Evidently, a couple of the “Bush in 30 Seconds” entries compared Bush to Hitler. MoveOn decried the content of the entries, which were disqualified. Some flunky at MoveOn.org posted one to their website despite the fact that they were not finalists.
The Republicans, lying in wait to pounce, grabbed the QuickTime file and posted it on their own website, decrying the liberal bashing of their beloved president. They seem to have forgotten that they themselves created ads linking prominent Democrats to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
Well, turnabout is fair play. Let’s see what GOP big boy Grover Norquist has to say about the Holocaust:
In October the extremely influential GOP activist and White House insider Grover Norquist was interviewed by Terry Gross on her National Public Radio program, “Fresh Air.” By December a portion of that interview was reprinted in Harper’s magazine, where, over the holidays, I happened to see it. I am writing about it today because, among other things, Norquist compared the estate tax to the Holocaust.
This remark, so bizarre and tasteless that I felt it deserved checking, sent me to the transcript of the show, where, sure enough, it was confirmed. In it Norquist referred to the supposedly specious argument that the estate tax was worth keeping because it really affected only “2 percent of Americans.” He went on: “I mean, that’s the morality of the Holocaust. ‘Well, it’s only a small percentage,’ you know. I mean, it’s not you. It’s somebody else.”
From the transcript, it seems that Gross couldn’t believe her ears. “Excuse me,” she interjected. “Excuse me one second. Did you just . . . compare the estate tax with the Holocaust?”
Norquist explained himself. “No, the morality that says it’s okay to do something to a group because they’re a small percentage of the population is the morality that says the Holocaust is okay because they didn’t target everybody, just a small percentage.” He went on to liken the estate tax to apartheid in the old South Africa and to the communist regime of the old East Germany. How he neglected Iraq under Saddam Hussein I will never know.
… In fact, the moral equivalency Norquist concocts is his own — and it speaks volumes about the morality of anti-tax Republicans. To them, the rich owe nothing — just like the poor, they would say. (The difference between rich and poor escapes them.) This is unbridled selfishness in the guise of ideology and makes wealth the moral equivalent of ethnicity or religion or even sexual preference. To Norquist, distinguishing between rich and poor is like making a selection at Auschwitz. It not only trivializes the Holocaust, it collapses all moral distinctions.
When Trent Lott praised Strom Thurmond, the longtime segregationist (and laundry room Lothario), he revealed a mentality that not even Senate Republicans could publicly support — and Lott had to resign as majority leader. Norquist has gone even further, likening the morality of mass murder to the imposition of a tax on the rich. At his next meeting of GOP activists, someone ought to ask him if he’s out of his mind. If no one does, it’s because they all are.