. — are at the very heart of the anti-health-care movement, as indicated by the fact that numerous Republican senators and representatives had no problem appearing at the rally, literally feet from the sign.”

    Saying that this sign is “Nazi imagery” is profoundly dishonest.  It is anti-Nazi imagery.  The protesters disagree with the current health-care bill: it requires that each market offer insurance policies that cover abortion.  They think that abortion is murder, and they fear that in a few months the United States will be on the road to another holocaust.  Whether they are fools or prophets, calling their sign nazi imagery is the lowest form of slur.

    It is especially meretricious since you claim to never do this sort of thing in the fourth comment above.

  11. It seems to me that since you agree that the beliefs and sentiments of the protesters opposing health care legislation are “probably not” typified by those of them who invoke Nazi Germany, it is inconsistent to claim that “Nazi imagery [is] at the very heart of the anti-health-care movement.” 

    As to whether such imagery is more prevalant among the anti-health care legislation protesters than it was in the anti-war movement, I respectfully submit that you have no reliable means of knowing.  The link I provided amply demonstrates that if, in covering the anti-war movement, one wanted to discredit it by emphasizing the loons, it could certainly have been done.

    But even if you do not concede that particular point, it remains the case that a movement that is not typified by loons, and that attracts significant public engagement, has something legitimate to say. 

    If I may characterize “the heart” of the anti-health care reform movement, it is as follows:

    (a) Belief that the proposed reforms will result – sooner or later – in effective government control of health care

    (b) Distrust that government control will result in a quality of care equal to or better than that which is typical today

    (c) Belief that the proposed reforms will worsen the country’s financial picture, ultimately necessitating significantly higher taxes

    (d) Judgment that, given the foregoing, the proposed reforms are not worthwhile

    Though there is some honest disagreement to be had, (a), (b), and (c) are certainly arguable beliefs on the merits – not held solely by loons.  You might even agree with all or some of them yourself.  If I may be so bold, the major point of disagreement is (d).  Your judgment is that, on balance, the proposed reforms are better than the status quo. 

    Can you not concede that,  in general, the anti-health care reform movement is a legitimate political movement with legitimate things to say, that simply makes a judgment opposite to your own?

  12. Mr. Hall,

    However strongly you may feel about abortion, legitimizing Nazi analogies does not help you make your case. Does the public pay any attention to protesters who shout that those who want to outlaw abortion are interested in Nazi-like control of womens’ bodies?

  13. Well, since it appears that we have a lull in the fighting over Karadzic (and yes, i am still looking through details of Malta, Tokyo, Nuremberg, etc. al for the point, and I will respond once I am through), this looks like a good time to open another front.

    Okeee… here’s the disclaimer:

    Before ANYBODY accuses me otherwise, I am neither a birther (absolutely slim chance? Sure. Probable chance? Absolutely not, and I do believe that most invoking it are looking for an easy out rather than actually considering the legal issues of what would happen if it WERE true, and while I do believe there are some complications in the matter, I- and this may come as a shock to some of you- actually DO believe in innocent before guilty, and I haven’t seen anything remotely like concrete proof discrediting Obama’s claim that he was born in Hawaii, and what evidence I have seen seems to actually support that claim), nor an “Obama is a Fascist” member (he strikes me more as the typical big-government Liberal such as LBJ or Wilson, rather than like a latter-day Hitler or even a latter=day Chavez. His connections are somewhat disturbing, but he would hardly have been the first President to have dealt with unsavory group).,

    I am what would be called a NeoCon, but I am largely an equal-opportunity shooter. Which is why when this post popped up, I find it is time to start shooting again.


    “The depths to which the extreme right will sink to oppose offering quality healthcare to all Americans really knows no bounds:”
    A. I am sorry, but I think you need a solid look at “Free” Health Care in Canada or Britain. It is hardly “quality”, because when the State annexes at the very least a good chunk of the health care of the nation, it suddenly has to do yet another job- and a rather large one at that- with the same amount of income it had before. And the result either involves raising taxes, taking loans, or cutting quality. And sooner or later, you tend to get all three in varying qualities. Naturally, this is not an attack against the professionalism or skill of  British or Canadian doctors- or others who have to deal with such strains-, but how do you expect them to deal when your budget shrinks even as your demand either stays stagnant or grows, and equipment grows rarer and more expensive to operate? Sooner or later, you have to decide not whether to let patients go after a certain period of time, but which. Again, not an insult, but a reality that comes from having to deal with a large burden with a rather small pool of resources: sooner or later, you have to ration things out to keep the doors open.
    While Corporate medical care has plenty of issues, the bottom line is that it disperses the responsibility rather than centralizing it into one congested system struggling to breathe. And you can usually count on the treatment continuing at least as long as someone keeps paying for it (no, I never said it was perfect), and you usually can afford comparatively expensive or experimental procedures that government-run medical systems would balk at. And even the poor tend not to be turned away, but rather put on a loan in private hospitals (again, not pretty, but the question becomes which is the least of all evils? And remember, these institutions still have to keep the money flowing in) or taken on as a Pro Bono case at public ones.
    The bottom line: “Free” Medical Care is not free, and somebody has to pay for it. And while the infamous Death Panels probably won’t come in right now, the bottom line is that sooner or later, a grasping system overburdened by too many patients being cared for by too little will eventually have to decide who to try and heal and who to let go. This is no sinister Nazi conspiracy to euthanize the weak (well, certainly not amongst 99+% of those supporting it), but the inevitable reaction of a system coping with too much demand and too little to provide.
    B. I would refrain from that until somebody tries to kidnap/kill  Obama and/or his allies and/or family over the issue. Same as with Bush (certainly, a lot of bluster, but very little substance, and if one is free speech, the other is as well, as tasteless as it may be).
    “P.S. In case you can’t read the sign on your computer, it reads “National Socialist Health Care: Dachau, Germany – 1945.””
    While my gut tells me that the people holding the sign are just indulging in idiotic Godwin-tossing like the rest, they do have a round-about point, albeit not one I think they have the common sense to realize.
    Firstly, while we could debate until the world blows up and/or Radovan Karadzic is cleared of all charges (whichever comes first) whether Hitler was an extreme Rightist or an extreme Leftist (my personal opinion? He was a Leftist, albeit one who was very nationalistic and who got along quite well with the authoritarian Right in Asia, Europe, and Latin America and who straddled both sides of the line during his pre-1933 speeches, which- it must be remembered- were when he was running for election (and we ALL know about politicians during an election…)), one of the few things either side can remotely agree on is that Hitler instituted State-Run medical care (starting with the elderly, and then moving down).
    Now, the Nazi/NSDAP model is a very strange case, because it is one of the few real cases where state-run medical care really didn’t collapse under its own weight within a few years, which would be surprising considering the population of Germany and Hitler’s “lofty” goals for it.
    Of course, when you look at the records and think about it, you can see how Hitler was able to provide government run health care to a remarkably large populace without a serious breakdown until after 1943 (when the war started to blow up in the Reich’s face, occasionally quite literally): he reduced the number of people eligible for it drastically by stratifying the population according to his aims: between the favored and the unfavored, the Superhuman and the Subhuman, between the Aryan and virtually everyone else.
    And for those who had the misfortune to happen to be in the latter category, well…. I think we are all aware of what happened.
    Now, I do believe this point goes over the heads of whoever is holding it up, and I also do not believe we are at risk for a similar system in the US (again, while I disdain Obama, I do not believe he is tyrannical or murderous), but it is an interesting case study, were anybody to stop using it as a petty partisan mallet long enough to actually look at it.
    Ah well, such is life….
    “Yes, absolutely.  And the number of “mainstream” Republican leaders who happily appear in front of protesters carrying such signs dwarfs the number of Democratic leaders who did the same.”
    Sorry, but even if that is true, I think it is safe to say it would be from a “56 VS 57” type of case: one side may have put more out, but it was not because the other did not try.
    “Yes, also absolutely — although using Nazi imagery to compare Bush’s wars of aggressions to Hitler’s, while not particularly helpful, are far less objectionable than comparing health-care reform to the systematic extermination of the Jews.”
    Speak for yourself, governor. Particularly given the fact that the case is only one of “aggression ” in terms of the strategic level (needless to say, there was no massive Iraqi-Afghani amphibious assault on New York during 9/11) , NOT on the legal issue. Legally, the Taliban were given their ultimatum after sheltering members of Al-Qaeda, and they threw their support behind them. And so, legally they sealed their own fates by providing aid and comfort to the enemy. And as for Saddam, have you EVER looked at the Gulf War Ceasefire and the number of amendments he broke? And the simple fact that only ONE was required to allow a return to open war? AND the confirmed relations between Saddam and Islamist terror groups (and a few non-Islamist ones), including the Al-Qaeda subsidiary the Army of Mohammed (spelling of the Islamic prophet’s name might be different in the “official” English name, but it is close enough for the purpose of a hastily typed-up rant)?
    So, pray tell, what DOES determine whether a war is a “War of Agression?” Whether it is supported by the global transnational organization (UN, LoN, etc) of the day? Even if said war is in part to uphold the very dictates of said organization that it refuses to do so? If the French had ignored the LoN’s “recommendation” instructing them that while Hitler’s roving forces in the Rhineland were in explicit violation of the Treaty of Versailles, it was not worth it to attack them, and indeed chose to evict the Germans from the French occupation zone, would you consider it a case of “French Aggression” against the Third Reich?
    And this is before we go into talking about the considerable differences in conduct between the two forces (firstly, Poland didn’t exactly have the problem of its army committing routine massacres against its own population, and secondly if something like Abu Ghrahib raised eyes in the Third Reich enough to warrant a military investigation into it like the one that actually blew the story, it would’ve been over questions of whether the installation was being efficient enough).
    In addition, let’s see how the shoe fits on the other foot: if the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were indeed wars of aggression that warrant the apology of the US and her allies, should Australia not apologize for its role in the premeditated aggression committed by the Western Allies against the neutral nation of Vichy France and its Pacific Ocean (namely Madagascar and French Polynesia) and Levantine (Syria/Lebanon) colonies?
    But isn’t that different, you say? After all, Vichy France was all but a puppet of the Third Reich (which was at war against Australia and the other Allies), was committing horrific atrocities at home against its own erstwhile citizens, all while allowing its military to become heavily dominated (even in composition, if you examine the nationality of the Vichy “French” military) by Germany while acquiesting to have its territory be used against the Allies by Germany and (in the case of Madagascar) Japan?
    Furthermore, was Syria not all but independent, with Henri Dentz having seen his power primarily be reduced to a primarily military one, with the civic institution becoming dominated by a pro-German Syrian government that had aided a coup by Iraqi factions allied with Germany that nearly split the India-Cairo connection right down the middle? Does a neutral nation that cannot exercise control of its own territory and indeed aids one side of the war overtly truly have the right to be called neutral?
    And furthermore did Vichy’s subservience to Germany and its collaboration with Japan in Indochina not make its Pacific colonies a clear and present danger to Australian independence if utilized by either the Germans or the Japanese utilized bases in Madagascar or (god forbid) French Polynesia against Australia? And was this not a world at war, where any slight factor could tip the balance towards one side or another?
    And finally, did all these factors not effectively make Vichy France an enemy to Australia and to the Allies even if it was not a declared one, and did the abuses by Vichy of its supposed neutrality not justify a violent response even without the approval of a neutral international body or the widespread support of the world (Vichy France was joined by Spain, Portugal, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Argentine, Germany, and even semi-ally Nationalist China in lobbying diplomatic complaints regarding these occupations)?
    Absolutely. Such was the situation Western Allied- including Australian- statesmen and leaders had to deal with. And in the end, they decided that VIchy present too great a threat to be humored and too stubborn an obstacle to be wooed. And so they committed their soldiers to combat with Vichy forces time and again, in spite of the prim and proper legal issues and the lack of a clear mandate.
    It wasn’t nice. It was never GOING to be nice. But sometimes you do not get a choice to play nice. And the world is not as different from what it was in 1942 or ’43 as you may think.
    The bottom line is that both Baathist Baghdad and Taliban-run Kabul had plenty of opportunity to alter their behavior, to adhere to international law, and to stop harboring wanted terrorists. They chose not to, in the case of Iraq in spite of prior obligations (the Gulf War Ceasefire). Simply put, they brought their fate upon themselves.
    Yes, you and those carrying around the “Bush is Hitler” posters have a point in that the US-led alliance did actually invade Afghanistan and Iraq without a formal declaration of war (albeit with the modern equivalent of it) against the desires of the international body of the day (the UN). And I- and the whackjobs in the picture- have a point that the NSDAP under Hitler did indeed have government run health care, and it did indeed involve shoving a few several dozen hundred thousand million “undesirables” into ovens, pits, and other “unpleasant” places.
    We can argue all night which set of protesters has the better point that they themselves do not recognize, but I think we can both agree that both are inappropriate, given the clear difference between both Bush and Obama on one side and Hitler on the other. This is just the emotional raging of people who usually don’t have a bloody idea about what they are holding up and frankly do not care enough to keep this sane, let alone reasonable and factual.
    So, we are left back at the beginning, debating the merits of the individual cases, Obama’s Health Care VS Bush’s interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    And bluntly, I am forced to conclude that Bush had the better case, not merely because of the justifications given (and before we get into WMD, A. We did find some, albeit usually aged, B. We found the brain trust and materials for making such weapons, which were in violation of the ceasefire, and C. Even if nothing regarding WMD was found, that still doesn’t discredit the other rationales for the attack). Obama I fully believe means well, but I believe that his plan is overly ambitious and likely to fall into the same trap we have seen most of Western Europe and Canada fall into.
    (PS. Will get back to you on the original post regarding the use of restraints during International tribunals. Stay tuned).

  14. Do you have morning-after regrets for a post like this?

  15. [insert here]: Delenda est:

    Do you mean myself or Mr. Heller?

  16. Wow.  There is a “slim chance” Obama isn’t qualified to be president.  Death panels “won’t come in now,” but will later.  Hitler was really a leftist.

    Just wow.

  17. Nathan, what kind of people tolerated that sign instead of booing those holding it?

  18. Mr. Heller: If that is your strategy for rebutting argumetns in trial, I am deeply concerned about your client being adaquately represented.

    “There is a “slim chance” Obama isn’t qualified to be president.”

    Nope, that’s a near certainty, given his actions. The issue is whether he was Constitutionally elligable under the “natural born citizen” point, which I honestly believe he was. My quarrels with him elsewhere. 

    “Death panels “won’t come in now,” but will later.”

    Have you EVER seen the running of a typical “ethics committee” in Canada or Britian? These are boards that literally have to make the decisions of where the scare resources go, who gets them, and who doesn’t. While there are a few Corporate ones here, the ones in a nation with government-provided health care are truly a different breed. And believe it or not, after all I have seen, I still admire them for the work they must do on a shoestring, with paltry resources that no American company DREAM of utilizing.

    But it doesn’t change what they are forced to do day in and day out. And it also doesn’t change the fact that such institutions are largely brought to prominance by the dearth that accompanies a government annexation in health care like the one being proposed.

    “Hitler was really a leftist.”

    Have you EVER read the NSDAP party platform? Or have you seen the extreme degree to which he nationalized private (mainly foreign) industry and more-or-less turned Germany’s industrial barons into card-carrying government employees (for instance, Krupp Arms, where the Krupp family actually lost control of most of the day-to-day working of the company to the party managers, and while the Krupps did have clout, they mainly had to exercise it- in the company they theoretically owned- by talking to the party chiefs attached to the company). Or some of his more inflammatory speeches on the subject?

    Now, I can hardly say he was entirely Leftist (after all, the Night of the Long Knives DID see the purge of not only the Monarchists, but also those- like Rohm- who were deemed too far too the Left, particularly those judged to have Communist sympathetis), and it is true that he did form lastng alliances with the German Right, both at home (the Industrialists, the Monarchists, and your garden variety nationalists), and abroad (say what you will, but Horthy, Antonescu, Franco, and Salazar were far closer to the Right-wing Banana Republic dictators that we saw pop up in Latin America and Africa during the 20th century than to any group that could be called “Leftist”, at least ideologically).

    However, that does not change the fact that his social policies and to a FAR lesser extent his general world view was quite like that of a “Nationalist Socialist” with Rascist twists, much like his ally/puppet, Mussolini, who, like Hitler, was forced to make alliances with the authoritarian Right to keep power, but who showed his “purer” policies after the Western Allied invasion, when Hitler carved out the RSI for Mussolini to operate as a private fiefdom fo the Third Reich.

    None of which I desired to bring in here. Because whatever Hitler’s position on the political Spectrum WAS (Far Left, Far Right, whatever), it does not erase the main issue I was trying to make: Hitler DID institute “Free” health care at least to a considerable extent (partiuclarly before the War), and managed to avoid the difficulty of dwindling resources that most Democratic nations that adopt such a policy struggle with in large part because he relegated vast swaths of the populace to the position of subhuman, and in effect stripped them of their rights and thus their access to said health care. This decline in demand allowed them to avoid the issue of “death panels” for over half of his reign, until the war turned (and to be perfectly fair, under similar circumstances, virtually any nation would be forced to do the same).

    And I also notice you did not reply to my OTHER points, the ones that actually carry the brunt of my argumetn.

    1. What defines a “War of Aggression” according to you? If France had counterattacked against Hitler’s violation of their occupation of the Rhineland (as the Treaty of Versailles allowed them to), would THAT have been a case of French aggression against Germany? Did Australia- as part of the British Empire and the Western Allies- commit an act of agression agains the “neutral” Vichy regime and its colonies?

    2. Percisely why do you believe that using Nazi symbols to protest Bush’s interventions/invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan (because, after all, Hitler did cross international boundaries, and in attacking, the deaths of hundreds or thousands of civilians did occur, albiet there being a vast gap between the behavior of the Allies in Iraq and Afghanistan and that of the Third Reich in occupied Europe, and the considerable gap in the justifications) are more justified than using them to protest Obama (because, after all, Hitler did assume control over the health care system of Germany and was forced to ration treatment out in order to keep it afloat, albiet the rationing occuring based on race or political opinion rather than on percieved curability, like what happens in Democratic nations like modern Western Europe).

    3. Why do you condemn fit to insult one group for carrying out an inappropriate and hyperbolic Godwin-breaking picture, but do not feel so outraged when those on your side do the same?

    and finally:

    4. What evidence is there that what must at the very least be a partial government annexation of health care has not led to such problems as shortages of equipment and doctors, leading to yet a greater problem distributing aid to those who need it (and keep in mind that that is on the mild side, I am deliberately ignoring the Freeper-level paranoia of this going into a Soviet-style system, mostly because I believe that is **ll and secondly because talking about the USSR’s healthcare gets into a “Chicken/egg” debate that might give you further pretext for avoiding the questions I posed to you)?

    And as a personal question, why are you so determined to avoid answering the questions I posted?

    Saying *wow* like the flaws are there for anyone to see does not win debates; you actually have to go in and rip said argument to pieces.

    And wows and selective nitpicking don’t do that.

    I await a response.

    One that does  not look like it was written by a deer staring into headlights.

    (and in other news, I think I found something relating to restraints in International tribunals from the post-WWI Malta Trials. I’ll get back to you with the data once I finish looking into it.)

  19. Sarcasm does not compute very well over the internet, does it?

  20. Anderson:

    “Nathan, what kind of people tolerated that sign instead of booing those holding it?”
    From my “lovely” experiences with political rallies, probably the kool-aid battalion of the Right, much like the Kool Aid Battalion of the Left.
    Sadly, they are far more numerous than I would like to think about.
    A: What “sarcasm?” Unless you are Mr. Heller, how can you tell that he is being sarcastic, particularly given his previous habits (it is telling he lingered far more on the RSK/RS problem- which was not entirely unjustified- than he did over all of my other points put together, save for towards the very end)?

  21. Hitler didn’t institute public health care in Germany.

    Germany has the oldest health care system in the world, starting with Bismarck’s policies, which included the 1883 Health Insurance Bill, the 1884 Accident Insurance Bill and the 1889 Old Age and Disability Bill of 1889.

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