Rep. Cohen Compares Republicans To Nazis and Calls Repeal Arguments to “Blood Libel”

It is beginning to seem like “blood libel” has become the contemporary term of art. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) took the floor last night to compare the Republicans to Nazi propagandist Goebbels and their arguments to “blood libel.” Since Sarah Palin was just skewered over the use of the term, it will be interesting to see the reaction to this reference occurring just days later over national health.

Cohen stated “They say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels. You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing, blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing,”

Cohen also noted:

“The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it–believed it and you have the Holocaust. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care. Politifact said the biggest lie of 2010 was a government takeover of health care because there is no government takeover.”

Moving from the Holocaust to health care is a bit too much of a jump for many people. We have repeatedly seen objections to the use of Nazi references by politicians.

Here Cohen wanted to refer to the tactic of repeating a lie so often that it becomes accepted as the truth. He could have done that without the Nazi reference. The “blood libel” reference was just recently denounced by the the Anti-Defamation League in relation to Palin. One would think that they would have to do the same with Cohen for consistency purposes.

In the meantime, CNN has taken a commentator to task on the air for simply using the term “crosshairs.”

I am not sure that the mere reference to crosshairs deserves such a mea culpa on the air.

What do you think?

Source: MSNBC

Jonathan Turley

108 thoughts on “Rep. Cohen Compares Republicans To Nazis and Calls Repeal Arguments to “Blood Libel””

  1. Buckeye,

    Well, since I don’t really have the time to research college coursework during the 1700’s let me just quote Asimov. From the introduction to his Guide to the Bible

    “Nevertheless, for most of the last two thousand years, the Bible has been virtually the only history book used in Western civilization.”

    Now, I’d also like to point out that I don’t think either of us referred to “colleges” before your last comment. We were discussing education in general, not higher education in specific.

  2. Stamford Liberal said:

    Thanks for the heads up, Slartibartfast. I’m guessing you’ve had quite a few, for lack of a better term, pissing matches with her so I will take your word on good authority. I certainly didn’t come here to argue with anyone but her posts, in my view, tell me that she actually likes arguing – how exhausting!

    You’re welcome. I just get a little annoyed when, for example, I spend time throughly debunking, say, an ariticle she posted about creationism and her response is to run away with her tail between her legs. She’s just interested in proclaiming her views as unquestionably correct and her opponents clearly wrong. In my opinion she doesn’t have the inclination to engage in rational debate because she doesn’t have the ability to defend her irrational positions.

    At any rate, I admire the Professor and wanted to see what his blawg was all about – After going through it the last few days, I see many smart minds here and feel I could probably learn quite a bit.

    Welcome aboard! You certainly seem to have some worthwhile things to say yourself…

    I will also say that I agree with your post of 1:28 pm. I take issue with the Right and the hardcore religious types seeking to give preference for what “might” be (fetus), over what “already is” (women). It’s getting quite tiring for me as a woman to constantly fight tooth and nail for equality in terms of economic and social standing.

    As a man, I can’t sympathize with you, but I do empathize (as much as is possible for a man, anyway ;-)) – mostly I just think that, as a man, it’s wrong to advocate stripping rights from women… I think the debate should be framed in terms of the rights being attached to the fetus along with the concomitant cost of the rights being stripped from the mother. In my opinion, if the opponents of Prop 8 had linked denial of gay marriage to miscegenation laws in the minds of the voters (especially the african-american voters) it wouldn’t have passed. It’s hard to make a case for taking away people’s rights…

  3. @Tootie: No, always choosing the dumbest arguments to pick on is the shallow end. It suggests you don’t have confidence in your ability to handle the more difficult ones.

    So does denying that the difficult arguments even exist.

    And by the way, finishing your remarks with “LOL” does not make you look cute.

  4. Thanks for the heads up, Slartibartfast. I’m guessing you’ve had quite a few, for lack of a better term, pissing matches with her so I will take your word on good authority. I certainly didn’t come here to argue with anyone but her posts, in my view, tell me that she actually likes arguing – how exhausting!

    At any rate, I admire the Professor and wanted to see what his blawg was all about – After going through it the last few days, I see many smart minds here and feel I could probably learn quite a bit.

    I will also say that I agree with your post of 1:28 pm. I take issue with the Right and the hardcore religious types seeking to give preference for what “might” be (fetus), over what “already is” (women). It’s getting quite tiring for me as a woman to constantly fight tooth and nail for equality in terms of economic and social standing.

  5. Stamford Liberal,

    As ‘What Would Tootie Do’ (which is me, by the way…) said, Tootie’s standard operating procedure is to make bigoted and misleading statements (and loads of bad assumptions about her opponents, as you noted) which she is unable to effectively defend and then run away when she can’t come up with any more irrational arguments or straw men. If the past is any indication, she’ll retire from the field before too long…

  6. LOL – If you are implying that I my post indicates I feel guilty for thinking the way I do and being the way I am, you are sorely mistaken. But, that’s funny that you think that.

    What’s with all the “argument” statements, Tootie? You appear to be very combative. I’m not looking to argue, I’m simply making an observation – I’m sorry if I touched a nerve. But, perhaps it is all that anger you have that you are seeking to argue with me. Sorry, I’m not taking the bait. I have neither the inclination nor the energy to argue with you.

    You are free to define whatever you wish. Again, all I did is simply make an observation that you are wrong about “lefists”, aka liberals. And, as I observed, your response to me pretty much solidifies my post, ie: you don’t appear to have any interest in looking past what “you” define to see what “really is.” For that, you have my sympathy.

    As an atheist, I could really care less if Jesus bought into stereotypes but I doubt it since from what I understand, he saw and made the call, not based on what someone told him thus making his call based on heresay. You say you are a believer in him but saying and doing are two different things.

  7. Tootie,

    It is impossible to assert rights for the fetus without equally denying rights to the mother – your position relegates a woman to the status of walking incubator from conception to birth.

    Since your standard M.O. is to make stupid and inflammatory comments and then run away with your tail between your legs when people demonstrate your idiocy (since you are clearly unable to cogently defend your positions – a frequent problem with irrational views based on falsehoods), I’ll save some time by saying that your response to this post is full of crap and that you should spend some time studying the bible in order to understand what Jesus taught if you wish to behave in the way he suggested people should. I think that pathetic bigots like you would make Jesus sad (if he hadn’t been dead for about 2000 years…).

  8. Santorum wants to ban fertility clinics because he was asked a question:

    If a fertility clinic building was on fire and you had to choose between saving hundreds of zygotes or one living 2 year old child, what would you do?

    So, he is going to ban people who actually want a child from having one.

    And he plans to enact into law forced pregnancy. Will the women have to go to jail in order to make sure they carry to term?

    ………
    btw, I am sort of glad Cohen is not backing down. He was right about the TeaParty, and he is right about the Republican strategy of repeating lies. He is absolutely right about this. Because a ‘death panel’ never was a part of the health care law.

  9. Gyges

    mea culpa Which college used the Bible as a history book?

    I think you’ve hit on the reason why currently people vote for a candidate. Voters have been encouraged to think they know as much as any politician so it’s perfectly sensible to vote for someone that expresses their particular opinion, no matter how venal the candidate. This may have started with the dislike of “egg head” Adlai Stevenson. Or maybe even earlier with Wilson.

    Watever, we need to think about what can be done to encourage competent people to serve. Or at least not discourage them from serving. As shano stated, preventing them from getting shouted down at political meetings would be a start, but how can we change that? Shame doesn’t seem to work. Money probably would help, as always, but where to put it to the best advantage…

  10. Do I have to come again to force my Brothers and Sisters to get along? Tooties, I am watching you. Ask for forgiveness in my name and you will become a prophet in my name. Let us pray.

  11. Speaking for Jesus again, are ya, Tootles?

    The thought never crossing your mind that the allegedly divine offspring of an allegedly omniscient and omnipresent being would not need human help in the PR department.

    Modern pharmacology can help you with that problem.

  12. Stamford “Liberal”

    Who said anything about liberals?

    Got a guilty conscience?

    LOL

    You wrote:

    “Sadly, based on what I read in your posts, you have no interest in looking beyond the stereotypes that have been fed to you to see for yourself that liberals aren’t the fang-toothed demons you wrongfully thing we are. I must ask, WWJD?”

    You just admitted that a liberal can be quantified and described by admitting that, at least, they aren’t the fang-toothed demons I wrongfully….” blah dee blahed.

    If there is something leftists (“liberals”) are besides what I assume then you are suggesting they are something definitive as well albeit something definitively good. Something like you.

    In other-words, you want to define the stereotype and deny me the same ability. That is your quarrel with me. You are not just arguing about what the stereotype is; you are arguing about who gets to define it.

    And I’m going to define it as I see it. And as I know as being a former Hippie. And as I know what leftists and liberals DO in the political arena. So please don’t pretend with me that what they do is a mystery.

    And what would Jesus do?

    He would not throw pearls to swine (Swine, being the word Jesus used).

    And he didn’t mean piggy pigs.

    Oops, did Jesus stereotype?

    Well, I guess he did.

    That’s WWJD.

  13. Buckeye,

    You’re better than that.

    I said “They used the Bible as a History text” not: “They ONLY used the Bible as a History Text.” There is a difference.

    To your larger point: I’d say it’s a difference in election strategies. At some point the emphasis of campaigns stopped being “I’m best qualified” and started being “I’m most like you.”

    Well, since the average man is well, average. When you elect the person most like him, you’re not getting exceptional leaders, you’re getting average leaders.

    There are still those people out there, they’re just not as electable anymore.

  14. Just reading through this blog and find that Tootie makes an awful lot of assumptions about what people on the left think and believe.

    Sorry, Toots. Being the screaming liberal I am, I can safely say that you haven’t a clue as to what I think and what I believe. Sadly, based on what I read in your posts, you have no interest in looking beyond the stereotypes that have been fed to you to see for yourself that liberals aren’t the fang-toothed demons you wrongfully thing we are. I must ask, WWJD?

    Didn’t your Mama ever teach you about ASS-U-ming? Apparently not.

  15. @Tootie: Well, I was tackling the relatively intelligent end of the argument, not the really stupid one. If you want to keep playing in the shallow end, that’s up to you.

  16. Right wing vitriol= whatever is coming out of Tootie’s mouth when it’s not theocratic vitriol.

  17. Right wing vitriol= any truthful comment that makes a left wingers look bad.

    Right wing vitriol= whatever a left winger says it is.

    Right wing vitriol= whatever right wingers say now that the new media lets them speak at all (whereas before the left made sure we couldn’t hear a peep from them).

  18. Kriz: You missed your whole point. LOL

    It is just as false to say Palin caused Jared Loughner to murder as it is false to say Jews killed babies and etc.(the blood libel business).

    You made great arguments but came to the wrong conclusion.

    There is no evidence that Sarah wants congressmen and women murdered. She did tell anyone to murder. There is no evidence she wants Democrats murdered.

    Her interest and participation in politics is evidence she would not want such a scenario. Being interested in holding office herself, she would be nuts to advocate assassination.

    Perhaps you only wish for her to be guilty of incitement because of your political leanings?

    That would be no way to decide this matter.

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