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. Well, for starters, there’s every law students favorite… THE RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES.

    Black’s Law Dictionary defines the rule against perpetuities as “[t]he common-law rule prohibiting a grant of an estate unless the interest must vest, if at all, no later than 21 years (plus a period of gestation to cover a posthumous birth) after the death of some person alive when the interest was created.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_against_perpetuities#Common_law

    So, that all encompassing rule covers the legal times that a gestating fetus is entitled to take under property law.

    And no, I’m not going to start a lecture on future interests just to make a dumb ass point here.

  2. Bob,

    Since my statement was about what I believed, it was completely correct, but if you would actually care to provide information instead of flinging tools, I’d love to hear it… I’m always willing to re-evaluate my positions in light of additional information.

  3. “I just don’t believe that rights should attach to the fetus until it reaches viability.”

    Not to throw a monkey wrench into the gears, but but a fetus can be part of a class with property rights.

  4. Tootie,

    Well, I guess you haven’t run away yet… In regard to your comment to Kriz, I don’t think you spend most of your time in the shallow end – you spend most of your time in the wading pool and only dip your toe in the shallow end on occasion – the deep end is right out (if you’d like to play in the deep end, you could respond to my debunking of the article you posted from the Creation Institute months ago… as I recall, I so thoroughly demolished your position that you never posted on the thread again).

    Tootie posted:

    What Would Tootie Do?/Slart

    You wrote: “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.

    That is merely your opinion.

    Sorry Tootles, but it’s more than my opinion – let’s look at it as a scientific hypothesis: to test this hypothesis empirically, we need to assert rights for the fetus and determine if there is a concomitant loss of rights for the mother. [I admit that I shouldn’t have used the term ‘equally’, I should not have implied that the rights gained or lost were equivalent – just that they are mutually exclusive (the fetus’s right to be born and the mother’s right to choose cannot both be respected, for example).] To falsify this hypothesis you would have to find a right that could be granted to the fetus that wouldn’t deprive the mother of a choice that would otherwise be available to her (like the choice of having an abortion). Good luck with that.

    Some rights may be denied, but equally denied? That is absurd. That is like saying that no laws can be applied to protect people from each other because in doing so one group will lose all equality.

    I agree I shouldn’t have used ‘equally’, but your argument here is muddled at best…

    And the reason why a woman might appear to be a walking incubator is because she IS essentially incubating a child from conception to birth. This is new? Perhaps they don’t teach that in leftist controlled schools these days. Maybe leftists are too far removed from country life and cannot get the gist of animal reproduction?

    The question is not whether or not a pregnant woman is an incubator (she is), but whether or not she is JUST an incubator… And Tootles, if you ever decide to venture out into the deep end, I suggest you put your army of leftist straw men away first…

    Does a premature baby in a hospital incubator trigger a denial of equal rights to the nurse tending it? If my one minute old baby has rights, do I now have fewer ones? Does it have more? I don’t understand you.

    Apparently you don’t understand the difference between a ‘fetus’ and a ‘baby’ (although I would have no problem attaching rights to a viable fetus as well as a baby). I didn’t make any assertions regarding the rights of babies – if you want to understand me, then stop trying to twist my words to mean something different…

    Isn’t it true that immediately after giving birth, I have more rights than I had before since now I have the right to raise my child, protect my child, and so forth? Why doesn’t same apply concerning the fetus since it is virtually the same creature in a different location?

    I’m not going to comment on what rights attach to the mother and child at birth and why because I’m not a lawyer, but I would note that you think you have more rights after giving birth and you’re using this as an argument as to why the fetus has the same rights as the baby? That seems pretty messed up to me…

    In America, if you are poor, and PREGNANT, a whole slew of (alleged) rights come your way especially in the form of food and health care. This is a win/win for rights, is it not?

    It wouldn’t be Tootie without a bigoted comment thrown in somewhere…

    I’ve sheltered a fetus inside me and I had no less rights then than I do now. I know thousands of women and not one of them has ever told me they had less rights because they were carrying a baby inside or outside the womb. Most women I know are thrilled and happy to carry babies inside and outside the womb.

    You had no fewer rights than you have now because no rights for the fetus were being asserted (you could have chosen to have an abortion – I’m assuming that you gave birth after Roe v. Wade) Rights don’t exist for the sake of the vast majority who never has the need or inclination to exert them – they exist to defend the minorities who would otherwise be oppressed.

    […pointless crap deleted…]

    But I sense you are saying something far more serious than bad reasoning. I think are hiding the fact that you KNOW that what is in the womb IS human. And I think you are trying to hide the truth that you advocate snuffing out that life. And I think you are trying to hide this knowledge based guilt of yours by inventing some bogus loss of rights by pregnant women.

    I assume that you are against any form of population control (correct me if I’m wrong), so do you feel guilty about the disease, famine, war, and genocide that the exponential growth of the human race makes inevitable? I haven’t committed any errors in my reasoning and I’m not hiding from the fact that the fetus is alive – I just don’t believe that rights should attach to the fetus until it reaches viability. If your sorry lot had the intelligence to go into medicine and develop a method of removing an embryo and bringing it to term in vitro, I would be happy to allow rights to attach at conception but I would also want significant tax credits for childless people in order to depress population growth – unlike you, I’m trying to avoid Armageddon, not breathlessly awaiting it…

    […more crap…]

    shano,

    Good points.

    Stamford Yankee,

    I see you’ve gotten the jump on me in responding to Tootie… yeah, I think you’ll fit in here just fine. 😉 Hopefully your daughter will enjoy more equality than you did (as well as enjoy more rights in a recovered economy). I have faith that the overall trend of progress in human history will win out eventually.

  5. shano:

    I agree. The pro life movement is eerily silent regarding children who are wards of the state. They also don’t seem to make the connection that children in foster care are paid for by the taxes they loathe. Or that these kids have a better chance when adopted of being contributing members of society than the criminals their tax dollars pay for in jail. In addition to abortion, they seek to abolish realistic sex ed and birth control and if they can’t do that, abolish about access to both, particularly those without the means to do so. Sad irony.

    Bringing back the old system – telling the neighbors their sudden disappearance for six or so months is to “visit a long distance relative for some fresh air.”

  6. Stamford: I too wonder about the “pro life” movement. If they were so concerned about “life” why are so many children languishing in our foster care system?

    If Tootie and the rest of the ‘movement’ would actually help children who are already on this Earth I would have much more respect for them.

    What they seem to want is to bring back the old system by which young women were forced to carry to term and then forced to give up their babies. That system was unbelievably cruel.

    Almost as cruel as women dying from illegal abortions.

  7. So, Tootie, which would you save if the fertility clinic was on fire:

    The 100 Zygotes
    or the 1 living and breathing child?

    They are all equal in your eyes, am I correct?

    btw, the Bible says that “breath is life”.
    There were also no penalties attached to causing a pregnant mother to miscarry a fetus in the Bible.
    And the Bible seems to have penalties attached to many, many other actions of man.

  8. Buckeye:

    Thanks! I get that and I am enjoying it!

    I have a friend in Cuyahoga Falls who she sends me a tin of buckeyes for Christmas every year … they are to die for!

  9. Tootie said:

    “Some rights may be denied, but equally denied? That is absurd. That is like saying that no laws can be applied to protect people from each other because in doing so one group will lose all equality.

    And the reason why a woman might appear to be a walking incubator is because she IS essentially incubating a child from conception to birth. This is new? Perhaps they don’t teach that in leftist controlled schools these days. Maybe leftists are too far removed from country life and cannot get the gist of animal reproduction?”

    I will ignore the patronizing tone of your post but I do want to comment on this issue. Yes, a woman in essence is an incubator. But do keep in mind that a fetus is not viable outside of the womb until 26 weeks. In rare cases as early as 21 weeks but its chances for survival are slim. Medicine has come a long way to increasing those chances but are not typically in favor of a baby born prematurely. But this misses the point.

    Currently, the timeframe within which to have an abortion is 12 weeks. Common sense dictates that between 1 and 12 weeks, it’s chances of survival are none. In my opinion, 12 weeks is ample time for a woman to decide whether she wants to continue the pregnancy or not and there could be a whole host of factors as to why she may choose to end the pregnancy, whether they be medical, economic or emotional. But there may be other factors which may lead a woman to terminate a pregnancy beyond 12 weeks, however, each individual woman must to have the ability to decide what is best for her, not what is best for someone else. By government’s intrusion into a woman’s personal life and denying women the right to have all options available to them, the government is taking away a woman’s right to choose what is best for them. This is the point.

    “No, it seems only evil liberal and progressive women are complaining about this completely normal and natural human function. It seems that to a leftist female, only orgasms are natural and to be praised, but what those orgasms might lead to in the typical human function of sex is under suspicion.

    All this hysteria by leftist women is amazing. It is only for 9 months, right? And you are suggesting to me that a woman’s rights are lost for nine months because she is pregnant?”

    I could take offense at your hysterical, childish generalizations and vitriol, but again, I will ignore it because it says a lot more about you than it says about me. As a liberal and progressive woman, I do not complain about what is normal and natural. Nor am I hysterical, evil or stupid. I, and millions upon millions of women like me, have clarity and can see the complexities more clearly than you have the ability to do, ie, black/white vs. grey.

    Having a child should be praised however, not all women see it that way. In particular, I worked for an attorney who practiced family law. I’ve seen neglect and abuse at the hands of women. Women who leave their child at home in a dirty diaper, in a filth encrusted apartment so they can go to Times Square for New Years and disappear for a few days. All the more reason why women regardless if living in urban, suburban or rural areas should have uncomplicated access to comprehensive sex education and birth control. Common sense, not emotion, would dictate that it would certainly diminish the need for abortion. So, how about using some of your emotional energy in defense of those children already viable and living.

    Again, you miss the point – it’s not that it’s “nine months.” It is actually many years more than just nine months, moreso in cases of rape, incest and chromosomal abnormalities. It is about women having the freedom to decide what is best for them. Not the pro-life movement, not the government.

    You throw “guilt” and “stupid” around quite a bit. From where I sit, it appears that you have issues regarding your own inadequecies and seek to project those inadequecies onto others. If so, seek help and learn to engage through respect and reason. Otherwise, you sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

  10. Stamford Yankee

    Welcome to Prof. Turley’s court. You’ll find all sizes, shapes, and colors of opinion here. Enjoy!

  11. Slartibartfast said:

    “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.”

    I understand the frustration. Far too many people see the world in terms of black and white with no room for grey. IMHO, it doesn’t say much for the character of those who choose to view the world this way. It also tell me a lot when they feel they must confront each and every debate in a defensive, almost militant manner. Those are the “debates” I choose to ignore. I don’t ask questions in order to argue, I ask so not only will I understand their position, but for them to understand my position.

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

    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…”

    Many thanks for the kind words! I hope I do have something to contribute in a reasonable and honest way. I don’t pretend to be the brightest bulb in the box but always appreciate those areas where I can learn and grow. Maybe I can be one of the brightest in the box!

    It’s nice to have further confirmation that there are men who can appreciate a woman’s point of view. As the mother of a daughter who just finished her first semester in college, I shudder to think what the future holds for her, economically and in terms of rights and equality. I entered the workforce right out of high school at a time when a strong work ethic and experience were in demand just as much as a piece of paper, and in some cases moreso. Now? Not so much. She recognizes this, and is determined to prove herself and succeed, and for that I couldn’t be prouder. She has a good head on her shoulders – well, most of the time 🙂 – so I don’t necessarily fear for her, but I do fear for her environment in the future.

  12. KRIZ:

    You wrote @ January 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    “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.”

    Kriz:

    I respond to what is most important to me, not you. And I don’t get my marching orders about what to comment on from others here except the owner of this blog and his appointed assistants. So you might want to get over any annoyance with what I choose to comment on or just ignore me.

    Confidence? If I didn’t have confidence I wouldn’t be posting here.

    Difficult arguments? Prove I think difficult arguments don’t exist.

    And by-the-way, finishing a remark with “LOL” means I am actually, physically, laughing at that very moment and included it in my post because it was part of my genuine response. I’m sorry, but I laugh a lot. Your presumption that I do it to be cute is incorrect, and petty, and surely more treading in the shallow end of things than I’ve allegedly done.

    So I don’t take guidance from you about that either.

    Laughing is a thing you might like to do more of and certainly could benefit from.

  13. What Would Tootie Do?/Slart

    You wrote:

    “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.”

    That is merely your opinion.

    Some rights may be denied, but equally denied? That is absurd. That is like saying that no laws can be applied to protect people from each other because in doing so one group will lose all equality.

    And the reason why a woman might appear to be a walking incubator is because she IS essentially incubating a child from conception to birth. This is new? Perhaps they don’t teach that in leftist controlled schools these days. Maybe leftists are too far removed from country life and cannot get the gist of animal reproduction?

    Does a premature baby in a hospital incubator trigger a denial of equal rights to the nurse tending it?

    http://www.dictionary.net/incubation

    If my one minute old baby has rights, do I now have fewer ones?

    Does it have more?

    I don’t understand you.

    Isn’t it true that immediately after giving birth, I have more rights than I had before since now I have the right to raise my child, protect my child, and so forth? Why doesn’t same apply concerning the fetus since it is virtually the same creature in a different location?

    In America, if you are poor, and PREGNANT, a whole slew of (alleged) rights come your way especially in the form of food and health care. This is a win/win for rights, is it not?

    I’ve sheltered a fetus inside me and I had no less rights then than I do now. I know thousands of women and not one of them has ever told me they had less rights because they were carrying a baby inside or outside the womb. Most women I know are thrilled and happy to carry babies inside and outside the womb.

    No, it seems only evil liberal and progressive women are complaining about this completely normal and natural human function. It seems that to a leftist female, only orgasms are natural and to be praised, but what those orgasms might lead to in the typical human function of sex is under suspicion.

    Then human sexuality is a matter most unnatural and most threatening to a denial of rights.

    All this hysteria by leftist women is amazing. It is only for 9 months, right? And you are suggesting to me that a woman’s rights are lost for nine months because she is pregnant?

    I’m laughing a that.

    But I sense you are saying something far more serious than bad reasoning. I think are hiding the fact that you KNOW that what is in the womb IS human. And I think you are trying to hide the truth that you advocate snuffing out that life. And I think you are trying to hide this knowledge based guilt of yours by inventing some bogus loss of rights by pregnant women.

    I realize that stupid liberal or progressive women (not you, of course) need a chance for a do-over. But do-overs simply are not possible in some areas of life and the consequences must be endured.

    If a guy rapes a woman there is no way to take it back.
    If a female has sex and creates a child she cannot take it back (no matter how she tries to erase it).
    And if a woman murders someone she cannot undo that.

    Gee, am I repeating myself here?

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfgq7WiHbh4&w=480&h=390]

  14. BIL & Gyges

    I saw all that at Amazon when I went to look at ‘Guide to the Bible’. Talk about a prolific writer! And I’ll bet it’s all far and above most other writers in whatever discipline. We should have cloned him, too.

  15. Buckeye and Buddha,

    Let’s not forget his Guide to Shakespeare, his proposed calendar, mystery works, tons of science writing, 14 works about history, etc., etc., etc.

    The man wrote.

  16. Buckeye,

    Asimov also wrote in interesting history text called “Asimov’s Chronology of the World”. What it lacks in depth, it makes up for in breadth. It’s a good staple for a reference shelf.

  17. Gyges

    My mistake. I was concentrating on the classical education the founding fathers received in the 1700’s, not the previous 1600 years. Asimov is a great Sci Fi writer and I’ve read most of his fiction but never knew about ‘Guide to the Bible’ which sounds quite interesting. Thanks for introducing me to it.

    What I was getting at was the difference between that classical education, which sounded like it included college – I can’t imagine today’s high schooler translating Latin or Greek to English and back again (unless in a Jesuit high school), and today’s politician’s education.

    I think we’ve taken this discussion as far as possible without falling into repetition and thanks again for the introduction to another aspect of Asimov. The things you can learn here!

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