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The Nazi References Continue….

Martine Kaplan — August 7, 2009 – 1:15 pm | Abusive Holocaust Rhetoric | Republicans | Stop the Smears Comments (0) Add a comment

Much has been said in the last few days about the troubling Holocaust references that have been made recently. Yesterday, NJDC President David Harris questioned the practice of using Nazi comparisons in lieu of legitimate discourse. Today, we issued a press release challenging Republican Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) assertion that the Republican Party needs people like Rush Limbaugh, who made such comments and put disturbing images on his website.

Here are some examples of references to the word “brownshirt” in this past week alone:


  • Orly Taitz, the de facto leader of the Birther movement, went on CNN and called host David Shuster a “brownshirt.”
  • Representative Brian Baird (D-WA) said his opponents at town hall meetings are using “Brown Shirt tactics. I mean that very seriously.” Harris responded to Baird’s comments: “We think all Holocaust comparisons used in politics are wrong and unfortunate on both sides of the aisle. We’ve been careful to say over the years that nobody should be engaging in Hitler comparisons, Nazi comparisons.”

  • Today, Conservative radio host Glenn Beck warned listeners that ACORN and the unions are Obama’s “civilian force,” his “brownshirts.” Beck also then added that the United States is in a “dangerous place” because “our people are different” and “not as connected to God as we once were.” Listen to his rant here.


Why is “brownshirt” suddenly the word of choice for people without a real argument? The people who use the term know full well what it implies—that’s why they’re using it. They must be shown that using such language and fear-mongering will not be tolerated. 


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