Respectful Insolence

Sorry, but I guess I was incorrect when I pointed to Barney Frank’s blistering putdown of a woman with a picture of President Obama decorated with a Hitler mustache who likened health care reform to Nazi policies as being the “only? correct response to such vile and obvious guilt by association gambits. Here’s another, from a Jew at a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, who, while talking about the national health care system in Israel, was subjected to “Heil Hitler” salutes from another clueless woman:

The crazy is strong in this woman. Clearly, the Hitler Zombie has feasted on the thin gruel that must have been in her cranium before her outburst. I’m surprised she has enough neurons left to talk.

I want to ask, “Can’t we all just agree not to use such idiotic Hitler analogies?” But I know it’s a lost cause. I’ve been criticized for piling on such easy targets, but these people are everywhere, and many of them really do believe that President Obama is the new Hitler and any attempt at health care reform is the equivalent of the T4 euthanasia program and healthcare for the volk.

(Hat tip to Ed.)

ADDENDUM: Here’s the same woman, apparently interviewed just before she yelled “Heil, Hitler!” in the video above.

Comments

  1. #1 Catherina
    August 21, 2009

    Is there a transcript somewhere? I cannot understand anything from about 40 seconds to the end.

  2. #2 mdiehl
    August 21, 2009

    Not to be missed . . . Jon Stewart’s take down – via TPM – of Betsy McCaughey on advanced care planning consultations:
    http://tpmtv.talkingpointsmemo.com/?id=3247119

  3. #3 Denice Walter
    August 21, 2009

    Maybe it’s just me – but doesn’t anyone else see the irony of calling an African American,Hitler? You know, the whole Jesse Owens, *schwartze*,Aryan/Nordic schtick? Perhaps we’ve become so colorblind and enlightened that these people don’t even notice that O. is , er …black?

  4. #4 Denice Walter
    August 21, 2009

    That last sentence above should be marked -sarcasm-(lost in transmission)

  5. #5 Pablo
    August 21, 2009

    I don’t know, when I first heard this, I was shocked at the response of the Jewish guy. I think, if it had have been me, I would have jumped on that asshole and pounded the shit out of her.

    It probably would have been the wrong response, but I can’t say I wouldn’t have done it.

    I thought that was perhaps the most vile thing I’ve ever heard.

  6. #6 Catherina
    August 21, 2009

    Denice,

    no irony, just complete lack of any historical knowledge. “Hitler” is synonymous with “a guy who was really really bad and did things people did not like”. To call them “thick as a plank” would be insulting to any plank and it is futile to look for any sense in their rants.

  7. #7 Kimbo Jones
    August 21, 2009

    Denice, People can’t openly hate Obama because he’s black so they’ve come up with this rather ironic Hitler business, because then they aren’t racist they’re just “passionate” about politics.

  8. #8 Tyro
    August 21, 2009

    I like to think that two rational people can disagree on issues, even ones that I feel strongly about but this mystifies me. What is she thinking? She doesn’t even have health insurance so that $8k/2hr bill could land on her yet she makes boo hoo “crybaby” noises. And did she think that his thick Israeli accent was just a strange southern drawl or maybe she forgot what what Hitler did to the Jews?

    Shameless.

  9. #9 Pablo
    August 21, 2009

    And so much for the “the Nazi comparers are actually Lyndon Larouche supporters and not right-wingers” defense that we have been hearing for the nut that Frank shot down.

  10. #10 Joel
    August 21, 2009

    It’s such a pity that policy debates do not take Godwin’s Law into account.

  11. #11 Denice Walter
    August 21, 2009

    @ Catharina/ @ Kimbo: I was, of course, being sarcastic and realize that most of them probably know very little about Hitler and probably aren’t so good at surrepticious planful behavior ( *a la* covering-up their racism).Still, I’m somewhat surprized they didn’t go the whole “commie’ leftist/ pinko” route.

  12. #12 Rita
    August 21, 2009

    It’s a pity that in all the shenanigans, the guy’s point – that National health systems work, give good care and don’t bankrupt people, gets lost.

  13. #13 Tyro
    August 21, 2009

    @Rita – the woman’s reaction to a clear, concrete point which directly affects her and her family is almost as shocking as the Hitler reference. It’s not that the point gets lost it’s that she doesn’t care and has absolutely no intention of listening to anything he says.

  14. #14 Ranson
    August 21, 2009

    I am of the opinion that the phrase, “What are you? Some kind of idiot?” is grossly underused in our society. It’d be political suicide for someone not in a deeply entrenched district, but I’d love to see more representatives to come out and use ridicule. It’s often the best tactic against ridiculous claims.

  15. #15 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    August 21, 2009

    The reason that Obama is so hated is that not only is he black and hates white people, but people forget that he is also white and hates black people. That part of his personallty is his inner Hitler.

  16. #16 a perfect circle
    August 21, 2009

    @Rita: I think you get right to the purpose of these tactics–that the subject becomes Antisemitism and outrage that someone would say such a thing to a Jew rather than universal care in Israel vs $8000 for 2 hours in a US ER.

    Not that this woman is sophisticated enough to know that’s the diversion she’s using, but the astroturf organizations who instruct disruption, yelling, etc etc know everything like accurate information will be drown out by the outrage, and if anything that happens there can be condensed to soundbites, they are without fail off topic.
    * * *

    As to the woman, I thought her expression clearly showed, “Oh, shit I stepped in it with that.” And then she chose the opposite of “when you’re in a hole stop digging” and went with “I’m boring straight for the center of the Earth.”

  17. #17 william e emba
    August 21, 2009

    It is inaccurate to refer to Jesse Owens as a source of irony regarding Hitler/Obama comparisons. Hitler and the Nazis were publicly respectful towards Owens. That famous “refusing to shake hands” story is simply an urban legend. In contrast, the treatment and snubbing Owens got back in the USA was simply shameful.

  18. #18 Gilgamesh
    August 21, 2009

    The shrill shill of a woman is convinced health care insurers’ profit is more important than the wellbeing of her fellow citizens.

    She mentioned “biblical” values during the interview. She must operate solely from the old testament. In the new testament, Matthew (25:42-46) claims Jesus said:
    “For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: …”

    Please forgive the bible quote, I am an Atheist and have no truck with the book, however I like to jab hypocrites with their own sharp stick.

  19. #19 Pablo
    August 21, 2009

    “For I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    We used to sing that song all the time…

    “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers [now: people]
    You do unto me

    When I was hungry you gave me to eat
    When I was thirsty you gave me to drink
    Now enter into the home of my Father

    Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers
    You do unto meeeeeeeee”

    There were about 427 versus that were all along the same line of being compassionate to those with less.

    Although notice in your quote, in terms of being sick, Jesus only said they “visited,” not that they paid for healthcare…

  20. #20 Ahistoricality
    August 21, 2009

    I think, if it had have been me, I would have jumped on that asshole and pounded the shit out of her.

    If you watch a longer version, you can see that she’s got two larger (than her, not than Blum) males, on either side of her, looking very stern and protective. They are clearly trying to look officious and large, and running some interference for her, but they come off as both intellectually and personality-challenged.

  21. #21 a perfect circle
    August 21, 2009

    This is OT, but I feel I should bring this to your (RI regulars) attention. I’m on Xanga (one of those blogging sites) and they have a site/page for autism called Autisable. It’s becoming a stronghold for anti-vaccine misinformation. For instance, this piece of crap mentions both thimerosol and squalene and links to an article that quotes Jenny McCarthy:

    http://www.autisable.com/710097071/h1n1-vaccine-questioned—autism/

    I would encourage any number of the big brains here to take up a presence there to counter this shite. I would like to do it myself, I am not knowledgeable enough in the science of vaccination and immunity to be a effective advocate for science based medicine and vaccination.

    Thx much,

    APC

  22. #22 Enkidu
    August 21, 2009

    @18: Totally OT, but I like your screen name. :o)

  23. #23 The Ridger
    August 21, 2009

    The most telling thing is the way she mock-cries at him over his ER story. Who cares if people w/o health insurance are bankrupted? They clearly aren’t worthy. Who needs “death panels” – we just use means testing. All hail the market.

  24. #24 Chayanov
    August 21, 2009

    All hail the market.

    The market corrects itself. The market has the interests of consumers in mind. The market ensures that poor people stay poor and don’t live very long.

    All hail the market.

  25. #25 Louis B.
    August 21, 2009

    The juxtaposition of Lee Greenwood and an Israeli talking about the greatness of his healthcare system is… something to behold.

  26. #26 J Todd DeShong
    August 21, 2009

    I love how the woman (ass~hole/idiot) refers to herself as a “christian” but then displays complete and utter hatred towards other races. Well, now that I think about it, that does describe most “christians”! I stand corrected.
    JTD

  27. #27 geozilla
    August 21, 2009

    wait a minute… the lady who yelled Heil Hitler is wearing an IDF shirt??? WTF!

  28. #28 MBA
    August 21, 2009

    How could anyone not agree that such behavior is vile. Of course it is. But there is a reason that the media and the politicians are focusing on those with unintelligent arguments; because they don’t want to address the intelligent arguments. It is much easier to attack those who can’t even form coherent sentences and invoke Hitler as their final word in an argument, because these people are ridiculous, and it helps perpetuate the false dichotomy that the choices are between the plan that Obama will eventually endorse and doing “nothing.” Meanwhile, they pretend that no one is coming up with anything constructive except them.

  29. #29 Bronze Dog
    August 21, 2009

    Oh, yes, I just love how she broke down crying because obviously she, as one of the wealthy elite, making over $250,000 would have to give up buying another car for her fleet because she had to pay a fraction of that cost of treating a soldier.

  30. #30 Brian X
    August 22, 2009

    What astonishes me is that her husband does not have health care, and yet she’s one of the obstructionists. She’s a cold-hearted bitch is what she is.

  31. #31 nomuse
    August 22, 2009

    Well, I like the proud way she says her husband holds down two, or maybe three, jobs. So of course all those working poor are at fault for their own lack of health care — they just need to work harder.

    Err, what kind of jobs is he holding down three of? If he is close to her age and apparent physical robustness, they sure as pannini aren’t eight hour days of carpentry. Something tells me he does a nice eight hours in an office — with paid lunch hour — and serves on the board of a non-profit, and, oh, volunteers some weekend hours at their church.

  32. #32 Matthew Cline
    August 22, 2009

    @MBA:

    But there is a reason that the media and the politicians are focusing on those with unintelligent arguments; because they don’t want to address the intelligent arguments.

    I would think that it’s because the nutcases are more entertaining and sound-bite worthy than the intelligent arguments.

  33. #33 Alan Kellogg
    August 22, 2009

    I don’t know how they handle such situations in Israel, but in the U.S. military personnel have the right to refuse treatment. The treatment is there, it is available free to any former member of the U.S. military. But, too often it is cruel, too often it is degrading, too often it is supplied by administrators and bureaucrats who seem to think being sick is a crime, and suffering is the rightful lot of a bunch of whiners.

    We are in the abominable habit of thinking of war is a thing no righteous man would ever suffer because of, and if you do suffer for any reason you deserve it. You get the best of care in an overseas military hospital, but make it back to the U.S. and you become the slime that crawls on the bottom of a stagnant pond. All because in some self righteous fool’s mind you inflicted the crime of being wounded in war.

    You getting some idea of why some combat veterans would much rather sleep in muddy alleys and rot their memories away with cheap booze than put up with care in a veterans hospital?

    Before anyone can get help he must first ask for help. You can’t make him accept the help you offer. You force it upon him it will do no good. In fact it could rebound on you and make things worse. The best you can do is make the offer, and persuade him to accept your offer. As a shrink once said when asked to change a light bulb, “But first, let’s see if the bulb wants to change.”

  34. #34 Esther
    August 22, 2009

    @Alan Kellogg – Israeli soldiers don’t have a separate VA system, per se. The regular army Medical Corps are often former top med students and are snapped up by residency programs when they’re released from service; there are also a lot of civilian and reservist MDs who treat soldiers in army installations. Israeli soldiers are treated in the same hospitals and by the same hospital docs as the rest of us plebes.

    Also, being injured or just first manifesting a chronic illness – e.g., schizophrenia or type I diabetes – while serving in the army, entitles a soldier to be treated for that illness/injury on the Defense Ministry’s dime, I believe for life.

  35. #35 mediajackal
    August 22, 2009

    Really, the only correct response in that situation was a bitch slap.

  36. #36 Sean
    August 22, 2009

    I hope to hell you Yanks can get this health care thing sorted out. I can’t even pretend to understand the “debate” you are having…It is really scary to me. Good luck.

  37. #37 Chris
    August 22, 2009

    Thank you, Sean.

    My daughter and I had to walk by a bunch of health care protesters, and we noticed a few things. One this is that they were all white, and there were a few posters claiming Canadians would not be able to come here for medical care.

    Our state borders Canada, and like many who live in bordering states we have relatives on the north of the border. We really wanted to go up to one and say: Oh, wow! Our uncle needed a liver transplant, and can you guess what happened? He got one! Another cousin was diagnosed with cancer and he had to go through chemotherapy and surgery! Another uncle survived a massive heart attack.”

    But really, arguing with a dining room table would be a better intellectual exercise.

  38. #38 Shay
    August 23, 2009

    But, too often it is cruel, too often it is degrading, too often it is supplied by administrators and bureaucrats who seem to think being sick is a crime, and suffering is the rightful lot of a bunch of whiners.

    I guess I must not be going to the right VA hospitals, because this has never been my experience.