Defending Steve Cohen’s Tempest in a Teapot

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For the ignorant among us  a tempest in a teapot (in American English), storm in a teacup (in British English) is an idiom meaning a small event that has been exaggerated out of proportion.  Congressman Steve Cohen is now paddling uphill in such a tempest.   The usual suspects are out for blood. The Pink Flamingo suspects they are more interested a rather vain attempt to find a stalwart Tea Party “Patriot” who might attempt to take the Memphis Democrat on in 2 years. If so, they are fools.  Steve Cohen represents a very liberal district.

The Pink Flamingo has noticed that there are a few irate members of the far right who are accusing Steve of being anti-Semitic.  FYI – he’s Jewish.

Steve has been The Pink Flamingo’s sister’s neighbor for over a quarter of a century.  He has been a very good neighbor, and a very good friend to her family. I guess, next to Lindsey Graham, the person I will defend most from baseless attacks is  Steve Cohen.  He is a decent and honorable man.  I don’t give a rip how liberal he is, I suspect as a man of honor, decency, and character, he is far superior to the  intellectually dishonest minions of the slobbering far right who are using him to score points with their audience.

Thus spake Rush:

Below the Beltway

If Steve Cohen’s statement were delivered in a vacuum I would say it was boneheaded.  It is not.  It is rather like one of my favorite movie scenes (which incidentally is about a movie where they are  fighting Nazis).  The far right is shocked, shocked to find that someone is making a statement about Nazis.

David Frum write:

“...The Nazi talk also reflects the impact on Republican politics of supporters of Ron Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. For their own internal ideological reasons, Paulistas use the term “fascism” very promiscuously. Paul did not win many votes, but he raised a lot of money and inspired intense enthusiasm. The Paulistas make a natural activist base for an opposition party–and an eager audience for angry talk radio. In order to gain their support, many Republicans have begun to talk their inflammatory language. The man who attended President Obama’s Portsmouth, NH, event carrying a placard endorsing assassination and bearing a–legal–firearm strapped to his leg was a Ron Paul supporter….”

Evidently it is acceptable for the far right to compare Obama and the left to “nazis” but it is NOT acceptable for the left to do the same.

Steve Cohen said:

WPost

Rush Limbaugh once said:

“…RUSH: By the way, we have shut down the Sweetness & Light website which always happens, Sweetness-Light.com where the similarity between Obama’s health care logo and the Nazi logo is just overwhelming.  People are trying to get in and see this.  You know, these Democrats think they live and operate in a vacuum.  They run around and say, “Oh, yeah, people are showing up with swastikas,” and that’s going to be the end of the story.  They create a whole new story and we find out that it’s a Democrat meeting in ’97 that they bring up a good friend of Jay Rockefeller’s who’s got a Nazi swastika tattooed on his arm.  They accuse us of being Nazis and Obama’s got a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook.  Now what are the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi party in Germany?  Well, the Nazis were against big business.  They hated big business and, of course, we all know that they were opposed to Jewish capitalism.  They were insanely, irrationally against pollution.  They were for two years mandatory voluntary service to Germany.  They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working one of which was the Autobahn.

They were against cruelty and vivisection of animals but in the radical sense of devaluing human life, they banned smoking.  They were totally against that.  They were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables as we all know and they were for cradle-to-grave nationalized health care.  I have always bristled when I hear people claim that conservatism gets close to Naziism.  It is liberalism that’s the closest you can get to Naziism and socialism.  It’s all bundled up under the socialist banner.  There are far more similarities between Nancy Pelosi and Adolf Hitler than between these people showing up at town halls to protest a Hitler-like policy that’s being heralded by a Hitler-like logo. …”

I guess the difference between the two men is Rush Limbaugh is pure conservative and Steve Cohen as pure liberal.

Democrat Congressman Steve Cohen is the exact opposite of Republican Senator Jim DeMint.  He is to liberal what DeMint is to conservative.  There are other differences that deal with honor, character, and intellectual honesty.  Once again Steve Cohen is the exact opposite of Jim DeMint.  The problem, though, is because Cohen is a liberal and DeMint is 100% pure conservative, it is assumed that DeMint is all that is good and Cohen is all that is bad.

There are some idiot bloggers who are suggesting no one sit next to Steve Cohen during the State of the Union.  That’s terribly childish.  Then again The Pink Flamingo thinks tea party “patriots” are terribly childish most of the time.

Red State

The problem with the extremes of political punditry is they have surrendered all hope of rational discourse.  Listening to Bill O’Reilly drill Dana Perino, trying to get her to say something nasty about Cohen, she took him to task about the way the far right, O’Reilly included, treated George W. Bush over immigration reform.

And – that is the problem in a nutshell.

The problem is the far right.  The problem is the far left.  The BIG problem is the intellectual dishonesty of both groups.  Neither group is capable of admitting that they are wrong, over the top.  Frankly, The Pink Flamingo doesn’t give a rip about the liberal press.  They are what they are.

The other problem is the fact that those on the far right say there are no good liberals and those on the left say there are no good conservatives.

Humbug!

David Frum, in August, 2009 noted the many instances people use the “nazi” rhetoric.

AEI Article: David Frum

In other words, it is laudable for Rush Limbaugh to compare the Democratic Party to the Nazi Party.  Because Jim DeMint is 100% pure, he can do the same thing.

Washington Independent

Doug Mataconis had a great commentary on Thursday.  He wrote:

“…None of this is a new to the health care debate, of course. During the Town Hall protests of 2009, Nancy Pelosi compared American citizens going to meet their representatives to Nazi, Washington Congressman Brian Baird compared them to the Brown Shirts that accompanied Hitler’s rise to power, the “Dean of the House” John Dingell compared them to the KKK….Senator Jim DeMint compared America under Barack Obama to pre-World War II Germany, Rush Limbaugh equated the President with Hitler, Americans for Propserity compared the health care reform bill to the Holocaust, and we even got this from SNL alumnus Victoria Jackson…The reductio ad Hitlerum seems to a required part of American politics these days. George Bush did it in the run up to the Iraq War, and then again last year when talking about the Middle East. Bill Clinton used analogies to the Third Reich to justify American intervention in Serbia. And then there’s Al Gore….”

Below the Beltway:

Below the Beltway

The question of the week:  Why is Steve Cohen worse than anyone else?  Why is Steve the one who is forced to apologize?

“…”I want to be clear that I never called Republicans Nazis,” said the Tennessee lawmaker in a statement issued Thursday. “I regret that anyone in the Jewish community, my Republican colleagues or anyone else was offended by the portrayal of my comments.”…”

When does Rush Limbaugh apologize?

Then again, what about this?

The Examiner

Perhaps the first person to cast stones at Steve Cohen had best examine their own use of Nazi rhetoric, especially FOX News.

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