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August 07, 2009

Gibbsy: Those Comparing the Democrats to Nazis are "On Thin Ice"
Correction: Isn't Exactly Only Chiding Republicans

What? After eight years of that from Democrats? Are you serious?

"We can discuss these issues without being uncivilized," Gibbs said.

Despite reports that David Axelrod, Obama's top political strategist, and White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina told Democrats to hit back at protesters, Gibbs said his advice to town hall participants is to "behave themselves like your mom would tell you to do."


"Anytime you make references to what happened in Germany in the '30s and '40s, I think you're talking about an event that has no equivalent," Gibbs said. "I think anytime anyone ventures to compare anything to that, they're on thin ice and it's best not deployed."

Compare and contrast to Ari Fleisher's much quoted, much denounced formulation about overly-divisive rhtetoric (chiding a member of his own party for saying "towelhead," incidentally): "There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that."

But now we're "on thin ice," it turns out, according to spokesman of a president who wants us to "just get out of the way," and whose union goons are beating people in the street.

Critically, Gibbs was telling us we all need to be "civil." But he pointedly only lectured his political opponents to be civil, declining to lecture his own side -- which has actually escalated the clashes from mere shouting and pointed questions to ER-room finale beat-downs.

Here's the best Gibbsy can muster on that score:

Republicans have charged that Democrats and the White House have been equally guilty of introducing harsh rhetoric to the debates.

When asked about that, Gibbs said he thinks "the best thing to do is take the temperature down a bit."

How about saying this:

"Protesters attending town halls are there to confront their representatives, which it is their consitutional right to do. Protesters going to town halls to confront other protesters may be well-intentioned, but they're fomenting confrontations with fellow citizens, who, unlike representatives, have no security details to protect them and furthermore do not have any duty to face an angry citizenry. So supporters can support members, opponents can oppose members, but neither supporters nor opponents should start going after each other. That can only lead to violence and further division."

But no, he couldn't say that, because he wishes to encourage his cultists and union goons who are attending with the express purpose of confronting American citizens, rather than elected representatives who frankly signed up for a bit of angry questioning and hooting and booing when they sought the job they ultimately won.

You're on thin ice.

These Members need cover.

We have strategies for dealing with that.

Get in their faces.

We just want them out of the way.

I honestly do not want to see this situation escalate -- which I am currently quite fearful it will.

But the Obama team has to recognize that the "Members who need cover" have a duty to stand before their supposed constituents and take a little heat -- and conversely, the Obamanauts have no right to attempt to intimidate those who are merely seeking a way to communicate face-to-face with their alleged representatives.

Obama and Co. apparently think that it's exactly the same to hoot at an elected public official as it is to beat down a citizen on the street for being so impertinent as to Dissent.

And thus they offer all of their words of supposed conciliation, mixed with crude threats, to their opponents.

Thanks to Dave @ Garfield Ridge for noting the Fleisher line's comparability to the president's line about "getting out of the way."

Correction: Allah has the video, and Jake Tapper's question mentioned -- kind of briefly -- a congressmen saying protesters were using "brown-shirt tactics," so the question as phrased actually applied to both sides using Nazi rhetoric.

However, I'm still thinking that Gibbs was directing his question to Rush Limbaugh, who'd compared the Democrats to Nazis.

Tapper mentioned this too and at somewhat greater length. I can't prove this -- it's pure gloss -- but I think Gibbs is only animated to find fault with Nazi imagery because Rush Limbaugh is involved. If the question hadn't mentioned Rush, and only mentioned the Democratic congressmen accusing his detractors of "brown shirt tactics," I think he would have giggled it off as usual, like the fat little girl he is.

This is formally a correction because, as phrased, Allah's write and my headline was wrong -- both sides were implicated in the question.

Although, seriously, my point still stands. At the end of Tapper's questioning, he asks how the DNC"s ad smearing protesters as an angry horde of "Birth-Certificate Denying" goons accords with his own sudden belief in civility. Gibbs mutters something about having "seen imagery which surprises us," without actually managing to note that the imagery which should have surprised him came from his compatriots at the DNC. He offers them no rebuke, except that lame "take the temperature down a bit" thing, which I still think is pretty much intended only for conservatives.

If Gibbs actually called the DNC and told them to retract the ad to "take the temperature down a bit," he did not mention it.

By the way? That ad?

Still there:

Odd, isn't it, that he wants to "take the temperature down a little bit" but can't exert his fat self enough to call the DNC, eh?

Maybe he lost their number.

He will only chide his own side obliquely and weakly.

Kudos for Jake Tapper continuing to press on this point.

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