Friday, 14 August 2009

Great Gallopin' Godwin!

Godwin's Law: "Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a humorous observation coined by Mike Godwin in 1990, and which has become an Internet adage. It states: 'As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.'...There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself) than others invented later. For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically 'lost' whatever debate was in progress. This principle itself is frequently referred to as Godwin's Law. It is considered poor form to raise such a comparison arbitrarily with the motive of ending the thread."

Back in my political forum-posting days, anti-Bush sentiment ran pretty hot at times. This issue came up so often that a short-hand for why it's ridiculously stupid and bad form to make this comparison was coined: "BUSH=HITLER" Likewise, it seems that whenever someone was stupid enough to make that comparison in the public forum, they were in for a session in the press' meat grinder, on cable news, etc. etc. (remember that ad in the MoveOn contest and the flap that produced?)

Well, it's taken less than a year, and the right has decided they're going to ride this crazy rocket all the way down:

Beck is clinically insane, and has been pursuing this Hitler stuff with great gusto. At this point, he is bleeding advertisers, and so the brave folks at Red State have leaped to his rescue:

Here’s the list of the groups that have boycotted Glenn Beck. Let them know you disagree. Let them know you will boycott them for kowtowing to Barack Obama’s worshippers, brownshirts, goons, and thugs.

Now, let's see...where have I heard a reference to "Obama's brownshirts" before? Oh, that's right, from another clinically insane individual, Orly Taitz:

Orly Taitz is quite the piece of work. She manages to simultaneously believe that Obama is a radical Islamist, a Nazi, and a Communist (man, what I wouldn't give to see what THAT manifesto would sound like). I suppose when you add that to the Joker/Socialism posters (because hey, there's nothing the Joker loves more than the government), ideological coherence is a little too much to ask for these days.

UPDATE: Joseph Farah, conspiracy theorist and smear-monger at WorldNetDaily, has gone perhaps the most insane with this garbage, publishing a column yesterday in which he states:

Obama has power. His opponents, for the most part, do not. Furthermore, Obama seeks to use his power to impose policies that have, like it or not, a striking resemblance to those Hitler promoted in the 1930s.

Hilariously, one of the things that he says makes Obama/the left Nazis is that they "demonize political oponents." These wingnuts would be a lot more fun if they had any sense of irony whatsoever.

I guess what it boils down to is this: as Godwin's corollary states, when you start calling the other guy a Nazi and a brownshirt and a monster, you've lost the argument. But in actuality, they know this. They lost the argument last November.

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