Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sean Spicer And Liberal Hypocrisy On Hitler Comparisons


By Frances Rice
The full-throated attack on Sean Spicer, an honorable man, over his remarks about how Hitler used chemical weapons to kill people puts in sharp relief the liberal hypocrisy on Hitler comparisons.

Flashback to 2009, David Leonhardt brazenly and approvingly compared President Obama to Hitler in an article published in The New York Times. The text of that article is posted further below.
Immediately below is a 2009 article by Warner Todd Huston that was posted by News Busters which excoriates Leonhardt and the New York Times.
After that article by Leonhardt, further below is an article by Eddie Scarry “Seven times the media compared Trump to Hitler.”

 NYTimes: Obama's Economic Ideas Great... Just Like Hitler's Were?
By Warner Todd Huston| April 3, 2009 

For The New York Times economic scene section for March 31, David Leonhardt came across with one of the most amazing admissions about Obama that I've ever seen in the Times. Namely that Barack Obama is just like Hitler. Now, many of you may be solemnly shaking your head in agreement, but in so doing you would be missing why the Times was comparing Obama to Hitler. You see, Leonhardt didn't mean it as an insult. He was saying that it was a good thing that Barack was being like Hitler at least in an economic sense.
Here Leonhardt is taking the trains-on-time track with his Hitler angle by saying that, despite that whole Holocaust and World War II business, Hitler's policies were good for Germany. So good, in fact, that he celebrates the ways he sees that Obama is emulating the mustachioed mad-man's economic prescriptions with the massive takeover of the economy and bloated government spending on "stimulus."
You know the left has lost it when they are invoking the "success" of Hitler to prop up The One!
If I might rephrase Leonhardt's opening sentence a bit: "Every so often, the left serves up an analogy that’s uncomfortable, a little distracting and yet still very telling."
The telling thing here is that Leonhardt is willing to ignore the ultimate outcome of Hitler's policies so that he might justify the destruction of the capitalist system, elimination of personal property rights, and to excuse away giving dictatorial power to an all encompassing government juggernaut here in the US. He so dearly wants the Keynesian theory to be the right one that he is willing to turn his face from genocide and world war to prove his wishes beneficial to man.
Here is how he sets up his absurd take on history:
More than any other country, Germany -- Nazi Germany -- then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.
Oh, sure Germany became a powerhouse previous to the outbreak of WWII. But, what Leonhardt criminally ignores is that Hitler made Germany a powerhouse by stealing the personal property and wealth of minorities and business owners alike and remanding them to the state. And then, to sustain this wild growth, he launched a war of greed and acquisition on his neighbors that added to that power but cost the lives of millions. Germany built this empire on the destruction of God-given rights, oppression of religious and ethnic minorities, and widespread death and war.
In light of the final outcome, I'd wager that this Hitlarian bargain doesn't seem very appealing to anyone but Leonhardt.
From here, Leonhardt segues into an appreciation of the policies of the most communist of presidents we've ever had, Franklin Roosevelt. Leonhardt rehashes New Deal apology by claiming that FDR's economic plans helped the USA out of The Great Depression. He says it all proves that, "Yes, stimulus works."
Of course, like many who admire FDR, Leonhardt glosses over the fact that none of FDR's policies worked at all until the gearing up for war began. He also ignores the unsustainability of Germany's economic "benefits" that dictated that it must go to war to expand the pool of wealth from which the state could steal to support its wild growth. In fact, that same war aim that helped FDR's economic outlook was also unsustainable to the point that the singular goal was, indeed, war. At some point, it must be realized, the war will end and one faces either destruction -- whether mutual or exclusive -- or at the very least will discover a cessation of the activity involved in the run up to war and hence the economic "stimulus" that it entails. Leaving? Leaving an empty hole where that artificial war stimulus was and no stable economic activity to fill it.
In fact, the main reason that the US came out of WWII so strong wasn't because we had spent ourselves to prosperity by gearing for war, but because afterward we became the supply house and construction company of the civilized world by helping re-build the many nations devastated by that war.
A little further in the piece, we realize just how benighted Leonhardt's understanding of things economic is when he favorably quotes George Soros, a man that has admitted that his singular goal isn't to improve the economy, but to destroy it in order to remake the world in his own image.
George Soros, the billionaire investor who was born in Budapest and works in New York, came to Washington last week and captured both the problem and the potential for a solution. “I think they can be brought around,” he said of the Europeans. “I am actually hopeful something constructive can happen.”
Leonhardt's got to be kidding, right? This from a man that said that the world's economic collapse was "the culminating point of my life’s work"?
Leonhardt's Soros quote could certainly have been uttered by Hitler himself because there is no elucidation of the moral theme behind what being "hopeful" that "something constructive can happen" means. Like Hitler, what Soros means by "constructive" would NOT be an outcome that any humane person would agree is so wonderful! Yet, from Leonhardt's treatment we have to assume that he imagines that Soros' "constructive" must obviously be a mutually beneficial good for us all. Leonhardt truly does not understand Soros' apocalyptic point.
Anyway, Leonhardt's ridiculous exposition on the benefits of the socialist model is replete with so many misunderstanding of history, so many bald faced denials of truth that it boggles the mind.
But, it was interesting to see a slavish Obamaite trying to assure us of how wonderful The One is by favorably comparing him to Hitler. I laughed right before I threw up a little in my mouth over the reality of it all.


Stimulus Thinking, and Nuance
By David Leonhardt | MARCH 31, 2009

In the summer of 1933, just as they will do on Thursday, heads of government and their finance ministers met in London to talk about a global economic crisis. They accomplished little and went home to battle the crisis in their own ways.
More than any other country, Germany — Nazi Germany — then set out on a serious stimulus program. The government built up the military, expanded the autobahn, put up stadiums for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and built monuments to the Nazi Party across Munich and Berlin.
The economic benefits of this vast works program never flowed to most workers, because fascism doesn’t look kindly on collective bargaining. But Germany did escape the Great Depression faster than other countries. Corporate profits boomed, and unemployment sank (and not because of slave labor, which didn’t become widespread until later). Harold James, an economic historian, says that the young liberal economists studying under John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s began to debate whether Hitler had solved unemployment.
No sane person enjoys mixing nuance and Nazis, but this bit of economic history has a particular importance this week. In the run-up to the G-20 meeting, European leaders have resisted calls for more government spending. Last week, the European Union president, Mirek Topolanek, echoed a line from AC/DC — whom he had just heard in concert — and described the Obama administration’s stimulus plan as “a road to hell.”
Here in the United States, many people are understandably wondering whether the $800 billion stimulus program will make much of a difference. They want to know: Does stimulus work? Fortunately, this is one economic question that’s been answered pretty clearly in the last century.
Yes, stimulus works.
When governments have taken aggressive steps to soften an economic decline, they have succeeded. The Germans did it in the 1930s. Franklin D. Roosevelt did so more haltingly, and had more halting results. Even the limp Japanese recovery plan of the 1990s makes the case. Although dithering over a bank rescue kept Japan in a slump, government spending on roads and bridges made things better than they otherwise would have been.
No matter what happens in London on Thursday, President Obama and other world leaders are sure to claim the meeting as a success. (“I do not regard the economic conference as a failure,” Roosevelt said in 1933.)
But if the meeting is going to be an actual success, it will have to do more than put a happy face on trans-Atlantic disagreements. It will need to begin nudging the discussion about stimulus toward a more accurate reading of history.
The Americans and Europeans aren’t really as far apart as Mr. Topolanek’s AC/DC homage suggests. Europe is doing less than the United States, but the gap isn’t huge. It just seems so because European stimulus tends to arrive quietly, from existing safety net programs. In this country, where the safety net is weaker, stimulus comes largely from new laws.
Yet the rhetoric from Europe — even the more subdued recent remarks, like those of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — still creates a problem. Stimulus skepticism today will make it harder to pass more stimulus tomorrow. And more will probably be needed.
George Soros, the billionaire investor who was born in Budapest and works in New York, came to Washington last week and captured both the problem and the potential for a solution. “I think they can be brought around,” he said of the Europeans. “I am actually hopeful something constructive can happen.”
 Photo: The French delegation to the global economic conference in London in 1933 during the Depression. Little came of the meeting, which adjourned in six weeks with no major agreements. Credit Associated Press

•The objections to stimulus tend to come in two forms: Its costs are too high, and its benefits too small.
Mr. Topolanek and German officials have been pressing the first argument. They say that the additional government spending can lead to inflation and government debt. The Weimar Republic of the 1920s, where inflation helped lead to Hitler’s rise, casts a long shadow.
Stimulus opponents here in the United States — mainly Congressional Republicans (though not, tellingly, Republican governors of some large states) — have been warning about debt, too. But they have also been making the second argument. When the government spends money, they say, it simply displaces spending by the private sector. Republicans on Capitol Hill have taken to citing a recent book by the journalist Amity Shlaes, “The Forgotten Man,” which claims the New Deal didn’t work.
Theoretically, neither of these arguments is crazy. But they don’t have much evidence on their side.
The best takedown of Ms. Shlaes’s thesis came from Eric Rauchway, a historian, who pointed out that her favorite statistic did not count people employed by New Deal programs to be employed. Excluding the effects of the medicine, the patient is as sick as ever!
When Roosevelt stuck to a stimulus program, unemployment fell markedly, and the biggest stimulus of all — World War II — did the rest. It’s true that economic models say the economy shouldn’t work this way. When resources are sitting idle, businesses should find a way to use them profitably. But they often don’t.
People become irrationally pessimistic during a downturn. They are driven by what Keynes called animal spirits. Only government can typically change the dynamic.
Could the government spending eventually lead to inflation and crippling debts? Absolutely. But the mistakes of the last 80 years have gone in the other direction. During the Great Depression, Japan’s lost decade, the Asian financial crisis and even the last 18 months, governments didn’t act aggressively enough. Deflation and lack of growth ended up being the real risks.
These are precisely the risks facing the world economy now. In Spain, prices are already falling. Layoffs are still mounting around the world. Financial firms have more losses to acknowledge.
Given the diminished standing of the United States, Mr. Obama won’t be able to get the Europeans to fall in line behind him this week. But he can still make progress. He and the American delegation can, in gentle terms, ask the Europeans to live up to their own standard — and remind them of their self-interest.
Two weeks ago, responding to criticism, an executive of the European Central Bank wrote a letter to an Italian newspaper claiming, “fiscal stimulus in European countries is wholly comparable to that seen in the United States.” That simply isn’t true, as the chart at right makes clear. The difference amounts to about $200 billion over three years.
Because the global economy is in many ways integrated, Europe can benefit from American stimulus without pulling its own weight. But because the global economy isn’t completely integrated, European stimulus would still help Europe more than anywhere else. And that presents the American delegation with perhaps its most persuasive case.
Right now, Eastern Europe appears to be one of the world’s most vulnerable places. It is a relatively poor region, where the population is disaffected and where the economy is shrinking rapidly. In both Estonia and Latvia, the gross domestic product fell 10 percent last year.
At the G-20, the leaders of the richer European countries will be asking the world to help Eastern Europe. By all means, the world should help. But Europe should reconsider its part, too.
Seven times the media compared Trump to Hitler

By Eddie Scarry
The ultimate shutdown in politics is to compare a political opponent to Adolf Hitler.
And while Donald Trump may have changed much of what we know about politics, that truth lived on in 2016, even if it didn't stop the president-elect from winning.
Here are seven times, in no particular order, the national media compared Trump to Hitler.
1. New York Times book review by Michiko Kakutani of "How Propaganda Works" on Tuesday: "In Mein Kampf," the review beings, "Hitler argued that effective propaganda appeals 'to the feelings of the public rather than to their reasoning ability'; relies on 'stereotyped formulas,' repeated over and over again, to drum ideas into the minds of the masses; and uses simple 'love or hate, right or wrong' formulations to assail the enemy while making 'intentionally biased and one-sided' arguments. … The subject couldn't be more relevant, given … a president-elect who has stoked the fears and grievances of supporters, and who frequently lies, flip-flops and sows confusion by tweet."
2. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's non-comparison to Hitler in an early December op-ed: Cohen wrote that Trump is "manifestly" not an anti-Semite and is not "another Hitler." Then he proceeded to say that under Trump, America may become another Weimar Republic, the unofficial designation for the German state that preceded Nazi Germany. "Now, ask yourself what might happen if there were a huge terrorist incident on American soil," he said. "Might this man of little knowledge and no restraint attempt to suspend civil liberties? ... I have too much faith in America and its institutions to think that Weimar is the future. It is, however, a warning, not something that shouldn't be discussed, but something that should be mulled."
3. CNN's Dana Bash, reacting after the second presidential debate in October, when Trump quipped that Democrat Hillary Clinton would "be in jail" if he were president: "OK, not to sound too corny," Bash said, "but what makes this country different from countries with dictators in Africa or Stalin or Hitler or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders, is that when they took over, they put their opponents in jail. To hear one presidential candidate, say – even if it was a flip comment, which it was – 'you're going to be in jail' to another presidential candidate on the debate stage in the United States of America, stunning, just stunning."
4. Richard Cohen again, in September, drew a non-parallel between Trump and Hitler: "I realize that the name Hitler has the distractive quality of pornography and so I cite it only with reluctance," he wrote at the time. "Hitler, however, was not a fictional creation but a real man who was legally chosen to be Germany's chancellor, and while Trump is neither an anti-Semite nor does he have designs on neighboring countries, he is Hitlerian in his thinking."
5. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow told Rolling Stone in July that studying Hitler helped her understand Trump: "Over the past year, I've been reading a lot about what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor," she said. "I am gravitating toward moments in history for subliminal reference in terms of cultures that have unexpectedly veered into dark places, because I think that's possibly where we are."
6. University of Paris philosophy professor Justin E. H. Smith, writing for the Times in June, took the Richard Cohen route and described Trump as "not Hitler" but with a caveat: "The fact that the comparison has any traction at all," he said, "that it is a recognizable part of our new political dialogue, and that the man at its center is not actively seeking to prove it wrong, shows how severe the current crisis is, and hints at how dark the future might get."
7. In March, the Washington Post editorial board, during the heat of the Republican primary, warned voters that Trump could be another Hitler: "You don't have to go back to history's most famous example, Adolf Hitler," the paper said, "to understand that authoritarian rulers can achieve power through the ballot box."